Philly to Anchorage - Leaving May 21 on an F650GS

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JackB1, May 13, 2009.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 29 - Thursday, June 18, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory<o:p></o:p>
    End: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 271<o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 6557<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Today was a pretty quiet day. There was no difficulty with construction zones as yesterday. The road conditions were much improved. The distance traveled was short-under 300 miles. The weather cooperated by remaining dry (though I&#8217;d wish for it to be a bit warmer-mid 50s most of the day), and the route was the same as I had traveled several weeks ago while northbound, so no surprises nor all new scenic wonders. Low intensity days like today give one lots of time to think. One thing to think about was the interesting guy I met in Teslin this morning. See the picture of the white pickup truck with the kayak on top, just behind my bike? The truck belongs to this guy, an Arizonan, who is headed for Eagle, Alaska &#8211; about 700 miles up the AK highway from here. When he gets to Eagle he&#8217;s going to put that kayak in the Yukon River, ride the river and the rapids some 1000 miles to the Bering Sea and then he&#8217;s going to paddle across the Bearing Sea to Nome. All this hopefully before September 1. Solo. Now THAT&#8217;S and adventure! It makes my trip seem like a quick ride down to the 7-11 for a slurpee (and return!) <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I&#8217;ve made a decision regarding routing for the next several days. Rather than go to Prince George via the Cassiar Highway I&#8217;m going to continue on The Alaska Highway for 2 more days to Fort St. John, BC, then on to Prince George via that Route. It&#8217;s about 100 miles longer but I like the speed I&#8217;ll be able to maintain, and the towns with lodging seem to be spaced a little more to my liking. Also, I actually went South on the Cassiar for a few miles today and there are signs alluding to construction and highway closures some 400 miles South near Kitwanga. Besides that, I&#8217;d like to have a look at the mountainous portion of the Alaska Highway between Watson Lake and Fort Nelson. It&#8217;s supposed to be the most scenic portion of the highway and I kinda missed out while northbound due to snow/slush/ice/fog/freezing my butt off a couple of weeks ago. Unfinished business. In any case, after Prince George (I expect to arrive there on Sunday) it&#8217;s on southward toward Bellingham, WA and re-entry into the US on Monday or Tuesday. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The F650GS continues without any issues whatsoever. Keeping my fingers crossed. I did meet 2 bikers today who had experienced flat tire troubles recently. Don&#8217;t need any of that! The number of Northbound bikes has clearly picked up a great deal. Tons of GSs, quite a few Stroms, and a fairly high number of Harleys seem to make up over 90% of the bikes I see. Maybe the occasional Gold Wing too, but pretty much only onesy-twosys of anything else. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Onward to Ft. Nelson bright & early in the AM!



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    Yukon River crossing just SE of Whitehorse, YT


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    Bridge at Teslin, YT. Metal grid bridges are creepy enough on a bike. I wonder what it's like with a trailer? Cute sign anyway.



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    Always plenty of campers and trucks to dust you down and shower you with rocks in the construction areas!

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    <o:p></o:p>The "Kayaking to Nome" guy!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    There are always more pictures to see at https://jackb1.smugmug.com<o:p></o:p>
    #61
  2. XPLORZ

    XPLORZ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    312
    Location:
    Battle Ground, WA
    Although I'm sure its too late, do the Cassiar!! We came up through there three days ago and maintained 70 mph almost the whole way. My wife was flying along on her '09 F650gs. The longest gravel stretch we rode at 50 to 60 mph. A great rode with plenty of fuel stops.

