AKgeekgrrl Solo: San Jose to Anchorage on a Ducati ST2

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AKgeekgrrl, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. AKgeekgrrl

    AKgeekgrrl Ride now. Talk later.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    It was terrible how I suffered on that dreadful, dreadful motorbike :cry

    :rofl
    #21
  2. AKgeekgrrl

    AKgeekgrrl Ride now. Talk later.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    <o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceType"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceName"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="State"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Day Seven: Am starting to get acquainted with several fellow highway hoppers. I pass them, then we meet a gas stop, then I pass them again waving, “See ya down the road!” etc. One semi trucker is my friend because I waved “Thank you” to him after he pulled over to let me pass. (I'd like to put out a call for all riders to take a moment to offer positive reinforcement when drivers are good enough to get out of our way so we can have our fun :deal ) We have coffee and he offers to pop the Duck in the trailer for the run through the <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Yukon</st1:place></st1:state>. A couple old folks mention that I seem to be driving “kinda fast.” I tell them I can’t help it, the bike’s Italian.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The gas station attendant in <st1:place w:st="on">Fort Nelson</st1:place> gives me free coffee :Dand directs me to City Furniture – which I would have passed on name alone – for yet more bits to make the iPod work again. When I get there it’s closed, and I’m cursing the friend who got me hooked on this damn device when the owner comes out locking the door behind her. Seeing me there looking pathetic – or possibly, intoxicatingly fabulous – she re-opens the store, grabs the cable for me and then goes off on her day. :clap
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>Anja and Holger are on this stretch of highway doing the Prudhoe run of their two-year world tour. I’m honored to meet them at the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Rowdy</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">River</st1:placetype> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Bridge</st1:placetype></st1:place> where we’re all stopped for photos ... and also feel a bit of a dork on my frivolous Italian sport bike next to these bad ass riders with their GS650s piled with adventure gear. The Duck is handling everything so far with aplomb so blame the rider not the bike :wink:

    There’s an accident blocking the highway at the Toad River Lodge, but motorcycles can get past. I instinctively think “Yayyy” because all the RVs are now out of the way ... and immediately realize I'm being an ass. Someone’s road trip just tanked badly and there, but for dumb luck go any of us. Geez. Hard to even admit that I had that passing thought. Now you know. I'm a jerk.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Into the Canadian Rockies. Most beautiful part of a trip that’s no slouch for beauty anywhere. Rough, windy roads. Lots of rock fall. Much more interesting riding now that it's getting technical. My clutch hand is getting numb, though! If a sign says “Sheep on Road,” then pay attention because the sign’s not kidding! Serious sheep.

    [​IMG]

    The “Caribou on Road” caribou, on the other hand, was one lonely, confused calf who trotted ahead of me for a while looking back as if to say, “It’s my first shift as the ‘Caribou on Road’ sign caribou! Please bear with me while I figure this out!”

    [​IMG]
    (the sheep definitely had their act together better)

    Also bears, bears, bears ...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    After this guy started walking toward me I suddenly remembered that motorcycles don't have cages around them ... :eek1

    On the winding shoreline of ice blue Muncho Lake, Anja and Holger are hopping past each other to get action shots. I am having too much fun riding it - twisty! - to stop for another of my amateurish snapshots. Come see it for yourself, it's trip of a lifetime stunning. There were no rooms when I called ahead to Liard Hot Springs Lodge as the firefighters have booked the place, so I check in early at Muncho Lake Lodge, planning on an evening at the springs.

    Fancy!
    [​IMG]

    Turns out there was some confusion about old vs new mileposts – OK, I was confused – and the Hot Springs is not 15 miles away but 40 miles away. The Duck, sans luggage, eats those miles up in no time at all - signs now say “Buffalo on Road” - and I’m soon soaking my stiff back under the spillway with a paperback.

    Across the mineral marshes to the springs:
    [​IMG]

    About the Hotsprings.

    Guy wants picture of his gnome with "biker chick" :lol3
    [​IMG]

    Definitely worth the short riding day to have an evening here. On the way back I nearly drop the bike by failing to account for how steeply banked the highway is when I stop to get a buffalo shot.

