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Old 08-08-2010, 08:41 PM   #1
TxLoneRider OP
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Texas to Alaska, and mostly back

Time to write the report, got the pictures uploaded to smugmug, and time to share my experiences. I will start with a brief summary, and then add a post for each day.

This is about the 8th long motorcycle trip (longer than 2k miles). And previous to this I've been fairly lucky, all things considered. This trip had it challenges, all of which I could have avoided. Lessons learned, and I will ride again.

So, for the interesting statistics, 4 (different) border crossings, 8825 miles, 2 provinces, 1 territory, 8 states, 2 tires, 1 tube, 3 flats, 1 low beam bulb, 1 chain, 6 hotels rooms, 7 camp sites, 1 "Cabin" over the course of 15 days.

The original plan was to go to Prudhoe Bay, got a set of TKC80's to put on the back of the bike. When finally packed the bike, and got on the bike my wife noticed I was using a bit more of the suspension than I might have wanted to, at least sitting still.

The first thing to go where the tires and spare tubes. Got back on the bike, and much better. So with some route changes loaded onto the GPS I was about 5 hours late leaving. Lets see what I can go with a set of Distanzi's

I did not make it to Prudhoe Bay, and am disappointed, but if I went up there I doubt I would have gone to McCarthy or Valdez, which were quite cool on there own. More on those destinations later.

so here goes it
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:51 PM   #2
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Day 1 - N. Texas to Springfield CO

Off to the races, (days picture gallery)

Got off to a non eventful start, said good bye to the wife and kids, and got going. Heading west I saw a train coming towards me, Jake loves trains, so time for a few pictures.

Cool, eh! Well when the train had past I was head back to the bike and there was a decent gust of wind, something that happens frequently in west Texas, and the bike gets blown over. As Brian Dilworth would say "ONE!".

Well, got the bike up, and I guess I left my luggage key in the right bag. Well, when I down the road to a Sonic for lunch it was gone, argggg. At least I had a spare.

Continued along and up in the pan handle saw a few really good storms on the horizon.

And got a cool picture getting the rain gloves out


Well continued north, with a few LARGE systems to the west, and a couple of notable to the east I managed to split the gap, with only a few sprinkles.

Hit a motel, and talked briefly to few people who where really disappointed in the weather, guess the region is normally dry this time of the year and their family had a planned outdoor wedding the next day. Hope it dried up enough for them, at least the weather in the morning was nice.

TxLoneRider screwed with this post 01-18-2013 at 08:39 AM
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:08 PM   #3
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Day 2, Springfield CO to some town south of Grant Teton Park

(Click here for the day 2 gallery)

So the weather in the morning was pretty good. Got a decent breakfast down the road from the hotel.

As I headed North towards Denver, more clouds, the a few more systems on the horizon, again, shot the gap, barely road on wet pavement.

Had some fun riding some of the hills

Turns out that pass was the high point of the trip, at least as far as altitude.

Went through the Eisenhower tunnel, both ways

And that was pretty cool.

Now, having toured on a ZX9r, Sprint ST, and FJR1300 being light on power was never a problem.

With my 260lbs, plus 100lbs of luggage, the KLR650 did present an issue I had never experienced before, having to down shift going up a hill to maintain 60-65mph

Anyway, saw some great scenery, and got some rocks for Abby.


After this pic was taken, I pushed it a bit, and actually had to hit the extra gas I was carrying. This was the only time during the trip I needed to hit any of the 1-2 gallons of extra gas I was carrying. Well after dark got another hotel room.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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Day 3, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Canada

(For the days picture gallery click here)

Big day, good day. Started out grabbing breakfast at a lodge, all you can eat, amazing omelet, great bacon, fruit, OJ, way good. Turns out the chef works in the area all year round, summer time as a chef, winter time as a dog sled lead.

Grand Teton park was pretty cool, but with the traffic, it was pretty hard to spot and take pictures. This and Yellowstone are not really parks to travel through and take pictures. But I did catch old faithful.


But Glacier National park was truly amazing! Wow!


Well, in the park I had sporadic cell signal, and after leaving the park I was going to ride until I got one, well, the first one I got was in Canada


About 20 miles up the road, and after calling Stacy, I could the moon rising over a farm house
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:31 PM   #5
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Day 4 - Through Calgary, Banff, Jasper and up to Grande Prairie, Alberta

(Daily gallery here)

Going through a town, caught the "Bomber Command Museum of Canada" on the opposite one way street, doubled back to take some pictures.

Would have been cool to go in, but opening time was hours away.

Wound up having breakfast in Calgary. Bought some socks at a Marks Work Warehouse, and headed towards Banff and Jasper.


Very cool parks to drive though, got a few shirts for the kids at the Roots store in the town of Banff.

More cool train pictures



And a couple of cool waterfalls


Had a pizza in Jasper, wow, that town is a tourist trap, you name it, it was expensive. Here was the view from the roof top patio where I ate


And the cool bridges started
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:02 PM   #6
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Day 5, Grande Prairie to Tetsa Provincal Park

(Day 5 gallery)

Had to stop to take a picture of the big beaver.


Went to the W.A.C. Bennett dam. When I got off the bike to take a few pictures, a couple of the visitor centre staff came out to greet me. Guess they where board. Talked me into taking the tour, very cool.



Further down the road would up riding with 3 Harley riders. Met at a closed gas station, I was looking for a pay phone, hey needed gas.

Followed them up to the next town, one or two of them where pretty worried about their gas. Having an extra 1.5 gallons I followed them to make sure they made it to a gas station. They invited me to hand and camp with them, cool. But they said they where going to grab some beer. Don't have anything against beer, just not when I am trying to keep moving.

In Fort Nelson met 3 other riders, Woody and Cheryl on a Goldwing and Jim on a FJR1300. I would ride and camp with them for the next 2 days.

Good folks, and I finally met people who where more ride focused more than I. They where very serious. They also road with run flat sport car tires on the rear and rear sport touring tires on the front. Interesting set ups, and supposedly good for over 15k miles.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:56 PM   #7
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Thumb Thanks for the photos

Well, yeah, the write up was good, but the photos ...
You had some absolutely wonderful pix. Some true gems were in your galleries. The full moon, the trains, particularly at sunset, all the bridges, and the landscapes with clouds. Spectacular scenery. What kind of camera did you use?
And are you planning your return trip yet?
-ceej
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My solo trips: SF to Colorado and back 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1200gsceej View Post
Well, yeah, the write up was good, but the photos ...
You had some absolutely wonderful pix. Some true gems were in your galleries. The full moon, the trains, particularly at sunset, all the bridges, and the landscapes with clouds. Spectacular scenery. What kind of camera did you use?
And are you planning your return trip yet?
-ceej
Thank you!

I have a Cannon 50D, with many of the pictures taken by a EF-S 10-22mm.

I would like to head back up there this up coming summer. With better, less populated routes to and from the haul roads. Utah and western Colorado are in the plans.

If you have not been up there, and have the traveling spirit, I highly recommend it!

cheers.
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