    I had typed out a response two days ago for you, but the wifi connection was so bad I could'n send it through. I think we passed you on the AK hwy too! Hope your trip continues to be great!
    #62
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Oh man, sorry I didn't have that input 24 hours ago. Hey thanks for trying, though. I'm already in Ft Nelson and now gonna go ahead and go via Dawson Creek to Prince George. Since the Dawson Creek to Prince George leg is pretty short I may just ride West on the Yellowhead for a way, then backtrack, but the window of opportunity for the Cassiar is, I'm afraid, closed for this trip.
    Jack
    #63
  4. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CJack%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[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]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[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 30 – Friday, June 19, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory<o:p></o:p>
    End: Fort Nelson, British Columbia<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 311<o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 6868<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Today was just an all around great day! It started out in perfect weather and the temperature was even a little bit warmer. By the time I had been on the road just over an hour I had seen (and photographed) another black bear, some bison were kind enough to pose with the bike, and the temperature was climbing into the 50s. What more could one ask for?<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Today’s route, was once again simply Alaska Highway southbound. For nearly the first 150 miles of today’s route the highway follows the Liard River Valley. On the northbound trip this was where I saw the greatest concentration of wildlife, especially bears. I had hoped to see a number of them again today but at the end of the day the tally was only two. I did have a number of Bison sightings early in the day however. One thing that I saw, that I had hoped not to see, was a large area of forest damaged by recent wildfires in the area between Coal River and Liard River. The damage is pervasive, the smoke still hangs in the valleys, and the smell just goes on forever. Wildfires are an unfortunate element of life in this area. This fire, at the junction of the Smith and Liard Rivers was over 100 sq. Kilometers at it’s peak and the Alaska Highway was actually closed for some period on June 4. I spoke to some northbound riders last week and they said that even several days after the fire was brought under control they were using pilot cars to lead traffic through the smokiest areas because visibility was extremely limited. Glad I didn’t have to go through that!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After the small village of Liard River the Alaska Highway takes a turn up into the higher elevations of the Northern Rockies toward the Muncho Lake Provincial Park, one of the most beautiful places you will ever see. When I came through this area 3 weeks ago there was still ice on the lake and snow flying. Returning today I found the lake, and park, in full summer regalia. Lodges weer full, people were out on boats and in floatplanes and the whole place had an energy to it that I hadn’t seen even a very few weeks ago. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Following Muncho Lake I made a gas stop at the Toad River Lodge (where I met three guys from Calgary bound for Inuvik on KLR650s – now THAT’S an adventure!) then began the long uphill climb to Summit Pass, the highest point on the entire Alaska Highway. I am glad I chose this route today because I had unfinished business with this place! When I can through before it was 30 degrees (f), it was snowing/raining/sleeting, it was windy, and the mile long construction area just below the pass was doing it’s best to imitate a mud bog. And yours truly came very close to wallowing in that bog! Anyway, today it was some 30 degrees warmer, partly sunny, and even the construction area was firmed up to a point where it represented no particular challenge. So, I guess the score is even.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After the pass, it’s a long downhill ride to Fort Nelson, where I am holed up tonight in what is best described as the least “elegant” of hotels so far. Tomorrow, it’s a short day down to Dawson Creek, then on to Prince George on Sunday. It’s exciting to think about having time to do laundry once again – that’s on my short worklist for tomorrow! I’m still planning to re-enter the US on Monday or Tuesday near Seattle, then on to Oregon to visit friends a day or 2 later. At some point I’ll have to face up to the task of cooking up a route to take me East but I haven’t quite come to grips with that one yet. Soon.


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    <o:p></o:p>
    Critters!


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    Smoke from wildfire still lingering near Liard River, BC


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    Muncho Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia


