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  #31  
Old 28 Jul 2012
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Dawson To Eagle Plains On The Dempster/Dumpster/Duster Highway

On conclusion of D2D we packed down, tanked up and headed off to Eagle Plains on the way to Inuvik, we dropped off our new front tyres to “The Dick” and left them in his workshop.

The Dempster/Dumpster/Duster ... well what can I say .....

It started off as any normal (to us) trip does, tarseal ... then shingle, 407 km of it, the road varied from beautiful Calcium Chlorided nicely bound together road i.e. 50 - 69 mph stuff down to 3rd world pakistan potholes.

N o i c e wee lunch spot



We arrived safe and sound after a pretty uneventful trip with our only misdemeanor being Ellens little stop over a grader windrow of shingle and an exciting deluge of heavy rain and lightening beyond belief the rain was bouncing back upwards about 1 metre and carrying with it mud and clay which made a brown mist of sludge hovering in the air and the road flowing like a river.



The campground at Eagle Plains was great, hot shower (WOH HOH), flushing toilets, Wifi (sorta) and a few other ADVers to chat to and some cyclists from Switzerland (the next level of nuttership from adventure motorcycling)

The mozzies weren’t too bad as we had padlocked our bikes down so they couldn’t take them away, the following morning dawned a nice day so we packed up house and contents and headed on our merry way after we had left our keys in the tent!!!!

It was only 5 minutes down the road and I had to stop and we tipped out the tent on the road to make sure we still had the said keys, once settled in my mind, spare keys back in the top box and original keys back in the ignition we were on our way.

This is the bridge we stopped at ... quite neat and a beautiful place to sort our shit out!!.



The road deteriorated badly and quickly, we had managed to ride the Dempster on what was to turn out to be one of the biggest road works we have ever encountered, we are talking probably 250km long of riding on hard base with ball bearings with soft dust in between .. then it rained ... for F@$&s sake it turned into puffy mud and the fun factor diminished somewhat.









We too were Chiwi and Hobbit comets with quite the tail following us .... it was just ten fold bigger with the trucks.

We later found out there were three bike wrecks on the road that day with two going back on trucks, one was straightened out enough to ride back. (Robins who I would later help)

The Arctic Circle on the Dempster





Northern territories border



There are two Ferry crossings with ver boggy entry ramps, this created entertainment for GS rider who came to greif and tore off the left pannier :cry



U dead? ya mun!!





Photo from the bridge of the Ferry



We arrived at Rengling river at about 6.30 pm and decided to have some food as Ellen was spent and I was tired too, we then decided to set up camp and call it a day, we were in bed by about 8.30pm, we were both woken by big winds that was shuffling the tent around, we had placed some pretty big rocks on the guy ropes so we hoped up and nailed them down with pegs, the ground was like concrete hence the rocks idea.

The following morning was hot, we packed up amidst a sea of mozzies and big black flies that actually bite a chunk out of you .... hmmmm.... just to elongate our stay Ellen binned her bike (again) as we were leaving camp.

Hitting the road and assuming the terror of bad road it improved literally within a mile of camp to our surprise, outstanding reprieve from the roadworks so a reasonable pace was set, the light was weird, very gamma looking and hard to pick the soft spots, unusual light for us that do not live within the Arctic Circle.

We arrived in Inuvik and it was HOT, about 35 degrees C, we stopped at a cafe and had a cold coffee, the girls in there let us leave our gear so we could walk around town in our civy gear.





The local supermarket store was a winner with food and drink as well as air cond, so a hot pizza and cold tea we were fed and watered. We bought some energy drinks for our long haul back to Eagle Plains as we could not camp wild for reasons of being in Grizzly Bear country and womans monthly things on the go so to avoid being on the Grizzly lunch menu it was best to head to the safety of partial civilization.

The is the Deli/bike section :huh



Honourary Kiwis





Inuvik back to Eagle Plains

Well on the way back we came upon an epic thunderstorm so we decided to sit it out as they normally race through pretty quickly however this one had a brother and sister and before we knew the whole family surrounded us.





It was all around us and that is where we were heading



The wind was so strong it blew Hobbit of his side stand ... Ellen then lost her footing with the wind and she went down too...this was caught on camera.



We finally made it back to Eagle Plains campground at 11.00pm and set up camp ... hot shower and relax down however the energy drink was still doing its jobs so we got our moneys worth.

Next morning was cool and mostly clear however the wild fires had created quite a brown haze which did cut down the scenery somewhat and there were burnt patches for miles along the road where the fire had started after we had been through on the way in.

The trip for us was uneventful with time to take pics of the sulphur rivers with rust coloured water so out came Two Photo Kiwis and some artistic sessions.

To prove the danger we put ourselves through to get goo pics for you guys see the mozzies trying to bite the lense off the camera :eek1





The river



The road



Hobbit turn 5000 miles old on the way out



Andis Playstation ... forget the poxy Xbox!!!



The road had changed dramatically even over the three days and for the better so our exit pace was far much smoother and quicker.

On returning to Dawson we went back to Dicks to pick up our front tyres we had left, Dick offered us space to put down our beds as we wanted to clean air filters, re-inflate tyres, clean the Calcium Chloride off the bikes and change the front sprockets out.



We ended up staying the first night with the vision of finishing the bikes in the am then off to Whitehorse, we then heard that Robin who had binned her 1200 GS on the Dempster (note rolled the bike completely over buckling to two side cases, engine bars and wind screen mounts) was coming to Dicks workshop to straighten it out as good as they can, Ross turned up and it was game on.

Being there I offered to help so I spent 3 hrs with them and knocked the two cases into shape to make them watertight again, repaired the latches, straightened the screen and engine protection bars, it is not perfect but it is 100% better than when it came in, they too are doing the Dalton so they too still have some traveling to do.

Best to you guys and we hope you trip up there goes smoother.

Upon finishing her bike I set too and finished ours, we sat down to a tea of Ellens home made Sushi and Dicks sashimi Tuna, outstanding it was too.

Tomorrow morning Thursday 28th June we set off South.... next report will be in a few days again, stay safe, enjoy your riding if you are getting out and luv from Two Moto Kiwis.
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Old 28 Jul 2012
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Dawson To Whitehorse

Now this is the latest in the shenanigans

Before parting Dawson we had to stop and the building where the council had built the ground on an angle, there was no one on the street when we started and our interest created a whole lot more interest next thing there were camera everywhere .. funny things happen.



We set off from King Dicks on Thursday 28th June from Dawson, the road south from there was more suitable of a 1 Litre roadie than the DRs.

First stop was Dome hill as Ellen had not been there so, we were here



There was not a lot to see or do so we hunkered down and got to twin lakes for the night so a 424 km day.

We did have some entertainment with a little rodent running out across the road the turning backing under my bike only to get a hiding now by the Heidenau, he was visiting his flat mate I think.

We also came upon a sad looking 12 hundy GS that had gone off into the veges after failing to stay straight in some road works, hope the rider was ok as no one was there.





