Alaska in 3 Weeks

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jwolff, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/1aOItjb">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/down-to-seward/camping-in-seward.jpg" title="Camping In Seward">
    <img alt="Camping In Seward" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/down-to-seward/camping-in-seward-400x533-c8b287.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Day 11 was a bit of a rest day. After sleeping about 12 hours we did decide to keep trucking. There was much to do and not enough time to do it all. More after the break..

    <!--more-->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: ~145 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&source=embed&saddr=inlet+tower+anchorage&daddr=Railway+Ave+to:Nash+Rd&geocode=FU7-pQMdY6cQ9yGSFQFq9VFheSk3bwbZf73IVjGSFQFq9VFheQ%3BFbAPlQMdh7cX9w%3BFfT0lAMd7g8Z9w&aq=&sll=60.101633,-149.436657&sspn=0.007102,0.022724&t=h&hl=en&mra=dme&mrsp=1&sz=16&ie=UTF8&ll=60.101633,-149.436657&spn=0.007102,0.022724">

    <img alt='Day 11 - Alaska In 3 Weeks' src='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/alaska-maps/day-11-alaska-in-3-weeks.jpg' />

    Click to view in Google Maps.</a>
    </center>

    We woke up with rather large todo list:

    • Recharge Macbook
    • Upload photos
    • Change fog light
    • Laundry
    • Clean mess kit
    • Air out tent
    • Glue turn signal
    • Books for boat

    We had our hands full for the morning. The main concern was getting the laundry done. Gregg found a laundry mat and brought everything over while I spent time fixing my turn signal, cleaning the mess kit and researching where to go next. He returned and I headed out to go take the clothes out of the drier. Gregg managed to tackle his always malfunctioning fog lights while he was at the laundry mat. On my way over I noticed another manual car wash. I made a mental note and headed over to the laundry mat. Lucky for me the machine was just finished when I walked in the door. No problems here.

    After heading back and things seemed to be in order we headed out for breakfast. Where to? Why the Snow City Cafe of course. The restaurant was back downtown but they served all day breakfast. Booyah. We find some parking spots and pay the meters. But for some reason all of the other meters with cars parked next to them were not paid for. Odd. We walked over to the restaurant and waited for a few minutes. This place was packed and busy. "Food must be good!"

    As soon as we got a table we ordered some food. I ended up getting the Heart Attack on a Plate.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/down-to-seward/breakfast-at-snow-city-cafe.jpg" title="Breakfast at Snow City Cafe -- Heart Attack on a Plate">
    <img alt="Breakfast at Snow City Cafe -- Heart Attack on a Plate" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/down-to-seward/breakfast-at-snow-city-cafe-400x299-be15ea.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    The description from their online menu is as follows:

    Hash browns, bacon crumbles, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, sour cream (veggie bypass has no bacon) Half order 7.95 | Full order 9.95 | With two eggs, add 3.00

    Mmmm nom. Nothing like a healthy plate of Heart Attack.

    From what I remember Gregg got some french toast, eggs and coffee.

    Once we finished breakfast, we hopped on the bikes and headed to the car wash. The bikes needed a good washing for the third time. Got to keep the bikes clean!

    We then headed over to Title Wave Books where we both bought a couple books to entertain ourselves on the boat. I managed to find "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz and "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. (both are good books and are highly recommended)

    Finally, after all our errands we headed out onto the Seward Highway taking it all the way down.

    Our first stop involved wildlife! We slowly pulled up on lots of people off to the side of the road taking pictures. Turned out that there were beluga whales romping around in the turnagain arm. I grabbed my phone and Gregg grabbed his camera and we shot a bunch of pictures.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/down-to-seward/turnagain-arm-and-mountains.jpg" title="Turnagain Arm and Mountains">
    <img alt="Turnagain Arm and Mountains" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/down-to-seward/turnagain-arm-and-mountains-400x299-7ceca6.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/down-to-seward/binoculars-beluga-watching.jpg" title="I spy a beluga!">
    <img alt="I spy a beluga!" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/down-to-seward/xbinoculars-beluga-watching-400x536-68a8ff.jpg.pagespeed.ic.GNZkM_Ndaj.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/down-to-seward/turn-again-arm-photo-shoot.jpg" title="Standing by the turnagain arm.">
    <img alt="Standing by the turnagain arm." src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/down-to-seward/xturn-again-arm-photo-shoot-400x267-e684d0.jpg.pagespeed.ic.CFAuKAcopC.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Unfortunately the whales were far enough away to not get great pictures. Sneaky little aquatic mammals.

    We managed to stop a little farther down the road to appreciate the beautiful views. Gregg got another nice shot.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/down-to-seward/seward-highway-mountains-and-glacier.jpg" title="Seward Highway Mountains and Glacier">
    <img alt="Seward Highway Mountains and Glacier" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/down-to-seward/xseward-highway-mountains-and-glacier-400x299-b1c27f.jpg.pagespeed.ic.rmq7JFVJVj.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    On our second to last stop, I saw a sign for jerky so we hung a left into the parking lot. It had been a dream come true because we had been searching for specialized jerkies the whole trip. (reindeer jerky, venison jerky, etc.) Sadly the guy wasn't at his jerky cart so we resolved to stop on the way back up. Gregg though managed to take some pictures. He has a particular affinity for seaplanes.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/down-to-seward/sea-plane-seward-highway.jpg" title="Sea Plane off the Seward Highway">
    <img alt="Sea Plane off the Seward Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/down-to-seward/xsea-plane-seward-highway-400x267-a42c2f.jpg.pagespeed.ic.BNbAAFGOeq.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We finally made it into Seward around 19:49. We stopped at the Seward Power Stop! and got gas. Gregg bought some firewood. We then took our bikes next door to the Safeway to get some beer and food. We then took a brief tour of town. Stopped in the downtown Hallmark to get some goodies and post cards. Once we had enough of the Hallmark, we booked it out of there and back the way we came.

    The plan was to camp out at the campgrounds somewhere on Nash road. After some confusion on where it was exactly, we finally rode down there and set up camp. The views of the bay and surrounding mountains were great. We set up a fire on the beach and made dinner. What an awesome place.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/down-to-seward/fire-on-nash-road-campground-seward.jpg" title="Camp Fire at the Nash Road Campground">
    <img alt="Camp Fire at the Nash Road Campground" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/down-to-seward/xfire-on-nash-road-campground-seward-400x536-b1de30.jpg.pagespeed.ic.dB9t5sAd-N.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Tip: For some reason in Phil's book it states that this campground is free. (it isn't) It's $10 a night for tent campers. The kiosk is on the right side as you make your way in.
    #21
  2. hwunger

    hwunger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Left Coast
    nice write up !

    - you guys made very good time
    - the Stewart-Cassiar must have been a little challenging ?
    - come on, it's called the Alaska Highway ..... :rofl

    .... want to do this next year ... tired of riding to Califohnia every year ... not !
    #22
  3. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    The Stewart-Cassiar was a bit mind melting by the end of the day. The biggest thing that had us worried was the patches of (unmarked) gravel. It was the first place where we really ran into those.

    Highly recommended you go. Just make sure you bring a mosquito net and rainproof gear. :D
    #23
  4. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/1dvTUNw">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/homer-spit/mckinley-from-kenai.jpg" title="Mt. McKinley from the Kenai Peninsula">
    <img alt="Mt. McKinley from the Kenai Peninsula" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/homer-spit/mckinley-from-kenai-400x266-f70e62.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    A preview of things to come. We enjoyed Seward but there was much more to see. More about Day 12 after the break..

    <!--more-->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: 216.5 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Nash+Rd&amp;daddr=Homer+Spit+Rd&amp;geocode=FfT0lAMd7g8Z9w%3BFYuQjQMd4TX59g&amp;aq=&amp;sll=59.614253,-151.446061&amp;sspn=0.014414,0.045447&amp;t=h&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=dme&amp;mrsp=1&amp;sz=15&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=59.614253,-151.446061&amp;spn=0.014414,0.045447">

    <img alt='Day 12 - Alaska In 3 Weeks' src='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/alaska-maps/day-12-alaska-in-3-weeks.jpg' />

    Click to view in Google Maps.</a>
    </center>

    Staying in Seward was relaxing and well worth the ride the day before. We had plans to see the rest of the peninsula but first we needed to handle some things in Seward.

    We needed to find the post office to send our post cards and then grab some food. After the post office, we set out to the Smoke Shack Restaurant to get some grub. This restaurant was housed in a retired Alaska Railroad train car. The food was normal. Gregg was hoping for something smoked but it appeared the "Smoked" was just a play on words in the restaurant title.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/homer-spit/chicken-sandwich-smoke-shack-seward.jpg" title="Chicken Sandwich from the Smoke Shack Restaurant in Seward">
    <img alt="Chicken Sandwich from the Smoke Shack Restaurant in Seward" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/homer-spit/chicken-sandwich-smoke-shack-seward-400x299-78f68c.jpg">
    </a>
    I ended up getting the chicken sandwich (pictured above) and Gregg got the ribs. Everything turned out pretty tasty.
    </center>

    Next on our checklist for the day, the Seward Exit Glacier. We grabbed our gear and rode back up north on the Seward Highway. The turn was to the left just outside of town. We rode in admiring the beautiful landscape. We finally caught a glimpse of the glacier in the distance. It was still there! (Great!) We arrived in the parking lot and proceeded to change out of some of our moto stuff and walk up the path to get a closer view. The walking path takes about 30 minutes if your young (or young at heart). We, of course, took some pictures as we got closer.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/homer-spit/gregg-at-exit-glacier-seward.jpg" title="Gregg at the Exit Glacier">
    <img alt="Gregg at the Exit Glacier" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/homer-spit/xgregg-at-exit-glacier-seward-400x267-da4563.jpg.pagespeed.ic.W4wbjzDqzA.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    The saddest part about this visit though was the fact that the national parks people posted signs indicating where the glacier was in relation to time. The sign that Gregg was standing next to was indicating that the glacier was up to that point back in 1998. It has melted back quite far since then.

    After pictures, we headed back down to the bikes. We saw what we wanted to see in Seward. We were off to Homer!

