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Old 06-27-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
straightenarrow OP
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Wicked On a hope and a prayer to "The Great Land"

Stealing the motto of an adventure 3 friends and I took to Nashville on a few hours planning to Nashville from Wisconsin... derived from a repairman in nowhere Indiana welding my exhaust that just broke apart... describing the 1995 Geo Tracker I saved from a salvage yard that we severely overloaded, sporting 4 bald tires and questionable maintenance, undercoated with oil spewed from various gaskets. He said we were, "On a hope and a prayer." I couldn't disagree, I actually got a laugh out of the fact I convinced 3 grown men into driving 30 hours in 3 days in that rig. Truth is I actually feel most comfortable living in that fashion.

I used to live in Alaska doing aerial survey and commercial fishing for Salmon. It was some of the best work a guy could ever live to do. The scenery, weather, smells, and people I miss dearly from "up north". For some reason I feel I relate and identify with most everyone there. That being said I've been long to return after a few year hiatus. Not only that I've never explored the Northwest contiguous states. My plan is to venture from Wisconsin direct to the West coast and head straight north as far as I can go before I need to get back for work. I've convinced my boss man to let me off for 3 weeks, I took an 8 week break from Grad school, and anything else can wait.

To prepare I've essentially done nothing besides bike maintenance to my 2008 KLR650. I had all intentions of preparing over the past few weeks, but school and fun gets in the way every time. The past few weeks I put new tires (shinko 705's), tubes, brake pads, bearings, heated grips, seat pad, cheapo footpegs, oil change, chain, sprockets, etc etc. I took this KLR650 to Key West last fall so it's set up well from that trip. I've got a friends gopro ready, a new samsung nx1100 camera, and a cheapo gps for navigation plus the "Bible" Milepost book.

I am leaving in 24 hours.... I need to pack tonight. On the way to work this morning I was late because my 1986 4Runner decided to take a nap so it's still sitting there on the side of the road.

Another guy said he wanted to comes a few days ago, we'll see tonight if he is still ready to go for 3 weeks on a motorcycle never doing it before.

24 hours before freedom, on a hope and a prayer, I feel like I've never been more ready :)

 photo 228350_zps65fcb53f.jpg


updates to follow!

straightenarrow screwed with this post 12-23-2013 at 06:12 AM
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #2
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So much for being ready.... short story and trip delay!

No idea how this happened, and it happened at the worst time ever. My truck died in the morning and now the bike too! And I was planning on leaving in 12 hours.. So here's the short story...

Trying to out run a storm all of a sudden a got a weird feeling. No skidding, but I pulled in the clutch and coasted to the side of the road. I look up at the lightning and then down. Oil spewed everywhere. Look underneath and the damn oil plug was missing. Now I've changed oil a million times, could I have not torqued it the right spec? Is there a washer that could've fallen off? Who knows.. and it doesn't really matter anymore.

It was really a blessing that it happened as it did because my father was less than an hour away with a trailer and had the next day off. My father came with the trailer and we loaded it up. This morning I went to the auto parts store and got a plug. Filled it back with oil and touched the starter. It seems to run fine. But I'm not really a mechanic? I again drained the oil and checked the filter. Definitely metal shavings hanging around it. Here is a photo.

 photo 20130628_080728_zpse9e05b69.jpg

I am really bummed because I looked forward greatly to this trip but I can't be mad as shit happens and I can reschedule because my work is good about that! After I realized I didn't really trust the motor to take me to Alaska, I fixed my truck after a couple hours of dinking with the electrical... and here I am at work debating my next move!

Will keep you posted, and it turns out Dan, the random guy that want's to go to Alaska on a motorcycle with me was planning on still going after not hearing from him the last few weeks... He's a teacher and says hes still in if/when I leave in a couple weeks!

To be continued!

straightenarrow screwed with this post 09-10-2013 at 08:37 AM
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
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New Bike in the Stable

Long ass story...short

Truck broke down morning before departure...
 photo PicsPlay_1372700408222_zps6608f205.jpg

Head home, retrieve truck with friend, pack up for trip, head out on the cycle for one last check ride, outrunning this gnarly storm 24 hours before I plan to leave.
 photo PicsPlay_1372700210102_zps42f42839.jpg

Oil plug gives out somewhere along the line ... how the oil slick on the rear tire didn't result in a 80mph skid is beyond me, my father came with a trailer a couple hours away and helped me out. I still have no vehicle so I find out the electrical issue and fix the truck. Now it's hauling time to a buddy's to tear apart and reassess my future. All this while negotiating with the boss man about delayed vacation trip start.
 photo PicsPlay_1372699223989_zps2e725df0.jpg

Tear into the bike a bit, but I am no mechanic so with the help of many here I check things out
 photo PicsPlay_1372699105676_zpsf1aa6000.jpg

At this point I get a notification that craigslist has a klr 45 miles away, same year as my current one. To salvage my well placed vacation time and trip I strongly consider the option of buying a "new" bike... and here it is from fellow inmate scrappydoo!
 photo PicsPlay_1372543311720_zps1317a3ef.jpg

Spend the next 5 hours transferring wheels, brakes, chain, sprockets, tank bag, windscreen, seat, pelican case, cup holder, etc etc..

