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Old 05-17-2011, 08:28 PM   #31
Z_HARSH OP
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Seth S - I'm pretty lucky. So many RRs have done the same for me, glad to give a little in return.



TallRob - HA, thanks! A few came out OK, but I'm not quite to the good stuff yet.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:51 PM   #32
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The Final Push North

After leaving the Parks we pounded out the miles. There were a few construction zones to deal with; waiting for pilot cars is lame. We smelt a few forest fires and also picked up a couple hitchhikers. I love picking up hitchhikers, you can learn a lot form them, but the old drunk ones can get annoying too. We drove and drove, it was nice to turn up the music and watch the miles float past. Way better than any TV programming if you ask me. Finally, we made it to the Liard Hot Springs. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, do not skip it. It is amazing:

































It was beautiful, and to top it off, it was Tina’s birthday. I acted like I had forgotten it at first but she had an amazing time. After soaking, we headed out and wanted to make it to Whitehorse for dinner. But first, Tina wanted to do the touristy thing and stop for the bison:








She was pretty proud of her pictures, I told her she had the perfect angle on the first one. We laughed at her bison butt shot for a few miles.


You cannot miss this one either; it didn’t keep our attention for long though, we had miles to lay down, or I suppose KMs rather:











Then we pulled into Whitehorse and found a nice little touristy restaurant just before they closed for the night. We had some excellent fish and chips and Tina had an awesome birthday dinner. I don’t remember what the name of the restaurant was, but it looked like an old shack with lots of antique mining stuff and big indoor patio type dining room. I have to say, I was impressed with Whitehorse, it is a cool little town with a decent urban feel.


We didn’t stick around for long though, we drove out of town for a while and found a nice place to pop the top for the night.
The next day Tina drove for a while and it gave me some time to play around with the camera:





The last bit of the Alcan felt like a Mad Max race to the end. There was a bunch of gravel road through the numerous construction sections; it was smoother than the last little paved section before the border though, with all the frost heaves. It would have been fun to wheelie out of the heaves on the bike though, but I’m glad my ceramic pads were working well on the truck. We were stopped at the last construction section and I had made it to where there were only a couple cars in front of us. We got out a while we waited for the pilot car and chatted with the other drivers, there just happened to be an Army couple moving up to the base who also had Colorado license plates. Three Colorado plates in a row; imagine that so far from home.



Finally, the pilot car got there and we slowly followed him for a while, then he turned off and it was on. Then, finally, 3,000 miles later, we made it!!!!!!!!!!







(I love the Steamboat sticker front and center)


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Old 05-17-2011, 08:51 PM   #33
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Wow, I never knew Alaska was so beautiful.
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:34 AM   #34
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To Denali

hillaustin – Welcome, thanks for the first post!

************************************************** **********************************
The first thing that we noticed was different after we crossed the boarder and met the coolest boarder guard I have ever met, an ADVrider Inmate who gave me some crap for towing my KLR up, were the rivers. They are large and in charge:












We decided to hit up Denali first and go around via Fairbanks. We pulled into the Salmon Bake around dusk, maybe 11:00 if I remember correctly. Sat and checked our email on the free Wi-Fi and ordered up a beer or two.


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Old 05-21-2011, 10:17 AM   #35
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Fist Day in Denali

So, I mentioned last time we pulled into the Salmon Bake in Denali checked our email and hung out for a bit. This is when Tina found out that something happened during her registration process for NP school and it didn’t go through. Consequently, her name wasn’t added to the list on two classes that she had to take the next semester to graduate on time, those two classes also just so happened to be full.

This was devastating to her. She sent a couple emails to see what could be done, but all we could do was go on for the time being.

We decided to try and camp in the Park Campground for the night so we left the Salmon Bake and went a few miles in to the second campground and found a spot. After we parked, we walked around an tried to figure out where to pay but we couldn’t find anything, so we just went to bed.

The next morning we woke up to a knocking on the door…..it was the camp host. Apparently Denali is a little different than what we are used to, in more ways than one (I will expand on that later). But the camp hosts were nice as can be, they politely said that you had to go to one of the buildings at the front of the park and pay for camping there and said as long as we took off as soon as possible it would not be an issue. We were fine with that; I am not a fan of camping in “campgrounds”.

