Clunking my CX Cross Country

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jlevers, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks for the inspiration Jesse. Great trip you took us on. Look forward to your Alaska chapter. Live your life long and well.
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  2. brownricer

    brownricer Been here awhile

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    Wow- when I read the first post of this RR, I thought "this could be fun and different" and it has not disappointed. I was, of course, sucked in by the Twisted Twin factor, but it was more than that. I like your pictures and way of telling a story, in addition to your cheerful doggedness and excellent taste in motorcycles.
    I may have mentioned earlier that on such trips, most of the best memories come from the wonderful people and things that we encounter only because something goes wrong; your experience proves that.
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  3. 10 Man

    10 Man Long timer

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    good reading thanks for posting it Jesse ...
    I have enjoyed reading the RRs made on the old Honda 500 twisted twins more than any .
    good choice for a low budget bike trip ....
    keep us posted on your future trips .....
    ps ....get a back tire now
    how many miles did you get out of the Dunlop 404 on the rear ? ..... seems it wasn't many
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  4. wvtaco

    wvtaco Been here awhile

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    You and I are the only people who I know have got crap mileage on those. This is 3500 miles with a 600cc shadow.
    [​IMG]
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  5. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile

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    Jesse, let us know you are safe and sound in Alaska..
  6. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

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    I'm actually back from Alaska -- just haven't written it up yet. And as my laptop seems to have just shit the bed, I don't know when I will.
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  7. Gham

    Gham Long timer

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    hurry up and fix it. I've been kinda bored since your RR finished and haven't found a new one that keeps me in a state of "anticipation" that yours did.
  8. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    WOW. Thats an easy 1200.00 stop at a dealer! Maybe more!
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  9. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I pinch flatted the rear tube on my DR650 on Mattole road,with a fat 140 rear tire and 9" of travel with a good shock. Rumors are around that they may do some work on it next year after ignoring the road for many years.
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  10. ChopperCharles

    ChopperCharles Been here awhile

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    I've gotten crap mileage out of those tires too... the rear at least. But, it was on an 84 V65 Magna. I couldn't keep rear tires on that thing, it would eat a good tire in 6000 miles or less. A crap tire was gone in 2000.

    Charles
  11. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

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    The first installment of the long awaited Alaska update has arrived!
    ----------------

    I was a little nervous going through airport security -- it was the first time I’d ever done it by myself. That situation was not improved when they re-scanned my backpack...but all’s well that ends well, and I made it through! Phew.

    Fast forward a couple hours, and I was on the plane, waiting for everyone else to get on. I got to my row first, and...no one else ever came to my row. Sick! I got a whole row to myself, doesn’t get much better than that. As we took off, Mount Rainier was just visible above the clouds.


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    The plane came into Anchorage just as the sun was setting, and I got an aerial view of the sunset over the water. Gorgeous, although I couldn’t get a good picture out the plane window.

    We landed, and as I walked out of the terminal, I almost walked into a moose! Classic Alaska...even though the moose was stuffed and on a pedestal. The airport had lots of other cool Alaskan wildlife (I didn’t take these pictures).


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    I met my uncle Jimmy and cousin Jonah, and we headed to a hotel for the night. Jimmy said we’d want daylight for the drive home.


    Man, he was right! The next morning, as soon as we were about 20 minutes out of Anchorage, the views started getting better and better. We quickly stopped at a pullout...turns out we’d arrived just in time for peak foliage. Score!


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    We stopped again at a spot called Beluga Point. Jonah is a wicked videographer, and he was got some awesome drone shots there. (Side note: once he gets the video for the trip wrapped up, I’ll post it here.) He was just finishing that up when Jimmy pointed out a pod of Beluga whales about 100 feet off the shore! We watched them breach and just sorta hang out for at least 20 minutes. I’ve been on a whale watch, but just seeing by chance like that was something else. This is a frame from a drone video that Jonah sent me, and it’s the only picture from Beluga Point I have.


