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Old 10-12-2012, 09:13 PM   #136
calimusjohn OP
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How Fast?
The weather guessers missed again. Today held no rain. It was a great sunshiny day. However, it was Summer when I retired last night - today is Autumn. Ice on the bike was the first clue. Then I saw that trees and bushes were sporting their new fall finery with reds, yellows and brown colors pushing the greens aside. It is an amazing overnight change. I will describe the riding temperature as brisk.
After a Blueberry Pancake breakfast that smoothed out some of the wrinkles adorning my body, I went cruisin' down the Highway. When I topped a rise, I saw a motorhome with a white sedan following about a half mile ahead of me. A glance at the speedometer and the G.P.S. confirmed that I was in the 65 MPH neighborhood. In a few minutes, the gap between me and the traffic ahead had narrowed considerably. A closer look at the white sedan revealed some writing across the trunk. Hmmmn. Trained observer that I am - PATROL CAR- I immediately slowed to match its speed.
I had to dawdle along at 55 to keep pace. Well I enjoyed about a mile of that when a clear passing lane openned up. I kicked it up to 65 and as I passed ther Driver's door - the Christmas Tree Light Show along with a "Chirp" exploded from the sedan. WHAT?
I pull over. Kill the engine. Get the sidestand down and pull off the gloves and helmet. By then - State Trooper Christiansen is standing just behind my right shoulder. I say, "Top of the mornin' Officer."
He says, "Good morning. I have the feeling that you don't know what the speed limit is."
Me. "Well, 65 of course."
Him, "Nope. 55."
Me. "You gotta be kidding. 55! We are in the middle of nowhere. "
Him. "Yeah, I agree. But the limit is 55. You passed a speed limit sign as you left town."
Me. "Town? That was at least 20 miles ago."
Him. "Yep. But it is still 55." He smiled. "I figured you thought it was more or you don't read too good. It does say - State Trooper on the back of my car - or it did the last time I looked."
Me. I broke up laughing. I finally croaked out, "Senility may have set in but, I did still recognize Patrol cars."
Him. "Where were you a cop?" I asked how he came to that conclusion. We hadn't done the Secret Handshake or anything. He said that when he pulls someone over and they start laughing - they usually turn out to be active or former law enforcement. He did run my name through the computer for "Wants" and "Warrants". I came back clean. Whew. . .. You never know.
We swapped lies for a couple f minutes and then he closed the session by stating that I should remember the Speed Limit is 55 MPH. The next State Trooper was about 150 miles further down the highway - in front of me - and that he was turning around and going back to town. It was time for a doughnut!
I resuited and headed down the road - maintaining a sveldt 55 or there-a-bouts. . . for the next 140 some odd miles. I looked behind all the little Blue & White signs - never did see that next Trooper.
Yesterday afternoon (chronological order is a failing with me), I topped another of the hundreds/thousands of hills/ridges and smack in front of me was MATATUSKA GLACIER. Wow! The road curved around the end within 1/4 mile. It looked to be about 75 feet high and was about 1/4 mile wide and over a mile long. A perfect place for a picture. The camera's low battery indicator flashed once and died. Could I remember where I stashed the package of 36 AA batteries? Sure did - today. This was a very impressive glacier. I have flown over thousands of them in Antarctica - up close and personal is always better.
Tonight I am in a beautiful private campground at the Intersection of Highway 2 and the White River. Government campgrounds cost $12.00. This private one has hot/cold showers, flush toilets and WiFi for $18.00. A plush platform tent with a real bed, a table, a chair and a heating stove was $31.00, or a cabin for $115.00. I opted for the platform tent. Real luxury camping. Now it is time to refuel the body. Canned chunk chicken, mushroom soup and Ramen noodles are tonight's fare. Oh they have pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the office. $9.95. Ah, with Capt. Morgan - I'm tempted.

