ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Epic Ride Reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-05-2015, 03:33 PM   #1
SilkMoneyLove OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
SilkMoneyLove's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 2,390
Long Beach to Anchorage 2015

Long Beach to Anchorage 2015

Months of planning finally came to fruition. I had to get up at 4:01am because I was not getting up at 4am for a flight ;-) Checking in was a PITA because US Airlines and American merged. Even though my flight said “American” the kiosk did not recognize my reservation. I had to go to US Air kiosk to get my boarding passes. Anyhow, I got them, got through security and then the gate had the wrong info. I had to confirm that I was at the correct gate with the gate agent as they had Nashville listed on the board. They never changed it, even while we were boarding. What a joke.

So, flying is always so great but I made it and had to call the rental place to come get me. The LB Muni airport is small.




The rental deal was decent through Motoquest. The bike has 7670 miles on it.

I made it into Compton but couldn't get a decent picture. Even at 2pm on a Wednesday (5/13/15) I was getting hollered at by some homies. It was gritty and poor and it definitely wasn't as Mexican as I was told.



I took some more pics as best I could and headed out to Topanga to ride some good roads (Mulholland Hwy and Westlake) then to highway 33, which is great. The weight balance sucks because I have all of the weight on the back of the bike. Makes it very tippy. Anyhow, I had some fun and got some great shots. I stopped for gas and a gatorade but neglected to pick up beef jerky or water, so my dinner tonight was gatorade.





I think tomorrow a nice breakfast is in order. I am doing OK on mileage. Could have done better but I wanted to camp tonight in Ojai at Los Padres Natl Forest for $23. Yeah, tomorrow is a hotel or motel. They don't have the water on here because of the drought. Price is the same though. Typical. At about 2am I woke up freezing and had to pile on a couple of more layers. The birds were squawking like it was morning, so it was a poor nights sleep. It rained a little in the morning so everything was wet and it was in the high 30s, low 40s. See your breath cold. The ride out on 33 was good and Westlake was a nice road with just as many skid marks and car parts as Mulholland Highway. I took a few different roads and ended up getting breakfast and much needed gas in Maricopa CA. A subway breakfast sandwich was not what I was hoping for, but it worked. The bike is getting between 50 to 55mpg. Not very good considering how weak it is. It has a speed wobble at 90mph which I can handle with my knees on the tank and leaning forward. I did manage to do the ton, downhill and just under redline. I cruised through San Fran and took pics at the GG Bridge. Made it up to Ford Valley in Sonoma for the night at the Hotel. I took the time to rebalance my bags/load and it made a huge difference. The dinner there was good and the beers were cold. I went to bed early as I wanted to get an early start.




I got a good start on the day. CA1 was beautiful and fun all the way to 101. Then I took Avenue of the Giants. The is nice and scenic but not as challenging as CA1. In Oregon I rode the 101 to Port Orford and got a cheap hotel, good dinner and cold beers. I slept in and left a little later than I wanted. I had a date in Seattle with Tom at 5pm. Well, combine the distance (500 miles), my side trip to ride on the beach and Seattle traffic, means I didn't get there until 6pm. I had a great time with Tom and we had lots of drinks. Again, got a late start out of Seattle but made it to Pemberton, BC by 5pm. Grabbed a hotel room and took a shower. Today is the 18th and I don't have a hotel reservation until the 26th. Also, there was a stabbing in Whistler, just on the other side of the mountain, and the police presence was significant, so I am going to push on and try to stay with the good weather.








Pushing on was the right idea. I ended up in Hixton, BC, which I had been to on my last trip in 2013, Its a great location with a dive of a motel that was only $60. I ended up getting a good dinner and a few beers at the pub/store 1km away. My motel neighbors were a retired couple from Texas. They both liked their V/O and he really liked his medicinal weed. He even offered me some, which I turned down politely. Anyhow, I drank Molsons and set up my coffee for the next day. I pop the TV on when I woke up to use the bathroom and there was a morning show on. Even though I was tired, light was coming in the window so I turned the coffee on. Then I checked my phone...only 2am! WTF? They were replaying the morning show and the motel had turned on the outside lights since I went to sleep. I had to turn the coffee off but was very thankful for the bonus hours of sleep.



