a fine mess - ancient mariners in search of the acrtic ocean

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lakota, May 30, 2009.

  1. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,855
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    Day 1 - Annapolis MD to Wheatland WY

    I should know better than to mention a day dream to my friend of 46 years Jack (Jairlie on ADVrider). It seems that everytime a do that he grabs the idea like a pit bull and the next thing I know I am responsible for coming up with a plan to make the dream a reality. This time I said something about riding motorcycles to <st1:state w:st="on">Alaska</st1:state> and here we are two years (and two Jack broken legs from moto accidents) later on the road to <st1:place w:st="on">Prudhoe Bay</st1:place>.
    <o:p></o:p>
    In April Jack flew to <st1:state w:st="on">Maryland</st1:state> and rode my bike back to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Colorado Springs</st1:place></st1:city>. On May 29 I got up at 4:15, caught the 7:30 flight to CSprings, Jack met me at the airport and 40 minutes later we were in his garage. Jack put his earplugs in so he didn&#8217;t have to listen to me whine about getting everything packed. Miracle of miracles, it all fit!!
    The bikes
    [​IMG]


    The players &#8211; Jack on the left (the old guy) and me on the right (young and spry)
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The plan &#8211; north on the interstate to Montana, eventually ride through Great Falls to Canada, get to Prince Rupert and take the ferry to Haines, over to Wasilla to Friar Mike&#8217;s for TKCs and an oil change, up to Fairbanks then to Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Ocean. After that who knows as long as we are back to CSprings by the end of June.
    Its 1:30. Time to go!
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We get on I25 and Jack immediately complains that there is too much traffic. I have a hard time with this as what I see is less than half of what I see(we daily on my commute on my RT through DC to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Arlington</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">VA.</st1:state></st1:place> We stop talking to each other (we are using Blue Ant Interphones for bike to bike comms &#8211; work fine at 80 mph). After Ft Collins, though, all the traffic magically disappears and we get moving at a reasonable speed (limit plus 10).
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Its 233 miles to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Wheatland</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">WY</st1:state></st1:place>. It&#8217;s 6 PM. I&#8217;ve had enough for today.
    The Best Western never looked so good.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Today&#8217;s stats:
    233 miles
    1drink stop, 2 gas stops
    Gas &#8211; 4 gallons and $9.19
    Motel - $100
    #1
  2. RockerC

    RockerC Fuck Piece & Quiet

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
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    Lake Maquarie, East Coast Australia
    I'm in guys - let's see where this leads to.

    subscribed
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    67,784
    Sounds good! thanks for the large font.. some of us appreciate it :gerg
    :lurk
    #3
  4. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
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    The problem with being a early riser for work is that when you are on vacation you tend to wake up at the same time anyway. And if you are in a later time zone, as I am, you wake up even earlier. If your travel partner has the same tendencies you spend a lot of time in the AM waiting for the sun to rise or for the motel breakfast to open.
    Jack grabs a quick cup of coffee and we are off at 6:20.
    [​IMG]


    Another day of riding mostly on the super slab.
    The idea is to divide the ride into 80 mile chunks with breakfast coming after the first 80 miles. Problem is that the people who built the towns didn&#8217;t put them in 80 mile increments. So when we are 80 down the road, we still have 20+ to go before there is a restaurant or gas station.
    Yummy breakfast &#8211; omelet with bacon, cheese, and avocado.
    [​IMG]
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Not a lot to see and what there is seems all the same.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The day gets hotter and hotter as we get into <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Montana</st1:place></st1:State>.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Eventually we see a sign for something not to be missed &#8211; The Little Big Horn National Historic Site
    The hillside where the last stand was made.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Where Custer fell.

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    A memorial to the Native Americans who died here. It is a set of walls behind this mound listing the dead. Didn&#8217;t feel it was appropriate to take pictures inside.
    [​IMG]

    I found poignant a sign that read &#8220;Died defending the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Cheyenne</st1:place></st1:City> way of life&#8221;.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Then back on the road. Did I mention it was HOT? Lunch at Sal&#8217;s diner in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Hardin</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">MT</st1:State></st1:place> was a nice oasis for lunch.
    [​IMG]


    <o:p></o:p>
    Then more riding and the suffering continued &#8211; rest stops were not where we wanted them. Turning north at <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Billings</st1:place></st1:City> we could see lots of rain to the west but it never go to us.
    Then we found another nice spot &#8211; the Cozy Corner Bar in Lavina.
    [​IMG]

