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Old 07-06-2011, 07:12 AM   #151
FL_biker OP
Dakar Withdrawl
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa Bay area
Oddometer: 477
UPDATED December 18th, 2011

July 4th
(Today's SmugMug Photo Album)



Today's Ride - Haines Junction to Dease Lake




One more shot from outside my hotel room:



My hotel last night - The Alcan Motor Inn.
Funny note, apparently whoever owns the place as a fetish for those little engraved plastic signs - they were EVERYWHERE in the room LOL




Around 7 a.m. I left Haines Junction bound for Dease Lake.

I had breakfast in Whitehorse around 9 a.m. at the same McDonalds I ate lunch at on my way northbound!!
Their remodeling project still had the parking lot and interior a mess, but it looks like it will be much nicer when they are done.

After breakfast I gassed up right next to the Mickey-D's and headed southbound out of Whitehorse.

About 12:15 I was just north of Teslin along the lake







A little while later I rolled back into the parking lot of the Yukon Motel/Gas Station / Restaurant for the 2nd time this trip.

I fueled up, parked, ate, and BS'd with some other riders...

Lots of other Vstroms, but they were missing the second exhaust pipe LOL






Around 1:30 p.m. I headed southward once again...

About 4:45 p.m. I stopped for a quick break at a rest area and headed out again..

At 5:30 p.m. I'd made it to the intersection of the Alcan and the Steward-Cassiar Hwy
I stopped at Nugget City for fuel food and a rest.

I was tired and didn't pay much attention to the prices on the menu when I sat down with some other riders.
I ordered a Bacon Cheeseburger, Fries, Iced Tea, and then a slice of pie a-la-mode.
The total damages were just over $26!!

You have to love the prices up here - cost to truck stuff in is outrageous!

After I ate I gassed the bike up once again and about 100 yards down the road made the right turn onto the Stewart-Cassiar Hwy.
As I rode down the beginning of the Hwy I was amazed at how narrow the road was - it was barely 2 lanes wide!

A short while later I could see where the forest fire had taken out a LOT of the forest along the road.
I can only imagine how scarey it had been on that road during the fire.
It seemed that I rode forever thru areas with nothing but burnt tree stalks

It was no wonder they closed the Cassiar just days before I left on this trip which made me wonder if I'd need to change my route.

Some links to news stories about the fire:
http://whitehorsestar.com/archive/st...-to-territory/
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/...igar-fire.html

And a youtube video..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfRPABSQZI4
Between Centreville and Jade City around 7 p.m. I found these cool falls








I got to Dease Lake around 9 p.m. and all the hotel rooms were full so I camped at the RV park.

As I finished setting up my tent a light rain started to fall.

My neighbor Mike invited me over to chat with him and his wife so I shared the last of the smoked salmon and we chatted a bit before I went back to my tent and crashed.

I slept pretty well but around 3 a.m. I woke up feeling cold so I added the Thermarest Tech Blanket over the sleeping bag and was nice and warm.

Tomorrow I'll have to tear apart the bike to get to the air filter - I'm sure it needs a good cleaning!
Lately I've noticed that I seem to have to downshift earlier than before and it's starting to concern me.

Tomorrow I'll need to tear it apart and check the air filter to see why..
I also need to make sure the fan is working properly because at one construction stop the temp gauge went up higher than I've ever seen it.

OH, and my horn quit working too!!
__________________
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2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-18-2011 at 09:19 PM
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:14 AM   #152
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Joined: Oct 2008
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Oddometer: 477
UPDATED December 18th, 2011

July 5th
(Today's SmugMug Photo Album)


Today's Ride: Dease Lake B.C. to Hyder AK





Got up at 6:30, made coffee and breakfast and tore apart the bike while the water was boiling.
I had made a friend here the night before - a stray/abandoned dog who just wanted company..
He was just kinda hung around, didn't beg for food even..



The air cleaner was loaded with dirt and bugs and I got it cleaned up as best as I could.
I'm hoping that makes the bike run better as it really seems down on power and I'm starting to get a bit worried about it making it to Seattle.

I pulled the fan connector off and put it back on in the hopes that it fixes fan not coming on.
I started the bike and let it idle till it heated up and the fan worked ==> .

I finally got all packed up and on the road and noticed that it was 11 a.m. already - UGH an even later start than normal.

After cleaning the air filter the bike still seems down on power - I'm now convinced its a clogged fuel filter or bad fuel pump!
It will free-rev (no load) up to 9000 rpm, but not under load.

Since it was sunny for a change I didn't put on my rain liner under the pants and of course within 15 minutes it started to rain so I stopped and put them on (I should know better)

Just south of Dease Lake I hit a construction zone where they are building up the road level and using BIG GRAVEL and loads of fill dirt.
Thankfully since I went through while they were actively working on it they had rolled it and packed it pretty well.

Yesterday some folks had told me that they had almost lost control a few times when they went thru as it wasn't packed well.