Arriving at Twin Lakes to bed down we were greeted by some nice people (John & Arlene) who said there are two sites left and they had paid for one of them to hold it for their mates the next day, they said we could use it which was cool so we just squared them up for that.

After tea we went over to their motorhome armed with maps and questions, they had a fire going and duly offered us a wine .... what was a coupla bikers do but accept.

After discussions and chats they offered us a Seizer?? or Bloody Marry, well over the course of the night we had another then another all of varying degrees of stiffness and heat....awesome dudes you guys made our night.

So after being impromptually feed and watered with the best we finally packed it in and went to bed about 1.30am ... still daylight tho.

In the morning Arlene brought Coffee over after had just made our own one, so thanks were given anyway, these guys truly are top people and represent Canada to the highest level.

Ellen also decided that the lake was inviting and went in for skinny dip to an island ... we think she may be the first nudy Asian bum to do it!! (sorry X rated so no photos)

After setting off we arrived at Wethorse, the temperature had dropped like a stone and mum nature shouted us a very good invigorating shower .... upon arrival at Wethorse we headed to McDees for some hot tucker and Wifi, this was great as a couch surfer host had replied and we were good to go for dry, warm, shower, no mozzies and nice people lodgings. :clap clap

So we stayed with Claire and JD and there two boys Jasper and James, later in the evening two other couch surfers Otis and Daniel arrived as well so we had quite the party with a bunch of people we didn’t know, Otis was in Cromwell for three months so knows roughly were we live, great guys great hosts and great night, thanks guys you made our stay on Whitehorse pretty groovy.

From left is Otis, JD, Daniel, Claire, me and Ellen



Ellen making Tacos ... Y U M



The result



Also in Whitehorse, we parked outside Canadian Tires, a guy stopped and talked to us, he has a KLR 650 (he seemed nice tho :evil). We are so familiar with this now, where we are from, where we are going, where have we been, the bikes set up etc... in the end, this guy said: “Are you guys couch surfing? I live north of Whitehorse, you could stay with me ...” to late now, we already in town. We thanked him. In the evening, when we checked our email again, we got reply from couch surfing request, he said : “ I talked to you this morning outside Canadian Tires. I was in the field whole week, so only got your email now...” What is the odds of that!

From Whitehorse we headed back into town to stock up on food, a cycle shop owner has this incredible piece of artwork on his front lawn, pretty groovy and a LOT of work.



We also went up to the Salmon ladder which lets the Salmon get up past the dam

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Old 28 Jul 2012
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Whitehorse To Boya Lake

Along the Alaska Highway we were treated to seeing 3 (real) black bears, we also spotted a

Smiling Black bear (dodgy)



moose



and a Bison



They said it was gonna be wildlife rich :rofl

We came up a lake called Emerald lake, the colours were stunning





Along the highway it was quite spooky, the remains of a forest fire left millions of tree burnt but standing, for those who saw the movie .. Day Of The Trifods, that is exactly what it looked like.

Further along the relatively tame motorway we came over one of the many metal based bridges, ...don't look down!!



Told you not to look down!





Cassiar Highway

The trip livened up a little after leaving the Alaska Highway when went turned right at junction 37 on to the Cassiar Highway, this road would be mint on my old KTM 990 SMR, 640 km of great road so a good hours ride!!! .... so we took the DRs and the day, Ellen said it as smooth as a baby’s bum ... not sure how she knows this!

We camped at Boya lake and meet some others riders, Shawn from Florida was travelling light and paying for it standing there shivering in front of us, he was wearing a tee shirt and rain jacket, I felt sorry for him and told him to harden the f@#k up so a good kiwi helping hand.

I have to admit that the further South we were traveling the colder it was getting, this was to be the same for the following few days, coupled with rain and no sun things were pretty chilly at times.

A brisk walk in the morning to get the circulation going and we hit the road heading for Meziadin Lake Park, it was very cold when we arrived and got colder during the evening.
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Old 28 Jul 2012
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Meziadin Lake Park To Stewart/Hyder To Fort St James

On arriving at Meziadin Lake Park we set up camp, nice grassy area s it was n o i c e and soft.

Nice camp and hard case photo.



As soon as we arrived I saw Ellens chain guard ... FAIL!





A bit of Kiwi ingu, ingue, indunit, cunning and we had it all good to go or as good as it gets for a bush repair.

The cold from the evening turned to rain and it rained quietly all night, our intentions were to head to Hyder etc and time dependent maybe stay another night, the grumpy lady at the camp wanted $8.00 to leave our gear there for half a day so that made our decision and we just packed up, she really should be in another job rather than campground hosting.

We left Hobbit in the day use area and took Chiwi two up to Stewart, very nice ride in, no bears at Hyder as it is a little early with no salmon there yet.

We carried on to the end of the road 60km past Hyder which turned out to be a real treat, we had pretty good weather and stunning views, we accidentally went into a construction zone and got told off but we explained our story and the then told us how far we could ride on bla bla bla .. coolio!!

Two Photo Kiwis were at it again taking advantage of Canada finest, we saw a big back bear and a few overgrown otter kinda thingies that were alpine animals.

Here is a number of groovy glacier pics.













Bear Glacier



The little river at the base of Bear Glacier



On our return to Hyder we merrily rode through the customs border crossing as no one had pulled us up on the way in to the US ... the dude from the Canadian side came running out saying STOP in Canadian .. which is STOP in Kiwi too! ... that was lucky 8-D

We had a laugh with him, great guy and we got stamped back into Canada without really leaving it.



That is when the action happened, two BMW 12 hundies went past, I waived and looked in my mirrors to see NZ stickers on them, I said to Ellen that MUST be Dick Hubbard and Ken so we did a Uie and went back to the US again and chased them down it was an all american car chase through Hyder with Hubbard caps stones flying off, tyres squealing on dirt but nothing blew up tho.

We caught up to them, it woulda been a good 400 metre chase but it was over and they recognised the Two Dodgy Kiwis when we told them to pull over .

A great moment of hellos, handshakes and hugs as we had been corresponding over the e and were trying to meet up, as fate would have it with no internet over the last 5 days we bump into them here while trying to do an unintended runner through the Canadian border.

We all rode to the fish and chip shop for photos and chats as ya do, Ellen and I had the Hallibut and chips... YUM, Ken and Dick had already eaten so we gave them some good road info etc and sent them on their way.

The lads



The chicks



Look closely and see the three NZ bikes with NZ stickers in a smile .. something in that :clap



Upon saying goodbyes we went back to the Canadian border, this time somewhat wiser so we stopped without being told to, same dude, same chat, same laughs but no stamp this time time and we were on our way.

Just along from the border was a wee digger, I think they were doing a bit of gardening



One thing that took my eye was a bridge that just kinda stopped!



Then a bridge that really had been stopped but by a grumpy mum nature



Arriving back at Meziadin Lake camp we picked up Hobbit and proceeded to Gitanyow lake, the details of which we had been given by Otis of a secret camp site by the lake, stunning spot and nice wee fire.







