Dear God No, Not another Alaska Ride Report: Los Angeles to Alaska 2019

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AllSeasonRider, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Gone_Ridin

    Gone_Ridin Been here awhile Supporter

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    I would have to answer Dempster to both. The Atigun pass on the Dalton is spectacular as is the Range you view across the tundra once you've crossed Atigun but for the most part the Dalton is a freeway. As you've documented, the scenery, once starting up the Dempster, is amazing and you continue to be bombarded with unbelievable views almost the entire way to Tuk. Most challenging? the roads themselves are nowhere near in the same leagues; even when the start of the Dalton was snot slick it at least had a base, the Dempster will rut up and devour a bike.
    Your report is great, here's mine. https://advrider.com/f/threads/adve...sh-i-had-gone-alone-to-tuk-deadhorse.1367886/
    Nowhere near the master of prose and detail of yours, just tried to share some info.
    Ride On
  2. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yep.

    With no disrespect to anyone, I've never gotten the "I quit my job and am riding around the world" thing...I mean, I get "I quit my job" :) but after two-three weeks of being a tourist I'm always ready to go home and do something. Anything. More productive. My brain can only just look at stuff for so long before it gets tired of looking at stuff and starts to want to do stuff to stuff.

    But who knows -- maybe nirvana begins in the fourth week.

    Last time I passed thru and got gas in Winnemucca a carload of male strippers were flirting with a carload of female strippers. Two male strippers in the head were pissing next to me and talking about whether they should take the chicks up on the offer of a quickie or just get back on the road....

    I was headed towards, and ready to be, home.

    Which is not far from your last pic. :)
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  3. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Thanks - your summary reflects what I've heard. I may try the Dalton someday, but I'm glad I did the Dempster first.

    I've started in on your ride report and it's hilarious - I'll wrap it up today for sure.
  4. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I've heard that it takes some time to get into a "traveler" state of mind - upwards of multiple weeks or months. I'd guess at that point, the travel becomes the productive thing you're doing and things settle in more. There's always bike maintenance to keep you busy if you really need it.

    On these shorter trips, so much is being packed into such a short time, I think that's where the burnout comes in. When you quit your job, you move slower, have more time to think, and have more time between places.

    I think I could manage!
  5. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    After getting into the motel so late, I had intended to sleep in some, afforded by the extra miles I'd done the night before.

    That sleep would not be had, however. I dreamt I was floating in the middle of the sea, I think from a ship wreck, holding onto a fully made king sized bed, along with some non-specific but important female figure from the late 19th or early 20th century. It may as well had been Eleanor Roosevelt, so we'll go with that.

    Anyway, Eleanor and I are having a nice chat when out of no where she's forcing me down and holding my head under the water. When I open my eyes, a small, cloaked figure is floating beneath the surface and begins to slowly and methodically attack my midsection in some fashion.

    I wake up screaming. It's 6:30am. My neighbors must love me.

    I have a habit of picking up dreams where they left off, and I wasn't interested in seeing where this one went, so it looks like I'm awake now.

    Now that we've gotten a glimpse into my twisted psyche...

    It's a slow morning nonetheless, and I walk to the aforementioned McDonald's for breakfast. And to think, I intentionally skipped the Cinnibon for this.

    I stop for a quick fuel up before leaving town and a guy approached me asking if he can clean my windshield. I had assumed he was homeless or just looking for a buck from travelers, but turns out he was a fellow rider, though traveling by motorhome, and was just looking for a chat.

    Being a Harley rider, he was ADV bi(ke)-curious so we talked some about that. He asked where I was heading and told him home to L.A.

    "Oh, you're one of them California sissies?"

    So I kicked him in the nuts and explained how this sissy rode to Tuk, not that he knew where that was.

    Anyway, he was also headed to CA and after telling him my plans for the day he didn't want to hold me up any longer, so I hit the road.

    There's something about lonely 2-lane through the desert that just sets my head straight.
    20190830_083803.jpg

    This gave me a lot of time to think and reflect on the last couple of weeks. I think about how lucky I got with the weather, how the time of year and colors were idyllic, how I'd done everything I intended. I think about how, aside from a mildly weeping fork seal (so mild I never bothered to fix it) and a pulsing front the brake, the bike has done everything I've asked without complaint. And I think about how I never needed any of my flex days and would be arriving home days early. I'm never early. Ask my wife.

    Temps were hot, but not as hot as yesterday. Everything is feeling good. I can't help but smile.
    20190830_083827.jpg

    I stopped much more often than I had previously on this trip. I've had extra fuel with me the whole time, but I find this makes me more prone to pushing the limits of the onboard tank. The number of times I rolled into a gas station on this trip with the light flashing and the range showing "0" is embarrassing. I wanted to break that habit.

    I also need to stop to drink something about every 100 miles or so. It's been a minute since I've been in a climate like this.

    After some miles in central Nevada, I end up on the 395 in California. By Lone Pine, the GPS says I've got 222 miles until home. I'll get 250+ on a tank, so I make one last stop for gas and a little something to eat and make for the last push.
    20190830_083919.jpg

    The Sierra's were on fire today. No, I mean they were actually burning.
    20190830_083937.jpg

    Not as bad as Thompson Pass, but the winds were intense here,. Enough that as the road veered left, I was still leaning right.

