From Anchorage to Parts Unknown: CACK comes BACK!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by thomas.clark, May 22, 2009.

  1. thomas.clark

    thomas.clark Uneasy Rider

    Apr 9, 2009
    Florida, land of flat, straight roads.


    1) This is a non-traditional ride report. the whole thing started as a little hey-let-me-see-if-this-guy-will-actually-let-me-borrow-his-motorcycle kind of thing, and has since (d)evolved. At present it is a chaotic tangle of multiple riders and their overlapping reports in various states of completion. But if you're a Vermin or Cack fan, I doubt that will bother you. Happy reading :-)

    2) This thread has required reading. Time to study up: 1 and 2

    Leg 1: Angchorage to Spokane

    5:30am, Orlando, Florida - an alarm clock goes off.

    Simultaneously, a garish yellowgreenorgangebumberstickered Pacific Coast sitting in a Spenard backyard in Anchorage wakes, sensing her time is near.


    Back in Florida, I successfully resisted the panicky urge to turn off my alarm clock, cuddle up to my wife, sleep through my flight, and later post a big fat "sorry guys." This was actually somewhat difficult to do, as the panicky urge was rather clever, disguising itself as common sense with persuasive and compelling arguments such as "you don't even know this Vermin guy," and "you don't know anything about this bike," and "you've never been to Alaska," and "you've got a child on the way you idiot just back out NOW!" But rather than give in to all this "reason," I just do what I always do when faced with panicky urges - compare what people I trust tell me to what I'm thinking in the heat of the moment. And since people have been telling me ever since I started planning this thing that I have no common sense, I knew it was just panic and said tough, suck it up we're going to bring cack back!

    I'll spare you the flight details even though I really enjoyed that part of the trip. Will say though that as we flew over the mountains and I saw all the snow and realized just how far I am from Florida, I realized for the first time just how long this trip is going to be, and how much I already miss my wife.

    Landed in Anchorage a bit early, and Subybaja was there to scoop me up. Got over to his place, and there she was - in all her high viz glory - Cack. As per the plan, I puttered around the neighborhood, got used to Cack, and then commenced to tinkering.

    A note on Subybaja - this guy is awesome. Cack was in good company at his place - more motor vehicles of various sorts than I could begin to count. Lucky guy, that Suby - all those toys, a really cool wife, and a beautiful baby. Suby - ugly Florida beach towels are definately coming your way (you could see the space issues I was having).

    How many ADVriders does it take to connect the battery in a Honda PC800?

    Despite vermins many warnings, I went ahead and installed a 12volt outlet that works. Installed it right next to the one that doesn't work. Fired her up, and voila - a working out 12 volt outlet. Shut her down, got her all loaded up, said a fond farewell to Subybaja, Subywife, and Suby baby, and then *click* she wouldn't start.

    Turns out that the battery terminal bolt wasn't long enough to reach its nut through both the new lead and terminal. But not to be defeated, Suby and I wedged all of our fingers in there with a variety of steel tools, got a few nice arcs of the battery, but eventually got it all together. Cack, it seems, is getting used to the idea that she'll be subjected to a variety of fools as this thing progresses. Or maybe she's just luring me in...

    (Vermin, I think I discovered why that other outlet doesn't work - low grade cable ties. I used the heavy duty ones on mine, and it works fine.)

    Anyway - we finally got it all loaded up and running and I headed out to meet Alcan Rider and AKDuc.

    that's me with the closed eyes. Good grief the sun is bright in Alaska.


    Alcan rider and me puttered around for a while in various towns stopping for Walmart and a bite to eat - I'm pretty sure we actually entered Eagle Creek via the same exit at least 3 times during this period. I'm not sure what Alcan Rider was doing, but I had my suspicions that he was trying to either disorient and lose me or see if I was really gonna be able to follow him out or if Cack would survive the trip or maybe all of these. Well I guess he figured either I'd make it or Cack would or both, and we got out on the road for real.

    Didn't get but a few miles and the moose started popping out of everywhere. And then the glaciers where everywhere. Alcan Rider knows this route cold and could do it in his sleep and I think probably actually has done it in his sleep at least a few times. So he pulled in to all kinds of great spots to see the glaciers and the mountains and the moose. We pulled into this one, and out of nowhere comes a HUGE cow moose with calf that couldn't be more than a day or two old. She looked pretty ticked that we were even breathing in the vacinity of her calf, so we backed off and headed back out.

    (too dark, no good pictures, sorry, go find your own angry momma moose.) here's a nice shot of cack in front of a glacier. Cack's paint is contagious.


    A note on Alcane Rider - I figured right, this is one great guy. He's a serious mileeater, and the fifty different headlights rigged to his KLR should have tipped me off as to what we'd be up to for the rest of the evening. But besides his stone cold gnarly status, he's also a really generous guy. Anybody coming this way should look him up just to hear stories if nothing else. Couldn't be more pleased that I decided to take him up on his offer to ride along and let me crash Chez Frozen Fossil (course, I haven't woken up safe and sound yet - if it turns out this is all an elaborate rouse to make me into some sort of murder victim, I'll be less than pleased. but at least I got to ride Cack).

    sweet pic at one of Alcan Rider's suggested stopping points. Told you he's good.


