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Old 01-15-2007, 01:25 PM   #1
pluric OP
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Salt Lake to Alaska and back

I thought I had better do this before I forget everything. Fortunately my riding companion,
Greg, had sent some trip emails home and I can refresh my memory with them.
I had originally planned to take the KLR alone on this
trip. The family was not amused and Greg stepped up to save the day and
the trip. Now the problem was I felt that my KLR would not keep
up on the pavement with his new, bought for this trip, 06 GS1200. I already
owned a DL1000 V Strom so I started to do a few more farkles on it to be
ready for our July 5th departure date.
On a family trip to Moab the end of April I did one of those stupid, dumb, idiot,
no reason for it to happen crashes on my DR400. Broke my Tib/Fib and cut my arm to the bone.
My first thought was "Aw shit, I won't be going to
Alaska" Okay, maybe it was my second thought. I'd broken my other leg on a trials bike and really thought "Not again!"
I had promised myself I was going this year and did not want such a "minor" set back damper my plans.
A neighbor lent me one of those "Rascal" electric chairs you see on TV and it allowed me to wheel around
the Strom to complete my preparations.
As a shameless plug they really do turn on a dime and made it possible for me to survive in the garage.
This is the, I thought over loaded until I visited the packed bike thread, Strom just before leaving.
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pluric screwed with this post 01-18-2007 at 06:07 AM
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:45 PM   #2
pluric OP
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I had not ridden with Greg for over 10 years. We had gone
to Canada with a small group and I had turned into this
Harley bashing as#hole most of the trip. I think I made it
miserable for all who where there. He and others of course
were on the Harleys. Furtunately time heals and the fact
our wifes are best friends. So off we went. We had no set
itinerary, no reservations just a hi-lited map with a suggested
route. My favorite way to travel.
This would be our first night, camped by the Salmon river, there
was one other bike, we would meet them in the morning, they were
out cold in their tent.
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:56 PM   #3
GB
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This sounds like a great trip

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Old 01-15-2007, 02:01 PM   #4
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Beautiful day just motoring through Montana. We stopped in
White Fish for lunch. While munching away I noticed on the TV
that a wicked storm was suppose to be coming our way. I thought
"No way, it's beautiful outside" We talked for awhile and thought time
to head up the road. We exited into a whole other world. It was like
Twilight Zone. I could not believe how much the weather had changed,
unfortunatetly for the worse. I was still in denial and didn't suit up.
10 minutes later we were treated to Mother Natures best. I had
never been in marble size hail before. It hurt so bad. Zero visability.
Some how Greg spotted a home with a carport on the side of the road
and we splashed our way under it.

I forgot to mention, my leg had not healed enough so I had to ride with
the medical boot on. It mainly meant no rear brake and my foot was wet
for 80% of the ride. A Harley rain gator helped, but it would just come in the back.
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:02 PM   #5
pluric OP
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This is Greg waiting out the worst of the storm.
It looks like the camera caught some of the
Monster hail balls!
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:12 PM   #6
v8turbo
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nice pics so far... need more!
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:26 PM   #7
Dread
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01 KLR650