    Our first quick stop involved the jerky cart that we had passed the day before. The owner was there and we were ready to check out what he had to offer. He gave us some samples and Gregg ended up getting some of his venison jerky. Happy day.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/homer-spit/jerky-cart-seward-highway.jpg" title="Gregg at Jerky Cart">
    <img alt="Gregg at Jerky Cart" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/homer-spit/xjerky-cart-seward-highway-400x536-160583.jpg.pagespeed.ic.yb7NKF3K5B.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    At about 18:00 we reached Sterling, AK where we filled up. After some credit card confusion with the attendant we were back on the road stopping a couple more times on the way. We were especially excited about the fact that we could see Denali from where we were. Gregg managed to get the first picture in this post of Denali that day. It made up for the fact that everything was clouded over while we were on the Denali Highway.

    After encountering some construction traffic we made it out onto the Homer Spit around 20:15. The Homer Spit is an interesting piece of land. It juts out into the Kachemak bay from main land and, for what ever reason, the locals decided to build buildings out here (mostly tourist traps).

    We found a camping spot on the beach. It was located on the western portion of the spit. At that point in time it was uncomfortably windy. We had some other choices of camp spots but we felt like this was the best one at the time.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/homer-spit/homer-spit-camping.jpg" title="Homer Spit Camping">
    <img alt="Homer Spit Camping" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/homer-spit/xhomer-spit-camping-400x299-27f77d.jpg.pagespeed.ic.gH0lvkjRNp.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Fortunately for us the wind died down later that night. We set up camp and made dinner. We had to shield my stove from the wind using my improvised wind cover and also some rocks. The menu for the evening you ask? Why tri-colored rotini with sauce.

    Gregg managed to get some pictures of the town before it got too dark. Definitely worth the ride.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/homer-spit/homer-marina.jpg" title="Homer Spit Marina">
    <img alt="Homer Spit Marina" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/homer-spit/xhomer-marina-400x300-0dce5c.jpg.pagespeed.ic.CqQ73y0_4q.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/homer-spit/panorama-homer-spit-marina.jpg" title="Panorama of the Homer Spit Marina">
    <img alt="Panorama of the Homer Spit Marina" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/homer-spit/xpanorama-homer-spit-marina-400x135-07cd3c.jpg.pagespeed.ic.LdT7CXcg23.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    No trip to Homer was complete without taking a trip to the Salty Dawg Saloon. They only serve out of bottles here so we decided to take one down.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/homer-spit/jared-outside-salty-dawg-homer.jpg" title="Ouside the Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer">
    <img alt="Ouside the Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/homer-spit/xjared-outside-salty-dawg-homer-400x533-c90364.jpg.pagespeed.ic.dL44V_pEsF.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/homer-spit/inside-the-salty-dawg-saloon.jpg" title="Inside the Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer">
    <img alt="Inside the Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/homer-spit/xinside-the-salty-dawg-saloon-400x536-a1460b.jpg.pagespeed.ic.5Jhwpn6du1.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We soaked in the decor. The place was covered with dollar bills (and other pieces of currency) from people all over the world. That made up for the lack of their tap and beer choices. After our beer it was time to head back. We wanted to get some rest for what laid ahead.
    #24
  5. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/16Phvam">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/aqua-blue-rivers.jpg" title="Aqua Blue Rivers Caused By Glaciers">
    <img alt="Aqua Blue Rivers Caused By Glaciers" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xaqua-blue-rivers-400x299-91dd0b.jpg.pagespeed.ic.K5OohwsOxK.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    It was another beautiful day in Alaska. We had just concluded our one night stay in Homer. We had figured, by this point, we were sufficiently far enough away from Haines that we should slowly head back (almost 1000 miles). There was still much more to see though! There were a few stops left on our list and both were worth it. Day 13 here we come.

    <!--more-->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: 298.5 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Homer+Spit+Rd&amp;daddr=Main+St+to:W+Camp+Rd+to:61.1804372,-149.8589195+to:Arctic+Roadrunner,+Old+Seward+Highway,+Anchorage,+AK+to:House+of+Harley-Davidson,+Spenard+Road,+Anchorage,+AK&amp;geocode=FYuQjQMd4DX59g%3BFRaToQMdKZsU9w%3BFQ1fnwMd2D0j9w%3BFRWKpQMdmVUR9yn7DPERo5fIVjGJvuqpKtnOyw%3BFR9spQMdNS8R9yGamz9fDvLHxCkFLzGFmZfIVjGamz9fDvLHxA%3BFXiRpQMdyDMQ9yF6N_oBGJFtxykx9j8m45fIVjF6N_oBGJFtxw&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=arctic+road&amp;sll=61.178674,-149.861455&amp;sspn=0.013737,0.045447&amp;t=h&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=dpe&amp;mrsp=3&amp;sz=15&amp;via=3&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=61.178674,-149.861455&amp;spn=0.013737,0.045447">

    <img alt='Day 13 - Alaska In 3 Weeks' src='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/alaska-maps/day-13-alaska-in-3-weeks.jpg' />

    Click to view in Google Maps.</a>
    </center>

    We got off to a late start this morning. We had our disassembly process down to a science and soon we were on our bikes rolling down the road. We stopped for gas around 11:19 and hit the Sterling Highway with a vengeance.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/riding-the-sterling-highway-back-from-hope.jpg" title="Riding the Sterling Highway ">
    <img alt="Riding the Sterling Highway " src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xriding-the-sterling-highway-back-from-hope-400x299-89bbe3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.jpEZlre6nO.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We didn't make many more stops for pictures on the Sterling Highway going back. The weather turned out much nicer than the day before. (on our way down it got pretty cold. on the way back not so much). I did manage some more rolling pictures:
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/motorcycling-back-from-homer-sterling-highway.jpg" title="Riding the Sterling Highway ">
    <img alt="Riding the Sterling Highway " src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xmotorcycling-back-from-homer-sterling-highway-400x299-b9a03c.jpg.pagespeed.ic.ECNlZkKF2B.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Around 13:21 we did stop in Sterling for some gas. I knew that this could get us up to Hope and back and possibly even to Whittier. Our plan from here was to get to Hope and have some lunch and then figure out the rest of the day. So we got back on the bikes and rode for Hope.

    Once we got to the Hope Highway, we were greeted with nicely paved twisty roads. Nothing our bikes couldn't handle. It was a nice change of pace and the scenery was a great complement to the fantastic riding.

    We arrived in town around 15:00 and found a table at the Seaview Cafe.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/seaview-cafe-hope-alaska.jpg" title="The Seaview Cafe in Hope">
    <img alt="The Seaview Cafe in Hope" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xseaview-cafe-hope-alaska-400x267-72f268.jpg.pagespeed.ic.hRcKfP4lK3.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Phil's book suggested to go there for the chowder so we ordered just that! Gregg got a bowl while I got a cup and a sandwich. (turned out to be the better idea). The sandwich was good but the chowder left something to be desired. (Phil why are you letting me down man!) Once we ate, we walked around. We found the creek that runs through town low and behold there were fish scurrying around in there. Gregg grabbed his GoPro, extension and dunked it in the water. He got some neat video.

    Once we had enough of the fish, we packed up and decided to head out and over to Whittier. Interestingly, the only way to get to Whittier is by boat or through the approximately 2 mile one lane tunnel. The tunnel is multi-purpose serving both vehicles and trains (train tracks built into the ground).

    We soon arrived at the toll booth. Turned out it was $12 a piece for motorcycles. (we were under the impression it was $15) We paid our tolls (cash or credit card) and were instructed to stand by the bathroom (for some unknown reason). We waited, we waited and we waited. "What the heck. I'm not sure why we are waiting here." So, we decided to get rolling. But the second we got moving the barriers to prevent entry went down (whoops).

    As we stopped, a couple of the tunnel guys pulled up and explained the situation a little better than the girl did at the booth: Motorcycles always go last. I assume this is more of a safety precaution but also to keep things on time. I could imagine riders have taken some tumbles in the tunnel because of the railroad tracks. "Ohhh. Ok. That makes sense."

    Soon enough they let us through. The tunnel was damp and dark. I did manage a picture:
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/whittier-tunnel-alaska.jpg" title="Whittier Tunnel Alaska">
    <img alt="Whittier Tunnel Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xwhittier-tunnel-alaska-400x299-f57c10.jpg.pagespeed.ic.dU8Vq1Q70i.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We rode down the middle as recommended. It did get annoying as we proceeded past the exhaust fans but we made it in once piece.

    After emerging, we rolled toward town. It turned out this place was much smaller than I imagined. Off to the right you could see the giant concrete building which used to house the whole town (hospital and movie theater included). We parked at the end of town, grabbed some ice cream and found a seat over on the break water. I pulled out my camera and got a picture of the bay.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/whittier-passage-canal.jpg" title="The Whittier Passage Canal, Whittier Alaska">
    <img alt="The Whittier Passage Canal, Whittier Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xwhittier-passage-canal-400x299-09f231.jpg.pagespeed.ic.I3NqVGYwnX.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We walked around some more. Though the town was small it had its own little charm that both Gregg and I appreciated. Gregg got some shots of the Marina.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/marina-in-whittier.jpg" title="The Marina in Whittier Alaska">
    <img alt="The Marina in Whittier Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xmarina-in-whittier-400x267-d89119.jpg.pagespeed.ic.gx8RdyJ0cb.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We walked down the entrance and toured all the boats. One thing we thought was fascinating was the fact that the water was crystal clear. To the point where we could drop little pebbles and see them fall 8-10ft down to the bottom of the marina. Gregg got a great shot of one of the boats. There was stuff growing all over the hull.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/boat-hull-in-whittier-alaska.jpg" title="Boat Hull Adjacent to the Marina Entrance in Whittier">
    <img alt="Boat Hull Adjacent to the Marina Entrance in Whittier" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xboat-hull-in-whittier-alaska-400x267-282145.jpg.pagespeed.ic.X-ME_dg88W.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We soon wrapped up our tour. Next stop: Anchorage. Up the road we went and back to the entrance of the tunnel. Just before passing through Gregg got another shot of the glacier to the right side of the eastern entrance.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/glacier-in-whittier-alaska.jpg" title="Glacier Right Before the Eastern Entrance to the Whittier Tunnel">
    <img alt="Glacier Right Before the Eastern Entrance to the Whittier Tunnel" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xglacier-in-whittier-alaska-400x299-835ca7.jpg.pagespeed.ic.kVlv3rcxRH.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We couldn't go anywhere without seeing them.

    Moments later, after all the cars had passed through, we were waved in and we rode the tunnel back to the connected world. The moment we were on the other side we pulled over and took some pictures of the floating pieces from the Portage Glacier across the lake.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/hope-whittier-tunnel/portage-glacier.jpg" title="Portage Glacier">
    <img alt="Portage Glacier" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/hope-whittier-tunnel/xportage-glacier-400x267-204e42.jpg.pagespeed.ic.w2os8dttl3.jpg">
    </a></center>
    This had been our first views of the results from glaciers calving.