    There are plenty more pictures from my ride at https://jackb1.smugmug.com


    <o:p></o:p>
    #64
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CJack%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[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]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[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 31 – Saturday, June 20, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Fort Nelson, British Columbia<o:p></o:p>
    End: Fort St. John, British Columbia<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 254<o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 7122<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    As much as yesterday was just about a perfect day, today was about as non-descript as they get. A paltry 254 miles through the “Land of the Interminably Boring Straight Roads.” Ok so there were a few sweeping curves now and then but I’m back in the prairie for God's sake. There is very little clever or interesting to be said about today. Morning drizzle morphed into a full-on rainstorm for just over an hour through the middle part of the ride. Fortunately the rain presented no real problem as the roadway is well drained, traffic was light and I had appropriate rain gear. That being said, I did re-prove the well known (to motorcyclists) scientific fact that rainwater is inexorably drawn to the human crotch- regardless of what rain gear you might wear. I take no credit for this discovery. This fact was discovered long ago, and previously documented by the journalist Peter Egan (among others.) Today there was no scenery to speak of and wildlife pickins were slim. No moose (though there were signs indicating the presence of same), no bears, only a solitary whitetail deer, and the odd ground squirrel. Nor did I see a sasquatch, despite the presence of warning signs for them (him?) too. Just pounding miles in the rain with strange songs rolling over and over in my head (Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" - don't ask) All in all just a day that I needed to get through in order to position myself for the next leg. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Despite yesterday's excellence, I truly regret not going down the Cassiar from Watson Lake. However, I am looking forward to tomorrow. First I’ll cover the 47 miles to Dawson Creek and arrive back at Mile “0” of the Alaska Highway. This will complete my AK Highway round trip: Mile “0” to Alaska and back to Mile “0”. After Dawson Creek I’ll get on a new (for me) route and head basically South and West, back into the Northern Rocky Mountains on my way to Prince George, BC. via the John Hart Highway, Canada Route 97. I am confident that this will be WAY more interesting than today! Two days later, on Tuesday, I plan to be in Portland, Oregon. In those two days I’ve got to cover over 700 miles but there are a couple of routes to pick from so I anticipate working that out in the next 24 hours. I'm very open to thoughts on routes south from Prince George. Is the Sea to Sky worth taking even though it's longer? Wish I had someone to tell me. I also looked at the British Columbia Highways website and it looks like a lot of construction that way. Decisions, decisions!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Tonight is the eve of my Birthday and I am celebrating by having microwaved popcorn in my hotel room while doing laundry. Is life good or what? Tomorrow I plan to celebrate by sharing a granola bar with a moose or some other worthy wildlife creature. If I can find one!


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    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> Today's route -Fort Nelson (A) to Ft. St. John (B)</o:p>

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    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>

    They've got moose signs but n ary a moose today. Just one paltry whitetail deer and a couple of squirrels all day!


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    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Got pretty damned wet about 10 minutes after this was taken.</o:p>

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    <o:p>Didn't see any of these either.</o:p>

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    </o:p>

    Tres muddy gas stop after the rains.


    More pictures available at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Jack<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #65
  6. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 32 – Sunday, June 21, 2009
    Start: Fort St. John, British Columbia
    End: Prince George, British Columbia
    Trip Miles Today: 293
    Total Trip Miles: 7415

    It was quite easy to get up early today as the fire alarm in the hotel went off about 5:30. Nice! It was, of course, a false alarm but it’s pretty hard to go back to sleep after listening to that screeching for 5 minutes. Nonetheless this was the start of my day and, it turns out, the only untoward part.

    At departure time it was already in the mid 50s and sunny so the weather part was handled, again! I almost actually felt a bit guilty about how good I’ve had it weatherwise after talking to two guys (R1150RT, R12GS) from Nebraska in the hotel parking lot this morning. They basically said that they they had been in rain almost continuously since they left Omaha. Whew, that’s tough. Anyway I’ll take all the good weather days I can get and this was a really good one all day long!

    The early morning route down to Dawson Creek was a little more of the same uninspiring prairie route that ended the day yesterday. This being the case I did take the opportunity, about 20 miles out of Dawson Creek, to jump off the main route and enjoy a short stretch of the old, original Alaska Highway. The 6 mile side trip also includes the chance to drive across the historic curved wooden Kiskatinaw River Bridge. This 531 ft long structure is the only original timber bridge from the original portion of the highway, built in 1942, that is still in use today. A very interesting structure and there was the added bonus that nobody else was on the road, if even for that short distance.

    Shortly after the Kiskatinaw Bridge I arrived in Dawson Creek for two items of business. One, to gas up, and two, to take the requisite photo at the Mile “0” marker and document having completed the round trip from Mile “0” to Alaska and return. Got my ticket punched for a round trip!