I think a lot of the BMWs engineering, but I can disassemble, clean, and reinstall the entire fuel system of a KLR on a picnic table, drunk, with my eyes closed. It counts for something. - ldeikis
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:41 PM   #8
pluric OP
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The storm lost most of it's momentum and we moved on.
This time I was hiding in my Kilimanjaro and a widder vest!
I can't tell you how nice it is to discover your riding with
someone who has such similar riding style. It didn't matter
the speed, the distance whatever Greg would always be willling
to do what was needed to "Go with the flow". It made it so much
more fun as a ride.
We arrived at Radium Hot Springs and looking at the BMW's rear tire
I informed Greg that I felt it's time was up. He spent some quality time
on the phone that ended up with us back tracking to Cranbrook Motorsports
for some new BMW rear rubber. Fantastic dealership. I felt they had us in
and out in a very reasonable amout of time. Back to Radium we head.
It was a "Had to be there moment" but here Greg and I are feeling we
are these big "Adventure Tourer" guys going to Alaska. Top of the line
world class bikes, well the BMW anyway, set up to the max.
The right clothes, boots, gloves, GPS, maps, Milepost book etc.....
When into the gas station we were at pulls in a Honda VLX600, the rider is in a grey sweat suit and Moon boots.
I haven't seen those in years. This poor bike is loaded down with anything that can be strapped to the factory
chrome rack. I own one of these bikes! I know how crappy it would be for
a ride like this. Talk about letting the wind out of your sails. I was laughing
at myself for having the ego to think I needed all this to travel. I got talking
to the guy, very friendly by the way, he has family in Alaska and had been
there 30+ times but never on a bike. He knew what he was doing is my point.
After that I tried not to take myself so serious. It's kinda like when the
tabloids make a big deal when a celebrity has a baby and act like
it's never happened before. Oh my god, how are they ever going
to able to raise the poor child with only three nannies???
I digress.
I have been through this area 6 or 7 times in the past. I love it. There
is a beautiful Provincial campground in Radium so we stayed there.
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:52 PM   #9
pluric OP
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This was our first, of many, bear encounters. Coming up the road
we saw cars pulled over so like the good "sheeple" we are we
pulled over to see what was the fuss. There was a black bear
rambling along the left side of the road. I'm struggling in excited
idiocy to get the camera out of the bag. Greg had pulled in front of me
to get out of the road. For what ever reason the bear decides to
cross the street. Keep in mind this is our first bear sighting and it
is close to us. The bear walks right in front of Greg's bike. Look
close in his rear view mirror. That is the total look of "Shock and Awe"
that Bush tried to achieve in Iraq.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:08 PM   #10
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Just up the road we ran into another bear photo opp.
This big ole black bear was just meandering along the
side of the road right by my right side. I had this great
plan to put the camera strap around my neck so that if
the bear even looked at me I could let the camera go,
drop it in gear and take off. Yeah, best laid plans. I'm
sitting there composing the shot and the Strom goes
sputter, spit, chug and runs out of gas. Worse, out of the
woods comes three cubs. I have flash backs of the cardinal
rule of being between a mother bear and her cubs. Shhhiiiit
Turns out the mother could have cared less. Those cubs were
so cute. They had so much energy. It was just like National
Geographic. They were up the tree and down tumbling and
slapping each other. My photos are a little blurred because
I was anxious over no escape plan and the fact they were
so dang fast.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:10 PM   #11
pluric OP
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One of the cubs
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:15 PM   #12
pluric OP
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This is Greg, the mother bear and one of the cubs.
this whole country is a cageless zoo! It's so cool.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:28 PM   #13
pluric OP
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I didn't realize how long legged these guys are.
You get them out of the tall grass and they have
some runway model legs going on. Okay, bad analogy
but they are long.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:44 PM   #14
pluric OP
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Somewhere outside of Banff I got seperated from Greg.
I figured we would meet again somewhere along the road.
There is a very nice restaurant right by the train tracks
near Lake Louise. Mission style furniture and a scenic
setting. Really, what isn't scenic in this area? Heavy
traffic in this neighborhood. Big tourist area. I got my
token Lake Louise photo opp. I speak a little Japanese
so it was fun to see the expression on the Japanese
kids face when I asked him to take my picture.
"Shashin o tote mo yodroshi desu ka" I hope
thats what I asked. Probably me handing a camera towards
him and pointing to the lake meant more than all my bad Japanese.
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:04 PM   #15
pluric OP
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I'm sorry, number one I'm not terribly great on a computer,
number two I have not joined a web hosting program so
it's one photo at a time and I took so many it's a shame
I can't share more without feeling I've monopolized this site.
It is a glorious ride up to the Ice fields and glaciers. Animals,
waterfalls views that go on forever. This has always been a
favorite of mine right on the side of the road.
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