    See Duck's mirror in foreground for proximity:
    [​IMG]

    Rumor at the lodge is that the highway will be closed again by morning due to fires.
    #22
  3. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,862
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    luvin' this report.
    thanks for sharing.
    #23
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,786
    Thread title updates as per your request :thumb

    :lurk
    #24
  5. Colemanfu

    Colemanfu King of all manfu

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,083
    Location:
    DAYTONA USA
    I have enjoyed reading about your ADV - it's one of my dream trips. It's the wet and hot season now in FL so I havent been on the bikes as much. Reading and dreaming about temps below 75' - cause that's as cool as it will get till Oct.

    I like following along with your trip out west, you sure are brave and a much better rider than you give yourself credit for. Good honest comments about your experiences as well.

    Thanks!

    CMF
    #25
  6. Lopoetve

    Lopoetve Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    667
    Location:
    Lafayette, CO
    I'm in!
    #26
  7. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    12,925
    Location:
    Tennessee
    great fun reading your ride report!
    #27
  8. ScorpioVI

    ScorpioVI Some people juggle geese.

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    506
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    :rofl

    Welcome to California. The Prius and its drivers are the bane of all CA motorcyclists, getting in the way in our carpool lanes and too busy paying attention to their gas mileage than traffic. If somebody is being a fucktard on the road, chances are it's a Prius.





    :huh

    That's... kinda scary...
    #28
  9. Geddo

    Geddo ADV-11

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    233
    Location:
    Home of the Sharks!
    Absolutely need more of that!

    Just don't do it while splitting lanes as was suggested by Motorcyclist Mag in their Aug issue... good way to end up a trunk badge. :wink:

    Nice report I will be headed up that way to Victoria BC for no particular reason in August, nice to see some of the sites on the way.
    #29
  10. AKgeekgrrl

    AKgeekgrrl Ride now. Talk later.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    <o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="country-region"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceType"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceName"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="City"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> ... but I bet Italians wouldn't!

    Day Eight:
    Luck out this morning as the highway, closed due to wildfires, was reopened a few hours ago. Recently it's been blocked for a couple of days at a stretch and - as it's the only way in or out - travel services have been laboring to take care of all the firefighters and laid over travelers. Not that it would suck to stay another night at way-out-of-my-league Muncho Lake Lodge!

    Suit up for a chilly Canadian morning, conduct the pre-flight check, wave to the buffalo, glance longingly at the hot springs and ride on.

    Typical gas stop ... Fill up then wander around trying to find someone to give money to :D
    [​IMG]

    Pilot cars are running a single lane through the fires south of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Watson</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Lake</st1:placetype></st1:place>. The smoke is dense and stuff is on fire right up to the roadway.

    That's no morning mist. This place is on fire!
    [​IMG]

    Stop in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Watson</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Lake</st1:placetype></st1:place> to slap a WestEdge Cycles sticker up at the signpost forest in honor of my hero Rob in Anacortes ...

    [​IMG]

    ... and meet Teutonic beefcake Kevin on his pony-sized BMW 1150.

    Helllllooooo, Kevin:
    [​IMG]

    Just down from Prudhoe. Check! He&#8217;s ridden all through South and <st1:place w:st="on">Central America</st1:place> and &#8211; echoing an earlier remark from Holger &#8211; describes the AlCan as &#8220;the most boring stretch of highway I&#8217;ve ever ridden.&#8221; This makes me wonder what else is out there in this big wide world that I'm missing. It's a passing thought. At this moment, and for a week of moments now, I haven't felt like I was missing a thing.

    True that once clear of the <st1:place w:st="on">Rockies</st1:place> there&#8217;s not much else to do but find the riding pace of your choice &#8211; about 85mph for me, with occasional exuberant bursts to 100 if the wind is right &#8211; and just go. Starting to hit frost heaves now which adds some fun and stretches of dirt and gravel which add interest and, damn you Germans!, this is still one gorgeous bit of country. It&#8217;s just very, very big and gorgeous.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Gas up in Teslin. The guy at the pump across from me asks if I&#8217;m headed north. His voice is very familiar. I look up and it&#8217;s local commercial celebrity Ted Sadtler. &#8220;You&#8217;re the mattress guy!&#8221; I say. We end up hanging out BS&#8217;ing about road trips, business philosophies and marketing for about twenty minutes down by the river (&#8220;I&#8217;m not going to hit on you,&#8221; he assures me.)

