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. stoney4vida

    stoney4vida Semper Fidelis

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    Great read ! Heading to Alaska in July 2018
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  2. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    Well...after lots of prodding over the past year from a few folks....I've finally decided to write a book about this adventure. I figured maybe the eight copies it will sell might help pay for a tank or two of fuel that I could put into my future Ushuaia riding fund. Hey...wife already gave permission that I could go...so now I just got to find the money and every penny helps. :D Of course...I'd write another ride report about it...and probably even another book too!

    No promises that it will actually be published...but it is coming along and I'd like to get it to Amazon by end of February. It's well over 350 pages, 100+ photos (albeit grayscale but still viewable), and takes the ride report and expands on it. It's nearing my final editing now then goes to a couple of people know English better than I do. If it does get published...I'll update my thread here and throw info up in the Vendors area.

    Anyways...I've run into a little snafu. Well...something I'd like to add to the book that I don't have. Instead of writing it all out again, I'll copy and paste what I just posted on the Alaska regional forum. Please let me know if you were up there and grabbed one of these photos on your trip. Thanks!

    --

    Very unique request here. I'm writing a book about my previous Alaska adventure and I am looking for a specific photo to put into the book. We stopped at the University of Fairbanks location to use their summer dorms when we went up there to go to the Arctic Circle but never got a picture of of the building or any of the dorm rooms. I contacted UAF and they are willing to take a specific photo for me but they have contracts and stipulations about using a photo they provide. I've got over 100 pictures in the book and managed to get usage from a number of people without signing all kinds of contracts and involving lawyers as I would have to utilize getting a photo from them. If the book were to ever to go through a revision, I'd have to then do more contracts.

    With some research, I found out I can use anybody's photo...it's a picture of something in the public view, that is available on Google Maps (but I can't screenshot that due to their licensing stipulations).

    I'd like to get photo of the Skarland Hall, Hess Commons, Residence Life office entrance off Yukon drive. Maybe angled to capture that entrance and the building to the right of it, where the summer dorms for motorcyclists usage is. A good vantage point might be across the street near the speed limit sign. If there was a motorcycle or two in the picture that would be awesome...but I'll take it even without bikes. OR....I'd take a picture of one of their summer dorm rooms if you have that from your own trip.

    Anyways...I doubt this book will sell very many copies but it keeps me busy while it's -10 here. But if you provide a photo I will use, I'll be glad to credit your name in the book :D I did find a source that would take a pic and email it...for $100. That's half my book creation budget. I figured somebody has to have a picture of this location or would do it for a lot cheaper.

    I don't NEED the picture...but the two pages I wrote about the UAF experience...has a lot of text and a picture would like nicely right in the middle of it all to break it up :D

    So...anybody have a photo of this place to share? If I get multiple people sending pics, I'll use the one that works best for the project. Thanks!
    CavReconSGT, WYO George and rubline like this.
  3. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    I think you better just ride back up there and take the pictures you need...

    :D
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  4. Wilkrider

    Wilkrider Pain Doc

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    Tahnks mate. Going up in June 2018. Did it in 2013 with my wife, 17 year old daughter, with both riding. This trip will be Deadhorse and a return 2 week run. Its all work will allow. Our plan is to go up the Cassier and down the Alcan. I appreciated your writing and trip. Good onya.
    Mastery likes this.
  5. NCMtn

    NCMtn Adventurer

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    I recently found your report and read it all over the last few days. Awesome job and very inspiring.

    Alaska is definitely on my bucket list for a future adventure. It looks like another bike is in order though because 3 wheels is definitely not going to cut it for a ride like this.

    If your book gets published let me know since I officially commit to purchase a copy.
    rubline likes this.
  6. i4bikes

    i4bikes Been here awhile

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    I hope you do well with your book. I enjoyed your RR.
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  7. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    We saw a few trikes up there...both Harley's with the single wheel in the front...and Can-Am's with the single in the back. It can be done...just have to be careful just like on two wheels.

    If it's on your bucket list, try to get up there sooner than later. I think about it every day...they are nice memories to have each day.

    Will let you know if the book gets published. It's coming along very quickly and I'm hoping by end of February it is out there...but who knows. Not going to get rich off of it but it's been a fun project.
    NCMtn and i4bikes like this.
  8. THogland

    THogland Back in Alaska!

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    Wasilla-ish, Alaska
    Great ride report! I feel very lucky to live up here and see this scenery every time I ride somewhere. It's impossible to explain the remoteness and emptiness to anyone until they see it for themselves. Highly recommend people come up in "vacation" mode, rather than "mission" (i.e. I *have* to get here on this day). If your bucket list is just to ride to the Arctic Circle sign, then fly to Fairbanks, rent a bike and go - save your vacation time. If you want the journey to be the main part of the trip, then get into flower-sniffing mode, ride to Fairbanks, turn left and ride through Denali Park. Keep going until you get to Homer and ride to the end of the spit. turn back north, ride to Seward and Whittier, then take the ferry to Valdez and ride north all the way to Delta Junction, then turn right and go home. You'll see almost everything you can see on the paved road system. That'll take you a month, and you'll love half of it - the other half you'll be stopped in road construction or crawling along trying to pass the swarms of RVs that drive around every summer :lol3 but at least the scenery will still be gorgeous.

