Alaska Adventure - Broken Bones, Kamikaze Rabbits, and the Norman Bates Gas Stop

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Mastery, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. Motor7

    Motor7 Been here awhile

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    Mastery, I forget how old you are.........I was fortunate to retire at age 49, but have worked harder for myself since that time than I ever worked for "the man". I'm in for your next Alaska tour, but having just returned from Moab......put it on the bucket list as it is amazing!
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  2. bromax

    bromax Bromax

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    i just found your trip yesterday and read the whole thing in two sittings.
    I'm no critic, loved the pictures, explanation, great prose. I was not able to do any long rides this year so greatly appreciated following yours.
    If i win the lottery ill fund your next trip just to read about it.
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  3. BikerBill

    BikerBill Motorcycle Addict

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    Everything I've done since riding to Alaska seems to fall short. I've ridden over 30,000 miles since returning from Alaska in August 2015 and nothing comes close. You and I talked before going to Alaska, but our schedules were too far apart. That's kind of funny since we live so close to each other. Maybe next time we'll ride north on the same team.

    The two guys I rode with were awesome riding partners. Carl rode up from S. Carolina and we joined Ron in Fairbanks to ride the Dalton. I'd never seen either one of them until we joined forces to ride Alaska and could not have wished for better riding companions. Both laid back, skilled riders that love life. I seriously hope that was not the last time the three of us ride off together on an adventure.

    We've talked several times since returning from Alaska. Seems we all bought adventure bikes for the ride to Alaska and pretty much thought we'd sell them once we got back home. Funny thing is, we didn't. Seems nobody could part with the bike that took them on such an epic adventure. I've demo'd the new R1200GSA and R1200GS. I've looked at the KTM 690 too. All great bikes no doubt. But Beemer has something they don't. His cracked windshield and skinned engine guards don't bother me one bit.

    The next time I ride to Alaska I want more time to ride south. Also, I want to ride to Dawson City, YT. I've ridden to Prudhoe Bay so there not much urgency to do that again, but I could probably be talked into it given the right circumstances. There's just something about being in the middle of no where that I like. Can't find the exact words to describe it.

    I hope you're doing well.

    Best wishes,

    bill
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  4. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    If you find yourself riding through Indiana and need a warm bed, hot meal, and some cold beer, give me a shout!

    I'm right behind you. Love to be able to retire...I buy a Powerball every week, just in case it's my turn!

    Thanks for the kind words. I'll be glad to author an even better ride report should you or anybody else like to become a primary sponsor to the next ride. :D

    Doing great, Bill; hope you're doing the same. Yep, we kept missing each other. We need to figure out a ride for this year sometime so we can clink some beer bottles or pass the sippin' whiskey around a campfire. As for Dawson City, I really enjoyed the limited time we were there. Lot of fun and we got there just in time for the yearly festivities but took off the morning of the famous picture since we were under such a time crunch. I agree, the southern or SW part of the state is where the views are. Would love to make another trip up there!
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  5. Vhitey

    Vhitey n00b

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    Nice report, thanks for sharing!
  6. BikerBill

    BikerBill Motorcycle Addict

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    Yeah, I could manage a ride across the mighty Ohio this summer for some riding, camping and beer! No big plans yet for this summer. I've been kicking around the idea of riding the Trans Labrador Highway and Nova Scotia for years, but haven't done it yet. That's likely my next big idea. Glad you're doing well. Not bad here either. Got the BMW out a couple times this week after the rains washed the salt away. Felt good to put a couple miles on the old boy.

    Let's get together once the weather improves and the campgrounds open. Just an over nighter with some gravel might be fun. Beer and stories of better days await!

    bill
  7. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    Sounds good to me. My vaca this year goes from June 17th to July 4th...thinking perhaps Pacific NW (which I've actually planned already), or CO/UT again, or who knows where the bike will take me.
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  8. the schwa

    the schwa Adventurer

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    Jeff, sorry to dredge up an old thread, but I found this after you PM'd me the link for the grab bars. Spent the last few days reading it in my spare time. Great write up - thanks a lot! I used to have an 08 Wee and LOVED that bike. Had to sell it for domestic sanity's sake, and a dude flew up from the Portland OR area to buy it essentially sight unseen off my craigslist post and paid what I asked, then rode it home. Hell, he's probably an inmate here. It was early April and there was still some cold/potentially icy spots, so I asked him to call me when he got home so I wouldn't be worried about him. He called later that night and said he was already in love with it and thought I was crazy to sell it. So did I. I was always afraid to take it off road though - it was just too nice! So this time around I have the venerable DR. Not as fast, not as pretty, but still great in her own way. I've never taken a multi-day trip on a bike yet, just day rides. I do have one on tap for July, and I have quite a bit more time allocated than my riding partner does, so I might extend and solo it a bit. I really enjoyed a lot of what you had to say, and I vicariously learned a great deal. Thanks again.

    josh
  9. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    Josh...sorry for the extremely late delay...never got notice of a reply on this thread. It's snowing here so figured this would be a good day to come back and veg in front of the computer and start re-reading my own ride trip again and refresh some memories.