Ellen did a nudy bum skinny dip again and the rest that followed I don’t need to explain!!! 8-D



To be bear safe I strung our food pack up in a tree, this turned out to be a very smart move as we had a coupla visitors during the night snuffling and crashing around, I have to admit to being on hi alert ready with out nautical horn etc.

There were bear prints at the base on the tree but the bag was ther and utouched being probably 4 metres high.



The following morning we headed to Fort St James to meet couch surfer Mel, Fort St James is one groovy town, we were there only two minutes at the visitors centre which was closed because it was after hours when a kind gent by the name of Meguel stopped and asked if we needed help.

Well yes we did, no wifi to find Mels addy we did have a phone number but no phone so he kindly took us to his place and we rang Mel to get instructions.

Mel said here drive was very rough .... she was right, potholes, deep puddles, rutted, muddy and very slippery the perfect driveway to any ADVers liking ... except Ellen as she binned Chiwi.

I left Hobbit at the house and headed back up the drive to find Ellen walking with no bike ... Chiwi was another 100 metres up the drive having a sleep in a puddle, Ellen on good advice earlier had just turned off the bike and both fuel taps so her knight in Klim armour could come back and pick up the stricken vessel.

No pics as the camera was at Mels house and the task was to put Chiwis rubber side down.

After greetings etc we had a bite to eat and lit a fire outside sat around and talked shit for a while, super cool!!, I must add at this point that Mel have a very cool log cabin on the side of the lake in a location that is second to none.





Thanks Otis for the lead, we would never have known such a beautiful place was here without the tip as we had our eyes on the Rockies, some great advice that we are taking is look outside of the square and don’t just look at the big notable areas, take a look around OFF the main drag to see some real beauty with really groovy helpful people.
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Old 28 Jul 2012
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Fort St James - A Hidden Gem

We went to this town only because Otis (a couch surfer we met in Whitehorse) told us to. He stayed with Mel who has a sauna right on the lake. We must come to see her, because she is Otis favorite person in the world or to quote “An Inspiration”! So we did.

One hour before we got to Fort St James, Andi’s GPS told us to take a short cut on Dog Creek Road. Half an hour later, we found this is no longer a complete road. We have to turn around. Never trust the GSP again!

We got to town at about 8pm, only had a phone number for Mel and a phone that does not work in Canada, we were standing in front of a closed visitor center without a cellphone wondering how can we make a phone call.

A local man in a car saw us there, did a U turn and asked us if we need help. That was Miguel, who later took us to his place, we made a phone call to Mel, got the directions to her house. Miguel also kindly led us down the road to her place. What a warm welcoming introduction of Fort St James!

Fort St James located on the side to Stuart Lake, which is 67km long, is similar size to lake Wanaka where we live in New Zealand www.wanaka.co.nz . It has a few hiking trails and the ski field has the longest T bar in North America. It is an industry center for surrounding area, the main industry here is logging. There is an historical site in town, which has staff dressed as old days and show you what happened here. Because the town is located 60km from the main road, not many people come and visit here - which is a shame. The district office is trying hard to get more tourists to come in.

Mel, of course just as Otis described, nice, inspirational and lovely. She lives in a lovely log cabin beside the lake, with a beautiful garden and a vege garden too! The next day was her daughter Maya’s 3rd birthday, so we went to town and brought a wee gift for her. In the evening, Ellen made Sushi and some of Mel’s friends came along, we had a wee party for Maya and we were allowed to join in.

Sondra with Maya opening her Dora prezzy



This needs no explaining ....no-one was gonna get that chocy bar the birthday girl!!



We can't not mention the sauna right at the beach. It is a heated by a log burner, you can hop in and out of the lake if feel too hot. Some friends arrived on the boat the second night, we had another party there.

Sorry bout my builders crack ladies and gents.



Now there are some really nice things happened here in Fort St James. The district office gave us some free vouchers, we also had free burgers in the Spirit Square. After three hours hiking up to Mount Pope, we dropped into the super market to get some food.

Top of Mount Pope



Ellen and I with a view second to none.



Same same ... me and the chief



Ellen didn’t read the price properly, we thought we had enough money with us but we were a dollar short!, Andi went to get the (emergency) money only to find we have US $20.00 only, never mind, the check out lady asked her manager and got a Canadian dollar for us! 1 dollar is not a big deal, but I bet you can’t go anywhere else to get your groceries out with 1 cent short!, the following day we returned to the shop armed with Canadian money and purchased a lot more food and duly returned the $1.00 that was paid forward to us with no expectations.

From Meguel helping us to get the directions to the 1 dollar to help us get our groceries it truly shows how generous people in Fort St James are! We love this town, if one day they have an accountant and quantity surveyor shortage, we will be here in the drop of a hat.

Some groovy shots across the lake from the beach at sunset,this IS living!!



Silhouette of Ellen and Maya



Spot the dog



He is famous now ... bloody BIG dog I might add!



Busted .. hard arsed RTW adventure rider / cuddly touchy feely bloke, Maya decided she wanted to hold my hand on the way back along the beach, she swung around in the water and played "rabbit" jumping up and down in the water with shrieks of laughter ... really cool stuff actually.



A local church down by the water front



Many thanks to Fort St James and the great people from Two Grateful Kiwis, we will now take the generosity shown to us and pay it forward for someone else to enjoy and Fort St James to benefit from.:clap

ADVers and readers, if you are looking for a great wee time out and R&R place check it out Fort St. James & Region Website - www.fortstjames.com
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Fort St James To Dunster

So ... Fort St Fames To Dunster

So leaving Fort St James was difficult given the superb treatment we had been given and the things we had done made it a special place in both our hearts.

We left down the long straights heading toward Jasper, we had been told that Dunster was a nice place to camp which is 160km short of Jasper so we tentatively aimed for this.

Mrs Garmin also sent us AWOL at Prince George so we did a few unintended back streets .... found the NAPA store when we didn’t need one.

Along the way we were treated to a black bear crossing the road ... it would seem he didn’t like DR650’s tho as he ran off ... or maybe we just smelled bad.

Upon arriving at Dunster we faffed around trying to find out where the camping spot was, turned out where we were at the community hall was it, power, water, dunnie, soft grass to pitch on and picnic tables ... and free!!!



I asked at the general store and the lady there said no worries at all, we settled in and waited for the sun to go down as it was some 30 degs C plus, we decided to have tea first, salamis and green peppers with smoked mayo in a hard bread wrap fit for a king, also chamomile tea brewed from Mels garden in Fort St James.

We set up after looking around for a quiet spot, the neighbours were very quiet!



No sooner we had tea and a local drove by turned around and came back, curiosity catching is mind with the bikes.

Richard (as he turned out to be) came and said gidday so we chatted about farming for a while and life in general, turns out he had been to New Zealand and knew quite a bit about it which was well cool, he then left, we set up camp and decided to go for a walk down to the Fraser river were there is a groovy lattice and concrete bridge which had caught my eye earlier ... Two Photo Kiwis at it again!!!