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    We stopped AGAIN to watch some kitesurfers. Those guys were insane! At this point, the three hour drive home was becoming more like a six hour drive. Well, you can’t rush awesome! Here’s Jimmy and me running away from the drone down the beach…

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    We stopped briefly at the Tern Lake Overlook turn (I’ll show myself out).


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    Jimmy lives in Soldotna, right near the terminus of the Kenai River in the Cook Inlet. We got our first view of the Kenai River...it flows what seems to be impossibly fast. It’s seriously incredible. If you’re ever in the area, check it out.


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    It’s also apparently a HUGE fishing destination...we weren’t there during peak fishing season, but from what Jimmy told us, it’s insane. He just moved to Alaska this past April, and here he is with one of the first fish he caught!


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    On the other side of the Cook Inlet from Soldotna, there’s a huge mountain range (the Alaska Range?) that includes Mt. Redoubt, an active volcano. It rises 12,000 feet above the ocean -- by far the tallest mountain from base to summit I’ve ever seen. It’s visible right at the end of Jimmy’s road on clear nights, and we SCORED the first night we were there.


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    That picture doesn’t even come close to doing it justice. Jonah got some drone shots that I’m sure will be in the video that do a little better job of showing what it was really like.


    Stay tuned for the next part! (Also, I’m currently teaching myself how to edit photos, and only some of the photos I’m posting have been edited...hence why some look way better than others.)
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  12. Gham

    Gham Long timer

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    all right :clap back in business...I spent the summer of my 18th year in Seldovia Alaska working on the docks at Wakefield Seafoods!
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  13. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

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    Disclaimer: to be totally honest, I don’t exactly remember everything that happened in Alaska, or the exact order in which it happened, because I was a dumbass and didn’t write it down at the time. But I do remember the highlights.

    Also, I wasn’t very good about taking pictures, so this is gonna be more text than there was on my cross-country ride. I’m working on training myself to take pictures all the time.


    Jimmy, Jonah and I decided to go take a hike in search of some grizzlies. Or brown bears -- apparently bears that eat salmon are grizzlies, while those that don’t are brown bears. Who knew! We took gorgeous drive and a short hike out to Russian River Falls, where there’s a viewing platform from which you can often see bears catching salmon in the river. On the way, we passed a little stream…

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    When we got to the falls, the people there told us that we’d missed three bears by like ten minutes! Dammit. We waited around for 20ish minutes to see if they’d come back, but no luck. Oh well, we still got a nice hike and got to see the last few salmon trying to hurl themselves up the falls. Which, by the way, seems abso-fucking-lutely impossible...it’s a pretty substantial height for a fish to jump even if they weren’t swimming against fast-moving water! Pretty incredible that any of them make it.

    That night, we just hung out at Jimmy’s house, and I started learning to juggle. Jimmy and my dad (fun fact: they’re identical twins, which makes Jonah and I genetically brothers) used to be absolutely juggling beasts, and are still pretty damn good, and Jonah’s getting quite good at it as well...and watching them do it, I had to join in! It was slow going, because my hand-eye coordination is atrocious, but by the time I left, I could keep three balls going for 10 seconds or so.

    The next day, we went to meet Jimmy’s landlords, Clark and Sheryl. They were in their 80s, and had just retired from a career of hunting, trapping, fishing, and leading hunting expeditions in the backcountry, of which there is no shortage in Alaska. They still fly their two-seater float plane, which is docked at their house…

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    As soon as you walk into their house, you’re greeted with a wall covered in wolf and fox pelts from animals they caught. Wolves are freakin’ huge! Then, there’s pictures of them and their clients with huge moose, grizzlies, caribou, and anything else you can think of...It was seriously one of the coolest displays I’ve ever seen. They had some crazy stories, including crash-landing their plane, sinking their fishing boat, and many more. Towards the end of our visit, Clark mentioned in an off-hand way that maybe he could take Jonah and I up in his plane, if we were interested. Uh, FUCK YEAH we were interested!!!! More on that later...

