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Alaska calling to the imitation zone


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#1 HIGHLANDER

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:12 PM

July 3rd

Alaska calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, an' go it alone
Alaska calling upon the zombies of death
Quit holding out-and draw another breath
Alaska calling………….
Alaska calling………….

Well, the Clash were playing on the MP3 player as the plane was coming down into Anchorage so I changed the lyrics a little. Seemed appropriate at the time. Alaska has always been calling ever since I can remember, I probably read White Fang or some other adventure book when I was young and it’s stuck ever since. Last year the seed was planted with a few others, but unfortunately life, or death, has gotten in the way of the rest of the group, so solo I go.

Not a glorious start today, grounded for a couple hours in Seattle for “ conductive discharge “ or lightning strikes to the average Joe. All operations stopped at the airport nothing moved, not even baggage carts.
After a snafu on the address to the shipping dock, I uncrated the bike, geared up and hit the road, along with three quarters of Anchorage for the 4th of July weekend! After a couple hours of that mess I gave up and check into a funky roadside hotel, just as the rain came down hard. Got the last room available $63...cheap !!!!
An old wrinkly long hair in parachute tie die pants walks up and asks where I’m from, “ Far out man “ was his reply, Hadn’t heard those words in years ! He’d been there 50 years!
I know some of you are wondering why I shipped the bike, instead of riding it up, usually not my style either, but it saves six days and I want to ride IN Alaska, not just tag it and ride home.
I’ve almost a month planned before I hit NAFO and it still seems as if it’s not enough time to hit everything I’d like to see.
Internet access will be hit and miss up here, some places scheduled are pretty remote, so I’ll try to update when I can. Also using mini computer and new photo software, so gimme a break eh !
Stay tuned for pic’s, as today never offered the opportunity for decent picture taking, grey funky sky everywhere.


Born to run


Wild horses, couldn't drag me away.......



WFO-2, WFO-3, WFO-4, WFO-5 & NAFO-1CFR09 WFO 9

Alaska calling to the imitation zone............

#2 Fairlaner

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:21 PM

Good job Dave Have fun.

See you in Golden.

R


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#3 twowheelnut

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:21 PM

/pines hopelessly


Have a great time, Dave. good.gif

Keep us posted and be extra careful to keep an eye out for the elusive, wild Odot (gn. Druncamus lotsimus). They're real buggers, I tells ya!



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#4 Bluestreek

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:22 PM

I'm turning green with envy
Keep the pic's coming and see you in Golden
Growing old sucks but its better than the alternative
WFO-4 + WFO-5 +

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#5 HIGHLANDER

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:28 PM

Day 2 July 4th

Willow to Cantwell to Paxson to Glenallen
Now the rule is in AK to never pass an open gas station…..but I had three quarters of a tank…I should be Ok…..not enough……..15 miles short !! Least my thumb still works, haven’t had to use it in years. rolleyes.gif



Turned onto the Denali highway, 100 miles of dirt ( with a full tank ), a very remote road.




Just some awesome scenery with the chance to see some wildlife, but no, the only wild life I saw was two extremely well built female joggers around the 50 mile mark, in the middle of nowhere ???? Camera was in the tank bag, sorry boys. wink.gif


Got a little rain, some hail, lot’s of sun, it’s all good! Road at the backside of the Denali hwy is a knee draggers dream !

Checked into a cheap hotel tired and filthy !!
Now it looks as if trailer boy has some competition laugh.gif This guy has decals from every country in South America, riding a Honda 500 CBX shaftie with 70 K on the odo. clapping.gif


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Alaska calling to the imitation zone............

#6 MojaveFJR

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:34 PM

Awesome pics.

Keep the documentation comin.

