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Old 04-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #211
Crashes
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Thumb You Two Rock

I have read your ride report and looked at your great pictures. Up until a month ago I didn't think my rear could handle a long ride on the DRZ w/stock seat, but I went to bike week in Daytona Beach and had no problem and a great trip. NOW after reading your RR I so want to go to Alaska myself. Keep up the report and go for another long ride.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:54 AM   #212
jglow OP
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Haines Junction, YT to Haines, AK


Day 21 - June 20, 2010
Mileage Today: 165
Total Trip Mileage: 6,816


Last night we camped in Haines Junction, Yukon. It was a very nice wooded tent area, but I found out a little too late that those trees leaked sap all over the tent, bike, and helmets. We will be bringing this sap back as a souvenir I suppose... We had breakfast at the Village Bakery in town before heading out.

Heading out of Haines Junction:



Skirting Kluane National Park Reserve on our right, with Dezadeash Lake to our Left.



The Haines Hwy is only about 150 miles, but it was some of the most memorable of the trip.







Approaching Epic-ness...



We hop off here for a bit to try and capture the area via digital media.





And we think of a proposition - Hey Suzuki, want to buy this print for your advertising purposes?


(or at least right click on it, save it, you use it for free - either way
)

A shot of where we came from:



Continuing on, getting closer to Alaska.





We wave a final goodbye to Kilometers,



and re-enter Alaska - under much better weather conditions than the last time.



So, we played around for a while.



If this girl has only one flaw that can be attributed to her upbringing, it would be her amazing lack of the concept of "jumping."
Apparently no one ever taught her. I suppose they never noticed her lack of height while trying to momentarily break herself free from to confines of gravity and propel herself upwards. And what makes matters worse, Nikki had spent a few years in High School as a Cheerleader. She was that little girl that was at the top of the pyramid. You know, that skinny little thing that they would throw up into the rafters. How could this go unnoticed through all that? It's time to make things right in the world - a tutorial.

Feeble effort...



No, no, no... You've got it all wrong... You've got to push up, and pull your legs up. It will give the illusion that you are going higher. Allow me to demonstrate:



Second Attempt...



At this point, the border guards are starting to stare, and with a car load of people pulling up we've got to hurry. I set the timer, and run and give her a swift kick in the butt.



Perfect! It's like she is levitating. (Did I mention that we had a really short day, with a lot of time to kill?)

Back on the bike, and we started what at least felt like a descent into Haines, AK.



It was a surreal experience.



Let me try to explain...

Imagine the most perfect weather you can recall. Mild, but still warm, sunny sky with wisps of white clouds. Kinda like that guy from the PBS art show (the one with the afro-hair) used to make in his paintings.



You are in an ecosystem that doesn't quite make sense. You have deciduous trees and evergreens. You have snow capped peaks and boggy marshes. The only explanation is that you must be in a Bob Ross painting.





The cottonwood floats through the air. As you zoom past it it appears quite similar to entering warp speed on the Starship Enterprise. You continue descending, winding along the road, allowing the sun to heat you. Finally you feel warm while riding in Alaska. A realization occurs - You have basically have 12 hours to go 30 miles, and if nothing more, you will at least make it back to the lower 48 under your own steam because you board a ferry tomorrow that will deliver you to Washington. Stress level decreasing... A perfect day for us.

^----^----^----^ allowing mental image to soak in....

Returning to ride report...

Photo op:



Automatic Fishing?





As we near our destination.



We locate some camping.



And she approves .

Then it was back into town for some looks around.







Where we found this big hammer.




And some groceries.



And then back to camp, where we watched the tide come in, and reflected everything we had seen so far...




Jordan
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:02 AM   #213
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well done and well said!
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:22 AM   #214
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If you and your wife enjoy reading mysteries, you're now ready for the Kate Shugak books written by Dana Stabenow. You've been to Tok, you've seen Denali. You're ready and should enjoy them more than the rest of us for having enjoyed your experiences. Well written and probably more fun for you than for me.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:24 AM   #215
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Love it J - thanks for the morning read!
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:21 AM   #216
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Fabulous, guys!! Great photos. Looks like you're having so much fun.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:32 AM   #217
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Great report and photographs ! I took the ferry from Seattle to Haines back in 1979 when I was being transfered to Alaska with the Air Force but did the trip in a car ( I know , what a wimp but... it was February when I did it ! )

Was wondering how you liked the Happy Trails panniers and what model did
you used ?
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:03 PM   #218
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i know this is a lot of work... but thanks for doing it. great to be riding with you.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:00 PM   #219
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Jordan - thanks again for this great report!

