View Single Post
Old 03-05-2011, 07:26 PM   #69
Parepin OP
The Filthy Nomad
Parepin's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: That's... a tough one to answer
Oddometer: 1,130
This is where my journal entries end, so from here on out I'm going solely by memory. I expect details to suffer as a result, but I'm looking through pictures and I'm gonna put some time into recording what details I can remember.

So, I continued along Highway 1 towards the border. The ride here was actually very nice. Awesome scenery. I just can't get enough of the sights as the road winds along several huge lakes. Nothing could beat a ride like this. Then the bike stuttered. Maybe it was my imagination... no, there it was again. Every time I cranked the throttle, the engine would stutter and barely pull out of it's own weight. I coast into the next pull off, which happens to be a lakeside RV park, and park alongside a picnic bench. It wasn't long before I had the tank and plastics pulled, doing the usual checks without much success. I took advantage of the free wifi and surfed a few forums in an attempt to troubleshoot the issue ASAP. Everything was pointing towards an electrical issue. With that, I wandered towards the front desk and spoke with the older woman behind the counter. Turns out she was from the lower 48, she and her husband just ran the place during the summer months. They called it Destruction Bay... awesome. I got permission to do some work on the bike in the park, which was fairly dead as this was the last week the park would be open. She was kind enough to supply me with some steel wool from the back room and I, in turn, bought some candy and soda. Back at the bike, I pulled all the contacts and scrubbed them free of corrosion, coating all the contacts with vaseline and plugging it all back together. That seemed to do the trick and I was shortly on my way, thanking the woman profusely for all of her help.

I passed along a woman in leather standing alongside the road, an “aged” Harley parked just a few dozen feet away. A camera is raised to her eyes and she's focused on the shot. I doubled back, deciding that she had the right idea, you don't pass by something like this without taking a few pics. We chatted a bit as I pulled out my beater of a digital camera and took a panorama. It turns out this ladey was on a day ride for her day off and is the owner of a place known as Buckshot Betty's just on the Canadian side of the border. Seeing as I was headed that way, I made a point to stop on by and have a cup of coffee before hopping borders. At a rest area after my caffeine fix, I buried yet another cache so I could investigate the crossing cleanly. Got past the Canadian crossing without any issues, but I was surprised at how much road ran between the two borders. Twenty some odd miles, with some of the most sphincter jarring potholes I've encountered yet. I was sure to scan the roads and fields as I neared the crossing, hoping to find some way to detour the official crossing, but no luck. At the guard station, I answered the usual questions and quickly began shooting the shit with the guard. I picked his brain as far as gas stops and camping spots. He informed me that camping was free in all of Alaska, as long as there wasn't a sign specifically indicating otherwise. I nodded a thank you and continued on to the next gas stop, gassing up and grabbing some coffee as I contemplated my next move. The crossing was fairly easy. I didn't really get why everyone was making such a big deal out of it. If anything, the Alaskan crossing was more laid back than the lower 48 crossing.

With that, I doubled back into Canada in the fading daylight. At the Canadian crossing, I was immediately hassled. Interrupting the guard, I told her that I had just come through and had forgotten my cell phone at some coffee house up the road. Shotgun Suzies? “Buckshot Betty's, just up the road. They're closing though, you'd better hurry up.” Alrighty then, I thanked her and continued on. Just up the road I pulled over at the rest area and grabbed my fresh cache, merely sticking it in my side box and doubling back to the crossing. I rocketed once again against the minefield of a highway and pulled back into the American crossing. I passed a US Border patrol truck along the way, and I hoped that there had been a guard switch, but I had no such luck. The same guard was out front and raised a brow as I approached. Before he could ask questions, I had informed him that I had left my cell back at Buckshot Betty's and hadta double back before they closed, but that I had gotten it. He laughed, and said that they had some good coffee there. With a chuckle, I nodded in agreement and entered the Alaska with no hassles. I made a point to pull over at the next rest area to celebrate my arrival the right way... I continued down the highway and pulled into Tok after dark. I wolfed down a quick gas station hotdog and pitched a tent at the next picnic area. Got a nice roaring fire going and had a good night's rest in America's last frontier.

Parepin is offline   Reply With Quote