#7 HIGHLANDER

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:40 PM

Day 3 July 5th ( Happy birthday baby !! )
Glenallen to McCarthy - Kennicott to Valdez
Early start today at 7-30 and the mosquito’s are already out in force. They’re huge and hungry little sob’s. Hot and sunny though, so who’s complaining ?
First stop -gas ! Shortly afterwards I saw my first moose, she thought about running out in front of the mighty zook, but changed direction and headed back to the woods. Maybe if I ducked low enough I’d fit under her !
On to Chititna. There used to me thousands of people here when the Kennicott mine was in full operation, it’s almost a ghost town now. Population 102.




Anyone need a hot rod project.....maybe Fairlaner ??/??




Next stop McCarthy about 30 mile dirt \ gravel riding. Amazing scenery.


True dirt streets - true Alaska, small town friendly vibe to the place, definitely small town spirit, kids riding ATV’s, three or four of them often packed on them.



Well it was bound to happen sooner or later, might as well get it done early n the trip.

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Alaska calling to the imitation zone............

#8 twowheelnut

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:49 PM

Uh-oh... Do I see a Capt. Morgan pose approaching?
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#9 rogdeb

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 03:59 PM

Great pics Dave -- keep 'em coming, and keep your tank full. clapping.gif
WFO's 1, 2, 3, 5, & 6 -- CFR '09 :-).. SW-FOG 2011 in Taos

#10 HIGHLANDER

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:00 PM

Took a wrong turn out on a back street of McCarthy, rocks the size of bloody bowling balls bouncing around, saw the bridge……then saw the chain across it, down she went, took three people to pick the fat pig back up. Didn’t like my throttle lock anyway, no other damage. Personal body armor worked took, glad I’m wearing a full off road pressure type suit, under the ‘Stich.


Before McCarthy, there's pedestrian bridge to cross the river, then on towards the Kennecott mine. Biker’s rule!! and motor across, poor saps have to walk a few miles, let’m keep eating those granola bars, and saving the earth !


Kennicott mine is in the Wrangell- St. Elias national park. The park is bigger than some states
Huge mine operation, Park service is slowly trying to restore the old buildings.








Mess around the mine buildings for a couple hours and I’m done and it’s only three thirty. Do I setup camp in iffy weather or ride ? Silly question, Ms.Garmin in the GPS say’s I can be in Valdez my 10 pm….off we go! Another 40 miles of dirt \ gravel out and I’m 10mph faster than when I came in… getting used to the wobbles and the almost tanks slappers ! I think I could have beat 10pm but there were so many places to stop and take pictures.

Got lit up by the bubble gum machine going 15 over outside of Chitina, but a warning was all it amounted to.

Richardson highway is just amazing !.Reminds me of the Swiss Alps, huge craggy snow covered peaks.




Glaciers ahead !!


The ride down from Thomson Pass summit is a pretty steep descent, then your in the river canyon with 300 foot vertical walls.


Waterfalls everywhere.


Rain again in Valdez, so had to hotel it again.( and it’s pronounced Valdeez up here, must hate Mexicans or something ? ) unsure.gif


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Alaska calling to the imitation zone............

#11 HIGHLANDER

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:12 PM

Day 4 July 6th
Valdeeeeeeeez to Whittier to Seward.
Woke up to more rain, rolled over and caught a few more zzzzzz’s. .Well, tried anyway…didn’t work.
Decided to take the ferry to Whittier to try to save some time, there are no circular routes in this part of AK. Rather than riding in wicked rain over Thomson pass, back through Anchorage again, I’ll take the short cut.- 2 hours 45 minutes on the high speed ferry……..wasn’t cheap though !! Low cloud cover masked all of the trip on the ferry.



New high speed ferry cut the transit time in half, this baby flies !


nothing beats a ketch in the mist, where's Capt. Morgan ??


Approaching Whittier, not much there.