About 1 p.m. I saw a rest area down the hill from the road at Eddontenajon Lake and got a few pictures:




Kinaskan Lake in the distance





After a few hrs of riding I realized that I wasn't going to make it to Prince George the late started I got - so I decided to stay in Hyder.

Around 3 p.m. I stopped in Bell II for fuel and lunch - they'd closed the restaurant but I think they still had sandwiches which was okay with me.



I got to Hyder around 5 p.m.and checked into the Sealaska Inn



... did some laundry while I had a Bacardi & Coke and BS'd at the bar a bit then went to bed.

They even had a sign up just for ME!!

__________________
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2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-18-2011 at 10:58 PM
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:59 AM   #153
lakecntyrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FL_biker View Post
3 July

Tomorrow I'm not sure what to do - the original plan was to head to Whitehorse and make my way to the Cassiar however someone told me I should take the time to detour to Haines and then take the ferry to Skagway.
WHAT TO DO?????

Dave
Will be doing my trip to Alaska later in the month. I am currently planning on taking that ferry. Was hoping you would post pictures along that route. Oh well, enjoy the rest of the trip.
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:18 PM   #154
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Made it to New Hazelton for lunch
Was able to ck email on wifi

Onward soyth to PG tonite I hope
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2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:37 PM   #155
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UPDATED December 18th, 2011

July 6th
(Today's SmugMug Photo Album)


Today's Ride: Hyder, AK to Prince George B.C.



This morning I noticed that my chain guard had lost a bolt and it had been bouncing around and wearing against the tire and chain - I needed to find a store with some bolts or a zip-tie so I set out on foot to look for any place that was open early.

As I walked around I took some photos of Hyder

The entrance to the town



It's a friendly Ghost Town:



It's even BIKER FRIENDLY!!




A cool old storeroom on the left from years gone by..




Another view of the Sealaska Inn



Community Center



The Seafood Bus - I'd forgotten about them yesterday or would have gotten dinner here:






I found the General Store - they wouldn't open for hours, and I wanted to be on the road sooner




I liked this sign the best:




After walking around a bit I went to eat breakfast and took some photos of all the dollar bills inside
















After breakfast I ran into a guy that arrived an a GSA yesterday and asked him if he had any zip-ties as the stores were still closed. He checked and had one he was able to spare so I got the chain guard re-attached and hit the road.

I gassed up in Stewart, then headed back out around 9 a.m.

On the way out the Stewart Hwy I got some video of a bear crossing the road
I still haven't had time to edit the video - trying to do all the stills first, then a 2nd revision will have video clips because they will take a LOT of time to edit!

I stopped for a few photos of Bear Glacier on the way out of town.



I didn't go in to the other glacier because I was extremely worried about the bike staying together at this point.
Would it make it back through Canada to Washington?
Would I break down on the Cassiar miles from anywhere?
Would it die as I tried to out-accelerate a charging bear ?

I just didn't know and didn't want to make any more side trips which really put a damper on things for me.
It was bad enough that I was rushed on the way up the Ice Fields Parkway to D2D, but this was even worse!!

Around noon I got gas in Kitwanga and turned left onto Hwy 16 heading towards New Hazelton.

I stopped in New Hazelton for lunch at around 12:30...


Sometime between X and YI passed my friend Andy FLARider1

Here's MY Spotwalla page with Andy's (FLARider1) below it
Apparently in the rain we didn't recognize each other as we passed somewhere between Fort Fraser and Engen
How BIZARRE IS THAT!





Eventually I made it Prince George and was trying to figure out where to stay.
After all of the deserted roads I'd been riding on the traffic in P.G. was too much for me and I couldn't wait to get away from it so I got gas and just rode on south out of P.G. to find a place for the night.

In hindsight it's kind of funny because the traffic wasn't that bad compared to Tampa.
It was just such a change after being in the middle of nowhere for so long!!

Just south of Prince George I stopped at at a Good Sams campground around 8:40 p.m.

I pulled in, registered and got the tent set up just as it got dark.
After a quick trip over to the bathrooms I had a hot shower which felt amazing.
Afterwards I went back to my tent and crashed.

Dave
__________________
Dave in Afghanistan
2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-18-2011 at 05:39 AM
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:11 AM   #156
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How the hell did we miss each other on 16 yesterday!! Look at our spotwalla tracks, we should have met at some point! Of course now I know why I finally had to ride in the rain for this trip, I was on the same road as you at the same time! I think the rain gods are mad at you!!!!!!!

Hope the bike is alright and it is something simple as the fuel filter!!!!!! I will make Hyder this afternoon, still on track for Fairbanks on the 10th.

Safe travels my friend!!!
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:33 PM   #157
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Suzuki parts r us.

Hey Fl_biker - sent you some PM's about getting your bike worked on in the Seattle area. Check your pm's! Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:08 AM   #158
FL_biker OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bropher View Post
Hey Fl_biker - sent you some PM's about getting your bike worked on in the Seattle area. Check your pm's! Thanks.
Thanks - I'll look now...

