A bucket list ride to Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by pnw, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    Posted under "epic" because the definition is week+
    This isn't an epic ride except for me but I appreciate other's ride reports so here is an abbreviated one.

    I had never been to Alaska and it was definitely on the to do list as was the Alaska Marine Highway ferry. Originally planned on May but I decided to wait until after I retired.

    Kennicott ferry left from Bellingham on August 5. FYI there is convenient gated long term parking at the ferry for $30/wk. I brought my TW200 up on my truck so the parking was important to me.

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    The ferry left dock around 7pm.

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    I had read that you should bring your own lashing straps but they had plenty on the Kennicott. If you have a nice bike you might want to bring soft loops so you don't scratch your mc frame though.
    That wasn't a issue for my TW200.
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  2. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    My ferry destination was Haines, there was an overnight stop at Juneau with a change of boats for this particular booking. Arriving Juneau Tue Aug 8.


    At the dock, departure was delayed for some reason
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    on the way to Juneau
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  3. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    Is that a Shinko 241 Trials tire on the front of that beautiful TW ? :-)
    #3
  4. Kruzof

    Kruzof peasant

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    Have a great trip up the Haines Highway--it's one of my favorites.
    I have heard that it's on the list for upgrading so most of those lovely curves will undoubtedly be toast.

    And thanks for taking the Marine Highway.
    Not cheap & not particularly convenient but it's the only way off our rock.
    I'd hate to see our already limited service go away completely due to lack of business.
    #4
  5. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    You can sleep in covered solarium on the floor or plastic lounges or on the open deck in tents, couple people were in sleeping bags on lounge chairs on the deck. All of that reminded me of the Occupy movement. I was glad to have a simple bunk room for less than $150. no facilities in the room but there was no need, restrooms and showers were just down the hall, $3 rented a pillow, sheets, blanket and towels.

    Tent outside my port window blew down every night, it rained some and was cold at night, people in the solarium smelled bad.

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    short stop in Ketchikan, I walked over to a Safeway and picked up food for lunch.
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  6. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    it is a 241, I'm not sure if it was the tire but the metal grate bridges in Yukon were a terror to me, I've never had an issue riding grated bridges around here on other bikes but on the Yukon bridges I tried slow, I tried faster, each time thinking I was going to go down. After 4 or 5 of those bridges I was going to walk the bike if I met up with anymore of them but happily didn't.

    The pictures must be glamour pics for the TW because it definitely isn't beautiful, but I think she appreciates the compliment anyway.
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  7. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    I am trying to convince my wife that she needs to take the ferry with one of her sisters and I will drive up to Homer to meet them then tour around and come home, they would love the views and sitting around reading or catching one of the movies in the evening - my wife has no interest in a regular cruise ship and neither do I. Maybe next year for that.
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  8. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    Back aboard then on to Juneau
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  9. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    There were some pods of killer whales, dolphins and a regular whale or two along the way but I didn't get much in the way of pictures.

    overnight stop in Juneau where I camped Auke Villiage campground and rode up to Mendenhall glacier and did some of the walking trails.

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    A spit at the campground
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    #9
  10. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    Fred,
    You are doing very well with the pictures and the words.:clap
    Imu
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  11. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    Mendenhall Glacier

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    #11
  12. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    some trails near the glacier

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    #12
  13. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    Juneau to Haines is only ~4 hours by ferry

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  14. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    the ocean has a silty glacial water look in this area near Haines

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    Coming into Haines
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    #14
  15. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    The route I took back to Bellingham.
    [​IMG]
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  16. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    pnw, look to see if that Shinko 241 Trials tire on the front is a 241 Trials PRO....or the regular 241 Trails.

    The Trails PRO is a much softer compound rubber, designed for professional Trails riders, so it is much more squirelly on paved roads, and especially on grated bridges. The regular 242 Trials has the exact same tread pattern, but is designed with slightly harder rubber compound, so it is better on the paved roads, and excellent for places like the slick road in Moab.
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  17. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    Sure glad to see this trip finally come together for ya Fred!

    How many of us only dream of Alaska. Now that your appetite has been teased with a portion of the state, I'm sure you've got much more planned.

    The pics are beautiful Fred! The signage of the depleting glacier is stunning, I remember Glacier NP having this kind info also.

    Thanks for sharing and letting many of us live vicariously through your experience.

    ...and all on the workhorse TW, amazing!:beer
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  18. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    It is the regular 241 not the pro trial one. I'm not claiming to have any riding skill but for some reason those grated bridges posed a problem that I hadn't experienced on metal grate bridges around here, but not on the TW>
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  19. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    Thanks Sam, I'm glad I took the TW and for the most part just enjoyed it despite its limitations and tried to not flog it more than necessary. Sometimes it did fine at 55-60 but more often 45-55, or less. The ride was more enjoyable at lower speeds and for the most part there wasn't much traffic. The drivers I did encounter were very tolerant and I did my best to stay out of the way.

    Boarding the second ferry I took from Juneau to Haines a Philipino crew member at the loading ramp admired the bike, like everyone asked "how many cc's" but instead of saying "bless you" or something like that told me that in the Philippines a bike like the TW would carry a whole family and groceries at once.
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  20. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    Imagine this family...but on a TW200 :-) This was taken while riding around Tibet.

    When you rode down to Hyder, AK, did you get a chance to take the road up to Salmon Glacier....just north of Hyder ? And did you eat that The Bus....in Hyder ?

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    #20
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