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Old 05-03-2011, 03:36 PM   #1
Z_HARSH OP
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(FAKE) Alaskan Adventure Ride

Iíve been debating for a while whether or not I should write up this little story but I have to admit, l love looking at these pictures and writing my first little story, Baja Single-Line Tour, was pretty fun too. I took a ton of pictures up there and so here it goes, my take on probably the most well documented destination around here since I have already done the second (not to say that it is not justified though).

So FAKE, why?

Yea, I kind of break the main theme on this one; I didnít even ride my bike up. Yea, I trailerd my KLR up, can you believe it? I know what you are thinking, but I can handle the ridiculeÖI have thick skin. I do have my own justification though (well it convinced me at least). But first, a little overview:

Me (Zach) and my girl (Tina) were lucky enough to get the opportunity to spend some time exploring Alaska.




We were accompanied by an ugly dog named Chuwe, aka Chubacca, aka Rat-Dog, aka Rat-Dog-Fish-FaceÖÖÖ:




We did some riding 2-up:




And I did quite a bit of riding alone:




Saw some perrrrrrty sunsets:




And even did a bit of hiking:




We saw a big mountain:




And I found a pinch of mud:




Saw a few glaciers:




And caught a fish or two (or sometimes just tried):




Found some cool mushrooms:




And rode to some mountaintops (or as close as I could get):




I rode a bunch of beach:




And saw some old mines:




Spent some time with the family:




And did the little Haul Road thing-a-ma-bob:




Saw some animals:




And even some good pavement:




Saw a million million-dollar views:




And found some cool stuff on the way back too:


Photobucket

But before we get going I need to justify myself firstÖÖ

So, why would anyone trailer a KLR up to Alaska? Well, the main reason (but definitely not to blame everything on her) is that my baby wanted to come and what could I say about that? I figured taking my truck made more sense especially because she really wanted to take the Rat-Dog too. But first let me back up a bit, some people may be interested in how this came together. I was working for a smaller publically traded software company making cold calls for 2 years (I told you I had thick skin didnít I), but they off-shored the team to the Philippines.

While I was working there I bought a 2008 KLR 650 off the showroom floor (the only acceptable color of course), a 4-plex and moved into one of the units, an F-250 after my Ranger died, a pop-top camper, and rebuilt my grandpaís homemade trailer. Tina had her summer break from Nurse Practitioner School. However, my little sister, who is in Pharmacy School, is the one that planted the seed. She had to do 6 -week rotations at different pharmacies, so being the adventurous type, she chose Anchorage, Honolulu, Salt Lake City, and Denver. In addition, my parents decided to drive their camper van up there to meet her. I just so happened to be lucky enough to get laid off in time to join them, so I thought I would go up and see what the employment opportunities looked like.

Honestly, I would have loved to ride my bike up there but Iím not set up for that type of an adventure 2-up on my little old KLR at this point. After doing some rough calculations, for an extended trip up there, I figured that restaurants and hotels would outweigh the cost of gas in my truck. Also, my 2 year old bike already had 17,000 miles on it (27,353km) before the trip and I didnít want to wear it out too fast. But I have to be honest, I am a dirt biker at heart so putting bikes on trailers is not foreign to me and you can go a lot more places without the extra stuff.

Either way, I wimped out and towed it up there and judge me if you must, hopefully I can make up for it though. But for this little story I think I am going to let may little point-n-shoot and Mother Nature do most of the talking, they are much more eloquent than I.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:52 PM   #2
TallRob
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Unreal photos.......touched up in post?
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
Z_HARSH OP
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Unreal photos.......touched up in post?

Would you think less of me if I said yes?
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:58 PM   #4
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Ride you're own ride! Trailer or not, looks like you had a fantastic time.

Mind sharing your camera specs? I have a Canon SLR that's really heavy with the lens so I'm curious what you carried. Beautiful shots!
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:23 PM   #5
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FAR FROM FAKE! pictures look amazing.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:25 PM   #6
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It is just an old Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07, it has done me well for years but died a the end of the Baja trip this year. I just got a Cannon S95 to replace it.

I'm really not a photographer, I just like taking pictures.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:32 PM   #7
75bronco
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Im in... and jealous.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:39 PM   #8
AdventurePoser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z_HARSH View Post
It is just an old Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07, it has done me well for years but died a the end of the Baja trip this year. I just got a Cannon S95 to replace it.

I'm really not a photographer, I just like taking pictures.
Doesn't that little Panasonic Lumix rock??? Mine did, and fortunately it did not die in Baja...

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=679708

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:39 PM   #9
going south
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Location: Alaska, Mazatlan. sometimes seattle!
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Really great Photo's...
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:14 PM   #10
nathanthepostman
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That's the first batch of photos that actually make me want to ride to Alaska for more than just the ride. The place looks amazing. Thankyou.
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:36 AM   #11
greedymonkey
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Sheesh! It's like waving a banana in front of a caged monkey. Thanks for making me salivate. (Now how do I pick this lock?)

Great pics
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:07 PM   #12
Z_HARSH OP
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Thanks!

TallRob, fudgypup, AJxr, 75bronco, and going south thanks for all the kind words and coming along!

