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Old 09-08-2013, 07:45 PM   #61
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great RR - both pics & writing.
2011 KTM 990R
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:31 PM   #62
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Great report!

I know what you mean about those 18 wheeler dust clouds. Experienced that myself driving a jeep to AK for my brother. Instant zero visibility at 50mph on a narrow road with a sharp drop off an even narrower shoulder...
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #63
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Bellingham > Seattle > San Francisco

I rolled off the Columbia into Bellingham, a lovely town that forms the southern terminus of the Alaska Marine Highway. I would've loved to have lingered a bit in a cafe there however I was on a mission to ensure my tyre patch job got Allan back to Seattle in one piece.

Allan and his wife very graciously let me stay at their place for a couple of days while I explored Seattle.

Any city that lets you pick the nose of a giant troll is pretty ok in my book. I'd only been here for 24 hours and I think I was ready to profess my love for the place.

I stopped into the local BMW dealer to get my now worn TCK80s switched for a fresh set of Tourances. I was a bit saddened by this as it meant my machine was destined for less dirt and more tarmac from now on in.

Goodbye Seattle. Thanks for your triple shot espressos and wacky walls of gum.

I headed south on Rt 5 and shortly after peeled off at Olympia, WA to cut across and follow 101 down the Pacific Coast. My plan was to ride the coast to Mexico before I tuned left for home but in the end I wouldn't quite make it that far.

Riding down 101 over the Oregon border into California I met Mike Thomas — A nice quiet spoken guy who moved from Alaska a decade ago to the massive redwood forests so he could carve XXL wood with a chainsaw and drive his XXXL truck about.

And to prove that you can't judge a book by its cover there was a romance novel sitting open next to the fire when I arrived. He claimed it was "his wife's" however she was nowhere to be found.

I chatted to Mike for a bit and as I inched away from his unrestrained pit bull to narrowly avoid being eaten he gave me a great tip: “Make a right off 101 into Newton Drury Scenic Pkwy, you won’t regret it.” Five minutes later I pulled that right hand turn and found myself in probably the most amazing forest on planet earth.

Found the perfect parking spot after taking a transcendental ride through the Avenue of the Giants — a narrow 30 mile twisty road that's been laid between thousands of massive redwoods. These stunning trees were here centuries before columbus and stand taller than a football field.

I'm not ashamed to admit I even hugged this one and thanked it for surviving. One of the best rides I've ever done.

I was genuinely sad to leave those wonderful trees but I had a good friend in San Francisco waiting for me to arrive.

I adore SF and I ended up parking the GSA, hanging up my filthy BMW clown suit, buying some hilarious you're-going-to-a-free-napa-dinner-paid-by-your-friends-employer friendly clothing at an outlet store and riding about on their scooter for two weeks.

“not much of the gear some of the time”

What I quickly learned was the importance of spending some time away from the bike during an extended trip. To be honest when I rolled into SF I was starting to hit a bit of a wall — As much as I loved the traveling being able to temporally resume a daily routine that involved a real bed, laundry detergent and a good friend to hang out with put me in a good spot for the next leg of the journey. Thanks Paige!

Klinntu and spaceship GSA have successfully docked with the mothership APPL

We have come to visit you in peace and goodwill. I won't resort to threats, I merely tell you the future of your planet is at stake — My message to you is simple: "buy my game Gluey for your iPhone. It's your only hope"

Next up I’d follow the footsteps of the Beat Generation and half a planet’s worth of motorcyclists directly into the Big Sur…
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:45 PM   #64
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Just found your RR and LUVIN it

Where is that cowboy town in BC? It's in my general 'hood....and I would ride that way sometime....just to let my spurs jangle a bit

Safe riding, my friend.
Ged Schwartz
Kamloops , BC

Baja '05 , Baja 06/07 , Baja 08/09 , BC Alpine Single Track

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Old 10-30-2013, 01:11 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by motoged View Post
Where is that cowboy town in BC? It's in my general 'hood....and I would ride that way sometime....just to let my spurs jangle a bit
Hey Ged, glad you're enjoying my ramblings. Loved my time in BC!

I just took another look on google maps and I believe it's at:


Take Rt-1 west of Savona and it's just past the Deadman/Vidette turnoff on the right.

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Old 10-30-2013, 01:32 PM   #66
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Thanks....yes, that is on Indian land (Skeetchestyn Reserve) on their rodeo grounds beside the highway ....

And did you enjoy the town of Clinton up the road an hour or so?

I enjoy your writing style and dry sense of humour....we out here in the colonies have that witty style.
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Baja '05 , Baja 06/07 , Baja 08/09 , BC Alpine Single Track

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Old 10-30-2013, 06:47 PM   #67
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balance - mystery - goodness

I'm loving this ride report. Your pictures and parlance are at the highest level.

Your balance between photos and writting is great...never boring...always wanting more. Starting cool side stories, leaving some unfinished but for our own imagination.
Tim in Columbus, OH
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:28 PM   #68
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I just did the Giants ride a couple weeks back. Late afternoon sun shinning through the forest. I think I cried a little bit. They put the big kauri's to shame, don't they? Tane Mahuta is a big one though. Jealous!
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:59 AM   #69
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Big Sur

Ok let's start this off with a confession.

