Ride of 1,000 Ravens

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Thread starter #1
For the first time in 3-4 years, my riding buddy and long-time friend, Luke, and I found the time for a motorcycle ride to the Yukon, and beyond. Luke lives in the Anchorage area and I'm in Fairbanks so we met in Tok, Alaska, ate lunch at Fast Eddy's and hit the road.

Since I've only put 500 miles on this year, it took me a few hundred miles to settle in to the rhythm of the road, therefore the photo journey starts as we enter the Yukon, about 300 miles into the day. Lots of pavement in the photos, sorry for that.

By the time we reached the Yukon, I had seen nearly 200 ravens along the roadside, mostly in pairs. Luke had a similar experience on his way to Tok. The best we could figure, they were eating the carcasses of a large dragonfly that were being killed by passing vehicles. The dragonflies had a big hatch recently and have been everywhere. Anyway, by the end of the trip, we had seen several hundred ravens. Admittedly, many of them were repeats on our out-and-back trip, but I figured I'd round off to 1000.
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The view from camp, one of the nicest gravel pits to camp in. We usually shoot for this one on the first night.

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Clouds over Kluane National Park.
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It wouldn't be the Yukon without some bear scat nearby.
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Luke closes down camp for the night.
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A beautiful morning to ride through the park.
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Kluane Lake and Sheep Mountain.
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We rode through the park, continued on to Haines Junction, gassed up, turned east to Whitehorse, gassed again and headed south the South Klondike Highway. This is our second attempt for Skagway, the last time the pass was snowy. Today looks great, we'll see.

Luke heading south toward Carcross.
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The scenery to Carcross and Skagway is awesome.

One arm of Tagish Lake.
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A fire along the flanks of Escarpment Mtn.
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Scenery in the high country of the Yukon and British Columbia.
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Back in the states,

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The US is good for scenery also.
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The customs agent was apparently pissed that I took some pictures at the station. I had my engine running so I couldn't hear him yelling back to me. Luke heard it all while waiting to receive the signal to go ahead. The customs agent glared at me when I rolled up but said nothing.

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I actually took this photo on the way out of Skagway but figured I'd insert it here.
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Luke rolling through Skagway.
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Some White Pass-Yukon engines.
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I wonder who they named this after?
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On the way back.
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The Canadian Customs station is to the left about 100 yards.
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Carcross is home to sand dunes. The sand is blown over from a glacial lake.
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We camped a few miles past the dunes and headed to Whitehorse for breakfast. I've never eaten at one of these so I decided it was time.

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An interpretive sign on the way into Haines Junction.
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Approaching Haines Junction.
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The great thing about riding in the Yukon is the lack of traffic and RCMP (mounties).
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Heading back to Kluane NP.
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Kluane Lake again.
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At the base of Sheep Mtn.
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The Donjek River valley.
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Luke rolling through one of the construction sites.
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This sign had us bewildered...
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...until this flashed up.
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Businesses along the Alcan are really dynamic. Last year's bustling hot spot is closed this year. Not sure when this closed but it was doing well when we passed by last time.
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Back in AK.
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We camped at a state campground. The evening sky was awesome.
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Our campsite.
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We gassed in Tok and split ways. Luke was headed into rain. I enjoyed 100 miles of this.
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This is in the middle of a 16-mile straightaway. I always find myself in a zen-like state at some point along here.
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I gassed in Delta and turned toward home. A shot of the Tanana River.
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A military convoy, one of about 8 that day.
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Now these are the hard-core bikers. My hat's off to them.
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Eielson AFB, home of the F-35.
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Almost home.
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KJR

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#2
Thanks for the photos, brought back some great memories. Used to make that drive twice a week. Scenery is beyond belief most of the way.
 
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#6
You're so lucky to live in and near such beautiful country. You rode right past my aunt and uncle's lake house at Harding Lake, where I stayed last time I was up your way. I would move to Whitehorse in a heartbeat if it had some nearby redrock. Great photos - thanks!
 
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You're so lucky to live in and near such beautiful country. You rode right past my aunt and uncle's lake house at Harding Lake, where I stayed last time I was up your way. I would move to Whitehorse in a heartbeat if it had some nearby redrock. Great photos - thanks!
Lucky them! It is almost always raining when I ride the bike past Harding Lake, including this trip. :( Luckily the rain was short-lived. I also love Whitehorse. Great vibe there.
 
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#10
Very cool. So much to explore up there! Doing it on a motorcycle is a good way to see some of it.
 

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#11
You ride north, we'll ride south and meet at Toad River/Stone Mountain Provincial Park, BC. Then ride to Liard Hot Spring for a nice soak.
Deal! As soon as I finish this working thing. Then you could also meet me on my trip up the Dempster. Course that won't be on a motorcycle ;)
 
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Deal! As soon as I finish this working thing. Then you could also meet me on my trip up the Dempster. Course that won't be on a motorcycle ;)
Smart man, @Artemus. The Dempster is awesome(!!!) but turns to absolute shi* with heavy rain, hard to navigate in a vehicle with AWD, much less a motorcycle. You could leave the bike in Dawson City, and I'll pick you up there.
 
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Used to have the moose named, would almost always be in same pond...
So you'll appreciate this @KJR, the ponds on the right (south) just after crossing into Canada (on your way to the Beaver Creek customs office) almost always have at least one moose standing out in the water. Almost guaranteed. This trip... nothing...neither direction of travel. I only saw 3 moose, all cows, the entire trip, and all of them in AK. Weirdest thing ever, at least close. No black bears in the vicinity of White River, no griz in Kluane. No bears at all the entire trip. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?
 
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#14
So you'll appreciate this @KJR, the ponds on the right (south) just after crossing into Canada (on your way to the Beaver Creek customs office) almost always have at least one moose standing out in the water. Almost guaranteed. This trip... nothing...neither direction of travel. I only saw 3 moose, all cows, the entire trip, and all of them in AK. Weirdest thing ever, at least close. No black bears in the vicinity of White River, no griz in Kluane. No bears at all the entire trip. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?
The Ravens got 'em. Dang Corvus corax.... Poe was right.
 

KJR

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#17
@Outdoor_Fool There was almost always moose there, now mind you this was well over 20 years ago. Saw a blonde grizzly and cubs near the Donjek on a regular basis one summer, named her too. The scenery around Kluane and then again between Carcross and Skagway is absolutely phenomenal. I need to get back up there.
 

kwc

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#18
@Outdoor_Fool ... thanks for the trip report/photos! Been on those roads a few times over the past few years.
And since you live in Fairbanks, stop by the APLIC and say hi to my daughter-in-law, she's the Lead Ranger there (ask for Adia).
 

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