You mention several times about the mosquitoes being a bit of a problem. Did you use any type of repellent? Any details would be appreciated.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:48 AM   #220
jglow OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presto88 View Post
Jordan - thanks again for this great report!

You mention several times about the mosquitoes being a bit of a problem. Did you use any type of repellent? Any details would be appreciated.

Presto88,

We brought with some repellent, but never used it. We heard that the only way that repellent works is if you use the bottle it came in to smack those mosquitoes. Nikki also reckoned that the smell would attract the bears . A mosquito head net thing is a good option. That or leaving your full face helmet on. It's just best to hide from them, as anything else is really just a futile waste of time .


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Old 04-18-2011, 08:15 AM   #221
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Took me a few visits, but I am finally caught up.
This is a great Alaska trip.. (I'm hoping for 2012)
Also, the jumping stuff can be learned.. The happy to spend three weeks on a bike trip (camping) to Alaska and back, has to come from within.. You sir, are a very lucky guy..

Jeff
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:26 AM   #222
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by jglow View Post
Presto88,

We brought with some repellent, but never used it. We heard that the only way that repellent works is if you use the bottle it came in to smack those mosquitoes. Nikki also reckoned that the smell would attract the bears . A mosquito head net thing is a good option. That or leaving your full face helmet on. It's just best to hide from them, as anything else is really just a futile waste of time .
Actually, not quite true. If you get some good, high-Deet stuff, it's very effective. About 90% of the mosquitoes don't like it and stay away, the other 10% will eat it instead of biting you, which gives you time to hit them with the bottle
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #223
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Ferry Ride South - Haines, AK to Bellingham, WA


Days 22-26 - June 21- 25, 2010

Today is the day that we board the The Alaska Marine Highway Ferry and head South for 4 days. We basically had a whole extra day to kill here in Haines because we had wanted a travel time buffer in case something went wrong and we were delayed while making our way to Haines (that way we wouldn't miss the boat). Of course we had no issues, so we had a bunch of time to waste. We started the morning off with a Breakfast Bear-ritto and biscuits & gravy for breakfast at the local bakery. The food was good, and it helped waste a bit of the morning. Afterwords we went back and loitered around our campsite, doing laundry, showering, and generally wearing out our welcome.



Then finally loaded up the bike and headed to the local grocery store.



*Note:

Grocery shopping while hungry is a dangerous thing. Grocery shopping while hungry with the knowledge that you are going to be on a boat for four (4) days is down right insane. You have totally forgotten the fact that you are on a motorcycle that is already packed to the max with your current livelihood bungeed to all horizontal surfaces. Storage and transportation is not an issue for you at the moment - you just really need to find the aerosol cheese. The end result is a grocery bag full of way too much food for 2 people (considering the length of time you will be on the ship). But, this is not just any grocery bag full. No, it’s a full bag of one of those big eco-reusable bags because you are sort-of an eco-conscious hipster (if you disregard the fact that in your daily working life (coatings applications) you probably release more V.O.C. a day than you could make up for in a lifetime of using said eco-reusable bags).

The Result:



(this isn't counting all the food already stuffed in the side cases)

We figured we better go ahead and get a head start on eating some of this stuff, so we made a little picnic overlooking the water, while poaching some wi-fi.






After the wi-fi signal ran out, we wandered over to the ferry terminal place a mere 5.5 hours early. To our surprise, we weren't the only folks there way too early!



We met Brad on his GS from Maryland who rode up and back solo - I don't know why though, he wasn't that hard to get along with .



And then there was John & Ruth Ann, and Harley guy & Son (we didn’t actually get these guys names, and after a certain length of time of talking to these people, it kind of becomes awkward to ask their names - sorry).

