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Old 09-25-2012, 12:28 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by Bluebone View Post
i'd love to hear Nedas' version of the trip up and down that road. her anxiety level had to be off the charts.
Nothing could be further from the truth. She was having a blast! Zero anxiety...
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:02 PM   #272
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Loving your ride report, so inspiring!
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:18 PM   #273
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Nice report!
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:36 PM   #274
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Cool journey. I've been following your thread since the beginning and wish I had the balls to quit my job and go explore.

Everyday on the way to work I think about stuff like this and had a taste of it for a few days in June/July when I rode with some old friends to our Navy ship's reunion, 1700 miles round trip and it was great.

I eagerly await your next post.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:30 PM   #275
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Another awesome post!!
Thanks for taking us along

Cheers

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Old 09-27-2012, 11:22 AM   #276
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I did the run to Prudhoe Bay in early August 2010 - trust me, it's no better in August than September. We got lots of rain, as a matter of fact, the worst thunderstorm I'd ever been in was on the way up, only to be bested by the incredible 3 hours of constant thundering downpour on the way back down!!!! I think we were slightly warmer - 45F -

I have to say that all the truckers we met were very courteous to us, even when blasting down the road in the pouring rain they tried to pull over as far as possible. Of course, in that pouring rain we still got completely drenched as each truck went by regardless of how far they pulled off. I always made it a point to pull over and stop when meeting an oncoming truck. We met several of truckers in Coldfoot and Prudhoe Bay - great stories, fun people!

Yet, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat, such beauty, it truly is amazing! I made the very same mistake of having tourances... my riding partner had Heideanu K60's, I was slip sliding everywhere, not them, the Heidy's kept the line straight and true - amazing what a difference the right gear makes!
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:00 AM   #277
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Wink Deadhorse Skeets!

Quote:
One thing that worked out for us was that we dodged mosquito season by a couple of weeks. During the summer, all the stagnant pools of water in the area provide a perfect breeding ground for billions of mosquitos who go on a rampage, swarming caribou and motorcyclists up and down the Dalton.
Be glad you missed the skeets! One beautiful August day in Deadhorse I was tasked with changing a magazine of aerial film (12" x 500' rolls). For this I used a dark bag in which you stick your hands in and work blind with all your tools, film, and magazine in the bag. Some times this task goes great 10 minutes on a good one... other times the film doesn't thread as planned, or you lose a piece of tape or tool in the magazine or any number of things can happen going blind. I knew the mosquito's were active, but I went after it hoping for the "10 minute version". Needless to say it turned into a 45 minute ordeal... and if you want to save the thousand dollar roll of film or the even more expensive good film that we just flew 9 hours to acquire at a couple thousand an hour plane, labor, and equipment you cannot take your hands out of that bag. The mosquitoes almost drained all of my blood out. I lifted the bag to my face and crushed those mosquitoes to the bag... if you looked at the bag there was an outline of dead skeets in the shape of my face. Reminds me of a story in the Bible.

Anyway, this ride report is fantastic! Great photos, stories, and a dream many of us will always dream!
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:03 PM   #278
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I have read all your RR and have to say that its fantastic....u are livving what most of us only dream. Ofcourse u have a big fan in Greece...i will follow all your RR...
If u ever come to Greece i would be very happy to help u and offer bed and food.
ps.sorry for my english...
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:07 PM   #279
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i hope to do this ride next year, thank you for the awesome inspiration and ride report!
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:44 AM   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightenarrow View Post
Be glad you missed the skeets! [..] if you looked at the bag there was an outline of dead skeets in the shape of my face. Reminds me of a story in the Bible.
Neda and I had a good laugh over this. Ever since riding through northern BC and the Yukon and then into AK, we've been warned the mosquitoes get really bad up there. Saw a T-Shit, "I donated blood in the Yukon Territory", with a picture of a happily-fed mosquito on the front.
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:45 AM   #281
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If u ever come to Greece i would be very happy to help u and offer bed and food.
Greece, eh? I've bookmarked your post and we're going to hold you to it!
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:55 AM   #282
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/29.html



After all the excitement of the last week, we are looking to relax for a little bit and take some time to get some chores done. Ever since we've crossed over into Alaska, I've had Sean Bean's voice from "Game of Thrones" in my head, ominously warning me, "Winter is coming!" We've got to start heading south soon.