    The last 40 miles from here to the closest motel &#8211; <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Corral</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">MT</st1:State></st1:place> &#8211; were miserable. But we were done.
    [​IMG]



    <o:p></o:p>
    Today&#8217;s Stats
    483 Miles
    8.5 gallons for $21.91
    Motel $64
    #4
  5. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Woke up this morning with an idea – do lots more miles today so when we are heading up the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Ice Field Parkway</st1:address></st1:Street> and other spots on the way to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Prince Rupert</st1:place></st1:City> we will not feel the pressure of the ferry reservation. Since the Corral Motel had no breakfast or coffee we just got on the road at 6:40.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Almost immediately there was a sign saying unpaved road ahead – motorcycles should consider an alternate route. Didn’t take a picture since it would have been directly into the sun. The unpaved road was 2 sections of 1 mile and ½ mile each of small gravel – barely worth talking about. Breakfast was at Eddies Corner in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Moore</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">MT.</st1:State></st1:place> It was full of friendly and interesting people – another recommended stop.
    The 80 miles and rest plan worked to perfection and the weather cooperated by staying cool all day – never had to vent the jacket. Again it was views that were lovely but unvarying as they were yesterday. The interesting thing was the wind. It would blow very hard in one direction and suddenly it would be just as hard from the opposite side. This did pose a few challenges. The roads for the most part were dead straight – in fact the best “twistie” was the on ramp in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Shelby</st1:City></st1:place> to get back on the interstate.
    The crossing into <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region></st1:place> was uneventful.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The customs agent looked only at my passport and was more interested in discussing all the none Canadian entry/exit stamps I had. There was a learning experience going from riding 80mph in the <st1:country-region w:st="on">US</st1:country-region> to 110kph in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region>. Its tough to slow down.
    Got to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Calgary</st1:City></st1:place> and into the motel at 5:30.

    instead of a pic of the motel here is the view across the street - the ski jump from the Calgary Olympics.
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    Forecast for tomorrow is high of 61. hope for a lot more photos on the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Ice Field Pkwy.</st1:address></st1:Street>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Today’s stats
    Mileage 459
    Gas 7.7 gallons for 23.08
    Motel 129
    #5
  6. Kyler

    Kyler Geezer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
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    Location:
    Just north of Keedysville, MD
    Thanks for posting the mileage & costs! And am I the only one who can't see the pics?:huh
    #6
  7. Kath

    Kath 2wheelmom

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
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    Location:
    Sykesville, MD
    :clap In!
    #7
  8. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
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    Two days ago we were complaining about the heat. This morning the temperature was 41 degrees. It was a scramble to find everything we had that would keep us warm. Low and behold, I had no liner for my riding pants but had two liners for my jacket. So much for packing lists. It was cold enough that Jack was using his heated liner, gloves, and grips. I was content with heated grips.
    [​IMG]