Nice lattice work





The flowers on the bridge abutments, beautifully done and a huge improvement on designa grey concrete





Some local toilet sheds for when they have their music festival, the mozzies were seriously friendly here and both Ellen and I had a black cloud following us so if you were to use these it would wonna be a quick downtrou.:eek1



We came back across the bridge to find Richard watering the pot plants at the end of the abutments, he said “I left you guys a wee gift worthy of drinking”, we said well we better go and deal to it eh.

So we went up to the camp in his Jeep, on arrival we find a bottle of Argentinian Malbec Red wine with three glasses and a genuine Greenstone Tiki from New Zealand from when he was there many years ago.



The Tiki was a gift to Ellen, Richard asked that we return it back to New Zealand, we will and we will also take Tiki on a tour of South America first.

The bottle was levelled pretty quickly among three of us and more chats and a quick photo session was held before Richard parted for home and we settled in to bed.



Yet again with no planning or expectations thing just work out, something that just seems to happen.

They also have a swap shed for locals for any unwanted but reusable items, Richard said see if there was anything we wanted and go for it, also if we did want something we could leave it there for someone else to use.



Ellen wanted some jandels and well you wouldn't believe it, neat jandels with a groovy pattern and the right size, thank you to Dunster for these.

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Edmonton

Dickie (Mark) and Elaine from our Wanaka Motorcycle Club in Wanaka New Zealand were over in Edmonton, Elaines mum and dad live there and this was Dickie and Elaine’s last part of their trip in Canada before heading home.

It was decided a couple of weeks prior that we would make the effort and travel down to Edmonton to catch up with them knowing we wouldn’t see them for another two years.

The ride from Jasper to Edmonton was not one we would do again as it was LONG and STRAIGHT so not DR650 country but for us it was the easiest way to get to see them, when we exited Edmonton we took the back roads.

Great catching up with them, plenty of lies and wine was drunk so just like home.



We also checked out a RSV4 Tuono that Dickie was keen on. ... suits you sir.!! :clap





So for us it was a change the oil, meet up old mates, make new mates and see the old mates leave Canada without flogging anything ... it worked.:evil

The after match function from the final family do turned into quite a session with Cam (from NZ) and his girlfriend Jodi joining in with family and friends and the drunken bums and kiwis overstayers.





A final goodbye and photo (we were here) before we put on all our riot gear and rode off to our next destination ... place unknown.



Great to catch you guys, nice little touch of home, many thanks to Collin and Elma for putting up with us and having us stay.
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Dunster To Jasper To Edmonton To Jasper

We knew we were in for a treat having seen some amazing pics, for us the stars aligned and mum nature ticked all the right boxes for what can only be described as perfect motorcycle and tourist weather with late 20’s to early 30’s everyday most without a cloud to see.

For us to have the trip down the icefields highway was simply magic and to have the perfect weather was second to none.

We arrived at the park to be greeted by Mount Robson, no cloud whatsoever which apparently is a little rear... how cool is that as we got to see it in all its glory.



I had to do a dangerfreak run to the middle of the road as we an almost clear section for a minute so I took advantage of that.



The road was clean and clear but there was fresh evidence of the rampage that mum nature had unleashed on the area only three weeks prior, brand new sections of tar seal replacing that which was blown away by the huge water deluge.

On arriving at Jasper it was approx 32 deg c ... hot!



We found the restaurant where Mel from Fort St James friend worked, we had a lite lunch and coffee and left our riot gear there, I wanted a belt for my shorts and discovered the totally groovy Moose beanies so I had to have one.



Later on in the afternoon we rode up to Pyramid Lake where Ellen had a swim and I sat down in the sun and relaxed....just hard work.



From there we went to Meligne Lake park, we were greeted by black bears, sheep with rolly horns, Elk, Deer etc so pretty neat to see the wildlife up close, we wanted to travel in the evening as it was cooler and it turned out to be the better viewing time.

Electric Psycho sheep and Ellen creeping up quietly



Bear just strolling along, he just kind walked past lifted his nose and said "chur bro" then carried on





Some general pics,

Lake Meligne



Sunset pics, about 10.00pm at night





The park ride we finished at around 10.30pm so we went to Snaring River camp for the night, it was 11.00pm when we arrived and set up.

In the morning we discovered that we had set up in a mozzie party zone and they were extremely hungry, Ellen said lets just pack up and have breaky at the Meligne Canyon, after 30 seconds for me standing outside and getting about as many bites it was not a hard decision.

Meligne canyon is great, really neat water falls and canyon and comes highly recommended, it was very hot when we were there so again it was a treat.





From the canyon we headed to Edmonton to catch up with Dickie and Elaine, see separate sub report for for this.
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May 3rd to June 20th - Alaska Sum Up And The Heart Speaks

This section of our RR Diary is the open heart part, not necessarily the bit everyone wants to read but we are normal people (well Ellen is) living our life on the road, you see the glamorous pictures and fine weather.

But the camera doesn't usually come out in the heavy rain or the hard winds and it never turns up while having a chat over navigational differences as the camera quite simply does not convey that emotion unless you have a professional cameraman and a hollywood set right at hand .... we don't.

So please realize there is some heart content in here, good and bad, so no photos in this one, just a big read for those who want to.

For the rest of you shallow bugga's like me who can't be assed reading and a picture is worth a thousand words you will be treated in the next installment of Two Lucky Kiwis.

How Andi Sees it

Highlights Non Motorcycle

The people, first off the people who made us very welcomed and gave as great information and help along the way, something that when you are on the road makes your day, something you don’t really appreciate until you don’t have a home.

We find ourselves comparing Wanaka were we live in New Zealand, a good and bad thing to do in some ways but people always compare what they had to what they have, we are human too ... or at least Ellen is.

Alaska all over, pretty cool on the groovy meter.

Snow, views, grandeur, wildlife.

Cost, mostly way cheaper than NZ.

Selection (except metric bolts) is huge across the board, it is not “do you have one” it is “how many colours do you have it in”

I know there are many more but simply can’t remember every one of them, acid test, would I come back to Alaska again? ... HELL YEAH!!

Lows Non Motorcycle

Ellen not riding a little more in NZ to up skill and practice on my bike at home without house and contents on board, once loaded (and we are not heavily loaded) they are more difficult to manouver.

This has created 10 fold more work for me, I expect her to drop it now and then with off camber ground and that is motorcycling but many falls could easily have been avoided and not caused trouble, my main concern is against the odds Ellen is using up her “avoiding injury” credits fairly quickly, the bike will take it and can be fixed easily, she can’t.

American excess, everyone drives a huge V8 pickup, SUV etc, even mums picking up groceries at the supermarket have a monster truck. In New Zealand a V8 is wow, here they are everywhere ... so Americans... don’t want to hear any of you fellas grizzling about the cost of fuel while looking at what you drive!! 8-)

I qualify this by saying we understand if it is a towing vehicle or commercial unit where size and power is needed but for some bread and eggs.....

Rice and Asian food ingredients, way more expensive than NZ

Our ipad, 4 weeks old and some oxygen thief flogged it from under our noses in the University Of Fairbanks Library, makes you mad but it is only a material thing that can be replaced.