    We hit the road again up to Anchorage. We were planning on staying at the House of Harley Davidson as they offered free motorcycle camping to the side of their building.

    The ride back from Whittier was short and uneventful. We needed gas and food though so we stopped off the highway and Gregg Yelped for a restaurant. He shortly found a restaurant and we were on our way again. We navigated the roads until we found what we were looking for: Arctic Roadrunner It's an order-at-the-counter type place serving all types of fast food sandwiches. It's just what we needed after a long day of riding.

    After dinner, we headed over to the House of Harley. As we pulled in and parked we were greeted by one of the Motoquest guys. It turns out that Motoquest shares the same camping common area as the House of Harley. We were also greeted by one of the other campers. He had been riding from Florida on his BMW 1200RS. We got to chatting about our adventures and he gave us some tips about what to check out in the area. He was planning on taking the same route we were taking down to Haines but a week later. We hooked him up with the Vanessa's campground info (Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground) for good measure.

    After we set up camp we were invited to come hang out on top of the MotoQuest roof. To get there we had to climb up a large pallet that scaled the back wall. (cheap ladder) We met some of the guys and they offered us some beer. We spent an hour or so getting to know each other. It sounded like they have awesome jobs. (but it could be stressful sometimes -- especially prepping for back to back adventure rides)

    After hanging out for a bit it was time to turn in. Thanks again to Brenden, Ovi, and everyone else at Motoquest for being so welcoming. Also thanks to House of Harley for hosting!
    #25
  6. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/1aWZdoq">here.</a>

    ---
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/glenn-highway-to-tok.jpg" title="Glenn Highway Riding North to Tok">
    <img alt="Glenn Highway Riding North to Tok" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xglenn-highway-to-tok-400x267-dc0e4f.jpg.pagespeed.ic.d5Xzojh-p4.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    After a restful night at the campgrounds behind House of Harley, we got packing. We were to make a Wal-Mart stop and then hit the road for Tok. Our riding portion of the adventure was almost over..

    <!--more-->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: 332.5 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=House+of+Harley-Davidson,+Spenard+Road,+Anchorage,+AK&amp;daddr=AK-2+E+to:Borealis+Ave&amp;geocode=FXiRpQMdyDMQ9yF6N_oBGJFtxykx9j8m45fIVjF6N_oBGJFtxw%3BFeFsxgMd-D569w%3BFUc5xgMdDOd59w&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=three+bear&amp;sll=63.335504,-142.983166&amp;sspn=0.003091,0.009892&amp;t=h&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=dme&amp;mrsp=1&amp;sz=17&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=63.335504,-142.983166&amp;spn=0.003091,0.009892">

    <img alt='Day 14 - Alaska In 3 Weeks' src='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/alaska-maps/day-14-alaska-in-3-weeks.jpg' />

    Click to view in Google Maps.</a>
    </center>


    Riding back to Tok was simple as it could be. We would have to ride back up the Glenn Highway. We hadn't ridden this portion of road yet so we didn't know what to expect. One thing we did run into though was these wonderful patches of gravel.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/road-construction-glenn-highway.jpg" title="Road Construction on the Glenn Highway, Alaska">
    <img alt="Road Construction on the Glenn Highway, Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xroad-construction-glenn-highway-400x299-b3f887.jpg.pagespeed.ic.QcI-6Bg3Ky.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    The short patches of grit appeared inconsistently as we rode along. They may have tripped us up at the beginning of our adventure but no longer. We flew right over each and every one without a problem. Our tires holding up even ~6000 miles later. Pretty amazing! (By the way we both ran a fresh batch of Metzler Tourances.)

    Tip: The best way to deal with these patches, as long as you are on a straight portion of the road, is to maintain your speed and roll right through them. You're less likely to get goosey and at higher speeds you will "glide" across the gravel instead of sinking into it.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/selfie-glenn-highway.jpg" title="Selfie on the Glenn Highway Alaska">
    <img alt="Selfie on the Glenn Highway Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xselfie-glenn-highway-400x533-5f2a74.jpg.pagespeed.ic.cUR4g9orze.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We stopped a couple times to take pictures. (of course) The Glenn highway had its own characteristic beauty. It was great to ride down and we practically saw no other people or traffic.

    We made a fuel stop in Glenallen at our favorite gas stop with our favorite Thai food place. (buh) We filled up and got out of there. We were on a mission!
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/glenn-highway-gregg-motorcycle.jpg" title="Glenn Highway - Gregg and His Motorcycle">
    <img alt="Glenn Highway - Gregg and His Motorcycle" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xglenn-highway-gregg-motorcycle-400x299-09d3dd.jpg.pagespeed.ic.nvSOQAzbiF.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    More pictures along the way. The above is one of Gregg admiring the mountains around us. He even got a picture.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/glenn-highway-beauty.jpg" title="Glenn Highway Beauty">
    <img alt="Glenn Highway Beauty" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xglenn-highway-beauty-400x267-45a39e.jpg.pagespeed.ic.iZ3cOH_3K0.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We rode on some more and also managed to get some rolling pictures as well:
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/glenn-highway-motorcycle-riding-backwards-shot.jpg" title="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Cooking Setup">
    <img alt="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Cooking Setup" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xglenn-highway-motorcycle-riding-backwards-shot-400x267-7df564.jpg.pagespeed.ic.sUhLmQlz_k.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Besides the random gravel patches it was a great cruise up to Tok. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day!

    Then, when we were about 20 miles away from Tok we noticed some Harleys on the side of the road. Gregg slowed down and asked if they were good using hand signals and in a slight bout of miscommunication he took off thinking everything was ok. (it wasn't)

    I pulled up aside them and it turned out the woman had gotten a flat tire (bummer!). The gentleman was asking if we had a pump (and of course we did). I did let him know that my alcohol container had exploded over it so it may seize up but it's worth a shot! By this time, Gregg had come back and figured out that there was something wrong. So he pulled over and we got to work.

    By that time, they had already patched the hole in the tire so all we had to do was fill it up. Gregg first attempted the CO2 cartridges that come with our patch kits. The first one shot in ok but the second one didn't fare as well. We decided to go for the pump so we hooked it in to her bike and let the pump do its job.

    While we were chatting it turned out that the woman was a director at Harley Davidson and even more interestingly the gentleman was the previous owner of the House of Harley in Anchorage. (The place we had just stayed the night before!) They explained that they and a cohort of riders were heading to the big 110th Anniversary celebration in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

    After some continued conversation, we finally got the back tire up to a good pressure. Their friends had just arrived with a can of fix a flat but it appears we had fixed it (at least temporarily). So with that I offered to follow them in to make sure they at least made it to Tok. We hopped on the bikes, let everyone pass us and took up the rear. I did manage to get a rolling picture as we got going.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/ride-into-tok-with-harleys.jpg" title="Adventure Motorcycle Ride into Tok Accompanied By Harleys">
    <img alt="Adventure Motorcycle Ride into Tok Accompanied By Harleys" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xride-into-tok-with-harleys-400x299-4c77fe.jpg.pagespeed.ic.byQVK0iu3T.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    What an awesome feeling to get when you can help somebody in need. I was glowing by that point.

    We arrived in town with everyone in one piece. She came over and thanked us again. We chatted a bit more as we filled up our bikes. After a bit more conversation it appeared that her tire wasn't going to make it to Milwaukee. She would have to get her bike towed to Fairbanks to have a new one put on. (agg) We said our goodbyes and wished them good luck on the rest of their journey. I hope they made it!
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/gas-selection-tok.jpg" title="Gas Selection">
    <img alt="Gas Selection" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xgas-selection-tok-400x299-7d5dbf.jpg.pagespeed.ic.vEZiVhpJPe.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Tip: I took a picture of the gas pump up in Tok. This is an example of what's offered up there. In most places we were able to get 90 octane (and the bikes ran pretty well on it).

    We headed next door to Three Bears Grocery and bought ingredients for Sloppy Joes. We were going all out this night. We made another stop at the liquor store down the street and then we headed to the campgrounds.

    Once we arrived I attacked the food while Gregg started setting up camp. I even got a picture of him in action sporting our beloved head net.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/gregg-mosquito-net-tent-setup.jpg" title="Gregg Wearing a Mosquito Net Setting Up The Tent">
    <img alt="Gregg Wearing a Mosquito Net Setting Up The Tent" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xgregg-mosquito-net-tent-setup-400x299-a9a2da.jpg.pagespeed.ic.-2CHL3Gpz1.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Vanessa has an awesome set up for cooking and cleaning. They even provide a propane stove, cookware, and tableware to use (and wash afterwards obviously).
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/thompons-eagles-clasw-camp-setup.jpg" title="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Cooking Setup">
    <img alt="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Cooking Setup" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xthompons-eagles-clasw-camp-setup-400x299-01aa47.jpg.pagespeed.ic.9tetBhJ8Se.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    After some finishing touches it was time to eat!
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/back-to-tok/dinner-in-tok.jpg" title="Glenn Highway Beauty">
    <img alt="Glenn Highway Beauty" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/back-to-tok/xdinner-in-tok-400x300-5dbac3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.BjSryrcaZq.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    And it turned out pretty good! There is nothing like a good sloppy joe on the road. After a rejuvenating dinner we settled in and mentally prepared for our last leg in Alaska. It was time for Haines.
    #26
  7. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/19tBKZT">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/alaska-highway-before-haines-junction.jpg" title="Alaska Highway Riding East Before Haines Junction">
    <img alt="Alaska Highway Riding East Before Haines Junction" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xalaska-highway-before-haines-junction-400x267-e0270c.jpg.pagespeed.ic.T8s5ROdn-P.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Our ride from Tok to Haines was horrible and beautiful at the same time. I guess it was too much to ask for perfect weather the whole three weeks. Nevertheless we trucked on. To Haines!

    <!--more-->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: 475.2 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Borealis+Ave&amp;daddr=Chilkat+State+Park+Rd&amp;geocode=FUc5xgMdDOd59w%3BFShuhgMdiZLu9w&amp;aq=&amp;sll=59.14909,-135.355854&amp;sspn=0.028257,0.079136&amp;t=h&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=dme&amp;mrsp=1&amp;sz=14&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=59.14909,-135.355854&amp;spn=0.028257,0.079136">

    <img alt='Day 15 - Alaska In 3 Weeks' src='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/alaska-maps/day-15-alaska-in-3-weeks.jpg' />

    Click to view in Google Maps.</a>
    </center>

    Tip: when you have a long day of riding ahead get up when the sun does. (We already knew this but for some reason we didn't think of it.)

