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Old 12-26-2011, 01:03 PM   #121
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Too Much Fun in Petersville

It was a beautiful morning, waking up a couple miles after the end of the pavement on the old Petersville road. I laid a heavy track down to the mining activity. With the recent rain the dirt was perfect. Sometimes wish that KLR had a pumper-carb, it would make it a lot easier to break that rear tire loose, although it is nice to go from 12,000 Ft (3650 m) to 0 without re-jetting, guess you just have to live with the compromises.


It started out as a less than exciting graded dirt road and turned into a half-way decent 2-track. It was a blast laying it down heavy through the corners, almost skidding into the corners. But, before not long enough I rolled through a little mining camp, with some guys processing some rock and gravel. I just waved and putted past, but soon after ran into the creek. It looked a little deep and a little fast, not too bad. It was just not something to run straight into, so I sat there for a minute contemplating my options.



Just about then a kid, in his teens but still a wiley old miner, rolled up on a three-wheeler from the other side and pulled up next to me. He said there were quite a few more but they were no problem. He told me to just stick to down-stream edge where it was shallower. I also noticed he carried an old milk jug of dirty, black oil. I figured that if the old three-wheeler could make it most of the time, I should be fine. So, off I went, up another dead-end road, just wanting to see the end. One, and another and another, some weren’t too long but others were decent.








None were too too deep, maybe a couple up by the tip of the front fender, and there were maybe seven in all. And then I came to a nice muddy section. The rockier the better, and I love the sand, but mud is one thing I respect. Especially riding alone on a heavy bike, but at least the miners were still in walking distance if something happened. So I got off and scouted it out. I spent some time too, walking up and back trying to pick the best line. I almost made it.








But there was just one little section, one little section, a bottomless clay-hole just barely longer than the bike. I didn’t have the momentum to make it through, so it gobbled up the bike. I tried and I tried to get it out. I was kind of disappointed to get my feet wet after making it through all the creek crossings, but there were more important things to worry about. I kept going up into the woods, grabbing sticks, laying the bike over and shoving them under the tires picking it up and trying to dislodge it, again and again. I probably struggled there for an hour and a half or more before accepting defeat and starting to walk back. I only had maybe 10 miles (16 k) to get back to the mine, the last place I saw people.



So I started walking. I was just about to the first crossing and all the sudden a big white F-250, about the same year as mine, pulled up and asked me what was going on. I told him my little situation and he was all about giving me a hand. It turned out he was a dentist in Wasilla up there hunting some ptarmigan and had a bike or two himself. We tried to drag it out by hand but it was obvious that wasn’t going to happen. So he whipped out his little chainsaw and started chopping up some branches to put in the deep ruts. There was a length of rope in his truck and I also found one laying at the beginning of the mud-hole. He took his time and meticulously lined them up perpendicular in the rut making sure he didn’t get stuck too.



Then he backed the truck into place, tied the ropes together and wrapped the end around the bars and he snugged it up. He gave it a steady pull and I yanked and yanked jerking it out little by little, inch by inch. It was not quite up to the axles but suction-cupped in by the mud like you couldn’t believe. But, with the help of the dentist, I was out. So I did the little kickstant trick and turned the bike around and made my way out, thanking him profusely. He wouldn’t take anything for the help either.
















He told me that there was more to see too, a turnoff to the left, back a ways on the other side of the river. I was a bit tired and drained after the whole ordeal but I wasn’t done riding yet. So, I went off to see what I could find.



At one point the trail went up the river, or visa-versa, it was nice get a chance to wash off the bike a bit.








At least by this time I didn’t need to worry about trying to keep my boots dry.




The trail led up a tributary to a beautiful valley, past some more mining claims and equipment, nothing but more Alaskan beauty.







































It led up to a mining claim and then dead-ended.








The rain came back again, but by this time I didn’t even give it a second though and kept enjoying the amazing surroundings.


















On the way back, the horizon had a crazy glow, it was unlike anything I had seen before.








But I kept rolling and headed back to the truck.








Then the next day I packed up and headed back to Anchorage to pick up Tina from the airport.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:21 PM   #122
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Dow and Back Up Again

Back in Anchorage, I took my one of four or five allotted showers, restocked on supplies, looked for some employment to no avail, and picked up Tina from the airport. Then we headed back up to…







And posed for a couple….







Took a few….







And stared into……






Then we headed back and the moose was like….







