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Old 11-14-2012, 11:20 AM   #391
eemsreno
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Just found and read your R.R. Very nice , Great pictures. Thank you.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #392
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UHHHH MAY ZING!

I'm not necessarily a regular contributor here, but I love reading the RR's and dream of my own ADV rides yet to come. I loved your report and photos! While I'm not a "true adventure rider" as I own a sportbike, I can however attest to the fact that I definately want to 'join the club' in the very near future. I've done a couple of long range trips on my GSX-R and loved every minute of it, however having an appropriate bike will undoubtably make for an easier trip(s) in the future. Still working on that next part of my dream...

a little off topic, but I see that you and your wife live near Phoenix. I'll be visiting my parents this winter in Sun City and am curious to know what riding in the area is like in December/January timeframe?? I will probably fly in, so won't have my bike, but I believe there are some bike rentals to be had... Just curious if it would be time and money well spent to look into futher?.. thanks again
~Denyse
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:11 PM   #393
Deseret Rider
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Well, I found this thread late and am only up to page 18

But this fellows statement really made me laugh
''I was at the Arctic Circle about June 1 and did not see a single mosquito up or back the whole trip."

Because I once heard a Cajun tour guide make nearly the same statement on a tour of the swamp.
(Later he admitted that what he meant wasn't necessarily what we think we heard---what he meant to imply was that there are no single mosquitos---they are all married with large families)
'
Wonderful to ride this trip vicariously with this pair---great report and pictures.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:47 AM   #394
Merfman
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Dave, thanks for another amazing report and stunning pictures! I did an AK trip as my very first long distance mototrip, it was great to again see some of the places we visited! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:48 AM   #395
dave6253 OP
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Thanks for the new replies. It's nice to hear you guys are still finding and enjoying this report.
This is a great time of year to dream of and plan a run to Alaska, huh?

Fred, I wish we had seen you in Valdez. We had a great time there.
I guess we were watching the same fireworks show on Independence Day.

Denyse, Arizona is the best time of year to explore the deserts of Arizona, California & Nevada. Just avoid the high
altitude and you should stay warm enough. Temps swing about 30 degrees here between night and day, so the
nights in the desert are usually pretty chilly. BTW, Being an Adventure Rider doesn't require any specific type of bike.
Your sport bike is probably more comfortable for long distance than the seat of my KTM.
I still have plenty of adventures on my sport-touring machine.



This photo is still one of my favorites from the entire trip. It is one of my first HDR 360 degree panoramas made of
27 exposures and includes so many things I love; Helen, The KTM, John's Canyon, a Stunning Sunrise.
Here is a reprocessed version.


I'm considering getting this one printed. If it is printed 12 inches high it would be 8 feet long!





I've since done another report in Day Trippin'...
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:20 AM   #396
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Thank you!

Wonderful, wonderful report. At first I thought the editing was garish and then agreed with you that cameras seldom get the shot that was in my mind. I loved the "pop" of the colors.
My wife and I are planning a to Alaska for next July. Her first. I went way back in 1989 on my 1976 BMW R100 S. After that I have had GS's.
Thanks
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #397
Jeathrow Bowdean
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Hello Dave and Hellen. I just returned to the dual sport world last year here in Alberta Canada, and I ran across this site when I was looking for intressting places to travel to. As I scrolled the threads, I come across one of yours that really caught my eyesssss !!!!!!!!!!!!.

Your are a living ledgen who lives behind the lens of hummans like no others I have ever seen before. I'm am a member of Alberta"s Dual Sport Form up here in Canada, and I want to thank you and Hellen for sharing your time/ life/ and friends with faimly with all that see life through your eyes. You bring the meaning of true HEART SPARK to the soul of those that can see past the man/ woman that you are. I am proud that your camera and pictures show me how to share life with those that I enjoy being around, and I hope to incress my game plan over the next few years so "I to can share life on this site."

Thanks so much to the both of you. From Your Number One Fan Here In Western Canada Don Parsons, "AKA" Jeathrow Bowdean
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:03 PM   #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
I'm considering getting this one printed. If it is printed 12 inches high it would be 8 feet long!
That's gonna be a hard one to find a frame for. lol...

