Arkansas to Alaska 2010

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dbarnes180, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Lonoke, AR
    Well I made it home safe and sound with a big smile and wonderful memories of this years trip!

    Preparations for this trip included some not so common changes to a K1200RS...I stole some ideas from you guys and I really enjoyed the results...

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    So with these mods I have tools readily accessible without digging under the seat.

    I used two layers of aluminum wrapped around the 4" PVC pipe for heat shield protection. Not any trouble during the whole month.

    OK.
    So I get up May 27th ready to head out and I have left the accesories hooked up all night and run the battery down. lol.
    Get out the battery charger and make a quick jump start and I am on my way.

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    I added some large mirrors with velcro that was a last minute change that turned out to be very nice. I really enjoyed having a full view left and right of not only what was behind me, but I was also able to see my gear and how it was riding.

    I went up and caught I-29 through Mo, Neb, Iowa, S.D., N.D. and then into Saskatchewan and across on 16 West to 43 W on to Dawson Creek.

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    I crossed the Candian bordr at Portal, N.D. Leaving Portal I was treated to a small pea size hail storm that lasted only about 10 to 15 minutes. That was enough for me. Although it did rain a lot the first 3 days and was in the 40's and 50's it wasn't a bad ride. Just wet. My waterproof gloves gave up after about 6 hours but since they were heated they still kept me warm. All the other gear was great and kept me dry and toasty!

    Oh I forgot that I stopped at a motel in Iowa for the night and was out having a smoke when the clerk ask me was my tire supposed to make bubbles? Geeze, I had picked up a nail. Well thanks to her I was able to make repairs before it got dark and all seemed great.
    The next morning I got up and checked the pressure and it was fine. So off I went. I got about 50 miles down the road in a nice cold rain and the back end of the bike started to drift left and right. So I slowed down and parked to find that my plug had disappeared! I got her up on the center stand and replugged the whole , plus I added 16 oz. of slime. I am a firm believer in Slime! I carry two 16 oz bottles in the bike most all times! No more flats for the remaining trip.

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    You will see a whole lot of these going up this route to Alaska.

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    Lots of rain the first three days!

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    When I got to Dawson Creek......I found the sunshine! And it was great!

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    My Bride of 40 plus years got me this cap. She said it reminded her of me. LOL. Oh well we all have our burdens.

    http://dbarnes180.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Alaska-2010/PICT0085/889618721_FBNfx-L-1.jpg

    I stopped at Pink Mountain going and coming I really enjoyed these folks they would sit and visit and just relax with me.

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    A family of four black bears .... mom two new cubs and a yearling that was still hanging around.

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    Critters are very plentiful on the Alcan Highway!

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    And the views are panoramic ....

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    Coming around a curve about 60 mph and I met these guys. I take most of my pictures as I am driving...lol.

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    More Critters

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    Getting into The Yukon ....

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    This is supposed to be the longest bride of this type in Canada....

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    Grate bridges makes your motorcycle wiggle but it won't fall down...

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    A bridge to nowhere.....

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    The tiny critters are the ones that stick to your teeth when you smile...notice the windshield!

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    I wish all of you could see these views in real life.. a camera ... at least with this guy shooting the pictures just do NOT do it justice.

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    Into Alaska...

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    Alaskan mosquito....LOL.
    Just a draggin fly... I hope!

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    This a place I stayed outside of Tok , Alaska. The washer mat was ajoining the bar. So I sat at the bar drinking coffee wearing my hat, no shirt, P.E. shorts and my boots...lol.

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    I went on into Glennallen and visited with Alcan Rider in person for the first time. I had looked for him and given up when he drove up in a van and introduced himself. He is as nice in person as on the forum. We got to visit a couple of times before I started roaming again. Alcan made a call to AK Charlie and I was suppose to hook up with him in Homer. But I just never did make a good enough effort to do so. I cost him a couple of days fishing waiting on me ... sorry Charlie! I just had a burr under my saddle and had to keep moving.

    Heading up into the mountains on a raining day to see a glacier....

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    This is Alaska...

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    Had to prove I was there....

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    Heading down to Valdez

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    Bridal Falls in Keyston Canyon....

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    The harbor at Valdez...

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    Heading back to Glennallen for the night..

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    Unfinished railroad tunnel that had an actual gun fight to stop the building....

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    Heading out to see another Glacier....

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    Well I got to the bottom of this nice road and they wanted more than I wanted to pay to drive on to the glacier...so back up I went...lol.

