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Old 08-26-2012, 08:30 AM   #61
ben2go
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Great up date.Those pics are really good.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:44 PM   #62
YJake
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Loving this.

I'm in.

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Old 08-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #63
2WheelieADV
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Originally Posted by AnjinSan View Post
Hi 2WheelieADV, good luck on your trip in Europe! Which countries are you planning to visit?
Thank you, Anjin.
We're starting off from Barcelona, thru Alps to Milan, then to Innsbruck and Munich, up to Prague, than down to Vienna Budapest and Balkans, Then ferry to Italy from Split and up to Genoa, then back to Barcelona. Hope it is doable in 3 weeks or we may skip Prague.
Any suggestion you can give since you're from the "area" :) ?
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:02 PM   #64
AnjinSan OP
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The New World I.23 – Haines

@2WheelieADV: you could easily spend 3 weeks just in the Alps. But yeah, your schedule should be OK. If you feel rushed and that you are running out of time then try to avoid maybe the big cities. I wish for you the weather will be good too! You will have great fun!
@ben2go and Jake: good to have you along. Hope you will enjoy also the next ones :)
----------------

We were thinking that after Valdez we will head straight and return to Whitehorse Canada and from there to start our descent South. But hey, plans are good as long as they are flexible. So following a tip got while on the road, we decided to make another detour and check out Haines first.
Haines was still 2 days riding away though so we stop in Tok in a motorcyclists campground. It was nice to meet other long-travel riders. Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Romania, Canada and Alaska, sitting around the fire and sharing a grilled salmon.
In the morning, one has to have his priorities straight. First check for bears then brush your teeth.
For the next 2 days we will have a new riding partner. Dylan is on the road for more than 2 years, so he has lots of experience. South America trip is going to be probably his last leg of his journey before he returns home. For a while at least.
From the mountains slopes rain is also riding with us. And it is a hide and seek game. We are trying not to get wet.
At some point my rain pants have their last stand. If I think about the things I’ve put them through in Yukon and Alaska, it might be understandably. I think the designers had in mind rides on Amalfi Cost in Italy, not the rugged rides of Alaska.
Left without rain paints, I can only hope that the rains will go past us. And mostly they do.
We settle for the night near a lake in a place called Destruction Bay (good name)…
… and we find out the benefits of solo riding is that you get a lot of space for food and a kitchen
Next day we part ways. Dylan was going directly to Whitehorse. We instead were turning South and start our detour towards Haines. A new mountain pass to ride on, new amazing views.
Then, just before Haines, we need to mind the local traffic…
Talking with a bartender in Haines, we find out that this kind of “traffic” can often be found right in the town center. Just the other night she had to turn around in the bar, when she found a bear just outside the back door. And still, we like Haines. Well not for the bears but for all the other things around. For example the views are like this:
And in the small marina you may find wooden boats with classic lines
Our hosts Alexandra and her husband Bud, live some miles away from the town, in the forest. We liked them and their place so much!
First of all, the place is quite remote already. But then, when you reach it, you leave your car (or your bike) in the forest, away from the house.
And then we head over a wooden bridge and further on a small dirt trail
You thread carefully so you could spot any bear or moos that sometimes are around. And then you see the house.
It looks big, but it is very functional. And what is even more amazing is that Alexandra designed it and built it by herself. With a little help from Bud here nad there but most of the things she did with her own hands. Now that must be a good feeling to live in a house built by you. And it is not all. She designed it so that it will integrate with the surroundings and be as less intrusive as possible. They have tanks that gather rain water and that is used for showers and watering the garden. And almost nothing goes to waste, everything gets reused or recycled or returns to nature.
We had an awesome time with them. And we found out that there are people living even more “off the grid”. No power from the grid, no dependency to anyone. In order to reach some houses, you have to even wait for the low tide in order to cross the golf with rubber boots. For so many of us, city people it’s hard to imagine even how it is not to be able to park your car in front of the house (or garage?), let alone to.. hmm wait for the low tide to go home.
It is an entirely different way of life. One that we liked very much. And it makes you think how much of the stuff we consider “necessary” is really… needed. And most of the people there, live this way because they chose to, nobody is forcing them.
And the things we found out made us think. Good thoughts!
Next time we will find out how we spend our last day in Alaska and who came to visit us. Stay tuned!
Written from Rock Creek, Canada. With a view to the hills and crickets sounds as background. Good morning!

