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March 15 05

This is it!

This is the ice road on the Beaufort Sea... and this is as North as we can go.!
i am sleeping in Tuktoyaktuk (connected by road only in winter with the frozen river and frozen ocean). The only hotel restaurant is full mostly occupied by the Canadian army in exercise but they don't want to let me set up my tent outside. I accepted their hospitality and will sleep on the floor of what is their office area.
the immensity of the paysage is overwhelming, driving on the frozen river and the frozen ocean with all the cracks is something i will always remember.
Hubert

The cracks on the ice are quite impressive but rated for 140,000lb trucks (64,000kg), the ice is about 5' thick (1.5m).
When a car or a truck is coming toward you, you can hear it from 5 miles away with a growing rooming noise (like an airplane)
Here, the road close with the drifted snow, but you can still find it in front of you.

 

David, i am back from Tuktoyaktuk, it was magic, magnificent and breathtaking...
i could not have an internet connection to send my email, i could only receive email... i just found out how to set up with the local server... and you are my first email to be sent
this 120 miles ice road are something i will never forget, the achievement of a dream that i carried for a long time and this weird feeling to be driving on the iced ocean... astonishing!!! one of these magic moment in life.
i decided to stay for a week or so, to recuperate from my 5675 miles ride from NYC. i am looking for a remote cabin in the wild, no electricity or facility needed, just a roof and i will make a fire and stay there for a week, i have 2 possibilities in discussions... i will let you know.
i finally found the connection with the Eldon Aszman on the Ural web site... Eldon was at the corner (the start of the Dempster highway last january and was turned back after 41 miles because of the blizzard. He went back home in Oregon...
As i was going up north in canada, at every stop i could get more information and more stories about Eldon. i wish i could have met him on the road, we would have ride together to the Ice road. i learned on the road also that Eldon has a cancer and is under radiation... being a cancer survivor myself, when leaving Inuvik on the magic ice road to Tuktoyaktuk, i dedicated this ride to Eldon Aszman.... i know what he went through on the Dempster Highway and what he is going through now.
in his notes, he mention that his sidecar with driver is 1420lb... i scale myself on a truck scale in US on my way here and i have the receipt somewhere with the exact same weight "1420 lb"
David, i am sending you some photo on an other email
thanks for everything.
hubert

Below are the notes from Eldon that i found on this web site... (there is more to come)
www.uralnw.com (go to Ural and arctic story...)

Rider Report link #1 Rider Report link #2

i just love the Ural Logo

An Arctic Adventure

The following log was written by my brother, Eldon. On January 16th. he
departed Portland Oregon, in an attempt to go as far North on a road that you
could go. He was traveling to Inuvik, The Northern Territories, Canada. 6,000
miles round trip. He did this on a 2004 Ural Patrol. He faced 1,500 miles of
rain, ice and fog on his way up. Temperatures -10 and below.
The farther North that he got the colder, -20, -30, blowing powder snow. The
truck and auto spray was terribly bad, turning the road in front of him into
miniature blizzards. Accidents were common as well as big trucks being blown off
the road.
No matter where he went, no matter where he stopped, he found the people to
have old time generosity. The pages only reveal just a small portion of what he
received.
Word traveled ahead of him, and he received all manner of help.
Eldon got as far North as mile post 41 on the Dempster highway, before being
turned back. He was already sick with Lymphoma at this time, and it is a good
thing that he did. He was less than 400 miles from his goal. It in no way
detracts from the effort and the adventure of it. He feels that the experience
meeting the people that he did, was more than worth the trip.

Now the Arctic Adventure Log.