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    Made my way to Anchorage for a day and got a moose at the airport...lol. I guess he was looking for a flight out.

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    http://dbarnes180.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Alaska-2010/PICT0086/896215951_uAqmt-L-1.jpg

    Two years in a row..(last year in Edmonton). I got stuck in the flow of a marathon again.....it took me about two hours just to get out of Anchorage!

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    Leaving Anchorage...they sure have beautiful views to look at all day!

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    Heading down to Seward... I stayed there two days it was really a nice little town.

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    http://dbarnes180.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Alaska-2010/PICT0277/896298032_xJDA7-L-1.jpg

    Look close and you can see the moose calf on the left.... mom is on the right. The calf was calling her constantly...I don't think see liked me being so close to her.

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    Beauty everywhere!

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    Welcome to Homer, AK

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    Lands End...

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    And of course... The Salty Dog Saloon...
    I went in and had a couple of cups of coffee and bought some stickers here...

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    I asked the bartender where the oldest bill was and she said that during a remodel it disappeared..... I bet it will show up on E-Bay some day...

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    Getting loaded onto the ferry for a 14.5 hours trip to Kodiak, AK. I was rudely woke up about 3 am with my stomach trying to get out of my mouth...lol. We were in a little weather as they called it. I walked bow to stern looking for a place that did not leave my ass on the floor and my stomach hovering above my head....There is no such place...lol. I finally asked a crew member if there was any Dramamine and they sold it in the vending machine. Well I bought two packs of two pills each. I downed the first pack and got almost instant relief. Fell back asleep and woke up when we got to Port Lions.

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    Beautiful sunset...on the ferry..

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    Pulling into Port Lions for about 30 minutes to pick up and drop off passengers....

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    Kodiak , Island . They call it the Emerald Island... It is just flat out gorgeous!

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    My guard dog for the trip...nothing was ever taken or even messed with on the bike with this guy protecting it!

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    Sharon Kay arrives from Arkansas to stay a week with me in Kodiak...she also loved the island. We watched whales, fished, walked and her favorite was the sea plane tour of bears, glaciers and volcanoes.

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    Large Coast Guard base with some really great Adventure Rider folks in the guard and on the island....Cappy Rides Again ... was one of the inmates I met and he was a super nice guy!

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    There is a lot of Russian influence on the island as you would imagine ...

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    One of the many WWII lookout posts around the island...

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    This a bay that we went to three days in a row...lots of whales and beautiful bald eagles everywhere.

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    And of course Buffalo ....

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    He is making his way to the next bay cross country....lol.

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    There is no underbrush in the forests...they are covered in a soft moss that is like carpet!

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    I really enjoyed the fishing and the company...Sharon Kay was a treat to be sure on this trip!

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    Those are Bald Eagles just playing around in the thermals....

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    We stayed at a B&B called Water Falls B&B...ocean view with a stream by the door...Very nice folks and great setting! I made friends with there beagle...Lucky and we played a lot of pitch. lol.

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    The woods next to where we stayed...It was very surreal ...

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    Ready for take off on our seaplane adventure day!

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    Those are male and female grizzlies .. we got about 50 yards from them and enjoyed watching them for about an hour...our guide had a nice big pistol...lol.

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    Going to look at glaciers....and old volcanoes

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    We even got to do a combo site seeing and fishing trip... the weather was really to rough to do much fishing but we caught some anyway....lol. thanks to Shaw Patterson on his boat CUDA ..our Captain. We got to see some of the boats from Alaska's Deadly Catch fishing show.....or whatever it is called...lol.

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    Shaw let me help a little since we didn't have his crew with us....

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    Well Sharon Kay kept asking me to check my tickets for the ferry but I assured her I was leaving Tuesday afternoon at 2:15 pm....just before she was to fly out. Monday night about 10 pm I checked after she asked me again and .....what the @#@#@%^&&*((.... I was to be at the dock Tuesday morning at 2:15 AM ... That is why I take my girl with me...lol. She keeps me on track!

    So here we go from Homer at about 4 pm after about a 12 hour ferry ride. (Before I forget... I just want to say that both trips on the ferry were great! The crew were very friendly and answered all my dumb questions as if they had never heard them before. And they took very good care of my K bike both ways. They put extra tie downs on the it the night we had the weather to keep it safe....Thanks to all of them. I did drop the bike loading on the way back... the decks were wet from the rain and happened as I tried to cross the metal floor tiedown bars. It was just a down and up with no damage except to one of the fishing poles mounted on the top box! The crew did all they could to keep me upright. There just isn't many places to hold onto a K bike...lol. )

    Off we go through Alaska to Dawson City onto the Top of The World Highway!