Dave


Quote:
Originally Posted by FLARider1 View Post
How the hell did we miss each other on 16 yesterday!! Look at our spotwalla tracks, we should have met at some point! Of course now I know why I finally had to ride in the rain for this trip, I was on the same road as you at the same time! I think the rain gods are mad at you!!!!!!!

Hope the bike is alright and it is something simple as the fuel filter!!!!!! I will make Hyder this afternoon, still on track for Fairbanks on the 10th.

Safe travels my friend!!!

Andy,
I figured we just have didn't see each in the rain -- too bad it would have been nice to spend an hour trading lies!

Dave
__________________
Dave in Afghanistan
2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-18-2011 at 06:34 AM
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:09 AM   #159
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa Bay area
Oddometer: 477
UPDATED December 18th, 2011

July 7th
(Today's SmugMug Photo Album)


Today's Ride: Prince George B.C. to Bellingham, WA - U.S.A.!!!



Well I got up, broke camp and headed south with the hope that I'd make Washington today.

Apparently I forgot to turn on my SPOT tracker because I have no tracking until I was 60 south of the campground - oops!!
The tracking starts at 9:30 a.m. so with no travel notes I guess I got up at a decent hour and got moving quickly.

Just before 4 p.m. I got caught in some traffic outside of Lytton.
We all came to a stop for a bit and I took a few photos - the only ones of the day as I was still thinking more about how the bike was running than the scenery











By 6 p.m. I'd gotten to Abbotsford Canada and crossed into the good ole U.S.A. at Sumas, WA.

A made my way to Bellingham, WA and found a McDonalds for dinner.
While I was there I met a guy on a sport bike and we chatted a bit.
I asked him about a place to stay that was on the way to Skagit Powersports and he recommended the Best Western Lakeway Inn Conference Center.
As a bonus it even had a FULL BAR -- JUST WHAT I NEEDED to help relax after a stressful 3 days ride praying the bike wouldn't break down!!

So I unloaded the bike, took a nice hot shower, got dressed and hit the bar for some liquid refreshments!!
I spent a few hours "relaxing" and even had some nice ladies buy me a drink.

Afterwards I went back to my room and crashed knowing that the following day I'd FINALLY have an answer to what was wrong with my bike!!
I just hoped that it wasn't too bad!

Dave


__________________
Dave in Afghanistan
2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-18-2011 at 07:12 AM
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:07 AM   #160
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UPDATED December 18th, 2011

July 8th
(Today's SmugMug Photo Album)

I guess the bike issue was really getting to me because I didn't start the SPOT properly today
I got a weird tracking map...2 points, hotel and Skagit Powersports

Anyway, I got the bike over to Skagit got checked in and then asked if they had any kind of a loaner to got get some breakfast.
Their loaner turned out to be a Bergman 650 scooter with a custom exhaust and a PowerCommander LOL
I'll admit I was not expecting any kind of acceleration, after all it's a scooter.
Well I was very shocked when after I turned onto the main road and looked down at the speedo I was already showing 75 mph :O
NOT BAD for making so little noise - it was just steady acceleration..

Anyway, I had breakfast, rode back, sat around all day waiting for the verdict.
Later in the day, after all kinds of diagnostics (fuel pressure without and with load) and I forget what else, they finally did what I had originally suggested and pulled the fuel pump out of the tank.

The fuel in the tank looked horrible:



And the pump looked even worse - I was too shocked to take a photo.

The called Suzuki and tried to get a fuel pump sent out overnight
Suzuki told them "I'm sorry, you're 30 minutes past the cutoff time to ship it today"
You can call back on MONDAY and have it sent there for TUESDAY. Bear in mind this is Friday the 8th of July and I had to be in Tampa to start a new job on the 18th!
There was NO WAY that I could afford to sit there three and a half more days before heading south.

So Pete, the mechanic, did his best to clean the crap out of the pump and put the bike back together.
He also did his best to straighten out my sidestand, changed the oil, changed the clutch fluid, adjusted/cleaned/lubed the chain and replaced my rear brake pads.

Now above 5,000 RPM (under load) the fuel pressure drops to 23 PSI instead of the 40+ PSI it should have.

SO, I had now lost even MORE usable rpm range on my bike.

I decided to ride south the rest of Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and on Monday I would look at a map and figure out where could be by Tuesday afternoon.

Then I'd find a Suzuki shop in the area and as close to 9 a.m. as possible call them to have a fuel pump sent overnight to be replaced on Tuesday.

Anyway, Pete said the pump shouldn't get any worse and should get me home so I'm going to head out to Deception Pass to camp tonite and continue on south.

KUDOS to Skagit Powersports in WA for squeezing me in and doing a LOT of work on my bike. I didn't get out of there till around 5 p.m.

I left there and headed out to Deception Pass to try to find a campsite








The view from UNDER the bridge - no trolls here but me!


Where I would have been camping near:









Whidby Island Naval Station


Apparently these parks here on Whidby Island are VERY popular and fill up with reservations early.