    Then it was off for the 240 mile jaunt to Prince George. While this portion starts out with a bit more of the straight featureless stuff, two interesting things happened almost immediately. First the Mountains came into view to the Southwest. This instantly put me in a better frame of mind. Secondly I spied a momma moose and calf off the right side of the road. As momma mooses have been known to do, she ran right into the roadway and directly across the bow of the car that I was following. Based on his actions, I’m pretty sure the driver hadn’t seen her and was , shall we say, a bit surprised! Fortunately, no crash ensued. During all this commotion, baby moose elected to stay on the right side of the road and positioned perfectly so that I could cruise up , stop, get out the camera, and squeeze off a few shots. Which I did. While I was stopped it dawned on me that I was between a mother moose and her calf which is probably not a good place to be, so I buttoned up and went on my way. Never saw mom again and the baby just disappeared in my mirrors.

    A short time later the road delivered me to the medium sized town of Chetwynd, the “Chainsaw Carving Capital of the World.” I was disappointed to find that I had missed a huge Chainsaw Carving Contest just one week ago! It turns out that chainsaw carving isn’t just an art form, it’s a competitive sport! Who knew?

    The best part fo the trip came following Chetwynd as the highway follows the Pine River Valley and makes it’s way higher and higher to eventually arrive at the Pine Pass through the mountains. There is unspoiled scenic wonder to behold around every corner and my pictures don’t do any of it justice. Near the top of the pass is Azouzetta Lake, a setting that, in my mind rivals Crater Lake for natural beauty, even though my pictures don't do it justice.

    Coming down the other side of the pass, the highway follows Misinchinka River Valley, then passes scenic McLeod Lake and subsequently follows the Crooked River most of the way to the lumber Industry Town of Prince George. There are great Provincial Parks and wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities throughout this area.

    Looking for a bigger day tomorrow – ideally it will be solidly over 400 miles and leave me within shouting distance of the US border. The Canadian portion of my trip is quickly drawing to a close. I’m gonna try to get up early but hope to do so without the aid of a fire alarm ringing in my ears. Weather looks promising. Off we go. One last full day in Canada!


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    Kiskatinaw Wood Timber Bridge from 1942

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    Near Pine Pass. Rte 97 (Hart Hwy), BC

    [​IMG]Pine River Valley
    #66
  7. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,524
    Location:
    Central Coast -California
    Great report. :nod
    Now you have to go back and do the Cassiar. Hyder. Bear and Salmon Glaciers, Stikine River. You can't kick yourself too hard. Gotta go with your gut. Now you have a reason to go back. Well done. :thumb
    #67
  8. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 33 – Monday, June 22, 2009
    Start: Prince George, British Columbia
    End: Abbotsford, British Columbia
    Trip Miles Today: 437
    Total Trip Miles: 7852


    Up early again. No fire alarm, just want 2 get early start, as I had a long day planned. The Route today was, again, Rte 97 South, also known over this segment as the Cariboo Highway. Weather started out just perfect save for the fact that it was a little "nippy" at departure (39 deg F). Some rain showers later in the day and I climber in and out of the rain gear two times. Nonetheless a pretty pleasant day!

    The first 250 miles of today’s trip was a pleasant enough, if unremarkable, tour through the lushly forested rolling hills of British Columbia. Forest Industries are a mainstay of the Province and the cities along the way, Quesnel, Williams Lake and others are dominated by the sawmills, wood pellet plants, and plywood manufacturing facilities that shape the economy of the area. Sadly, with the current economic downturn, especially the drop in new housing starts, demand is well off for building products so these communities are hurting along with much of the rest of North America. This industry is also being pressured by another issue that is not in any way related to the economy and is likely a larger threat. Beetles. In particular is the Mountain Pine Beetle which is responsible for the destruction of tens of thousands of acres of mature pine forests in this area. Dead mature trees can be seen almost everywhere, sometimes entire mountainsides of dead trees! Naturalists are working actively with forest industry teams to help combat this threat to the livelihood of the entire central portion of BC.

