Monday, August 25

Bugs, dust and mud...oh MY!

Just a a small follow up.
We spend quite some time cleaning the bikes and it's amazing how those little bugs get into every nook and cranny on the front end of the bikes!
We were transporting about a pound of bug guts all over the place along with some kind of tenacious mud from a construction site in the Yukon.
Much soap and water combined with elbow grease and the bikes look clean and shiny once more.
No major technical problems to report and we can now actually turn our necks as we have both had a professional massage.
The phone is ringing with work and schedules for school need to be made.
It's funny how quickly life returns to normal.
Oh yes, and the home roasted coffee...................ahhhhhh!

All good things come to an end...

We had considered going to Manitoulin Island for a couple of days camping (just to say we used the stuff...) but decided to just head home instead.
Now this doesn't mean a rush along the major highways but rather a nice easy pace down 69 (coffee break at French River) to 169, through Bala and down a tiny side road #13 (coffee break here too)witch is one of the best kept secret roads in the near north.
This winding, twisting stretch of pavement runs through the woods and really allows the rider to test all their skills!
169 takes us around lake Simcoe (coffee break by the lake) and eventually down the 404.
We deviated from the DVP and took Don Mills in and 49 stop lights later, parked in the underground.
There was much rejoicing!
Cost of fuel...much!
cost of rooms...much more!
Trip of a life time...PRICELESS!
Thanks to everyone we met along the way for helping to make this a fantastic event...:)
We bid you farewell and hope to be able to post a new adventure next year.

The Big Nickel and the flu...

So we blasted off from TBay around noon and made good time along hwy 11/17 to Wawa.
I must say that even after the awesome scenery in Alaska and the Yukon, the trip along the shore of Lake Superior still holds up as a great road with some fantastic views!
The Sportsman Motor Inn (Spend a night not a fortune) was the stopover in Wawa and a trip made to the General Store for the famous Summer sausage.
The next morning was sunny and not too hot as we set out for Sudbury.
Arrival at Kat's brothers place was conveniently timed to catch a supper of home grown produce and fresh caught fish.
Unfortunately, Kats nephew was under the weather with a touch of flu and we hardly were able to spend much time with him.
As it was, I was able to do a small welding repair job on Kats bike with the help of brother Doug.
A nights rest at no charge was welcome...:)

Tuesday, August 19

T Bay stopover

As Kat indicated, we have had to stay an extra day in Thunder Bay to get a new back tire for the Virago.
It's difficult to estimate tire wear and considering we have traveled 14,000km, the estimate was only off by 1500km.
A local bike shop has ordered a good quality Perelli tire up from Toronto and , in the end, hasn't cost much more than if we bought it at home.
They have a 30% discount on Pirelli which offset the air shipping.
All in all, it has been as convenient as could be expected and we were able to book much needed massages.
The motel room in Kekabeca Falls in nice and inexpensive.
A good day off, considering that we might have been stuck out on the highway somewhere looking for a tow truck!
Now we are getting ready to head down to the shop and get the tire installed then try and cover 1000km by mid afternoon Wednesday and visit family in Sudbury.

Monday, August 18

In Ontari-ari-o

Hit our home province yesterday, coming in at Rainy River. Perfect riding conditions yesterday; sunny, warm, good curving pavement, killer tailwind.

Well, perfect except for one thing.

At breakfast yesterday we happened to look at our tires and saw a small spot of wear on my back tire. Wear right to the cord.

So it was a careful ride to Thunder Bay, and we're now waiting for local bike shops to call us back and let us know if they have one available.

Update: No they don't. And since it's not safe to ride on at all, looks like we're waiting for one to be shipped from Toronto.

Saturday, August 16

The End is the Beginning

Dawson creek is "mile 0"of the Alaskan Highway.
Of course, we had to stop and take a photo of the bikes at the sign.
We have traveled the Alaska Highway and most of the paved roads available.
This marks the official end of the Alaskan Adventure and the completion of a "trip of a lifetime"!
The remainder of the ride will be back across to Ontario via the Canadian route rather than going into the US.
After an overnight in Grand Prairie Alberta we stopped for a complete day off at our friends place in Edmonton.
Jim and Heathers hospitality allowed for a relaxing day for Kat to float around in the pool while I tinkered with the bikes.
An oil change and good clean-up were in order.
Big High Five to our friends for a nice time to chat and catch up...:)
We have found out that Kats nephew , whom we don't see very often, is going to be in Sudbury next week so we have planned a "sprint" across the country to meet up.
It looks like 4 days of roughly 800km (500miles) a day will be required.
As it is,the weather is excellent for that time and the roads are smooth and flat...VERY flat!
There are no stunning views around the corners and no challenging road conditions so it,s in with the iPods and just roll the distance by listening to music.

Tuesday, August 12

Puffins and Whales and Bison...Oh My!


This is a sign not to be taken lightly.
We have seen different animals along the roadside but the road out of Watson lake provided the best viewing.
There had evidently been an accident as 2 Bison carcases and some car trim parts were laying on the shoulder.
Sure enough, a heard of about 25 or 30 Bison were grazing on the fresh grass along the roadside.
The cars slow down somewhat but on a bike, you take it VERY slowly and watch carefully.
As proven by the suicidal Red Squirrels, you can't predict what animals will do around vehicles.
Bumping into a Moose or Bison could put a crimp in the day!
For the most part they seem unimpressed and continue to dine while we watch.
Just to prove a point,further on down the road, a pair of deer that almost certainly are running off the left side suddenly turn and cross back to the other side!
Taking lessons from the squirrels I think.
The rest of the ride into the 2 mountain passes is punctuated by sightings of more deer and a Porcupine.
The way through the Muncho and Summit Lake passes provided some incredible views.
Sunny day, decent roads and great sights!
It doesn't get any better...:)
It must have been quite difficult to build the road through these mountains and across the vast expanses of bog.
While in some other places, the original highway has been bypasses with a better, straighter road, it's clear that this strip of stone and tar through the passes is the original route.
It's Ft Nelson for a night and on to mile 0 in Dawson Creek tomorrow.

Here is a list of the animals we have seen so far...
Bald Eagles,Bison, Moose,Deer, Caribou,Black Bear, Grizzly Bear,Whales,Puffins,Porpoises, Sea Lions,Ermine,Ruffled Grouse,Red Fox (not that one Ya Dummy!) and a variety of bugs, most of which end up on the windshield.