    Teslin bridge where Ted did not hit on me:
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Night in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Whitehorse</st1:city></st1:place>. The other cap fell off the Heli-bar ends today. I plastic it up. I&#8217;m willing to accept the heat for losing one, but two is definitely a product defect and I&#8217;ve already got enough &#8216;splainin&#8217; to do when (if!! :wink:) I return the Duck to Tim. Of more concern, the chain adjuster nut on one side of the swingarm has come loose enough that the swingarm end cap is dangling freely. (Note: This has happened two more times since the Duck has been home.) The axle nut is secure and the chain is still aligned, so I borrow an adjustable wrench at the front desk &#8211; Annoyingly, the Ducati onboard toolkit does not have a wrench sized for those adjuster nuts - WTF?! - and guess what I unknowingly mailed home from San Jose to cut weight last week? Adjustable wrench, that's what. :doh I tighten it up, cross my fingers and carry on.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I have yet to stay at a hotel in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region> that has true floors. Maybe it&#8217;s frost heaves or, maybe, it&#8217;s like in Spain where everyone is so laid back they just don&#8217;t give a shit.

    Or maybe this explains it :rofl
    [​IMG]

    There&#8217;s a Kurosawa movie (Yojimbo) playing at the Old Firehouse around the corner but I don&#8217;t think I can stay awake that long. Downtown <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Whitehorse</st1:city></st1:place> always seems seedy, but the Duck&#8217;s parked right outside my window, which I leave cracked so I can, um, listen to it? Really, what would I do? Wake up to hear the bike crash, yell out the window and watch people run away? Right. :lol3
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Travel tip for you long-hairs: Aveeno Intense Relief makes a great detangler and leave-in conditioner! Apply sparingly to damp hair and work through for, oh, 45 minutes or so :lol3 A little experiment after a high speed hair containment failure.

    Only two more days of freedom. Can't the world leave me be for a little while longer? :cry
    #30
  11. AKgeekgrrl

    AKgeekgrrl Ride now. Talk later.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    <o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="country-region"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceType"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="PlaceName"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" name="State"></o:smarttagtype><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Day Nine: I&#8217;m in Tok. Can tell I&#8217;m back in <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alaska</st1:place></st1:state> because absolutely no one is remotely impressed by my sweet motorcycle, the fact that I&#8217;m traveling solo or that I&#8217;m spectacularly coated in dirt and bugs. It feels great to be home!!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The breakfast waiter in Whitehorse this morning was a stone Anderson Cooper fox :wink: We swapped ugly American tourist stories. One standout was relayed to him earlier by a younger couple of their horror and shame to hear elder cruise passengers mocking the conditions in a village on the Klondike Highway. How could anyone think it was to their advantage to be an asshole to the very people on whom they are relying to make their &#8220;dream vacation&#8221; come true? After years in the service industry myself, I know of the varied and subtle ways that abused staff can make your trip more difficult if they choose to use their powers for evil. :amazon

    Gas stop at Haines Junction. This scenery feels like home!
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>(Spot the Duck in this picture for a sense of scale.)

    Very Alaskan riding today: Gorgeous and brutal. If you&#8217;re reading this, you already know about the perpetual highway construction around Kluane. One RV driver said it was &#8220;tore up for a hundred miles!&#8221; Not true, but there were several 12+km stretches that were "tore up" pretty well.

    The first stretch of gravel was the worst as it was kicked up in windrows on some steeply banked curves by the south end of the lake. Kinda squirrelly with that tight suspension and smooth back tire. It's trying to suck me in! After a couple of scary minutes I get my groove back: Look where you want the bike to go (don&#8217;t fixate on the piles of gravel!), Rear brake if you must, Don&#8217;t fight the bike and, the old standby, When in doubt: More throttle! The Duck and I come to a comfortable agreement and actually start having fun in the dirt.

