In August, Johnny & ICON rode the Alcan 5000 on two Triumph Tiger 800XCs on an epic adventure from Seattle to the Arctic Circle and over into Alaska.
Race Day Five
Our day began with a TSD at Long Lake, just out of town that offered some challenging terrain. We took some extra time to blast through the forest, take some shots, and just enjoy the scenery. It was lake after lake as we headed to Fish Lake. We arrived at the destination and were maybe 1/4 mile from the shore. What next?
After A quick convo via the Scala Riders, we charged to the water, with Ernie out in front ahead of us. Ernie gave us his commentary on the lakebed as he went. That narration went from “all clear” to “STOP, DONT COME DOWN HERE” as he buried his bike “Turkish” to her axles. It was a bit of a project getting her out, but once again the team rallied as we moved her 3″ – 6″ at a time with one man on each corner, Levin, Sanders, Scheff and Vigil did the “1-2-3” count to heave-ho we her out. It’s not all wheelies and high-fives on an ICON shoot. Sometimes it’s mud, cold water and having to work our asses off to un-stick part of the team. Off the race path, it would have been a little tricky calling AAA.
Once we got Ernie back on dry land, we jammed 200+ miles on Highway 2 heading north. We stopped at a killer roadside hospitality station for fuel plus cinnamon rolls and coffee for six. A tour bus rolled up as we were leaving, our timing was spot on. Even in the wilderness, sometimes you have to beat the crowd.
We’d had a good rainstorm that day, but our bodies stayed dry, and have thus far the whole trip thanks to our ICON Raiden gear. Even when we were in ankle deep water digging Ernie’s bike out, we still managed to keep ourselves out of the cold and wet.
We arrived In Dawson City, did some scouting on the ferry we’d ride the next, and got to The Eldorado Hotel just in time to get a proper meal before the kitchen closed. Dawson city is like going back in time 100 years. The sky, the mountains, the bikes and the smiles are all big here. Everywhere we go, the locals have been super friendly and enthusiastic about our journey, and this was just as true in Dawson City. Everywhere we’d go people were curious about our machines and their pilots.
As we turned in for the night, our spirits were high and our machines were still going strong. We were ready for day six.
Race Days Six
On day six we rallied from Dawson City, Yukon, BC, to Fairbanks, Alaska. Beyond just its seeming 100 years time warp, Dawson City was such a special destination. It was still daylight at 11:00 PM, for instance, and in that nearly midnight sun the town was still rocking. The bars were packed and music filled the air.
One of the challenges I run into when I do these race events is simply tempering my excitement. No matter the town, it’s tough having to choose between my very strong desire to go rock with the local nightlife the my very real need to get a good night’s rest to insure success the following day. Dawson City tempted me big time. Yet I still made it to bed at a reasonable hour.
The next day our crew headed to the ferry by 9:00 AM. The morning fog was thick, so we kept our speed down. At speeds over 50mph, our visibility was less than 100 yards. As we rode up the mountain from the river the fog broke, the sun came out and we were treated to an amazing sight. We were looking down at the clouds beneath us while we blasted across the Top of the World Highway. Simply stunning.
We rallied 408 miles on Race Day Six, most of it on two-lane highway. Yet the non-slab parts of the day were incredible. We stopped to play in a construction area, and made an amazing run through the forest. We also rode a nice piece of two-track trail that shadowed the highway. Yet for all that off-road goodness, it was The Top of the World Highway that floored us. It was a real treat. The sky was SO BIG. Best of all, the weather was perfect.
Next stop: Coldfoot, Alaska and on to the Arctic Circle.