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Old 08-27-2012, 08:53 PM   #65
ben2go
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Great update.Good the hear the weather is mostly holding out for your adventure.Good luck with rain gear.I have yet to find anything that lasts many miles before soaking through.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:09 AM   #66
duncanmac
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The scenery in Alaska is just awe-inspiring! And it seems you are fortunate with the weather, too. Are you warm/cold/just right?
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:20 AM   #67
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WOW!!!! great RR...thank you for sharing
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:27 AM   #68
BullShatter
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Great Ride Report

Thanks for taking us along on your journey....It is really refreshing to see our country through new eyes! If your travels take you through Phoenix, Arizona, you have a place to stay....the Grand Canyon should not be missed!
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:53 PM   #69
AnjinSan OP
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The New World I.24 – See you soon, Alaska!

It’s been a while since the last writing but so much happened in the mean time. The important thing is that we are all OK, bike seems to be in good shape now and we are ready to go on. But in order to get to this story we need to go back a bit, back in Alaska, for the last time in this trip. It will be a long post so I hope it was worth the wait.
We left our story back in Haines, surrounded by mountains and fjords. To get back to Whitehorse one has two options. One is just track back around 140 miles on the same road we came in. Second is just take a ferry to Skagway just across the fjord and then ride the White Pass to Carcross and Whitehorse. Hmm of course we will go with number two.
One hour and 90 dollars later we arrive in Skagway. Very similar to Haines but then so different. And that’s because Skagway is visited by lots and lots of tourists. And with them, all the typical businesses for the tourists masses. Overpriced jewelery shops, clothes shops, souvenirs and so on. And everything is so crowded. And if you are wondering where are these tourists coming from. Well they get there with cruise ships. When we arrived there, there were four of them docked. Surprisingly for us, two of them were Scandinavian. Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Jewel. Hmm that’s so… inspirational.
It was funny that when I’ve asked someone in Haines how come they do not get so many tourists there she answered: “Well we don’t want them boat tourists here. They make a mess”. I do not know about that. But what I to believe is that seeing Alaska is worth it. Even if you do it only on a cruise ship. But if you just do that, and then just take some 5 stars buss around and go only from shop to shop in touristy places… then most probably you would miss a lot of Alaska. The real Alaska. yeah you can say you’ve been there but somehow…
We’ve spent around 3 weeks there and still we felt like we are rushing so much, and passing by places and people that we would really have liked to get to know much better.
We were not very sorry that we were rushing out of Skagway though. Especially since in front of us was the White Pass.
This pass was build for the same reasons as so many projects here: acute and urgent need. Back in 1890 when Klondike Gold Rush boomed, there was an accute need for a link between Skagway (and the marine way) and Whitehorse.
The road was hard and only the natives knew the way. The railroad has only 170 kilometers and has been built from scratch only in 24 months and is one of the most scenic narrow gauge tracks.
It’s now used only for tourism. We are heading our way winding around the railroad and enjoying the great views.
We are again grateful for being on this trip. It’s sunny outside, the motorcycle is in good condition, gas in the tank, blue sky, high mountains, windy road. We’re smiling. For a while we are not listening to the music, we are not taking pictures. We’re silent and we can only hear the engine and the tires taking each curve. We don’t know how long the road was but it seemed too short for us.
We are close to Whitehorse and it’s almost dark. As we enter the city we see a blue motorcycle heading out. It’s getting closer and it looks familiar. Hey, it’s Rodney! Hit the brakes! He saw us also and he is turning back. We are really happy to meet him again. Last time we saw each other was in Fairbanks and then exchanged emails. We knew he was going towards Vancouver, his trip finale, but we thought he was few days behind us. Now here he is, smiling us, in Whitehorse. Ha!
photo courtesy of Rodney

