Whatever/Whenever. RR Father/Son to AK

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by GR8ADV, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Davis53

    Davis53 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    580
    Location:
    Northern California
    Good report thanks. I have spent the last few hours reading everything, keep it coming.
    #81
  2. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    No matter how early ya get up, the real fishermen are already on the river.

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    All those bad things I have said about RV'rs in the past, I take back. John Jay and his wife Anne were wonderful. We spent the morning with them and they took us in for breakfast when it started to drizzle. Hey we are river rafting today, it can rain all it wants :D

    The man broils up a mean bagle!

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    We shared stories and pics. There were up from Texas and had been on the road for quite a while. they let us use their computer to get a motel in Seward. Thanks guys!!

    The rafting companies had to cancel yesterdays trips because the water was too high and fast. They cancelled this mornings as well, but this afternoon, they had 2 spots open. Yahoo!

    Ok we looked Dorky in our dry suits.

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    But I never found out what was really happening here.

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    Before you can get into a the boats there is a swim test. We had to take a swim 3/4 of the way across the very fast moving river then float down to an eddy and swim in to shore. One person did not make it and they had to go rescue them down river. It was hard to swim in that current and very, very cold. As hard as it was they said this would be the easiest swim we would ever have if we fell out. The offer to let you bag at this point at no charge. A few did.

    Not the big stuff, where the boat was completely gone (we cant find those pics :cry) , but these still bring back some good memories.

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    The trip was outstanding. Fast and furious is all I can say with class III IV and V rapids on a high and fast river. 6 mile creek in Hope if you get the chance. NOVA was excellent and provide you with a disk of lots of pics when you are done. If you lose the disk you no longer have the pics. :D

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    We got back late after the trip and packed up. Said goodbye to this lovely little place.

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    Too late for a trip up Paxton road ( I think that is the name, or is it Palmer?). Next time. Off to Seward. The highways in South Central Alaska are incredible. Even though this was cloudy and a bit drizzly it was stellar. Let's hope for some sun soon, after all we have been blessed so far, I see no need to change.

    This will be our home for the next 3 nights. First hotel since waaaay back in Whitehorse. We plan on doing some fishing, and we were not groovin the idea of smelling like fish and camping.

    The Lions were not sure what to do, and we could sense they were getting quite uncomfortable. We decided to put them in the trees and they settled down.

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    #82
  3. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    Light overcast sky greets us this morning as we take care of some business.

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    We ride and walk around town. This is one beautiful part of the world. We make out way out to Millers' Landing. You get their via a dirt road at the end of town. We get wet as we pass this waterfall.

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    The sky is clearing nicely and it is really warming up.

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    We have booked an all day halibut/silver trip tomorrow out of the harbor, but if I were to go back I would book it all out of this family run area. Nice folks, and they know there stuff. We thought long and hard about a kayak trip, but in the end we book an evening silver trip with them for tonight. Tonight, heck it's in less than two hours. We rush back for lunch or is it dinnert, and crap, we need to get the laundry.

    Yes it is one very pretty town. Just a few hours out of Anchorage. We go to a recommended Pizza place. Actually we think it is a Greek place that serves Pizza. We are starved, it is about 4 and we haven't eaten since a light bfast.

    Here we are parked outside. I was quite surprised at the number of questions and comments we got about the bikes and the ride we were on.

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    We order a deep dish and ask if it is big enough for two hungry folks; she laughs, yes.

    This is what it looks like as we dig in

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    This is what it looks like when we are done!

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    Dead serious. :eek1 This thing weighed at least 12 #. Crazy.

    What a night for fishing.

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    and yes there is a whale out there. But he chose to mostly avoid my shutter. Actually I know they are smart, but it began to creep me out how they knew when I was taking a picture and they would dive like Das Boat.

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    And oh yes, the fishing was good for the few of us on board.

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    They do all the work and hand us the fillets in a bag. It is about 10 at night and we take it to Capt. jacks in town. they will cut/pack/freeze it for us and hold it until tomorrows catch comes in before shipping.

    Ok, I have a new favorite place.

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    #83
  4. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    YAWN. Up early to head to the boat to go Halibut fishing. Something new for both of us. Weather looks to be cooperating as we peek outside.

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    Let's hope the fish are as well. As I left the driveway back home, way back when, I got two instructions from my wife. Bring back my son, and catch some halibut. I think it was in that order. We will do our best today.

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    #84
  5. TomTom63

    TomTom63 Motorradfahrer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,622
    This report is getting better with each post :D. Fantastic photography :thumb

    Keep it coming.
    #85
  6. MV_Dave

    MV_Dave Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Maple Valley, WA
    What a "GR8" report. I've really enjoyed following along with you and your son.:clap

    Are you secretly an employee of the Alaska Tourist Board? Your pictures are making us eager for a trip up North.