Motorcycle Highlights

If you want to organize things or get sorted in Alaska on the motorcycle side then Alaska Leather are the only words you will need, see Barb and you know it will be done and done right, thanks to Barb and her team.

The roads, not as twisty as NZ, a lot better condition across the board, big distances in miles caught us out a few times, gotta remember to x 1.6 8-) but all roads have been great even at 32 degrees F with rain.

Challenging and winning with the Dalton, we had everything thrown at us which kept the level of entertainment up, it made for hard times and good so everything an adventure should be.

Bezzer and Greg for helping with Ellens side stand while we got her high settings sorted, you guys are Honorary Kiwis.

Me, going to give myself props as our luggage and bike setup has come up trumps and is working very well for us, our bikes may not be sprayed with glossy touratech stuff and look “coul” but we have narrow luggage with low windage and some groovy crash bars which have paid their way, we have room to spare for bits and pieces.

All in all very happy with the setup and tuning Ellen’s height issues as we go (now sorted as at writing this ..YAY)

Motorcycle lows

My bike which was running like shit from day one was disappointing then to top it off I made it my problem to try and fix cos I didn’t want to whinge, I should have given it straight back to the stealership day one and said sort it rather than try and sort it myself, remember these bikes were brand new.

So, if you want a meaningless argument with unhelpful people and poor service, be talked down to and to be treated like an idiot we highly recommend Alaska Cycle Centre, sorry guys but the way we were treated and the run around you gave us this is a good as I would give you, in fact you still have the warrantee speedo cable clip for Ellen’s bike that was never on the bike and you wanted to charge us for!!!, despite our calls to get it we still don’t have it, I don’t like dissing down on things but after all this time on the road you guys are still worth a mention for other riders to consider and choose when they get to Alaska and more so Anchorage ..shame on you!!!

It took Barb ringing Alaska Cycle Centre and issuing harsh words to the owner to get us sorted, it should not have to come to that, once again Alaska Leather (Barb and crew) with their positive attitude towards getting things sorted out come out shinning.

How Ellen sees it

Low Points

It was our last day in Alaska, June 19th 2012, tomorrow we will head to Dawson City
The trip is lot harder than I anticipated. I knew it was going to be tough, but don’t know how tough it going to get.

First, the weather. Although we started in late May, hoping that the weather was going to be warmish - wrong. We had snow almost every trip we went on. Not just snow, also the wind and rain. The first trip from Anchorage to Homer was hard enough for me to say: “If the rest of our adventure like this, I’m going home.”

Second, road condition. I have to say the Alaska roads are mostly nice, wide and smooth, less twisty than NZ road. They also have lots of signs to warn you: gravel, road work, dip, road damage. You won’t get too many surprises. However, the road works made the road very hard, specially for our motorcycles. They are also very long. In NZ, we have road work for a few hundred meters, here in Alaska, they have it from a few Ks, the longest one we had was nearly 40ks.

Third, my riding. I didn’t do much riding before the trip. I was scared to fall which will destroy our trip. I was hoping when I start to ride, I will pick it up quickly - wrong again. I should have done more practice, doing figure of 8 and turning, stopping and starting.

For the first few weeks of riding, my turning and stopping was terrible, I can’t turn around. It has caused a lot frustration especially on a busy road. Andi blames me for not listening, he had told me what to do when turning and stopping, I seemed not to master what he thought it’s a simple task. On top of that, my bike is still a little too high for me, I am still on tip toes when stopped, that has meant that Chiwi dropped many times on my stops.

The Denali Highway trip, almost turned Two Moto Kiwis to One Moto Kiwi.

It was our last day in Alaska, June 19th 2012, the next day we would head to Dawson City. The trip is lot harder than I participated. I knew it was going to be tough, but don’t know how tough it was going to get.

What happened was Andi saw two cyclists, one who had a flatty and they were on the side of the road, Andi stopped to ask if they need any help. I was following far behind so in theory I should be able to stop safely no problem. But I applied my rear brake a bit late, not dear to touch the front brake in fears of sliding on gravel road, then my front wheel just touched his bike wheel, I dropped the bike again.

I hated every time I dropped the bike, and Andi was taking a picture of it doesn’t make it better either. I was furious, so I shouted to him why did he stop. He helped me pick up the bike and took off. Left the two cyclists stunned. I was still angry, but have to concentrate on the road.

After about an hour later, I saw Andi pulled over on the road side. I pulled over and he started his serous talk with me. He said: “Tok, or ticket home”, you choose. If you are going home, there will be no Two Moto Kiwis and no Andi and Ellen ANYMORE.” He went on about the ipad and I nearly lost the laptop case in the morning, plus my riding has frustrated him as every time I drop my bike he has to help which increases his work x 4. He is supposed to enjoy his life time travel, but at the moment, he doesn’t. My shot at him in the public just tipped him over.

I started crying, I know I have been very bitchy in the last few days. I have behaved not the normal “Ellen”, I know that. On my side of the story I have hurt my elbow when we cleaned the garden before we left. Its been haunting me every day now. My fitness has dropped since we started the trip, not enough regular exercise which used to make me happy. I admit, it’s not Andi’s fault, and I blamed him and at worst, in public. I apologized.

But I’m not going to give it up. I have been putting up with lots of harsh conditions, inconvenience, discomfort, put myself out of comfort zone for this trip but it was my idea to get my license and do the trip together after talking with other female adventure riders.

We have met great people here and have seen lots of nice scenery. Lots of people have told us a trip like this has broken up a few couples. I will prove this is wrong as so far with our difficulties taking us to the edge and back we are stronger now. Sorry Andi, please forgive me, if I hurt you, I didn’t mean it. I promise to practice my ride and get my skills upgrade quickly.

High Points

Anchorage

Mark flew us over the glacier, Andi even flew airplane on the way back for a while.
Tom took us on his hover craft over Lake George

Homer

when we got through wind, rain, snow and hale, Homer welcomed us with brilliant sun shine and a moose wondering in the front yard and our host Charlie who was second to none.

Valdez

I saw a brown bear while jogging outside the camping ground, the good point was he ran away and I went back to campsite safely.

Fairbanks

Soak in Chena hot springs

Prudhoe Bay (Deadhorse)

Rode Dalton highway successfully
Dip toes in the Arctic Ocean
Saw caribou on the road
Grizzly bear with her cub


Impression of Alsaka

Language

Guess what, with strong South Island accent, people understand my “Chinglish” better than Andi’s NZ English. I have been translating his “ NZ English” into “proper English.” Still, there are lots of differences, here are some examples (NZ English is in front):

petrol - gas; rubbish - trash; tea - dinner or supper; herb - erb (American do not pronounce H); bum bag - fanny pack; Bloody Mozzies - Damn Skeeters.


Camping difference

Their camping ground is huge but more set up for RV - hard stony ground rather than grassy for a tent. So far we have broken five pegs and bent a few more. You pay camping fees by site not by person - makes single travel more expensive. Less facilities compareed to NZ camping, you pay $20 with no shower or kitchen. But every site will have a picnic table and fire pit. You can buy or bring your own fire wood.
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Gear Review

Gear Review

ARAI XD 4, mint, perfect for road, adv riding, keeping rain off.