We part ways but we will meet again for sure.
I rode 500 kilometers back on Alaska Highway (did I tell you how much I hate going back on the same road?). I’ve been there before and the road was not that interesting so I just switched on the auto pilot. Andreea was sleeping in the back, I was listening to Spanish lessons and riding on not without paying attention to the wildlife.
Therefore we don’t have pictures of this part of the road. Actually, we have something:
It’s a tradition to leave your name in the…. ground. There are hundreds of inscriptions along the way. Some bring paint from home to make the message more visible. Here’s a Kawasaki fan.
The funny part is that it all started with a simple and innocent message “P-Time”. We don’t waste too much time here. We were impatient to get to Watson Lake and get on Cassiar Highway to British Columbia. We really wanted to get to new places so we just fuel up at Junction 37 and hit Cassiar Highway, although it was 6 pm. This road is considered one of the most isolated in British Columbia. We are heading South (to civilization) but we find ourselves thrown back into a deserted area, few cars around. But we like what we see.
We are again alone on the road to… somewhere.
To our left the shadows go East. But the sun is up so we should be fine.
As we were getting used to the depressing scenery, we see in the distance a weird cloud. But the sky is so clear.
Oh, wait, that’s not a cloud… it’s smoke. And you know the saying “There’s no smoke without fire”. And that’s not a small one. It’s only forest around so it’s not hard to figure out what’s burning.
And our road goes there.
We weren’t sure if we should worry or not. We heard about forest fires that spread really fast.We’ve seen the signs. And now we see this. And, as they say, this is not a drill. We count our options. We cannot go around, there is no side road. There is forest all around us. We can go back, of course. But where? We didn’t want to go back to Watson Lake. We were supposed to head South, not North. I’m thinking that if it is really serious we would meet cars, people, animals, running the opposite direction. We decide to keep going.
We see rock sheep on the side of the road and they seem relaxed. Let’s keep going.
We manage to avoid the fire. We stop in Dease lake in a camping not worth mentioning and the second day we get ready to enter Alaska for the last time on this trip, its Southern limit, in a small city called Hyder. The place is famous for being the closest to “mainland USA”. Ah, and for one more thing: bears.
Let’s see. First one…..
Second…
Third…
And there were some more but didn’t stop taking pictures.We are convinced there are bears around. We get to Hyder and we are told that it is not really safe to camp…. we are advised to take a motel room. We follow the advice and take the last free and not very expensive motel room, we appreciate having a safe place to sleep and we go to the view point. What view point? For the bears, of course. And so we meet the mighty grizzly.
Theoretically, we were safe on a wooden bridge. Practically, I think we were safe because there was lots of salmon around (and salmon tastes better than humans do, I think).
It was indeed a great experience to watch a free grizzly so close. Unbelievable! And we stop here for today, with a last picture of our hairy friend.
What an appropriate way of saying “goodbye” to wild, vast and free Alaska. We hope we will be back up there again. But for now it is time to move on. See you soon Alaska!
Next time we discover British Columbia and get to attend for the first time a motorcyclists meeting. Stay tuned!
Written from Kev’s porch, after a day dedicated to the motorcycle.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:52 AM   #70
AnjinSan OP
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Originally Posted by duncanmac View Post
The scenery in Alaska is just awe-inspiring! And it seems you are fortunate with the weather, too. Are you warm/cold/just right?
There were occasions when we were cold or very cold. But we do not have heated vests or heated grips or anything. When we were cold we just stopped, put some more clothes on us and when on our way. Although... a little bit slower to easy up the wind though.

But indeed we are not complaining. I think we had excellent weather until now and hope we will continue in the same way. We are optimists
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:54 AM   #71
AnjinSan OP
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Originally Posted by Unlikely Cowboy View Post
Thanks for taking us along on your journey....It is really refreshing to see our country through new eyes! If your travels take you through Phoenix, Arizona, you have a place to stay....the Grand Canyon should not be missed!
Hey, thank you so much for the generous invite. I think we will be passing near you somewhere at the end of September and we would be glad to accept your invitation.. I will give you a heads up and see if we can synchronize and make it happen.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:22 AM   #72
murdock84
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NIce ride report and pictures!
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:07 AM   #73
achesley
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Loving it! Keep it coming.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:13 AM   #74
Reverend12
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Great report!
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:50 AM   #75
Paddygfw
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Love the RR....Bears can be very dangerous and must be treated with respect at all times
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