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Old 02-20-2012, 09:59 AM   #76
smrchief
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:13 AM   #77
Solarmoose
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Glad to see you are keeping it coming.
Couple comments, first its great to hear you understand the truck traffic is there to get work done on the Dalton Haul Road, that's the reason that road is there. The road was not open to non-commercial traffic for many years. And that you gave them a break by making it easy to pass. I know they really appreciate that. Surprisingly a lot of drivers don't understand that.

Second comment to add some trivia on the pipeline; the vertical support members, VSMs, do more than support the pipe (where it is not buried), they have refrigerant inside to cool the ground to ensure it stays frozen. The fins on the top of the posts are heat exchangers. Thawed ground would be unstable ground. The horizontal member between the VSMs allows the pipeline to move laterally in case of an earthquake, also the reason for the zig-zag pattern of the pipeline. Experience shows it works as was evidenced from a 7.9 Denali Fault earthquake on Nov 3, 2002.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:22 AM   #78
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Dinner with 2 other adventure seekers.

While I was up north, Wayne ran errands. He tried to get my ipod repaired. It locked up on day 3. He had loaned me his which I was very grateful for. He would listen to the radio through his Scala unit. I was grateful for the ipod. I had bought it here in adv flea market from truckin thumper for Wayne. Put about 800 songs on it for him from my cd collection. He had his buddy, a vet that lives across the lake from me remove some he did not like and put other stuff on. We don't necessarily like the same stuff but I was so grateful to have music.
Mine was not repairable, it's an older one so not worth sending in. While out he met this father and son from San Fransisco. Dad was 61 and riding a 1937 Indian. Son was 20 and on a 1968 Bsa 650. They were taking 6 weeks to go up an back to the arctic circle. They would ride 150-220 miles a day. We had dinner with them and they were great guys. The dad has dozens and dozens of collectible cycles and cars. I would hate to guess the value.
We saw pictures from the sons phone. They could go about 150 miles on a tank of gas and had a extra 1 gallon jug to take with them. I explained about the 154 miles from Fairbanks to the Yukon river gas stop. They were a little concerned. So after dinner they met us up on the campus and I gave them one of my two 1.25 gallon gas cans I had been carrying

since I left Missouri. Here these two knuckleheads are. Great guys....
That's the 37 Indian and here is the 68 BSA

This is kind of funny too. I meant to buy new boots before I left. Bought a pair on our FM here really nice BMW boots, but sold them. I like lace up boots so the BMW boots were not for me. Should have kept them. My old boots are like 25 years old logger style. When we had went to dinner I walked from the campus. About a mile and a half, so no big deal. I was missing regular exercise. On the way back to get them the gas can my right heel got to burning. Had noticed it a couple days now not feeleing to good. After I gave them the can I limped into the dorm room and took the boot off. My sock was pretty blood soaked. The staples had come through and wore a pretty good hole in my heel of my foot. I took a socket extension and hammered the staples back through the sole with
a ratchet handle. Went to walmark and bought some gel insoles. MUCH BETTER NOW. Like a goofball I forgot to
buy earplugs when I was in there. Anyway.....a good supper and a nice visit with the father and son. One of the greatest days of my life. I became the 2nd person in my family to travel beyond the Arctic Circle. My uncle Elmer would have been thrilled I bet.
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Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #79
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pipeline

Solarmoose, that is great stuff about the pipeline supports. I meant to visit where it ends and read all the stuff but time ran out on me. I appreciate you putting that in here for other riders. I was immeasurably awed by that project in it's entirety. A true engineering miracle of genius.
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Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:22 PM   #80
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Day 9.

This will be short. We didn't do Jack Sh## today. Went and ate breakfast at the same place we had supper and darned if the dad from last nights pair isn't in there. He joined us. Did a little shoping and then I called Dan Alexander there in Fairbanks about some work on the bikes. I had emailed him before we left. Went up and did an oil change and put in a new air filter. He powerwashed the bike for me . I did something stupid too. While changing my oil, rushing as I always do, I poured the first two quarts of new oil in and realized I had not put the drain plug back in. Brilliant. No reason to hurry, but I was. So typical of me. a 26.00 mistake.
Dan does all this from his home where he and his son live. Came up here about 20 years ago I think with the air force and stayed. He loves it and is a good spokeman for the F'banks area. He could persuade anybody to move here. He loves to hunt, as do I and he got to teling stories about bear hunting. My favorite line ......
"Some guys carry a hand gun for protection from Grizzlies while salmon fishing> if you ever do that be sure you file the site off the end of the barrell"
I said....."Why, are you having to shoot to quick to use it?"
Dan " no, it just hurts less when the bear shoves the gun up your ###"

Oh..