Platform Tent


Inside:
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:41 PM   #137
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Yukon

Yukon
One of today's challenges was - can I find a Gas Station that is open - with gas? After passing 235 miles without an open station or one with any gas - the pucker factor starts to kick in. This is accented by coasting down any down grade and dawdling along at 50 - 55 mph. I finally located one at the 265 mile mark.
The second challenge was - Construction Zone Ahead. Several hours today were dedicated to sitting at the head of a long line of stopped vehicles awaiting the Pilot Car to return from reconnointering Mars. At least the Flaggers wave motorcyclists to the head of the line. It sure beats dealing with the dust, mud, flying rocks and whatevers tossed about by the slow moving columns of cars, trucks and Rental Motorhomes. Construction Zones are areas where the road way has been totally destroyed by turning over the top 12 inches and then punctuated by a contingent of grenade throwing engineers. The craters created by the grenades are tied together by thin lips of pea gravel and chunks of asphalt. It resembles a slalom course that would be at home in a "Mad Max" movie. Many of the Zones are watered to reduce the dust. One of today's water trucks had broken down, so they dumped the 4,000 gallons in one major gush. We got to white water raft through the ensueing flood. I was pleased to survive the day.
Traffic issues aside - the Yukon is a wonder to behold. Incredible mountain ranges decorated with glaciers stretch from horizon to horizon. Animals abound. I keep thinking . . I can not continue to stop and take pictures . . . I need to get home . . .as I pull to the side of the road and reach for the camera once again. I am completely in awe of the panorama that unfolds before me. Untold lakes, fed by streams, rivers, creeks and run off from the glaciers accent each view. My Roget's lists wondrous, stupendous, dazzling, amazing and a whole slew of words that boil down to: Wow! There is the old question, "Can you imagine what God could have done if he had money?" In the Yukon - she spent every cent.
Watching Dahl Sheep cavorting on sheer cliffs, seeing mountain peaks reflected in absolutely still lake water, hearing the thunder of water cascading down a vertical rock wall, smelling the air and tasting within it - the Season's change. That too was a part of my day. The only thing missing - you already know - a shared moment.
I chose to ride inland rather than travel to Haines. The lines of Rental Motorhomes driven by persons even less qualified than the ones driven by old fogie owners (I have a motorhome) with no training, sent me scurrying away. I even bypassed Whitehorse and ended the day at a truck stop in Teslin.
Another flashback. Last evening, I sat and talked with one of two helicopter pilots staying at White River Campground. He is part of a contingent of Biologists, mechanics, fuel truck drivers and cook. They have two high altitude, jet powered helicopters that are scouring the mountains looking for - gold. The Botanists have discovered a certain plant ( he would not identify) that changes certain aspects when in the vicinity of gold. He flys the Botanists along the mountain sides until they spot the "Plant". The pilot then finds a spot where he can land them along with a couple of diggers to take a closer look. They work for a company based in Ontario and have been in the field for several months. They must truck the helicopter fuel 250 miles to Base Camp. This is no amateur undertaking. They built a Base Camp within the Campgrounds that includes platform tents, a mess tent with a full time cook and various game sites. . . volleyball, . . . frisbee Golf and horeshoe pits were ones I saw. Lots of dollars involved. The pilot indicated with a wide grin, that the Company will probably do a little better than "Break Even."

Border Formalities


Broken Dreams
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:21 PM   #138
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Wicked

I'm in
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:03 AM   #139
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I'm in
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:43 PM   #140
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Hiya John!

Thanks for sharing, you have a certain style that is very entertaining to read....

I am not an "advanced" member here - just turning 40 this year, but your style totally resonates with me...

I was pondering something - Having probably done 1000's of miles over the years (an assumption here, please correct me if I'm mistaken) how do you feel about doing Ride Reports as opposed to the good old fashioned way? Meaning before the days of internet and digital cameras. Just go and ride, maybe tell some friends about it over dinner.

I don't know why, but Iv'e been thinking about it a lot this year......seems like riding is a little "purer" when you take the blogs and photos out of it......maybe it's just my midlife crisis kicking in

At any rate, Hello from Northern Oregon! I live about 250 miles directly north of you, in sunny The Dalles.....Give me a holler if your ever in the area....

-EGN
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:57 PM   #141
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Enjoying the RR. Looks like a great trip. Way to go tackling it on your own. Checking in from a fellow Oregonian and pilot.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:49 PM   #142
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Ride Reports

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Originally Posted by el guapo nada View Post
Thanks for sharing, you have a certain style that is very entertaining to read....

I am not an "advanced" member here - just turning 40 this year, but your style totally resonates with me...