    A little break after negotiating the first (and worst) long stretch of gravel:
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    The wildlife is thinning out &#8211; except for mosquitoes, swarms of which abbreviate every rest stop &#8211; and swans. Every one of dozens of high alpine lakes seems to have a mating pair of them. No swarms of them trying to drain me dry, however. Twice I see a postcard moose-grazing-knee-deep-in-pond. Lots of typical rider &#8220;<zoom> <vrooom> zooom &#8230; Wow! That&#8217;s cool! &#8230; zooom<vrooom> <zoom> &#8230; &#8220; scenes that go unphotographed.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The chain doesn&#8217;t fall off even under <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Yukon</st1:place></st1:state> abuse. It doesn&#8217;t rain. It&#8217;s warm. I&#8217;m happy.

    Somewhere in here I get sent to the back of a line of vehicles waiting for a pilot car in a "tore up" zone. Thinking about the facefuls of dust and gravel I'll be eating, I try to argue why I should be first (dammit!) The story I get is that last summer - when bikes went to the front of the line - a rider went down and the vehicle behind ran into him, so the rule was changed. I'm still convinced that if I looked as tough as a Prudhoe-bound GS rider, the guy wouldn't have dared stop me from line jumping!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The frost heaves are becoming less fun as many are now chuckholes, tire grabbing treachery, parallel to the pavement rather than lateral whoopsies, but they do add some interest in the dodging of them. I still manage to get pulled over by the only RCMP I&#8217;ve seen on the road in <st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region>, now a mere 75 miles from the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">U.S.</st1:place></st1:country-region> border. He did not, fortunately, clock my actual speed. &#8220;I could see you were going pretty fast there.&#8221; :lol3 Then he tells me, &#8220;I&#8217;m a rider myself. The road&#8217;s going to get worse between here and Beaver Creek so you&#8217;ll want to take it easy, but after that you can let &#8216;er rip again.&#8221; &#8220;Thanks for the heads up, officer!&#8221; :augie
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Meet a pair of Alaska ADV inmates headed south while gassing up at <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Destruction</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Bay</st1:placetype></st1:place> (BMW 1200 and KTM 950.) One of them knows a co-worker of mine (What are the odds, you ask? Well, this is the only road in or out of the state!) and I have the crashing realization that soon I will have to park the Duck and go back to the office. They warn me about the tarry gravel that&#8217;s being dumped into chuckholes on the road north and I warn them about the Tim Horton&#8217;s full of RCMP in Lac La Hache.

    Beaver Creek, last town before America. Also only place in Canada someone was snippy at me:
    [​IMG]
    <o:p> </o:p>Later she came out and saw me with the Duck and was suddenly all questions and smiles. All the ladies love an Italian hooligan :evil

    Breeze through the border crossing. &#8220;How does it go?&#8221; asks the guard, admiring the Duck. &#8220;It goes fast,&#8221; I say, before it occurs to me that this is a dumb thing to say to an officer of the law. :eek1 Oh well, in for a penny in for a pound: I roar out of customs and treat him to the sweet, sweet sound of those sexy Staintune pipes. Then I behave myself for 45 miles which isn&#8217;t hard because the road is terrible.
    <o:p> </o:p></zoom></vrooom></vrooom></zoom>
    Dinner, night and breakfast at Fast Eddies, AlCan riders haven. Yum.
    #31
  12. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,502
    Location:
    northern Arkansas
    Great rr. My favorite line: "A couple old folks mention that I seem to be driving “kinda fast.”

    Jim
    #32
  13. AKgeekgrrl

    AKgeekgrrl Ride now. Talk later.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Thanks, Jim. I'm enjoying your reports too!

