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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by NomadGal, Jul 8, 2012.
damn!! thats a gorgeous bike!!
The kingdom of heaven in not a place but a state of mind.
― John Burroughs
Communing with God is communing with our own hearts, our own best selves, not with something foreign and accidental. Saints and devotees have gone into the wilderness to find God; of course they took God with them, and the silence and detachment enabled them to hear the still, small voice of their own souls, as one hears the ticking of his own watch in the stillness of the night.
― John Burroughs, Harvest of a Quiet Eye: The Natural World of John Burroughs
Mike from Liard HS here..just checking in on your report after seeing the flat repair seminar you put on in Watson Lake! Currently in Fairbanks after visiting Dawson and the TOTW highway. Heading to Deadhorse tomorrow.
Great read and pics! Great meeting you. Hope you're having good travels - maybe we'll see you somewhere else in AK or elsewhere!
Awesome quote!! I have to admit, occasionally I am afraid to leap!!
Hey Mike, nice to hear from you! I'm in Haines now, waiting on parts, then fixing my bike and heading North. The road to Skagway was one of the most awesome roads I have ever been on!!!
I am in Haines AK now!!
Woke up from a dead sleep in the cabin and didn't even want to get up!!!
Oh well, it was oil chance day, and as it turned out air filter cleaning day as well! Boy was that thing ever gross!!
By the time I had dropped the oil off at the Harley shop (the hostel lady actually had a pan for me to use), bought some brake fluid and chain lube, and gotten Spirit packed up it was 3 PM.
The day was gorgeous though, and I didn't have too far to go anyways. Skagway only looked about 2 hours from White Horse.
I have to say, this road left me absolutely speechless!! What an utterly awesome ride!!!!! So far my number one, without a doubt.
I took way too many photos and it was really hard to pick the nicest ones. but here I go.
When I got to Skagway I found out about a forest campsite down a 5 mile dirt road. Seeing as the campsite in town was $32 I thought yay!! So here I went down this awesome dirt road.
The camping was just $10! Normally I'd prefer to camp wild, but bears were common in that area so the thought of bear proof food containers sounded awfully nice!
I pitched my tent, I was expecting rain, and fixed dinner. It was quiet and beautiful and I slept like a rock, again!!
Got up early and Bill, the guy camping across from me, offered me a nice cup of coffee. He had hiked all the way up a mountain and showed me some absolutely stunning shots, including a 360 degree view of all the mountain tops!
I have to say, this was a really nice pit toilet!!
Of course as soon as I remove the tarp to start packing up it starts raining. Here I thought I'd make it before the tent got wet. Luckily it only drizzled and I left camp around 10. As I rode through Skagway, a very touristy place by the way, I decided to get my ticket first, and then back to town to get some breakfast. Turns out that they were already boarding even though it was more than an hour before departure.
I got to go on right away and secured Spirit with rope and blocks. Truthfully, this was the quietest and calmest ferry ride yet!
LOL pitching your tent on a ship!!!
The crew was doing an emergency drill
I met another KLR rider on board and a BMW rider. I think they gave me their names, but Im sorry to say I forgot
Paid and outrageous sum for a melted cheese sandwich which I shouldn't have eaten seeing as I am gluten allergic. Boy did I ever get sick!! Oh well. At least I wasn't hungry anymore.
An hour later we were in Haines and I rode off the ferry and toward Haines. There was a pullout on the way and I stopped to close my jacket. there was a local lady there whom I asked about a nice campground not too expensive. She pointed me toward one that was right off the water on a grassy spot, a state campground.
When I got there it turned out that it was only meant for hikers and bikers. I decided to camp there anyways because the nearest other campground was 10 miles out of town. I really didn't want to ride with a broken brake and my chain on the way out. I explained the ranger about my predicament and even though the city of Haines did not want vehicles parked there, I had it out of sight and he let me stay there for a couple of days.
Hopefully the package will be here tomorrow or Saturday.
I walked into town to get some more yarn, and to use the internet
Didn't know there was such a thing as a white poppy!
Library totem pole
Thank you so much Richard H from Ontario for your mind-boggling donation! :eek1
Spirit thanks you too, we'll make it to Anchorage and Denali yet!!
Got the parts in Saturday afternoon and worked on Spirit pretty much all day Sunday.
The rear brake ended up being quite a chore. I dismantled the caliper and cleaned her up real well. then I put the new brake pads on and bled the brakes. I'm glad I had bought the brake fluid in White Horse.
loosened up the nuts on the rear sprocket while the wheel was still on the bike, and then removed the wheel.
Put the new sprocket on in no time and put the wheel bad on. I wished I had a better way of aligning the rear tire. the old brake pads showed that it had not been aligned properly the last time, so it had uneven wear on it.
