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Old 06-08-2008, 07:33 PM   #31
Qwik
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Thanks and More pics PLEASE

I am also planning this trip. shooting for summer of 2010. I have to Buy a GS and set it up first. (Anybody want to trdae a GS11XX for a 2001 GSXR1000 Suzook?) Stay safe and heres to no more rain on your trip
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:36 PM   #32
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Thank-you to all who have enjoyed and commented on this Ride Report. This has been a wonderful trip and putting together the reports has been a great way to put the memories in order.

Curty – Don’t miss the side trip to Chena Hot Springs about 60 miles out of Fairbanks.

Yukonart – It was reports like this that kept me inspired to make this trip. Don’t pass up the opportunity to make the trip.

Smash81 – I will be back in Loveland by July 7th. Get in touch and we will definitely get together.

Roadhawg – A map of the trip is a great idea. I will get a map and a highlighter and post it at the end of the trip.

Nole Diver – Have a great trip!

SgtMarty – Are you doing to Dawson City for D2D? I haven’t seen you since “The Long Way Down” at the MotoHaus. Hope you are having a great trip. I will watch for your overloaded red KLR and you watch for mine.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:54 PM   #33
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Marked it on my calendar. Ride safe and look forward to hearing more about your trip!
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:02 AM   #34
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Days 15 to 17

Day 15 - Fairbanks, AK to Chena Hot Springs, AK

The ride to Chena Hot Springs is about 60 miles from Fairbanks. If you are anywhere near here, find time for this side trip! Watch out for Moose on the highway.



Finally the speedometer is fixed! No luck with the dealer in Fairbanks so I fixed it with my tool kit and two rocks. Thank-you Shelley for the great tool roll!



Next I fixed my camp stove using a screwdriver and only one rock.

There is an Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs that is amazing. It is kept frozen in the summer with a geothermal freezer that was custom designed and built for this project. Before the geothermal freezer was built it was costing the resort $700 per day in fuel for the diesel generator to run the freezer. Now they can keep it at 20 degrees for only a few dollars per day.

The Ice Museum originally operated as an Ice Hotel but the fire officials shut it down because it didn’t have the required fire suppression systems. They would not let it operate as a hotel unless a sprinkler system was installed! Amazing, they couldn’t grasp the concept that if a fire somehow broke out, the hotel itself would become a sprinkler system.



Everything you see in here is made of ice.

You can buy an apple martini at the bar. Even the martini glass is made of ice! No non-alcoholic drinks are available because they can’t keep them from freezing.



There is a nice little chapel area where weddings are held. Hey, this would be a great place for a church! No long-winded sermons in a 20 degree church.



You can go inside an igloo and get a small taste for arctic life. A great place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live here!



You can even stop for a short visit to the ice outhouse! Yes, I am smiling in this picture. It is a little hard to smile when your teeth are chattering but I am smiling.




Now this is one truly cold-hearted woman!



There is also a geothermal hydroponic greenhouse that remains 75 degrees inside, even when it drops to –60 degrees outside. That is a 135 degree difference between inside and outside!



Chena Hot Springs Resort has the first geothermal electrical power plant in the world. They have turned 165 degree water into electricity. Unfortunately the power plant was shut down because they were changing the battery storage system when I was there so there are no pictures. If you want more information, they have a great web site. http://www.yourownpower.com/


Day 16 - Chena Hot Springs, AK

It was a very noisy night in the campground caused by a group of loud drunk kids who even cut down one of the trees. The camp hosts offered me a free night because of the disturbance and that was to good to pass up.



The day was spent reading, sleeping and soaking in the hot spring.



Make sure to do this side trip and say hi to the camp hosts for me. They are really wonderful people who leave their house in Tennessee for the summer so that they can manage the Chena Hot Springs Resort campground.


Day 17 – Chena Hot Springs, AK to The Arctic Circle to Fairbanks, AK

No motorcycle trip to Alaska would be complete without a visit to the Arctic Circle. This road sign seemed appropriate!



As you hear on every report about the Dalton Highway, road conditions vary widely. There are sections of rough dirt and gravel with some serious pot holes, sections of old broken up pavement, sections where they have watered the road into an extremely slippery soupy slop that is hard to ride through at even 15 miles per hour and then a wonderful paved section of the nicest highway that I have seen in this state. It is amazing to be riding down a rough road and suddenly have it turn into 12 miles of new clean pavement that is manicured on the sides and looks like a shopping mall should be around the next corner and then just as suddenly, with no sign, it is back to the rough road. I couldn’t help but remember Charlie in “The Long Way Around” getting down and kissing the pavement and saying, “Tarmac, beautiful tarmac.”