    Can't wait for the next installment. Keep up the good work. :thumb
    #86
  7. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    South Central Alaska. What a place. One of the most, or possibly even THE most beautiful part of the state; but I am sure that it is up for debate. For sure, if you take the time to come all the way to AK for the Haul road or the Dempster, make time to spend a day out on the water in AK!

    Ok here we go. It is just amazing how many pictures one can take when they are not riding a motorcycle. :D Lots of fish today, no big lunkers but no worries as we got all the fish we were allowed to catch. And we also did catch and release on 10 others at least! Too fun. Chris caught a lovely 35.5 inch ling cod as well. Too bad the min size is 36 inches. :cry Cool anyway.

    So sit back, and I hope you enjoy the day as much as we did. A day to remember for us.


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    We are told it does not look like this everyday in Seward. We are blessed.

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    It does take time to get to the fishing hole. I am glad it was really calm. Not that we get seasick, just a lot nicer.

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    Ok maybe 25 lbs is small by big halibut standards, but damn with the fast current we were in, this was work baby!

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    But I will show up for work every day if I have too.:D

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    Damn global warming is reaching far far north it seams.

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    :D

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    It was a hell of a day. we got back about 12 hours or so after we began. We took the catch to Capt Jacks and shipped about 60 pounds of the good stuff back to Ms. Adventure. Mission 1 accomplished.

    We hop on the bikes and take the quick few minute drive back to the motel. Feels good to ride again, even for a short distance. Time to get back on these bikes. This is a ride report, not a fishing report :lol3

    Chris and the TV have an interesting and close relationship. Even when sleeping, he has full access to the romote. Actually, I think it is usually under the pillow. He must have been tired!

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    #87
  8. Fire44

    Fire44 Old and Slow

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    581
    Location:
    Middle of Delaware (aka Nowhere)
    Thank you for sharing your trip with us. As I sit here and read your report, I look over at my 11 year old son and think how great it would be to do a trip like this. I have 6 or 7 years to convince my wife that this would be a good trip for me and my son.
    #88
  9. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    To get it into terms that both you and your wife can understand, you actually have 6 or 7 years to save up for a really nice diamond.
    #89
  10. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,465
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    How did this RR get out of state?
    This should have been censored, clipped, cut and blocked!
    Now other people will want to come to the Last Frontier.
    Or is it the Vast Frontier? I can never remember...

    I will have to send this link to those who ask:
    "Why do you live in ALASKA?"

    Great report sir! :clap

    BTW, mama bear and baby bear tore our back door off to get into the trash can last week when we were down at the Russian River camping. Now I will have to use a metal door there too since they now know to come back.

    BTW2, Friday morning a Lynx crossed the street in front of me on the way to work. I was going to work that is, I don't know where the Lynx was going. Probably checking the local house cats out. I haven't seen a Porcupine this summer though. Yet. Moose are always eating our trees and the rabbit population is exploding this summer which the wolves and coyotes certainly appreciate.
    #90
  11. rkover1

    rkover1 doc

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    203
    Location:
    Kailua-Kona,Hawai'i, USA
    Wow, what a report; and an adventure!

    Planning for my own trip up north from Woodinville in 2012 and taking notes as I read along. My son doesn't have much interest in bikes, but my 20 year old daughter surprised the heck out of us the other day when she announced she'd like to learn to ride! Hmmmm.....

    Quick question on the 650 (I've got a 2006): what windscreen did you choose to replace the stocker? The original is too short for me (and I'm only 5'2") but the one in the photos looks like should be pretty close to right.

    Keep up the report. Can't wait for the next installment.

    doc
    #91
  12. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    It is a Wunderlich. they have 2, one tall one short. Both are considerably taller than stock. This is the tall windshield that I cut down to almost the size of the small setting. My son is 6 feet, so I would opt for the small for you. I got the Wunderlich because the version they have for my bike is Lexan and I assumed that this one was as well. No such luck as it is acrylic. It worked well for him.
    #92
  13. rkover1

    rkover1 doc

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    203
    Location:
    Kailua-Kona,Hawai'i, USA
    Thanks. That helps.

    Looks like the setup in the photos is alot like mine: OEM hand protectors with Touratech spoilers. Quite a few screens don't seem to fit that configuration. I'll give the Wunderlich a look.

    Can't beat Rich's: for the level of comfort as well as the support (pun intended) at his shop.

    Thanks again. And happy trails.

    doc
    #93
  14. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    Drizzle as we wake in Seward. Chris looks out and says, "lets git outa here".