    Over much of it’s length the Cariboo Highway follows the Fraser River Valley. At the northern end the river valley is spacious and wide. However, south of Grand Cache the valley becomes narrower, it becomes surrounded by higher mountains, and the river proceeds downhill more steeply through the Fraser River Canyon. The Fraser River and the Canyon were named for Simon Fraser, the first white man to descend the river in 1808. The Cariboo Highway through the Fraser River Canyon is a spectacular trip with fantastic scenery at every turn, and the ride lasts some 50 miles! Riding the Fraser River Canyon was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. Great twisties and spectacular vistas at every turn. I only wish there were more turnouts to provide photo ops. When I came through today it was also terribly windy and gusty. It made me wish, for the first time on this trip, that I was on a larger, heavier bike (R12GS ??). It also made me wonder, at times, if the standard 12 ft. wide highway lane is really wide enough. Nuf said about that!

    Made 437 miles today, stopped for a lot of pictures and still found my way to a hotel in Abbotsford, BC by 5:30. Will overnight here then jump across the border into the US early tomorrow. Tomorrow’s goal is to be south of Portland by the end of the day, and to integrate a stop at the BMW dealer in Seattle (mostly to just check it out – don’t really need anything ‘cept possibly tires but I’m pretty sure he won’t be able to accommodate me unannounced. The tire deal will happen a few more days down the road, if at all. Still looking at possibilities. Wednesday I’ll make my way to the Medford, Oregon area to visit a friend from high school. Then some interesting plans for the weekend.

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    More pics at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    #68
  9. Treadless

    Treadless avoiding gravity storms if at all possible Supporter

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,373
    Location:
    above the soil's surface on the left coast
    Thanks Jack for making the effort to treat us with your adventure. I for one do appreciate it as it appears this is as close as life will let me get to the Great White North this year. It was smoking hot for me 2 years ago, so it's always interesting to see the changes in the road and weather and who gets to see what sights or not.

    Oh and don't sell your self short. You are taking a trip that most people will only be able to dream about for their life and you are doing it solo. So yes your trip is Epic! You will not be the same for it. :deal


    :lurk
    #69
  10. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"><meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11"><link rel="File-List" href="file:///C:%5CDOCUME%7E1%5CJack%5CLOCALS%7E1%5CTemp%5Cmsohtml1%5C01%5Cclip_filelist.xml"><!--[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]--><style> <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style><!--[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 34 – Tuesday June 23, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Abbotsford, BC<o:p></o:p>
    End: Lake Oswego, Oregon<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 302<o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 8154<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Today was just kind a fun day. Got on the road about 8:00 under (again) perfect sunny skies. From the hotel there was a perfect view of snowcapped Mt. Baker to the Southeast. And this time it was even warm – like over 60 deg (f) when I departed! Less than 10 minutes later I was at the US border between Abbotsford, BC and Sumas, Washington. Surprisingly enough they let me back in without any further comment. If only they knew! After the border crossing there is about 25 miles of secondary roads and then one gets dumped onto Interstate 5, my home for virtually the rest of the day. It’s been since the end of May since I was on one of these concrete slabs. It’s also been since the end of May since I’ve driven in this sort of traffic density. Quite a shock after nearly a month in the untamed wilds. I wasn't on I-5 for an hour when some woman tried to drive over top of me while changing lanes for no obvious reason. Cell phone! Next stop was Seattle. I love Seattle for many reasons, not the least of which is that Seattle is where I met my wife Lisa in 2001. Ahhh…fond memories. This time my destinations in Seattle were simple. I dropped by Ride West, the BMW Motorcycle Dealer there. Nice store, nice people. I didn’t really buy anything but was mightily tempted! Then I took off for the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, on the South side of the city. The Museum of Flight is a world class presentation of the history of manned flight from the Wright Brothers through current manned spaceflight. While it obviously brings a “Boeing” slant to things (the recreation of William Boeing’s first factory – the famous “red barn” is extraordinary) the museum is, in fact, very “non-denominational”, treating all the manufacturers and inventors fairly and equally. It is not a “Boeing” museum, it truly is a Museum of Flight. Worth every penny for the admission, the museum warrants 3-4 hours to do correctly. Unfortunately I only had about 90 minutes to spend. So, off I went further southward. The ride down I-5 presents you with a wonderful new, snow capped mountain to view off to the East every hour or so. First Mt. Baker near the Canadian border. Later, near Seattle, there is Mt. Rainier. Further south we can see Mt. St. Helens, of volcanic eruption fame. Finally, as we reach the Oregon Border near Portland, Mt. Hood comes into view. All were in clear sight today on a beautiful day as arranged by the local Chambers of Commerce, I suppose. Arriving near Portland I decided to drop in on another BMW dealer, this time BMW Motorcycles of Western Oregon in Tigard. Got into a discussion about tires, and my tire situation, with one of the parts guys, Rick. One thing led to another and now I have an appointment with their sister store, in Eugene (1 hour further South) to get new tires installed in the morning if we can work out the cost & time to do the work details when I arrive. Decided on Metzler Tourances – a tire with a bit more off-road capability than the Bridgestone Battle Wings I have now. The Battle Wings are beginning to get a bit long in the tooth. I could probably stretch then out till I got home but these guys have what I need in stock so, In all likelihood they’ll get changed out tomorrow. <o:p></o:p>
    Tomorrow evening I’ll be visiting an old high school friend near Medford, down near the California state line. Thursday, Ill head out, this time to the Northeast to make my way to Pendleton, OR in the NE corner of the state. Why go there? How about I just continue to hold that piece of information till tomorrow.