They really make use of this road. If the airport is needed simply close the gates and you have a runway.



Gas is available at the Yukon River crossing. This may be the highest gas price in the nation at $5.199 per gallon. Hey, when you are in business, location is everything!



Of course there has to be a picture at the Arctic Circle sign. If you look closely you can see that piece of plywood under the kickstand again! I was clean-shaven at the start of this trip!


LostAussie screwed with this post 06-10-2008 at 11:16 AM
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:53 PM   #35
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N(ice) house

Very "cool"
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:54 PM   #36
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Great Report!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:31 PM   #37
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I'm in Prince George, BC, fixing some electrical gremlims. Finally found dependable internet access at a casino lounge. I had been able to get online at McDonalds (!) earlier, but it cut me off quite rudely after 45 minutes.

Looks like I will do the Dempster before D2D. I'll be in the Gold Rush campground on the 19th and 20th. That's the plan, anyway.

Love your pics.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:47 PM   #38
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Great ride report and pics!

If ya come back down the Alcan check out Muckluck Anne's. Great restaurant, nice camp ground, bike wash, cheap cabins, and a lake.

Ride safe.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:59 PM   #39
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Days 18 to 19

Day 18 – Fairbanks, AK to Anchorage, AK

The laundry is dry, the last of the Denali highway has been was washed off so it must be time to hit the road again.



The Parks Highway is a beautiful ride. It was cold, cloudy, and windy but still a beautiful ride. The highway crosses the Tanana river and you can look down and see the barges being loaded.



The views are endless. It is not possible to take pictures that do justice to the views.



I decided to keep riding until the weather improved or Anchorage, whichever came first. Anchorage came first!

Day 19 – Anchorage, AK

I spent the day looking around Anchorage and taking a short ride toward Seward. There is a great trail around Anchorage for bicycles and hikers.




You can see Anchorage from part of the trail.




The Seward highway is even more beautiful than I expected, and I only went about 25 miles south of Anchorage. This is just a sample of what I saw in those few miles.













I get the impression that most of the wind comes from one direction!



Amy flies into Anchorage tomorrow evening and we will continue down the Seward Highway and into the Kenai Peninsula.
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:21 AM   #40
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Nice, have fun.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:43 AM   #41
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Hey I thought that was you, I passed you and honked as I went by down near Girdwood. you were talking to a lady in a purple shirt. I almost truned around, but had to be somewhere. I assume you will be at the tech day in Anchorage on the 14th?

Curty I was on a GSA1200 with zega cases.

Yes that area is very nice south of Anchorage.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:47 PM   #42
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Great pics. Reminds me of my trip last year to Alaska. For me it was the trip of a lifetime. Have a good trip and keep the reports coming.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:14 PM   #43
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Curty, That was us!

Yes, we saw you go past. Thank-you for pointing out that Amy's jacket is Purple. She has been trying to tell me that it is blue and I have been telling her that it is purple since the day she bought it!

Are you at D2D?
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:34 PM   #44
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Days 20 -25

Day 20 – Anchorage, AK

The Mefo back tire looks to badly cracked to be safe so it got replaced today. I tried to get a new tire from Barb at Alaska Leather but no luck there. The Kawasaki/BMW dealer in Anchorage was wonderful and changed it while I waited even though I didn’t have an appointment.

Amy arrived and we started figuring out how to get us and all the gear on the bike.



Day 21 – Anchorage, AK to Coopers Landing, AK

We headed down the Seward highway and enjoyed the fantastic views. Along the way we took a short break from the motorcycle to try fish riding.



And took a little break in a comfortable chair.



The campgrounds in Coopers Landing were all full so we rented a cabin for a couple of nights.

Day 22 – Coopers Landing, AK

Dan Myers of Alaska Clearwater Sportfishing, Inc. www.alaskaclearwater.com took us for a fantastic float trip down the Kenai River. Neither of us fish so it was a sightseeing and photography trip. Dan is an excellent guide and pointed out things that we never would have seen without him.



We saw:

Harlequin Ducks



Many Eagles and Eagle nests



Lots of Seagulls and like no other place that we have seen, they sit in the tops of the trees here.



A Bear



Fishermen



Hairy Gary



And of course, Fish



On the way back to where the float trip started we saw a brown bear in the river, apparently fishing along side the other fishermen.

Later in the day we took a ride around the Coopers Landing area and along with fantastic countryside, we saw a moose having dinner.