Sunday Jan. 16, departed the Leukemia, Lymphoma parking lot at 08:30 Arrived
Bellingham Washington, at Ural Northwest, Mark Watson was waiting for me. I got
there about 1600, the bike was put in Marks shop. Mark took me to his home where
I met his wife and daughter. We had a good Italian supper and they gave me a
room for the night. The next morning we had breakfast and then Mark and I went
to his shop. He had noticed that my headlight was out when I rode in the day
before. A loose connection was the rat. That done, Mark took pictures to post on
their web site.
The ride up to Bellingham was uneventful. Truck stop scales said that I
tipped out at 1420 lbs. rider and machine.
January 17, here I sit in Hope Canada, all roads North are closed, two to
weather and one to a burning wrecked tanker, so I am staying in the Hope
Mountain Motel, in the hostile section.The time right now is 2241, I'll see what
tomorrow brings.
January 18, 10:30 am, the roads North are open again. I guess at the time,
1710, a nasty accident happened in front of me. four cars in heavy rain mixed
with fog and huge amounts of road spray, coupled with excessive speed may have
been the cause. I was running at 90 kph with the speed limit at 100, everybody
and 18 wheelers blowing by like I was sitting still. Brake lights coming on, I
backed off to 50 kph. The pick up in front of me locked up and lost it, at the
same time a car passing me, T boned a car. and the truck went into the ditch,
with his bed in my half of the lane. I zigged around them all like a obstacle
course, my dirt riding days saved my butt. I continued on the East bound on
Canada 1.
January 19, 1330 on the road again, raining still. The rig started running
crappy around 1500. Stopped at Thomson River RV park to seek a dry place to
work. I rode through the snow, about 6 inches deep, up onto his covered patio.
Found that the ignition was wet. Dried it out with a paint stripper heat gun,
sealed it up with silicone calk, had coffee then left. Don was an old time rider
himself. He loved the bike. 1700 on the road again. About 9 1/2 hours later, I
lost the left cylinder again, the first time to a bad plug, this time it was the
sparkplug cap. I did a bit of brainstorming, electrical tape lining the inside
of the plug cap, back on the road. 2 hours later it started to happen again,
this time I did something different, I quit for the day, 0330. Could not see
thru the rain and road spray and fog. Speed approximately 40 kph for 6 hours is
just too much. Stopped at Cachcreek


January 19, 2100. Stopped in Prince George for the night. Rain, freezing
fog, road spray, was not safe to continue on. Hw 16 West is closed due to the
weather. Will try again in the morning. Travel speed average, 60-70 kph.
The people are helpful up here, they all think I'm crazy, but they wish me
well. When I stopped for gas this evening, I had the usual questions and answer
session and two photo shoots. Nighty, night.
January 20, 1000, the Ural is still running well. About 1300 I stopped for
gas in Vanderhoof. The left cylinder again. Pulled into the Polaris shop. Did
not have enough power to get up the drive through 8-10" of slush. They pulled me
up with a quad winch. I replaced both plug caps. Down the road again, purring
like a kitten.
At the Polaris shop, I met a man by the name of Ben. He and three others
stood there and laughed at me, but it was all good natured. At Burns lake, I
stopped for gas and guess who showed up, Ben. He thinks I'm crazy. We jawed for
a while. He invited me to his log cabin for Moose steak, yum yum. He also put me
up for the night. He's still laughing. Bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast for
breakfast.
January 21, on the road again and still raining, going is slow, about 90
kph, damn fog and rain and road spray. It was warm, +3 when I left. Pulled into
Bell 2 at 2300, expensive, too tired to continue, the weather pure dog poop.
January 22, up at 0930, breakfast, gassed up, answered questions to a bunch
of Italians for m20 min. or so.
Bike running great. Approximately 30 K out of Stewart Junction, the
#%&*%^#@$ rain, was forced into 2 wheel drive. Rain on Glare ice. Made Dease
Lake. Man has that place changed.
On the back of a tow truck. Throttle cables froze up. Had to use the Kill
switch on the downhill bend. Went to restart after getting the cables freed up.
The switch was froze, thus Chucks towing. Chuck Phillips suggested that I put
the bike in his heated shop for the night to thaw out. He and his lady friend
fed me Carrots, peas, scalloped potatoes and ham with pineapple sauce, and
topped it off with lemon marange pie. They gave me my own room for the night.
On the way into Dease Lake I stopped at Isnut Motel for a bite eat. John
Grove asked why the trip, question answered. Time to pay the bill, no charge. It
was for the cause.
January 23 we had pancakes, bacon, eggs and fried potatoes.
January 24, on my way to Good Hope lake. The rain has stopped and it is
snowing. 60-70 kph. temp -11. In Good Hope, I lost it, and the rig wound up on
top of me. We landed in a snow bank. Some of the locals helped me out from
under. We flipped ther outfit back up onto it's wheels, it was upside down. Got
fired up, went and gassed up. Got 2K down the road when the rig started running
awful. The air cleaner was full of snow. Limped back into Good Hope. Got help
right away. They let me stay in the Fire House, bike and all. I tore into the
filter, it was full of water, ice, and snow from the road, and oil from being
wrong side up. Don't take your eyes off the road when it Slick. I paid for it.
The Woman at the store gas station, gave me $20 Canadian for my next tank of
gas. God moves in mysterious ways. Thank you the Lord God. By the way it is
still snowing, at least it is not raining. Tomorrow I hit Watson Lake for an oil
change and hopefully a new air filter.
Am taking advantage of the heated Fire Station to get some things dried out.
On the way into Good Hope lake, I had to wait for 3 moose to get off the road, a
cow and 2 calves. After Waiting for 10 min. I fired up and slowly moved towards
them, up the hill they went. The snow was belly deep on the cow and moose are
BIG. I took some photos. Sure wish I had a long lens.