Raining really hard in Whittier, but the cool thing about leaving Whittier is that you get to ride in really long train tunnel.. How does riding for 7 minutes, about 19,000 feet long (?), at 25mph, between the train tracks , in the almost darkness, on metal grates, with knobbie tires…and oh yeah, they’re wet too !! Too Cool !
Parking lot Nazi’s wouldn’t let me stop and take pic’s either. It used to be that bike’s went first, till a HD biffed it in the middle of the tunnel a while back and held up the whole parade, so now bikes are last and we get to suck fumes! At least the rain eased up on the other side.

Now how often does a Cali boy see icebergs floating in the river ? Just had to pull over for that don‘t cha’ know!


Low cloud cover all the way to Seward, drizzle again, hotel bound









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Alaska calling to the imitation zone............

#12 UberKul

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:19 PM

Great stuff Dave! Hope you don't mind me hating your guts right now. When I grow up I want to be you.
Ride safe and keep it coming hyper.gif
Posted Image Posted Image My smugmug, it's how I roll.

#13 kaitsdad

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:24 PM

Hey, Dave, be safe!! Keep them pics coming !

11,031. Hugs and Kisses!
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#14 mfletch69

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:24 PM

Really enjoying your ride report...
Keep it rolling and we will see you in Golden!

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#15 HIGHLANDER

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 04:33 PM

Day 5 July 7th
Seward to Homer
Wandered around town for a couple hours in the morning, touristy little place, even had a giant cruise ship tied up to the dock. Fisherman’s paradise if your into that kind of stuff.
This one's for the artists among the group, I know we have a least one.




Sailor's memorial



Left town after filling up, very little traffic, spotted a silver FJR headed the opposite way. Should have waved him over but the moment passed before the brain engaged.
Came upon a lake filled with glacier runoff, the type of blue water that only comes with glacier runoff. Pretty cool!


Scenery changing from the high mountain ranges to a cross between Hawaii and the Sierras. Pretty lush and open then changes to “homesteads”.
On the way to Homer I ran out to Anchor Point, the further paved road west in North America.


They actually launch boats right of off the beach.




Finally got to Homer and rode out to “ The Spit”, a low lying finger of land that reaches out into the bay. Here you can camp on the beach, but it was too crowded for my taste, motor homes everywhere.





At the suggestion of the lady at the Homer welcome center, I rode out to the family home of Jewel, yeah that Jewel, former pop star turned country star. They have turned their homestead into a hostel / campsite. Very low key and pretty damn cool. It’s still a small scale farm, but for $10 a night to pitch a tent with a view to die for !






This one's for my artist friend


Also on the way there I get to see Bullwinkle !!


That's it to this point, a rest day here, and who knows when the next net access will be..........C'ya !!!!!!!!!!



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Alaska calling to the imitation zone............

#16 madmike2

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:24 PM

Man....we are having a ball reading your report. biggrin.gif

YOU must be having a terrific time! yahoo.gif

I can see you smiling from here! And you've used up your 1 alloted "safe" tip over, so you're one with that activity, okay!?!?
It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.


#17 GunMD

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 05:41 PM

Keep 'em coming! Great stuff. I'm soooo jealous right now.

See you in Golden. Ride safe.

Thanks for sharing your Alaska adventure with us.

#18 Fairlaner

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:27 PM

The amazing thing for me is when you look on the map and see where Dave has been and then look at a map of Alaska you realise how long it would take to see it all.......

The only things missing are Ewan and Charlie...........

And Dave that truck was a little much even for me.


R
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#19 twowheelnut

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 08:36 PM

Wait... FF50's on the Wee? Ohhhhhh, that poor, little stator! blink.gif I hope you upgraded it! 9.5 so far. I nicked you for no Capt. Morgan pose. laugh.gif
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#20 RenoJohn

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:56 PM



**Eight Thumbs-Up (and one finger)** from renojohn

Dave, what great reporting from the field! Please keep the fun of your epic trip coming this way. You're making this hick from nevada very very jealous!!!! Keep on stromin' my friend -and have some fun for us mortals back down here on the lower 48

...john