    The ride out of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on">Calgary</st1:City> to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Banff</st1:place></st1:City> is 4 lane divided highway that leads to the park entrance. If you intend to ride the <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Ice Field Highway</st1:address></st1:Street> the admission fee is 9.80 Canadian (8.30 for the senior citizen).
    The road to <st1:place w:st="on">Lake Louise</st1:place>
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <st1:place w:st="on">Lake Louise</st1:place> still frozen
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel where we had breakfast.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    What to eat?
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    It’s not inexpensive but worth the price. Look at the view from our table.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    After a great breakfast we decided to get back on the road. This is a ride not to be missed!
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Looking back the way we came.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Yes that is a big horn ram on the side of the road.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <st1:place w:st="on">Athabasca</st1:place> Glacier – you can walk out or take a tour vehicle out to the middle.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    After a lunch in Jasper we head west on Rte 16, another good ride.
    The road goes west
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    And enters <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">British Columbia</st1:place></st1:State>
    <o:p>[​IMG] </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The ride ends at the North Country Lodge in McBride. Nice rooms with WiFi but no cell phone service (this was the case in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Harlowton</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">MT</st1:State></st1:place> also).
    <o:p></o:p>
    Today’s stats
    Mileage 362
    6 gallons gas for 21.23
    Motel 100
    #8
  9. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Annapolis MD
    We are starting to be impacted by the increase in daylight as we get further north. I got up at 4:30 to use the john and the next thing I know it&#8217;s 5:30 and we are heading out to buy gas and hit the road.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    It was as cold or colder than yesterday so Jack was on electrics from the start and I was wearing two pairs of pants under my motorcycle pants. It was a slight improvement over yesterday. The road from McBride to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Prince George</st1:place></st1:City> is a motorcyclist&#8217;s delight. Some rolling, some steep hills with lots of well engineered constant radius curves. On the map there is nothing shown between the towns and in reality the map is correct.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We went 120 miles west before we saw the first westbound car at the outskirts of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Prince George</st1:place></st1:City>. Eastbound it was fewer than 30 cars and only one motorcycle. In <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Prince George</st1:place></st1:City> they had something I had never seen before &#8211; a truck that goes along the street individually watering the trees growing along the sidewalk.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Leaving <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Prince George</st1:place></st1:City> we encountered a different type of riding, almost as good as the previous 120 miles. A bit more urban, more towns and cars but again with hills and curves to keep the ride from becoming boring. There are lots of logging roads here that look like they would an excellent dual sport playground. The simultaneous reaction we had to crowning the hill behind us and seeing this was &#8220;wow&#8221;.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>We get to Fort Frazer for a stop to buy gas and get a drink. Jack has a tough time negotiating the parking lot and we have the first bike drop after 1758 miles.</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG] </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Along the way we passed through <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Houston</st1:place></st1:City>, home of the world&#8217;s largest fly rod (60 feet long). They were working on it when we stopped to see it. Normally it is upright.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We rolled into Smithers, today&#8217;s destination, and Jack needed to get his chain adjusted. There is one moto dealer here, a Harley shop. Steve Graf and his crew put Jack at the head of the queue and had us out of there in an hour. A great place to get work done. They stock tires for most makes and even carry oil filters for the 1200GS. Stop in if you are in the area.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Some thoughts while riding.
    We have seen very little wildlife so far. Thought there would be more. This morning Jack yelled bear on the road and two seconds later the bear was morphed into 3 moose.
    Speaking of moose
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    That's not one.
    When we stopped for gas in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Fort</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Frazer</st1:placeName></st1:place> there was an onslaught of bugs. Drove us nuts. And we haven&#8217;t gotten to real bug country yet.
    Passengers
    [​IMG]
    Trucks are interesting. There is no judging how much wind an 18 wheeler is pushing around. Some give you a violent shove and others are like they are not there.


    Tomorrw we ride to Prince Rupert to catch the ferry to Haines AK.

    <o:p></o:p>
    Todays stats
    Mileage 366
    Gasoline 6.5 gallons for 25.48
    Motel 100
    #9
  10. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day 6 – Smithers to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Prince Rupert</st1:place></st1:City>
    We’ve got to figure out a way to sleep later. For the second straight day we were up and on the road at 5:30.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The road from Smithers to Terrace is another great ride. I am running out of adjectives to describe the rides on Rte 16. We had to endure vistas like this for the entire ride.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I took this picture of the dog guarding the cow and her calves because it looked cool. The dog was not quite sure what to make of me.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Again it was 120+ miles without services so it was after 8 when we finally got to eat breakfast.
    Leaving Terrace for the final 89 miles to <st1:City w:st="on">Prince Rupert</st1:City> we hit the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">high point</st1:place></st1:City> of the 3 day ride along Rte 16. The <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Ice Field Parkway</st1:address></st1:Street> was great and very worthwhile but this last piece is, for my money, a better ride. I hope the pictures do it justice.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    We got to the motel at noon and were able to check in almost immediately.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The view out our window.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    This ends phase 1 of the trip. Tomorrow is the ferry to Haines and that has a glitch. For some reason there will be a 3 hour delay in Ketchican and this will cause us to miss the connection to Haines. Therefore, we will have to spend a day in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Juneau</st1:City></st1:place>. That's why it is called adventure travel.
    <o:p></o:p>
    You can’t get unsweetened iced tea in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region>. Who knew?
    <o:p></o:p>
    Today’s stats
    Mileage 224
    <o:p>Gasoline 4.6 gallons for 17.17</o:p>
    Motel 110
    <o:p></o:p>
    Total mileage to date 2129
    #10
  11. tommyg

    tommyg Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
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    1,566
    Location:
    lake charleviox
    thanks for sharing, I love those roads i cant imagine driving for 10 miles without seeing a car, let alone 100.
    #11
  12. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,855
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    Annapolis MD
    thanks
    it's been a great ride so far
    #12
  13. Ramage

    Ramage needs improvement

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Gone Coastal
    :lurk Great RR and beautiful scenery.

