ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-09-2007, 05:23 PM   #1
davevv OP
One more old rider
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Just north of Dallas
Oddometer: 2,342
Me and the Uly, Anchorage to Dallas

Yep, it's another Alaska thread. Seems to be a lot of them this year, but why not? It's a great ride.

The background that goes with this story is that I'm a bike junkie. I've had quite a few from most of the major brands since I started riding in 1961. When I see something new and interesting I usually end up with one and the Ulysses had caught my eye. If I hadn't been jonesing for the Uly, I probably would have bought a new Sargent seat for my '99 1100GS and done a round trip, but the Uly had me hooked. So, I sold my '05 Road King (I'm 60 but discovered I'm still not ready for a geezer glide.) and purchased the Uly from House of Harley-Davidson and Buell in Anchorage about three months ago. I found a one way plane ticket for $229 and shipped all my riding and camping gear to the dealership.

To make the ride a little more comfortable, I also shipped a set of Polly grip heaters, a Laminar Lip, and Touratech handguard extensions to the dealer so they could install them before I picked up the bike.

At 6:00AM on June 18, I got on the plane and headed for Cleveland. Had a loooong six hour layover there (maybe why the ticket was so cheap) and then got on the flight to Anchorage. I had checked on hotels in Anchorage and anything above 1.5 stars was more than my plane ticket. Since all my gear was at the dealership, I had to have a place to stay, so I ended up at the Spenard Hostel. The cab driver at the airport was really po'd because he had waited 45 minutes to get to the head of the line and the hostel was so close that the fare was only $9.00. I gave him $15.00, but that still isn't much for an hour's work.


Only $21.00 for the night and about a block from the dealer I needed to be at in the morning. This was my first night ever in a hostel and it was an interesting experience. Very wide variety of people staying there, mostly young but a couple my age. One guy from Istanbul and two young girls from somewhere in Scandinavia.

More to come.

__________________
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything"--Wyatt Earp
'13 Yamaha Super Tenere.
'04 Sportster XL1200R
davevv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 05:43 PM   #2
Stretch67
Bent, But Not Broken
 
Stretch67's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: My Mad Scientist Laboratory
Oddometer: 6,063
Quote:
Originally Posted by davevv
purchased the Uly from House of Harley-Davidson and Buell in Anchorage about three months ago.
I camped in their back yard once last month.
__________________
IBA # 33113
Alaska
Blue Ridge Parkway & Outer Banks
XR400 Index
Stretch67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,850
Everyone's going to or from Alaka these days Let the adenture begin

GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 05:54 PM   #4
Stretch67
Bent, But Not Broken
 
Stretch67's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: My Mad Scientist Laboratory
Oddometer: 6,063
Yeah. But like the man said, it's a great ride.

Ain't nothin' to it, 'cept to do it.
__________________
IBA # 33113
Alaska
Blue Ridge Parkway & Outer Banks
XR400 Index
Stretch67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 06:05 PM   #5
Makalu
Beastly Adventurer
 
Makalu's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Event horizon
Oddometer: 2,834
Makalu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 07:34 PM   #6
davevv OP
One more old rider
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Just north of Dallas
Oddometer: 2,342
Tuesday, 6-19-07

Woke up early this morning as I have been doing for at least three weeks now. Having a hard time sleeping in anticipation of this trip. Walked over to Gwennie's restaurant for breakfast which is directly across the street from the dealership.


House of Harley-Davidson and Buell, Anchorage.


Obviously it's still early and they're not open yet. But it was worth waiting for when the doors opened at 9:00. My previous best dealership experience was at Max BMW in New Hampshire and these guys are as good and maybe better. I had been dealing with the sales manager, Joe Matteson, over the phone and he had all the paperwork ready. The bike was ready to go, and during the morning I was introduced to at least 2 or 3 people in every department. When everything was signed and I had listened to the standard operational spiel, I moved the bike over to the parking area for their campground.



The campground is free for motorcyclists. It has a restroom and shower. They don't care what you ride, only that you're on a bike. There were two KLRs, an 1150GS, and a 650GS there besides me that night. The KLRs were ridden by a father and son from California and one had a standard KLR on the road type repair job on the instrument cluster.


The 1150GS belonged to Paul Brown from the Washington DC area who had already been on the road for a couple months and was waiting for his girlfriend to fly in. They were planning to run in a marathon the next week and then had a motor home rented for awhile.