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    <o:p></o:p>
    Ride West BMW, Seattle


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    Museum of Flight, Boeing Field, Seattle.
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    Museum of Flight, Boeing Field, Seattle
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    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>More pictures from this entire trip at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    </o:p>
    #70
  11. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Thank YOU for joining me on the ride!!
    Jack
    #71
  12. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 35 – Wednesday, June 24, 2009
    Start: Lake Oswego, OR
    End: Ashland, OR
    Trip Miles Today: 372
    Total Trip Miles: 8526

    The early portion of today’s ride was just about getting places. An early departure was necessary to get myself 100 miles down the road Eugene, Oregon early enough to be there when BMW Motorcycles of Western Oregon opened their doors at 8:30am. My business at BMW Western Oregon was to get a new set of tires installed on my trusty old steed. This couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. With help and support from Service Manager Hugo, and Doug in the parts department, the tire change was completed in just over an hour an a half. Excellent folks. Easy to deal with, courteous, and very supportive of the traveling rider. I’d recommend these guys to anyone, so if you’re ever in the area…! For you who are interested, I chose to install Metzeler Tourances to replace my Bridgestone Battle Wings that came on the bike as delivered. At something approaching 10,000 miles the Bridgestones still had some useful tread but I was getting some uneven wear on the front and the rear was getting pretty "square" from all the straight-down-the highway stuff.

    The quick work at the BMW dealer got me back on the road just after 10:00AM. This allowed me some time to play! First order of business was to head West on Oregon Rte. 126 toward the coastal town of Florence, some 50 miles distant. From Florence I proceeded South on the Oregon Coastal Highway (Rte 101) through the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area. My main business here was to shoot a couple of pictures on the Pacific Coast and document the completion of my trip “Coast-To-Coast”. That being completed I continued S on Rte 101 until arriving at Reedsport, where I again turned inland to follow Rte 38. Rte 38 follows the Umpqua River Valley and makes for quite the scenic ride as both the road and the river climb inland. After a subsequent turn southeast on to Rte. 138, some 60 miles later I was again back on I-5 heading South for my overnight stop in Ashland, OR.

    Arriving at Ashland about 4pm, I checked in at my hotel before heading over to visit with my high school friend Anne Bellegia and her husband Terry Asnes. We had a very nice dinner and they treated me to a quick tour of Ashland. That about capped the day and I headed back to the hotel for some rest. Tomorrow is a big day. I plan on an early start with a side trip to Crater Lake National Park, one of my very favorite places on earth. Then it’s a northeasterly heading to see how far I can get in the direction of Pendleton, OR by tomorrow night. Why Pendleton? Because Pendleton is close to Athena, Oregon and Athena is the site of the annual “Hodaka Days” festival. Athena was the home of PABATCO, the company that brought Hodaka Motorcycles to the US in the sixties and seventies. As a dual-sport rider, I consider that Hodaka holds a special place in the history of the breed. Before there were Yamaha Enduros, long before there were GSs, there were Hodakas – arguably the precursor to every on road/off road bike that followed. More tomorrow about Hodakas and Hodaka Days! Lots more adventuring yet to come.

