Our Life Behind Bars Ė Father & Son Doing Time in The Northern Frontier
Our Life Behind Bars Ė Father & Son Doing Time in The Northern Frontier - The Beginning of Our Story
Departure Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013
My name is Johann Krueger (aka, Yukon Johann). This summer I will be going on an Adventure Motorcycle Touring Expedition starting at my home in Seattle, up through British Columbia, through the Yukon Territory and Alaska with my father. I will be riding my own motorcycle, a BMW F650 GS Dakar.
Recent Trip To the Northern Cascades
The plan is to ride the remote parts of western British Columbia and then into the Yukon Territory up to the border of the North West Territories and then on into Alaska where we plan to ride above the arctic circle to Prudhoe Bay. Along the way we will visit and observe the effects of global climate changes in the north, interact with indigenous people, witness scenic splendor and observe northern wildlife in its natural habitat.
I will be providing updates as internet connection allows with a full presentation of my trip upon completion. The tentative Departure date is June 29, 2013. I would like to ask for your support by pledging donations for each 100 miles completed. If all goes well, we will have travel in excess of 4,000 miles or more. 100% of your donations will be given to the American Red Cross in support of the people affected by the recent tornado in Oklahoma.
Read here for more information.
Ride to Alaska: Johann Krueger's FundRaiser
BTW: I should mention, I am 17 years old. My father will be posting as well, providing his own perspective on the story. Together, we should be able to tell a well rounded tale. This is not my first adventure trip to the North (more on this later). It is however, my first on 2 wheels.
Check back occasionally as we will post updates as best we can.
Thanks for joining me and supporting my cause. We are sure to have a good time together.
Looking forward to your updates as you venture off on this expedition. I wish I were in Vancouver as you pass through, unfortunately, I'm currently stuck in the midwest.
I'm sure that the two of you will have a fantastic time and produce a great RR.
All the best,
I think Johann just registered his own account here. Hopefully he will post something new soon. I'm at work and he has all this free time to start posting about our journey preparations and such :wink:
Hope to post some pics of the our bikes soon with them already for the trip.
You can imagine how excited I am.
Rewind : How and Why Did I Get to This Point
Rewind : How and Why Did I Get to This Point
So letís go back in time here a few months Ö approximately 6 months. I wasnít doing so well in school. To be blunt, I wasnít going to graduate high school. I wasnít focused on my studies and I knew I needed a change. Through a family friend, my mom, dad and I discovered the Washington State Youth Academy. Their son attended the school and had great success. It was recommended that I go. And despite my initial hesitations, I have come to embrace and loved the experience. The academy uses some unique techniques to motivate and instill pride and values. It isnít easy and many students canít handle the intense program and drop out. For those of us who stay the course, it is very rewarding. The techniques employed are the same as those used in the military to teach one discipline, patience, values, good hygiene, good study habits, the value of community and many, many more things. With my parents help and the help of my mentor (thanks Steve!!), I signed up, attended the open house event and attended the initial orientation. The selection process was a bit unusual. At the academy, being the worst, made you first as long as you demonstrated that you wanted to change. Was I in as much trouble as my parents say I was? Apparently so. I wanted/needed to change and was one of the 150 people out of a total of 450 applicants to be picked. I started out as a candidate, surviving the initial 2 weeks of hell to condition us for what was to come. Then we officially started. At first, I regretted signing up for this. I started out as a candidate and before I knew it I was graduating as a cadet will full honors and ahead of the game in meeting my high school graduation requirements. AND I was getting Aís in my studies. I survived and completed the grueling 5 Ĺ month residential phase of the 18 month program. Among the things I learned was the value of family, the value of community and the value of giving back. This ride gives me the opportunity to do just that. I can give back to my family and share in a dream with my dad, while at the same time turning this adventure into a cause that has more meaning than the trip itself and a chance to help others along the way.
Iím now back home and almost completely packed up and ready to go on this journey to the Northern Frontier. My parents have made sure my bike is in top notch running order. New tires, fluids, adjustments and all the safety checks. Everything is in tip top shape. I should mention, that my dad (my papa) is a somewhat anal-retentive engineer in a good sense. And German heritage at that. So I trust him exclusively on these matters.
With a new perspective on life, a couple of days after I graduated from the academy, I took the Washington State Motorcycle Safety Course to get my official motorcycle endorsement. Motorcycles are all new to me. The F650 GS Dakar is my first bike and the bike I learned to ride on. Iíve come to learn that it isnít a bad bike to do these kind of adventure tours on. Iíve been told it is reliable, has ABS brakes and so far, it seems to handle very well. Thanks mom, and dad. To date, Iíve been out on a couple of big (all day) rides. My dad thinks Iím doing well and keeps me safe and on my toes when it comes to riding awareness and safety. His goal is to get me to the north (there and back) in a safe manner. The rest, is up to me. We are departing from home this coming Saturday the 29th of June. The weather man says we are to have sunshine on the day of our departure. A great send off for sure. I will provide updates to the best of my ability and whenever I can get internet access during our adventure. If all goes well, I plan to give a full, account of my adventure, with my papas help upon my return.
