It all began here.... http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=861239 I posted on ADV to find a riding partner to go from San Francisco to Dawson City Yukon for the D2D event. Normally, every year I fly to Bulgaria where my second motorcycle is stored, and tour a month or more through multiple foreign countries, braving questionable food and gas, all kinds of invasive searches at border crossings (don't ask about Turkey) and cross places off my list of things to see. But this year, I decided to visit my favorite place as a kid. Alaska. I remember being perplexed when my father, who worked on the pipeline, came and found me playing with some other kids to tell me it was 1 a.m. and time to go to bed and the sun doesn't set here in summer. (no wonder I was so darned tired) I remember taking a cruise out to the glaciers and covering my ears when the ship blew the horn to make some ice crash down into the water and watched in awe as the waves slowly made their way to the hull of the ship and rocked us gently. I remember also catching my first fish and when the crew saw it was a "junk" fish, threw it back in without another word, leaving me with balled fists and sniffling. I remember the microscopic flowers that grew all over the the ground in wonderful pastel colors and loved them so much, my father later sent a whole bunch delicately dried and pressed in an envelope back when the postal service took "do not bend' seriously. SpecialAgentNancy rides again and this time to Alaska June 1st from San Francisco. She will ride solo and with new friends. She will eat all manner of meat. Elk, Moose, Raccoon, Caribou and yes even Bear if she can. She's called "The Hobbit" and it's not for the hairy feet. (I'm going to have my second breakfast when I finish this). My first partner in crime was Mario, a rider I met at a dirt rally in Mendocino National Park in May. He's got impeccable taste in bikes! We rode that day together with our Tigers and had a great time! So a few weeks later it came together and my boyfriend Arka, my riding partner for that day Mario and I all met for breakfast June 1. Day 1. Had an excellent meal (as always) at Cafe Aquarius in Emeryville and took the first important, "before", photo of the epic month long journey to come. We took a winding path through the hot central valley towards Chico for a lunch stop and discussion about route. The south entrance to Lassen Park was still closed. Fortunately, 8lives helped us by telling in time. So we chose to go the long way round: 32 north from Chico > 36 East > The the Mooney Road 'shortcut' which started as gravel but quickly went to pavement > to the 44 West and 89 South to Manzanita Lake campground. With promises of chicken roasted over an open fire, we rode all day in hot weather punctuated from time to time by farmland irrigated with water that helped to cool the air down a bit. As my stomach began to growl as loudly as the bike we arrived at our campsite. Where Mario didn't dilly dally and got things started right away! The smell was positively mouth watering.... We discussed the debate of 100 deet or not....and the ride we did. This is my favorite part of riding with partners...it's worth the hassles in my mind. I love nothing more than to discuss the fun, strange things you've seen and the overall feelings about this very special kind of travel. We were expecting a visit by Highplains Drifter but it wasn't meant to be. The campground "police" told us he was camped there the night before and mentioned that I'd be arriving and to look out for me and say hello in case he didn't make it back. Heck, they even brought us firewood. I collected an armful myself walking around and got myself good and dirty in no time. Went to bed with a fully tummy and felt great about my decision to ride 3000+ miles alone. Into Alaska, the last frontier.