The adjustable height peak making life easier, in the low sun pull in down as a sun shade, same in the rain, you can still have the front vents open in the rain with the peak down and you won’t get wet, great design.

Lift the peak up for better venting and looking at HUGE mountain tops.

The only thing I don’t like about the XD4 is having to take it off as that means we have stopped.





KLIM gear, Keeping Large Insistent Mozzies out, this gear is outstanding, the only grizzle I have is my Adventure Rally jacket does not have great inlet venting at the front so I had the two front pockets opening on the inside and meshed so I can use them for a pocket or vent, these work incredibly well now.

Across the board extremely happy with it and believe it will more than do the distance.
Icebreaker, the best, nothing short of excellent whichever way you look at it, we have 100 % icebreaker and for hot or cold it is a winner, wear a T shirt for 5 days straight rinse and wear again without stinking, perfect adv gear for the undergrowth.



Forma ATV boot, great boots but my right hand boot is coming apart, I wrote to Forma and nothing !!!!! not a sausage back from them so a little disappointing to be fair.



First Gear, Ellens, Kilimanjaro jacket and TPG Escape, very good gear and very nicely cut for female riders, they are waterproof so far and Ellen love the inner pants can be warn as normal pants so dual purpose. The only complains from Ellen is the black pans getting too hot in the sun, a lighter colored ones would be just perfect.



Barkbusters, a must, nothing more to say than they are the best, we had tortured them in New Zealand on my bikes and now Ellen has taken them to the end and back, her last spill she went down heavily, they are straight and although looking slightly second hand from being road bashed and rashed they are still fully functional and in remarkably good condition.



Screens For Bikes, again another mint product for ADV riding, the shape and height across the board makes these very nice to sit behind.





Having a screen is a subjective topic, when it is sunny and warm you don’t want one, when it is pissing down and blowing it needs to be twice the height and width and preferable with a roof attached.

All is all they work very well and we are stoked with them.

Garmin 660, we have had trouble with my GPS sending us down goat tracks that go no where causing us up to 1 hrs turn arounds, we have contacted Garmin and at first we given the brush off, I persisted with a stronger email and to be fair they are trying to sort it out, same GPS, same model, same firmware, same updates, same settings two vary different directions given, hopefully with the reinstalling of the new updates my will start to behave the way it should.

The Bikes, we after a big scrap (see above) with Alaska Pshyco Centre the bikes are running well, mine has a hesitation in the middle still but not enough to haul it all apart for, next service with tank off I will raise the needle a notch and think this will fill the hole.

Sargent Seats, bum saver supreme, they have softened up over the course of the travels thus have become more comfy, the shape is superb compared to the stocker shocker and after 8500 miles they are pleasure to sit on.





Hilliberg, Keron 4 GT, nothing more to say other than get one, strong, quick to put up, great space and vestibule, my only grizzle is the pegs are poorly engineered, will email Hilliberg on this and give them some suggestions.

Coleman 508B, pooed itself three weeks into the trip, still heats ok but the lower or simmer settings have gone so it is all or none.

Yoda Star Wars Chair, kids chair and my bum fits in OK, very lite and looks cool as, compact to take on the bike, we have the power of the force with us so thatmust be a good thing.



Ellens Pink Walmart Chair, looks nice and girlie, small and lite and cheap which is what we want, not as cool as Yoda tho.

AME Heated Grips, we are both on our second set having both sets fail within a week of each other, love the feel and good heat but think the electronics is a bit fussy, I would recommend not six settings individually programmable but one central mounted decent switch with off, med, high on them. AME, you have nice feeling grips but I can’t help but think fussy electronics will survive the test of time, heat and vibration, watch this space.

Safari 30 L Tanks, simply the best for the Long Haul, with a theoretical milage of nearly 700 km these are a must, for the most of the time you could get way with less but the one time you don’t and having to push your house and contents to a petrol station would leave me wondering why.

For us it is one fuel cell, no extras or jerry cans, we have our Motion Pro fuel tap on the side to fill our cooker, perfect.

The only grizzle is the Acerbis locking fuel caps, again both of ours failed on the Dempster by causing a vacuum lock, my bike stopped right in the middle of a huge thunderstorm so I had to undo my cap to equal the pressure, they are also a sod to line up to avoid cross threading and these have large threads!!! very unimpressed with these to be honest so it is back to the std caps.

Happy Trails Highway Pegs, best $50.00 you will spend (other than on booze), to be able to rest the legs in a new position, also opens your trouser leg for venting on the hot days.

Very happy with these to say the least.

Delis Tools LED marker lights, through Delis Tools (bro), visibility is king and many people have commented on these, they are not driving lights, just marker lights on our Barkbusters and they are visible from a long way past the DR candle.



Kincrome Cases, (the big visible yello ones) these are great cases for strength, the full length hinge we believe is stronger than the Pelicans at two hinges, they are waterproof at this stage, all cases have had a beating so far and they are standing up well.



Tough!!



The Pelicans though we believe had better locking handles, not stronger but easier to use, the Kincrome Cases are sharply finished which has led to a coupla cut fingers.

Home Made Tool Tubes, Delis Engineering Wanaka Division, these have worked out great, they don’t hang below the bashplate line, they have had some pretty harsh conditions thrown at them and stood up unscathed.



I did make the end cap waterproof and the door has butyl rubber seal for waterproofing which is waterproof enough to let the water in and hold it!!! ... not sure how that works, so each tube now has a 6 mm hole drilled in the bottom on the left so it can drain when ever on the stand.

GP Custom Bashplates, a must and well made, very happy to be running these, seem to be better built with more protection that one you buy over here.



Wallmart 38 cent glue bottle, ditch the glue, used for daily chain lube, simply turn the top and lace the chain with a nice thin strip of oil, we are using chainsaw bar oil, nice and thick mixed with a combo of spare new engine oil from oil change leftover.

Motion Pro fuel tap, used for filling our multifuel Coleman cooker, makes it very easy to get fuel for the cooker, no spare bottles required, neat and simple, no pulling fuel lines off and on.

Ricor Intiminators, these are brilliant, we put in 5wt oil and 500mls per tube, stock spring and teh combo works very well with the intiminator reducing the dive and the 5wt oils allowing the wheel to be very supple over corrugations or washboard.

YSS rear damper, great shock, the stock shock is pretty soggy in the damping and this works a treat, I machined the collars to fit a factory spring, I have used my factory spring against some advice from other RTW travellers.

I prefer my wheels to do the dancing rather than the bike and me, Ellen at 52 kg this works out perfect for her.

We also have to remember we are not seeking 6ft jumps, rough single tracks and racing circuits so we need to hit the happy medium between weight carriage and a nice suple ride on the rough, I believe we have accomplished this.

Icebreaker, nothing else to say other than superb, the Merino Wool is an Adventure bikers buddy, we go for days at a time without a shower (uwh I know ) and the Icebreaker holds it own and simply does not smell, even after a few stinking hot days I simply dumped my shirt and gruds into the water for a quick rinse and bombs away .. good for another year JK

Also the warmth and also the ability to keep you cool on hot day we simply do not wear anything else.


