Another Rookie Went to Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by 72 Yamaha RD350, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Today’s Social Distancing ride paused for pictures at two nearby churches built in the 1890’s.

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  2. Bruincounselor

    Bruincounselor North Plains Drifter Supporter

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    I sscored 19/26. Didn't marry young and only spent 4 weeks in foreign countries with no knowledge of the languages, but didn't have a dime to spend the whole time.

    Cell phones scare me too.

    Keep the stories coming.
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  3. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Eight weeks in France. Two weeks in Taiwan. One week in India. I can barely count to three in French - sudden work assignment with no time for language training. Same for Taiwan. English is fairly common in India so it was a lot easier. Having per diem or personal cash didn’t make any difference. I do regret not flying to Paris to meet my wife and riding the TGV but we had just purchased a new house and TGV tickets weren't within our budget.

    Here's a picture of my one horsepower French steed, Peugot.(1) A fine horse with a completely incompetent rider.
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    Aside from buying a few music CDs, the only thing I spent money on was museum entry fees. This was one of them - a museum at Carcassonne of torture devices used during the Inquisition.
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    Toulouse has many historic churches and art museums, but there is also a lot of art in public spaces like this fountain.
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    An honorable mention that didn't make the Risk List because it wasn't risky for me (2): I worked for a friend replacing the wiring in a 1944 Martin B17 for the Arizona (Confederate) Commemorative Air Force. (3) As far as I know, it didn't turn out to be risky for anyone else either because it hasn't crashed... yet.

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    [1 - His name wasn't really Peugot because he was totally reliable for the day I spent with him.]

    [2 - Aside from the time I ran my head into the exhaust port underneath the engine just like everyone does if you work around these planes long enough.]

    [3 - Although I am an Electrical Engineer, my prime qualification for the job was a 28 inch waist which allowed me to enter portions of the air frame not conducive to more mature physiques. Those wire bundles hanging out of the engines were my job to route. The plane was grounded over the winter of '91 to remove and maintain the wing tanks. The powers that be decided it would be a good time to replace all the original wiring - some of which had rotted fabric insulation. These pictures were taken on a Saturday but we did most of our work on weeknights in a cool but empty hangar with a full set of schematics taped to the fuselage. My co-worker, Jeff Nelson, was the Certified FAA maintenance guy with an expensive wire marking machine and I was just the flunky working in tight spaces. I ran the wiring for the wings and he did the fuselage - helping each other whenever necessary. (IIRC, the cockpit had new wiring running to the junction boxes so we didn't do any wiring in the cockpit.) We did the work for pay - not as volunteers - so we never took flight in the big bird. I did climb into the ball gunner turret once but at 5'11" it was a tight squeeze even for me. If you were so inclined and of suitable size, you would find my initials and the year inscribed inside the port wing in an inaccessible location where I spent an hour separating conduit and pulling old and new wire. Lesson: Always go to the bathroom before you crawl deep inside the guts of an airplane.]
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  4. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Today's Social Distance ride was to the golf course to check out the scene. It's almost warm enough for me to take the clubs to the range. Our golf courses were allowed to open yesterday morning for the first time this season. On the way to the golf course I stopped a mile from mile house to snap another mural photo.

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  5. Old Phart

    Old Phart n00b

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  6. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    You are correct, I did say that.
  7. OV10

    OV10 Been here awhile

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    I just read this whole report in one sitting. Very well done sir!
  8. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Thank you.
  9. nails1

    nails1 Been here awhile

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    I just read it in one sitting as well. My life experience is surprisingly similar to yours.

    Not sure where this is lately headed, but I suppose an anti-security rant might logically follow after walking away from religion.

    The last ADV newsletter had something about not riding now, mostly because the writer didn't want to have a wreck and distract medical folks from dealing with the pandemic. That's gotta be the most absolute most piss-ant, fear-based thing I've ever heard. ("Until just now, have you daily decided it's okay to go to the ICU on this ride?")

    Two things implement social distancing really well: riding; and walking around with a running chainsaw. I'm going to cut some firewood now. And then go back to building my KLR250 into an ADV touring bike.
  10. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    I suspect that is an accurate observation. Once you lose the fear of where you're going to spend eternity, few other things really concern you.