    The next morning, I woke up before anyone else, and went to check out the sunrise. In early October, the sun doesn’t come up in Alaska until 8-8:30, so it was just beginning when I went outside. I was treated to one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen. Jimmy lives on a lake, so the reflections were incredible.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I turned around to go back inside, and...

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    ...Boom! The sharpest rainbow I’d ever seen, with a hint of a double rainbow.

    It turned out to be the first of many rainbows we’d see in Alaska. Not sure why there are so many there, but I’m not complaining. Jonah got some amazing drone shots of both the sunrise and the rainbow(s).

    Then we headed down to the famous Soldotna bakery, The Moose is Loose, to pick up some breakfast. I can say with confidence I’ve never had a better apple fritter in my life! Nor have I had an 80 pound, 70 year old bakery owner be so insistent that I needed to join the military in order to find myself. Hmmm, I think traveling is doing a fine job of that! Different strokes for different folks.

    [​IMG]

    I have no idea what we did for the rest of the day, so I’m gonna assume we just hung out, juggled, and ate. Not too exciting, sorry!

    Stay tuned!

    P.S. In case anyone’s interested, I post a lot of pics from my travels and other stuff on my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jesse.evers/
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  14. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks for the update Jesse. Been waiting for this.
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  15. neppi

    neppi Adventurer

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    Since this is a bike forum, you also would have to include a bike pic, but I can do it for you, no probs! IMG_3138.JPG
  16. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

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    We wanted to get a closer look at the Kenai River, so we went down to a popular fishing dock. At this time of year, there isn’t anyone fishing, so we had the place all to ourselves...with the exception of the Park Ranger who we got as far away from as possible before launching the drone.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Later, we checked out the beach. Now, when you think beach, you probably think sunny and warm. This is Alaska! What the hell does warm mean?? It was probably a windy 45 degrees on the beach, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Full disclosure: some of these pictures are taken/edited by Jonah. If pictures either a) have me in them, or b) look better than you’re used to, they’re probably his.

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    I wanna say we did something else that day, but if we did, I have no idea what it was.

    The next morning (or probably actually afternoon, we got a late start most days), we decided we should probably get some form of exercise. Time to visit the Kenai Wildlife Preserve! Alaska has millions of acres of land that’s protected in some way, and this is a small part of it. We took a brief hike...

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    ...and that’s all I’ve got for that day.


    As far as I know, there are three notable coastal towns on the Kenai Peninsula: Kenai/Soldotna (they’re adjacent to each other), Seward, and Homer. Seward is home to a super cool marine wildlife center, and, even better, the route between Soldotna and Seward is incredibly beautiful. Jonah and I got to Alaska just in time for the mountains to start to have some snow on them, and there was a fresh dusting on the peaks as we drove to Seward.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    In Seward, we went to the SeaLife Center, and got to check out all sorts of cool stuff, including sea lions, seals, sea otters, and a baby walrus. Who knew walruses (walrusi?) could be cute?? On the way home we stopped at a huge wash, surrounding by mountains. Jonah put his drone up, and it was promptly divebombed by a bald eagle, so he took it back down in a hurry.

    Now, if you’ve read the rest of my ride report, you know that I like to climb things. Jonah and I had been looking for something good to climb for the whole trip, but hadn’t found anything good, so when we passed a railroad bridge in the middle of nowhere, we knew what we had to do. I climbed up while Jonah took drone shots, and then he followed me up.

    [​IMG]

    Don’t worry, this will not be the last thing that we climb on this trip!

    To be continued!
  17. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Jesse; I am very nervous of heights. When I see pictures of you on things like that railroad bridge it gives me pause for thought. I am glad to see it does not bother you. Just be sure of your hand and foot holds. I don't want to see an abrupt end to this report. Cheers!!!...Dave
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  18. jlevers

    jlevers Been here awhile

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    Ok, I know I haven't finished the report yet, but my cousin finished up the video -- he spent probably 12-15 hours a day for the past week or so on it. Enjoy!

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  19. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile

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    Jesse, that is outstanding!! Jonah has a bright future...
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  20. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    that was really nice. can't wait to see the photos and video of your next adventure!
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