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Old 12-07-2012, 12:05 PM   #166
CharlestonADV
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Anna, you continue to amaze me. I thoroughly enjoy reading your RR.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:36 PM   #167
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This is one of the best reports I have read. First one I have ever been moved to comment on.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:37 PM   #168
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I'm In

Spent ten days on a one-way to Alaska run a while back and love reliving those daily epiphanies through your excellent, moving report. Super classy ride, too! Makes me nuts all the folks missing this trip because they can't afford a pimped out BMW or KTM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:57 PM   #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKgeekgrrl View Post
Spent ten days on a one-way to Alaska run a while back and love reliving those daily epiphanies through your excellent, moving report. Super classy ride, too! Makes me nuts all the folks missing this trip because they can't afford a pimped out BMW or KTM.

Amen. Heres to sub $1500 80's Japanese bikes!
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:13 PM   #170
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RnT, thanks for such a great read! I'm certain this won't be your last great adventure ride. You are truly inspiring and put most of the wanna b's to shame. If you ever venture out on another camping sort of ride like this one, there are a few things that might make you more comfortable.

Since you were in Alaska, you should've picked up an Alaska Sheepskin butt pad (www.alaskaleather.com) this would extend your riding comfort for about 100 miles. At least it does for me. Another item I never leave home without is a box of foam earplugs. They are essential to a good night's sleep in noisy campgrounds/hostels/hotel rooms and will keep your hearing safe for years to come. Nice choice for a bike too BTW. Just proves that you don't need a 20K "adventure" bike to have the trip of a lifetime. As for foggy faceshields, try a dollup of foam shave cream on the inside, buff it clear with a microfiber cloth and you'll enjoy fog free riding for a couple days. My friend Pat Hahn relayed that little known trick to me several years ago when I helped him with a photo shoot for a book.

It was about 40 degrees and raining for 3 days but the shaving cream saved the day.

I felt a certain kinship with you as you described your battle with the winds in Kansas. I rode through that state in 2006 and swore I'd never return. The same goes for South Dakota. Got blown off the road twice on my BMW K1200 LT. Riding through storms and high winds is truly frightening. I salute your courage.

Thanks again for such a touching and refreshing ride report. You have the gift of gab. If you ever make it through Charlotte NC, stop by and say hello. Maybe you could convince my wife to learn to ride...
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:58 AM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShimrMoon View Post
As for foggy faceshields, try a dollup of foam shave cream on the inside, buff it clear with a microfiber cloth and you'll enjoy fog free riding for a couple days. My friend Pat Hahn relayed that little known trick to me several years ago when I helped him with a photo shoot for a book.
Hand soap also good for preventing fogged visor. Don't use washing up liquid (not sure what you call it in the States - the stuff you wash your dirty plates with) because that has salts in it to make plates sparkle but it'll scratch the visor.

Couple of drops of hand soap, spread all over and as said buff clear.

Great RR by the way
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:21 PM   #172
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Day 14: Teslin Lake - Takhini Hot Springs, YK

Day 14:
June 3, 2012
Teslin Lake – Takhini Hot Springs, YT: 122 miles



My SPOT stopped tracking me somewhere around Fort Nelson. It had been two days and none of my friends or family had heard from me or knew where I was. It was a tracking device that I purchased at an outdoor store that was supposed to work all across the world reaching satellites to track my location every fifteen minutes. It even had an emergency call button on it to reach the most local EMT with my location in case of a hazard.

I got it mostly out of concern for my family’s worries, knowing I would be out of cell range for extended periods of time. It was nice for everyone back home to see where I was, following along on the map with TUFRDR, the name of my SPOT profile. Eventually it became a comfort to me, knowing it was in my pocket, available just in case. I never thought about using it. Thankfully I never needed to. But out of all areas for it not to work, this was not the ideal place.

I didn’t realize the panic going on back home across my facebook page when I was peacefully camping next to Teslin Lake. It got cold that night, but it was nice. I had to use both my sleeping bags. I put the synthetic 60-degree inside the down zero-degree as a liner and I wore all my clothes. I wish I knew what the temperature was that night, but since my phone wasn’t working, I haven’t a clue.

It warmed up nicely as the sun came up and I decided to head to Johnson Crossing for their “world famous cinnamon buns.” It was only eight miles down the road and sounded like a nice place to stop, although I was a little skeptical about anything pronounced in quotation marks from the Milepost.

As I pulled into the gravel lot I noticed a clanking sound and saw the chain was grossly loose slapping the swing arm. I realized I had no other choice this time, other than to suck it up and tighten the chain myself. I decided to go ahead and enjoy my breakfast first and went inside to consume the largest cinnamon roll I had ever seen.

It was the size of my face. I think I only ate a quarter of it, and I understand why they are world famous. It’s not because they are good but because they are massive and probably one the biggest wastes of food that no one should try to consume on their own. Regardless, somehow it gave me the energy I needed to accomplish my duty to the bike.

I struggled getting the Radian on the centerstand and was still too stubborn to unload my gear from it. The pegs just dug deeper and deeper into the gravel making me push that much harder to get the bike to lift. Nevertheless, I got it after a few tries and dug out my tools from the sidecases, buried by the gear on top.