    I'd probably agree with that if I lived in metro NYC or other city where the hospitals are overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients. But I'm not so it's not changing my riding habits. The weather is still in control where I live. My wife tells me medical professionals around us are going to start getting furloughed due to the prohibition on elective surgeries. I'm not planning on giving them any business, but...

    So true. I've spent days with a chainsaw in my hands. Infinitely better than the alternative but I hate them with a passion.

    Congrats on the KLR250.
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  11. nails1

    nails1 Been here awhile

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    I also was a religious zealot, starting in high school. I got over it in the Navy -- boy-o-howdy. (But at least I had enough sense to marry -- and then divorce -- later in life :nod.) I grew up on an Ohio dairy farm. I judge science fairs (instead of doing Boy Scouts), paddle and ski, did a lot of MX, and took a long tarmac tour recently. We have a lot in common, no doubt including a long list of stupids -- mostly involving religion and women. Maybe one day we'll have a beer and compare lists.
    And maybe I'll ride this baby KLR to Prudhoe Bay!
    Thanks for the RR.
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  12. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    I suspect Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club is a quick cure of religion... and a whole lot of other things. I was surprised when my oldest daughter was in the Army how much they push religion. I guess they have to convince you somehow that your country is worth dying for.

    Ohio to NM is a good trade. I’ve been to NM a bit but my list of things to do there is still a dozen long.

    I enjoyed watching Tewster’s YT videos of his 250cc ride to Deadhorse. Personally I think a 250 is THE bike to ride from Fairbanks to Deadhorse, but it’s the wrong bike to ride to Fairbanks from almost anywhere. Regardless, I hope you make it on the bike of your choice.
  13. Banditryder

    Banditryder What I used to ride.

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    Great read. Thank you. Your trip tapped every memory of the joyful, tearful, and wondrous moments of my wife's and my 1987 Pgh to Crescent City, CA bicycle trip. We'd both leave to do that again tomorrow, even at 62 and 6.... Oops, 29. My plan had been a Pgh to Saskatoon trip this summer, but then I looked at the map, realized I had a friend in Whitehorse, YT and figured, "Why not both?" But we can't enter Canada (for now) so I'll just keep riding local and into the twisties in the WV, MD, and VA mountains until I can head North. I got the long distance bug really bad in 2018 when I rode my 2013 FJR1300 from Pgh, to Laramie, WY, to Albuquerque, to Charlotte, NC to Pgh. 9 days, 19 states, 4500 miles. What a magnificent country.
  14. nails1

    nails1 Been here awhile

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    Pgh?
  15. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Thank you for taking the time to read my thread.

    Whitehorse is a great place to be in June/July/August and I'd spend a week there if I could. At the Tourism center the film brags on the near 24 hours of daylight in summer but nary a mention of winter... ummm, I wonder why. One can fly into Whitehorse and I think that is THE way to get there, although I don't know if there is anyplace there that rents motorcycles.

    Only 19 states! Slacker. :D

    We do live in a magnificent country. I've seen nearly all of it from ground level but there's a lot of places in it that I want to ride before I die. :muutt
  16. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Google says it is Pittsburg. IIRC it's a small village in Pennsylvania. Has a football team that wears some really ugly uniforms a couple times every season.
  17. Banditryder

    Banditryder What I used to ride.

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    Pittsburgh
  18. nails1

    nails1 Been here awhile

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    I sure didn't experience much pushing like that.

    Quite a bit in between. But yeah ... no disrespect, but these days I'd find the Midwest pretty hard work.

    I haven't seen those, but North to South America on a Honda 250 is a good read.
  19. Banditryder

    Banditryder What I used to ride.

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    If you count my other trips, I'm at 28 states. Still young, though. Need the upper tier, the NE, the Pacific NW, and Utah. Oh, Kansas, too.
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  20. TCBronson

    TCBronson Been here awhile

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    Great ride report! Great writing and photos. I too rode to Alaska in 2012 on a Honda NT700 after retiring and going through a divorce. I didn't feel comfortable putting my report on this forum, too shy I guess. Your's brought back some great memories!
    Thanks for the effort!
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