    Now, the one thing Vermin actually made a big deal about with me was not riding after dinner. Well, I figure there's a little semantic room there - dinner can be a meal you eat or a general time. Since we had already eaten, I opted for the latter definition and massaged it a little further to define dinner as the general time that it starts to get dark. And since it never really got dark, I figured we were just okay to keep going. Now, I got a little nervous when I almost hit that lumbering porcupine and it was snowing and I was freezing despite the fact that I was wearing both my snowboarding and riding gear. But I just let Alcan Rider get back in front, made me and Cack into a magnet on his IronButt and rode all the way in to Glennallen.

    This is when we discovered that I can't get to anything (almost all of my stuff) in Cack's trunk because we seem to have stretched the trunk latch cable when lifting on the passenger seat handles to try to ease Cack on to her centerstand underall the weight of my stuff. But that will have to be fixed tomorrow morning. Other than this little snafoo, Cack is running beautifully. She handles the mountains like a champ, and she just loves to be at speed. The gravel and whatnot is not an issue - she's noisy as a bottle of marbles, but keeps a great grip and is really a joy to ride. I'm glad I got up for this today.
    TonyKZ1 and The Ice Man like this.
  2. SR1

    SR1 Going to America!!!!

    Apr 6, 2006
    Knockersville, TN

    Go Cack Go (and the riders, too!)
  3. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

    Sep 17, 2007
    Okie near Muskogee
    :lurk I'll never foget the bike
  4. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Jan 20, 2007
    Jeez o pete I am glad this thing started without incident (more or less). I have been laying on the floor in the fetal position for about 3 days with worry. Thomas you have total class. Cack baby you know what to do, take good care of him.

    This ride is all yours tommy,

    vigorous hugs and wet sloppy labrador retriever kisses


    PS the loudish exhaust can be made less loud by a liberal application of jbweld Quikset (over the other gobs of the stuff) sometimes this lasts for several days.
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Aug 16, 2002
    That Pacific Toast has made a pervious appearance on these here pages.. just trying to remember where :scratch anyway, keep goin' with your report :thumb

  6. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Jan 20, 2007
    That trunk latch thing periodically vexed me too. As far as I am concerned you could remove both of them and take a pair of side cutters to the cables and be done with it (except I am affraid that they may lend some structural stability to everything behind the gas tank)
  7. OoPEZoO

    OoPEZoO Dirtball Extraordinaire

    Feb 23, 2008
    Amish Country, PA
  8. Strog

    Strog Geek on two wheels

    Jan 16, 2007
    Broken Arrow, OK
  9. doogman4

    doogman4 Adventurer

    Jul 31, 2008
    Metamora, MI
    The epic journey is on!:clap

    Ride like the wind Tommy. :pynd:thumb

    We'll be watching. :jkam
  10. RyanIsMyName

    RyanIsMyName Been here awhile

    Sep 25, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    My girlfriend would be bitter if she knew I was on advrider while on our romantic getaway to Montreal, but I can't stand the excitement. When she fell asleep I stole her iphone out of her purse and here I sit: typing quietly on the amtrak adirondack somewhere near Albany hoping she stays asleep.

    Thomas: sorry you didn't get the regulator in time but you'll be fine. Take lots of pictures. I can't wait to get out there. Good luck and have fun
  11. papaduc

    papaduc Been here awhile

    Dec 1, 2002
    Beaverton Oregon
    This has all the makings of another epic tale. :clap
  12. BikerGeek99

    BikerGeek99 Horizon Chaser

    Mar 12, 2008
    Marysville, OH


    What's the route back to Michigan gonna be, anyway?
  13. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

    Apr 2, 2009
    Prince George, BC

    I'll be keepin track so I know when to expect you in Prince George.

    Ride safe!
  14. MikeyT

    MikeyT Krusty Olde Pharte

    Aug 20, 2006
    The Thumb of Michigan
    Subscribalizedd. :lurk:lurk:lurk
  15. GrayWolf

    GrayWolf Lupine Rider

    Sep 4, 2005
    Near Napa CA
    Schweet! :clap
  16. Easy-Z

    Easy-Z Me wanna be

    Oct 30, 2007
  17. IceCreamSoldier

    IceCreamSoldier suffering somewhere

    Jan 26, 2008
    "X" cramento
    :clap Go Cack Go. Thomas, you've got a good writing style. The first thread of a memorable yarn. :clap
  18. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

    Apr 20, 2006
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Great start.

    Happy trails, Mark H.
  19. TopChop

    TopChop n00b

    May 21, 2009
    Awesome!!! :clap:clap:clap

    You go SON! (Hey, that leather jacket looks (vaguely) familiar!) :1drink

    Ride safe...take lots of pics...
  20. rgiroux

    rgiroux Invisible Man Supporter

    Jun 24, 2008
    Socal near the great 33
    Alright!!!!!!! he's rolling!

    safe trip. maybe we will cross paths. Four of us leave for AK next week.