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Old 09-25-2012, 10:34 PM   #91
GSF1200S
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What a trip man.. I hope you realize that you are the envy of many people; most of us desperately hope we are able to do such a trip at 73, and yet you do it with the same trials as someone younger.

Great writing and hopefully you get that fairing fixed soon!
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:53 PM   #92
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Hey John, great ride report man! I also rode to Alaska this summer and one thing keeps making me laugh; it was your reference to the wind socks. I have never been anywhere like that, usually I see flags, but up there, there are actually wind socks! Cool stuff!
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:12 PM   #93
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Very enjoyable reading Very amusing way you put out the story to be told.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #94
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Nenana Onwards

Nenana Onwards
The 05:30 A.M. train started today. Refreshed by 12 hours of sleep with minor losses due to trains passing, I review some of my notes. Dan Armstrong is not in Anchorage. He is in Fairbanks. I eat some Trail Mix and wash it down with tap water. After reloading the bike, I make my right turn escape from Nenana and head towards Fairbanks for the third time.
In Fairbanks, I stop at a very large store specializing in Industrial Supplys. I ask to see a phone book. Hmmm. No Dan Armstrong or shop listed. I am standing there like a lost soul and the counter Lady asks, "Where would he buy his parts?" Duh. She telephones the Harley shop and hands me the phone. I contact the Parts Dept. and in a matter of minutes have Dan's Cell number. I call and get directions to his shop. It's an attached garage to his home in a hillside subdivision. I tell him I can't turn left. He says, "Really."
Dan has a full beard and hair - shoulder length. He wipes his hands on a shop towel and ambles out to my bike where I have completed a 270 degree right turn. "Can't turn left," he mumbles. I show him how I can turn the handlebars 45 degrees to the right and about 10 degrees to the left. He is impressed. After wiggling and jerking on the fairing he exclaims, "Eureka! I have found it." He sticks his arm down where I can't see and pulls out a bolt. It is one of the two bolts holding the fairing on. It was jammed in the Triple tree ABOVE the hole it came out of. How it could have done that is a mystery. The bike turns left!
I ask Dan to look over the entire bike. He does. He replaces several missing bolts, tightens others. He asks how many miles my tires have covered. 3,750 is my answer. They were brand new when I left home. The rear tire is shot. He replaces the Continental Attack with a Michelin Annike. Wow! It even has tread. He tops off the oil. He cleans and oils the chain, scrubs the bugs from the windshield (mostly mosquitos- heh heh - revenge is mine), adjusts the clutch, has tightened all loose bolts, screws and nuts, takes the bike off the workstand and is finished in less than an hour. Total bill is $285.00. The last work I had done in a shop was $250.00 to replace a chain. Dan is my new hero.
O.K. here is a blatent recommendation: Dan Armstrong - - - Adventure Cycleworks - - - 1-907-457-4259 address: 362 snowy Owl Lane, Fairbanks, AK 99712 info@advcycleworks.com or www.advcycleworks.com Tire change $35.00 // Shop rate $60.00/hour Note: He did not ask for my recommendation. It is my idea. Oh, he rents gas cans.
I ride. I think I should stop and eat. Blue signs - nope. I pass Nenana - again. Finally in Healey, I see Rosa's Place. Order and receive a Chef's salad. An old time breakfast/lunch menu item. It is the best salad I have had in weeks. Turkey, ham, cheese, eggs, the works. Back on the road. The hills south of Fairbanks dribble out onto a plain of flat, scrub covered ground. In the distance are bumps on the horizon. They are not foothills, they are full fledged mountains sticking straight up from the flat. ( I keep hearing that stupid line - "We don't need no stinkin' (Badges originally, now anything that fits) foothills! The road follows the Nenana River as it snakes its way between immense rock walls. This is Denali. Home of Mt. McKinley - highest point in North America. Snow caps the peaks and slinks down and around rock outcroppings for hundred of feet. The valley floor is covered. Its covered with tourists of every nationality on earth. There are hundreds - no thousands of them. They came in cars, trucks, motorhomes, a few motorcycles, and HUNDREDS of tour buses - and let us not forget the trains. Any place that is remotely flat has a tour bus parked on it. Then there are the Denali Shops. If you can imagine it as a touristy thingie - its for sale in one of the hundreds of Boutiques - everything marked down and specially priced. Bargains by the hundreds - ya' need a Yak skin hat? No problem.
I travel a few more miles down the road. Find an RV Park a couple of blocks off the highway (They had an illegal plywood sign). For $31.00, I rent a 10 foot slide in cab over, camper shell for a pickup truck. It has electricity and a heater. The Shower, bathroom and laundry is about 100 feet away. I rent the camper for two days. My body has made it clear that it needs some food and some rest time. I go to a local cafe. Eat another chef salad and get a B.L.T. to go. That's for tomorrow's breakfast. In the A.M. - ice covers the bike. Trees have lost some leaves and fall colors abound. Its laundry day.