AdventurePoser – that camera was awesome and I’m glad yours didn’t break either. I love that angle you shot with the bright pink flowers at the mission in San Ignacio, it caught my eye too, but I think the one in Loreto is the oldest. I’m guessing that that taking photos while riding is what did mine in, or maybe it was the blowing sand on that desolate stretch of the Pacific down there.

nathanthepostman – Nate, that means a lot, thanks for the compliment and I’m glad to return the favor; you helped me escape my cubicle for months. I felt the same way before the trip but I soon realized there are a lot more amazing things up there than just a long boring road up to the top.

greedymonkey – I was lucky, they opened up the cage for me and gave me the banana on the way out; good luck and thanks! Cash-flow real estate and compound interest are my back up.

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Old 05-04-2011, 06:11 PM   #13
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***since I apparently donít know how to insert hyperlinks, here is a link to my other report if anyone happens to be interested, it was recent so you may have already seen it: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=632898 ***
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:57 PM   #14
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Glacier National Park

We headed out of Denver early in morning in late July, it felt good to get on the road and make some time. We first passed Fort Collins, my old college town, then Cheyenne, then the turn off to good old Glendo Reservoir, and finally it felt like we were out of familiar territory and on our adventure. It was hot and we were pushing hardÖand the wind was pushing back (Wyoming, go figure) but the 34-gallon tank is nice on that Ford, too bad we were only getting 9 miles to the gallon. We kept going and pushed hard all the way to the west end of Glacier, cut up 93 and started hunting for some side roads to find a place to camp. I try to not pay for camping unless absolutely necessary. We found a nice spot off some little dirt road by a couple little ponds after wondering for a bit in the dark and decided to make it home for a couple nights.



Whitefish was a pretty cool little touristy town. They have an awesome ice cream place. I had to try the huckleberry since it is the thing to do and I chose the lemon-dill to compliment it, yea thatís right LEMON DILL, who would have thunkÖbut it was awesome. Tina actually thought it was some of the best ice cream she has ever had. We spent a couple days there taking care of some odds and ends we had to attend to, stopped by the hardware store, and just enjoyed the feeling of being on the road.


Now, Iím not quite sure and donít remember why we headed out so late, I know we took a little time shopping for some hiking pants for me. Before that, I didnít even know they existed but Tina though I needed a pair for the trip. I really donít like buying things other than gas and motorcycle parts but she convinced me; I have to admit they are kind of nice to wear all light and moisture resistant. SoÖback to the point, after finding a pair of hiking pants we headed out 2-up into the park. It was nice to be on the bike and test out the new expensive seat (the other one was on back-order, I called everywhere). But, we soon found a nice place to pull off and walk down to the lake.








We walked around a bit, snapped a couple pictures, and then headed up the Going-to-the-Sun road. By the time we made it to the pass and through the construction the sun was down. It was pretty nice going through that late though, there was not much traffic deal with. We got a few pictures but most didnít turn out due to the lack of light:








Then came decision timeÖ.


By the time we were over the top, it was dark. Before we left that day I looked at the map a bit and roughly calculated the distance to see our options. I knew it would have been quite a few miles if we made a loop of it but for some reason we decided to do it. It was pretty fun at first with some good tight corners, but every mile I felt the temperature drop.


Now I donít know if it is right or not, maybe I should just do what I think is best and that will be that, but I tend to ask Tina for her opinion when we have these types of decisions to make. I try and just give the facts and then at least if it turns out we bit off more than we wanted to chew it is not totally my fault. She can still blame it on me though, that is OK.


This happened the summer before when we were riding here in Colorado and decided to pay for a room in Lake City then take Engineer Pass over to Ouray to sit in the hot springs, only to get rained out and closed down by weather. We went to dinner and thought about our options. We had to decide to either take the soaked pass back in the dark, or the 120 miles around, or buy a second hotel room for the night. Itís funny, the gas station attendant that night said we would see 4 deer on our way back and he was dead on. I have to say; sometimes I donít know how she puts up with me or why she keeps coming back for more.


Either way, back to the story, we had 80 some miles to pound back after we got to the East Village if I remember correctly. It wouldnít have been so bad but we didnít pack correctly and didnít have enough extra layers, even with the hiking pants. Usually Tina can put her arms around my waste, lay her helmet on my back, in-between my shoulder blades, and fall asleep, but we were cold, and she was pissed. Not so much mad at me, but just cold and miserable, but we had to keep moving. OK, maybe she was mad at me at that moment, but we still had to keep moving. We pulled off a couple times and I tried to get her to do some jumping-jacks to warm up, but after some extremely poor jumping jacks, perhaps the worst I have ever seen, and perhaps a few tears we finally made it back to camp around 1:00Ö.oooops.


But everything was good after we got back and the next day and we went for a little hikeÖ.look, she was even smiling:











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Old 05-09-2011, 06:22 PM   #15
Cowboy
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I think that's the prettiest girl I've ever seen wearing UW colors! (Which is saying something, given my location.)

Hope you didn't eat any of those red mushrooms. Those are Fly Agarics, and they're deadly poisonous. Hindu monks used to mount expeditions to Siberia to find those and bring them back to India. They used the poison (in small doses) to induce religious visions. I tried it once, and I don't recommend it! I didn't have a religious experience, but I did pray to the porcelain goddess.
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Found some cool mushrooms:


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