Joined: Jul 2008
Run-Ins and Scouting
After a long day of fishing, we hung out by the ocean for a while. We packed up the truck moseyed around the beach, but the Rat decided that a rotting bird carcass smelled like the perfect thing to roll in. So, I decided that the perfect rewarded was a bath in the sea. While he was jumping into the ocean and swimming back to me, trying to get the suds off, I heard what I thought sounded like a KLR ride up. After we were done, I took the Rat back and locked him in the truck.
Sure enough, an old KLR with full luggage, looking like it had been on the road for months was parked in the beach parking lot, with the owner sitting back propped on the kickstand with his feet on the handlebars. I’d like to see a KTM owner try that one. I went over and we started bs’n, more than anything I was stoked to see another rider, my age, who looked like they could hang. It is always better to have a riding buddy, and not just anybody will do. I talked him into meeting up at Clam Gulch, maybe 60 miles (100k) north. We arranged to meet up, down on the beach and I shared my plan to scout out to the north.
We pulled out and headed north a ways. Then pulled onto the beach, staying on the hard-pack and found a little spot right next to the path onto the beach, just big and flat enough to park my truck. There wasn’t much room to maneuver without getting into the deep sand, which I didn’t want to risk with the truck. I popped the top on the camper and unloaded the bike, and then he rode through.
Apparently he had already been there for a bit, he stopped for a quick second, then gunned it through the super soft sand at the top, he looked like he knew what he was doing. Then he made way for an old single-wide left out there for decades, rotting and rusting away, perched up on pylons above the beach. After he put down his panniers and set up his tent, we went for a bit of a ride.
I gunned it and quickly sped up to a good cursing speed, maybe 50 mph (80 kmh), there weren’t any real obstacles in the way and the rocks were small and consistent. It took him a little bit, but soon he got the hang of it and off we went. Standing up and slamming all your weight on one peg, then the next, while blurpping the throttle, weaving back and forth over the virgin beach is about as cool of a feeling as you can get on a bike. Although, I have to say it is definitely much more fun on the DRZ (E of course).
We stopped a few times, I warned him about the salt water and told him about the little starting in 2nd trick, keeping the butt on the far back of the seat, and just getting up speed quickly, and we had a blast railing it down the beach.
I wish I would have taken some pictures of the ride, but we were riding in the twilight so the light was bad and we were having too much fun to stop.
In too little time, we were at Kasilof, cut off by the river. We played around on the sandy 2-tracks down by the beach and then headed into the little town. We found a bar, who, also just so happened to have a hose out back. After a quick rinse of the bikes, we went in and got a couple drinks. After sharing notes and chatted about this and that, he told me he was Running from Root-beer, looking for the Sun at Night, and Missing Adventures, or something like that. He was a cool cat, a true rambler indeed, not real sure what his next move was going to be. I think he was talking about some cute redhead in Anchorage too. If I recall correctly I told him he should go to Mexico. Not sure though, that’s what I thought I remembered, but either way, after a bit we headed back to camp and called it a night.
The tide came up pretty far that nigh and I was glad I parked where I did. I was a little worried about Alex, but his bike looked fine in the morning. You could definitely see that the water was only a foot away form tis tires though.
I don’t think he was up when Val and I headed out. We discussed our options and she decided she wanted to go see Lake Tustumena, I guess she had seen it on a map.
We wondered up one dirt road, and then the next, and figured out that they were all just a dead ends to some houses. We stopped and asked a couple people and they kind of gave us a funny look. Looking back, I probably should have inquired more, but they pointed us back saying they thought you could get there up the road a little ways. But a little ways is 30 miles in Alaska.
Finally we stumbled onto Tunstumena Lake Road, out of Kasilaf, and found a boat ramp on a big river. But the lake was still 20 miles (32k) up river. There were a few decent little camp sights and we decided to park it up and go for a little hike.
And then my trusty little camera decided to start acting up.
So I turned it off and back on again, and it started working again. There was just a little, overgrown path and the damp undergrowth was soaking our legs so we didn’t hike for too long.
Then we headed back to the truck and drove twords the beach. I wanted to try and find as many beach access points as I could, for future exploration.
We went into Kalifornsky.
Then into The City of Kenai, and stumbled around a bit, but it looked a little too hoytie toytie. Then we headed up to Salamatof, across Texico Lane and Conoco Road, and stumbled into the Captain Cook National Recreation Area. We were haning out in the parking lot, putting together some food and a local came up so we started chatting. We talked about this and that, how people run away up here to get away from their rap sheet, and then she mentioned she had an ATV. She proceeded to tell me about a cool ride they do out of there, where you have to check the tide and if you hit it right you can make a 35 mile one way ride up the beach, before it dead ends. You had to watch it though, because in the summer there are no other ways out. So I took notes and then snapped a few pictures of just another Alaskan sunset.
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