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Old 08-24-2012, 05:43 PM   #271
The Gobbler
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Dave,

What a great RR!!! You perfectly balanced words with pictures. My boss wouldn't be too happy that I spent the afternoon reading this, but he's not here

You and Helen have a beer on me, send me the bill...
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Past bikes:
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2004 ZX10 and 3 (yes 3) 2006 ZX10's
2005 Vee
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:03 PM   #272
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We get off the bike for a nice long hike.






We hike down to the Saint Mary River for a look at the falls.








..........




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Old 08-24-2012, 06:32 PM   #273
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Well Dave, you have done it now. Not only written the best RR I have ever seen, now you have really put a bug in me to do this trip with my son ASAP. He is at college reading this same report and sending me messages about how bad he wants to go. Thanks a heap I have to go look for another bike now...

Hey T
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:30 PM   #274
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Thanks again Dave.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:36 PM   #275
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WAY UP NORTH Part Five

Here is a short video from Glacier National Park.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road and the waterfalls look better in motion.






An astute observer might ask, "Part Five?" "We haven't seen Part Four yet!"

Patience!
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:44 PM   #276
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Dave,

Your RR's are amazing, I've read most of them but this one makes even me want to ride to Alaska and I live there. I enjoyed being able to see it all again through your lens. Your photos are stunning and thanks for taking the time to share them.

Todd.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:48 PM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by himv View Post
Thanks, himv! It's always nice to see another noob jumping onboard. Welcome to Adventure Rider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gobbler View Post
Dave,

What a great RR!!! You perfectly balanced words with pictures. My boss wouldn't be too happy that I spent the afternoon reading this, but he's not here

You and Helen have a beer on me, send me the bill...
Thanks, Gobbler! I'm glad I could help you escape work for a little while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeRace View Post
Well Dave, you have done it now. Not only written the best RR I have ever seen, now you have really put a bug in me to do this trip with my son ASAP. He is at college reading this same report and sending me messages about how bad he wants to go. Thanks a heap I have to go look for another bike now...

Hey T
Hi SeeRace & T! Thanks guys! It would be awesome to share the same dream with an adult son. Mine is 12 now. We shared this ride together last year: The Best of the Grand Canyon with My Son
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:01 PM   #278
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Amazing work

Wow Dave, Thanks for letting us all ride along... I really appreciate the RR guide how too... That should be a pre-rec to all RR postings. The pics are great but I really appreciate your choice in music with the vids... I'm spending money on iTunes again...

Bob
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:47 AM   #279
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Day 21: Highway 89 - Little Belt Mountains

After leaving Glacier National Park we head towards Great Falls on Highway 89. Oh what a twisty, hilly joyride!


Helen captures this shot while we are moving.












One of the nicest surprises from my 2008 trip in this area was the incredible beauty of Highway 89 through the Little Belt Mountains south of Great Falls, MT. I'm hoping to find a camping spot there tonight, but with the late start we really had to ride hard. We only stopped for fuel, snacks, and drinks in Great Falls. Finding a site was not as easy as I had hoped. Once we reached the National Forest we were riding through a canyon with private residences on both sides. I turned down one forest service road, but a sign said the national forest access was another 8 miles. So we turned around and got back onto the highway. Helen then spotted just what we were hoping for. A little trail off the highway to a camping site right on Belt Creek.




Almost completely hidden from the view of the highway about 200 feet away.




The turnoff was at this mile marker, in case you want a free place to stay.




Highway 89 at Sunset




It's a really good thing Helen doesn't pay much attention to my older reports. This was almost the exact spot I saw
the largest bear of the 2008 trip cross the road in front of me and a teenage girl, who was walking down the highway.

Believe me. I thought about it, but didn't dare tell Helen until after the trip.




By time I get back to the campsite, my angel is almost done with dinner and the camp setup.





Day 21: 275 Miles
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:51 AM   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frontiersman View Post
Dave,

Your RR's are amazing, I've read most of them but this one makes even me want to ride to Alaska and I live there. I enjoyed being able to see it all again through your lens. Your photos are stunning and thanks for taking the time to share them.

Todd.
Thanks, Todd!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrenre View Post
Wow Dave, Thanks for letting us all ride along... I really appreciate the RR guide how too... That should be a pre-rec to all RR postings. The pics are great but I really appreciate your choice in music with the vids... I'm spending money on iTunes again...