I don’t know why I didn’t just unload the bike. It was one of those things that I got so efficient and fast at that I never wanted to undo it, unless I was done for the day. I started keeping my tools in the tail case after this.

It was another 100 miles to Whitehorse and a beautiful drive the whole way. I got there around noon and stopped at the information center to decide what to do next. I was finally in cell range and all of a sudden my phone was bombarded with voicemails, texts, and emails. I used their wifi to check-in on FB and called my family.

Once I got caught up I was frustrated with the SPOT. Everyone kept saying how I just disappeared off the map. It made me wonder if it would have been better not to have it at all. The worst part of this trip for me was putting my family through stress, fear, and concern. They had already been through enough loss. I think that is what made my mind constantly think, “You have to survive this. You have to make it home.”

This is why I’m so grateful for my family. Regardless of their fears, they were supportive. They knew this was what I needed to do. I needed to do it for Dan. I needed to do it for me. And I wanted to do it for them. And they knew I was too stubborn to try talking me out of it.

Fear should never stop one from living for none of us know how long we will live.

I spent two hours in Whitehorse trying to decide if I was going to take the Klondike Loop to Dawson City and go into Alaska on the Top of the World Highway. It was supposed to be an epic road but I was slightly uncomfortable knowing it was an 80 mile stretch of gravel with no gas. I thought with my RotoPax and vigilance I could do it if an RV could.

My other choice was to stay on the Alaska Highway through Haines Junction all the way to Tok. I knew I would be heading back through Haines Junction to get on a ferry leaving Alaska so I decided to take the Klondike Loop for different scenery.

There were two hostels in Whitehorse I considered. Unfortunately one was booked for the night and the other one looked slightly sketchy so I decided to ride out of town. I wasn’t excited about riding six more hours to Dawson City so I pulled out the Milepost to look for camping and saw Tahkini Hot Springs next to Yukon Wildlife Preserve just three miles from the Alaskan Highway.

I was excited to have an afternoon to explore so I set up camp at the springs and headed over to the Wildlife Preserve. It was a steep $15 to walk through the Preserve but I felt it went to a good enough cause. It was nice to walk around for a change and get a good hike in. There were all sorts of wildlife: bison, elk, mountain goats, lynx, arctic fox, caribou, and even muskox. It was a beautiful afternoon.















I went back to the springs and slightly enjoyed a hot soak. It wasn’t as natural and serene as Liard. I was spoiled by that place. This was pretty much a concrete pool with piped in hot water. I could smell the chlorine. There were lots of families with babies that grossed me out so I didn’t stay in long. I felt more like I was cooking in old bath water.


(This is a good sign of a good campground)





I went to bed realizing I could be in Alaska tomorrow. It was odd I kind of felt sad about it, like it was all happening too fast. I planned on staying in Dawson City for one last night in Yukon--in celebration of the great passage.
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ruffntuff screwed with this post 12-24-2012 at 11:34 AM
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:06 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by ruffntuff View Post
I wish I knew what the temperature was that night, but since my phone wasn’t working, I haven’t a clue.
Past temp for Whitehorse, Yt

It says it was 35 degrees, and that doesnt sound so bad at first but when I think about it more I dont think that I would like sleeping on the ground like that after a long days ride.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #174
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Very insightful and entertaining writing. Can't wait for the next installment of your TOW highway experience!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:25 AM   #175
zilla
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Terrific ride report Anna! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:39 AM   #176
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Great trip, good for you for going ahead with it. Its easy for people back home sitting on the couch to say its dangerous alone, or you are not prepared, but I'm always impressed with people who actually just go and embark on an epic adventure. As Alan Watts said - Life is not a journey to an end state, its a musical composition and the intent is to sing, dance and enjoy it in the moment.

Im curious about your SPOT, I had one up North and it worked flawlessly, did you not get a confirmation light blinking when you were checking in? Or were you just using the track mode?
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #177
elite1
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"Fear should never stop one from living for none of us know how long we will live."

So true, so true......

I always said, "If you live your life in fear, do you truly live?"

Go girl, go!
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:03 AM   #178
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looking forward to the next installment
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:42 AM   #179
Qaz
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Hey RnT, didn't your mechanic friend tell you that chain lube is your friend. If you use a good quality lube, you seldom have to adjust the chain and they last a loooooong time. Good write up, but post a little more often. Lets see how this trip goes.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:17 AM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qaz View Post
Hey RnT, didn't your mechanic friend tell you that chain lube is your friend. If you use a good quality lube, you seldom have to adjust the chain and they last a loooooong time. Good write up, but post a little more often. Lets see how this trip goes.
Not to T/J too much here, but, chain lube only lubes the contact point of the chain and sprockets. It does nothing for the actual lube that is contained by the O-rings inside the rollers and plates, where chain wear occurs. Given the age of this bike, and assuming it's the original chain, the lube was probably beyond its useful life. Therefore, it probably broke down and facilitated the rapid decline of the chain. Carry on!
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