Getting the old chain off was a bit of a challenge, but using my little crowbar and the heavy extension iron as a hammer did the trick.
Got the new one on, and boy what a difference. I kept my small sprocket in front, not only did it still look great, the new on was way flatter and I didn't want to deal with putting a washer in between.
The spark-plug socket I had bought did not fit, it was too fat, so I ended up spending more than 2 hours walking to different stores for another socket. At least my legs got some exercise!!
The new socket fit, and now she has a new spark plug too.
I put everything back together and tried starting her up. It took a while with lots of backfiring and chugging, but she finally started. I took her for a spin, but she still stutters. I was told it sounded like bad gas, i.e. watered down!
Hopefully it will pass.
I wished I knew weather it is okay to put gasoline treatment in with the gas. Not sure what it will do to my carburetor.
Took a much needed shower at the RV lot and went grocery shopping.
Tomorrow I'm heading back into BC and the Yukon to Haines junction. I hear that road is just as spectacular!
I love Haines though, I could easily live here. I still might, but finding work in a tiny place like this could be a challenge.
The trouble with having such a long ride report is finding a post!
I remember someone inviting me over once I got to Alaska, but now I can't for the life of me find out who that was! LOL
Whoever invited me, if you are reading this, send me a PM please
I would love to swing by!
The RED ISO Heet, bottle of gas line antifreeze and water remover will NOT harm you! It isss goooood! Put bout half a bottle in with a full tank.
DON'T use the Yellow bottle tho.... Baaad
Glad all parts went on ok. (wonder about the front sprocket though?!?!?! Was it a SunStar???
Take a tape and measure from your swingarm bolt (the big guy that holds your swingarm to the frame) back to the center of your rear axle (yea it's kinda tough but you can eye it up ok) and make sure both left and right sides are equal! :) Somewhere near 22" to 22-1/4" range if I remember on a 17" wheel?
Then always count the flats on your chain adjuster bolts (6 of them and soo 6 flats to the turn) when adjusting the chain. I put red paint marker on (one) flat on each side as a visual to where I'm at At say the 12:00 oclock position or wherever your comfortable, just both the same . Also I go say 2 flats on the left then 2 flats on the right... keep counting and make sure your red marks are ending up at the same places. I also put a black mark 3 flats opposite the reds just because I can I like to always see where I'm at.
This way your always keeping your axle square... don't trust the marks on the swingarm plates... Baaad:)
You may also want to drain the fuel bowl on the carb. If you get bad gas the water accumulates in the bottom of the float bowl. The bowl drain is the small allenhead screw on the bottom right side of the float bowl. Just back it out about 2 turns and any water and some gas will drain out the bottom of the carb. Reclose it after a few seconds or when you see just gas coming out. DON"T DO THIS WHEN THE ENGINE IS HOT!!
GrizzLee and Yukon Johann here.
We love the Haines and Klondike hwy. Hope to ride them on our way back down. In fact, Johann says the Haines hwy is his favorite drive of all time.
We rode to the top of the world at Prudhoe bay. Had a scare when we got back to Fairbanks. My Gretchen (R1200 GSA) wouldn't start. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=898115&page=4 All is better for now... She has way too many electronic gizmos for me to even consider working on her in the field when things go bad.
We rain into Mike (Mtncrawler) on the south side of Atigun pass.
Take care, We think about you often. Maybe we see you on the Haines hwy
Yup Seafoam works great, just put 200 ml in the KLR yesterday.
As far as water you are in snowmobile country. Go to any shop and ask for Isopropyl gas line antifreeze. It will help to get rid of water.
I have used seafoam two different ways and never had good results.I did the vacuum line deal and through the fuel tank.All I managed to do was foul the spark plugs and make the bike run worse.No substitute for cleaning the fuel system and rebuilding the carb if needed.
Adventure of a lifetime!
Very good meeting you and I look forward to reading your ride report fully when I get mine done and get home :) I wish we had more time to chat and that I could have helped you with your maintenance!
Here you are with your parts and me in Haines! What amazing weather it's been in SE Alaska!
That ride up the road from Haines to mainland is amazing :)
All the best :)
IMHO via Swype autocorrect
I posted an update two days ago, but for some reason it never posted. ?? So here is the old update
I have an hour and 20 minutes before the library closes, so I'd better type fast!
I had a great place to fix Spirit at least!
Had to post these picks late because the library in Haines had trouble with their internet speed.
Anyways, I left Haines on Tuesday, quite late if I may say so but still excited to hit the road again even though part of me didn't want to leave Haines.