    The Duck and I get on like a house on fire when we're going "kinda fast," but our relationship at parking lot speeds has been tumultuous. Freakin' Italians.
    #33
  14. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,862
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    "Somewhere in here I get sent to the back of a line of vehicles waiting for a pilot car in a "tore up" zone. Thinking about the facefuls of dust and gravel I'll be eating, I try to argue why I should be first (dammit!) The story I get is that last summer - when bikes went to the front of the line - a rider went down and the vehicle behind ran into him, so the rule was changed."

    in June they waved us to the front of the line if we stopped at the back saying "you don't want to eat dust."

    great report and pics.
    #34
  15. AKgeekgrrl

    AKgeekgrrl Ride now. Talk later.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    My happy place:
    [​IMG]

    At the Gakona junction the troopers appear. They’re working the highway hard between here and Glenallen so I try to be good. About 25 miles past the Glenn cutoff a chick in a blue Forester screams past me. Alright then, let the radar find her first! I take off after her at about 80mph and we make excellent time to the glacier. Gotta love the locals!

    Probably the most dangerous part of the trip is the Glenn Highway from the glacier to Sutton. In part because I know the road well, it’s fun as hell, and I’m prone to jackass-ery as a result, but some blame must rest with folks driving 10mph below the speed limit, blithely passing “Delay of 5 Cars Illegal” warnings and pullouts. This is where I encounter the only person in 3700 miles who does the “floor it on the straights, slam on the brakes for the twists” thing. He’s got New York plates. The Duck and I pop around him on a double yellow – I’ve been watching ahead around the curves for this moment – and land among some locals doing a steady 65mph which is just dandy.

    Coffee at Vagabond Blues in Palmer - A frequent destination for after-work evening jaunts on the Old Glenn. Need a break to psych up for home and the city after the long, blissful days on the road thinking about nothing but what’s literally right in front of me. There’s traffic and noise and people in a hurry because they’re important, not because it’s fun. Everyone has a phone glued to their head. Sigh.

    Looks like I brought my endless supply of sunshine with me, though! Not a drop of wet on me since I cleared the California coast and Eugene, Oregon. The sky over the Anchorage bowl looked stormy when I came down out of the valley from the glacier, but within 20 minutes the clouds disappear and shortly after that I’m pulling up in front of my pink house with the laughably overgrown front yard and my neighbor is taking a photo as evidence that I am really here, home, happy and alive.

    Look Mom! Not dead!
    [​IMG]

    A survey of insect life of Alaska:
    [​IMG]

    Epilogue:
    I’m ruined. 3716 miles and 10 days. My first long-distance tour behind me now, all I think about is my next trip and how it can be longer. Gotta credit beginners luck for the amazing weather. Some rain, wind and hail could easily have made it a descent through hell and I'd be singing another tune entirely.

    I’m back at the office but my mind is on a quiet, fresh morning highway, ideally in the middle of freakin’ nowhere. Turn back the clock to where I started in February ... looking at maps and farkles, reading ride reports, boring the hell out of my non-inmate friends. Now add, thinking about where to store an "Outside" bike to make the most out of an oh-too-short two-week vacation!

    Tim takes the Duck home two days later after giving me a chance to show it off to my friends. It’s had a well-earned bath and a new set of tires are on order. Ran like a champ all the way! The mileage calculations indicate about 40mpg average. Tim’s tearing it apart now to “see how it works.” Apparently it won't do power wheelies and, therefore, requires some tweaks :rofl I’m back on my Nighthawk 750, which is like getting back to my childhood sweetheart after a torrid fling with an Italian boy toy. I’m totally OK with that :D

    Me & Red playing hooky at Portage Glacier:
    [​IMG]
    #35
  16. AKgeekgrrl

    AKgeekgrrl Ride now. Talk later.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Grrrr. I was always given to understand that was standard operating procedure, Lakota. Am starting to think the flagger I lucked onto was just "flexing."
    #36
  17. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,873
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Great report.

    Looks and sounds like it was a lot of fun.

    Mark H.
    #37
  18. Mileater

    Mileater Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    380
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Enjoyed your (writing) style and photos a great deal. Well done for the successful ride and subsequent RR :clap and many thanks for having us along. I look forward to many more:deal

    Cheers :freaky
    Allan
    #38
  19. rcook52459

    rcook52459 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    portland ore.
    thank you for your report and pics.enjoyed your writing.:clap :clap :clap :clap
    #39
  20. AKgeekgrrl

    AKgeekgrrl Ride now. Talk later.

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Thanks, Mark. I need to do it again on a DS so I can get off the highway. I'm envious of those D2D adventures of yours!
    #40