    Just curious, I just acquired a pristine F650GS as a "backup" bike, how did you like it on such a long haul?
    #13
  14. WOXOF

    WOXOF Just wander'n

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    706
    Location:
    Ada, MI
    hijack
    You should also ask SunnySideUp. She has been riding hers back from the tip of South America.
    She is currently in La Paz, Baja Mexico. 3 months on the road
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=435562
    /hijack.

    Waiting to hear about the Ferry ride up the inland passage :thumb
    #14
  15. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
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    i was a little leery riding it for days on end (as opposed to my RT) but it has performed without a hitch and I have had no butt problems.
    #15
  16. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    So it’s up at 5 and out the door at 6:15 for the short ride to the ferry terminal. Cars were already lining up at customs. If you had reservations you got to go to the head of the line – if not you parked out on the road till you had a ticket. The ticketing process was REALLY slow – they installed a new reservation/ticketing system for this year which turned out to be a step backwards as far as user friendliness is concerned. The delay we knew was coming was explained thus – one of the ferries is late getting out of the shipyard and in order to cover the gap the fill-in ferry has a 10 hour stop in Ketchican. Talk about sucking – we didn’t realize till too late that we could have taken the bikes off the ship and gone riding. Would have eased the pain of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Juneau</st1:place></st1:City> layover that we are now in. Next ferry is at 3PM tomorrow. That gets us into Haines at 8PM so no real riding till Sunday morning. We have called most of the people we had lined up for services and pushed them back a day. My pants liners are enroute to The Abbey in Wasilla via FEDEX thanks to my better half. The long range forecast makes it look like I will need them mornings for a while. I took only a few pictures involving the ferry since this is a motorcycle ride report.
    Waiting in line at customs
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Looking back at the customs gate
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The M/V Taku
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The entrance ramp
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>\</o:p>
    <o:p>The bikes secured for sea. Jack's tiedowns are around the yellow pipe.</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>

    There were 3 Harleys and a Yamaha Venture on the ferry also.
    Our stateroom. We upgraded to a 4 person room so as to have extra space. For $44 it was worth it. I am standing in the "head" to take the picture.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Breakfast on the boat – the food was adequate and a little overpriced – kind of like at the airport.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Latest states
    0 miles
    0 gas expenses
    105 for motel in Juneau
    Ferry departed Prince Rupert at 10:15 AM Thursday and arrived in Juneau at 7:45 PM Friday.
    #16
  17. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,784
    Gorgeous ride! I update your thread title as per your request :thumb
    #17
  18. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,855
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    This is a somewhat wasted day. The ferry to Haines leaves at 4 but you have to be there 3 hours early. That isn't enough time to do much but fortunately the motorcycle gives us some options. We ride to as far north as possible to see where the sidewalk ends. It's ~40 miles from downtown.
    [​IMG]

    Well that was fun. Let's go see where it ends going south. So we ride through town and head south. A few miles out the low fuel lights come on. Since we are uncertain as to how far we have to go we head back to town to refuel and eat breakfast. Then after a short detour to buy expedition weight socks we head south again to see the end of the road. As fate would have it when we turned around the first time we were less than 1/4 mile from the end.
    [​IMG]

    While we were taking pictures we met Henry, a rider from Bellingham Washington who was touring Alaska also. He was getting ready to take the ferry back to Bellingham.

    Then it was off to the ferry landing for the long wait. We passed the time kibitzing the guy who coordinates the loading. For some reason he found our jokes less than amusing.

    the ride itself was uneventful except for seeing some orcas and humpbacks.
    After docking in Haines it was a short ride to the motel for an early to bed and early to rise so as to get back on the road.