SO I wound up in a hotel once again which wasn't so bad.
I went to the oriental restaurant across the street for a cocktail and wound up staying there after hours and drinking with the staff. I was gonna leave but the kept putting drinks in front of me!!
__________________
Dave in Afghanistan
2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-18-2011 at 07:46 AM Reason: Added info and photo
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:44 PM   #161
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Joined: Oct 2008
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Oddometer: 477
UPDATED December 18th, 2011

July 9th
(Today's SmugMug Photo Album)

Today's Ride: Whidby Island, WA to Lake Quinault, WA





I got on the road around 9 a.m. to head down through Seattle, and out onto the Olympic Peninsula.
Since I had wanted to take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island I decided to just hop on the interstate and took I-5 down to Seattle

I rode around downtown for a few minutes and was going to pop into the REI HQ, but didn't like all the traffic




I was going to stop and go up the needle, but once I saw the lack of parking near it and the lines I changed my mind and took pics instead





By 11 a.m. I was in the ferry terminal and only had to wait 15 minutes to catch the next ferry - not bad timing!!

I parked my bike leaving it on the sidestand, made sure it was in gear and stripped out of my riding pants and jacket to walk around (I'd have plenty of time on this ferry ride)
I saw some other bikes on board but was parked alone (bike-wise)




My poor lonely bike




I wandered around the ferry and took some photos



Cruise ship in port






We were getting close to docking time










We docked around noon and I sat in gear/helmet waiting quite a while for all the cars ahead of me to disembark.
It's amazing how many cars they fit on that thing!!

So after getting off the ferry I headed up WA-305 until I got to WA-104 and the cool bridge



I tried my hand at in-motion photos...






Almost across the bridge




Near Discovery Bay I hopped on US-101 and followed it west around the top of the Olympic Peninsula
In Blyn I stopped at a HUGE gas station that was more like a truck stop - the Longhouse Market & Deli to fuel myself AND the bike.
I had an amazing hot sandwich and some nice hot coffee - I needed the caffeine after getting to bed late last night.

I continued to follow the 101 through Port Angeles and near Lake Crescent I took a self-portrait (while moving)



I was really enjoying the Washington Forests







5:40 p.m. -- Spotted our favorite sign, too bad it was only a miles worth!!




Hmmm, this could be an interesting stop...




I miss stuff like this in Florida



I turned into the park and saw this... ...





... and a nice boat ramp / dock





This was a very nice lake and I wished I could have spent more time there.



An hour or so later I'd passed through Forks and I was on the coast looking at ocean!!



About five miles north of Kalaloch Lodge there was a sign for "Big Cedar" and I needed a break so I turned left (east) and into the forest on a narrow road.









Attempted to stitch the previous together






I left the stop at the tree and grabbed a quick ocean shot



I headed further south, rode past Queets and inland to Lake Quinault.

At one point I saw a campground sign so I turned left and rode in along the northern shore of the lake but never found the campground so I headed back out to US 101.
A little further south there was another road that headed inland - South Shore Road, and headed inland again

That's where I found a really nice campground - I can't find notes but I think it was Falls Creek.
It was a National Forest Campground so it was cheap and it was clean - but no showers.

I had some cool trees right next to my campsite...





...and a lake view



I bought some firewood, started a fire, cooked some dehydrated stuff cleaned up and went to bed happy that the bike was still holding together.
Now it was down to 5500rpm maximum from the previous 6000 rpm...so it was slowly getting worse...
Even with the issue it was having, it seemed to pull well between 4K and 5500 so I just kept heading south and hoping for the best.
I felt better knowing that now that I was in the lower 48, I had a towing service I could use and motorcycle shops were now abundant - not like up in the Yukon or in B.C.


Dave
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2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-18-2011 at 09:56 AM
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:47 PM   #162
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UPDATED December 19th, 2011

THIS IS ANOTHER TWO-FOR-ONE POST
July 10 & July 11th in order to keep things in order as I revise my Ride Report


July 10th
(Today's SmugMug Photo Album)


Today's Ride - Lake Quinault WA to South Beach OR



Got on the road around 10 a.m. and headed out of Lake Quinault heading south on US-101

I don't recall much of the ride south - that's what I get for not writing the RR text daily.
It's hard to remember the day when you're writing it 5 months later...
I DO remember that somewhere in WA or OR I got a Performance Award

Around 3:30 I stopped at a KOA to use the restroom and ask where a good place for lunch was.
He recommended that I go in to Astoria to a place called The Wet Dog, now that's a name I could relate to after all my riding in the rain!!

On the way there I stopped for a few photos

Looking across the bay near Lewis & Clark National Historic Park




The bridge I just crossed



I got to The Wet Dog around 1 p.m., had lunch and an hour later was once again Southbound on US-101

Around 3 p.m. I stopped for a shot of the Oregon Coast





Tunnels are fun



More of the Oregon Coast




I'd ridden through Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Garibaldi, and on in to Tillamook.




Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a CHEESE ADDICT - and guess what they make in Tillamook?
Well CHEESE, of course.
So I stopped in there around 4 p.m. for a tour and being a Sunday they were not in production so there was nothing to watch. I was a little disappointed, however they DID still have free samples of cheese - Imagine a buffet that is nothing but cheese I loved their squeaky cheese curds, salty and noisey to eat!!