The next day I could have hung out in Hixton but checking the weather, it was all very clear on my path. I figured that I should take the window of opportunity and push on. I wasn't sure how far I would go as I was already ahead of schedule, but with the weather being so good, why would I wait for it to change on me? I made my way to the Stewart Cassiar highway and went all the way to Bell II Lodge/Gas Station. Funny story here. There are all kinds of fuel warnings and I have been getting about 50-55mpg for the trip. So, when I passed one gas place at my 100 mile mark, I wasn't worried as the next gas place was 55 miles away and I have a 3.3 gal tank. Well, I have had the bike to 148 miles before and the gas light wasn't even on. I figured I was good for 165+ at the least. This time though, the gas light comes on at mile 137! The first time the gas light has ever come on. I thought “wow, the hasn't happened before, but at least I can make it to mile 155. Has to be at least 20miles on reserve.” Now, I had seen 5 black bears on the Cassiar highway and I have no bear spray (why buy it when you can't fly with it?) so I was keen to get to the lodge. I pass mile 155. Not a lodge in sight and no signs. I pass another sign a few miles on for Dease Lake, 250 miles up the road. I think “well, I backtracked a few times to get bear pictures, that might add a couple of miles, but I doubt it. I was really stressing at mile 160 and figured I must have missed the spot somehow. Then at mile 161, I see a sign in the distance that says “Bell II 2k” and I just roll on the throttle. Now, I did have spare gas in a Gatorade bottle, but that is really just spare, like, in case I need a few more miles, need to start a fire or need to get another biker going. My plan is to pour the gas into the tank in Tok and toss the bottle. Anyhow, 3.3 gallons (per Bikez.net specs) turns out to be 12.77 liters. I went 163 miles and took 12.34 liters. I had only about a Coke can's worth of gas left in the bike! That means I will have to take on gas whenever I see the chance.

I think my plan now is to head for Tok and see how far I can get. I'll see how the weather is, but this morning when I checked before heading out, it was still clear on my route.

I made it past Watson Lake and all the way to Rancheria, Yukon. 360 or so miles. Which was lucky as one of my gas stops on the Cassiar was closed. I was told they shut it down recently because the locals opened the pumps and stole the gas. I saw 5 bear yesterday and 7 bear today as well as 1 moose and 1 porcupine. The Moose was going down a steep hill, so I only saw the behind. Big one though. All of that was on the Cassiar Highway. I haven't seen any wildlife along the Alaska highway yet. I got a motel room for $60 and was able to get a nice steak sandwich too for my late lunch. As a bonus, they have wifi in the lounge and I was able to update the family on my progress. It is 9:30pm as I write this and still bright outside, like it's 5pm. Definitely in the North now. Supposed to get dark/dusk at midnight. As a nice bonus, the owners are cool and while I was in the lounge using wifi, a rain shower came through. It rained for an hour and that was the first rain they had seen in 3 or 4 weeks. Also, this stop marks the spot of putting 3000 miles on the bike. With about another 1000 to go, I am 75% done mileage wise. That was done in 8 days, thanks to great weather.





I checked the weather and it looks like good temps and no rain all the way to Tok. My plan now is to make it to Haines Junction tomorrow and then on to Tok or some cabins outside of Glenallen.

I pushed and made Destruction Bay. There was a strange part through Kluane Lake. It was basically...shitty but pretty. Nature pretty, people shitty (trash everywhere, abandnoned cars…). Anyhow, I saw my first Grizzly in the wild and got some pics. I got closer than I could with the camera, but had to back off to take pics. Sucks but at least I got some pics. I left when he was watching me and then put his head lower (pre-charge stance, in my opinion). I let the camera go and put hands on the bars for full power forward Mr. Sulu!



OK, so I got a decent start out of Destruction (as they call it) and there was some challenging gravel and snot construction that I navigated pretty well by standing on the pegs and being loose on the bars. No crashes so far, but that doesn't mean there haven't been a few close calls. Well, 4000 miles means something might happen, you never know. Mentally, I have been in a classic rock/90s rock state of mind. Lots of Led Zep creeps up in my head. Ramblin' On and all. I think it is a combo of the great trip 10 years ago (I've been this way 10 years to the day...) and the great weather (seriously epic weather, people would kill to have a trip like this, sunny and nice every day, even through BC) and the fact that this is kind of my middle age crisis present to myself (even though I have done big trips before, this is my longest). I have missed My family greatly and this time I have purchased what I think are thoughtful gifts, which is good as it means I have learned a few things in my years on this blue/green marble.



I made it through customs fairly easy, even smuggled my Molson's through ;-) Then I pushed on to just outside of Glenallen and the cabins I stayed in 2 years ago...only this time, I'm camping and there is a Folk Music Festival.

A strange thing happened today. I was really excited to be back in AK as that is the last big accomplishment of the trip. I was kind of sad to leave Canada. So, after I made it through US Customs I was really liking the trip and feeling on a wavelength far from home and felt happy yet sad at the same time. I was laughing one time, then the next minute I was feeling down but also still stoked that I had done the hard parts of the trip well, seemed really strange. I never have 2 feelings at once, so this was new for me. I guess it took 4000 miles and a major goal accomplishment of having another epic Alaska trip to bring that out. Maybe because my last trip in 2013 was so rainy, I was extra stoked and relieved that this wasn't a repeat. Anchorage is only 120 miles away. Today is the 22nd and I fly out on the 27th. I have a few days to vacation in Anchorage. Since it is a holiday weekend, I can’t turn the bike in early and fly home.