It was however nice to have that instant conversation piece, that similar link that we all shared. No, not the fact that we were humans, or Americans, or anything like that. It was the simple fact that we were all on two wheels. We all suffered through the same shitty weather, similar roads, and traveled similar distances. At that point it doesn't really matter if you are a squid, pirate, power ranger, or whatever - you can rest easily while bull-shitting with each other. Which we did, for a great length of time until the ferry finally arrived...



...and we were allowed to board.



One of the first Ride Reports I ever read on advrider was Sly's 6 month trip around the US and up to Alaska on his Oldwing. On the return leg of his Alaska trip he took a ferry, and I remember that he set his tent up on the deck of the boat. I thought that was so cool, and couldn't wait to get to do that myself. First thing we did when we got on the boat was to set-up our tent, and securely duct tape it to the deck.



I was the only one setting up a tent on the solarium deck, and as I watched everyone else scurry to claim their plastic paradise beach chair, I couldn't help think to myself how nice it was gonna be in my tent, not having to listen to all the folks snoring and whatnot.



We departed Haines.







and began our 4 days at sea.

At some point during the first evening it started to rain, and continued to rain for the remainder of our trip South. I think this had a whole lot to do on my overall opinion of the Ferry Ride. We spent a lot of time just killing time, bored out of our minds because there was nothing to look at outside -- just low hanging clouds that blocked everything.

At least we had the food to entertain us:



And our new friend Brad brought some refreshments as well , which we partook of discreetly in our paper cups.



You can see behind me, the plastic beach chair paradise that I mentioned earlier. Well after 2 days of rain, (and the fact that the metal boat deck was concave and held water directly under my tent), the floor of my tent eventually soaked through and we had to flea our tent and hang among the masses in the lawn chairs.



I guess I know why I was the only one setting up a tent on the deck .

We got to see quite a performance from a group of Humpback whales. We watched off the rear of the boat as they were jumping out of the water and blowing water out of their blowhole thingy's. It was a bit surreal to be seeing that. Apparently I was so mesmerized by it that I neglected to get my camera until we had moved on a good bit. By the time I got the camera out and on, this is what I ended up with:



One flipping flipper, that's it. I have seen better pictures of a Sasquatch .

The remainder of the days on the boat were spent about the same way. We would eat a lot of junk, Nikki would read, and Brad and I would do some people watching and make sarcastic, somewhat cynical comments . Throw in a few ports that we stopped in, where we did silly tourist things...





and add some of the sites that we saw (when the weather allowed)....

















and you have a pretty good snapshot of our ferry ride.



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Old 04-18-2011, 03:24 PM   #224
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Ferry

You were bored on the ferry. Was hoping that would be a highlight. My trip on the ferry begins at Haines and ends at Prince Rupert. Tell me about the tie downs, how many, which size did you use? Did you put the bike on the center stand? Great report, I love to see the two of you together. Leave July 1 2011 for Anchorage. My wife is flying in then out again. Keep up the report, I look forward to it everyday. ic
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:14 AM   #225
jglow OP
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Originally Posted by Ivanhoe-2001 View Post
You were bored on the ferry. Was hoping that would be a highlight. My trip on the ferry begins at Haines and ends at Prince Rupert. Tell me about the tie downs, how many, which size did you use? Did you put the bike on the center stand? Great report, I love to see the two of you together. Leave July 1 2011 for Anchorage. My wife is flying in then out again. Keep up the report, I look forward to it everyday. ic
Believe me, we were expecting the ferry trip to be awesome as well. In hindsight, there were several factors that contributed to it being a bit of a let down...

1. Weather (as I mentioned earlier) - it seriously rained 80% of the time for the 4 days we were on the boat.

2. We had also been on the road and on our own schedule for several weeks. I think it was quite a shock to suddenly be confined to one area with no options.

3. Duration - we took one of the longer Ferry rides. I think 2 days would have been the ideal length of time.

Overall I wouldn't recommend against taking the ferry. Heck, it's the only was to see, and access, a lot of those areas. We did get to see Humpbacks and Orcas, and made some new friends while aboard. For us, it was just bad luck with the weather really. It was nice to be off the bike for those days to rest, but by the end of it we were ready to ride!


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