    We got up rather late and proceeded to clean up our mess. I walked around the campground to get some picture proof we were there. (But also to show off this awesome campground.)
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/teepee-thompsons-eagles-claw-campground.jpg" title="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Teepee">
    <img alt="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Teepee" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xteepee-thompsons-eagles-claw-campground-400x536-81c71e.jpg.pagespeed.ic.N_BkjrlFTq.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/converted-ambulance-thompsons-eagles-claw-campground.jpg" title="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Converted Ambulance">
    <img alt="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Converted Ambulance" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xconverted-ambulance-thompsons-eagles-claw-campground-400x299-9daaac.jpg.pagespeed.ic.o2ALLdiO3o.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/cabin-thompsons-eagles-claw-campground.jpg" title="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Cabin">
    <img alt="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Cabin" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xcabin-thompsons-eagles-claw-campground-400x299-fc0f84.jpg.pagespeed.ic.VdFNVPtLY5.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/parachute-thompsons-eagles-claw-campground.jpg" title="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Parachute Gathering Area">
    <img alt="Thompson's Eagle's Claw Campground Parachute Gathering Area" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xparachute-thompsons-eagles-claw-campground-400x299-6f10e4.jpg.pagespeed.ic.2TMUsZD3gS.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    As you can see this is a unique place. If you stay the night you won't be disappointed.

    We were on our way by 13:00 PST (aghhh). I almost suggested waiting another day there considering we still had some leeway before the ferry left. (Too late oh well.)

    We left Tok in a rush. The roads turned rough but still paved to the border. The pavement was composed of a mishmash of different materials supposedly deposited over the years. It looked as if someone decided that the best color would be alternating between grey and brown.

    It was slower going past that point especially because we couldn't tell if the chip seal was chip seal or gravel waiting to make our day horrible. Fortunately we didn't run into many patches of gravel between Tok and the border.

    In addition to the unique pavement, we had our first real run in with rain. At first it started off soft but soon enough we knew that we would have to stop and throw on our Triple Digits. After passing a bicyclist gearing up we decided to do the same.

    We made it to the border and passed through without a problem. What a crummy send off. Thanks, Alaska.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/wet-bikes-alaska-yt-border.jpg" title="Wet Motorcycles at the Alaska/YT Border">
    <img alt="Wet Motorcycles at the Alaska/YT Border" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xwet-bikes-alaska-yt-border-400x299-579138.jpg.pagespeed.ic.aNjPo0PHFL.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    I took a quick picture of the bikes. Gregg was more wet than I was. It turns out his Kilimanjaro Jacket lost its waterproofing a long time ago.

    We got rolling again only to be greeted by our old friend gravel (and lots of it). We rode through about 10-15 miles of loose slippery aggregate in the rain. Needless to say it was a fun time.

    We finally broke free from the gravel and continued trucking southeast on the ALCAN. We passed by some little towns (of which we probably should have stopped for gas) and kept our eye on the prize.

    It still was raining and cold at this point. I had all my layers in, my sweatshirt on underneath my jacket and my handlebar warmers set to kill. Gregg was very much in the same situation. Turned out he had his heated gear set to roast and was still cold. Fun times.

    We rolled past an older gas station and pulled over. We were nearing the point of no return on our fuel range so we decided to turn around and fill up. The owner and her dog made her way out to the pumps and we started chatting. It sounded like they were having a good year and hopefully we made it even a little better.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/koidern-river-lodge-gas.jpg" title="Koidern River Lodge Gas">
    <img alt="Koidern River Lodge Gas" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xkoidern-river-lodge-gas-400x299-27c256.jpg.pagespeed.ic.LJ_Ik8uBai.jpg">
    </a>
    Don't be so angry bro.
    </center>

    We gave the lady some cash and geared back up. The rain had stopped at this point but I kept my triple digits on.

    As we rode we started approaching some really beautiful scenery. We stopped for pictures a couple times (including the picture at the beginning of the post.) Glaciers were everywhere around us. I was awestruck at how blue the water looked from afar. It made up for all the undesirable riding we had just experienced a couple hours before.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/alaska-highway-before-haines-junction.jpg" title="Alaska Highway Riding East Before Haines Junction">
    <img alt="Alaska Highway Riding East Before Haines Junction" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xalaska-highway-before-haines-junction-400x267-e0270c.jpg.pagespeed.ic.T8s5ROdn-P.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/glaciers-alaska-highway-before-haines-junction.jpg" title="Glaciers East of Haines Jct on the Alaska Highway">
    <img alt="Glaciers East of Haines Jct on the Alaska Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xglaciers-alaska-highway-before-haines-junction-400x299-7d8069.jpg.pagespeed.ic.04a2Z2nQIh.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    The road was in better shape during this portion of the ride. Although, there were many more bumps in the road caused by frost heaving. This was a new concept for us but it didn&#8217;t cause too many issues.

    As we rode and hit the bumps I could feel the rear tire rubbing (ut oh). It was during this time that I saw that my orange dry bag was hanging off of the back of Gregg's bike. (!!!) We pulled over to inspect the damage. Gregg was quite lucky that it didn't get caught in the wheel or else we would have had a really bad day. Luckily for the tent inside (and us), the bag took most of the damage. The only other damage was to the tent's compression sack and a slight hole in the tent's rain fly.

    Once we finished that investigation, I also looked into why my back tire seemed to be rubbing while going over those bumps. It had turned out that the frame was off enough from my day in Kennicott for the tire to rub on the inner wheel well. Gah. I pumped up the preload on the back shock and readjusted the black cylinder on the right side enough so it was out of the way. Perfecto!
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/open-road-alaska-highway.jpg" title="Alaska Highway Open Roads">
    <img alt="Alaska Highway Open Roads" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xopen-road-alaska-highway-400x299-8c9d13.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Gxg5IrL2Rr.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    After battling the frost heaved highway we finally made it into Haines Junction around 19:09. We fueled up at the gas station on the left and then hit up the Northern Lights Restaurant across the way.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-haines-haines/northern-lights-resturant-lunch-haines-junction.jpg" title="Northern Lights Restaurant Lunch Haines Junction">
    <img alt="Northern Lights Restaurant Lunch Haines Junction" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-haines-haines/xnorthern-lights-resturant-lunch-haines-junction-400x299-8330f5.jpg.pagespeed.ic.QemUIoche8.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    In the restaurant, we had a beautiful view of the mountains around us and a half way decent meal in front of us. The meal turned out to be a bit more expensive than we had hoped but there wasn't much bargaining to be had since this seemed to be the only restaurant within miles.

    After dinner we moseyed out to the bikes. We still had a bit (170 miles worth) to go and the sun was playing peek-a-boo behind the clouds. We got back on the bikes and aimed them south. Haines or bust.

    We rode through the rolling hills noticing the beauty that surrounded us. We also realized that we were to see the sun no more. It kept getting darker, colder, and, to top it all off, foggier as we got closer to Haines. We had to slow down when all we wanted to do was speed things up. We rode through some dense patches of pea soup fog at some points slowing to a crawl. We were almost there but Mother Nature kept warding us off.

    Finally we arrived at the border crossing. As we motorcycled past the Canadian portion the border officer came out and waved. We headed down the road and stopped at our final border crossing! After a few questions like "Do you have any weapons?" we were on the other side.

    We followed the twisty road into town attempting to navigate in the dark and cold. We hit the middle of town around 23:00 and proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes attempting to find a suitable camping spot. After some confusion and deliberation we rode down Mud Bay Road to the Chilkat State Park where we hastily pulled in and attempted to find a good spot. (It had started raining again). We erected camp in the dark and the rain.

    As the rain fell around us we reflected on the day. We knew, that from this moment on, we were in relaxation mode. There was nowhere to be but Haines for the next 48 hours. It was time to look forward to our next days of the journey.
    #27
  8. hwunger

    hwunger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Oddometer:
    524
    Location:
    Left Coast

    Labbatt's Blue !!! ...... whoo hoo :1drink

    My old man's favourite beer :clap

    R.I.P :cry
    #28
  9. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    We were excited to see it up there. Can't get it in Cali.:cry
    #29
  10. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/15ps549">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-day-2/glaciers-chilkat-haines-alaska-2.jpg" title="Glaciers Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Glaciers Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-day-2/glaciers-chilkat-haines-alaska-2-400x267-8c4b35.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Rain. The Bringer of Life. Rain. The Bringer of Flash Floods. Rain. The Bringer of Wet Socks. Rain. The Bringer or Boring Days.

    Rain. We woke up very much the same way we fell asleep with rain tapping on the roof of the tent. We still managed some adventure once the rain broke. Day 16 is here!

    <!-- more -->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: 26.3 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Chilkat+State+Park+Rd&amp;daddr=ferry+terminal+haines+to:Chilkat+State+Park+Rd&amp;geocode=FShuhgMdiZLu9w%3BFX6OiAMdyv7s9yEPBTBxb-8iJyldQSc0Mx4AVDEPBTBxb-8iJw%3BFTNuhgMdpJLu9w&amp;aq=&amp;sll=59.146889,-135.370102&amp;sspn=0.014614,0.045447&amp;t=h&amp;hl=en&amp;mra=dme&amp;mrsp=2&amp;sz=15&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=59.146889,-135.370102&amp;spn=0.014614,0.045447">

    <img alt='Day 16 - Alaska In 3 Weeks' src='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/alaska-maps/day-16-alaska-in-3-weeks.jpg' />

    Click to view in Google Maps.</a>
    </center>

    As you may have guessed we spent most of our day relaxing reading the books we had purchased for the ferry. No worries though as the rain didn't last forever. By late afternoonm, a break in the rain made us hopeful that we had the chance venture out into town to check things out. We took some pictures as we went along.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-day-2/camping-chilkat-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Camping in Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Camping in Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-day-2/camping-chilkat-haines-alaska-400x299-d353ee.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Above is a picture of camp. You can barely tell that things are damp but don't worry you can take my word for it.