Had to gas up first and noticed this beauty at the gas station.
I've always wanted one of these!
I headed North on Hwy3, and boy what a gorgeous ride. Just is nice as riding to Skagway.
The amount of pics I took on this road is staggering, needles to say it was hard picking the "nicest" ones
Another looking back shot. The ride to Haines must be amazing!
Before I knew it I got to the canadian border. The gals there were really nice and very interested in what I was doing.
They said welcome to the Yukon, which threw me off seeing as I was in BC. But I've heard it say that the northern BCers feel like they should be Yukoners.
Stopped at a rest stop to take this picture, the fireweed was everywhere. I love that flower!!
Yeah I know she is loaded down. I think my next ride (sometime next year) I will carry less, i.e no Painting stuff!
I decided to take a paid campsite that day. The lake was gorgeous, the sites not so much, they catered to RVs I guess. Really hard gravel and sloped.
I was glad to be in my tent though, and decided to make it an early night so I could get up early and make it a long ride the next day.
The best plans..........
Sue enough, right as I was dozing off a family with kids in an RV showed up and made so much racket for an hour that all I could do was just lie there and wait for it to be over. Why oh why right next to me?? there were at lead 30 vacant spots at that camping.
Oh well, I finally fell asleep at around midnight.
The next morning smelled smokey, turns out that there was a fire north of White Horse, and the smoke was blowing south west. I got all packed up and ready to head out when I started, well, tried to start Spirit. Nothing! A soft little whining sound and no fire. Battery! I knew I should have bought a new one!!
So here I went again, amidst a zillion buzzing mosquitos and on a hot day, taking everything off again and removing the seat plastic cover and battery cover.
I took the battery out and yeah, a few cells were totally empty! No wonder! This time I wondered why, I hadn't dropped her in a while. Anyways, I finally got to use my water filter and got water out of the lake and filtered it into the battery. Afterward I used my solar panel and battery pack to plug the charger into and charged the battery. I was glad it was sunny even though it was hot!
While doing that I figured I'd put everything back on as I have the charge cable permanently mounted on the battery. The only thing to do now was wait!
The only shade to be found was down the little trail to the lake. I got out my mosquito net and seat, and spend three hours knitting eating and reading.
Finally, even though the green light didn't come on, I decided it was enough.
I got the net packed back up, put my riding gear on, and started Spirit. Yay, start she did!!
I took off needing very much to cool down.
The scenery was changing
Looked like AZ there for a moment
Uh Oh ! that looks like rain!!
I found a little half circle side street off the Hwy and an RVer was also parked there.
I decided that it might be a good idea to have someone near here in bear country. They were very quiet which was a blessing. Shortly after I had finished setting up it started pouring.
I slept like a baby! Bike trouble is always draining me for some reason, even though it was solved quite easily
The RVer left early, but I decided to just relax a bit before hitting the road, and to let the sun dry my tent first
The road North was gorgeous!!
At Beaver Creek I met another KLRista called Hans, yay I don't meet many of them and now two in a weeks time. I met straightenarrow in Haines after picking up my parts from the post office
Hans and I talked for a while about bike trouble and things we needed to fix on our KLRs, and rode north. He rode faster of course, but we swapped every time there was road work. I rode by all the stopped cars and trucks and went in front, Hans seeing me pass and go up front decided to follow me.
There were two road working sections, and boy what a mess!!!
But after that was done the Alaska border came in sight!
Costums was a breeze, the guy was really amazed that I cam from Kauai and asked me all kinds of questions about shipping the bike and Kauai.
First glance at the northern part of Alaska
Hans behind me
A few hours later I made it to Tok!
I was tired and hungry and decided to splurge on restaurant food!
Salad bar and bakes potato at Fast Eddy's It was superb!!
I hit the road again around 5 and headed south to Valdez. I looked for a free campsite that I had found online, but I couldn't remember the name anymore.
As it got later I kept my eyes open for dirt roads. I saw another semi circle road but it looked weird and felt wrong. A few miles further I found another one, tucked away behind the trees. Yay, perfect.
I pitched my tent and stayed there for 2 days for some much needed R&R
The mosquitos were terrible and I started putting repellent on my but before heading in the bushes to pee
The day I wanted to leave it was raining. go figure! I needed water though so I had to go.
At one point the sun came out so I made a dash for it. I got almost everything packed and ready but just as I was breaking the tent down it started pouring!!!! My poor tent! I had to pack it wet. I was literally hollering at the rain that it came too early! another 10 minutes would have been great!!
But..... guess I don't have any say in the rain.
I rode south in the pouring rain and all of a sudden as I got over a ridge it turned sunny. Amazing!!