    Appreciate the kind words. The Wee can be a little intimidating to take off road at first...but with some upgrades like suspension and adventure style tires, it's actually very capable on all but the real hard stuff. Remember...it is a bike that does everything okay...but nothing great :D I ended up selling my '07 Wee to upgrade to new Gen2 '12 Wee since I liked the first one so much.

    I hope you were able to get that DR out and about pretty good this year. I've had a DR...GREAT bikes and awesome for all kinds of adventures. They make great multi-day adventure bikes like the Wee...throw some camping gear on there and go...you'll love it.
  10. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    I keep forgetting to do this...but I owe somebody a very public thank you. In post #141 of this thread, I had mentioned that I lost in the bad crash the Yukon River Camp oval sticker I had bought the day before when I had gone to the Arctic Circle sign. I mentioned that I really wanted to get that to add to my collection one day. A few people responded that if they ever got up there, they'd grab me one.

    Another ADV reader here, Vic, known here as @Project Mayhem , had followed my ride report and mentioned it helped give him motivation to do this trip in 2016 with the much prettier to look upon Hannah. Well, in 2016, they went up there to do this dream ride...and in his own misadventure, Vic crashed nearly at the same place I had, ending his trip. Well, in 2017...he went back to finish his ride. And this summer...I received a letter in the mail from him...with one Yukon River Camp sticker in it.

    My very humble thank you to Hannah and Vic for their gift (and please forgive my repeatedly delayed public acknowledgement...even though I did respond privately immediately :) ) They also wrote a very compelling ride report of their two-part adventure here that makes great reading on a cold snowy weekend: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/hans-and-franz-pump-up-alaska.1160383/ I hope our paths cross soon.

    [​IMG]
  11. Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem Moto Aficionado

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    :beer
    Never gave it a second thought Jeff, but I do appreciate the kind words...I’m just glad that we could help you ‘close the loop’ on that particular chapter.
    Hope to see you in CO on your 2018 ramblings.
  12. wilsonjw42

    wilsonjw42 Long rider

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    I've stayed at that campground twice...the spookiest place I've ever camped!

    The museum is really nice.

    I enjoy talking to the [mostly] young people who work the summer jobs in Skagway. Many of them "live" in one of the local campgrounds; others wind up in boarding houses in town.
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  13. mark2wheeler

    mark2wheeler Adventurer

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    About halfway through this .Slow reader.I'm enjoying this. Thanks for the effort. You are one of those people who make it look easy.
  14. KSO

    KSO Grab a Handfull

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    Did you ever do this ride?
  15. mark2wheeler

    mark2wheeler Adventurer

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    I want to go to Alaska on a bike. There. It's been said. I've done some week long touring to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's been a number of years and I'll have to work up to it. I retire in two and a half years. I'll go then because I will want at least a month to do it. The four and six hundred mile days I'd have trouble with. We'll see though. The plain states are boring and would be one area that high mile days would be good. A few shorter trips should allow me to know what I can do. Thanks again for putting this out here.You make the narrative sound easy to write. Now I'll go back and skim over it and follow it on a map.
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  16. wilsonjw42

    wilsonjw42 Long rider

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    I'm headed back in the summer of 2020. I, too, need to retire so I can really enjoy the time on the bike without the pressure of heading back to work....
  17. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    Yes...I sent you a PM about it.

    Hope it gives you some inspiration. You got to figure out a way to get up there!

    Same thing...get up there as soon as you can. I think of Alaska every day...it's worth having the memories in the brain for those cold snowy days when you can't ride.
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  18. CAGE FREE

    CAGE FREE Been here awhile

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  19. rubline

    rubline Been here awhile

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    Wow what a read!
    Thank you Jeff for this write up. My Alaska trip has been on the calendar for almost 3 years and I have half the money saved, 17 months left to prepare.
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  20. JoeFab

    JoeFab Been here awhile

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    niagara falls, canada eh!
    Thanks for the very entertaining read Jeff...j.f.
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