Tthey also had Ice Cream so I had myself an Ice Cream Sundae and chatted with a woman who was BICYCLING the coast - I have a lot of respect for all the bicyclists I saw on this trip - I takes a lot of strength and endurance to ride long distances on a bicycle!

This is the last photo I found for Sunday - not sure why
This was near Lincoln Beach, OR



It took a few tries but I finally found an available camping space at South Beach State Park around 7 p.m.
As I was setting up my tent a family walked by and invited me to come have some spaghetti with them.
So I finished the tent setup, took a shower and walked over about an hour later.
We sat around the fire chatting for an hour or two and then I decided I needed to go get some sleep.

Unfortunately my camp site it was next to a very loud family (3 or 4 tents) with a belligerent teen-aged son who refused to go to bed and they yelled back and forth at each other for an hour or so .
I finally yelled back to him "Shut Up and go to sleep!"
He finally quieted down and I eventually got to sleep.


July 11th (Today's SmugMug Photo Album)


IT'S MONDAY! -- Time to order a fuel pump!!

Today's Ride -- South Beach, OR to Fort Bragg, CA




I broke camp around 8 a.m. and headed south again.
My plan was to find a McDonalds around 9 a.m., get online with their free WiFi.
I was going to see where I could be Tuesday around lunch time and order a fuel pump at a nearby dealer.

I headed down the coast taking photographs along the way






Near Searose Beach




The Heceta Head Lighthouse circa 1894. Both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places
It's actually a B & B now - I'd love to stay there sometime!






Self-Portrait - same place as lighthouse photo, just looking south...



These were all just north of Florence




I got to Florence around 9 a.m. and found a McDonalds.

I got some breakfast, set up my notebook PC and looked at the map.
It looked like I could easily be in San Francisco tomorrow around lunch time so I looked for a dealer there.
Thanks to the power of Google I located Golden Gate Cycles and gave them a call.

I explained the situation to the parts guy and he looked up the part number I gave him.
He said they could have it sent overnight, but it would cost extra - I was ready for that
At this point I'd have paid whatever it took to get my bike running again.

With the fuel pump ordered I felt a little better.
Now if the bike died I had a place to have it towed to that would have the part by Tuesday)

Further south I turned into a pullout for a bridge photo and saw this memorial





Around noon I stopped for gas in Coos Bay, then traveled on....

In Port Orford I stopped at Battle Rock Wayside Park, used the facilities and took some more photos.
I liked the views on the coastal roads and stopped so much I got concerned about making S.F. in time on Tuesday!!
OH, and it didn't hurt that I'd apparently left all that rain behind me!!

This was the view looking south from there.




It sure would have been nice to grab a book and just sit there and read, or NOT read for that matter...
..just sitting there enjoying the view and the smell of the Pacific Ocean!!





I've got so many photos it's hard to choose which ones to post!
I loved all the rock formations on the coast



Just north of Brookings, OR looking south




Around 5 p.m. I stopped at a McDonalds in Eureka (free WiFi) for dinner.
There were a couple homeless folks (Meth-heads??) that kept wandering in and out so I got some photos uploaded, transferred files off the MicroSD cards ate dinner and got out of there..

As I headed further down the coast the evening fog/low-lying clouds started to move in...



Photos stopped at this point - I guess because I'd headed inland and once again was on a mission to make miles...

Somewhere between Eureka and Fort Bragg I looked up lodging on my GPS and found a place in Fort Bragg and made a reservation - I hoped it would be a decent enough place...

I'd end up riding from Eureka, through Fortuna, along the edge of Humboldt Redwood State Park, and down to Riverdale.
In Leggett I left US-101 and headed west on Hwy 1 (is it called Pacific Coast Hwy here?)

This was the most amazing winding twisting rising and falling road I'd ridden on this trip so far!!
A lot of the time I was riding under full canopy of trees and it was starting to get dark so it had this really cool feeling to it.

I still had engine trouble and the Vstrom wouldn't rev much above 5,000 rpm now - it was slowly getting worse.

Yet even with the lower rpm limit I was still able to have a blast thru the ride down past Hales Grove, Rockport, Hardy, past MacKerricher State Park finally arriving at the hotel in Fort Bragg around 9:30 p.m.

I got checked in, unpacked what I needed off the bike and crashed...
__________________
Dave in Afghanistan
2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-19-2011 at 03:21 AM
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:54 PM   #163
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa Bay area
Oddometer: 477
UPDATED December 19th, 2011

July 12th
(Today's SmugMug Photo Album)

Today's Ride - Fort Bragg, CA to Santa Cruz, CA
Includes a Fuel Pump replacement in San Francisco



I got up this morning and after a shower and getting dressed I walked across the parking lot for breakfast (included in room) Afterwards it was back to the bike packing routine and I headed out.

I guess I didn't have enough coffee this morning because I didn't activate my SPOT until I'd ridden 20 miles or so.

The views were amazing again and I found myself stopping often for photos!