    The plan was to head to Whittier thru the cool tunnel and ferry to Valdez. Two places that would be good to check out, regardless of the weather. Also that would lead us to a nice trip to Kennicott et al.

    Turns out that for some reason the ferry is not running today?? So we either burn a day here. Out and back to homer, backtrack on the Glenn highway or, hmmm, how bout we head up to Denali and take the Denali highway west. :clap With our minds cleansed with a good dose of Whatever/Whenever we down a couple Starbucks Doubleshots, mount our trusty steeds and we are off to Anc for Bfast 2 hrs away.

    North of Anchorage is Wasilla. Now I am not stopping here unless Sara herself shows up in my lane. Hey, btw, I look as far west as I can and there ain't no way in hell she could see Russia. Now I am not sure if I can believe anything she says. :rofl

    The weather stays dark with low clouds, but at least little rain. It is pretty dull north of ANC. As we approach Denali the view get interesting again. Here there are small weathered trees, almost like we are getting close to the treeline.

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    We stop at Cantwell at the west edge of the Denali Highway. No big mountain in sight as they clouds have their way. No change expected so instead of camping in the park we head east on the Denali Highway.

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    We see several rogue campsites along the way, but nothing really grabs us. About 30 miles in we get to Brushkana creek and a campground.

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    We hike above the camp to a plateau filled with blue berry bushes and nothing else. I can only imagine the bears when these ripen. Dense woods around the campspots which is nice. Here is the zoomed view down from the plateau.

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    Carpet, c'mon people!!

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    Lots of wood around. Build a nice smore approved fire. Add some tarpage in the trees to keep us dry if it rains. It is nice to be camping again. What a difference it makes to be out of that hotel. Being inside with the artificial light, stale air, and curtains, all blocking out the very essence of the wilderness. That just somehow feels wrong up here in AK. Good to be back.

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    #94
  15. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    The Denali highway. This is going to be a fun day. In the true spirit of Bear Grylls we head up to the highest point and look to the hills to check the weather for the day.

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    Kinda wish we had not done that. Actually, it improved throughout the day and we ended in shirtsleeves. :clap

    The highway is quite amazing. It is another beautiful AK gravel road. Smooth, flat, with some loose stuff where they lay it down fresh. Great to ride. The views are stellar. We come to a construction zone where they are inspecting the bridge over the Susitna River. They send a cute girl up to tell us the news.

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    When ever they send the cute girls to do the talking it means it will be a while. It was. Actually you can see that no way could we get by the truck on the bridge??:deal Oh well, who am I to argue with the cute girl. Their strategy worked.

    The highway is amazing in its variety.

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    From tundra like ground to treed, to the high alpine of crossing the second highest highway pass in AK, MacLaren Summit.

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    We make our way to Tangle Lake Restaurant. Even though we have only gone about 100 miles, we fall in love with the area and decide to spend some time and check it out and spend the night at the campground.

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    There is a nice ridge right behind the tent, begging to be conquered. Here is the view from the bottom.

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    And one looking the other way. Did I mention that this is one pretty place!

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    And the Tangle lake version of Stonehenge

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    While checking over the bikes I notice one of the 650's bags is a bit loose. Grabbing the rack with my hand, it ah, comes off in my hand :eek1

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    No that is not an official salute.

    That is pretty close to strike three for me with these. An hour later we have it wired back together as best we can. Never leave home without bailing wire, duct tape and wire ties.

    Its not pretty, but it is as tight as a .... well its not gonna move.

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    We had momma and her babe come and visit. They entertained us for quite a while.

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    An evening climb up on the ridge affords the beautiful cool light that only the evening brings. I sit and watch the beavers do their thing in the lake.

    A great highway. Not to be missed. A great site to rest our heads. This is likely our last night on the dirt in AK. We make the most of it.

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    #95
  16. PHOTON PHIL

    PHOTON PHIL THe REAL poser

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    Green Township N.J.
    Great RR GR8ADV. I showed it to my son, he is 13 AND he already rides with me :clap, and he told me thats cool, lets go. I'm looking forward to going to AK with him when he gets a few years older. Ride Safe.
    #96
  17. JasonLester

    JasonLester Riding north

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    Blanchester, Ohio
    This was the place we were headed to in the middle of June on our ride up. Unfortunatly they had a storm the night before and had 6 inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing. So I didn't get to ride it. Dad went down twice over the summer and has been on that rode in a truck alot. He talks about it often. Now seeing these pics....well I'll just have to plan another ride. :wink:



    #97
  18. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Pow right in the kisser

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    865
    Location:
    Northwet
    We wake to the loud sound of rain bouncing off the tent. A big contrast to the beautiful night before. We strategize, which means nothing more than deciding to go over to the Tangle Lake restaurant for bfast.