Dave you outdid yourself on another ride report. I think I live my Adventure desires and dreams though your camera lens and stories as others have said. I am a poor excuse for an ADV Rider. I have owned, bought and sold 3 08 BMW GSA's and between all 3 logged maybe 5k milestotal. That's ridiculous. lol.. Mine have always been garage princesses unfortunately. I have always had the ADV bug but never could find the time to ride. And as of right now I don't even own a motorcycle anymore. Kids, life and a 360 mile commute to work at the Fire Department have kept me from realizing my dream of riding to Alaska someday. I have a 14 year old boy who shares my passion for motorcycles and loves to ride his YZ 125. It's my hope to someday (Maybe 16 will be to young) to ride to Alaska with him both on our own bikes.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:58 PM   #399
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Originally Posted by lacofdfireman View Post
That's gonna be a hard one to find a frame for. lol...

Dave you outdid yourself on another ride report. I think I live my Adventure desires and dreams though your camera lens and stories as others have said. I am a poor excuse for an ADV Rider. I have owned, bought and sold 3 08 BMW GSA's and between all 3 logged maybe 5k milestotal. That's ridiculous. lol.. Mine have always been garage princesses unfortunately. I have always had the ADV bug but never could find the time to ride. And as of right now I don't even own a motorcycle anymore. Kids, life and a 360 mile commute to work at the Fire Department have kept me from realizing my dream of riding to Alaska someday. I have a 14 year old boy who shares my passion for motorcycles and loves to ride his YZ 125. It's my hope to someday (Maybe 16 will be to young) to ride to Alaska with him both on our own bikes.
lacofdfireman, do not sell yourself short. The Adv bug resides in all of us here. i really hope you can realize your dream with your son. I am an ER nurse who rides, and people think me crazy for it. I ride because I love it and because I have learned some hard lessons from my profession through the years...

Live every day; tell the ones you love that you love them; don't go to bed angry; you can get killed walking your doggie; life is short; you never know when your ticket is going to get punched.

Life is too short. I hope to travel with my daughter, Katie, on my moto someday. I do have the feeling, tho, that she will want to ride her own on the trip. People say that she is a little version of me in a dress. I hope not for the sake of the world. I think one of me is far too many.

Perhaps my mother's curse came true. My mother always wished for me to have a kid that acted exactly like I did.

Ah well, such is life. Enjoy it while it is here. Live every day. I know that you have seen some of the same shit that I have. These are the days. Plan for tomorrow, but do not forget the here and now...

Sending good vibes your way. I hope you fulfill your dreams.

Cheers,

JG
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:16 AM   #400
jadedillusion
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I am shamefully late to your RR.

Fantastic......not only did you hit our favorite place (Valley of the Gods) but you went to Alaska. Alaska! The place we talk about riding to but never think we'll actually get to. Not fair.

And as usual I am in awe and insanely jealous of your photography skills. I try, but pale in comparison. Although, trying to get that epic shot from the back of a speeding KTM can be perilous. I find it all part of the fun.

Looking forward to your next journey!
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:13 PM   #401
alii1959
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I too am late for this RR. Amazingly photographed and written. I fear that such a journey is highly improbable for me, but I really enjoyed living yours. Here I thought my wee little trip to Tn was a long one.....I am a rank amateur.

Your wife reminds me of mine. Mine is always up for a new adventure...when we can. She seldom complains and is a photog like you are. Me I am just the driver/rider that gets us from one "oohhh STOP!!!" spot to another.

Thank you for your efforts. Made my sick day from work much more livable!
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:21 PM   #402
bavarian
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Seems like I am late to the party. But I read our outstanding rr from beginning to end and I freely admit that it is the best photography I've ever seen on ADVrider. My hat's off to your skills! Knowing how much work it is to create a ride report like yours I thank you very very much for the work you put into it. I wouldn't say that it is a substitute for the real thing - but almost. So many beautiful roads and places - so little time. At least Utah is on my bucket list. Now I wonder if it shouldn't be Alaska.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:57 AM   #403
dave6253 OP
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I'm happy to see you guys are still finding and enjoying this. Thanks for the new replies!



Giant Sequoias





The first four letters of Adventure are A D V E - Dave!

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Old 11-30-2012, 11:57 AM   #404
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Thanks to everyone that participated and to those that just followed along.


You guys have warmed up the SmugMug servers with nearly a million views of my photos in the past month!


This photo seems to be a favorite of some and captured one of the highlights of our journey.
Although you guys seemed to like it, I wasn't completely satisfied with how it turned out.
Just for you guys, here is a re-do, this time without HDR.

I greatly prefer the non HDR one. I read through your thread in one sitting finding the narrative as well as the pix fascinating. I want to comment that I've never seen nearly as good use of gray scale images in a RR. I have to say major kudos for this aspect of the RR because I've not seen it commented by any others.