January 25, I'm holed up in an inexpensive motel in Swift River,
approximately 136 K from White Horse. I stopped at Watson Lake to change oil and
filter., to a lighter oil. Synthetic is spendy, I was told that I would have no
thinking problem.My 20-50 was showing signs of thinking at -11 temp. Now is -15
F. The news says -20 tomorrow. So far no cold, or no starting problems. Tuffy 2
lights right off.
Now for adventure. Yesterday in Good Hope lake. This Mother's son was
rubbernecking. I drifted to the right, the side car wheel caught the edge of the
road. It happened so fast. I suddenly realized the machine was wheels up and on
top of me. Two of the locals helped me out from under. Then they went and got a
couple of friends, and we flipped Tuffy 2 back on his wheels. Had to clear oil
out of the left cylinder. Pulled the plug, blew it off, spun it over with the
starter, and blew a huge amount of oil about 20' away. Swapped plugs, and he
popped right off, I let it run and cleaned up the oil the best I could. My
windshield got a chunk broken out of it, my left driveling light was busted off
and no damage except for a few bruises on my part. Lesson learned again, keep
your eyes on the road in all conditions, do your rubbernecking ahead of you, not
to the side.
I gassed up, and was amazed that I hadn't lost any fuel in the upset. I hit
the road. About two hours out, my partner started running crappy. We limped back
to town. I knew what was happening. Victor, who ran the fire department, allowed
me and Tuffy 2 to stay in the heated fire house, where I pulled the air filter
and it was full of water and ice and a small amount of road dirt. Cleaned it as
best I could. A piece of cardboard box and duct tape, took care of the
windshield. It was so hot in there, I just slept on my matt and dried some
things out. nitie nite.
P.S. I also made supper then went to bed.
January 26, left Swift River where I stopped for the night. While eating
breakfast, a truck driver came in and said your on the bike? Yes I said. He
said, when he and another driver were jawing back and forth on the radio, about
all the cars and trucks that were in the ditch and wrecked, the lead driver
commented that he had never seen anything like it. The following driver
commented the same then the rear driver saw me and almost ran off the road. this
happened on highway 97. The driver that I was talking to. was the one who almost
ran off the road.
Rode into Whitehorse, and got shop space at the Harley shop, so I could do a
little bit of maintenance, and replace the )(^^$*&^* filter, my mileage had
dropped from 34-20 mpg. This afternoon I had to make a nature stop,
approximately 50 K from Whitehorse, where I met Don. I thought that he was stuck
in the snow, and offered to pull him out, but he was not. He asked me where I
came from and where was I going. I told him. Then he asked me to come to his
house and we did. I then took care of business in Whitehorse. He also offered to
put me up for the niter when I returned. I met his wife, a very attractive lady,
she is of the "first people". They are supposed to be the first to come to the
land. She is very proud of her race. Her name is Florence.
Due to husband and wife problems, I left Dons and came into Whitehorse. I
stopped at the ESSO station on 2nd. to inquire about a cheap hotel or motel. The
Bonanza came up as bet bet. When I was fixin to leave, a cab drove in and a
heavy set fellow got out and walked up and said that he had been looking for me.
He had heard that I needed to work on the bike and was offering his shop. I
explained that I had already accepted Yukon Harleys offer of shop space. I then
told him that I would stop at his shop when I was done. I think I am becoming
famous. He has a chopper shop, Clikoot Choppers.
Stay tuned for more.


January 25, I'm holed up in an inexpensive motel in Swift River, approximately 136 K from White Horse. I stopped at Watson Lake to change oil and filter., to a lighter oil. Synthetic is spendy, I was told that I would have no thinking problem.My 20-50 was showing signs of thinking at -11 temp. Now is -15 F. The news says -20 tomorrow. So far no cold, or no starting problems. Tuffy 2 lights right off.

Now for adventure. Yesterday in Good Hope lake. This Mother's son was rubbernecking. I drifted to the right, the side car wheel caught the edge of the road. It happened so fast. I suddenly realized the machine was wheels up and on top of me. Two of the locals helped me out from under. Then they went and got a couple of friends, and we flipped Tuffy 2 back on his wheels. Had to clear oil out of the left cylinder. Pulled the plug, blew it off, spun it over with the starter, and blew a huge amount of oil about 20' away. Swapped plugs, and he popped right off, I let it run and cleaned up the oil the best I could. My windshield got a chunk broken out of it, my left driveling light was busted off and no damage except for a few bruises on my part. Lesson learned again, keep your eyes on the road in all conditions, do your rubbernecking ahead of you, not to the side.