I was pondering something - Having probably done 1000's of miles over the years (an assumption here, please correct me if I'm mistaken) how do you feel about doing Ride Reports as opposed to the good old fashioned way? Meaning before the days of internet and digital cameras. Just go and ride, maybe tell some friends about it over dinner.

I don't know why, but Iv'e been thinking about it a lot this year......seems like riding is a little "purer" when you take the blogs and photos out of it......maybe it's just my midlife crisis kicking in

At any rate, Hello from Northern Oregon! I live about 250 miles directly north of you, in sunny The Dalles.....Give me a holler if your ever in the area....

-EGN
Hi. Yes, I have been riding since 1949 on motorized machines. The Ride Report Dilemma. . . I have spent more than a few evenings around a fire ring listening too, and telling the travel tales. It doesn't get much better than that.
I also realize the world is changing faster than me. Who would have thought we would have Capt. Kirk's flip open communicator, G.P.S., Internet, etc. Anyway, I realized that the motorcycling community is also changing. As riders, we don't spend as much face to face time with each other - we rely on the new technology. Instead of the Annual Family Reunion where we all tell the tall tales covering the past year - we send emails, facebook pictures and videos, back and forth.
The Big News to me was: There are a heck of a lot of Riders who are craving information on every aspect of motorcycling. We want to know what we need to have to ride in Africa, Asia, Alaska, and all through the alphabet to Zanzebar. Our Rand McNalley maps and AAA can't answer some of those questions. I scour these Ride Reports before I wander away from home. They give me an inkling of what to expect. . . much better than most "Travel Guides".
I hope that my slant on travel fills a small portion of the void. I probably spend more time telling about the people and the encounters within my travels. Specifics = the Route 97 North from Klamath Falls, Oregon is a two lane asphalt etc. etc.. The maps pretty much tell the road's story. The Trans-Siberian Highway map is a bit more vague - R/R's to the rescue.
I have mentioned "Crashmaster" somewhere along the line. His report has me seriously planning on expanding my riding area south - way south. Time will tell.
We are members of a great community of Riders - our Fire Ring is still here - it has just expanded to seat a whole bunch more in the circle..
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:58 PM   #143
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Solo Flight

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Originally Posted by aviatorbdm View Post
Enjoying the RR. Looks like a great trip. Way to go tackling it on your own. Checking in from a fellow Oregonian and pilot.
I haven't found anyone that can "Keep Up". Not really. Riding solo has its advantages. Only one decision maker. As in flying - only one person is Pilot in Command. The disadvantage - no one to blame when you run out of altitude, airspeed and ideas simultaneously.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:54 PM   #144
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John your ride reports on top of being extremely interesting are great info for anyone making the trips . Prior to the net I read everything I could get before a sailing trip. The bummer would be to read the trip report of someone 200 miles ahead of me, that would take the fun out of it . Look forward to your posts. Creeping up on 82 , I do feel the world around me is a bit in information overload.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:47 PM   #145
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Information Overload

[QUOTE=ak bike;19826997]John your ride reports on top of being extremely interesting are great info for anyone making the trips . Prior to the net I read everything I could get before a sailing trip. The bummer would be to read the trip report of someone 200 miles ahead of me, that would take the fun out of it . Look forward to your posts. Creeping up on 82 , I do feel the world around me is a bit in information overload]
Information overload! I agree. I remember looking up certain anatomical words in the Dictionary - now you can see it in action. . . Whew!
I have mis-placed the I.D. of the Alaskan Rider who did the Four Corners Plus a couple of years ago. His report showed his bike and belongings scattered along the Highway - in the snow - I think it was the Cassier - anyway, I thought if he can show that aspect of riding and continue on - I should not fear to admit when I screw up.
My wife and I sailed for three years - San Francisco Delta to Sea of Cortez - no one ever mentioned how many sailors were alcoholics. Sad.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:05 PM   #146
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Teslin to Iskut