    We decided to ride into town to get some firewood and food. On our way we happened upon some beautiful glaciers popping out of the mountains to the west of us. Gregg got the amazing shot from the top of the post.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-day-2/glaciers-chilkat-haines-alaska-2.jpg" title="Glaciers Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Glaciers Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-day-2/glaciers-chilkat-haines-alaska-2-400x267-8c4b35.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    I also managed to get some pictures with my phone:
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-day-2/glaciers-chilkat-alaska.jpg" title="Glaciers Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Glaciers Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-day-2/glaciers-chilkat-alaska-400x299-086257.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-day-2/glaciers-chilkat-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Glaciers Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Glaciers Chilkat State Park Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-day-2/glaciers-chilkat-haines-alaska-400x299-d9e3fa.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Also, earlier down the road Gregg succeeded in to get a good shot of the Chilkat inlet. As you may see in the picture the inlet is also adjacent to the mountains with the glaciers.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-day-2/chilkat-inlet-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Chilkat Inlet Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Chilkat Inlet Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-day-2/chilkat-inlet-haines-alaska-400x267-6d7e8d.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    After our picture stop we pulled rode down towards town. We saw a gas station right off of Mud Bay so we decided to fill up the bikes. The gas was expensive ($5+ a gallon!) but I&#8217;ll be darned they had 92 octane. Can't get that in the lower 48 can we..
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-day-2/super-unleaded-92-octane.jpg" title="Super Unleaded 92 Octane Gas Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Super Unleaded 92 Octane Gas Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-day-2/super-unleaded-92-octane-400x299-c2d815.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We took a quick tour of town and even cycled down to the ferry dock.

    Tip: The ferry dock is a couple miles from downtown Haines. It's not a very easy walk.

    We got some food and firewood at Howser's IGA (the only grocery store in town) and some beer across the street. Gregg was real excited when we came across Langunita's Special Shut-Down Ale. Anything that is special or limited in the bay area seems to be the most sought after (and often the most unavailable). So cheers to nice surprises!

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-day-2/lagunitas-undercover-investigation-shut-down-ale-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale in Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale in Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-day-2/lagunitas-undercover-investigation-shut-down-ale-haines-alaska-400x533-23a4ad.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    We headed back admiring the views as we lingered along the the twists and turns of Mud Bay Road. It was nice that the weather was cooperating. (At least for now..)
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/haines-day-2/drying-feet-in-the-fire-chilkat-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Drying Feet in the Fire While Camping In Chilkat State Park">
    <img alt="Drying Feet in the Fire While Camping In Chilkat State Park" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/haines-day-2/drying-feet-in-the-fire-chilkat-haines-alaska-400x536-453afb.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We built a fire and cooked our food. I attempted to get the fire going but it appeared to be a formidable foe. It seemed as if the moist ground was the main culprit. Luckily, after some iterations of chopping tinder and kindling, we finally got the fire going.

    Nothing like a camp fire, a beer and some warm food to end the day!
    #30
  11. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/16zrD2S">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/haines-alaska.jpg" title="Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xhaines-alaska-400x299-d354c4.jpg.pagespeed.ic.3T1yWC12Xq.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    A new day, a new adventure! We pack up, head into town, and wait for the Ferry. Day 17. Lets rock and roll!

    <!-- more -->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: ~24 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Chilkat+State+Park+Rd&amp;daddr=ferry+terminal+haines&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=FShuhgMdiZLu9w%3BFX6OiAMdyv7s9yEPBTBxb-8iJyldQSc0Mx4AVDEPBTBxb-8iJw&amp;sll=59.146889,-135.370102&amp;sspn=0.029227,0.090895&amp;t=h&amp;mra=pr&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=59.146889,-135.370102&amp;spn=0.029227,0.090895">

    <img alt='Day 17 - Alaska In 3 Weeks' src='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/alaska-maps/day-17-alaska-in-3-weeks.jpg' />

    Click to view in Google Maps.</a>
    </center>

    We woke up around 10:00 PST. We ate some breakfast and gradually took the campsite down. We would have a whole day of waiting ahead of us so there was no rush.

    Once camp had been dismantled, we shot back into town. We decided to peruse the grocery store and purchase any last minute items to get us through the ferry ride. I ended up buying (most importantly) a microwaveable Pyrex dish to cook the canned soup we had acquired along our trip. (I ended up making several trips to the store that day so I'll leave the silly details out)

    Gregg and I also spent the morning touring the town and all the little shops. We both wanted to get some nice things to give to Robin and Sarah on our return. One could definitely spend a bunch of dough on nick nacks but we both ended up finding some moderately priced stuff that didn't break the bank.

    Once we got bored of town we decided to head back toward the ferry terminal. Instead of stopping though we kept going. We actually continued across a bridge, down the street until the road stopped and then we turned around. ( dead end roads are not so much fun for us motorcyclists ). We did find a comical sign that was worthy of a picture just past the bridge:

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/old-man-at-play.jpg" title="Old Man at Play Sign">
    <img alt="Old Man at Play Sign" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xold-man-at-play-400x267-8b5288.jpg.pagespeed.ic.gOwsvHchYy.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Watch out for the old man at play.

    We arrived at the bridge and decided to pull off. Only moments after stopping a bald eagle soared above us and perched at the top of the adjacent tree! Gregg hastily set up his camera and long-range lens.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/bald-eagle-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Bald Eagle Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Bald Eagle Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xbald-eagle-haines-alaska-400x266-0354da.jpg.pagespeed.ic.c4AmYNzJ40.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/bald-eagle-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska-2.jpg" title="Bald Eagle Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Bald Eagle Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xbald-eagle-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska-2-400x267-4b020f.jpg.pagespeed.ic.d-KDH9lTjI.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/bald-eagle-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Bald Eagle Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Bald Eagle Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xbald-eagle-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska-400x266-78bdf1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.CgOyzzMAFk.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    It turns out that if you want to see a bald eagle this is where you need to go. We proceeded to see several more (different) bald eagles float around, land, and squawk. Their call seemed to be halfway between a seagull and a crow. Weird.

    We spent much of our time here by the bridge. There was wild life everywhere! We even watched a man and his wife fish humpies from the river.

    <center><a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/fishing-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Fishing by the Bridge of the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Fishing by the Bridge of the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xfishing-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska-400x267-d1b387.jpg.pagespeed.ic.E6fuEaQZDZ.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    And then I saw them. There they were pouncing around in the water. It was a bear cub and its mother foraging for food!

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/grizzly-bears-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Grizzly Bears Feeding in the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Grizzly Bears Feeding in the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xgrizzly-bears-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska-400x267-bbb15d.jpg.pagespeed.ic.fhKuysetDB.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Gregg, at first, got some far off shots but we knew we had to get closer. There was a state campground near by so we rode over there to get a better vantage point.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/grizzly-fishing-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska-2.jpg" title="Grizzly Bears Feeding in the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Grizzly Bears Feeding in the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xgrizzly-fishing-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska-2-400x267-51dfb3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.DUvm6hwMRv.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/grizzly-fishing-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Grizzly Bears Feeding in the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Grizzly Bears Feeding in the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xgrizzly-fishing-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska-400x267-d90032.jpg.pagespeed.ic.INxSzLuNyY.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/grizzly-mom-and-baby-fishing-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Grizzly Bears Feeding in the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Grizzly Bears Feeding in the Lutak Inlet Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xgrizzly-mom-and-baby-fishing-lutak-inlet-haines-alaska-400x267-490332.jpg.pagespeed.ic.qdNja_YM7j.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    As you can see Gregg got pretty darn close to those bears. The bears started shifting up towards the road to the point where Gregg was uncomfortable enough to relocate (down the road). We motored back to the other side of the bridge to hang out. It was fun to watch the bears displace the fishermen as they cast out along the riverbank. It was cool to see live bears in action in an uncontrolled setting (since we had been looking for them all trip long!!).

    We futzed around some more and then headed back into town to get some cell phone coverage. It was time to make some phone calls and update our families. We did take some more pictures though:
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/beat-up-but-not-out-motorcycle-alaska-2013.jpg" title="Beat Up But Not Defeated! Motorcycle Alaska 2013">
    <img alt="Beat Up But Not Defeated! Motorcycle Alaska 2013" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xbeat-up-but-not-out-motorcycle-alaska-2013-400x600-a9e5c0.jpg.pagespeed.ic.QPk0hmskGD.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/motorcycling-from-downtown-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Motorcycling From Downtown Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Motorcycling From Downtown Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xmotorcycling-from-downtown-haines-alaska-400x266-c3edf0.jpg.pagespeed.ic.02RBIEYwnN.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/parked-motorcycles-overlooking-haines-alaska.jpg" title="Parked Motorcycles Overlooking Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="Parked Motorcycles Overlooking Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xparked-motorcycles-overlooking-haines-alaska-400x267-7ac2b5.jpg.pagespeed.ic.E2CXoirxBG.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    It felt good to check off some of the remaining boxes we had from our Alaska todo list. All that was left was to get on the darn ferry and back to San Francisco in one piece.

    Finally, after all the phone calls were made we rode back to the ferry terminal and got in line. We happened to meet up with another Advrider inmate, Steve, and struck up a conversation. He had been riding around since June!(!!!) He was sporting a 2012 1200GS and hiked up all the way from LA. He aptly named his motorcycle Miss Adventure and even had a decal made and stuck it on the windshield. You can see it in the picture below:
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/motorocycles-line-up-for-ferry.jpg" title="Motorcycle Line for the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry">
    <img alt="Motorcycle Line for the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xmotorocycles-line-up-for-ferry-400x299-e36cae.jpg.pagespeed.ic.jQxd6k0sXJ.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    As we chatted with Steve, Gregg and I proceeded to make our final penny stove dinner in the parking lot. Pasta and sauce. It would be nice to have real food again soon..

    The boat soon arrived and we started organizing our things. We ended up making a checklist of all the things we needed to bring up. (not really necessary. See below.)