    Somehow we managed to do more than 120 miles in Juneau.
    #18
  19. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,855
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    The eventual goal for the next two days is Friar Mike’s in Wasilla. We decide that a 400+ mile day followed by an easy ride Monday is a good plan. Up early, we leave the motel before the continental breakfast is served. Jack makes coffee in the room and the Pepsi machine eats my dollar. We get on the road and head for the Canadian border – for those of you who don’t know, getting from Haines to the main part of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on">Alaska</st1:State> requires going back into <st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region> and then re-crossing the border into <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alaska</st1:place></st1:State> proper. We wonder why there are no other cars on the road and at some point we remember that the crossing into <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region> is not open 24/7. Why we didn’t check last night is a good question. Does it open at 7 or 8? We adjust our speed to get there at 7.
    Views from the highway – we are in this river valley all the way to <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region>.
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    [​IMG]
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>When we arrive at the border we are chagrined to learn that it opens at 8. While we are considering our options, a customs agent comes out and lets us pass.
    What to say about the ride? I have run out of superlatives. The pictures can speak for themselves.
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    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
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    The ride to Haines Junction in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region> is another ride of 150 miles without one northbound car and fewer than 20 southbound. Since the <st1:State w:st="on">Yukon</st1:State> has about 33000 inhabitants and most of them live in <st1:City w:st="on">Whitehorse</st1:City> and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Dawson</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">City</st1:placeType></st1:place> it is not too surprising.
    After breakfast we met Carl, a Navy Chaplain stationed in Kodiak, who was riding an 1150RT back there.

    Back on the bikes we go around this lake, which still is iced over. the road goes along the bottom of the cliff face in the background
    [​IMG]

    I wanted a picture of a flower.
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    Got it :D
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    There was wildlife on this ride. First there was a bear cub in the rode. He disappeared off the side of the road and we were reluctant to look for him since we didn't know where his mother was. Then there was a black bear on the side of the road. As i stoppeed about 100 yards away to get a picture a comedy ensued. I stalled the bike and simutaneously tried to restart the bike for a quick getaway if necessary, get the camera out, and take a picture.He got bored with me and took off. FinallyI spotted this guy out of the corner of my eye and turned around to get this shot.:clap
    [​IMG]

    On the road in Alaska
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    What the side of the road looks like.
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    We arrived in Tok about 5.


    Today's stats
    Mileage 444
    8.2 gallons for 31.60
    Motel 126
    #19
  20. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,855
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    To answer the unasked question at the beginning, no we didn’t see Sarah Palin...yet.
    It was another early start for the relatively short ride to Wasilla. We were hoping to get to The Abbey and get the bikes serviced today. Unfortunately for us Friar Mike had made plans for the day after we told him we wouldn’t get there till tomorrow. Oh well. We rearranged our reservations for <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Fairbanks</st1:place></st1:City> and are planning to get there Wednesday morning. We'll see how these plans hold up.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Riding in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alaska</st1:place></st1:State> has not been a disappointment. The road from Tok to Glenallen, theTok Cutoff, was a great way to start the day. We were forced to endure scenery as represented by the following pictures.
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    <st1:place w:st="on">Mount Sanford</st1:place>
    <st1:place w:st="on">[​IMG]</st1:place>
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    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Mount</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Drum</st1:placeName></st1:place>
    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">[​IMG]</st1:placeName></st1:place>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We ended up riding 152 miles to get breakfast – I don’t understand why the people in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alaska</st1:place></st1:State> can’t support our plan to do the ride in 80 mile chunks and also to ride on the top half of our gas tank. If you come up here remember that gas stations are not on every other street corner as in the lower 48.
    Jack at breakfast.
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    Then back on the road. The roads were every bit as good as the earlier stretch.
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    Have you seen the insurance commercial where the squirrels play chicken with cars on a country lane? Well up here they have rabbits who like to play that game. I almost came to grief twice trying to avoid them.
    Additionally there were a number of spots where the road suddenly went to gravel – another opportunity to go down if you weren’t paying attention. At this spot we had a long wait as the road went to one lane for over a mile and we had to wait for a pilot car to lead us through the wet gravel.
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    Out in the middle of nowhere we found this building -an Air Force facility for ionospheric studies or high frequency aurora atmospheric programs. Who knows?
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    Eventually we got to Wasilla and two GPSs had us going two different routes to get to the Abbey. We did find it however. Tomorrow at 10AM we get new sneakers and oil for the bikes.
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    <o:p></o:p>
    Today’s stats
    Mileage 298
    4.8 gallons for 1578
    Motel 160
    #20