The Motorcycle Shop

Today was all about getting my motorcycle fixed at The Motorcycle Shop after the damage the Dalton Highway did to it.


It was another day of rain. Dreary. I started working on the video of me leaving Victoria. I am behind on providing you with videos. Too much fun riding ha ha ha. As I started to work on it, I saw the pictures of my kids. A wave of homesickness came. I am sure it was also a combination of the crappy weather and the anxiety of whether my parts would be in today. Especially the switch.

Motorcycle Blogs

Before going to The Motorcycle Shop, I headed to Starbucks to catch up on my blog reading. I love reading the blogs of other motorcycle adventurers. Some of my current favorites are:
My Ticket to Ride
SM Boilerworks
Worldwide Ride

And of course my current riding partner’s website of Living Loving Adventuring.

My switch was still working on the way to Starbucks. As I was leaving for The Motorcycle Shop, the switch stopped working again. What the heck?! It works then doesn’t work.

Up until that time I was thinking that if the parts didn’t come in I would just leave tomorrow for Tok. Now I am thinking I better stay to see if they come in on Saturday. I don’t know. I’ll wait and see.

The Motorcycle Shop

I got to The Motorcycle Shop and Chris told me FedEx had arrived but they hadn’t gone through everything yet. So here I sit as I am writing this. Waiting. Hoping.


Well …. They took my bike in. A good sign.

The Cost of Repairs

Turns out all the parts arrived via FedEx! That made me happy.

What made me sad was the bill – $1,000 US! This was to replace the ignition switch that got Dalton mud in it that they couldn’t clean out and was causing it to stick.


The signal switch that was sometimes working and sometimes not.


The windshield. Oh … I should mention that I had purchased before my trip a larger windshield to give me more protection from the elements. I loved it. Now I am back to the normal BMW winshield.


And the right and bottom farings.


What a mixture of emotions. I was excited that everything was now fixed. At the same time, between the tires I needed to ride the Dalton, and the damage to the bike caused by my fall and mud along the Dalton, my motorcycle expenses were way over what I budgeted for. Also, food, lodging and gasoline have been expensive up here.I needed to wrap my head around this to feel some sort of comfort that my finances for the trip will work out.

I do know that once I get into the lower 48 states things will be cheaper and the weather better so I can camp. If need be I can also wild camp. In Mexico things will be cheaper still. And since I will be spending 6 months in Mexico, I will be able to spend longer periods in one spot enjoying life. This will also mitigate expenses. I am pretty sure I will be able to get it back to within budget.

With that in mind, I felt some relief and was happy everything was fixed and was ready to move on. Life is an Adventure or Nothing at All 🙂

My Route for July 22, 2016


University of Alaska Fairbanks

Today was a day to clean all the Dalton Highway mud, guck, and smell that permeated all my bags and belongings. I tried just rinsing it off under a tap. That didn’t work. Everything had to be washed. Luckily, the washers and dryers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks dorms are free! I spent from the morning until about 3 pm washing and repacking. This is where I spent most of my day.


As a final conclusion to the Dalton Highway I put on the stickers on my motorcycle to say, “I did it.”



The rest of the day was just relaxing and ordering in Chinese food for dinner.

Thoughts on the Dalton Highway

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Dalton Highway is considered one of the most dangerous highways in the world. From my experience the Dalton Highway changes daily and is never the same. On my ride to Deadhorse it was clear skies and sunny. The road was dry. Until we got 30 miles outside of Deadhorse, we were wandering what all the fuss was about the Dalton. The scenery was amazing and I took it all in as I thoroughly enjoyed the ride past the Arctic Circle, over the Atigun Pass, and into the tundra. So beautiful.

Then 30 miles outside of Deadhorse the Dalton Highway took on a different personality with the construction. Because it was dry and sunny we had to contend with the big loose rocks that pounding our motorcycles and our feet as we squirmed our way through the section. Construction changes the Dalton Highways into a different animal.

On our return, the Dalton Highway reared its ugly side as the rain changed the complexion of the road to something unrecognizable from when we came up. The construction area morphed itself into a muddy mess. After our falls we were glad to get to the loose rock portions. Due to the rain, the rest of the Dalton was coated in a slimy mess that made our back wheels come out from under me from time to time.

The Dalton Highway cannot be categorized into a specific descriptor. It will be many things to many people depending on the weather, construction, motorcycle, and riding skills.

I am glad I had the sunny days on the way up to enjoy its beauty. And in retrospect, one day ha ha ha, I will be glad for the challenge it gave me, and the damage it caused, so that I can say I made it through one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

Route for July 19, 2016


Return of the Dalton Highway

In the morning it was about putting back on my muddy jacket, pants and boots, and getting on my muddy damaged bike. Not my favorite thing to do … right Brent ha ha ha.

While we were sleeping a group of motorcyclist had shown up and were tenting outside the hotel. One of them was Jeremy Kroeker who authored Through Dust and Darkness, Motorcycle Therapy, and Motorcycle Messengers.


We saddled up and took off into dark clouds.There was scattered showers until we got close to Fairbanks when it poured. We took our time and only I couple of times there were sections that made me say, “Oh Crap!” But nothing like I experienced the day before.

The next gas station was Yukon River. A tour guide also parked in the lot said we must be the toughest people in Alaska right now riding in this mud and rain. An exaggeration for sure, but I’ll take it. We kept going.

A while later I noticed Brent had slowed behind me. I thought he was stopping to take a picture so I slowed and waited for him. When he caught up he honked for me to pull over. It turned out his warning light came on that his engine was overheating. We looked for the cause and found out that both our radiators were caked in mud. This made it next to impossible for the air to get in there to cool the water. We attempted to take sticks to clear it but it was caked in hard. Brent wished for rain.