    Tips: Here's what we didn't know about the ferry system and I hope to enlighten anyone that has any questions about their processes:

    • It's a crap shoot whether you will be put on the boat first or last. It's really up to the crew. For us, we were some of the first vehicles on once they had loaded some trailers.
    • The moment they start loading cars you can ask the attendant at the end of the ramp if you can board. I had no problem here just make sure you have your ticket!
    • Because Haines is the second stop you shouldn't be too worried about getting a spot on the solarium or on the deck if you're camping. We had no problems.
    • Park and tape your tents as close to the "No Tent Area" as possible. The open deck gets windy and if you don't tape your tent down good enough it will shift or even fly off!
    • With that said make sure you bring a whole roll of duct tape. You will use the whole thing. (we shared. if you are a grumpy guss and don't like sharing you should have plenty left over)
    • If you want to get off and ride anywhere during the layovers you need to purchase separate tickets otherwise you get stuck in the bowels of the boat not to move until Bellingham.
    • Once your on the boat, you have plenty of time to bring stuff upstairs. There is no reason to freak out and rush.
    • Ratchet straps are a must. They have some but not nearly enough if there are more than 2 bikes. We are glad we brought our own.
    • Any flamable gas/liquid must be stored in the paint locker for the duration of the trip.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/tents-taped-to-the-deck-of-the-mv-columbia-alaska-marine-highway.jpg" title="Tents Taped to the Deck of the M/V Columbia - Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Tents Taped to the Deck of the M/V Columbia - Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xtents-taped-to-the-deck-of-the-mv-columbia-alaska-marine-highway-400x267-e33bcb.jpg.pagespeed.ic.kqPaTvNkHG.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Tip: I'm particularly sensitive to diesel exhaust. (even after working around ambulances and fire trucks for a good portion of my life) If you are too you may want to consider sleeping inside as the exhaust blows down across the top deck. The M/V Columbia will be undergoing some surgery over the winter (she's getting new engines) which will help with this issue in the future. But be warned!

    After a whirl of activity we were finally on the top deck under the solarium. I chose to stay under the solarium while Gregg decided to stay in the tent. We pulled out some beers (shhh not usually allowed) and drank to the next part of our journey.

    <center><a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/view-from-the-boat-loading-up.jpg" title="M/V Columbia Lit Up in Haines Alaska">
    <img alt="M/V Columbia Lit Up in Haines Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway/xview-from-the-boat-loading-up-400x536-200c6c.jpg.pagespeed.ic.OURuNsJXjm.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    #31
  12. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/1eJZsai">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/google-maps-sitka.jpg" title="Oh, that's where we are!">
    <img alt="Oh, that's where we are!" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/xgoogle-maps-sitka-400x600-d972f1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.lVs9fA_nTn.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    The boat was underway and all we could do at this point was wait. We may have been stuck but we managed to make the most out of our time. More about what we did after the break..

    <!-- more -->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: ~381 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/Juneau-to-Sitka-to-Petersberg.jpg" title="Day 1 Route -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Day 1 Route -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/Juneau-to-Sitka-to-Petersberg-400x295-bfa905.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    <div class="text-center">
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/Juneau-to-Sitka-to-Petersberg.jpg" title="Day 1 Route -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    View Larger Map
    </a>
    </div>I woke up to this:

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/solarium-morning-view-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Good morning solarium! -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Good morning solarium! -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/solarium-morning-view-mv-columbia-400x299-30c9dd.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Need I say more?

    It was another beautiful day. Gregg and Steve somehow managed to survive the crazy winds and the torrents of rain that came down the night before. As you can see below, this is where we initially taped everything down. (Not exactly the most optimal tent location) We were bummed about missing Juneau during the night but there's always next time!

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/tents-original-location-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Original tent location on the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Original tent location on the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/tents-original-location-mv-columbia-400x267-858c2d.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    The boat had stopped in Juneau overnight. Some people got on and some people got off. The solarium looked stuffed with fellow passengers at this point. It was a good thing we claimed our spots when we did!

    Anyway, it was time for breakfast, exploring and some book reading. After breakfast I explored all the decks. During my mini explorations I had discovered the deck below ours also was open and had tent camping. (seemed a bit more shielded from the wind) We probably could have set up there but our commitment to the upper deck was strong. (sounds like a sunk cost to me.) After the brief tour (the boat is only so big) I went and found Gregg editing photos.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/gregg-editing-photos.jpg" title="Gregg editing photos -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Gregg editing photos -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/gregg-editing-photos-400x536-30f54d.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    After pestering him for a while I went back to read some more.

    I could repeat these steps a couple more times but I will spare you. (The boat wasn't that interesting.)

    The biggest takeaway from this portion of this trip was that we were smack dab in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness on a boat. We couldn't really ask for anything more at that point! As we floated along Gregg and I managed some more pictures:

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/scenery-off-the-stern-of-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Scenery off the stern of the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Scenery off the stern of the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/scenery-off-the-stern-of-mv-columbia-400x300-343450.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/gregg-at-the-stern-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Gregg aft on the upper deck of the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Gregg aft on the upper deck of the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/gregg-at-the-stern-mv-columbia-400x300-bdf6ee.jpg">
    </a>
    </div>

    Before lunch Steve had come by and asked about relocating the tents a bit closer to the solarium. I thought it was a good idea and so did Gregg. So, after lunch, we moved the tents up against the yellow line painted on the floor indicating the "No Tent Zone." The theory was that it would help with the wind. (And after another 2.5 more days on the boat it did seem to help.)
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/tents-taped-up-against-no-tent-area.jpg" title="No Tent Area -- M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="No Tent Area -- M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/tents-taped-up-against-no-tent-area-400x299-84cfe1.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/tent-relocation-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Relocating our tents closer to the solarium -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Relocating our tents closer to the solarium -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/tent-relocation-mv-columbia-400x299-cb9bf9.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    By 2:45 PST we had a stop over in Sitka. It appeared that nothing was around and I assumed we were far away from town. There were some shuttles that cost $1 but the layover was not long enough to really see or do anything. So we stuck it out on the boat as we sat tethered to the dock. About 2 hours and 20 minutes later we heard the now familiar message over the loud speaker:

    "All visitors ashore. All visitors ashore. This vessel is departing shortly."

    Soon enough all the lines were cast and we were on our way again. Only four more stops until Bellingham!

    Here are some more pictures that we took once the boat got moving again:

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/upper-deck-gregg-and-tent-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Upper deck Gregg and his tent. -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Upper deck Gregg and his tent. -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/upper-deck-gregg-and-tent-mv-columbia-400x299-082f8a.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/view-from-seat-solarium-mv-columbia.jpg" title="View within the solarium -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="View within the solarium -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/view-from-seat-solarium-mv-columbia-400x299-04ca78.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/mv-columbia-stern.jpg" title="Off the stern of the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Off the stern of the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/mv-columbia-stern-400x267-6792f1.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/mv-columbia-spotlight.jpg" title="Original tent location on the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Original tent location on the M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/mv-columbia-spotlight-400x267-b8231c.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/mv-columbia-life-ring.jpg" title="Life ring -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Life ring -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/mv-columbia-life-ring-400x267-180b54.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    For good measure we additionally got a group picture with Steve. Turned out he was a cool guy with lots of stories to share. It was great to have such company and it made the trip that much more awesome.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/steve-gregg-jared-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Steve Gregg and Jared -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Steve Gregg and Jared -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/steve-gregg-jared-mv-columbia-400x267-42fe9f.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Towards the end of the day we migrated back to the upper deck and took some pictures of the sunset through the clouds.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/sunset-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/sunset-mv-columbia-400x267-59eaef.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/sunset-2-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/sunset-2-mv-columbia-400x267-7ed569.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/sunset-3-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/sunset-3-mv-columbia-400x267-692afb.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    As we were taking pictures of the sunset, I was taking some pictures of myself with my phone. Gregg chimes in "You know, I can take those for you. You're like a 14 year old girl." Reluctantly I let him take a couple snaps with the SLR and I did the same for him. The pictures came out awesome:

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/jared-and-sunset-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Jared and the sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Jared and the sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/jared-and-sunset-mv-columbia-400x267-eb80f6.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/gregg-and-sunset-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Gregg and the sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Gregg and the sunset through the clouds -- M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/gregg-and-sunset-mv-columbia-400x267-16e509.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    As you can tell from the picture below we were ready for the night. Our secret beer stash was chilling and we had nowhere to be but on that boat looking out at the beautiful scenery.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/secret-beer-stash-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Our super secret beer stash.">
    <img alt="Our super secret beer stash." src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/secret-beer-stash-mv-columbia-400x300-3bf629.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Good thing we kept it a secret.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/no-alcohol-allowed-solarium.jpg" title="No Alcohol in Solarium. Whoops.">
    <img alt="No Alcohol in Solarium. Whoops." src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-1/no-alcohol-allowed-solarium-400x299-236dbc.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    #32
  13. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/18wfaSe">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/welcome-to-ketchikan.jpg" title="Welcome to Ketchikan">
    <img alt="Welcome to Ketchikan" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/welcome-to-ketchikan-400x202-d2d3a6.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Another day on the boat. The weather goes sour, we get soggy, and we get to visit the brothels of Ketchikan. Day 19, your time has come!

    <!-- more -->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: ~368 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Petersburg,+AK&amp;daddr=Wrangell,+AK+to:Ketchikan,+Ak&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=FdTjYgMdXEIT-ClXOLOXcQIGVDE448ysXzHh6A%3BFTGtXQMdpRcc-CmryXTAOsoIVDFz2OGVXRtNzQ%3BFY50TAMdYT0n-Clb4SmHCCUMVDF0BsbPa-WQfg&amp;sll=56.70661,-134.425262&amp;sspn=3.2269,8.865967&amp;t=h&amp;mra=pr&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=56.70661,-134.425262&amp;spn=3.2269,8.865967">

    <img alt='Day 19 - Alaska In 3 Weeks' src='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/alaska-maps/day-19-alaska-in-3-weeks.jpg' />

    Click to view in Google Maps.</a>
    </center>

    We had stopped through Petersburg and Wrangell during the night. The layovers were short and we really didn't miss much. We put our bets on Ketchikan and hoped that there would be something interesting to do while we were there. As we inched closer to Ketchikan it began to get cloudier and more moist.

    Tip: It rains an inordinate amount in Ketchikan. Be forewarned and be ready!

    Once we were within sight of the town lots of people congregated on the top deck to watch us dock up. Just before we hit the dock a gentleman asked me for a favor. Turned out his name was Mike:

    Mike asked, "Do you know what Duck Dynasty is?"

    I replied, "Sure ya."

    "Do you mind wearing a costume that looks like one of the guys from Duck Dynasty? I'm trying to convince my brother that one of the guys is on the boat."

    We continued the conversation and I told him I could find him later to get the stuff. Sounded like something to do to me!

    As we were docking Gregg got some pictures of the planes landing and taking off. The sea planes seemed to be landing and taking off every minute. Even more interesting was the fact that they were landing and taking off in the area of water between the cruise ship docks and the Alaska ferry docks. They were flying right above us!