And Val was like……



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Old 01-01-2012, 04:58 PM   #123
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Denali Fall



My parents, sister, Tina and I all camped out in the park, at one of the campgrounds near the entrance for a couple nights and decided to all head in on the tourist bus to Eielson. I was pretty bummed out to get the same over annunciating bus driver again, so Tina and I snagged a seat at the back again lingering outside as long as possible before hunkering down for the agonizingly long ride out.


Since they say only 30% of the people that go to the park see the mountain we were wondering what fortune would have in store for us this time. But again it was on our side, for the most part it appeared as we made our way closer.







It is a bit of a torturous ride out there but well worth all the annoyance and investment when we finally arrived to the Eielson Visitors Center.







And, we had to take some more obligatory tourist pictures.







I had already been in it for a while, but it was cool to be in a totally different place than the last time, while standing at the exact same spot. The green changed to red and yellow and the fall tundra was beautiful and the blue sky faded to a 1,000 shades of grey.






Val, Tina, and I hung out with the parents, checking out the visitor’s center for a while this time. There was the native story about Denali’s creation.


I felt like a kid in a candy store this time he last few miles before the end, scoping out every peek, ridge, and possible route up trying to figure out which one to conquer. We were going to start up to the ridge the opposite direction that Tina and I went last time but there was a bear laying in the middle of the path so the park rangers weren’t letting anybody get close. Instead we walked up the road a few hundred yards (m) and cut up on another little bear path.


We got up to where we could see and scoped out our route to the peek. It was steep and we had a sketchy scree field to cross on the way up, but gave an amazing view across the valley.















































It was definitely a useless conquest in an amazing backdrop.



I recently watched a documentary on a surf/climbing trip to Patagonia, , 180° SOUTH, and they call themselves “conquerors of useless”. It is an interesting concept whether it’s the Dalton Highway or the mountain peak, but it is all about the expansion of mind and limits right? But I digress.




On the way back down, the “steel flower” caught my attention.







The bus back was much more relaxed, with laid-back campers and hikers not screaming “stoooopp!!!” every time they saw a caribou 400 meters away. We did do our fair share of gawking though.

















But I didn’t quite have the hot set-up on the camera for it.


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Z_HARSH screwed with this post 01-01-2012 at 05:45 PM
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:00 PM   #124
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Denali The Great One

Denali The Great One


This story has been passed down generations from the world before, a time when the earth was not how it was today. Yako, a peaceful deity, lived alone with the animal spirits of the eastern Alaska. Ses, the Great Brown Bear, knowing that Yako was lonely, told Yako that far to the west beautiful women of Yako's race lived with the Raven War chief Totson. Yako immediately left on a quest to find a beautiful woman in Totson's tribe. When he arrived at Totson's village he sang a great and beautiful song to attract a young woman, knowing that he faced the wrath of Totson. The song was so sweet and pure that the daughter of Totson fell in love with Yako. Yako with his new bride left the village, quickly escaping on his canoe. Totson jealous of Yako's song chased after the couple with his war ship. Totson came closer and closer, and when he was finally close enough to kill Yako, he hurled his magical spear at Yako. Yako matching his mystical wit summoned a tidal wave of rocks to block the spear. Totson's spear hit the rocks and flew into the heavens, his war ship crashed and he turned back into the raven to avoid death. The wall of stones became Denali, the great one. Yako so exhausted from the battle went to a deep sleep. When he awoke the girl had become a woman, and he married her. They created the human race together. They taught their children peace and justice, and they traveled far to the east and the south, passing this story onto their children.

http://gilestown.blogspot.com/2008/0...great-one.html
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:39 PM   #125
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Three Times Up

The next day the three of us went for another little hike. We decided to drive up as far as we could on the road into Denali, up to the ranger booth. Then we started up the little hiking trail, and went from there. We made it up a ways, picked a ridge and headed up. I still think it is awesome to have carte blanche like that, in the NP.







You can almost make out the road where we started, at the end of the valley.
On the way up, we passed by a few locals.







Standing below them is a little sketchy so we quickly skirted past.







Then the steep incline led straight into the fog. Just about that time we ran into another lone hiker. She was well traveled and had spent quite a bit of time living in Alaska. She was hesitant to head into the thick cover alone, so we offered to let her join. She said she knew of a loop around so, we all headed up into the mist.

















It almost felt like we were trekking into Mordor.
















Then we headed up to conquer the peak.



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Old 01-04-2012, 09:09 PM   #126
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Three Times Up (Part 2)


We made it to the top alright, but after we lingered a bit taking a few pictures our new friend was pretty confident she knew the way down so we let her take charge. It was so socked in I couldn’t tell, so we started off behind her down the hill.