Point Arena Lighthouse






Around 11 I had reached Bodega Bay and gassed up.
I headed south on PCH to Point Reyes Station and then Stinson Beach

Here I hung a left onto Panoramic Hwy while praying the Vstrom's fuel pump wouldn't die while running up and down the canyon roads!! This runs up into Mount Tamalpais State Park

The views from up here were worth the risk!! I took another left onto the Pan Toll Road and then a right onto Ridgecrest where I had a great view!!






Afterwards I turned around, rode back to Panoramic Hwy and rode on down to Shoreline Hwy (PCH) and onto US-101.

It was now about 1 p.m. and I needed to get to Golden Gate Cycles to get a new fuel pump!






What's this ahead? Haven't I seen some especially loved lady-rider on here post pictures of this??




Obviously she's had more practice at this photography-in-motion stuff than I have because the photos she posts look so much better than mine turned out!! TDP does a great job!!






I tried for a self-portrait with the bridge -- FAILED!!




As best as I can tell I got to Golden Gate Cycles around 1:30 p.m.
I pulled into the building and asked where I could store my gear while they did the work.
To make it easier to put the bike on the lift I pulled off the bags and everything else I could to lighten up the bike for them.

After my bike was ready for them I asked where to eat and was directed to a greek place.
After I ate I walked around a little, but couldn't really get into the tourist thing as I was still worried about the bike.

Sometime close to 5 p.m. they had the bike back together so I paid the bill ( that one hurt!) and loaded all my gear.
I took it out for a quick test ride - went back and thanked them again for getting me in as fast as they did.

I started to head out of town, then decided that I couldn't be in San Francisco and not ride my favorite street.
So I headed over to Lombard, took a quick photo and then practiced my slow-riding skills down Lombard.
At one point some tourists were taking my picture and I managed that perfect balance point and stopped completely with both feet still on the pegs.
I love being able to do that on the big Vstrom!!



After Lombard I rode over to get a photo in front of the Argonaut Hotel.
I had stayed here with my wife and step-daughter many years ago and we had a really good time!!



With those done I hopped onto the 101 to I-280 and then onto the Pacific Coast Hwy again.


About 8 p.m. I'd decided I'd ridden enough and decided to stay in Santa Cruz for the night.
I found a nice clean Best Western right off of the 101 that had a Denny's across the street.

I did the unpacking thing, showered and went to bed after a nightcap and uploading some photos.





__________________
Dave in Afghanistan
2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-19-2011 at 04:31 AM
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:32 AM   #164
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Dakar Withdrawl
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa Bay area
Oddometer: 477
UPDATED December 19th, 2011

This is another TWOFER!! JULY 13 & JULY 14



July 13th
(Today's SmugMug Photo Album)

Today's Ride -- Santa Cruz, CA to Simi Valley, CA (to my brother's house)



I got up early, walked over to Denny's for breakfast and headed out.
Of course I forgot to activate my SPOT again so I pulled over to turn it on then continued on...

I enjoyed the ride down the coast and stopped at Monterey Bay






Around 9 a.m. I found my way to the Pacific Grove gate to Pebble Beach so I could ride 17-Mile Drive.
I don't know if you folks here realize it but they do NOT allow motorcyclists on this road.

When I read this on their web site I decided to see what I could do about that.
This is one of the top scenic drives in California and I wanted to ride it on this trip!

So as I approached the gate I could see by the guard's expression that he was NOT going to let me in.
When I stopped at the guard-house he says "Can I help you" in a tone that said he wouldn't ...

Then I replied "I'm here as a guest of Mark Stilwell's", he looks in the computer turns back to me and tells me I'm on the list and asked if I'd like a map and to have a great day!! (It pays to make arrangements before-hand )


So I smiled and headed on in to see the sights - this is near Point Joe.
I had stopped here and there were some bicyclists here so I asked a favor and got them to take my photo.
Turns out one of the bicycle manufacturers was having a big event and demo ride up here.
I saw bicyclists all OVER the place.





Bird Rock






Beautiful Golf Course, after all it IS Pebble Beach!






Seal on the rocks and in the water near Cypress Point Lookout (I think)







Crocker Grove






THE LONE CYPRESS - a very famous tree



Lone Cypress my Vstrom and yours truely












I stopped at the Pebble Beach shops for some souvenirs then once back at the bike I gathered up a bunch of stuff I wouldn't need any more (long johns, souvenirs I'd gotten before, etc) and took them across the parking lot to the post office to send yet another package home. I think I mailed 4 or 5 boxes home - I love those flat-rate boxes!!

I also picked up a sandwich and some other stuff for lunch later on.

By 11:20 I was once again headed south on 1, which is the Cabrillo Hwy at this point.