Please donít hesitate to help others that have experienced bad fortunes. Especially the folks, who through no fault of their own, find themselves in a situation of need.
This is awesome! I will be making my son read this one! Good luck to you guys and I will be following along for sure!:clap
Sounds like you made quite a turn around and there WILL be a bright future! Enjoy your ride with your Dad. Looking forward to reading about it.
Congratulations on turning your life around to some extent and for focusing on others with this fund-raiser. I'll be following along and at some point will add to that if all goes well.
Good luck on your adventure and stay safe by using everything that you've learned to the best that you possibly can. The memories that you leave behind can either be totally price-less or if misused, rather sad.
All the best to both of you.....and have fun. (We have six grandchildren in Anchorage. The oldest is your age.)
Gary "Oldone" :gerg
Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
Grampa’s National Monument Ride
Busy, Busy, Busy
Sorry for the lack of posts.
Johann and I have been extremely busy. For me, work has ramped up afew notches... not good as I try and tie things up for an extended vacation.
We've been wanting to post on preparations and such....
The bikes are all packed and ready. I put the last of the Touratech bits on his bike last night.
On these trips, you always wrestle with taking too much vs, not taking the correct things.
Our route is pretty remote and we are planning on camping more than 66% of the time, so that means we are carrying provisions for that (food, tent, stove cook shelter) and of course extra parts and tools. We are really prepared for lightweight travel as we have done numerous treks up north already with full packs.So we ar eno strangers to the north and remote places.
A bit of background about Johann and his bike.
Last year I purchasd a Dakar... mainly for selfish reasons. While, I really love my R1200 GSA, I found that it is too big for my day travels here in Washington state where I wanted to ride some logging roads. Johann was mildly interested in the bike since it was smaller. I told him that before he could ride, we should go up to the school parking lot and learn some basics. I gave him a complete run-down of the Washington Motrocycle Safety Class over a few days.. in between storms and rain here in Seattle. Surprisingly, he did extremely well and wanted more... So now I have developed a new riding buddy.
To whet your appetite, I inlcude a video here of Johann's first riding lessons last December. Note: He has since been upgraded in full ATGATT. A parental requirement before he hit the road.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zgEwjn03MUg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Hopefully before we leave on Saturday, we'll have an update to share.
I can tell you all, Johann is SUPER EXCITED.
What a week. Heavy rains and work just got busy, busy, busy. Lots to do in a short period of time. Clean the roof, mow the lawn, prep the gear, make dinner, clean the house, host a sleep over... yeah, it was a pretty hectic week.
Goofing around in the back yard a bit before we leave. We combined a couple of our favorite activities.
Halo is one of our favorite games
Who needs a Warthog when you have access to the ultimate riding Machine
Ripping through the garden
Up and over the rocks
What a view
Gumby is Ready for the next adventure
On a more serious note. We did manage to squeeze in another ride before we left. Last weekend we road up Washington's Snoqualmie Pass via side roads.
A nice ride the week before we leave to get the kid some more dirt experience
GrizzLee & Yukon Johann
Ready to go... go get gas that is
On your mark...
Getting our "sea legs" with the loaded bikes
Ready for Launch
The true adventure begins tomorrow.
Will post more when we get a chance.
The weatherman says it is going to be in the high 80s and 90s over the next few days. Too hot. Right now, our extra warm clothing is looking like we took too much. We may look forward to some rain when it comes.
Thinking about you guys as you are about to head off on what I'm sure will be a fantastic adventure. While I know that you both have been to the Canadian North many times, on a bike it will all look different...remember that moose are so much larger when seen from a motorcycle.
I have no doubt that the two of you are well prepared and ready. I hope that one of your early posts covers your preparation and planning.
It was great meeting both of you and riding together...for a couple of miles at least. Watching you ride together I know that this next month will be full of father and son memories that will stay with you forever.
All the best,
I am a little loopy. Lack of sleep. It got hot and muggy today. Rained all week. I got slammed at work. All the while trying to get the house in shape for an extended trip... I Let johann have party to say hi and goodbye to his friends.. many he wont see at all this summer and maybe never again as they will all be moving on. It was great to see all these kids grow up together. I'm sad to see them go as well. You think of them as your own sometimes. Being a parent is tough for me in this regards.
Yes, indeed wildlife will have new perspective behind bars. We will take it slow and easy. One shouldn't rush past all the beauty, but rather savor it and taste it. Like a fine wine.
I hope we can find time to ride with you and your son someday. They grow all to fast.....