I gassed up, and was amazed that I hadn't lost any fuel in the upset. I hit the road. About two hours out, my partner started running crappy. We limped back to town. I knew what was happening. Victor, who ran the fire department, allowed me and Tuffy 2 to stay in the heated fire house, where I pulled the air filter and it was full of water and ice and a small amount of road dirt. Cleaned it as best I could. A piece of cardboard box and duct tape, took care of the windshield. It was so hot in there, I just slept on my matt and dried some things out. nitie nite.

P.S. I also made supper then went to bed.

January 26, left Swift River where I stopped for the night. While eating breakfast, a truck driver came in and said your on the bike? Yes I said. He said, when he and another driver were jawing back and forth on the radio, about all the cars and trucks that were in the ditch and wrecked, the lead driver commented that he had never seen anything like it. The following driver commented the same then the rear driver saw me and almost ran off the road. this happened on highway 97. The driver that I was talking to. was the one who almost ran off the road.

Rode into Whitehorse, and got shop space at the Harley shop, so I could do a little bit of maintenance, and replace the )(^^$*&^* filter, my mileage had dropped from 34-20 mpg. This afternoon I had to make a nature stop, approximately 50 K from Whitehorse, where I met Don. I thought that he was stuck in the snow, and offered to pull him out, but he was not. He asked me where I came from and where was I going. I told him. Then he asked me to come to his house and we did. I then took care of business in Whitehorse. He also offered to put me up for the niter when I returned. I met his wife, a very attractive lady, she is of the "first people". They are supposed to be the first to come to the land. She is very proud of her race. Her name is Florence.

Due to husband and wife problems, I left Dons and came into Whitehorse. I stopped at the ESSO station on 2nd. to inquire about a cheap hotel or motel. The Bonanza came up as bet bet. When I was fixin to leave, a cab drove in and a heavy set fellow got out and walked up and said that he had been looking for me. He had heard that I needed to work on the bike and was offering his shop. I explained that I had already accepted Yukon Harleys offer of shop space. I then told him that I would stop at his shop when I was done. I think I am becoming famous. He has a chopper shop, Clikoot Choppers.

Stay tuned for more

January 27, -20. Still in Whitehorse. Ruby, one of the owners of Yukon Harley, has bought supper for me and put me up for the night.

This morning, bought breakfast, then went out and started Tuffy 2 and headed for the Harley shop, where the usual folks started showing up. They all said that I was crazy, but wished me the best and took lots of pictures, and then left. Started to start the bike, when a man showed up and asked if he could send a reporter over for an interview, and he said he was from CBC radio station. Word sure gets around! On the flip flop, they want me to stop by the studio.

Got to the shop. When I pulled the air filter housing, water poured out. Removing the filter, there was big chunks of ice froze to the intake side of the filter for the right cylinder. With a bunch of searching, we found a Fram filter that fits better than the original, and it is bigger, in the process eliminating 2 parts not needed. I picked up 2 spare plugs, I'm finding that deep cold does strange things to motorcycles. I also cleaned and lubed the starter motor and solenoid. Running good again, I think I'll get another filter, just in case. Took a few pictures. (the pictures did not turn out. It seems deep cold does strange things to film also.) Rode over to the Chilkoot Chopper shop, and talked to the for a while, took a few pictures (see above) of the bike in front of his shop. While I was there, a movie outfit took his place over to shoot a movie. He likes that at $400 a day.

This morning Tuffy 2 was white like snow, but it was caused by ice fog. I am NOT having any trouble staying warm, this is a very common question. I'm told that when I leave for the Dempster, I will be getting into -50. Be back tomorrow.

January 27, -20. Holed up with Jerry and Kathy Kruse, from McCabe creek in the Klondike.

Steve and Leigh at Braeburn Lodge in the Klondike. I had the best turkey barley soup that I have ever eaten, along with a huge roll. Well to make a long story short, they suggested I stop there when I left, I figured to push onto Eagle plains, but this gut feeling to stop here, it has been a pleasure being with them. They took me in, gave me my room and all.

January 28, -30. Had breakfast and good conversation, went to start Tuffy 2 and a dead battery. Well I had brain forted, and left my electric gloves on at 77 watts, well forget it. Jerry gave me a jump start got the bike kicked started and was backing down his driveway in low gear-killed it. Tow started and put it in his generator shop and pulled the auxiliary battery to charge, back to the drawing board. When temp aprox -10, the starter won't work. The relays for the solenoid works but the solenoid does not drop in gear. I cleaned and lubed the connections and treated with dielectric, this was done when the air filter was changed. I suspect a connection that opens when the cold is right or tolerances are to close and seize when the temp. is right. Tomorrow another day. God bless.


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