But, it was down the wrong side. Oooops…..so, we clawed our way back up into it.




















Back up, into the enchantment.








But, we weren’t alone.








We made it back up and found a rock outcropping that was a little higher than the previous one, so we had to investigate, after figuring out which direction we needed to head towards of course.








But it is not like we could see anything. I guess it was kind of useless.


















I have to say, it was pretty cool up there though. Luckily, just about that time it started to rain, so we scurried down off the hill-top.








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Old 01-08-2012, 12:07 PM   #127
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Three Times Up (Part 3)





After the rain started we scurried off down the hill. Just a few minutes prior we had scoped out the way down but the clouds move quickly and we couldn’t tell in the confusion. We quickly discussed it and headed down. Down what we thought was the correct side of the hill, to get back to the road.






















But after we went down a ways, we noticed that oooops, we went down the opposite side again when we saw the river instead of the road below us.







Feeling kind of dumb, and realizing that we had to figure it out before the darkness set in, I hauled butt back up the hill the third time to figure out our bearings.























But it was so amazing up there, in the prolonged northern dusk, I couldn’t stop taking pictures and couldn’t help but feel happy for all the setbacks and extra hiking down the wrong side. Because, if it wasn’t for that, we would have missed out on the glory.





















































I made it up and figured out our bearing, thankfully the clouds had dissipated. It was so good to see the little road winding up the valley.





I sprinted ahead, down the hill, yelling and stomping my feet to not surprise any bears on the way down, trying to get to the road so we could hopefully catch a bus ride back to the truck. I just missed one, and then soon after, the rest of the crew made it down. We sat on the side of the road for a bit, hoping we didn’t miss the last bus. We were only a couple miles from the truck but we really wanted the free lift in. Finally the last bus came around the corner and stopped to let us on.



Back at the truck, we said goodbye to our new friend and headed back to camp. There was an Oktoberfest at the 49th State Brewery so we cleaned up and packed into pop's camper van to go check it out.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:31 PM   #128
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A Final Glance

Denali was fun but it was time to go, so Tina and I headed back south.



















On the drive back down the skies were beautifully blue, so we stopped for a final glance or two.
































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Old 01-17-2012, 10:11 PM   #129
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Alyeska Alaska


Tina and I had one more day before she had to fly back so we decided to check out the ski slope. She loved Girdwood and we had a decent place to camp, so that evening we posted up in the usual spot. The next day, after an awesome breakfast at the Bake Shop we forked out the cash for the gondola ride up.


The clouds were in and out and all around us as we walked about the mist.















































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Old 01-18-2012, 09:48 PM   #130
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incredible photos man!!!

Now i've got to read the whole thread to see where you went and check it all out...

Time to head to alaska!
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:07 PM   #131
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I definitely need to get north and hike around the mountains with my camera!!

Awesome vistas Z_HARSH !! Time to visit MY family in Alaska! (Aunt & Uncle in Anchorage, Cousins in Fairbanks!)

Keep Riding, keep using that camera!
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:55 AM   #132
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Hadn't checked back in some time . My friend , you take some of the most stunning pictures out there ! I get so lost in the pictures I have to go back and read your narrative because I blow right by to see the next picture . Thanks for all the effort in doing this "fake " ride report . When I grow up , I want to take pictures as well as you !
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:13 PM   #133
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Thanks for reading!

nanotech9 – Thank you thank you! Let me know if you have any questions, there is a ton good stuff up there.

Tall Mike – You won’t regret it and sounds like the perfect excuse to me! Thanks and I will continue to do what I can


Gramp-Z – Well, honestly, you probably didn’t miss out on a whole lot by skipping the words but as far as the pictures go, it is all the land, sun, and sky. I just try and have the camera ready and to grab it in time. No need to grow up and much appreciated!
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:27 PM   #134
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Alyeska Alaska (Part 2)





We walked around and I imagined what it had looked like covered in snow.


This one, down the North Face, looked like it would be good with a fresh coating.










And this one didn’t look to bad either.







According to the locals the mountain is one range to close to the water and has the tendency to get rain on occasion. Most talk about preferring the backcountry but it looked like it looked like a good time on a powder day to me.


After poking around we found a suitable hill to climb, just to get a view from the top.


















































After hanging out for a bit we headed back down.








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Old 01-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #135
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Alyeska Alaska (Part 3)



Next we checked out the little cafeteria up top and then hiked our way down.





















After another picture or two of course.





















It was pretty cool to see the chutes from the other side too.



Then down at the bottom, Tina wanted a couple touristic pictures to help remember her adventures in Alaska.




















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