Here is Dan cleaning up my GS. He really is quite a charachter and I liked him a lot. Had lots of knowledge about maintanence on the GS and sold me a prefilter that I really like. Adventure Motorcycle I am pretty sure he calls his business. I called him Grizzly Adams the whole time I was there, he didn't seem to mind.

while at Walmart getting a couple things.....saw this rig with New Zealand plates. Pretty rough....
but probably had a zillion miles on her. Can you imagine what it cost to ship this to Alaska. Maybe I was wrong on the plates.

Petty cool either way. We went back to the campus and spent a couple hours at the very famous Museum of the North, or what ever it is called on campus. Great place.....I don't go to museums regularly. This was absolutely remarkable. Later we went to Mass and a church downtown on the river. This church had actually been moved across the river some time ago. The priest was from Poland and very enthusiastic. His sermon was wonderful and we enjoyed the chance to meet a few other travelers from the lower 48. We scheduled dinner at the famous
Salmon Bake. One of the few mishaps of the whole adventure happened here. I was leading the way and got parked and off my bike. As I was pulling her up on the center stand Wayne pulled in next to me on my right.
I thought all was well but I had not got the bike all the way back on the stand and did not realize it. The bike lunged forward as I was taking off my helmet, fell over to the right away from me and my jesse trunk scraped his tank.
I was about to throw up I swear. I was so embarrassed and pissed off. Had it fallen toward me no problem. That's how it goes sometimes. I was sick about it. Wayne kept telling me it was okay, no big deal but frankly it ruined my night. I promised him I would get the tank repainted soon as we got home. It bothered me much more than Wayne. We freshened up our laundry one last time tonight and made plans to ride to Denali tomorrow.
Still have not picked up ear plugs, I figure a couple more nights I will be deaf anyway.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

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Old 02-20-2012, 01:51 PM   #81
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Great report keep it coming, I cant wait to do this myself sometime soon, Thank You!
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:33 PM   #82
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"Some guys carry a hand gun for protection from Grizzlies while salmon fishing> if you ever do that be sure you file the site off the end of the barrell"
I said....."Why, are you having to shoot to quick to use it?"
Dan " no, it just hurts less when the bear shoves the gun up your ###"



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Old 02-20-2012, 07:20 PM   #83
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Well JR..... you know they say that Sleep is Highly Over Rated!!!!!

"What doesn't kill you makes you Stronger"
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:53 AM   #84
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Great report, I feel as though Iam there with you guys. Since Iam retired the only thing I would change is the amount of miles I travled daily,(I have gotten into that "smell the roses" thing since retiring) but who am I to say that setting here at the computer.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:29 AM   #85
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This year

Great report, Keep it coming. I will be leaving in June for a month long trip of a life time to Alaska. It seems like you came in contact with a lot of riders during your trip. Is there a lot of motorcycle going north at that time of the summer.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:41 AM   #86
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Slammer, there are quite a few bikes. Your certainly meet some on the Alcan and bump into them at lunch and gas stops. I saw a few on the haul road....maybe 3-4. It's certainly not thick with cycles but you will meet enough. I like meeting new people and hearing their stories so I always make an effort to visit. I probably initiate the conversation more than most but I like people.
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:22 PM   #87
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10 th day out

Today won't have some pictures it should. We left Fairbanks to go to Denali. I have a room reserved at a little hotel there near the entrance. We agreed to go to the little town of Telkeetna on the way. I don't know why but as much as I really enjoyed Telkeetna, I did not take a picture there. We got rained on all the way but that's fine. We parked the bikes and stopped in this really awesome litttle restaraunt called the Roadhouse. Has lodging up stairs
and the down stairs is a restaraunt and seating for that. Had a GIANT sweet roll and coffee. We went to the visitor center where a young lady that was a park ranger explained the physical demands of climbing Denali. It was a pretty neat presentation where the vistors are divided into two halves and they draw these slips of paper out of a box that tells them the events of the day and their "destiny" of sorts.
We visited several of the stores and walked down to the river. A little girl about 10 was selling cinnamon coated almonds. I bought a bag because she was adorable and about my youngest sons age. We had an early lunch at a little patio cafe I think was called the Denali Brewing Co. I had a slice of Reindeer Sausage pizza again. I wasn't really hungy but I had one of the local brews since I wouldn't get that chance ever again and the Pizza seemed necessary. Telkeetna was a really charming and unique place. I would love to go back. We rode on south to Denali and got checked into our little room. Really....little.
We went on down to the Visitor Center to check bus schedules for tomorrow. We got there at maybe 2:00.
There was still a bus trip to the midway point in the park for 3:00. A 7 hour trip so we decided to go ahead and do that today. Would free up a whole day since tomorrow was our scheduled Denali day. We packed up the
rain suits and bought a sandwich and water at the vistor center for supper later tonight. Our driver was a young gal about 22. We sat in the very front row so we could see out of the windshield as well as the side window. That was a good decision. Our bus driver is maybe 20 minutes into the park and a warning light comes on. She gets out and finds a transmission fluid leak so we had to sit and wait for a replacement bus. Not a big deal...about 45 minutes and a bus shows up and we switch. We saw a grizzly bear run across the road in front of us but I didn't get a good picture. The landscape is remarkable as you would expect.