His wish came true as moments later it poured. The rain cleared out the mud somewhat and the engine temperature went down.

First thing once we got to Fairbanks was wash our bikes to get some of the mud off of the bikes.

Then off to the University of Alaska Fairbanks where we stayed in dorm rooms for the cheap price of $41 US. They were very nice. Clean, lots of electrical outlets, awesome Wi-Fi, free laundry, and a tent to park our motorcycles under.





I was finally finished the Dalton. Except for repairing the motorcycle damage Grrrrrrrr.

Route for July 18, 2016


Dalton Damage

The Dalton was angry today my friend.

Brent wanted to leave at 6 am to head back to Coldfoot Camp and the Fairbanks the next day. I set the alarm for 5. I hate doing that as one part of this trip is to not set the alarm and not to have commitments unless necessary.

I woke up at 5 and Brent was already in the shower. I looked out the window. It was raining. Crap!

As I was getting ready Brent already had his helmet on and was waiting to go. I guess no hot, free, breakfast from the hotel this morning. I did manage to grab to PBJ sandwiches and milk to take with me though.

We were off at 6:03 am. As you may remember, the first 30 miles from Deadhorse were the worst. Who knows how the rain would play havoc with the road.

Calcium Chloride

One thing to know ab out the Dalton Highway, in the summer they apply calcium chloride to the dirt to keep down the dust. The problem for bikers is that when it rains it turns the surface into a greasy slimy gruel. That is on top of the usual mud and little rivers that run down the hills. The stuff cakes your bike.


And of course the same spots with those rocks the size of my fist.


The Fall

As we were waiting at the first flag person stop, the Pilot Car arrived and warned us about an extremely muddy portion of the highway. She said even she has problems in in her truck. Great.


We went through some of the usual loose big rocks and some muddy sections. No major problem.


Then it came. The muddy section. I sped up a bit to get through it.

My wheels wobbled and I was all over the place. I felt I was losing it. My legs instinctively went up to gain balance and brace myself. The bike was taking me to the edge of the road where there was lose gravel down an embankment of I think 4 to 6 feet. Between the two things I put the bike down. I ended up on the ground on my back beside the bike.

Screenshot (19)

It may have been mud, but as I got up I noticed the damage to my bike – broken windshield, side spoiler, and the signal light. Seeing my bike suffer hurt ha ha ha and thinking of how my wallet was going to hurt hurt even more! Luckily I was ok. Just ticked off.


Brent and a guy running the roller beside the mud hole came over. We managed to pick up the bike and collect the broken parts.

Screenshot (20)

I started the bike again and took off.


Moments later I heard a yell and behind me. Brent had dropped his bike. No damage. We picked it up and the two of us took off. We were covered in mud.

That was the worst of the mud. We passed over the big rocks we thought we so bad the other day. Today, we were happy to see them and not more mud.

When finally got through the 30 miles and stopped at the side of the road for breakfast – a PBJ sandwich and milk.

For the rest of the trip to Coldfoot Camp we road through more slimy calcium chloride. It caked our bikes.

Getting to the paved road outside of Coldfoot was a happy event.

But that didn’t mean we didn’t see some great scenery!



Coldfoot Hotel

We arrived at our destination, tired, dirty, and hungry.




The hungry part we took care of right away. The tired was a sleep in a small older room in an Atco like trailer. The dirty will have to wait until Fairbanks. I don’t like that much. After a day like this I just want to clean everything up and enjoy a nice warm meal. That will have to wait until tomorrow.


I think I will be spending the next few days in Fairbanks to take care of the Dalton damage.

The Route for July 17,2016


Arctic Circle

Now, I am an early riser. But Brent is really an earlier riser. I turned over in bed and the clock said 5:13 am. Time to get up.

We were out the door and on the road early. It was an unbelievable day – warm with blue skies. We were off to the Arctic Circle and Wiseman for the night.


Gasoline is an issue going to Prudhoe Bay. We intended to get gas at Livengood. When we reached the town it said no services. What to do now?

We kept going and reached the start of the infamous Dalton Highway!


Besides taking some photos we needed to figure out what to do about gas. We decided to press on to Yukon River. When I drove up to the town/building the sign said food but didn’t mention gas. As I drove by, all I saw was a white tank and no gas pumps. At the next stop, about 3 miles up the road, we stopped and the woman at the gift shop said there was gas at Yukon River. Back we went. Sure enough there was a pump there.


The next stop for gasoline was Coldfoot. This is also the last chance for gasoline before Deadhorse. The gas has to last for 229 miles. Both Brent and I are carrying an extra gallon of gas.

Arctic Circle

Before the Arctic Circle we saw the first tundra. How cool.


Just up the road was the Arctic Circle.

This was amazing. I have read about people reaching the circle and posing in from of the sign. I have dreamt that one day it would be me and now it is. Really surreal. I motorcycled to the Arctic Circle!



After pinching myself, Brent and I took off for Coldfoot to get our last gas before reaching Deadhorse and the Arctic Ocean.Great scenery along the way.



We decided to have a bite to eat in Coldfoot before heading to Wiseman just a few miles up the road. There and met a guy who just came down from Deadhorse. He warned about the road before Deadhorse that was under construction. He said the road consisted of huge rocks. It was there that Enrique crashed his bike. That will be the challenge tomorrow. Right now, however, it was time to get to Wiseman and the Borreal Lodge for the night.

Wiseman is an odd little town next to a beautiful river. The Boreal Lodge? Rustic and hot. No air conditioning in the Arctic. Go figure 🙂 Took me awhile to get to sleep. And of course it is light 24 hours a day.


Route for July 14, 2016


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