One last ride to make sure everything is setup correctly... 200 miles between the lakes of Eastern Wisconsin with a pair of KLR's my brother and friend own.
 photo PicsPlay_1372698675590_zpsf32b0556.jpg


Load it up on the trailer, 30 miles in the brake caliper locks up on the truck on the way home Sunday night and smokes like crazy. Magically the WD40 I sprayed on the hot rotor didn't ignite and freed the rotor. I drove 90 miles without touching the brakes all the way home. The trailer lights also went out and the cops never bothered me luckily.
 photo PicsPlay_1372698501367_zps240df75b.jpg

I've had more headaches I care to have at one time. I negotiated a Tuesday launch with work. Can't wait to get out, they hope I come back! Tonight is load up time! Oooooffffteee what a couple days!

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Old 07-01-2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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Wow! I hope your trip goes well. I think you used up your hope and now you are left with just prayer!
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:46 PM   #5
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Good luck!

I don't know if I can even wish you "good luck" and make it work the way bad luck has had it's way! Hopefully it's time for a good turn-around though and things will start going super-smooth. It doesn't hurt to hope!

Stay safe,

Gary "Oldone"


Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
Grampa’s National Monument Ride

Oldone screwed with this post 07-05-2013 at 07:17 AM
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:15 PM   #6
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Central Wisconsin - Negative One


Runs like a top and rides like a dream!


All this fits into the side cases, am I missing anything?



One more sleep :)



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straightenarrow screwed with this post 07-25-2013 at 09:31 AM
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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Wicked Departure - 3PM

Central Wisconsin - Day One

It is ten minutes before departure. Dan just got pulled over on his way down to meet me. What a beautiful day! Headed to a friends house in Marshall Minne. About 6.5 hours away. Slabbing it hard. It won't hit me until I am on the road for a couple hours that I am gone. Can't wait. Hoping to check in every once and awhile. Everyone have a great 4th of July!

Any suggestions along our path of places to visit would be greatly appreciated! Good firework displays near Yellowstone?

Off into the setting sun

Enjoy!

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Old 07-03-2013, 08:15 AM   #8
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Killing bugs across the prairie midsection of this United states!



Visiting Luke in Marshall



Keep on!


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Old 07-04-2013, 09:12 AM   #9
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Across SD to the Badlands to Black Hills

Shortly after this picture in the badlands the long klr650 kickstand made it go to sleep




 photo PicsPlay_1374425292217_zps80c2c127.jpg

The only cloud all day just out of rapid city


And happy fourth of July everyone



Onward towards Yellowstone and the tetons... currently enjoy a great breakfast in downtown Newcastle, wy... where's the beer though :)





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Old 07-05-2013, 05:39 AM   #10
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Black Hills to almost Tetons

Working off advice from a lady that drove 2 wheels to Alaska a few times we took highway 16 across Wyoming. It's a great drive.

Sun Tanning down highway 16 Wyoming


Dropping down Wind River canyon


Rain in the desert with the Tetons in the distance



The rain subsided and with a Kessler in hand are treated to a little firework action in Dubois, wy


Making the turn NW today we are thinking!

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Old 07-05-2013, 07:01 AM   #11
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A couple more photos...

Black Hills camp


Black Hills


Great breakfast and recon in Newcastle wy



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Old 07-07-2013, 08:02 PM   #12
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Turning NW we did...

I'll update this when I get home better but wow! Go north if you ever get the chance! I used to fly through AK and Yukon and commercial fished AK but on a bike it is a totally different deal...unexplainable!

Dang this is unbelievable!! Makes you wanna scream! I catch myself singing loudly under my helmet at 75 mph chewing oil with this klr650. That's how I know it's crazy beautiful. You guys don't read much and there haven't been any headaches really to detail so here are some photos.

Equal trade-off, road time for Dan, off road for me :)



Just south of salmon Idaho


Glacier National



The border at chief mountain highway!


Standard bear running away ak ride report photo :)


Beautiful flowers in sw Alberta


Standard tourist area photo op, lake louise


Tell me there isn't something guiding this whole show above?


Between Banff and Jasper is my favorite ride ever! By far! Amazing!


In Jasper, getting a shower and contacting relatives.. onward tomorrow towards Prince George!

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Old 07-07-2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:02 AM   #14
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Beautiful!~~~
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:11 PM   #15
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How it got any better than Jasper to Banff is beyond me but it does! Damn this country is beautiful!

A couple latent shots first..

Icefields parkway




Camp just north of glacier in Alberta


Falls at our campground, we bs'd with the conservation officers and they gave us some tips on how to avoid the Calgary flooded out roads. It was a bummer that we missed out on some great roads near there. WE did get a taste of the Calgary stampede though.
 photo PicsPlay_1373345038300_zps009aa95e.jpg

Glacier National


I didn't mention this earlier but my brand new nx1100 camera exploded in glacier park after I tried hanging the tripod to a tree... a leather man, black tape and patience somehow kept this lens working until this point, although you can see a spot or two.. where can a guy pick up a lens up here?



In Prince George I taught Sam a new song to peddle to the drive thru customers at Tim Horton's



We camped at lake tyhee and I randomly ran into a fella I used to work with in anchorage on his way back from Portland on a bike, crazy small world!

So close you can taste it! Alaska!


ALASKA baby! We made it!



The trip to the end of the road is well worth it :)


No words...
 photo PicsPlay_1373424948694_zps7c3aa718.jpg



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