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Old 08-22-2010, 10:17 PM   #1
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A Dozen ADV'ers Do Hatcher Pass, Alaska

And here's an invite for those on today's ride to post up some of their photos and tales of adventure.

Hatcher Pass is a stunningly beautiful area about 50mi north of Anchorage. ADV'er ThatGuy and I had been planning this day ride and decided to put out an invite in the Alaska forum on here. A few other Anchorage ADV'ers as well as some from the Valley joined us.

Wow! What an amazing ride which also happened to include a number of "firsts" for me today! And those were: going up a couple roads I hadn't been on before which turned out to also be the roughest rocky roads and trails I've EVER been on, had my KLR take it's first mud bath when I forgot I didn't have knobbies on and went down in a big muddy puddle. And then rode through some of the most torrential downpours I'VE ever been in that also included some really hard hitting hail! Crazy fun.

So here are a few of us heading north out of Anchorage.

We met up with the Valley ADV guys at the Taco Bell just before Palmer. Hey funny thing, the sportbike guys I hang with meet-up at Taco Bell in Anchorage on the weekends. What's up with that? Maybe our Taco Bells up here are just "Motorcycle Friendly!"

Alrighty then, a quick stop once up in Hatcher and deciding where everyone felt like going. From this stop we went up the first rough road of the day, the road into Archangel Valley as seen behind us.

More to come.....
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:50 PM   #3
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Bummer to have missed this one, Mark. Got a bunch more pics?
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:04 PM   #4
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Great time for sure however the hail in this State is ridiculous. Pea-sized hail in Wasilla which is painful. Had the same treatment when heading to D2D and that was JUNE!

I'm not much of a photographer and hopefully the others will post theirs. Lets not forget a welcome to a new Alaska ADV'er Mushmellow who is our other resident dog musher.

This was from KLRDave:

Another great ride! It was good to meet some new faces and see some old ones as well.

Here's a couple pics from today.
The whole group across from Archangel.

A few of us decided to try out Craggie Creek.

Thatguy's KLR decided to take a nap.

And new ADVer Mushmallow (spelling?) finds the limit to his fuel mileage.

Thanks for the great ride. Hope everyone made through the hail and downpours safely.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:33 PM   #5
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As luck would have it, a State Park Ranger turned into Archangel just before we stopped. Since we stopped for a while we thought maybe she'd be a ways up into the valley. Well, she was driving pretty darned slowly (anticipating our arrival maybe? ) so the first guys in caught up with her in pretty short order and just turned around and came back out.

A few of us decided to keep on heading back into the valley anyway and maybe chance passing said Ranger if she continued driving too slowly. I actually sorta know this Ranger from years of riding my sportbikes up here on the paved part of the road leading into Hatcher Pass. Her name is Kim and she has a pretty serious demeanor about her and a "tough" law enforcement reputation. Turns out ADV'er DashAK who was with us knows her as well.

So anyway, when the group I'm in catches up to Ranger Kim, she pulls over and jumps out of her truck and delivers a pretty stern warning for us to "keep our speed down as there were a lot of berry pickers and their families up there." Before she climbed back into her truck I decided to assert myself and ask her if it was okay for us to go a little faster than she was going. She said okay but to take it easy and some other stuff I didn't catch and waves us oh by. I don't think Kim recognized me thru the helmet and I didn't press the issue. I think we were also kind of fortunate that the weather was a bit cloudy and wet as there weren't all that many people up there especially for a weekend day.

This is AKDon and DashAK at the end of the road. When Ranger Kim arrived a while later and we had some good conversation and even got her to laugh some.

I'm always after that "perfect" photo to put in the 'Show Us Your ADV Sticker' thread and here's what I got at the end of Archangel Road.

Now I mentioned how it was cloudy and wet but... as we were coming out of Archangel the sun broke through! Yay! Now this was a pretty big deal to us up here because we just established a new record for most consecutive days of precipitation in the area. 33 days in a row!!! I feel bad for my fellow ADV'ers who've had a pretty wet time of it up here while visiting The Greatland aka The Last Frontier. Sorry folks. Maybe come on back up and experience it's grandeur in better weather. Anyway, thought I'd get another of my ADV sticker with the clouds in the background covering the valley below where we'd come up from.

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Old 08-23-2010, 01:11 AM   #6
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So we all head on up and over the pass and down the other side on the main dirt road.

It's a bit steep on the other side with a few switchbacks.

We're headed down to where these guys are.

Finally we're down at the bottom too.

And time for another quick meet-up. In the photo below wearing gray and standing just left of center is ADV'er SwissAlaskan and his golden Triumph Tiger. He just got back a few days ago from an 11,000mi ride of the "lower 48."

In this photo you see the blue and white BMW G 650 X Series that belongs to the aforementioned ADVn00b akv mushmellow whose wife encouraged him to sign up on here! Oh and by the way, his wife happens to be quite an adventurer herself, 2-time Iditarod musher Karin Hendrickson. Our group split up here as some continued on out of the pass to head home while a few of us decided to check out the Lucky Shot Mine Road along Craigie Creek.

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Old 08-23-2010, 12:16 PM   #7
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ADV'ers DashAK, KLRDave, ThatGuy, and I head into the valley in the last 2 photos with akv leading the way as he's been here before.

A few shots of ThatGuy.

It got a little narrower, steeper, and rougher.

Yep, steeper and rougher.

On occasion where the road did widen out a bit was a very hard packed slick mud with puddles going across the entire road. I was doing fine with my Michelin Anakee on the back until I tried crossing the largest puddle staying in the middle on the highest ground. The middle was slightly crowned and my rear slipped out to the side and down I went. It was deep and slippery enough that as I tried to stand up I slipped and fell submerging even more of my body! Of course no one was around to witness, photograph, or help me get out of there. I finally managed to get the bike up and thankfully she started back up without any difficulties. As I was sitting there I motioned everyone to take a road that went around the puddle. My first mud bath. Luckily it wasn't too chilly as I had to ride pretty damp the rest of the day. akv and I continued to climb the farthest up the trail and navigating thru the steep rocky trail was keeping me pretty warm. The skies also continued to clear and that helped warm me up too. Little did I know that shortly before arriving home I'd be getting re-soaked in a torrential downpour.

akv and I went a ways farther up before finally just decided to pull over and take a couple more photos before heading back down. Here's yours truely with the trusty KLR near the head of the valley.

When we got to the others we helped each other turn the bikes around to head back down.

We were all very impressed with DashAK getting a VStrom up these roads.

The five of us decided to stop and eat at the old Willow Trading Post and soak up a bit more sun.

Yep, that glorious warm sunshine. Little did we know that heading back into Wasilla then again in Anchorage we'd have to ride thru weather severe enough to make the news that night! The deluge of rainfall also included a fair amount of thunder, lightning, and hard hitting hail in Wasilla. And then another cloud burst happened just as I was arriving home in Anchorage! It turned some of the streets in my neighborhood into rivers of flowing water! Crazy good times of a day tripping motorcycle adventure with friends.

Parting shot looking back towards the Wasilla area we'd just come from. Another wonderful ride! Till next time, Mark H.

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:23 PM   #8
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noob's 1st post.

Thank you all for letting me ride along. It was apleasure to meet each of you.
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