Chatting during laundry day. Our riding suits are clean again!!!

A couple of weeks ago, we tried booking our regular service at Trail's End BMW in Fairbanks, but we quickly found out that that was like booking an annual medical check-up at the emergency ward. Trail's End seems to be a triage for the moto-carnage towed back from the Dalton, those bikes too wrecked to run get preferential treatment, so we instead turned to The Motorcycle Shop in Anchorage, about 360 miles south of Fairbanks.


Husky sled fog in Denali National Park

Denali National Park is about halfway between Fairbanks and Anchorage, so we decided to stop by on the way south. We encountered high winds on the way there and we were often leaned sideways into the crosswinds. There were a few pucker moments when passing oncoming trucks - suddenly the crosswind would die and the bike would wobble into the lean... :( We were to learn later that this was an early warning of things to come.

While we were at Denali, we attended a Husky sled dog demonstration. These dogs are so energetic, all they wanted to do was run. Definitely not condominium pets! They play an important part in providing clean and silent transportation for people and equipment throughout the national park for researchers and rangers. And they are so beautiful as well!


Neda is laughing because this husky just wanted his butt scratched and kept angling his body just right


I'm totally being used and I don't care.

Maybe it was a hunch, but when we arrived in Anchorage, we made the decision to book a room instead of tenting it. During the night, a storm whipped through the city toppling down trees and power lines. Weather equipment recorded 210 km/h winds before their data feed got cut. At the time, we were just finishing watching a DVD (we miss that talking picture box and how it can magically make time disappear) and I got up to switch the TV off. Just then, I saw a bright flash outside the window and then all the lights went out. The tree right outside was on fire until the rain quickly put it out! I thought it was a lightning strike until this morning, when we walked outside we noticed the falling tree had severed a power line and the arcing had set the leaves on fire briefly.


Next-door neighbour's house. If his roof hadn't had broken the tree's fall, it would have been tall enough to land on us. See the window on the far right? That's our room...

If we had tented, we would have woken up in a tree somewhere in Oz. Thankfully, Neda's bike was in service at the dealership and the host let me store my bike in the garage.


The wind was so strong it uprooted this huge tree

Our hosts told us it normally doesn't get this windy this early. A month later, these trees would have shed all its leaves already and have been better able to withstand the high winds. We learned from the news that 25,000-30,000 homes in Anchorage were without power due to downed trees and the local electric companies were working around the clock trying to restore service around the city.


We walked around Anchorage and surveyed all the downed trees in the city


Romantic breakfast. The candle serves as both light and heat!

So our BnB was unable to serve us a hot breakfast because of the power outage. Neda feels they more than compensated by offering us chocolate peanut butter sandwiches with bananas by candlelight... Neda's kryptnonite is Nutella, but now she's found something else that will rob her of her willpower - Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter!


Pet chickens

While our hosts were out trying to find out more about the outage, we played with their pet chickens (I know, right? How awesome is that?) in the backyard. They are soooo cute! They love eating berries:


As soon as Neda starts picking berries, the chickens are on the move!

Our hosts were very gracious and accommodating, moving us to another condo with heat and power but also offering us another nights stay on them. After living in a tent for over two months, we weren't going to turn down a roof over our heads, especially in the cold, wet Alaskan autumn! They also took us out for dinner, asking us where we'd like to go. I made a bit of a faux-pas asking them for typical Anchorage fare - they ended up taking us to a pizza joint - and I suddenly realized that we were in a major US city, not a Native American community - we weren't going to get any Inupiaq dishes here! :)


Our wonderful hosts, Stephen and Jana

We really enjoyed our stay with Jana and Stephen, they're a really wonderful couple and they treated us like old friends instead of boarders. We asked them where Anchorageans go for a vacation - secretly hoping they wouldn't say Hawaii... They gave us some great ideas for local destinations to head out to.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:10 AM   #283
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mosquitos

I had forgotten about how bad the mosquito's are there. I had been fishing on Lake creek across the cook inlet from Anchorage. We were camping so there were no facilities. I can tell you this the skiters are fast little buggers by the time you got your business done you were sure to have some skiter bites in places that that for sure don't need to be bit. A camping experience that we should all wish to miss.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:12 PM   #284
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Update from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/30.html



The Kenai Peninsula is about a 5 hour ride south of Anchorage, and is a popular weekend destination for the locals. It's a great spot for fishing in the numerous rivers that run through the area, and it's home to a few picturesque towns set against the backdrop of glaciers and mountains. We're going to do like the locals and spend a weekend here.