Bob
Hey, It's nice to hear someone likes the music selection. Thanks for tuning in.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:48 AM   #281
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Laugh

The effort it takes to put this together ... Dave I cant thank you enough for taking us along!! It is rarely done so well!!!! WOW!
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:34 AM   #282
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Great shot

Woooooow......... all fit. Have fun and be safe, it is nice to bring your spouse along on the trip. You two are troopers.
I am in for the ride
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Originally Posted by dave6253 View Post
June 21st - July 15th, 2012



Alaska! This had been a dream of mine for years. I've mulled over maps and plotted routes there and back many times. But when I've crunched the numbers, one fact remains. It's a really long ways up there and back from Arizona. I know I'll need at least 3 weeks to do a decent trip, and even that time is probably too short. If I went alone I could probably do several 800-1000 mile days while in the lower 48 to allow a more leisurely pace while there, but still. I'm married with 2 kids. It would be incredibly selfish to use all of my vacation on such a trip. Taking one of the kids has been discussed, but in reality I know they wouldn't enjoy such a brutal schedule, especially in bad weather. So like so many other dreams, Alaska Dreams were supressed. I told myself I preferred exploring backcountry on gravel roads and that my extended weekend trips were enough. Afterall I wouldn't really enjoy all of those boring highway miles anyway. Alaska was something put on the back burner. Someday... Maybe when I retire...




Summer 2012. I hoped to get away alone for at least a week for a nice ride. The kids were now old enough for Helen, my wonderful wife, to return to work after many years of being an awesome stay-at-home mother. I didn't want the kids sitting around the house alone all summer. So we arranged for the kids to fly to Europe for 28 days where they would spend time with family. I made plans to take 10 days for a 4600 mile solo ride up the west coast on the Aprilia. I was getting excited for this trip and even had new tires delivered. Then suddenly Helen informed me she would not be working afterall. I was really bummed as I was really anticipating the solo trip. The solution we both agreed to was for me to go ahead with the solo trip. I would then return to work for a week before leaving together for a casual ride on the KTM for a second week of vacation. I planned to show her around to some of my favorite places at the Grand Canyon and Southern Utah. Sounds like the perfect summer, right?

Then some jerk started posted awesome photos from Alaska... I realized my Alaska Dream was still alive. I had the vacation time. I just needed to take one additional week off work. This week included July 4th, a paid holiday, so it would only cost 32 hours... Hmmmm.

So I hurriedly put together a route. Then I took the proposal to Helen. I know she's not gonna want me to disappear alone that long. Would she be interested in going along? To my surprise she didn't immediately reject the idea. She wants to go to Alaska, but like most sane people I'm sure she'd prefer to go by plane, or take a cruise (She rarely rides and has only been on one multiple day motorcycle tour). I made a strong case. Let's do it! We're not likely to get the chance without the kids around for many years. I'm a long way from retirement, and may never live to see the day. Maybe I'll not be able to ride then anyway. Carpe Diem! Let's do something spontaneous! Can you believe it? She ultimately approved and wanted to come along! We've been successfully lured to Alaska!

When the decision was finally made we had only 31 days until departure to prepare for a trip many spend a year or more planning for. I got busy ordering all of the stuff needed. The next few weeks the Fedex and UPS deliverymen were showing up with new goodies almost daily.

The route I planned included riding up the west coast, through the Olympic peninsula, Vancouver, and up the Cassier. I didn't have much of a plan in Alaska, but knew I wanted to ride up the Dalton Highway to Prudhoe Bay. The return route would be through Dawson, Jasper, Icefields Parkway, Glacier NP, Yellowstone NP etc. It was more than 10,000 miles. With only 25 days to ride it we need to average more than 400 miles a day... each day.

I'm lucky enough to own 2 bikes. The 2007 990 Adventure was the obvious choice of the two. But it's not really ready for such a long trip yet. The water pump shaft seal needs replacing, I need a new front tire, and all of the maintenance done. So a few long nights in a scorching hot shop are in order.





The second time replacing the water pump shaft seal was much easier. I replaced the OEM shaft with a super-hardened part from CJDesigns. The old one hadn't failed yet, but after about 12,000 miles, it was overdue. The new one is guaranteed to last almost forever.




We are riding 2up for this trip. (This means Helen rides on the back, as I wouldn't dare ride behind her.) Packing for 25 days of varying climates on the road and camping is hard enough for one. For 2 on on 1 bike it's nearly impossible. I spent alot of time stressing over what we had to bring, and what must be left behind. How will it ever all fit?

The packing list wasn't finalized until the last day.
Believe it or not. This all fits.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:56 AM   #283
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Day 22: Yellowstone & Grand Tetons

I cut about 130 miles out of the planned route by skipping the jog over to Beartooth Pass.
Helen really wanted to see Yellowstone again. I would have preferred to ride the pass and
the Chief Joseph Highway, but I've ridden the pass before.




So in the morning we get on the road and





stop at Thunder Jack for some oatmeal.





I climbed the hill across the highway to get a view of the mountains. It was further up that it looked.










It was almost 11 AM by time we reached Yellowstone National Park.

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Old 08-25-2012, 01:50 PM   #284
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Yellowstone

It was another warm day as we rode into Yellowstone.




People leave their cars to run as close as possible to the wildlife.




We get off for a hike at several of the boardwalks.




Grand Prismatic Spring

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Old 08-25-2012, 01:51 PM   #285
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Grand Prismatic Spring Panorama

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