Icebreaker, nothing else to say other than superb, the Merino Wool is an Adventure bikers buddy, we go for days at a time without a shower (uwh I know :evil) and the Icebreaker holds it own and simply does not smell, even after a few stinking hot days I simply dumped my shirt and gruds into the water for a quick rinse and bombs away .. good for another year :eek1 JK

Also the warmth and also the ability to keep you cool on hot day we simply do not wear anything else.

Pictured here with Naomi and Alberto from Salt Spring Island, Vancouver, even they are total converts.



T-Mobile http://www.t-mobile.com/?cm_mmc_o=Vz...CPyzEpCjCW%2f- it would be fair to say the coverage we have had is very very good, even in Prudhoe Bay I rang home to New Zealand to tell family we have fulfilled the Arctic part of our trip and that we were in Deadhorse, the reception was very good, also on the Copper River near Chitina, I couldn't believe we were able to get out from there so T-Mobile get the huge thumbs up, thank you for a good usable product.
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Edmonton To Jasper

Ok, we have just left Edmonton ... quick eh!

The main road from Jasper to Edmonton was long and straight thus we decided to take backs roads via Leduc, Lodgepole, Cadomin and back up to the last little bit of main drag before heading to Jasper.

As we got out of town and into the rural area we were riding through small backroads in between paddocks of rape (Canola Seed), stunning colours.



The trip was uneventful and far easier than the main drag, we stopped at Lodgepole for lunch in the shade of an oil pump station shed, not the most epically beautiful place but it was shady which made it nice.

After lunch was the mystery ride part of our trip, we called into an industrial workstation and asked if we were on the right track, turns out we were.

This turned out to be a mini Dempster, we thought it looked like a nice quiet back road but it turned out to be anything but with logging trucks and traffic galore, that with the dust and the heat we started to question our methodology but it was scenic.

The road varied from nice hard pack to riverbed soft and bouldery, Ellen managed to get to the off cambered shoulder and into the very deep and soft stuff at which point Chiwi lay down for a rest at 90 degrees to the road, Ellen was ok, Chiwi had some pretty good scuffs but once again the Bark busters came through shining as did the Kiwi hardwood crash rails which are looking decidedly second hand now.

I stopped at a small river to wait a minute for Ellen to catch up, we got talking to some people who were camping there, very friendly (and don’t bite) so we decided to stop for the night and set up, they invited us over to their camp with a fire and some drinkies, very nice evening chatting and drinking.

Ellen had gone to bed a bit earlier, I am pleased I didn’t as we were treated to Northern lights for about 5 - 6 minutes, no blues or greens in colour but the lights were on.

I rushed back to the tent and dragged Ellen outa bed, she got up in time to see the halfmoon of light recede and the fingers extend out across the ski, I have to admit to seeing that beauty put some small tears of appreciation in my eyes as we see nothing like this in New Zealand.

No photos sorry, just the memories in our mind.

The following morning we had a round of Coffee with Baileys with our groovy neighbours, that set the new benchmark of exotic camping!!, from there we packed up and left for Cadomin.

This is Cadomin general store, you think you are in the styx then a huge bus pulls up and 50 people pile out!!



The road was improving all the time and we had a new found appreciation for tarseal again ... something we all take for granted everyday, on the way we were treated to more wild life.



Cadomin was cool and not to far from tarseal, we went through a couple of tunnels on the road which were quite cool, the road at this point was perfect.



From the main drag we headed back to Jasper, along the way we were greeted with stunning scenery and textbook perfect weather.
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Jasper To Banff

On arriving at Jasper we tanked up then headed toward the Icefields Highway, first stop was the secret Edge Of The World that everyone knows about, WOH HOH, breathing taking views and scenery, note to one self to stay back from the edge, one slip was certain death.

It is quite a climb to get up there which you only appreciate when you look over the edge :eek1



Us in love but a little nervous .. not of Ellen but of the dropoff she could throw me over



A beautiful waterfall graced our ears and eyes, very special place.



With sweaty hands we took photos as close as we dared then went back to the Chiwi and Hobbit who were patiently waiting
for us, look to the background to see our elevation.



We carried on down the highway, so much to see, so much to photograph and so much to want to stop and just look at with huge hanging basins and glacial fronts looking right at us.

Only a coupla pics as we don't want to bore you to death knowing how many pics have been put on here.



Grandeur is the only way to explain it..... the sticker I mean





We only made it as far at the Columbia Icefeilds building glacier so set up camp the night there in a tent only camp, superb place with epic views.

We ended up having a wine and cheese evening around a camp fire with our neighbours and great chats about life.

The following morning we headed back to the Icefields building, we left our riot gear there in the main office and walked across to the clacier .... outstanding.





On our return to the building there was a lineup of bikes in the carpark ranging from Two Skunky Kiwis dirty beaten up DRs to 12 hundy Tenneres that were shinier than new, and there were some Harleys.



One Harley had what appeared to be a coffin for luggage, we went to get a photo but missed them by a minute.

Heading on down toward Banff we were treated to views second to none and hot weather, we were only doing 60 km/hr looking out the window and stopping for photos, very memorable day indeed.





Lake Louise, slightly beautiful and very touristy





Huge Hotel, the people there were very nice in concierge and looked after our riot gear while we treated ourself to a coffee and snack and wee stroll around the lake, 5 star it was and very warm .... not bad I have to say :clap



In Banff we were to catch up with Grif and Lisa from Gippers Travels Gippers Travels

We had modeled quite a bit of our setup on their bike and Grif had been wealth of information in helping us get packed and sorted so to meet them was a treat for us.

It was a meet and catch up, factory fork lowering, fixed my leaking sump plug, clean air filters, sprocket change try and sort my GPS which was still telling lies.

Left is Lisa, back is Grif and well you probably can tell Ellen and I apart.



Having had RTW riders/travellers use our facilities and tools at home and the huge thanks and appreciation we were given I can see their point now we are on the road and are seriously appreciative of doing what in essence are simple things in your own workshop and surroundings.

The mighty fork lowering job on Ellens bike ..



It actually looks like we know what we are doing!!



Steady does it



Massive thanks to Grif and Lisa for having us, showing us around Banff, giving maps and up to date info on South America so stuff you just can’t buy off the shelf, we stayed in Banff 4 nights, relaxed and took the mountain bikes out for some exercise.







Part of our MTB travel took us past this lake which our local Lads from Wanaka will appreciate, to me when I first saw it I read it as Mini Wanker .. not quite right of course but hey!





Ellen and I at the waterfall which with the high water was in full force



On completion of all the above, having showers, toilet, getting washing up to date and now riding the report as we are a little behind we finally set off west towards Vancouver.

Grif and Lisa, thanks guys and it was truly a pleasure meeting you both, we will cross paths again and we look forward to it.
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Banff To Kaslo

Leaving from Griff and Lisas and back into reality we had a nice ride with good weather, we started on the back road 1A before rejoining the rat race over to Revelstoke.