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    To continue.........
    #1
  2. sc-razor

    sc-razor Long timer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,777
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Wow, what a ride! Great pics. Thanks for sharing!:clap
    #2
  3. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Lonoke, AR
    OK.....
    Getting on with the journey....

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    Chicken, AK.

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    I guess they couldn't decide which way the toilet paper should go.....so to be
    Agreeable.....

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    Heading out of Chicken towards Dawson City....

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    Wasn't anyone home.....at the Top of the World Cafe...

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    I can surely see why they call it the Top of the World....but HIGHWAY?

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    Coming into Dawson City.....

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    Nice little ferry ride free right to town....

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    Well I got me a room here it was like 80 bucks I think...with internet access...no less. There are no paved roads in Dawson City... Check out the visitor center and everything you can in town. Great food, friendly folks and the locals are fun to talk to. Lots of tourist for sure including ME!

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    Back on the road towards Whitehorse....

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    This Goldwing was unattended and I could find an owner...I hope he got a ride because this was in the middle of NO WHERE!

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    Somewhere along the way I busted the oil seal on the left front shock... I took some dental floss and wrapped around it and pressed it into the dust shield it must have done some good... It quit leaking after about 100 miles and got me home. I also tied my bandanna around the fork to divert what oil that did leak away from my tire and brake pads. I don't know where I read to do this but it was lucky that I remembered it. Thanks to whoever posted that idea...I believe it is somewhere on this site.

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    I don't think it has to be mint flavored though....lol.

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    Normal rode work...really not that bad this year!

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    My poor ole tire is beginning to show signs of take me off and replace me....I babied this thing home without any problems. I had ask for help to get a tire in Edmonton and got great responses from this forum and another. But I went through Edmonton at 2 am on Sunday night and just kept on going. I do stuff like that I don't really know why........

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    The young man that this bike belongs to had been on the road for over a year and looked in lots better shape than I have anytime during my life...lol.

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    Pushed the dental floss passed the dust ring....it worked I guess . Anyway it got me home.

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    Young Black Bear eating road kill. The truck that hit the buffalo was up in the trees on the other side of the road with police tape around it. I hope the folks were OK.

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    I visited with these folks at Laird Hot Springs...The Harley and Goldwing were headed to Fairbanks ... The Harley started knocking so they had to call a relative with a trailer to tow it up to Fairbanks...The Goldwing followed as a Chase vehicle....lol.

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    Fun road along the lake....

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    Mutt and Jeff....Fort Nelson.....

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    Got to love those grated bridges!@

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    Off the beaten path again I found this marker for a friend who passed away of some of the locals...

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    It was overlooking this gorge...

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    Heaven opens up...well thats my story and I'm sticking to it!

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    Claim is that this is the Geographical Center of North America...

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    Front Gate at Grand Forks AFB, ND the first flag on the left is Arkansas....as it should be...lol.

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    Getting close to home....

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    Are we home yet.....? Nope.

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    My mind is already thinking about next year.....and I just hit Arkansas.

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    Just one of the many many excellent roads in my home state...can you say twisties!

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    THE END........

    Thank you to everyone on this forum .... I would not have made this trip nor last years without all the guidance and nudging that it took to get me to listen.

    I HAVE BEEN BLESSED...
    #3
  4. sc-razor

    sc-razor Long timer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,777
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Alaska is on my bucket list. Great report. Thanks again!
    #4
  5. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Lonoke, AR

    I can understand what your saying for sure... I will be going back it is in my blood....lol.

    Twice is not enough!
    #5
  6. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Yup, I'm a girl.

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,120
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    Looks like you had a blast!! Wonder what you'll have to do next year to top this puppy.
    :clap :freaky :norton
    #6
  7. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    180
    Location:
    Lonoke, AR
    Any suggestions?


    :clap :clap :clap
    #7
  8. Woods Rider

    Woods Rider X-Crazed Racing Fool

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,979
    Location:
    Navarre, FL
    Great ride reports (and photos)!

    Now if I could just find a way from Pensacola to Alaska without riding on any Interstates I would start packing!
    #8
  9. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    802
    Location:
    The City that Care Forgot
    Thanks for taking us along

    That looks like a pilot road 2 in the front, but what is the tire in the rear?

    Did they give you enough traction on the non paved roads?

    Did you get to Cordova, Ak?

    John
    #9