Seward Highway AKA Highway 1 is a twisty paved road that follows the shoreline of the Turnagain Arm, an inlet on the west-coast of the peninsula. It winds around the mouth, allowing a view across the bay of where you're going to be 45 minutes later. The peaks of Chugarch State Park lie inland and we're treated to our favorite motorcycle scenery - waters on one side, mountains on the other. Stephen told us that the gray silt that stretches for a few hundred meters away from the road during the low-tide were the remains of the mountains, carved away by the receding glaciers.


Riding down Homer Spit

We reach Homer in the late afternoon and try to find a place to sleep. The majority of campsites are situated along the main attraction in Homer - a 5-mile-long, thin spit of land that thrusts out into Kachemak Bay. As we ride down to the end of the spit, we are treated to a 270-degree panorama of snow-capped mountains that line the shores of the bay. It is truly a wondrous site! Unfortunately most of the places are closing down for the season. With temperatures reaching the freezing mark overnight, it's easy to see why there weren't a lot of campers!

Jana introduced us to an Alaskan term, "Termination Dust". No, it's not a military bio-chemical weapon, it's the first trace of snow that appears on the mountains around southern Alaska, which signals the start of winter. As the last days of autumn start counting down, the termination dust starts creeping lower and lower until it reaches the ground.


Dan McElrath Quartet playing the Bunnell St Art Centre

We treated ourselves to a nice seafood dinner at the highly-regarded Mermaid Cafe in Homer. The food tasted so delicious, but I think that might have had something to do with us having eaten nothing but sandwiches and soup for the last couple of months! After dinner, we strolled through old historic Homer and heard the sound of live music from around the corner. After standing at the door of the Bunnell St Art Centre for a couple of seconds, the audience beckoned us in and we stayed a while to listen to local Anchorage artist Dan McElrath and his quartet play some cool jazz. The live music was such a nice change to my 3,000 mp3 playlist, which I've already listened to 6 or 7 times over...


Waves crashing on the beach at sunset on Homer Spit


Beautiful views of the mountains, but jam packed with condos, shops, RV parks, parking lots, docks, etc.


Waiting for tourists dollars - too late in the season, maybe next year


Marina at Homer Spit

There are several marinas that house a few hundred boats docked at Homer Spit. The natural beauty of the area has attracted all sorts of commerce that caters to the seasonal tourist traffic. Not a value judgment, as we're tourists as well.


Marina at Homer Spit


Evening colours on the beach on Homer Spit


We picked a rainy weekend to visit, but it did make for some nice colours when the sky finally cleared


After sub-zero slumber, we wake up to clear skies and blue waters!

When we woke up, our tents were stiff like plastic from the frozen dew. We're starting to feel very rushed to escape the impending winter. From Homer, it's a short ride to the west side of the peninsula. On our way to Seward, we pass Exit Glacier, only one of the glaciers accessible by road, so we stopped to hike up to the edge and take some pictures.


Exit Glacier

The Exit Glacier is quickly receding due to the Ice Age cycles. Ever since the last mini Ice Age ended in the early 1800s, the glacier has retreated several thousand feet. All along the path on the hike up to the terminus, there are signposts with the dates marking the position of the edge of the glacier over the last hundred years.


hiking around Exit Glacier


Neda shields her eyes from the glare of the ice


Exit Glacier


Close-up of the peak of Exit Glacier


The town of Seward has amazing views of the mountains surrounding the Kenai Peninsula


Finally some sunshine! Returning from a weekend on the Kenai Peninsula

The cold weather has strengthened our resolve to get out of Alaska as soon as we can. Businesses have closed for the end of the season which should be a sure sign that we shouldn't be riding around on motorcycles up here.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:37 PM   #285
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It's already single digit temps at night here in Toronto. Time for you to make tracks south.
Loving your RR and excellent photos.
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