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Day 237 – 2nd August 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on August 2, 2009

Day 237 – 2nd August 09
Sunday – Fairbanks, Alaska

Todays original special edition is at the bottom

It was bloody cold last night, crikey, I wish I had worn more stuff to bed! Anyway, I was up at sunup, sort of, I was awake but did not want to move, brrr! When I did get up I found it had been below zero overnight and it was not much better now! I needed fur like the cat 🙂 My bike seat had frost on it even.

There were a group of hunters here that were going up river to chase Moose or Caribou, they had a jet boat attachment to the bottom of the outboard leg, quite interesting, that would be good in shallow water back home I reckon.

Anyway, after some hot breakfast we packed up and headed off, the tents were wet, but we did not feel like waiting for the few hours it would need to dry off. First stop was just across the road at the visitors centre, but they were not open until 10am, bummer! I had forgotten to buy some Prudhoe Bay postcards to send to people back home, maybe I can get some in Fairbanks!

No matter, off we go southwards with cold air temps but a lot better views, the smoke seems to have dissipated somewhat, so that was a bonus, mind you the pavement had not improved at all!

It did not take long to find the smoke though, I still have not seen a fire, but apparently there are about 300 of them around the state! It gave me a slight tickle in the throat again, but the soreness had gone, maybe it would come back again, I hope not though!

The water trucks had been through here again, and we found a horrible stretch of road works where the grader and water truck had just been through, this meant an inch or so of loose crap to ride through, I managed to stay up, but I hate the feeling of the front wheel having a mind of its own. The idea is to ride fast but in a construction zone, this is impossible!! Simon was ahead of me and I am sure he was taking photos in case I fell off 🙂

It was not long after that little drama we arrived at the Yukon River servo where I added 4lts only and did not fill the spare container, I should be able to get back into Fairbanks on what I had. Another Harley and a CanAm Spyder were heading to the Arctic Circle, they were going to have fun through the slop, but goodonem for having a go.

Off we go again, we started to see more bikes heading north, it was funny really. On the way up we had seen heaps of bikes coming down, now the reverse was happening, but we were the only two bikes up there in between? This bike is Vstrom I think, it is too hard to make out as it is a bit blurred, but it has the looks about it. Only another hour of dirt and we were back on the pavement again, whewie, pump up the tyres and ready to roll 🙂

So, we had survived the Dalton Highway, well done to us 🙂 🙂 8) Now we had a fast run back to Fairbanks, the roads were built with lots of windy bits, so I enjoyed myself, nearly knee scraping at times 🙂

We stopped about 20km from Fairbanks where there is a visitor’s centre which explains some stuff about the pipeline. I had seen it on the way up, but there was about 6 tour buses stopped, so kept on going, this time we learnt some interesting facts, have a read 🙂

This is the actual pipeline itself, you can see the radiators and the sliding system used, quite an impressive design. This is probably all arse about face as I should have found these things before going up, but what the heck, better late than never 🙂

After that we grabbed some fuel and food before heading down to the car wash place to hose the crap off the bikes. This is the first time I have washed this bike since buying it, but it has done a good job, so it deserved it 🙂 I had a met a chap called Ben the other day, he was riding a Harley and also was going to do the Arctic Circle, well he was right here washing his bike down as well, he had done it yesterday, but blew some fork seals and now he had to wait for some new ones!! He took some photos of me.

This is when I noticed I had blown a hole in my belly pan, after checking back through all my photos it seems to have happened about 2 hours after leaving Coldfoot for PB, but for the life of me I cannot think of anything I hit that could have done this 😦

That is Ben, catch you around m8, rubber side down.

After that it was back to the dorms at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF) where we organised individual rooms, quite cheap at $36/night, with showers, laundry and hi speed internet. After a well deserved shower, we moseyed on downtown looking for beer, which we found at a place called Tony’s, this was not bad, but we only had a few before heading back and buying some coke so we could drink in our rooms. It was not a real late night as we had had restless sleep over the past few days. But, we had a good celebration and as we had booked in until Wednesday, we could sleep in 🙂

Day 283 miles and 455 km
Trip – 29,160 miles and 46,928 km


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Sunday – Fairbanks, Alaska

Well, I have achieved some great goals the past few days and of course it means a lot to sit down and write about, here is a sneak preview.

So, I left Dawson and rode the Top of the World highway, a good road in Canada but absolute crap on the USA side! But, I arrived in the (town?) of Chicken and stayed the night.

I met up with a Swiss chap, on a BMW of course, also riding north called Simon, we teamed up and both saw our first Moose 🙂

I managed to get to the end of the Alaskan Highway, although I have not seen the beginning yet, but I also survived the mossies in this region!

We arrived in Fairbanks Alaska and found rooms and went and had beer 🙂

We did not have many as we had some stuff to do the next day, I had major services to do, before we went north on the Dalton Highway, a lot of dirt, where I finally crossed the Arctic Circle, goal 1 achieved 🙂 🙂 🙂

Forget the fact I am pointing at the wrong continent I will fix that with an ET finger later, next stop that night was Coldfoot, it was cold!