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/conair-flight-landing-at-airport.jpg" title="Conair Flight Landing at Ketchikan Airport">
    <img alt="Conair Flight Landing at Ketchikan Airport" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/conair-flight-landing-at-airport-400x267-068972.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/sea-plane-landing.jpg" title="Sea Plane Landing">
    <img alt="Sea Plane Landing" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/sea-plane-landing-400x267-eec258.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    As we stood there watching planes fly by and the boat dock I resolved to go downstairs and get my riding jacket. It was starting to rain and if we were walking it wouldn't be very fun without a rain gear of any kind. In retrospect I wish I wore my pants and boots. We got soaked.

    I met Gregg and Steve by the end of the ramp and we walked into town. About 15 minutes down the road we found a Safeway and decided to waltz in and grab some food. Steve and Gregg acquired something a little more substantial while I ended up getting some juice and greek yogurt.

    After lunch we decided to keep walking and return to Safeway on our way back to get food for the ferry and (secret) booze. We walked toward downtown and were impressed by the size of the cruise ships. Those things are massive!
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/cruise-ships-ketchikan.jpg" title="Cruise Ships in Ketchikan Alaska">
    <img alt="Cruise Ships in Ketchikan Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/cruise-ships-ketchikan-400x299-7d7535.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    They definitely made the Columbia seem miniscule.

    Even though we were getting rained on, we walked every hundred feet it seemed to take pictures. We even walked past a rain meter describing that Ketchikan gets, on average, 154 inches of rain each year. We dodged into shops when we could to get out of the rain and dry off a bit. We also came across some people fishing at the small road bridge looking over the marina. The water was literally jumping with fish and those fishermen (and women) were catching them left and right. Crazy!

    One of my favorite parts about Ketchikan though was the firehouse. They had a dedicated touristy museum housing an old restored engine and even a fire pole. (which, i'm doubtful, is used for any good purpose these days) We all took some pictures. Looks like they've kept it in good shape!
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/kfd-restored-engine-ketchikan.jpg" title="Restored Engine - Ketchikan Fire Department, Alaska">
    <img alt="Restored Engine - Ketchikan Fire Department, Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/kfd-restored-engine-ketchikan-400x299-6e37a9.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/kfd-restored-engine-ketchikan-2.jpg" title="Restored Engine - Ketchikan Fire Department, Alaska">
    <img alt="Restored Engine - Ketchikan Fire Department, Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/kfd-restored-engine-ketchikan-2-400x299-e8c973.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/kfd-restored-engine-ketchikan.jpg" title="Restored Engine - Ketchikan Fire Department, Alaska">
    <img alt="Restored Engine - Ketchikan Fire Department, Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/kfd-restored-engine-ketchikan-400x299-6e37a9.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We walked all the way down Stedman to the IGA on the other side of town only to decide to walk back. We also had missed the walking portion of the famous Creek Street so it gave us all the more reason to turn around.

    Sopping and a little cold we made our way over to Creek Street. This part of town was known to be the place to party back in prohibition times. They had "served" the community until the late 1950's when they finally got driven out of town by the law. The most famous of the houses was Dolly's house which we had a chance to walk by while taking our little self guided tour. Now, in modern times, all these houses have been converted into tourist traps. We walked in to a couple of the shops. There was even a shop selling all kinds of meats and fish where Steve ended up getting some reindeer sausage.

    We said goodbye to Creek Street and headed back. We stopped in a few more places. Most interestingly, we stopped into some of the fur places. Gregg wanted a bear pelt to wear at work. Turns out bear pelts are quite expensive. I guess you just have to hunt your own..

    We also found a comical wood carving of a bear. Gregg decided to pose with it.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/gregg-and-googly-bear-ketchikan.jpg" title="Googly Eyes Bear">
    <img alt="Googly Eyes Bear" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/gregg-and-googly-bear-ketchikan-400x533-004a88.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Finally we got back to the Safeway where we purchased our supplies. The rain had died down by this point so the walk back to the boat was at least dry. As we walked back onto the boat I took a picture of the grand entrance.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/mv-columbia-embarking-for-bellingham.jpg" title="Embarking for Bellingham - M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Embarking for Bellingham - M/V Columbia Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/mv-columbia-embarking-for-bellingham-400x299-50e984.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Soon enough we set course for Bellingham. As we floated along I got one final shot of Ketchikan.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/ketchikan-ak.jpg" title="Ketchikan Alaska">
    <img alt="Ketchikan Alaska" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-2/ketchikan-ak-400x299-18e7f6.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    See you later you old soppy mess.

    I ended up meeting Mike later to grab the costume. The plan was to walk around the boat long enough for his brother to notice and to get a few chuckles from our fellow passengers and crew.

    Lights, camera, action! My future acting career awaits on Day 20..
    #33
  14. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/18zC37c">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/mountains-and-water-2.jpg" title="Mountain and water views -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Mountain and water views -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xmountains-and-water-2-400x299-73e0b3.jpg.pagespeed.ic.0_T-0W3r1V.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    When life gives you Alaskan ferries, take pictures.

    More about day 20 right below!

    <!-- more -->Daily report:

    Total distance traveled: ~480 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/ketchikan-to-bellingham.jpg" title="Day 3 Route -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Day 3 Route -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xketchikan-to-bellingham-400x350-49874f.jpg.pagespeed.ic.m08esfO0ej.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    <div class="text-center">
    <a data-lightbox='lightbox' href='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/ketchikan-to-bellingham.jpg' title='Day 3 Route -- Alaska Marine Highway'>
    View Larger Map
    </a>
    </div>Since I neglected to give a tour of the ship/boat/vessel lets do that now:

    Lets start at the cafe. This is where we spent most of our time convening with each other. It was a good place to plug in and edit photos as well:

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/gregg-editing-photos-in-cafe.jpg" title="Gregg editing photos in the cafe. -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Gregg editing photos in the cafe. -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xgregg-editing-photos-in-cafe-400x299-425d5e.jpg.pagespeed.ic.lA8HZ3_POV.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    If you took a right out of the cafe you would see something like this:
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/deck-6-by-the-cafe.jpg" title="Deck 6 port side of the M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Deck 6 port side of the M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xdeck-6-by-the-cafe-400x299-7ff430.jpg.pagespeed.ic.-GsOzEQlQN.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    Forward of the cafe was one of the observation lounges. You could chill, read a book, and watch the wildlife pass you by. A good place if you don't want to get cold.

    Here's an example of one of the seats. Movie theater quality.
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/observation-area-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Observation Area -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Observation Area -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xobservation-area-mv-columbia-400x299-a5f6a2.jpg.pagespeed.ic.r4rGArC5xB.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    To top it all off you could look forward through the windows to see the bow and anything that lay beyond. It's an excellent place to chill and knit some sweaters if I do say so myself.

    And that my friends is the brief tour of my life for those days on the ferry. There were other things like the restaurant, the showers/laundry machines and of course the ever important outdoor areas but if you choose to take the ferry these places will become familiar to you as well. (I can't give all of it away!)

    Anyway it's time to start the day. I resolved to make it my mission to walk around in the costume Mike had given me the night before.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/duck-dynasty-alaska-marine-highway.PNG" title="Duck Dynasty -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Duck Dynasty -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xduck-dynasty-alaska-marine-highway-400x600-7ffbf4.PNG.pagespeed.ic.H-hTeA86Go.png">
    </a>
    </center>

    I made my way down to one of the lesser used bathrooms and suited up. I. Was. Ready. As I emerged from seclusion I managed a few chuckles and comments from several passengers. Interestingly enough as I was walking the hall by the cafe, Gregg and Steve were talking how I was still asleep. (A+ for timing on my part.) Most importantly though I got Mike's brother all riled up. He seemed somewhat convinced that it was fake; nevertheless he was excited. He was even postulating who I could have been. "Is he a crew member!?"

    I walked down back into the labyrinth of the boat to change back. Once I got back to the top deck I then realized I had a problem: I didn't get any good pictures! (and neither did Mike) We would have to fix this later.

    In the meantime we took lots of pictures and enjoyed the day. No unfavorable weather in sight.

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/mv-columbia-bow-cloudy.jpg" title="M/V Columbia Bow -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="M/V Columbia Bow -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xmv-columbia-bow-cloudy-400x299-8d4726.jpg.pagespeed.ic.JdKz4hBAfi.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/gregg-getting-a-picture.jpg" title="Gregg taking a picture. -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Gregg taking a picture. -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xgregg-getting-a-picture-400x299-e70b5c.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Hm-YVoeOaZ.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/green-mountains.jpg" title="Green mountains -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Green mountains -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xgreen-mountains-400x299-36c396.jpg.pagespeed.ic.WIu3RYQ4lR.jpg">
    </a>
    </center

    I even got a picture of Gregg taking pictures of beluga whales:
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/gregg-getting-a-picture-2.jpg" title="Gregg getting a picture. -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Gregg getting a picture. -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xgregg-getting-a-picture-2-400x299-67cf0a.jpg.pagespeed.ic.3cArj6U51k.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/beluga-alaksa-marine-highway-1.jpg" title="Beluga Whales -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Beluga Whales -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xbeluga-alaksa-marine-highway-1-400x267-57be79.jpg.pagespeed.ic.atQwpMBTN-.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/beluga-alaksa-marine-highway-2.jpg" title="Beluga Whales -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Beluga Whales -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xbeluga-alaksa-marine-highway-2-400x266-e99b0c.jpg.pagespeed.ic.kVC_bnIJZF.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/beluga-alaksa-marine-highway-3.jpg" title="Beluga Whales -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Beluga Whales -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xbeluga-alaksa-marine-highway-3-400x266-bfefbf.jpg.pagespeed.ic.OhxcqKM2X4.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We also encountered several different groups of pacific white-sided dolphin. It was pretty amazing to watch them hop in and out of the water in droves. They were so fast though that we couldn't get any good pictures. It's a downright bummer I know.

    One thing we missed out on was orcas. We didn't see any at all!