Trip preparations... Yeah, that will be a good subject. Johann and I already started something as a preamble... However, Our posts may be a bit sparse as we leave tomorrow as we will truly be roughing it... At least that is the plan. Johann can handle it very well... More so than me. :kumbaya should be fun.
We will tell the story. You can count on that.
I'll be thinking about ya'll every day at work wishing I was on a bike. Have fun and be safe.
Update from the Road
Currently outside of Mcbride B.C. along the Yellowhead Highway.
A couple of pics of us leaving home...
Johann says we are ready to go.
Gretchen Locked, loaded and ready.
Day 1: GrizzLee’s Story<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
A border scare.<o:p></o:p>
Johann’s bike died just after crossing into Canada. No power, no indicator lights. All the fuses checked. It was hot though and the Dakar seemed to be extremely hot. Probably from sitting a t standtill in the heat while running and waitng to cross the border. In any event, a 2 hour trip into Abbotsford soon followed as I tried to locate a new battery. No lusck. I did stop at a Honda powersports store and a John Deere tractor/supply house. Both palces checked the battery and both places said the battery was good. Hmmm.. you can’t image the explicatives that were running through my mind. I had spent about $2500 getting the bikes ready. Tune –up, tires all the fluids changed… I spent several man weeks into preparing for the trip. When I came back to the border, Johann was gone , but the bike was still there. The Canadian border guards invited him inside. Did I mention it was HOT!! Itr was about 20 degrees cooler inside. I got the tools and installed the battery, hoping that it was an over heated, chip, sensor or even a bad battery connection. Hooked it all up and turned the key…. YES, YES, YES!! The bike started. WTF!!! I didn’t care. Subsequent, starts and re-starts all went w/o a hitch. So we threw caution to the wind and took off towards Mission B.C where we headed over to Hope and then up towards Lillioeet. What a beautiful ride. I was capturing it all on my GoPro and stopping to catch a few pics. We arrived at Downing Provincial Park around 9:30 that night only to find the park closed. Fortunately, the area near the boat ramp was available and several others were all huddled in there. So we got some free camping right on the edge of Kelly Lake that night.
Tearing into the bike at the border
Day 1 : Yukon Johann’s Story<o:p></o:p>
It’s Not an Adventure if Nothing happens!<o:p></o:p>
All was going very well all the way up to the border into Canada. The line was very long and made a long wait for us to get to the very front, at this time the bike felt abnormally hot, I was just thinking it might be because it was just around the mid 80’s. we got to the front, turned off the motorcycle just temporarily so I can show the border guard my I.D. The time came to start the bike back up, turned the key, flipped the switch, and pressed the starter button. Nothing happened! I looked down, the kick stand was up so I knew that wasn’t it, the key was on, starter was on and tried again, just killed the bike even more. Now none of the lights would come on, after a couple of minutes dinkin around on the bike, I finally decided to push it over to where my dad was. We took apart the bike and came the conclusion that the battery must be dead. I waited at the border with all of our gear beside me while my dad went out to see if he could find a battery. He told me he found one, but the places he went to checked battery and said it was perfectly fine. He finally came back after a 2-3 hour wait. We plugged the battery back in and started it up, no problems, started up like it did at home! There is nothing different in my perspective for the rest of the day to Downing Provincial Park.
<o:p>Heading up the Fraser Canyon, B.C.</o:p>
<o:p>Lilooet in the evening sun.... Beautiful</o:p>
<o:p>Hoping for good karma, we take along a buddy.</o:p>
<o:p>GrizzLee pointing the way to.. uh.... Somewhere?</o:p>
<o:p>Johann's 1st experience on dirt with a loaded bike. He did fantastic.</o:p>
<o:p>The evening ride on the Pavillion road... priceless</o:p>
Day 2: Yukon Johann’s Story:<o:p></o:p>
A Fantastic Ride with a Disappointing Event<o:p></o:p>
We got to bed pretty late last night, I think it was around 11 pm. And didn’t wake up until about 7:30 maybe. We made breakfast which was a delicious, a breakfast skillet. We packed all our things back into the bikes and took off for our next destination. We went on a new route, one neither of us have ever been on, and man am I glad! It was stunningly beautiful through there, I’m not sure if my dad got any pictures of it, I sure hope so though. It was a very beautiful ride with one complaint… it was so freaking hot! Mid 80’s all day and in some areas it got up into the 90’s with high humidity… this made it kind of hard to enjoy the ride as much as we should, but I made as much as I could of it and had a great time. We are camping just outside of McBride today and ready to ride on into Prince George. This brings up the “Disappointing Event” at our camp last night, my dad recently discovered that he forgot his bag for the Go Pro, which unfortunately had a lot of his stuff in it that was absolutely necessary for us to have in order to get video. Anyway, it was a good ride and I’m looking forward to what tomorrow brings us, thanks for following our ride thus far.
Johann enjoying the scenic splendor of the Yellowhead Highway
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