I have no idea how the font size changed!
$31.00 / day


Essential item carefully placed in camper


Should this have been a clue at the Railroad Museum?
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:09 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
What a trip man.. I hope you realize that you are the envy of many people; most of us desperately hope we are able to do such a trip at 73, and yet you do it with the same trials as someone younger.

Great writing and hopefully you get that fairing fixed soon!
Fairing was fixed in Fairbanks. I was "Fixed" in 1976 in San Diego.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by woodly1069 View Post
Hey John, great ride report man! I also rode to Alaska this summer and one thing keeps making me laugh; it was your reference to the wind socks. I have never been anywhere like that, usually I see flags, but up there, there are actually wind socks! Cool stuff!
Alaska is unique. But then every State is unique. I am presently driving to Indiana. Wyoming was a thunderstorm from Border to Border. - in the midst of a drought. Nebraska was hot! Scenery = incredible to spectacular. We are the most fortunate people ever. We can travel and see things first hand that the majority can not. We don't need passports/visas/travel permits/ NADA! just git up & go
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:16 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by achesley View Post
Very enjoyable reading Very amusing way you put out the story to be told.
Ya' sound like my kind of person . . . .
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:25 PM   #98
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Hi John,
Great read. I'm 76 and this last June-July I rode my BMW K1600 GTL from Los Angeles to Fairbanks and back by way of Yellowstone. 9000 miles, 30 days, had the time of my life. No camping, just the expensive motels and meals. Love your tales My partner (Clif) and I posted here on AdvRdr under "Alaska on a BMW K2600GTL" and enjoyed quite a following . I envy your solo adventure. My girlfriend joined us on the way back in Kamloops and we rode together back to LA. Our wx was better than you are describing and we didn't do the top road but went form Watson Lake to Ft.Nelson to Prince George and down. Ride safe and enjoy the experience. We old-timers can't do enough. And you're right, it's mainly the willingness to get out and go that gets you there. So keep it up. Blessing and compliments from another old fart.
Bill
I ran into some of the Cannon Ball Riders in Wyoming yesterday on their way back home. I had to stop and Thank them for being such great Ambassadors for motorcycling. I saw them stand and answer the (Stupidest) questions and never once put the questioners down. Us old geezers have the same responsibility. To show the mainstream populous that not all bikers are big, bad, bikers lookin' for trouble etc. I love the "Look" I get when I peel the helmet off and they see what's left. "Oh look George. That guy's older than dirt."
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:27 PM   #99
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Sitting here recovering from some arm/ shoulder surgeries...

I needed that inspiration. You go man & we will follow & be you some day. Fellow Stromer, good choice.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:11 AM   #100
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Hey John Dan is character huh? Met him this summer as well! That guy rocks! Must have been at least 10-15 guys waiting in line to get some service when I was there in June. Adventure Cycle Works is the REAL DEAL!
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:43 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by woodly1069 View Post
Hey John Dan is character huh? Met him this summer as well! That guy rocks! Must have been at least 10-15 guys waiting in line to get some service when I was there in June. Adventure Cycle Works is the REAL DEAL!
Yes! He said he has changed 400 tires this season! Right man, right place, right prices.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:45 PM   #102
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I needed that inspiration. You go man & we will follow & be you some day. Fellow Stromer, good choice.
Ya' can't go wrong with a Vstrom
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:50 PM   #103
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Out of Action

Gentlement/Ladies

I will be out of Action for a day or three. Attending 55th High School Reunion. Smart car puked enroute. It went to Omaha. Hertz & I enroute Indiana.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:38 AM   #104
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I'm 73. So what? Lead or GIT!

Okay, I'm a little slow and just found this. Great read!!!!

Mike
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:09 PM   #105
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go man go

Just found your report. Go Man Go
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