    We got plenty more pictures of the scenery though:
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/more-mountains-alaska-marine-highway.jpg" title="Mountain views -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Mountain views -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xmore-mountains-alaska-marine-highway-400x299-8a6149.jpg.pagespeed.ic.z8h-igbnM2.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/mountains-off-the-stern.jpg" title="Mountain views -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Mountain views -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xmountains-off-the-stern-400x299-fea5cf.jpg.pagespeed.ic.U95vnt5y9L.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/more-mountains-and-water.jpg" title="Mountain and water views -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Mountain and water views -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xmore-mountains-and-water-400x299-269c8a.jpg.pagespeed.ic.jiRo_SKw3S.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/glaciers-in-the-distance.jpg" title="Glaciers in the distance -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Glaciers in the distance -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xglaciers-in-the-distance-400x299-ffe34b.jpg.pagespeed.ic.RIBTENyZ5B.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/sunset-off-thes-stern-mv-columbia.jpg" title="Sunset off the stern of the M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Sunset off the stern of the M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xsunset-off-thes-stern-mv-columbia-400x299-f53efc.jpg.pagespeed.ic.am8fmgnZKe.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/sunset-off-thes-stern-mv-columbia-2.jpg" title="Sunset off the stern of the M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Sunset off the stern of the M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xsunset-off-thes-stern-mv-columbia-2-400x299-afe457.jpg.pagespeed.ic.xALoXSS1Qg.jpg">
    </a>
    </center><center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/sunset-off-thes-stern-mv-columbia-3.jpg" title="Sunset off the stern of the M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Sunset off the stern of the M/V Columbia -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xsunset-off-thes-stern-mv-columbia-3-400x299-da42ea.jpg.pagespeed.ic.OKoznZ0F3R.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>
    We finally said goodbye to the beautiful waterscape as the sun went down. It was getter darker earlier and we knew that we would be back in Bellingham soon.

    Late after dinner I made my last appearance as a member of the Duck Dynasty clan. This time though we got some pictures. I even got a picture with Mike!

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/mike-and-jared-duck-dynasty.jpg" title="Mike and Jared -- Duck Dynasty -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="Mike and Jared -- Duck Dynasty -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/motorcycle-the-alaska-marine-highway-day-3/xmike-and-jared-duck-dynasty-400x299-1bc309.jpg.pagespeed.ic.jOBPhi-qVF.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    I'm glad I was able to help Mike mess with his brother. After I gave him back the costume, he proclaimed he was going to keep the gag going for the remainder of their trip. Undoubtedly it will provide a few more laughs for them.

    The day was done and the debate about our plans for the morning were still in the air. Do we ride all the way to SF? That's 900+ miles. (i.e. a loooooonnng day) Soon enough we would answer that question. Day 21 was just around the corner.
    #34
  15. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,078
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Great and also very informative report.
    Thanks
    #35
  16. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,414
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed this ride report. OK, I'll try:

    The writing style, the humor, the photos...everything about this RR has been A1. Thanks for posting it.

    (BTW: I'm a DD fan who appreciate the digs at the show's characters.)

    Friggin' well done!:clap
    #36
  17. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    977
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    You got further than I did in Kennecott, Alaska :lol3 Like you I got to the end of the main road, found some dirt and thought "Ride up to a glacier on a dirt path? Hell yea!" I got to the little footbridge and crossed, but maybe 200 yards from there I came around a corner to find a tour guide (a very very hot tour guide i might add :evil) and a couple she was showing around- the tour guide gave me a "And just what the hell do you think youre doing?" look. I stopped idling for about 3 seconds, killed the motor and said "Uh oh, im guessing im not supposed to be here huh?" "No youre not. You need to turn around sir." I apologized like 3 times as I turned the bike around. :lol3 There is no signs that I saw prohibiting motorized vehicles, and I specifically looked. I specifically mentioned that I didnt see any signs like that and wanted to make sure I didnt become a reason motorcyclists werent allowed past McCarthy. Good to see were still free to terrorize the place :lol3

    I got lucky with the footbridge and didnt crash, but I do seem to recall it being trickier on the way back out then in.. Youve seen some pretty cool stuff and described it well in this report. Thanks for sharing! :1drink
    #37
  18. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    They really need to put some signs up or something. :D Glad we're not the only ones that had issues with that path. :lol3
    #38
  19. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Originally posted <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/16NxJg0">here.</a>

    ---

    <center>
    <a data-lightbox="lightbox" target="_blank" href="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/iron-butt-to-san-fran/mv-columbia-in-bellingham.jpg" title="M/V Columbia Docked In Bellingham -- Alaska Marine Highway">
    <img alt="M/V Columbia Docked In Bellingham -- Alaska Marine Highway" src="http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/generated/iron-butt-to-san-fran/xmv-columbia-in-bellingham-400x299-a87ca1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.xYQdE0ZzaR.jpg">
    </a>
    </center>

    Everybody out! That's an order!

    Day 21 and our (almost) iron butt ride awaits. Lets do this thing!

    <!-- more -->Daily report:

    Water distance traveled: ~150 miles

    Land distance traveled: 944.7 miles

    Total distance traveled: ~1094.7 miles

    The Route:

    <center>
    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;source=embed&amp;saddr=Alaska+Ferry+Terminal+Info,+Harris+Avenue,+Bellingham,+WA&amp;daddr=Santa+Rosa+Avenue,+San+Francisco,+CA&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=FY5s5wId65my-CHX-m-fmSca_SkdiPvRGaKFVDHX-m-fmSca_Q%3BFbGrPwIdMsOz-CmrkGOWh36PgDEpfOcV8PqLpQ&amp;aq=1&amp;oq=santa+rosa+ave&amp;sll=59.146889,-135.370102&amp;sspn=0.058455,0.181789&amp;t=h&amp;mra=ls&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=43.223458,-122.666342&amp;spn=10.993396,1.454832">

    <img alt='Day 21 - Alaska In 3 Weeks' src='http://www.jaredwolff.com/img/originals/alaska-maps/day-21-alaska-in-3-weeks.jpg' />

    Click to view in Google Maps.</a>
    </center>

    We arrived in Bellingham around 08:00 PST. During the hour before we packed up our gear and got it ready to be brought down to the car deck. (Turned out that Gregg had everything packed before I was even awake. Kudos to him!)

    Interestingly the way they dock the boat when it reaches the dock is stern in. As you can tell from the above picture everyone disembarked out the stern entrance. There was only one problem, we were in the front of the line.

    Once we were tied up I wasted no time getting down to the car deck. Knowing how long it takes to put gear on and pack up the bikes it was going to be a while before we could even move the bikes. We removed the straps from their purchase points and I ran down to the paint locker to get our flammable liquids. Once everything was in order I fired up the bike for the first time in 4 days. (That's a good sign!)

    I rode the bike off the boat and to the side while we tidied up our gear. Gregg and I worked out a game plan. It sounded more and more like we were going to go the full 900+ miles to San Francisco.

    As soon as we were ready, we said goodbye to Steve and got rolling down the road. We stopped at the Arco to top up and get air. It turns out though that air is not free in Washington. Frustrated, we headed out of the Arco and up to the Shell station where they did have "free" air. Though not required they did have a donation box for the local youth symphony orchestra so I dropped a dollar in the box. (Used to be in one myself.) I filled up my front tire as Gregg checked his.

    While we were there we talked to the guys in the shop. One of the guys proclaimed looking at my side boxes, "Are those fish tanks!?" I proceeded to open one to show that they were just luggage. The same guy then informed us about how the state police was giving out tickets for even a few miles per hour over the speed limit. We made a mental note to be careful as we started gearing back up. We also managed to get some more water for our water jugs out of their sink. (People are just so nice up in the North West.)

    Finally, we were ready to go. It was about 09:00 PST by the time we got rolling. It was going to be a demanding day.

    We rode down I5 staying with the traffic, never going much faster than anyone else. The last thing we needed were tickets. At around 12:00 we made our first stop in Toledo at the Chevron off the highway. We fueled up and also grabbed some, you guessed it, Subway. We ate half of our foot longs and got back on the super slab.

    Our goal was at least to make it past 200 miles on each fill up. It would make our stops more efficient rather than stopping every 100 miles.

    Tip: Going for the long haul? Every stop you make eats up time on the road and also precious daylight. Always have everything you want to do planned out before stopping.

    Our next stop was in Cottage Grove Oregon. We stopped off the highway around 15:51 at the Chevron. Ate the other half of our sandwiches again got back on the road. Thanks to me we ended up riding around in a big circle trying to get back to the highway. I'm surprised Gregg didn't throw something at me as we attempted to navigate back to the onramp. (Thanks buddy.)

    Tip: Whenever passing though Oregon remember that it is illegal to pump your own gas (sorta). They have attendants that will come around and pump gas for cars. For motorcycles they will take your credit card and hand you the pump; the rest is up to you.

    As we rode though Oregon, we got to enjoy what the country looked like. It seems like the forest fires were under control and visibility was great. (unlike our trip up!) After hours of riding we finally made it to the California border. We did a celebratory turn signal salute (alternating between left and right blinkers fast) and rode on into California.

    We stopped for the third time in Yreka CA for more gas and a bathroom break. It was about 19:00 by the time we got off the bikes. We were losing daylight and it wasn't going to be bright much longer. (Joy..) We knew though that if we could get out of the twisty portions of I5 in upper California we would be set. Why? The reason is that I5, once you leave the mount Shasta area, gets straight and flat. Got to love the central valley sometimes.

    We made our final stop together in Anderson CA around 20:41. We had only gone 113 miles but it was long enough so we could get home without stopping anymore. We also had mild hope there was some good food nearby but our hopes were dashed. We had no such luck. We filled up, ate a few snacks and hit the tarmac.

    As we got closer I started counting down the minutes and miles until we were home. We finally entered the bay area around 23:00. We were thrilled to be back and also overwhelmed by the amount of traffic that was on the road. There is a night and day difference between the roads in Alaska and the roads in California.

    As we inched closer it felt like San Francisco was in our grasp. When you get that feeling you know that something will go wrong. We were about 30 miles away from the bridge when our fuel lights came on. We were around 187 miles in and started worrying if we could make it. I glanced down at those gradually ticking numbers on my dash hoping they would magically reverse. Worst case was that we would have to stop in the middle of the bay bridge to fuel up. No biggie...

    There was no stopping us though. Pressing on we made it across the bridge with no problem and found ourselves, for the first time in three weeks, parting ways. We beeped at each other as Gregg took the exit towards his place.

    Soon enough I found myself taking my exit too. I stopped to fill up one last time around 00:05 the next day. We had traveled about 217 miles that last stretch using about 4.3 gallons. We still had more range! (Though I wouldn't want to push it any further especially at the higher speeds.)

    After fueling, devoid of fatigue, I hastily put on my helmet and gloves. Fifteen hours of riding all for this moment: It was time to go home.
    #39
  20. jwolff

    jwolff Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Thanks for all the comments guys! You made all this worth writing.

    Cheers! :freaky
    #40