    On through the Mojave, and into Lancaster and Palmdale. I've been fortunate enough to see a lot of sunsets in a lot of places, but the SoCal desert has these on lockdown. The colors the sky turns with the cascading silhouette of mountains in the distance can't be touched by any other place. Brilliant orange fades to intense violet, then a deep indigo into the sky above.

    For the men in the audience, that's orange, purple, and dark blue.

    I start to see signs for Los Angeles and the oncoming traffic heading out of town is thick river of headlights.

    The 14 turns into the 5, and things are getting busier. Then the 405. We're in it now - lane changes and throttle inputs may seem manic, but they are measured and necessary for my survival.

    Then the 101 - we're now heading away from L.A. again and the traffic is thick. Some my loathe L.A. traffic, but I find it exhilarating. If nothing else, it passes the time. Where a cage may see 5 northbound lanes, I see 9, and 4 of them are available only to those willing to risk life and limb for a laugh.

    Will that Benz push me into the Prius if I try to sneak by? No way to know - just close your eyes, pin it, and hope for the best.

    I don't even remember riding over the Calabasas Grade.

    I get to my exit and make all of the lights. 3 turns left... then 2... then one...

    I pull up to my garage kill the engine, and take a deep breath. Then another.

    As I reach for the ignition key, the gas light starts blinking. What luck, what mastery!

    I find it fitting that, as I departed home in the pre-dawn darkness, I arrive back in the post-dusk darkness. It's been a most excellent adventure, but it feels so good to finally be

    Home..........................
    20190830_084058.jpg

    ............sweet..............
    20190830_084126.jpg

    ..........................home.
    20190830_084225.jpg

    (but my wife says I gotta shower before I even think about getting into the bed)
    CavReconSGT, 23103a, zachd and 32 others like this.
  6. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Great RR, thanks for sharing.
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  7. td63

    td63 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Welcome home and thanks for putting it all so well into words.
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  8. TreasureState

    TreasureState A murse posing as a freelance dirt rider

    Joined:
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    Went from the minor groove to the lagging strand
    "There are countless people in this world who want to ride to the Arctic... or sail around the world, or start their own business, or whatever have you. When I said I transitioned from someone who wanted to ride to the Arctic Ocean to someone who had, I think I meant I was no longer a bull shitter. I didn't just say I wanted to do something, I went and did it, and for the sake of itself. The world is not a better place because I did this - I saved no lives, cured no diseases, and made no one richer... though I suppose I made myself richer, but not in a currency I can spend. All that's changed is I followed through, even when it made no apparent sense to do so."

    Dude, well put!
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  9. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

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    This isn’t the place for a political diatribe.
    People have ridden Groms to the Arctic already.
  10. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

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    Yeah, sorry, had a little heady explody there. Post deleted.

    Really enjoying this RR.
    mikegc, td63 and AllSeasonRider like this.
  11. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    No worries, I didn't really see it as a political diatribe - at least not any worse than I've already stated here.

    I've finally been able to take a look through on a big screen and, as I feared, I'm not thrilled a couple of the photos. Some came out very dark and the aperture was set wrong on the pingos photo (bike is out of focus and it shouldn't be), but I'm limited by my extreme levels of amateur-ness and attempting to edit these all on a phone using simple apps. Maybe I'll re-do so and post a few in a few days.

    The bike is unpacked and laundry done, already. The KTM is flipping filthy and I can't decide if I should leave it as is for a little while longer!

    The front brake developed a pretty violent pulsation. I was worried it was from fork oil getting on the rotor, but thinking about it more I don't think it started until after the drop on Thompson's Pass, so I'm guessing the rotor is tweaked or something. I can't see any runout but I'll keep digging.

    I've got fresh oil and filter ready to go in as well. Aside from from general cleaning, that's all she's gonna need!
    CavReconSGT, Amphib, Shaggie and 6 others like this.
  12. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks; I thoroughly enjoyed that.
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  13. PsammonOfDoubt

    PsammonOfDoubt Adventurer

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    Tennessee
    great pics, even better commentary
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  14. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Thanks, guys - I really enjoyed writing it so it's a win win.
    CavReconSGT, Amphib, manx16 and 4 others like this.
  15. BillUA

    BillUA Las Vegas, NV

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    Welcome home! Thoroughly enjoyed the report and associated pics....Lets see, I have a KTM 1090R....
    AllSeasonRider likes this.
  16. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Do it!
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  17. Serp

    Serp Been here awhile Supporter

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    Great RR and photos. Thanks for sharing.
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  18. daBum

    daBum Dave the Bum

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    Tucson, Arizona
    Thanks for sharing! Great photos!

    :-)

    Dave
    the bum
    AllSeasonRider likes this.
  19. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    Temecula CA
    Welcome home, what a great trip!

    I did the same thing when I was at Moraine Lake, “I’m just an itty bitty bike, can I go through?” Success.

    My bike is still filthy from a 5 week trip this summer....
    AllSeasonRider likes this.
  20. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I went ahead and gave mine an initial scrub yesterday. It's got some... ugh... added patina. Thank goodness that sorta thing doesn't bother me!

    There's caked on mud up behind the radiator I couldn't get to well... I'm gonna need some special brushes!