To take this trip, capture it in such a wonderful set of images and also to have traveled with your wife....well, Dave, I gotta wonder what you're going to do for an encore. Seems to me you nailed it all down with this one.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:18 PM   #405
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
June 21st - July 15th, 2012



Alaska! This had been a dream of mine for years. I've mulled over maps and plotted routes there and back many times. But when I've crunched the numbers, one fact remains. It's a really long ways up there and back from Arizona. I know I'll need at least 3 weeks to do a decent trip, and even that time is probably too short. If I went alone I could probably do several 800-1000 mile days while in the lower 48 to allow a more leisurely pace while there, but still. I'm married with 2 kids. It would be incredibly selfish to use all of my vacation on such a trip. Taking one of the kids has been discussed, but in reality I know they wouldn't enjoy such a brutal schedule, especially in bad weather. So like so many other dreams, Alaska Dreams were supressed. I told myself I preferred exploring backcountry on gravel roads and that my extended weekend trips were enough. Afterall I wouldn't really enjoy all of those boring highway miles anyway. Alaska was something put on the back burner. Someday... Maybe when I retire...




Summer 2012. I hoped to get away alone for at least a week for a nice ride. The kids were now old enough for Helen, my wonderful wife, to return to work after many years of being an awesome stay-at-home mother. I didn't want the kids sitting around the house alone all summer. So we arranged for the kids to fly to Europe for 28 days where they would spend time with family. I made plans to take 10 days for a 4600 mile solo ride up the west coast on the Aprilia. I was getting excited for this trip and even had new tires delivered. Then suddenly Helen informed me she would not be working afterall. I was really bummed as I was really anticipating the solo trip. The solution we both agreed to was for me to go ahead with the solo trip. I would then return to work for a week before leaving together for a casual ride on the KTM for a second week of vacation. I planned to show her around to some of my favorite places at the Grand Canyon and Southern Utah. Sounds like the perfect summer, right?

Then some jerk started posted awesome photos from Alaska... I realized my Alaska Dream was still alive. I had the vacation time. I just needed to take one additional week off work. This week included July 4th, a paid holiday, so it would only cost 32 hours... Hmmmm.

So I hurriedly put together a route. Then I took the proposal to Helen. I know she's not gonna want me to disappear alone that long. Would she be interested in going along? To my surprise she didn't immediately reject the idea. She wants to go to Alaska, but like most sane people I'm sure she'd prefer to go by plane, or take a cruise (She rarely rides and has only been on one multiple day motorcycle tour). I made a strong case. Let's do it! We're not likely to get the chance without the kids around for many years. I'm a long way from retirement, and may never live to see the day. Maybe I'll not be able to ride then anyway. Carpe Diem! Let's do something spontaneous! Can you believe it? She ultimately approved and wanted to come along! We've been successfully lured to Alaska!

When the decision was finally made we had only 31 days until departure to prepare for a trip many spend a year or more planning for. I got busy ordering all of the stuff needed. The next few weeks the Fedex and UPS deliverymen were showing up with new goodies almost daily.

The route I planned included riding up the west coast, through the Olympic peninsula, Vancouver, and up the Cassier. I didn't have much of a plan in Alaska, but knew I wanted to ride up the Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay. The return route would be through Dawson, Jasper, Icefields Parkway, Glacier NP, Yellowstone NP etc. It was more than 10,000 miles. With only 25 days to ride it we need to average more than 400 miles a day... each day.

I'm lucky enough to own 2 bikes. The 2007 990 Adventure was the obvious choice of the two. But it's not really ready for such a long trip yet. The water pump shaft seal needs replacing, I need a new front tire, and all of the maintenance done. So a few long nights in a scorching hot shop are in order.





The second time replacing the water pump shaft seal was much easier. I replaced the OEM shaft with a super-hardened part from CJDesigns. The old one hadn't failed yet, but after about 12,000 miles, it was overdue. The new one is guaranteed to last almost forever.




We are riding 2up for this trip. (This means Helen rides on the back, as I wouldn't dare ride behind her.) Packing for 25 days of varying climates on the road and camping is hard enough for one. For 2 on on 1 bike it's nearly impossible. I spent alot of time stressing over what we had to bring, and what must be left behind. How will it ever all fit?

The packing list wasn't finalized until the last day.
Believe it or not. This all fits.
What were your settings for this picture. Trying improve my abilities with the camera my wife bought me for Christmas. Your pictures are rich. I love your style!
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