The crowd sucks tonight. Too many screaming kids and wanna-be folk musicians. Fortunately, camping was only $10 a night and I have my music b-toothed to my helmet. I have listened to Neil Young, Jane's Addiction and Guns-N-Roses so far. So much better ;-) Anyhow, it is a strange Memorial Day weekend. Earlier than most and that is why this festival is happening right now.




I was pretty tired from camping as my tent neighbors squawked on until 3am and generally a bit worn out. I grabbed a late breakfast at a McDonalds because 1) I just wanted some food and 2) they have wifi. I pulled up hotels and booked myself a suite at the Clarion. I booked it because it was in downtown Anchorage and it looked pretty safe. The cheaper places looked a bit dodgy/dirty and I didn’t want any hassles with the bike. It would be a bitch to ride it 4000 miles only to have it stolen. The Clarion was good. Good breakfast everyday with a pool and hottub. I also rented a bicycle from Pablo’s Bike Rental and road 30 miles for the day. I first rode the Coastal Trail and then out to Goose Lake.





The last days I just vacationed. Went to Whittier for a day. Walking around and catching up on my sleep as well as enjoying the pool/hottub. I had a nice sendoff dinner for myself at Gwennies and my last night was in the only hotel I had booked for the whole trip, the Alaska Long House. It’s a bit of a dump (my comforter smelled like diesel fuel) compared to the Clarion and it has fewer amenities but cost $10 more a night. Lots of oil folks transition in and out of there as it is close to the airport (3 miles away). Anyhow, it offered exactly what they said they offer, but I wasn’t impressed.






And just like that, it is over. 4200 miles riding, 30 miles pedaling and walking around the city for hours and hours. Time to head home.



SilkMoneyLove screwed with this post 06-05-2015 at 03:46 PM
SilkMoneyLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2015, 03:55 PM   #2
SilkMoneyLove OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
SilkMoneyLove's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 2,390
Other pics







SilkMoneyLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2015, 06:07 PM   #3
ShineySideUp
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Location: N California
Oddometer: 114
very nice rr - thanks for sharing
__________________
Ride Free - Ride Far - But Ride

I wonder where that road goes?
ShineySideUp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2015, 07:20 PM   #4
moralem
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Oddometer: 155
Cry

Well done.....but you are killing me. I did the trip last year from Dallas to Valdez and back and have never regained my emotional equilibrium once I got home. It was such a spiritual experience making the trip and seeing the grandeur of Alaska all I have been thinking about this past year is how to do it again and get to that emotional high all over again.....just as I was making progress in not being so down from not being up there you come along and throw this in my face and all that therapy and Zoloft is for naught. 😱.....but I am happy for you and thanks for helping me relive the experience.
moralem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2015, 05:24 AM   #5
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 57,100
Awesome ride!!! Thanks for the detailed report and pics.. We'd love to see more pics too
__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2015, 08:03 AM   #6
SilkMoneyLove OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
SilkMoneyLove's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 2,390
I'm glad there are others similarly afflicted with the AK bug. This was my 3rd time there. I have covered only a few of the handful of highways they have :-)

How about those long straight boring roads? Shhhh! Don't tell people there are good roads up north. Everyone will want to go.



Still a little ice on the lakes.

SilkMoneyLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2015, 08:15 AM   #7
SilkMoneyLove OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
SilkMoneyLove's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 2,390
I should start off with Cali pics

Rock Store

Mullholland


Giants


Coastal beauty


Holy Hell that is a high price


My riding buddy. Shadow :-)



This one. It gon rain! And did it ever. See how bone dry it is? The road foamed up with all the oil and torrential rain. Frog Toggs kept me dry and staying smooth at the controls kept me upright. Cali needs it though, so I wasn't complaining



Water break and taking in the scenery
SilkMoneyLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2015, 08:34 AM   #8
SilkMoneyLove OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
SilkMoneyLove's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 2,390
I kicked around Seattle some



Got drunk with this guy, (my buddy Tom) so a late start the next day

SilkMoneyLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2015, 08:40 AM   #9
SilkMoneyLove OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
SilkMoneyLove's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 2,390
Onward to Canooodia!

Timmies!


Metric stuffs - funny because they still have 100mile house from the old days before they went metric. It does mess with your mind.


Good sushi in Pemberton


One lane wood deck bridge



Yeah!


Boo.
SilkMoneyLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2015, 09:02 AM   #10
SilkMoneyLove OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
SilkMoneyLove's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 2,390
Alaska

Fire & Ice



SilkMoneyLove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2015, 09:13 AM   #11
Dan Diego
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 1,085
Very enjoyable RR.

Glad you added that part about your conflicted feelings. Some of us feel like that while on a great ride. On one hand, it's just spectacular being in the middle of such beauty, and then again, you would like to be sharing it with your gal.

Nicely said.
__________________
I have no interest in living a balanced life. I want a life of adventure.
Dan Diego is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 03:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015