Teslin to Iskut on the Cassier
There are some days that I hate to see end. This was a "Gold Star" day. Last night ended at midnight. Awoke at 9:00 A.M. Must have been a bit tuckered out. I noticed my hands this morning - gloves fit like O.J's. Real Tight. Yes, the hands are swollen some. They have had a real workout the past few days while riding the gravel beds and torn up construction zones. They don't hurt any more than any Ol' Geezer's usual swollen knuckle routine.
The Teslin gas station, General Store and Motel is right across the street from the Teslin Cafe. As I was climbing off the bike, I saw two BIG guys on older BMW's pull into the parking lot and stop. They looked a bit confused. I called out that this is the only cafe in a hundred miles. The lead rider pointed at his mouth and chewed. I nodded and went inside.
Eventually they entered. I was nearly finished eating. They stood and looked at the "Today's Special" board. I couldn't hear but a few scattered words. They weren't German, Austrian, French, Polish . . . they sounded like Putin. They finally tapped the board for soup and French Fries. As they ate, I finished up and checked out. In the parking lot, I circled their bikes. The license plates were about 15 inches square. Black numbers and letters on a white background. The letters were: R U S. Then I noticed the decals and stickers on the saddlebags . . . lots of them. One of the men came outside.
I smiled and pointed at the license plate. "Russia?"
"Ya."
I pointed at the stickers and said, "Wow!"
He smiled and then lit a cigarette - thumped his chest - said, "Kamchatka, home." Let's see - Fourth and Fifth grade geography classes may prove to be important here. Kamchatka - isn't that where an airliner was shot down a couple of years ago? I started pointing at individual decals. He grinned a big wide grin as he threw his leg over an imaginary motorcycle and started making vrooom - vrooommm sounds. "Home -Kamchatka - Mooska (Good Grief - That's about 7,000 miles) - Burrlin - Franfert - another German city that I missed - Pareee - Lisbo - Madrid - AERO to Buenos Airs - Poonta Reenas - Vapaarrso,Puru - Machew Peechu -Equadoor - AERO Pancanal - Cheeopis - U.S. - here - go Nort - then Kamchatka - Home - Four Months." Then he grinned , vrooomed once more and turned off the key. He carefully put the kickstand down and climbed off. I was in stitches. His riding partner arrived about then and started giving the first guy a hard time.
They had to inspect my Vstrom. First guy pointed at my mountain of essentials on the pillion seat and asked, "Sink?" I assured him that I did indeed have the kitchen sink hidden in there. They pointed out their BMW's were eleven years old, but do O.K. I think that covering about 40,000 miles in four months is better than O.K. That is over 300 and some odd miles every day. First guy said, "We ride hard." I believed him.
They wanted to take my picture with each of them. When my turn came, the batteries in my camera died. I showed them the camera - shot it with a thumb/finger gun and rolled it over - dead. We had a big shoulder slapping contest then with hoots of laughter. Damn. I wanted to ride Nort with them and - Kamchatka, Home. What a way to start a day. Life . . . . whew.

You have been warned!


The dreaded metal grating bridge floor. Wiggle time.


O.K.


Cars to right of sign - Airplanes left!
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:32 AM   #147
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Great RR! I'm in. I'm really enjoyin' the tone of this trip.

I'm getting ready to retire next month and looking forward to riding the Tiger 800 I bought last year to quite a few places, Alaska included, next year I think. Thanks for the great write up. The cost info you include is helpful.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:30 AM   #148
el guapo nada
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Originally Posted by calimusjohn View Post
Hi. Yes, I have been riding since 1949 on motorized machines. The Ride Report Dilemma. . . I have spent more than a few evenings around a fire ring listening too, and telling the travel tales. It doesn't get much better than that.

We are members of a great community of Riders - our Fire Ring is still here - it has just expanded to seat a whole bunch more in the circle..
What a great perspective John, and yes, your report is most definitely informative - on many levels...

Thanks for taking us all along.....


.
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el guapo nada screwed with this post 10-16-2012 at 06:33 AM Reason: deleted punctuation
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:12 AM   #149
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Thanks for making the extra places at the fire ring. Enjoying your look at life and the road a lot.

Jay
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:04 AM   #150
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Great RR! I'm in. I'm really enjoyin' the tone of this trip.

I'm getting ready to retire next month and looking forward to riding the Tiger 800 I bought last year to quite a few places, Alaska included, next year I think. Thanks for the great write up. The cost info you include is helpful.
Mootorcycle touring is great. Start small. Test all the gear before you are 2,000 miles from home. If you are new to riding - find a Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding course. I took their course after riding for 40 years - I learned a lot. Stuff that saved my bacon on this trip. I will tell the tale in the R/R. John M.
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