    If you do get back up feel free to give me a yell - if I can scare up some time I'll buy you a beer or Snickers or something :-)
  9. jettech01

    jettech01 Been here awhile

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    Jeff;
    Awesome RR, did a marathon today from front to back. I loved the gear eval, as well as all of your wonderful witty responses.
    I am headed (come hell or high water) to Alaska this summer, Mid June to Mid july, Traveling from Texas to Colorado via truck (my GS in the back) then unload at
    friends house in Colorado and ride the GS from there.

    I can appreciate, your Taking the high road with regards to riding with people that are not compatible riding partners....:D

    As I choose to side solo, I also enjoy a companion that has a sense of humor, and can take charge at times. I have a lifelong friend that fills those shoes many times.
    This trip will most likely be solo, but I encourage anyone that reads this to contact me to see if a meet for a day or two or week or two of riding will gel for either of us!

    I am happy to hear you have healed up pretty good but will prob experience some tenderness for the foreseeable future. I have broken ribs also and can fully sympathize
    With you, and the pain involved. If you ever get out here to Texas, I can recommend a trip to Big Bend NP as a Must see, as well as riding "The 3 Sisters" around Leaky (pronounced
    LAY-KEE) I would love to share a beer or three with you, and just listen. At 60 years of age I am finally getting better at listening rather than chiming in....:clap:D!

    Best wishes for many more years of adventure on your Bucket list rides.

    P.S. If I ever win the Lotto, I would gladly fund your return trip to Alaska as long as I got to enjoy "maybe some of it" With you
    the remaining Here....:lol3

    Randy
    Mastery likes this.
  10. fastpast

    fastpast n00b

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    I feel like i'm beating a dead horse here (no pun intended)........But a fantastic ride report. I'm new to the forum and have plans to leave to Deadhorse on June 1st of this year. You are correct, a ride like this will stick in your mind forever. Unlike others who have put this ride off all their life, i actually did it in 1972. I laugh at the reports i have read here and other places about the spots when the pavement ends temporarily. In 1972 it ended at the start of the Alcan hiway and never appeared again!! Your report was very informative and gave me lots of additional items to plan for.
    Cheers
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  11. mitko69

    mitko69 Adventurer

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    Woodridge, IL
    PM me your email. will send you some pics from UAF
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  12. ToothDocJay

    ToothDocJay Been here awhile

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    Cobble Hill, Vancouver island, BC ("wet coast")
    Really enjoyed reading your ride report, especially having done the trip myself and seeing it through different eyes.

    A couple of notes;

    Not all waitresses in Canada are hard done by in tips. My daughter waitressed and made a lot of money in tips every day. I would suggest that a few of them when asked made up their tale of woe to get a better tip. Not all, since every place is different. Obviously waitresses in bars, pubs and upscale restaurants tend to pull in more coin, especially the bars in the evening. Just to clear up any mislead belief that we don't tip up here. :1drink

    The worst part of most of the roads is when you go through those construction zones when they are resurfacing/grading the road bed, it can get damned sloppy as you described the elderly rider experiencing. Other than that the roads have improved dramatically over the years. I used to drive that road to go to University from Whitehorse every year and "back in the olden days" it was a lot worse.

    Worst area generally is the portion through the area around Beaver Creek if you are circling back into Canada after doing the Top of the World highway. Seems like it's under constant repairs from frost heaves and the construction zones con be 10 or 20 kilometers long with long lines of RVs. No fun for the motorcyclists.

    I prefer the Stewart Cassiar route, but your observation is certainly correct, if you are used to flat plain roads, both routes are spectacular. Next trip I might do it with my wife and daughter driving and myself on the bike and I will take the Dawson City route so they can see the signs.

    The sour-toe is REAL. Or maybe I should say is "was" real. I drank my first one back in the early 80s when the original Captn Dick was serving them up. Mine was much larger than the one now (big toe, not accessory digit!). It had a gnarly looking nail and the cut was uneven and with some wonderful green hues around the insicision. Constantly soaked in grain alcohol for "disinfection" purposes, it was nasty. I was in the first couple of thousand to drink it, now if I recall correctly from my last drink it's up to about 50,000 or more.

    The toe has been swallowed multiple times over the years. It happened again when i was in Dental School, and there was even a news story about the swallowed toe and that Cptn Dick was offering $500 for a new one. I was a struggling dental Student in 1st year, and in a room full of cadavers, about 10 of them. The med Students in the adjacent room had about 40 of them. Do the math....that's about 500 potential toes available for harvesting!

    Well there I was, a struggling student and I knew I could get a quick $500 just by snipping off a digit from one of the cadavers. I was torn between which room to perform my unethical surgery. Do I snip one off of one of our "dental" cadavers with the idea that it would go unnoticed because we don't bother going below the knee, or do I sneak across the hall to the med students cadavers because there are just so many to choose from and to throw suspicion away from the dental students?

    In the end I did neither. The fear of getting caught and expelled was too great so I chickened out. I'm convinced the original one was real, and so were its successors. I drank the current one about 2 years ago, and I studied it pretty closely, and it really does look like a cocoa nut more than a toe, but I still believe it to be the real deal. If not..well I still drank that big gnarly looking one about 30 years ago and that sucker was not a fake!
    GSAnderson likes this.
  13. Deckyon

    Deckyon The Raven

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    Can't comment fully yet, only 13 pages into the report. but so far, it has been a good read. Good luck on the book.
  14. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    Another recent reader. Excellent report! Thank you for taking the time. I am hoping to do that trip myself next year and you've provided a LOT of very helpful info.