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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks... It's RadRod

Well I'm here in Ouray at the Toyota FJ Cruiser Summit and it's beautiful. I met up with the Canadians (Jeff & Emily)that I did the Kokopelli trail with in May. They are headed home to Calgary on Sunday (tomorrow) after the festivities wrap up.

I know all this is short notice, but if I go back to CA I know I'm not going to leave again...

I figure, I'm already on my way and I can follow them to Calgary.
From there I will continue North. Maybe Invik then down the Dempster to Dawson, maybe up to Fairbanks or down to Anchor I age from there.

I will probably ship the FJ to either Tacoma or all the way to Long Beach, CA from there.

If anyone wants to tag along, Heck let me know.

I'm also checking with my wife to see if she can fly out and meet me.
But probably not until 1st or 2nd week in Aug.

I took Black Bear pass to Telluride and the Ophir Pass back to Ouray. It was very nice.
Here is the Flickr Link for my photos. Ouray CO 2009 Black Bear Pass - a set on Flickr

I also blog on my web site Rad Rod 57

All-the-best,

Luke
 

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Thanks for sharing, Luke.
Sounds like a lot of fun.
Safe travels.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Internet connections are sparse and will probably get decrease in availability.

I'm in Kalispell MT today (2nd day) waiting for a new Camera to arrive. I figure if I'm going to make the trek I should try to take great pics. (Notice I said Try)
Yesterday I had Moses serviced at Kalispell Toyota.

I have to give them a Huge Plug. What a great dealer. I was not expecting much because Moses is highly modified. I just wanted a little mid-trip check out. I use Mobil 1 and changed it before I left but put another 2000 on it. I didnt expect them to have it. "No Problem" Same thing with the KN oil filter, and they swapped my KN rechargeable Air filter. Full fluid check, wash. $83. I didn't need this but I figured cheap insurance. They were SO Nice.

Then I remembered I purchased some new lcon rear rear shock skids at the summit. I asked if they might install them. Sure no problem.

But then there was (a problem). Because they are made for a stock axel. Duh, I have the Currie Rock Jock III. I didn't even think about this when I bought them from Jason Demello at the Summit.

This dealer and Jeremy the Mechanic working on Moses. .... No Problem, They ground them down, re-drilled them and fabricated them to fit !!! This was not easy because the Icon skids are made out of Stainless Steel and that's tough to grind and fit.

Anyway, Jeremy did a spectacular job ! 2 hours $70. There is no way I could have or would have done this on the trail.

I don't know about everyone else, but in Southern CA, a Toyota Dealer would have laughed at me. My local dealer will not use Mobil 1. (I change it myself) Then there is the $35 per hour shop rate!! In So Cal. Try $75 to $95 per hour.

Then Chris McKenzie the Custom Parts manager invites me to a trail run at 6 PM tonight. Turns out he helped a team run King of the Hammers this year and he's a Pirate 4x4 forum junkie. Might not be able to go because I'm loaded to the gills and his group are serious crawlers.

Bottom Line Kalispell Toyota ROCKS !


I/m off to Calgary. I'm meeting a SoCal friend and he's going to join me on the trek to Fairbanks.

Going through Banff, Jasper, Dawson, maybe to Invik then over to Fairbanks. Want to see Denali.

After 10 days my SoCal Forum friend is flying back home from Fairbanks. I want to head over to Homer to see the Spit and then down the penn to Anchorage. Then home.
 

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Okay, what kind of life do you have to live to be able to just up and decide to drive to alaska on the way from Colorado to California. That and being able to call your wife and just have her fly up and meet you.

You sir are my idol!
 

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Luke is in the process of making me a bit envious as well . . . now to see if they allow him to cross the border. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay, what kind of life do you have to live to be able to just up and decide to drive to alaska on the way from Colorado to California. That and being able to call your wife and just have her fly up and meet you.

You sir are my idol!
Um. A good Life?

Hum along if you know the tune.... "Come and listen to my story about a man named Jed..."

The wife is a "scratch" for the trip. So a SoCal friend is meeting me tomorrow in Calgary.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mac Donald Lake in Glacier National Park....


Glacier Buses.....


Alberta fields....

Gotta throw in a photo of the Bear...



More Photos....
Flickr: Rad Rod 57's Photostream

The camping has not started because we are trying to "book it" North so we can get to the real great stuff.

Takes a lot of time to get around up here.

We are in an Oil (Fort Nelson) town that luckily has internet. Headed for "Muncho Lake" British Columbia today and will camp there. It got 5 stars from my Canadian FJ friends Jeff & Emily (Blue forum TIFJ).

Muncho Lake:





Brutus:

Also going to Laird Hot springs.



Probably spend the day around there.

Vast of rolling forests now. A lot of time where we are the only vehicle in sight.

Photo of scenic pull off (There were other vehicles at this point):

MY Photo... (I did not take many yesterday because we were driving a lot and the scenery was the same. Beautiful but not stellar)



Tiny unsophisticated gas stations / general stores.

We are going to try to make it to Inuvik and beyond....
From Wikipedia...
Due to its northern location, Inuvik experiences an average of 56 days of continuous sunlight every summer and 30 days of polar night every winter.
Access is via the Dempster Highway for the majority of the year. The highway relies on ferries and ice bridges to get across the rivers. It is thus closed during the time of freeze-up (roughly late-October to mid-December), for ice to form and allow ice bridges, and thaw (roughly mid-May to mid-June) to allow the ferry to run. At these times, there is air access only.
 