Beyond the fact that Jack Kérouac used to take his notebook and get stoned there I really knew nothing about Big Sur. (Hey I’m a ignorant foreigner what can I say.)

Well, I gotta tell you I was completely unprepared for what this place had in store for me — Shit-balls amazing doesn't even begin to describe it you know?

My friend Paige and I ended up riding north to south down the Cabrillo Hwy (Rt-1) which unless you’re particularly acrophobic is the best direction I think. Just miles of super twisty roads connecting drop dead beautiful coves with unobstructed vistas over the cliffs into the deep Pacific blue. As most view points are on the west side traveling south it provides easy access to the multitude of places to stop along the way.

We were very lucky with the weather as the area is unsurprisingly prone to fog so definitely watch the forecast if you’re planning a trip. The age old riding formula certainly applies to this place (Sunny day = rad, fog/rain = not-so-rad)

McWay Falls is a small stream dropping 80 feet from the cliffs to the beach. Granted it’s not quite Niagara, but what makes it stunning is, well this…

Stopped in at the Piedras Blancas seal harem voyeur point to play a game of spot-the-alpha-male and watch a particularly OCD seal flick sand over herself for 20 minutes. We were also lucky enough to catch a few satisfying scraps between them.

Fuck You!! No Fuck You!! Fuck Me? No Fuck You!! Wait... why are we fighting? Hell I forgot. Awe I love you bro!

Just south of Monterey we stopped at Nepenthe, a lovely isolated wooden restaurant tucked away into the landscape with amazing views (when it’s not foggy) Not cheap but definitely a memorable place to eat.

As the day wore on I started to keep my eye out for places to pitch the tent. I guess I wasn’t really tuned for Californian camping quite yet because I was kinda surprised that campgrounds were actually full; and actually expensive. Shocker! But as they probably say somewhere in the world a no-vacancy sign in the hand is worth two kick arse campsites in the bush!

We found a red dirt road that quite literally winds up into the clouds (@ 35.912376,-121.458406) and eventually a nice spot to hit the kill switch for the night. There are some amazing places to camp (for free) on the lower portions of this road but they tend to get claimed pretty early in the game.

San Simeon Surrealism: You have two cows. One of them is a zebra

Across from the Hearst Castle tourist trap is Sebastian's Cafe. If it wasn’t for Paige’s animated recommendation I would’ve sailed right past it. The lines are completely nuts but mein Gott the sandwiches were biblical. Paige saves the day again!

Serving Size: 1 sandwich

Ok, so I have one more confession…

The reason I ride, the real reason I ride is because it makes the beer at the end of the day taste. Bloody. Fantastic.

So that was Big Sur — In the end I didn’t get stoned and I failed to scrawl any poetry down in my moleskine but if I was a 13 year old girl I’d certainly sum it all up as


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Old 10-31-2013, 10:41 AM   #70
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nicely done.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:09 AM   #71
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Great report. Great pics. Thanks for sharing. This is one of those that actually inspires me to start seriously planning a trip
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:16 PM   #72
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:27 PM   #73
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This look like a fantastic trip! Could you link a map of your route?

Your trip is very inspiring, and I'd like to go on a similar adventure. Could you put up a map of your route?

Originally Posted by clintonl View Post
Hey there, My name is Clinton — I'm a kiwi guy who has been living in the US for 19 years now and gradually exploring chunks of it on annual bike pilgrimages.

Four years back a girlfriend and I dreamed about riding to Alaska on our motorcycles as one does; In the end the (now ex) girlfriend decided she wanted to do something else with her life, however my dream held true over the years. This season i was planning to finish my house and to finally do that alaskan trip "next year" but as the warm weather started approaching I decided "Screw it, you never know what might happen in the next 12 months, I'm going. I'm going, Now."

Well after 68 days, 13,700 miles, 4 tyres, 8 quarts of oil and 337 gallons of fuel I finally rolled back into my unfinished house weathered, hungry and brutally weary — However most of all I was exhilarated that I'd not only got to Alaska but experienced infinitely more than I'd originally dreamed about.

I've lurked on this board for 5 years now and really loved it as a place to hang out and listen. The ride reports have been especially useful for me as a planning resource and I've really appreciated the time people have put into writing them.

My "ride report" is going to be more like a collection of travel snippets really. To be honest I cannot remember what I had for breakfast yesterday so I'm not great on recalling the finer details of trips (unless the hash browns where especially delicious) I prefer to let photos paint things in broader strokes. Hope that's ok.

I'll add to this thread as I sort photos out. I hope if nothing else it acts as a catalyst for those who are putting that big trip off for whatever reason to GO. GO NOW! I'm really glad I didn't wait.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:49 AM   #74
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Thanks so much for taking us with you on your journey.

I love the vast images of Alaska and can only imagine the feelings evoked.

All the best.
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:42 AM   #75
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Hey Clinton,

Awesome RR mate , thanks so much for taking the time to share your fantastic pictures and well written commentary, epic one bro

Originally Posted by clintonl View Post

In my book of rad things I think having to share the road with aircraft would be on page one.

I stumbled upon a 'page one' on my Aus trip, unfortunately I don't have a book of rad things but now you got me thinking maybe I need to start one .............

"It's all about motorcycles, always has been and always will be" Ewan McGregor.
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