I retrieved my box of gear, set up camp, and installed my GPS on the bike. While this was going on, Bob the finance guy, aka Big Bad Bob here on ADV, walked out to shoot the breeze for about 20 minutes. He had noticed the note in my sig line here that I had a Uly waiting for me in Anchorage and sent me a PM a couple weeks earlier. Just another one of the friendly people there that came by to welcome me to Alaska.

Next on my agenda was a stop at Alaska Leather for one of Barb's sheepskin buttpads and Paul decided to head over there with me.

Barb wasn't there, but I got my pad from her daughter and Paul ended up buying one also. There was also a slim blonde lady working there that I didn't talk to until much later that day. Paul went off to find the BMW shop and schedule some service on his bike and I made a stop at Walmart to pick up the little stuff that hadn't been worth shipping.


After a chef salad at Gwennie's and a quiet evening, I went to bed fairly early. When I got up about 2:00AM for a restroom break, the blonde lady was sitting in a chair by the restroom door (there was a power outlet there) working on her laptop. Turns out she was from Florida, was riding the 650GS, had been on the road for 2 months, wasn't planning to go home 'til August, and had come in and set up her camp after I had turned in. Stupid me, found all this out at 2:00AM but forgot to get her name.


Tomorrow we get down to actual travel.
__________________
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything"--Wyatt Earp
'13 Yamaha Super Tenere.
'04 Sportster XL1200R
davevv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 08:11 PM   #7
Stretch67
Bent, But Not Broken
 
Stretch67's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: My Mad Scientist Laboratory
Oddometer: 6,063
Quote:
Originally Posted by davevv
When I got up about 2:00AM for a restroom break, the blonde lady was sitting in a chair by the restroom door (there was a power outlet there) working on her laptop. Turns out she was from Florida, was riding the 650GS, had been on the road for 2 months, wasn't planning to go home 'til August, and had come in and set up her camp after I had turned in. Stupid me, found all this out at 2:00AM but forgot to get her name.
That's Jacqueline L.
RocDoc and I met her at that campsite last month.



She has an ongoing thread here: "Hoon on the Loose.. Jacqueline Heads to Alaska".

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=223032

__________________
IBA # 33113
Alaska
Blue Ridge Parkway & Outer Banks
XR400 Index
Stretch67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 08:27 PM   #8
davevv OP
One more old rider
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Just north of Dallas
Oddometer: 2,342
Wednesday, 6-20-07

Got up early and packed up camp. Now to figure out how to load everything on the bike. I had ordered the Buell side cases, which are actually Hepco Becker Journeys with a Buell logo, but not the top case. The side cases are very roomy and all my clothes (in dry sacks from Cabela's) went into the left case. Tools, service manual, shoes, sandals, and a quart of oil went in the right case. All the camping gear, rain suit, jacket and pants liners, and odds and ends went into a size large MotoFizz tailbag that strapped across the rear seat. I had guessed just right on what I could carry and had just a little room left over.


With everything on the bike, I headed up the Glenn Highway to the Parks Highway. My plan was to run up to Denali NP, spend two nights and come back to Anchorage with enough miles on the bike to get it's first service on Friday.


Man, was it tough keeping the rpms down on the Uly during the break in. The bike loves to run and although I'm not a hooligan anymore by any means, it was a serious test of my willpower to hold back.


I had this view about 130 miles from Denali.

For all of you who have been to Denali, but never got to see Mt. McKinley because it is usually covered in clouds, that's it.


Couple more shots along the way.




I stopped in the park during the afternoon and bought a ticket for a bus ride into the park the next day. For those who don't know, there is only one road into the park and you are only allowed to drive your own vehicle in a short way. But the park is huge at nearly 6 million acres (9400 square miles) and the road is 92 miles long. So, if you want to see much of it, you have to take a shuttle bus to get farther in.


From there, I rode on up to Healy, 11 miles north of the park entrance, where I had reservations for the next two nights at the White Moose Lodge. About $100.00 a night and a nice comfortable place. A bit hard to find though as it is not visible from the road and their sign is somewhat hidden by trees when you're headed north.


