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Old 06-13-2005, 05:46 PM   #1
snowrider OP
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Just another Alaska ride

I'm just another guy going to Alaska. It seems like the Alaskan roads must be clogged with motorcycles and bears. I'll have to really watch out for all those BMWs when I'm bear splitting.
It looks like I'm finally leaving for Alaska tomorrow morning on my DR650. This is a week later than I'd planned, so I have to get on the road soon or it's sepukku with a tire iron. I'm posting this now to mark my spot and I'll be back when I can get online and have some pictures to post.
The plan is to ride to the arctic circle, maybe run the haul road if it looks fun and the weather's nice, (I've decided on no bragging rights, just fun for this trip), then down to Anchorage to visit a friend, camp, see glaciers and run Denali Highway. The first day I only plan on riding from Madison, Wisconsin to the border at Fort Frances, Ontario, and if nothing else stops me I should be kicking back in International Falls, Minnesota or Fort Frances tomorrow night watching cable and chain smoking.
I love cheap motels right off the highway and don't have much experience camping, but I'm going to give it a shot on this trip. Previously camping to me meant sleeping on rest stop picnic tables, but I have a tent and all that and hope to camp in the arctic circle somewhere. But the first night on the road--it's got to be a bed, a shower and hopefully the sound of tires on the highway outside my window helping me sleep.
Oh yeah, I don't know any of you guys, but I've been reading the stuff here quite a bit since I started reading Striking Viking's thread. So, hi, I'm Aaron. I know you guys like pictures of stuff with motorcycles in them, and uh... stuff, so I'll try to take some and post them here.

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Old 06-13-2005, 06:48 PM   #2
L.A.
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Good luck and safe journey. Keep us updated
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Old 06-13-2005, 07:20 PM   #3
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Ride safe, see stuff, report back!
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:55 PM   #4
shepoutside
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Location: somewhere in Ontario, between many Great Lakes !
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, Have a great !!! Be safe , we are wait'n for your report
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:20 PM   #5
BUBB
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Location: I'm here because I'm not all there.
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Wish I was riding with ya...that is a dream trip for me.
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Old 06-16-2005, 09:03 PM   #6
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I'm in winnipeg at an internet cafe now. Slow progress, and I'm enjoying it. My mpg dropped to 33mpg when I was doing 80 in MN and I ran out of gas. When it ran out, it died like I'd hit the kill switch. Luckily there was a gas station right there. I kept it between 60 and 70 and got 44 mpg again. The bike likes it better, and even though 80 is comfortable on it, somehow it's convinced me that I like going slower too. I don't know how that works, like the bike just comes with a different mindset. That's like, the speed limit. How convenient.
Here's a wayside in minnesota on Tuesday where I tried out my camera's timer. Later, a minister came by and blessed my journey.





Here's a wayside in Superior just outside Duluth where I was putting on the carharts. Didn't bring the rainsuit with me, but my stuff is working ok.






I decided to stop in Eveleth, MN, so Wednesday I had 100 miles to the border. Big change from the 800 miles I've had to do in the past. 800 mile days just aren't as fun. I ate a great walleye breakfast and headed for the border, but got sidetracked on this great logging road. I passed tons of logging road entrances before temptation overcame me and I remembered making time isn't that important.





There was a turtle on the trail that I turned around and tried to photograph, thinking he'd make me feel fast. But he was too fast for me and made it into the weeds before I got the camera out. I'm slow.





Once I cleared customs there wasn't a very good town to stay in that I wanted to go to that night so I got a room in Fort Frances, then went and found this nice farm road outside of town.





Then I got a steak and went back to the room to enjoy my portable music system and my first cuban cigar since my first cigar over a decade ago.




Gas in Ontario today. Better weather and a better packing job.




I didn't stop for breakfast until lunchtime, but the fajita was good on an outdoor deck across from this seaplane charter business. This was my view. I love prop planes, especially seaplanes.






