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Old 03-29-2011, 12:12 AM   #106
Ed Muggles
oh, the other left
 
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Melb, Aust - land of coffee and rain
Oddometer: 250
amazing story and a great writing style... i look forward to following this RR
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:32 AM   #107
kwakbiker
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Location: Birmingham,UK
Oddometer: 599
It is good seeing this part of the world.....only time ive seen it is on ice road truckers
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:09 PM   #108
Parepin OP
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Location: That's... a tough one to answer
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Pulled into Coldfoot well after nightfall, and by now I'm shivering uncontrollably. I attempted to pitch my tent, only to be frustrated by my ever-numbing fingers and the stiff wind that caused my tent to tumble across the tundra like a tossed die the moment I turned my back. I dove in and weighed everything down with as much gear as I could gather, then proceeded to assemble my gas stove. This will be a good idea, I think, as I pressurized the canister and ignited the burner. With a WOOSH, a ball of flame licked my face and fuel began to pool beneath the stove where the catch-can had fallen off, without my noticing. Flames spread, I panicked and chucked the entire thing outside. I now had a tent with a nice hole in the floor and no eyebrows, shivering and miserable. Fuck this noise. I zipped the flap shut and crawled into my down bag. Morning couldn't come soon enough.






And then it was morning. I got up later than I had intended and high-tailed it to the cafe to stuff my face at the breakfast buffet. Good stuff. I even made it back out with a styrofoam container full of a good pound of cooked bacon. A snack for the road. I packed up my gear and shot the shit with my neighbors, all in fifth wheels. Most were here to work on the pipe line, and many had brought their families. I gassed up just as the rain began to kick in. The truckers on the deck laughed and commented on the miserable ride I'd have ahead of me. My reply was simply, “pot helps.” That got a chuckle. I geared up and headed south, battling the gnarly road conditions the entire way. With the rain pummeling me and the semi's keeping the mud churned and slimy I couldn't keep near the pace I had hoped for. Stopping at the Yukon river for a fill up and a burger (a damn good one at that), I got back out into the misery. One thing I wanted to mention about the restaurant on the river here. It was assembled entirely out of old construction trailers from when the road was originally built. Seriously. There were a dozen of them just kinda mashed up against each other and the entire roof was just spray foamed. From the interior, it was obvious that something was up. Plastic hung from the ceiling and formed interior gutters to catch the leaks, funneling the entire torrent to a rubbermaid trash can that was kept in the back corner. It reminded me of some Rube Goldberg contraption as gutters and catch basins were formed from plastic sheet and tupperware, funnels fabricated of aluminum foil and soda bottles, pots and pans strategically placed on specific tables. This is also where I met an older couple. The man, looking like Grizzly Adams, had a bandolier and large revolver on his hip, clad in animal hide. His wife apparently ran a small tent in the corner of the parking lot where she sold hand-made knick knacks and gifts. They tell me they live up river year round. There is no way to drive there, they boat in and out in the summer and walk the ice in the winter. Crazy.


Anyway, so I'm back on the muddy trail that once was the haul road, dodging passing semi's and constantly wiping the liquified mud from by visor. At one point I hit the brakes to find that I've lost the rear. A few more pumps and they come back. I chalk this up to the vibration and beating that the road was delivering screwing with the fluid in the lines. I'll just hafta be careful. Several miserable hours later I hit the asphalt and am well on my way to the city. I came sailing into Fairbanks well after nightfall. A light rain was falling, leaving the asphalt a surreal shade of black, with a depth similar to obsidian. I hot-rodded it back to the campground I had used previously and picked a site off to the side, in the overflow area. Pitching my tent, the rain had begun to let up, but I just wanted to sleep. I left my gear hanging on the tree in hopes that the rain might wash off some of the mud and drifted off to sleep.


Got up early and headed out, simple as that. I wanted to get out of the state and start heading south. The weather was turning and I just wasn't having fun anymore. Coming into Delta Junction, I could just feel that my rear brakes weren't right. Something was just off. A moose crossed the highway ahead of me, causing the large SUV directly in front of me to slam on the brakes. I too, layed hard on the brakes but to little effect. A lot of front end dive was the only result. Something was wrong. At the next gas stop I pulled over and investigated further. I discovered that, sure enough, one of the pads on the rear brake had sheared clean off, leaving just the metal backing plate on one side. That's what I get for buying brake pads off Ebay. I borrowed a phone book from the gas station attendant and searched desperately for a nearby Kawasaki dealer. It was late on a Saturday, and I just prayed that someone was still open. Unfortunately, the nearest dealer was back in Fairbanks. Ironically enough, it was located directly across the highway from the campground where I had spent the previous nights. I gave them a call and one of the tech guys picked up. He was apparently there finishing up his own project, and was the only one in the shop. He also didn't do sales... shit. The next time anyone would be available to help me out would be the following Monday.... shit.