The weather had been great all day, the bike ran perfect, and the winter riding gear I had sent up was just right without the liners. Altogether a beautiful day on the road.
__________________
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything"--Wyatt Earp
'13 Yamaha Super Tenere.
'04 Sportster XL1200R

davevv screwed with this post 07-09-2007 at 08:32 PM
davevv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 08:28 PM   #9
Spicy McHaggis
Darth Peach's cracker...
 
Spicy McHaggis's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Oddometer: 3,789
Thumb

Quote:
Originally Posted by davevv
Yep, it's another Alaska thread. Seems to be a lot of them this year, but why not? It's a great ride.
That's cuz it's an awesome ride!!!
__________________
2006 DR650
Spicy McHaggis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 08:37 PM   #10
davevv OP
One more old rider
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Just north of Dallas
Oddometer: 2,342
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch67
That's Jacqueline L.
RocDoc and I met her at that campsite last month.



She has an ongoing thread here: "Hoon on the Loose.. Jacqueline Heads to Alaska".

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=223032

Yep, that's her. Seemed like a very nice lady. Wish I'd had a better opportunity to get to know her.
__________________
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything"--Wyatt Earp
'13 Yamaha Super Tenere.
'04 Sportster XL1200R
davevv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 08:45 PM   #11
Stretch67
Bent, But Not Broken
 
Stretch67's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Location: My Mad Scientist Laboratory
Oddometer: 6,063
So that's Denali.

We were there for two weeks and never did see it.

This was our view on the Parks Highway...


Glad you had good weather on that leg of your trip.
__________________
IBA # 33113
Alaska
Blue Ridge Parkway & Outer Banks
XR400 Index
Stretch67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 08:56 PM   #12
infoatnmmoto
with the band
 
infoatnmmoto's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Deflecting wifi signals off Kolob
Oddometer: 18,088
Great report so far. I camped at Wonder Lake a few years back and only got to see the peak a few times in 3 days.
The weather looks beautiful. I was in Alaske for 3 weeks and I think I only had
a 1/2 day of sun.

Me and wifey.....
__________________
Freed Pussy Riot. Putin still an idiot.
infoatnmmoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 09:15 PM   #13
davevv OP
One more old rider
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Just north of Dallas
Oddometer: 2,342
Thursday, 6-21-07

Finally managed to sleep in a little this morning and then headed to the park for the bus ride at noon. Had some rain last night so things are wet and it is cloudy and overcast, but no rain all day today. Not much to talk about, but I do have pictures.

In case anyone is curious, all these pictures were taken with a Fujifilm FinePix S6000fd that I bought specifically for this trip.



This is the sign where you board the bus. My turnaround point was at the Toklat river, 53 miles into the park. It's a six hour ride if you go out and back on the same bus, but the busses are actually a shuttle service. You can get off at any point and catch another bus later going either way. You just can't go past the turnaround point you paid for.


Views from the bus.






Caribou feeding. And no, he never did lift his head for a better shot.






There are three Grizzlies in this next picture. The one you can see standing in the middle of the picture is a female. The light dot just to the left and slightly above her is her two year old cub laying down. Above the right edge of the snow is another light dot that is a large male. I actually got a better view of them than the pictures shows because I was carrying a set of 10X Nikon binoculars with me also. They were about a mile away.


Golden eagle.


Wildflowers in the park.










During the day, I saw 3 Grizzlies, 4 caribou, 1 golden eagle, two ptarmigan, and about 40 Dall sheep. I didn't have a chance to get pictures of the sheep as they were on the other side of the bus and too many people were in the way.

Being overcast, there were no views of Mt. McKinley today.

It seems strange to me, but Denali reminds me a lot of Big Bend NP in Texas. It is an open, rolling, somewhat featureless landscape. McKinley is 20,000+ feet, but the rest of the mountains surrounding it are only 4-6,000 and Big Bend has mountains that tall too. Denali is obviously more lush, but being tundra, what trees are present are stunted. It's hard to explain, but somehow it brought Big Bend's desert landscape to mind.
__________________
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything"--Wyatt Earp
'13 Yamaha Super Tenere.
'04 Sportster XL1200R

davevv screwed with this post 07-09-2007 at 09:29 PM
davevv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 08:58 AM   #14
davevv OP
One more old rider
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Just north of Dallas
Oddometer: 2,342
Friday, 6-22-07

Got up early this morning and rode back to Anchorage. Weather was solid overcast plus smoke blowing north from a forest fire. Between the two, it was the lowest light level I saw all the time I was in Alaska. Had a little bit of rain on the way, but nothing serious.