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    At the Pacific Coast near Florence, OR

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    Near Reedsport, OR

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    Lots more pics at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    #72
  13. y2blade

    y2blade Long timer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,536
    Location:
    UK
    Jack thank you very much for taking the time to post and keep us up to speed with your journey

    I have just spent the last hour and a half reading this whole lot here at work while trying to look busy :D

    will be following your adventure all the way :freaky


    happy trails
    #73
  14. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 36 &#8211; Thursday, June 25, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Ashland, Or.<o:p></o:p>
    End: Pendleton, Or.<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 436 <o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 8962<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The trip is getting to be pretty close to 9000 miles now and this afternoon the very first pangs of &#8220;get home itis&#8221; began to creep in. From now on, every place I go will be closer to home than the last but I&#8217;m really nowhere done yet! Today, for example I banged out over 400 miles and visited one of my absolute favorite places on earth, Crater Lake National Park.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I got an early start because I knew I faced a long day. Off by 6:30 am I was headed north on I-5 out of Ashland. It was only a short stint on the super-slab today though. At Medford, only about 15 miles away I had the great pleasure of getting off the Interstate an on to California Rte. 62, The Crater Lake Highway. The highway generally follows the path of the Rogue River, which originates high in the cascades near the north side of Crater Lake. By following the river&#8217;s path the highway lends itself to many beautiful vistas over the 70+ odd miles from Medford to the park. Much of the route passes through the Rogue River National Forest. Especially notable is the Rogue Gorge, carved by the river over eons. A number of picture stops and a few stops just to say &#8220;Wow&#8221; caused the trip to proceed at a fairly slow pace. I was, nonetheless, at the Crater Lake National Park South gate by just about 9:00 am. Since first visiting Crater Lake in 2005 I have longed to go back. To me it is among the most beautiful, and tranquil places I know. I was fortunate, once again to have a visit unspoiled by inclement weather. The weather gods dealt up another perfect morning! Photo ops and stops to simply &#8220;take it all in&#8221; ate up over an hour before I Ieft to continue northward. Jumping on Oregon Rte. 97, I proceeded, in turn through Bend, Redmond, and Madras. Somewhere North of Bend the character of the terrain and of the entire environment changes. Out of the dense pine forests where I have spent the past few days and into a more desert like, more barren region. Still, however, always in sight are the snow capped peaks to guide one. Mt. Hood, and the Three Sisters, now visible to the West as I have moved into the central part of Oregon. Late in the afternoon I reach the Columbia River Valley and the east end of the Columbia River Gorge. It lives up to its reputation by being both considerably hotter and a fierce wind is swirling. No so much fun for me (and all those people in campers), but good news for the windsurfing crowd, who are out in force! At the Columbia I turned eastward, once again on the interstate, now I-84, for the quick 100 mile blast to my overnight destination, Pendleton, OR. I plan to stick around here for the next day or so. As I mentioned yesterday, I have come to the Pendleton area, in particular a little town called Athena for the 10<sup>th</sup> edition of an event called Hodaka Days. For those of you unfamiliar, Hodakas were popular 2 stroke dirt and street bikes made in Japan and sold exclusively in the United States by a company called PABATCO (Pacific Basin Trading Company) whose headquarters was in Athena. I am kind of a fan and actually Lisa and I have a &#8220;project&#8221; Hodaka at home. I hope to have pictures and stories from this event tomorrow and maybe Saturday before I turn to the serious work of covering the 1700 miles between here and home. Hope you still enjoy the story and pics. Thanks to all of you for being here with me. <o:p></o:p>
    Jack



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    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Rogue River National Forest</o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Rogue River Gorge</o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Crater Lake National Park</o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Weird "Shoe Tree" near Shaniko on Oregon Rte 97</o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p>Plenty more pics at https://jackb1.smugmug.com
    </o:p>