It was our plan to stop at a waterfall called Takakkaw for lunch however the the park warden wanted $19.80 so it is twice the price of a car for two of us, we only wanted to go in for lunch and at $19.80 I would expect a steak or burger and drink (and extras) :evil etc thus we canned that idea and carried on to a beautiful pull out with a river and small creek.

Earlier on a van with an old BSA on a trailer overtook us, they also were there having a comfort and snack stop so we got chatting as you do.



They were heading to Vintage motorcycle rally (my eyes lit up) in Kaslo just over the hill from where we were staying, how cool is that I am thinking planning ahead with deviant ideas on cungering up an epic plan to see all the oldies.



We said our goodbyes and grabbed our lunch bag, both picnic tables were taken so we went to one of the tables and asked the people if they minded if we used the other end to which they welcomed us, quick chat and all interest in the Kiwis .... something about our dodgy accent

The lady had made a huge bowl of Thai noodles, they said they had far too much and gave us some for lunch so a totally unexpected bonus, it was so nice and even Ellen head chef extraordinaire was very happy and full of praises, thank you to the two (nice) strange people who fed us well.

After riding out of the pullout fed and watered like Kings and Queens we rode on to Revelstoke, a quick tank stop was had, we then left to our next destination just over the hill from Kaslo.

Us on the ferry over the lake, nice scenery in the background



Mrs.Garmin had somewhat of a mixup and we fell short of the target until common sense kicked in and human intervention found our camp.

Game on, beautiful location, groovy setting and a perfect hideaway.

Interesting shed clad with everything on it



Dutchman and Chinese self portait with authentic frame and all ... saved a few bucks bro!



Outside shower with 2.1256 walls :eek1



I met up with Ken from Nakusp who has a 77 Honda, 860 Ducati 450 Scrambler and 61 Trumpy plus a whole bunch of Japanese bits and pieces, he is in the final stages of setting up a shop with access to all sorts of oldies, he is also a very talented restorer having seen his work first hand.

Kens bikes,

860 Ducati



450 Scrambler



61 Triumph



So shiny ... me waving at me



He is setting up for common size tyres with a tyre machine too so make it known a local petrolhead motorcyclist in Nakusp is creating better facilities for riders, well done Ken and best for the venture.

Ken and I rode over to Kaslo to the Vintage motorcycle display, fantastic road that I would love to have had my ex KTM 990 SMR on, superb!

On arriving in Kaslo it was stinking hot and perfect weather and the main street full of old lusties from yesteryear, I was like a kid in a candy shop, I had not seen so many Indians gathered in one spot, there where Harleys, Triumphs, Nortons, BMW’s etc.

So below is a collection of photos, can’t name each year and model tho, for any non petrolhead types this bit won't interest you, for the petrolhead types go grab some tissues and e n j o y :evil.

Vincent, check it out Cag!!!





An east/west Indian with shaft drive, quite possibly one of the most beautiful bikes I have seen IMO, never seen one before







A Harley Knuckle



Indian with side car



And Indian showered with Indian stuff





Check out the grenade



Pull start :lol3



Highway pegs



Three D Murals



Another Indian



BMW R90 with sidecar



More Indians



Bobber Indian with white walls, very nicely done



The Mighty One in amongst to old lusties :rofl



Finally me, sitting on the Ducati 450, could easily take this home, absolutely love it, it would be the only Ducati that I would ever own again, it felt like a scoota next to the DR

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Old 28 Jul 2012
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Two Chinese Woman Ride DR650’s ... The Road Is Two Dangerous

Two Chinese Woman Ride DR650’s ... The Road Is Two Dangerous ... The meeting of two of the same minds.

You would’t believe it, just after I claimed to be the first Chinese Woman riding from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia, Ken and Carol Duval told us they meet another Chinese woman riding in in Bolivia last year! I started to wonder who is she?

Anyway, we think we might be able to find out at some stage. While in Edmonton, we got an email from Griff, he was the guy rode DR650 last year with his wife Lisa to Argentina, Andi had some correspondence from him on our bikes setting up. They had just come back from England, now back home to Banff, they’d like to catch up with us. We are only couple of days away. Great timing!

After going through the worlds most beautiful icefield road, we got to Banff. It reminds me about Queenstown, New Zealand, busy and commercial.

Griff and Lisa met us, they said you have to meet Micheal and Jing, they were travelling together in Argentina last year for a while, both rode DR 650 too and Jing is the Chinese girl I was looking for and they are only 20min away in Canmore, what a small world!

Saturday 14th July in the afternoon, we went to Micheal and Jing’s home for BBQ. He didn’t know I was from China, so it was a little surprise for him too. Jing was working that day, didn’t get home until nearly 10 pm. She and I have so much in common, we are both from North China, both short, both learned to ride for the trip, most importantly, we both hate to stop! Instantly we become best friends.

Mike gave us headlight protector plastic for our headlights and marker lights, something that will be great further down the track, as no monetary exchange was allowed we traded a nice bottle of Red wine, thank you to Mike and Jing.



We also talked about our D Days, all of us had the same experience. It goes like this: “where are you going?” “I’m going to the airport to send you home.” Jing also told me she finally mastered the art of travel on gravel road, the secret is to ride a little bit faster, then the bike will be more stable. I was also scared to go too fast on the shingle, Andi has been telling many times to go a little bit faster to use the advantage of the gyroscopic effect of the wheels, but I just can’t do it. Now from a fellow rider who has the same level of riding as me, I will give it a go next time.

Michael also told us they had a big sorting out day in the trip, every one was crying, but finally, he realised he was doing his dream trip with people he loves, he would rather not continue if their relationship was going to be destroyed. We also promoted Andi as our team leader, now he has all the responsibility to keep all team members happy ;-)

All four of us.



The two intrepide travellers



In the end, Micheal gave me a big hug and said: “ I know what you have been through, what is hard to us (men), it would be four times harder for you ( being a woman with no experience). But the trip will make you so strong, going through this, you can go through everything in you life. I’m so proud of you.”

It was so great to meet Griff, Lisa, Micheal and Jing, they gave us not just general information of the direction we are going but also moral support from fellow travellers’ point of view. Huge thanks for you guys, we know there is a long way to go and we will face more difficulties while we hit the South, but with the support from you guys and others, we will make it happen.
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Nakusp To Peachlands

It was just on lunchtime when we left Nakusp, we were slightly late as I took the rubbish to a bin down the road being tidy Kiwis, Ellen carried on to the Ferry as it was going to be touch and go with catching it given we missed the earlier one.

On the way out from Burton a sign caught my eye, the lake was very very high with the huge rains BC had and the sign .. .well .. it really confirmed that.



We did catch the ferry, on our arrival at the loading terminal we only parked for a minute before loading begun so we cut that one fairly fine.... we call it optimal.

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, the nice meandering roads through valley and hills making for a really neat day in the saddle although the traffic and lights from Vernon to Peachlands was a bit of torment with the heat coming off the road.
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