So I doubled back along the highway, stopping at a state campground to have a smoke break and try to calm down a bit. I knew what I had to do, but I wasn't too happy about it. I had been heading for the Top Of The World Highway, and I really wanted to get going. It wasn't exactly getting any warmer up here. The campground attendant came out walking his dog, and we started talking a bit. He and his wife were up here just to look over the campground for the summer. He said they'd been doing it for years, and every year was a different campground. Sounds like a sweet gig. They got their own cabin, although they brought a camper as well. This is something I should look into some time. After probably a good hour of just shooting the shit, I stashed my contraband and got back on the bike, continuing on. I pulled back into Fairbanks, once again, quite a while after nightfall. I figured that, if I was going to be stuck at the campground I might as well do some much needed maintenance. So I stopped over at the local Wally-World where I got my A&W fix, a few quarts of oil, and some silicone water repellant. I doubled back to the Tanana campground and set up camp at a distant site. In dire need of firewood to dry my gear out, and with the main cabin closed for the night, I returned to the main drag where I quickly found a construction site. I pulled up to the dumpster and jumped in. Before long, I had a decent pile of lumber-ends stacked on the back of the KLR. It must have been quite a sight watching this abomination going down the highway.







Back to camp I find myself stacking and splitting lumber, ready to get a good fire going. I spread out my sleeping bag to dry, and inflate the thermo-rest. It's about here that I go for my stash, determined to just get blazed and have a good nights rest for once. But... it wasn't there. I emptied my bag, my pockets. I checked the tent and around my site, but I could not find my little stash container. I figured that I must have dropped it at the construction site while hopping in and out of the dumpster. Dammit. Back on the bike I go to double back to the dumpster. I searched around, in, and under, but to no avail. I remember thinking on the way back to the campsite that it's gonna be a long ride south. It wasn't getting any warmer, and without a good buzz to take my mind off the frigid cold, I knew I was in for a miserable ride. Dammit, I'm not looking forward to this...


“Alex? Alexander? It's alright. You were in an accident.... You are at the FAIRBANKS MEDICAL CENTER. Everything's gonna be alright”


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Old 04-01-2011, 06:15 PM   #109
mac inger
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Location: Los Angeles
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Holy shit man ! But alive and kicking

Do tell...
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:00 PM   #110
traindriver
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Location: Carl Junction M.O.
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Damn it hurts just to look at that. Bummer
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:06 PM   #111
Flashmo
Whatever...
 
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Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Vagabond Hippie
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I've been waiting for this point...
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:11 AM   #112
trevhead
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Location: Upstate NY
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DOOOH!
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:57 AM   #113
Mike92
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Joined: Feb 2011
Location: South Texas
Oddometer: 356
Holy crap Batman!
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:37 PM   #114
kwakbiker
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Location: Birmingham,UK
Oddometer: 599
Too state the obvious....that looks a mess
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:26 PM   #115
road_apple
Hit the Trail
 
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Sometimes here, sometimes there
Oddometer: 135
Please be OK

Let's see fuel tank looks last my last empty beer..front frame support now vertical..triple trees, forks strangely missing..but most of front wheel intact. Fork connection to front axle fooked up massive stress point..still doesn't look like a head-on. "spinning cartwheels thru the sky.." but back-end looks intact. My face hurts just looking at it but there's a pic of a decent helment and jacket. Man, I hope you're OK. I think I'll stop drinking and check my front end tomarrow...
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:21 PM   #116
SleazyRider
Desolate Loner
 
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Long Island
Oddometer: 158
...damn. that was unexpected.

glad you're OK though dude
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:53 AM   #117
Blagadán
Kevin
 
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Ireland
Oddometer: 168
Did a truck run over it? I guess you're walking from this point on eh?.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:11 AM   #118
USAIR
picking and riding
 
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Northern Kentucky
Oddometer: 1,077
WOW didn't see that coming...You OK????

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Old 04-03-2011, 07:20 AM   #119
kwakbiker
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Location: Birmingham,UK
Oddometer: 599
So...very heavy frontal andpossible side impacts, car in pic looks close but no battle damage...we must know more and if your relatively alright
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:57 PM   #120
MikeyT
Krusty Olde Pharte™
 
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: The Thumb of Michigan
Oddometer: 5,073
"Man, I was dyin' for a toke"


Glad you're OK. Like others, I didn't see this coming.
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