We decided to go to the Park Office and figure out how this place worked and go for a little hike.

We walked from the front of the park down to a little pond. We sat there for a minute and noticed we were sitting right on top of a beaver’s house. We watched them swim around for a while but I wasn’t able to get a decent picture of them.

We sat there for a while, then decided to venture on. Then we found a strange mushroom, I’m far from knowing even a little about mushrooms but it was a new one for me. (maybe Cowboy can fill us in)







Then we found a tree, I think it had cancer….



It was obvious that this place was a bit different from what we were used to…







After our hike, we needed to find a home for the next couple of days.

I figured we would be able to find something off the Denali Highway so we decided to check it out. We found a decent pull-off a coupe miles after it turned to dirt and called it good enough.





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Old 05-21-2011, 10:58 AM   #36
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Great report mate!, the most important thing is that you did it, the best way it works out for you!!
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:23 PM   #37
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Liard

Glad you made a stop at Liard River Hot Springs. It's heaven on Earth... even better when your butt's sore from a full day on a KLR
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:06 PM   #38
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Enjoying the report a lot. Looking forward to the rest of it
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:15 PM   #39
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Sandino – Thank you kindly, we definitely did it, but the good thing is that it is not quite fully checked off the list either.




LostHighway -
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostHighway View Post
It's heaven on Earth... even better when your butt's sore from a full day on a KLR
HA, good one! Luckily Chena was there for me when I needed it most.

Heaven on Earth is the perfect way to describe how we felt that day sitting there in Liard.





Scoby – Than you Sir! I have to get some dirt bike maintenance done now but I’ll try to post another one up tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:30 PM   #40
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Could you convince your sister to stay in Alaska? We need more cute girls up here.

Alaska Girls Kick Ass!
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:53 PM   #41
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great ride report
awesome images
thanks for taking us along on the ride
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:46 PM   #42
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AK_Troyer - LOL, she thought about it, but her boyfriend couldn't find a good finance job. Girdwood was high on the list though.


ClearwaterBMW - Thank you thank you, glad you are enjoying it.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:10 PM   #43
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The second thing that is different about Denali is that you can only drive a couple miles in, then you have to get a bus ticket…I would be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit annoyed by this. But we decided to buy one for the next morning, second to leave the station for Eielson.

Then we went for a little hike and decided to bring the Rat-Dog along too. I want to say Sugarloaf Mountain was where we went, but I’m not certain now. It was a little ways south of the Park just off the Highway:













We pretty much just hiked straight up from the parking lot, Chuwe the Rat was having a blast:













A shot of where we went up:






Then we all loaded back up on the bike and tootled around a bit.

We went back North of the park, through Healey, and saw an interesting road, so we decided to take it.

It was just past the church, called Stampede Road:






We later found out that this is the road to The Magic School Bus (Into the Wild), but it quickly got muddy and I wasn’t feeling too brave riding 3-up to test it out.





We headed back home to pack up and get ready for the next day’s adventures. It rained most of the night. We woke up before the sun, loaded up the bike, and watched a truly amazing sunrise that just kept changing as we rode out of camp:
















It was freezing on the way to the Park to catch our bus especially without any fancy heated gear.


None-the-less, it was just absolutely beautiful beyond all imagination what we would see that day, the sunrise was just the beginning……..

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Old 05-24-2011, 12:49 PM   #44
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Skipping Forward for a Second

I’m going to skip forward for a second, hope no one minds. I have been showing all this scenery and mountains, rivers and trees but honestly, I’m getting a little ancey and want to get to the riding; I just found this little video I forgot about. I simply zip-tied my Pana onto my jacket and tried to point it in the right direction. Please excuse the commentator, I have no idea why he starts speaking in Tex-a-Canadian at the end either:





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Old 05-24-2011, 01:33 PM   #45
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just...so...beautiful...

I grew up in Girdwood and Anchorage. We would hike up to see glaciers and crest peaks. What an awesome land. Thank you for the pictures.
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