The Pacific Coast is so scenic that I stopped again about 20 minutes later:





Rocky Creek Bridge






Beach View from the Rocky Creek Bridge pullout




Bixby Bridge










I came across an interesting looking "Naval Facility" that looked abandoned







I wondered what this place was about so I googled it in December

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=565
Established in 1957, the former Point Sur Naval Facility (NAVFAC) was once part of a worldwide network of defensive listening stations that tracked the movement of Soviet submarines. The Point Sur NAVFAC is one of the remaining Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) facilities, and the only one remaining on the West Coast. For the most part, other SOSUS facilities were parts of larger military complexes, while Point Sur was established as a stand-alone, self-sufficient base
A cool look northward at the Pacific Coast Hwy cut into the side of the mountains...




PCH would wind it's way along the coast with some really fun twisties.
Now that the Vstrom was up to 100% power it was a LOT more fun on these roads!!

Every so often we'd come to a road construction site where it was one-way traffic and we'd have to wait.
Lots of California is already falling into the ocean LOL

Around 2 p.m. I stopped at a big roadside area with lots of seals in the water.
I stopped here to eat my lunch and had someone wanting to share it with me

One look at this guy and you could tell he'd had enuff! HE WAS FAT!!




They even put up signs to discourage folks from feeding them - IT DIDN'T WORK!!
I guess some folks just can't read, because guess what this guy's doing??




Take a close look - some of those are NOT ROCKS!




With my lunch consumed I decided I needed to keep moving and stop less if I was going to make it to my brothers house by dinner time.

The funny thing is that my brother was up in Alaska, but I had made arrangements to crash at his place for a night before heading across the desert towards Florida.

Not far after Morrow Bay PCH joins up with / becomes US-101 so I was rolling along pretty well at that point.
I didn't stop for any more photographs until I got to Newbury Park.
I had stopped by for a photo at my old high school -- NPHS Class of 1980 (the year after Heather Locklear graduated)



After this stop I headed over to Simi Valley and my brother house.
I got that around 8 p.m. just as one of my nieces got home - great timing!!

I got my stuff off the bike, setup up the notebook PC and ordered a pizza to eat while I uploaded photos to smugmug.
Afterwards I took a shower and went to bed - Tomorrow I wanted to make it to Phoenix!



July 14th (Today's SmugMug Photo Album)


Today's Ride: Simi Valley CA to Phoenix, AZ




I got up early, got dressed and packed up the bike.
By 6:30 I was heading out to meet up with some old friends from high school.
I wanted to get together the previous night but never got them on the phone and I also got in late.

So we met for breakfast and talked about old times (and how old we'd gotten).
I screwed up AGAIN and didn't get any photos...D'oh!

Anyway, around 9 a.m. I hopped back on the bike and headed out the Ronald Regan Fwy (118) towards Los Angeles.
I'd forgotten how big LA freeways are!!
I rode out the 118 to the Foothill Fwy (I-210) to 57 to the San Bernardino Fwy (I-10) and just past Banning.

At the bottom of the off-ramp as I let the clutch out I heard/felt a loud CLUNK CLUNK noise - NOT GOOD!!
So I rode carefully to the gas station and put the bike on the center-stand (which meant pulling the bags off)
I rotated the tire while watching the chain thinking that I had a stiff link - but I didn't see any.

What I DID notice was that the rear wheel would move SIDE TO SIDE

It appeared that my rear wheel bearings were coming apart!!

So here I am sitting on the edge of the palm desert, not knowing where to go for parts.
Next thing you know I hear someone say "DUDE, Vstrom Down!!! What's wrong!!"

I was shocked that he knew what a Vstrom was 'cuz most folks don't know what it is when they see one unless they own one!!

So I told him my bearings were shot and I had to be in Florida by Sunday night (this was on Thursday!!)

So he replies "Don't Sweat it - I used to be the area parts manager for Suzuki" and he proceeds to tell me to call either Chaparral or Malcom Smith...then says "No, Call Chaparral - they'll have it"
So I called them and guess what - they had bearings in stock!

So tell me - what are the odds of a former Suzuki Parts Manager happening along when you are broken down in the desert?? REALLY, what are the odds. I was so flustered at that point that I forgot to get his name - I really owe that guy a nice bottle of Crown or whatever he'd want!!

At this point I put Chaparral's address into the GPS and saw they were only 30 miles back - hey, I can ride there slowly I think to myself.

So I got back on the bike head headed towards San Bernardino.

I'd gone less than a mile when I realized I'd die if I tried to make it!!
The rear tire now had a wobble to it that told me I'd cause more damage if I continued.
So I put on the 4-way flashers, got in the slow lane, and dropped my speed down to 30 or so.
I exited and pulled into a convenient Jack-In-the-Box parking lot and and called Tow-Busters.

Since it was noon-ish I went inside and got some lunch while I waited, and waited, and waited
While waiting I saw 2 suspicious guys (homeless) getting too close to my bike and really looking things over so I went outside to wait and keep a closer eye on my bike.

A few hours later a truck and trailer pulled in, we loaded the bike and headed back to Chaparral.
When we got there I went inside to get the paperwork started and the driver unloaded the bike.

I had also asked them if they had cush-drive rubbers in stock and they had exactly the number I needed so I had those replaced as well. I also asked about tires asmine were not in the greatest shape, they'd likely make it but I WAS going to ride fast across the hot desert and I didn't want to chance it.