    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    #74
  15. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,797
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Beautiful ride report, thank you so much for taking the time to do it for us. It all brings back great memories of when I did the Alaska Highway in 2007.
    #75
  16. Skyguard

    Skyguard Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    yup... very cool... I've been to and lived in a few of these places but never been to Alaska. Thanks for sharing your RR and photos... good stuff!!
    #76
  17. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 37 – Friday, June 26, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Pendleton, Or.<o:p></o:p>
    End: Pendleton, Or.<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 47 <o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 9009<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Today was day spent in the Pendleton, Oregon area. Pendleton is pretty well known as the home of Pendleton Woolens and Knits (no woolen knits required today – 80 deg. and sunny!) Less well known, at least to people outside the motorcycling community, is that less than 20 miles up the road is Athena, Oregon the home of Hodaka Motorcycles. In the early 60s Athena based agribusiness company PABATCO (Pacific Basin Trading Company) found themselves in the motorcycle business through an odd set of circumstances including the bankruptcy of the obscure Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Yamaguchi, currency trading restrictions with Japan, and the critical mass of motorcycle enthusiasts within the PABATCO management corps (Long story made short!) The Hodaka product was pretty advanced for it’s time – employing a steel tube frame for it’s “Trail Bikes” when the products from the Big 4 Japanese manufacturers were still pressed steel weldments. Also, these capable little bikes had lights, horns and other street equipment which allowed the owner to ride to the trailhead rather than haul them in a trailer. Success rapidly followed and the company sold 10s of thousands of bikes (in the US only) in just a few short years. This success was rather short lived as the little company never really had the resources to compete directly with the much bigger Japanese manufacturers such as Honda and Yamaha. When the big guys finally got it right with their “dirt bikes” (think Yamaha DT1) in the late 60s and early 70s, the Hodaka brand was wound down and finally closed about 1978. Nonetheless these bikes have quite the following nationwide and their annual homecoming ” Hodaka Days" is in Athena this week. Attending the event is special treat for me as I have a “basket case” Hodaka at home awaiting its turn for restoration. It’s exciting to see all the different models (Hodaka was famous for it’s “tongue in cheek” names for the different lines of bikes – “Super Rat”, “Road Toad”, “Dirt Squirt”, and “Wombat” were all part of the fun). Importantly, these are not just show bikes but they are ridden and ridden hard! Nice to see classics out there in the dirt! Anyway, I was able to spend the afternoon at Hodaka Days just absorbing the ambiance. I plan to return tomorrow to spend another half day experiencing the bike parade, swap meet and bike show. But, all good things must end and I plan to depart about noon or 1:00pm for destinations east. I’ll try to put a couple of hundred miles under my belt tomorrow afternoon – perhaps over near Boise, Idaho. Then the next few days afterward will be mostly just pounding out those boring highway miles while making my way home. At this time I anticipate arrival in SE Pennsylvania on Friday, July 3. I should know more after a couple of days but that seems a reasonable projection for now. I hate to see the end in sight but there you are! However, we’ve got another week to ride and anything can happen so I hope you’ll stay with me! Thanks again to all of you who have been looking in. Jack.


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    Do your city fathers fly the flag of a motorcycle company over your city hall??


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    Let's see, lights and all the street worthy stuff but semi knobbys, good ground clearance, and a luggage rack. Sounds kinda familiar - but this was new ground in the 60s and early 70s!


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    One of the best things about Hodakas was the names. Wombat (COMBAT WOMBAT!), Road Toad, Super Rat, Dirt Squirt!

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    Got a coffee table like this??
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    There are many more pictures available to see at https://jackb1.smugmug.com <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #77
  18. Treadless

    Treadless avoiding gravity storms if at all possible Supporter

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,373
    Location:
    above the soil's surface on the left coast
    Hodaka, one of the things i've never had and always wanted.

    So..... how much did it cost to ship the table home? :lol3
    #78
  19. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    :rofl I think the table might have to wait for next time! I'm sure somebody needs it more than I do!
    #79
  20. ADVCoop

    ADVCoop Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,109
    Location:
    Springtown TX
    Awesome report and pictures!
    #80