The girl on the left and her mom came up before my food came because the girl wanted to say hi and ask where I was going. They were from Ketchikan, AK, just visiting down south in Ontario. Before I left the girl came up to me to ask if I get lonely.





A wayside shortly before Manitoba. Notice how this statue in Minnesota looks just like me and is almost as big...

Someday I will go there and be their king.



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Old 06-17-2005, 01:48 AM   #7
AK Bear
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If you liked that plane, you'll have to take a lap around Lake Hood/Spenard when you get to Anchorage. 1/3 of the worlds float planes are parked there. Bear
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:27 AM   #8
BUBB
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Keep it coming -- great write up!

I've been kicking around the idea of getting a DR - you may be a commerical for one and not know it.

Of course, I've never loaded a DR, but is there some sort of way to hang some of your gear over the back wheel like with saddlebags to get some of the weight lower? I have found on my GS even getting 8 -10 pounds from the top to the sides helps the handling.

Ride more dude!
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:19 PM   #9
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I'm at a gas station in russell manitoba right now, they've got a computer with free internet. Took two hours to get out of winnipeg because I didn't know about the perimeter highway. I should've trusted the GPS' map I guess, I thought I was just having trouble discerning 101 from 1.

I was going to run mermite cans, but didn't have time to finish making racks to mount them, so I just made my luggage rack to hold everything. It would definitely be better with panniers, though it handles ok now. Also, it'd be nice to have my whole seat back again. I have to stand up on the pegs to stretch and give my butt a break pretty often right now because I'm forced into one sitting position

I want to get on the road now, but will put up some more pics whenever I get to Edmonton.
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:26 PM   #10
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Oh yeah, about the DR... this site helped me make the decision to get one.

I'd been wanting a KLR because I knew people toured on them so I knew the bike would hold up if I wanted to do more than ride local dirt. Then I started investigating the DR when I heard of people touring on them too, and found that it's pretty much just a better KLR if you don't mind changing seat and tank. Also, I'd rather rebuild an air cooled engine when the time comes, even if it comes a little sooner on the air cooled engine. The clincher for me, was when I read the adventure bike list on this site and under CONS for the DR it said "neither a work of art nor a status symbol". Perfect.
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:52 PM   #11
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Old 06-20-2005, 05:41 PM   #12
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I'm in Edmonton, Alberta right now at an internet cafe. I'm about halfway there, almost exactly halfway between Anchorage and Madison right now. I'll get new tires tomorrow, then go check out a big motorcycle exhibit at a museum a little ways south of here.
Here's a couple shots from Winnipeg, not too exciting.



Late supper downtown.


bicycle bridge





I've skirted the storms the whole way across Canada so far. A little ways southwest of me there have been floods worse than they've had in 50 years, requiring evacuation. Also, lots of thunderstorms, hail, and some funnel clouds spotted. It's been sunny and nice almost the entire way here, with just a few very short spots of rain.
Entering Saskatchewan I started seeing a lot of clouds and storms in the distance. This picture is shortly after crossing into Saskatchewan, still pretty nice weather here:




Somewhere in Saskatchewan on the Yellowhead Highway.




I hit a little bit of rain and saw some beautiful cloud formations. The cloud was coming down from the sky almost like a... funnel. It wasn't a funnel, but it reminded me of one, and I'd just come through some pretty hard rain, so I got a hotel in the next town, North Battleford. This is a pic of clouds when I pulled in, but shortly after this a storm came in and I sat out on the covered deck of my hotel room watching lightning along with my hotel neighbors.





Our Lady of the Highway shrine in Vegreville, Alberta.






Please give, chrome hubcaps aren't free you know.




Edmonton, Alberta





Somewhere I think I wasn't supposed to be, last night in Edmonton.











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Old 06-20-2005, 06:37 PM   #13
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Cool. I love reading this stuff.

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Old 06-20-2005, 06:57 PM   #14
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Great to see you out and about Manz! Hope the blessing takes. Have a great trip.
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Old 06-21-2005, 12:53 PM   #15
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Heard on the Weather Channel about that rough weather up north. Glad you missed it.
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