Creeks, mountains. Awesome. I will put a few up in no particular order. The mountain itself was only visible
one day so far in July and today is the 24th. Wow. We were told the cloud cover was low and heavy and not like to see any of Mt McKinley today due to that. Still would be a great ride and sights anyway.
She said that if we did get to see it, there is no mistakining it, it would be covered in snow far more than any others.
Some scenery on the way in.

and more.

Great colors aren't they.

There is a caribou calf in the creek here. Wierd, it kept looking around, I guess for its Mom.....never saw it though. Was totally lost and out of place. Not a good thing in bear central here.

Stopped and saw these Rams several times.....

On a shuttle bus trip, you can get off at various points. And just hop on the next shuttle by. You can back country camp or hike depending on your permit. These two slender girls from New York rode in with us and got off for a multi mile hike. I kept thinking.....Grizzly country and these two girls are hiking alone. Brave.
We also picked up a family of a mom and dad with two little ones. They were European and the little one was not even two years old. They looked exhausted and really needed a shower. The little one looked miserable.
I thought to myself that is kind of stupid. Poor Kid..........this was not fun for the kids you could tell.
Our turn around was about half way in and there is a little tent sent up as a book store. Got another bottle of water there. We headed back and this asian couple next too us says " Hey there is a white covered mountain over there....is that McKinley. The drive says no....not today. So he asks...well where is Mckinley relative to where we are now. So the driver finally looks and says............"Oh My....that is it!!"! She was as excited as anyone on the bus. The sun was out maybe 10 minutes and we got very lucky.....was right after we had started back. If he had not asked none of us would have got to see it I think. We stopped and got pictures. Still could not see the summit, but at least we got this.

The white one off in back. How cool is that. The bus broke down again. She turned if off when we picked up the family. Dead as a nail. If decided to start again finally about an hour later. We finally got back about 10:30-11pm.
We could not find any place open on the way back to the hotel. There was a little hot dog shack closing up and the doors were locked when we got to it. An employee was walking out the back door to throw out the trash bags and we asked if any place was still open. He ran back in and put 4 hot dogs and buns left over in a bag for us. Wouldn't let us pay either. Said he was "paying it forward" and somewhere down the road we would get a chance to do the same. you have to love that kind of thinking. We put them in the Jesse box and headed in for the night. What a great day it was.

Okay that is all my pictures to share for Denali. Something Else important about today though.



Today was Waynes birthday. More importantly it was my Mom's birthday back in Illinois. Mom was turning 80 today and I made sure to call here before we got on the bus. My family is pretty screwed up honestly and to my surprise my sister had planned a birthday party. My wife and sons and 3 siblings were all meeting at Mom's at 3pm for a surprise party. So I called her about 2:30 Central when we stopped for gas.

Me: Happy 80th birthday mom!!! Wish I could come up and buy you lunch but I am out of town!
Mom: Where are you, it's Sunday?
Me. Well I am in Alaska on my motorcycle....visited the Arctic Circle this week...
long pause
Mom: "You knucklehead, nobody rides a motorcycle to Alaska.........that is amazing!!!!"

we had a great 20 minute visit and her brother was there too. they both talked to me a little about my Uncle Elmer. We had a wonderful visit and I got off the phone when it got close to 3pm as I knew she was about to have a house full of company. Though turning 80, mom had worked up until two years ago. Very fiesty stubborn little irish redhead. fearless. Still Drove like she thought she was qualifying for the pole at Atlanta. Very healthy and
very active. I never dreamt at the time that it would be the last time I talked too her. I still can not imagine that.
I am so grateful that I called. A week later as we rode home I would get a call that profoundly changed my life.
She raised 5 kids alone and worked harder than anybody I have ever known. Tough bird........
Enough about this day.......
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When I'm dead, I sure don't want people thinking I never really lived. Hell with that.

Set tall in the saddle, hold your head up high...Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky....Live like you aint afraid to die. And don't be scared, just enjoy the ride. "Chris Ledoux"

superdutyGS screwed with this post 02-21-2012 at 12:41 PM
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:41 PM   #88
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This makes me feel like I'm there with you guys. Good job !!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:01 PM   #89
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Hey Superduty, I finally got to start reading your RR. Great job, love the pix too. Might have to change my mind and do Alaska one day . Look forward to the rest of the RR.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:33 AM   #90
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Superduty, sorry to hear about your Mom. I just got back Sunday from a visit with my folks. Mom is 86, and my Dad turned 85 while I was there. I don't get to see them enough.
Still enjoying this RR. Is there a part of the trip you wouldn't have done if you went again? The trip into Denali looks cool, I'm not sure I would like the bus trip though. I understand that that's the only way they let you in the park though, right?

Keep it coming.
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