I stopped by blueberry lake campground but it was full. It bummed me out because it was such a gorgeous location.
As I drove back to the Hwy I noticed a gravel turn about and a small dirt road.
yay, it said you could camp down the road but that there were no toilets. Who cares!!
I rode down the tricky road and found the most amazing spot!! Absolutely awesome and breath taking!!
Walked over a ledge to the other side and took a pic facing my camp. the tent is hidden in the bushes
Camped put and spend a wonderful night there.
I left the tent where it was and headed to Valdez this morning.
The library is closing, more later! I'll reply to post later too
When I got back to the tent after spending a day in Valdez, the clouds were rolling in.
Later on in the evening it started to drizzle, but of course, no matter what, nature calls
I climbed out of my tent to this
Rainbows in Alaska, cool!
I went to sleep around 10 and woke up again at 2, another call of nature, Ahhhhhh, I should stop drinking that much!
But I am glad I got out at te tent, cause here it was, a full moon in a night sky that never turns dark.
I slept great the rest of that night. The spot I am camped at is just magical!! I could stay here forever!!
When I woke in the morning I decided to walk to the campsite, it took ten minutes, to go and use the bathroom.
Afterward I decided to walk around to see who all was there and to take some pics of this cool campground
I noticed two bikes parked so I walked up to say hi.
The guy who was there was called Mark (Jakeboy) and his friend Jim, who was still asleep in the tent.
We talked about our rides for a while, and then he asked me if I ever posted on ADV. I told him yes, I'm NomadGal, you might have seen my RR title.
Turns out he had read my posts occasionally but didn't realize who I was.
Haha, I was incognite, glasses and cap!
Also I stopped dyeing my hair so some gray is sprouting out. I figured I had enough of dying it. I am not going to do another roadshow for a while seeing as it will be winter in AK soon, and solar in the dark doesn't quite work!
Guess I am gonna start looking my age soon :eek1
Well, I said bye to Mark and headed back to camp to have some breakfast. The plan was to work on my sweater for a while and read and relax.
I took a photo of this postcard I found in town, Ahhhh, I could live here!! it's perfect!!!
The sun was setting
The next morning I got up and relaxed for a while before riding back to Valdez.
The river is a slate gray, but there is nowhere to pull over to take an accurate shot. Maybe later.
I found the Health-food store and the quilting shop in town. Turns out the quilting shop will also carry yarn in the winter.
That's a definite must if I were to pick this town to live here for the winter.
There were a couple of women who traveled with a little camper called a bullet. It's teensy and they get a lot of comments on it.
They were from Virginia and had been on the road for a while too.
There was a couple from Fairbanks there with a guest of theirs visiting Alaska. We all got to talking, and I showed them the photo of the cabin and told them that I wished I knew where it was. They didn't know but they said that they have a cabin similar to it that they will rent out after their guest leaves. $350 a month! Wow!
So here I am thinking that I should go and check out Fairbanks even though it wasn't in my budget anymore.
Funny how things work out, I checked my paypal and found a donation from John S in there! Yay, got enough to make it to Fairbanks now
As I was lying in my sleeping bag last night I realized that my RR is coming to an end.
Even though it saddened me I also am looking for a home for a while. I find myself to be bone weary of traveling.
loading and unloading Spirit day after day, pitching and taking down my tent, and working on all the things that break down is pretty exhausting. So even though I live a live of leisure, it really isn't.
Spirit is also in need of a lot of TLC. her left fork seal is leaking, the clutch seal as well. The rear shock is pretty much a joke, and of course a new battery is in order.
I think I will at some point in the winter take everything off and look at the frame. She feels not as solid anymore for some reason, even though I can't find anything wrong.
As far as my stuff, it too has seen better days. My dry-back is ripped, my tent is losing the coating on the inside and will pretty soon no longer be water pros, and two of the zippers no longer work, so I only can use one entrance.
My tank bag zipper is also broken, so now I am keeping it closed using two straps. The little saddle bags that I have hanging over the tent are also falling apart.
My clothes also have seen better days, and most of my shirts and sweaters have holes in them. Haha, I really am a bum aren't I?
The thought of having a soft bed and a warm wood stove just sounds like heaven to me right now. I try not to think of work, that one still is bugging me, but I think I need to do some soul searching and find a way to be okay with putting in long hours every day (well at least 4) doing something I would not normally care to do.
I still haven't figured out what it is that I like doing, other than riding, reading, knitting, watching movies and sleeping.
Maybe fate will smile on me and I will land a job that I actually enjoy doing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Tomorrow or Saturday I'm heading to Anchorage, and afterward to Homer, so more later.
Thank you so much John S for your donation. You must have known I needed it!