Day 23 – Coopers Landing, AK to Homer, AK

After a good nights sleep we headed on down the Kenai Peninsula to Homer and stopped at a Russian Orthodox Church.



We stopped at an overlook just before Homer and a great guy named Tim pulled up on a KLR and talked to us for a while. It was his daughter’s KLR and he had just worked on the carburetor and was doing a test ride when he saw us. He also has a KRL and we had a great time talking motorcycles and motorcycles modifications. Before we left, he took a picture of us on the bike.



The Homer Spit was not what I expected. I always thought that it ended with a long gravel bar but it actually ends with a condo complex. However, there was a great camping place along the side.



This was our view from the tent.



Across the road from our camping spot was the Homer Spit marina.






Day 24 – Homer, AK to Whittier, AK

The next morning we headed back up the Kenai Peninsula and stopped at Deep Creek to watch boats being launched by tractors.



And more Eagles.



Along the way, Amy took a picture to show her view from the back of the motorcycle.



We found a great RV park with four cabins just after we turned toward Whittier and stopped for the night.



Day 25 – Whittier, AK

June 16, Amy’s birthday! We headed to Whittier through the tunnel that until a few years ago was only a train tunnel. Now they have metal plates between the tracks and cement outside the tracks and open it up to vehicles one-way at a time. It was 2 1/2 miles of tense riding staying between the railroad tracks. In front of us was a KLR ridden by Kevin from San Diego.



Here is Amy's view from inside the tunnel.



We took the 26 Glacier cruise out of Whittier. We had met a lady at the hotel in Anchorage who told us that if you have seen one Glacier, you have seen them all. Wrong!

This was a fantastic cruise! We saw local fishing boats.



Many playful Otters including many mothers carrying their young on their tummies.





Kayakers cruising the gorgeous waters of Prince Williams Sound and camping on remote shorelines. Now Amy wants to spend a vacation doing what they were doing. I guess we better look into Kayaking lessons!



A couple of Humpback Whales



26 Glaciers, no two alike! The loud cracking of the ice breaking was fantastic. It sounded like thunder.







Seals



And hundreds of Kittiwake



After a wonderful day we headed back through the tunnel and back to the cabin.

LostAussie screwed with this post 06-20-2008 at 10:19 AM
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:17 AM   #45
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Days 25 - 28

Day 26 – Whittier, AK to Anchorage, AK

It was a beautiful morning at the cabin near Whittier.



We took a morning walk along a wonderful trail through part of the Chugach National Forest.



This dragon fly was sitting on the bridge rail just waiting to be photographed.



These little birds kept flying around us chirping. Does anyone know what they are?



We took the Moose Flats trail and sure enough, there was a moose!



After our morning walk we rode back to Anchorage. They key to my Givi top case broke off in the lock and when I looked at the spare key it was cracked and looked like it was about to break. A trip to North Star Locksmith got the old broken key out and two new keys that look way better quality than the original Givi keys.

After six days that went amazingly fast, Amy flew back home.

Day 27 – Anchorage, AK to Tok, AK

If you travel here, be sure to follow any road with a name that starts with “Old.” This is the view from the Old Glenn Highway.



Of course, there is always road construction this time of year but if you have to stop for construction, this is a beautiful place to stop.



This is the kind of views from the Glenn Highway. It was another of those days of riding and saying “Wow’ over and over again. The weather was beautiful for the second day in a row!



The Matsunaga Glacier is absolutely amazing. It stretches for as far as you can see up the canyon. That lady who told us that if you have seen one glacier you have seen them all must have her eyes closed!



A question for someone from Alaska, what are these bars at the side of the road and what are the pipes coming out of the culverts?



After a wonderful day of riding, I camped in a wide spot beside the road for a quiet night’s sleep.

Day 28 – Tok, AK to Dawson City, YT

Here is a typical road section on the Taylor highway. It rained part of the way and was beautiful and sunny for other parts.



Dredge #4 is located in Chicken, AK.



There are sections of the Dredge that are numbered. It appears as if they numbered the sections so that they could take the dredge apart and re-assemble it in a different location.





Shortly before the border crossing is a small place called Border, AK with a small store, gas station with regular for $6 per gallon, original homestead, old truck, and a really high tech outhouse.







The Top of the World Highway has the highest USA border crossing. It was also the friendliest and most efficient border crossing that I have ever seen, along with being in the most beautiful location.



Just before Dawson City, there is a free ferry to cross the river.



There are a lot of bikes coming into town for the Dust 2 Dawson motorcycle rally. Here are the ones who were on the ferry when I came across.



Including this happy motorcycle rider who knows that a shower is only a short distance away!


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