Got back to Anchorage about noon. Unloaded the bike and checked it in for service with 539 miles on it. Joe had messed up and had it scheduled for Wednesday, but they managed to get it done even though they were overrun with service business.

The bike does have one problem they didn't have the parts to fix. Every time I turn the ignition off and back on, the clock resets itself to 1:00 and the two trip meters rest to 0. They wanted to replace the whole module, but you have to order them with the correct mileage preset, so it will have to wait 'til I get back to Texas.

I'd heard it said that you should never pass up a chance to buy gas in Alaska, and I almost learned the hard way as I was headed to Denali. I was 10 miles into the reserve when I got to Cantwell. So, after the bike was finished, I headed back over to Walmart and picked up a 1 gallon gas can to carry with me.

No pictures today since it was dark and I was covering the same ground as two days earlier. No one but me in the Harley campground that night.
__________________
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything"--Wyatt Earp
'13 Yamaha Super Tenere.
'04 Sportster XL1200R
davevv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 10:45 AM   #15
davevv OP
One more old rider
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Just north of Dallas
Oddometer: 2,342
Saturday, 6-23-07

My original plan had been to head down to Homer on the Kenai peninsula to see the sights and maybe do a little fishing for a couple days. However, the NOAA weather forecast was three days of rain in that area and there was also another forest fire close to Homer. So, I packed up and headed for Tok instead.

It was a beautifual sunny day and the Uly was running great. The views along the Glenn highway are outstanding.






The Alaska Wildlife Museum is located in the little town of Glennallen. It's a collection of animals that were all hunted or trapped in that valley except for the Kodiak bear. The taxidermy work and displays are excellent.


Dall sheep.


Ptarmigan in winter plumage. The ones I saw in Denali were a dusty brownish color.


Wolverine.


Lynx. Notice the oversized paws that allow them to run on top of the snow in winter.


This wolf reportedly weighed 170 pounds when trapped.


Cinnamon bear fighting with wolves over a caribou carcass. The cinnamon bear is actually the same as a black bear, just a different color. Kind of like blondes and brunettes. Cinnamons supposedly comprise about 4 to 5% of the black bear population in Alaska and they claim a large percentage of those are in the valley around Glennallen.


Moose fighting off wolves.


Bear and caribou.


Otter.


Sorry, I can't remember the name of this one, but it's a fox of some sort.


More fox.


Kodiak bear.


After the museum, I headed on up to Tok and checked into the Sourdough Campground. I highly recommend this place. Lots of trees and good facilities. Ken, the owner, spent 28 years running major hotels and knows his business. They have a pavilion with live entertainment (mostly bluegrass and country music). If you don't want to cook or go to a restaurant, they serve reindeer chili and beef stew in sourdough bread bowls for dinner. And he serves his wife's homemade pies for dessert. Believe me, the blackberry-rhubarb is damned near worth the trip to Alaska all by itself. Ken reminds you a lot of Jeff Foxworthy and is one hard working guy. He checked me in when I got there, served the dinner, picked up his guitar and joined the show when everyone had been served, then ran a sourdough pancake tossing contest with free breakfast at their restaurant for prizes.

In the campground I had a group of 8 bikers from Anchorage (7 Goldwings and 1 Harley) who were headed for the big Goldwing rally in Billings, Montana on one side of me. John and Mary from Sacramento and in a motorhome were on the other side. John tells me the road to Haines is all torn up with construction and a real mess. The Goldwing guys are all telling me I really should go to Dawson City since I'm this close already. Since it looks like about equal amounts of dirt and gravel either way, I decided to head to Dawson City in the morning.

I apologize for no pictures in the campground. Years ago I quit carrying a camera on my trips because I found myself spending more time worrying about the photography than actually enjoying the sights and experiences I had made the trip for. Now, I tend to forget about the camera occasionally. So if you are sometimes wishing for pictures that aren't there, that's the reason.
__________________
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything"--Wyatt Earp
'13 Yamaha Super Tenere.
'04 Sportster XL1200R

davevv screwed with this post 07-11-2007 at 03:22 PM
davevv is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 11:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014