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Wow! I am jealous! We did Yellowstone as a family after the summit, but I was just saying to the wife that I want to do Alaska soon! I am starting the plan for next year now.
 

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You, sir, are killing me.

The pictures look great. Though I go to BC every winter for skiing, I've never been there in the summer (without snow).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Presently in Anchorage to drop Kokopeli off and provision for a back country Denali NP experience.

Yesterday I watched a 30 min video and received instructions from the ranger on how to camp in the Denali wilderness. There are no trails. You just walk.

Camps must be at least 1/2 mile from the road (There is only 1 road in Denali) and must not be seen from the road.

You are required to carry a Bear Barrel for food and any fragrant items. The barrel is stored at least 100 yds. from your tent and food is prepared at least 100 yds from that location. (Triangulated).

Should be interesting! I hope to get some nice photos.

First camp will be at Igloo Creek tent site. Spend a day acclimating and then head off into the wilderness to explore section #11. I hope to get up to the high meadow where the Dall Sheep graze.

These photos were taken yesterday from the Shuttle to the Eilson Center. About 60 miles of the 90 mile road through Denali. That's where I saw the Igloo Creek tent site. There are only 7 slots there and it reopened this year after a 10 year closure for Wolf issues. A good base to start.

Hope I'm up to the task.

(Big Mac)


(Caribou Boo)


(Griz)
 

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Wish I was there. :mecry:

Great pics, again. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update from Denali..

This group is from my camp site at Igloo Creek. (Views etc.)






Day 2 out of Igloo:

Walked a couple miles down the road and took a little "preview hike" into this forrest to see what it's like. (I just made a left off the road).
Looks beguine, right. Wrong.

There are no "trails" in Denali. In fact the discourage taking "social trails". You just step into the wilderness and start walking.

Trudge is a better term. The low brush is made up of layers of moss. Some firm some not. Think of it as a horizontal Stairmaster that grabs your ankles. And that's the flat stuff.

The vertical varies between thick willows, dried bogs, active bogs, forests, and tundra. Unlike The White mountains you can walk all over the tundra. Miles upon miles, upon miles.



(Mt Igloo)


After about 90 minutes I came back to the road and hoped a bus to Section 27 with Primrose Mt. and the Sanctuary River. (This is where I was going to camp back country Night 3 so I wanted to check it out)

Primrose is really a hill compared to others. I was kidding myself if I thought I could get up to the Dall Sheep. Turns out they are on that big mountain / mountain (Igloo Mt.) by my camp. Unless the Moose know CPR there was just no way. (In my shape)

Nonetheless I trudged through the Willows and up Primrose (Hill). I was rewarded with great views of Mt. Denali (Really Mt McKinley but that's politically incorrect). Hey, It deserves to be named by the Alaskans and Denali is fitting.

Mt. Primrose

View of Denali from my climb.



This was the area I was planned on camping. One problem, no water up there. Not to mention, I'd never get my full pack and camera bag up there and still fog a mirror.

So I hoped the bus back to Igloo creek for my second night. Shortly after I returned I was visited by a Lynx no more than 8 feet away. I am waiting for photos from my NY neighbors in spot #6. It was a thrill.

Net morning, My big adventure. Hike into the back country down the Sanctuary River. I waited until the bus took a course that paralleled the river for a while before having it stop to let me off. (They will let you off "anywhere". As long as you have a permit for that Section)

I proceeded right into an active bog. So I criss crossed my way until I reached the river.

Next issue. No real river bank to follow on that side. Just heavy brush and a steep drop. I decided to cross the river working my way slightly up current and keeping my head looking up. (It really paid to watch the mandatory back country prep video in the ranger office)

I crossed at the widest part and luckily only found one brief section above my knees. However I had several other sections to cross and re cross.

I decided to stay on this Island about 1.5 miles off the road, rather than continue down river.

You can go anywhere but you must be at least .5 miles from the road and you must not be visible from the road. (That's the hard part) At least for a beginner. I set up my Bivey in the Willows totally out of view.

Let's call it a Jr. Back Country. "Hey. I crossed a river." and I needed to cross it again to get back.

Sorry the Internet at this hotel is painfully slow....
Just check out my Denali Set on Flickr. Igloo Creek Denali - a set on Flickr

You'll see my little camp. My Island, view of mountain Gulls, Lots of animal tracks. Rather fresh ones. And photos of the foggy mountains in the morning.

It rained from early evening and all the next day. As such, I packed it in and decided not to move to Section 9. The Polychrome mountains.

I have unfinished business in Denali. I need to get serious about getting back in shape.

(Hiding so I can't be seen from the road 1.5 miles away)
The roads are elevated and you can actually see quite a distance.





 

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What were you taking your pics with Luke ? There's a lot of really good ones there. :rocker:
 

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Beautiful pictures, Are you still in Denali? If you see a red MD500 Helicopter, or a big ass white F450 my brother will probably be in it haha. Have fun and be safe up there man.
 

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Wow....that looks like an awesome trip. Are you by yourself???

I was in Alaska 2 summers ago...stayed in the middle of Katmai for 8 days...I did not want to come home.
 
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