    Less than 20 minutes from stepping out of the tent to having the bikes fully loaded and rolling. Not sure we could have done that the first week.

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    Christina the grand daughter of the owner and born and raised in AK shares some great stories. How she would never eat meat bought in a store. How can you eat meat that you don't know where it comes from? She tells us of winter hunts for moose, gutting them and throwing them on the machine to haul home. Then carving it up. Chris and I both laugh as just yesterday he was saying that he would like to learn how to fillet a fish. :lol3 She says that one thing she wants to do is go to a big mall. wow what a contrast.

    Today will be a 3L day. Layers, Liners and L'ectricity.

    Tangle lake marks the end of the dirt as you head east and this is not lost on me as we roll out.

    The ceiling is low and we lose much of the majesty, yet somehow it is still beautiful.

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    We hit a dense fog bank and I lose Chris in the mirrors. After a radio check he is just drifting back to see how far he has to go before I disappear. It is funny the games we play on the road.

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    I am not sure what to expect today. We have decided to head north up to Delta Junction rather than go south to the TOK cuttoff to TOK. that is the way we came over, and we are looking for something different. Although it was a stellar ride. I wonder how good the road north could be.

    Turns out it is a great road. Bounded by huge cliffs. I need to come back here in the sun. This would be spectacular. We don't take too many pics given the rain. But we do spot the pipeline.

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    A little info for those with enquiring minds. This one engineering marvel.

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    We get to DJ and it is cold and wet. And cold. We go into the grocery to stock up and eat in the deli. The locals young and old all come in wearing jeans and carharts, the tourists are all in shorts and white tennis shoes. :D

    We head south towards TOK after getting gas, and forgetting to pay for it. :eek1 Tina came running out to the intersection to get me. She must have said "im sorry" 10 times for running after me. Damn, I am the one who is sorry. I guess it happens so often it now comes out of their paycheck. And with a thirsty 1200 ADV at the pump, that would likely zero out her day. So everyone go to Tesorro and Tip Tina in DJ :clap

    In TOK we find out that the TOW has been closed !! Turns out it was 3 days after we went through. Looking back at our notes, had we gone on to Inuvik instead of turning around at the Circle we would have been smack in the middle of the storm and the washout instead of the hot sunny dusty day that we had on the TOW. :freaky

    We hang around in TOK and talk to some other riders. They all have crazy stories. ONe guy from Texas on his wee had to hitchhike into TOK to get more plugs cus his tire would not hold them. He plugged it like three times, and each time it failed. Finally he ran out of plugs. It took him three days to get a ride to TOK and back to his bike. Looking at his tire it was BALD and no wonder the plugs would not hold. I offered him my spare rear as it was the same size. He said no he had one lined up in Wasilla, and as he was able nurse it this this last 100 miles (at 30 mph) he could nurse the rest. Ah, that's gotta be over 300 miles to Wasilla, on a main highway, u sure? yup. ok. GL :scratch

    We hang around and around, enjoying the folks. Long enough for the rain to catch up. And boy did it catch up. We hit the campsite just south of TOK on the river across the bridge. I tell Chris that the good lord was not going to let us out of AK telling 'girly' stories of sunny warm days. We set the tent up in a downpour. In the end everything we have ends up wet. goretex is only so good.

    This pic is well after the fact. Just about everything you see that looks like ground, looked like a lake. The two trenches helped greatly to drain it, and would provide peace of mind should the rains come back hard again in the night.

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    It is still raining hard, but the ground seems to be able to suck it up for now.

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    Anything wood is drenched and we head back to town to buy some dry wood at the store. Cus no matter how bad it gets, and how hard it rains, the show must go on:rofl

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    It is almost dusk-like as it gets late indicating our journey south. As we hit the warm and dry bags, we know we are heading eventually to a ferry in Haines to take us to Bellingham. We talk about maybe leaving out of Skagway instead. Hmmm, Whatever. We drift off.
    #98
  19. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    745
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    GR8ADV,

    I really enjoyed your great pictures of the Denali Highway, one of my favorite places and especially a favorite place in the winter, so for you and your son here is a picture taken near Tangle Lakes of a different time of year when we play on the snow.

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    #99
  20. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,340
    Location:
    Northville, Michigan
    Thanks for the great report. This is inspiring to my 17-year-old son and I. He will be taking MSF soon and has been sitting on an F650GS at our local store. These photos have given us good "that could be us in a few months" discussions.