The next day was a long one, 510 miles/821km, with about 85% of that dirt, up from Coldfoot to Prudhoe Bay and back to Coldfoot, 10 hours riding, 2 hours on site, but the major goal for the day was achieved, (pats himself on the back 🙂 )

I am so wrapped, I was never sure the weather would be correct for the ride or not, nor whether the road would be to hard for me.

I am back in Fairbanks for the next few days to recover and to catch up on the blog. The map on the left of the page shows me at Prudhoe Bay, the end of the road on this continent, even though I am not there any more, but it can stay like that until I leave Fairbanks, bloggers privilage 🙂

More to come as I get it done properly 🙂

Day ??? miles and ??? km
Trip – 27,764+ miles and 44,682+ km


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32 Responses to “Day 237 – 2nd August 09”

  1. Christine said


  2. pirate63 said

    awesome richard,on a strom as well,bronco’s lost 56to nil!

    clive bris vegas

    • WTF, how can they do that, and who did we play, I have not had a chance to look at the ladder or anything

      Oh, btw if Harleys can do it, a Vstrom is in a hands down situation to do this road at this time. Well, it is actually harder than I make it sound, but a doddle for most of it!


  3. carl said

    good on ya pirate63 had to rub it in. maybe next year. I HOPE.

    • Hey m8, thanks and the season is not over yet is it? I am sure the Broncos have been in the final for the last 2000 years and won a heap as well 🙂

      (BTW, I am not sure where the season is at, but it is not the first Sunday in October, let us see who is smiling then )

      Cheers TS

  4. Art Wallace said

    Well done, m8… Congrats!!

    • Thanks Art, now for the bottom parts

      Cheers TS

      • Art Wallace said

        Right-O… You planning on a stop in Wasilla?? Just saw a post from Roger & he mentioned about being out of cell phone range for the past 4-days, so if you’ve tried calling him recently you probably didn’t get ahold of him! Nonetheless, I hope you get the time for a visit. It’d be an excellent chance to do any maintenance you might need & get some much needed R&R.

        Looking forward to more updates… I hope you’re not holding out on us. Surely you’ve got more pics from the Dalton! ;o)


        • G’day Art

          Is the chap you refer to the bike shop in Wasilla, if it is I was going to drop in anyway. I would like to tighten my headset bearing but do not have the correct tools for that.

          Everything else was done in Fairbanks before attacking the Dalton. I may buy some filters from him though if it is him.

          I have a heap of photos, I am working my way through the backlog of posts, so tomorrow will be probably all day here working on that. I am thinking Anchorage area by the weekend, it is forecast rain Wednesday, so I may head off Thursday. It is cheap to live here and comfortable as well, so nu rush back to to a cold tent until I am finished.

          I still have a sore right hand, the middle finger/tendon has been swollen for a week or so, ever since I hit the dirt, not sure why, hopefully it will go down.

          Cheers Richard

          • Art Wallace said

            Good morning Richard,

            Roger & Mary Ellen Bliss are the folks I stayed with both times I was in AK. He drives a dump truck… Sorry, he doesn’t run the bike shop. You may want to touch base with him and inquire about shops in the Anchorage area. I seem to recall him mentioning the Suzi dealer there was one to avoid? At any rate, you won’t have to sleep in a tent if you stay with them. They have a camper they have for visitors. It’s quite nice!

            I recall you mentioned your finger giving you problems after you rode the Campbell Hwy… Sounds like it may need a day or two of rest. Maybe ice cold 12oz curls will help?! ;o)


            • Hi Art

              Thanks for the reminder. The bike shop is in Wasilla, just north of Anchorage. Now my phone is working again I will give Roger a call. I have tried the ice cold curls, well, not really ice cold, they do not know how to build fridges up here, but they did not help with my hand at all. They did stuff up my head though!

              Cheers TS

  5. Jack Bowen said

    Good show and all that bull shit. Way to go !! I had 50.00 dollars on you getting eaten by a bear….but hell you ain’t back yet either.

  6. Alex said

    Congrats Richard! I have been following your exploits since we met at the Strom get together in Rapid City in June. Reading your Blog has become an addiction, but a really fun one with no hangover or withdrawl! 🙂

    Stay safe.
    Ohio Sojourner on V-Strom site.
    aka Alex

  7. Michael Jordan said

    VERY good! (sound of applause in the background).

    So – how was the Dalton road surface?

    • Hi Michael and thanks 🙂

      Well, the surface was fast for the most part, hard packed, a bit of loose stuff on the surface. Some areas were horrible, from the beginning to Yukon River it was bumpy, big rocks, bumps and crap like that, but afterwards, it was nearly a highway. The only bad sections were the road works, loose sloppy wet dirt, and the tarmac sections, big and lots of them potholes.

      Cheers Richard

  8. Congrats you little Oz-man…

    I been watching Ice-Road Truckers, and they travel the same nasty roads that you have been on as of late. Only difference..? They do it in the winter, with blizzard temperatures.

    Hey, looking forward to seeing you in Hangtown…remember the right name this time, eh..LOL

    Take care,

    Henry (ziggy)

  9. pirate63 said

    g’day richard,bronc’s got beat by the radiers,they reckon were not gonna reach the finals this year!,they also rekon there a high profile player that a drug addict ,but they wont say who!,karmiacal is going to afl next year!!!

    clive bris vegas

    p.s i try and keep you up to date if you want.

  10. ybg said

    Congrats mate.


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