They told me I'd have to walk over to the tire store to select them.
This would up being like a block away, but still under the same roof - WTF, this place is HUGE!!!

So I picked out some Continental Road Attacks and they sent them back over to service - this was a no shit 100 yard or more walk!!

While I was waiting I asked someone how big the store was. They proudly replied over 180,000 sq/ft

If you are ever in the southern California area you ABSOLUTELY MUST stop in to see this place.
It is about the size of a Costco or SAMs Club - AMAZING!

I must have walked 2 or 3 miles in that store as I paced while waiting and waiting for the bike to be done.
Eventually I called another friend and he was just getting off work so he said he'd meet me there.
He got there just as the finished the bike so I paid and I followed him out to get some dinner as it was now after 6 p.m.!!

After dinner I headed east on I-10 again passing my break-down spot about eight hours after the incident!!
The good news was that I'd NOT be crossing the desert in the daytime - it would be much cooler this way.

9:30 p.m. had me just past Blythe and I was at my hotel in Phoenix by around 11:30 p.m. (1 hr time change)

Even better was that the following day I could say "...and yes I DID stay in a Holiday Inn Express last nite"

Dave
__________________
Dave in Afghanistan
2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-19-2011 at 08:11 AM
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:06 AM   #165
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Tampa Bay area
Oddometer: 477
Key West to Prudo Bay REVISITED...

July 15th, 16th, 17th -- Haulin Ass across I-10

*** THIS POST IS BEING REVISED ***


PARDON THE MESS while I make updates...Dave


UPDATED December 20th, 2011

July 15th
(No Photos)

Today's ride: Phoenix, AZ to Sonora, TX



Last night's ride was a warm one so I figured I'd need to get on the road at a decent hour to avoid some of the heat.
So I was on the road by 8 a.m. had headed south on I-10 towards Tucson, AZ where I fueled up again.
Then another stop in Lordsburg, NM to top-off and cool down
I'm back to soaking my riding gear as much as I can at stops due to the heat.

At least the speed limit in west Texas is EIGHTY MILES PER HOUR!!
So I would try to keep my speed up around 85 - any faster and this overloaded pig gets unstable...

Today would be a long boring interstate ride across I-10...from Lordsburg to Deming, Las Cruces, El Paso dinner rush hour...
...and on through Van Horn, Fort Stockton, Ozona, and finally around midnite I pulled into a Best Western in Sonora, TX for the nite.


July 16th (No Photos)

Today's ride: Sonora, TX to Lafayette, LA



Not much to say about today's ride.
I was on the road by 6:30 a.m. and around 7:30 I got off of I-10 to see what US-290 would be like.
I had hoped I could save some time by not heading down I-10 thru San Antonio.

Instead I'd cut almost straight across through Fredericksburg, Johnson City, Dripping Springs, Austin, Bastrop, & La Grange.
In Columbus, TX I got back in I-10 and in west Houston where I was going to visit with another high school friend.
I got to her house around noon and we sat around BS'ing for an hour or so then went out for a nice leisurely lunch.
We got back to her place and plopped down on the couch and started talking about high school days and before long it was 5 p.m. and I REALLY needed to get back on the road if I was going to be home by tomorrow night!!

I was going to try to make Baton Rouge for the night, but wound up stopping a little short.
Around 9:30 I decided to call it a night just west of Lafayette, LA and topped off the bike and got a room at a Super 8.
It wasn't that nice of a place, but it was cheap.

July 17th (No Photos)

Today's ride: Lafayette, LA to ***HOME***



Today I'd once again take no photos as I was trying to make a lot of miles - it would be a 730 mile ride home.
I ALSO was once again plagued with rain off and on all day.
In the end I'd ride through about 5 big systems, some hard enough to severely limit visibility.

Around 7 p.m. I made a phone call to a friend of ours that comes to our house to do our hair.
I asked her if she was busy around 8 p.m. tonite as I was DESPERATELY in need of a haircut after 44 days on the road.

I pulled into my driveway around 7:45, quickly unpacked my gear (after 44 days I'd gotten pretty good at it) and then got a shower.
She got to the house a little after 8 p.m. and I got a fresh haircut and beard trim so I'd look presentable tomorrow at my new job.

By 9:30 I was exhausted so I pulled out clothes for the following morning and went to bed..


July 18th - STARTING THE NEW JOB.

I got up, showered, got dressed, had my coffee, and headed off to work.
When I got in the truck and turned the key it just went CLICK....

My truck was DEAD.

SO, I figured what the hell, I'd been riding for 44 days, what's another day on the bike.
So off to the house, traded work shoes for riding boots, and rode to work..



One last map - here's the entire trip - I'm still amazed that I rode all of that.





*** THE END ***
__________________
Dave in Afghanistan
2011 Ride - Key West To Deadhorse - SPOTWALLA - Smugmug Photos

Ned Suesse on Stage 2 of the 2012 Dakar: "You would have had to have been a blind monkey to get lost anywhere today!!"

FL_biker screwed with this post 12-19-2011 at 11:13 PM
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