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Old 07-19-2013, 04:23 PM   #271
jdrocks OP
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Joined: Jul 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperboarder View Post
Chris just checked in on Facebook. Sounds like maybe an oil pump.
Mike has resources available which i hope he uses. i haven't even heard the symptoms, but an oil pump failure with a full crankcase of M1 synthetic would be highly unusual, million to one, on a relatively low mile engine.

i asked Mike if the engine overheated due to a mud clogged radiator, but i haven't heard back.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:03 PM   #272
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according to the guy that Mike was riding with...

the bike was and is "running fine", the only anomaly is the oil light. sure doesn't sound like an oil pump failure. the oil pump on the ptwin is located behind the clutch basket and chain driven, so if it comes apart, boom, no motor. could be something as simple as an electrical connection.

the bike was picked up in Eagle Plains and is on the way to Whitehorse, that's an 1100 mile roundtrip tow. i think Mike got a road service plan with unlimited towing before he left.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:44 AM   #273
fasteddiecopeman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
fly up to Dawson and find out what's wrong with the bike.
Thought you said Mike was stuck somewhere UP the Dempster...?
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:26 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Thought you said Mike was stuck somewhere UP the Dempster...?
the story i got was that Mike was picked up in Eagle Plains by a service vehicle dispatched from Whitehorse. that vehicle blew a bunch of tires on the Dempster, and apparently detoured to Dawson, then on to Whitehorse.

i really don't know where Mike is, haven't heard from him. he's barely ridden 1000 miles in 6 days. don't know where the other rider is either.

i have the hard copy service manual and know these motors pretty well, also had "invader" standing by, and that guy knows every nut and bolt. both of us are of the opinion that if the motor is "running fine" as described, no abnormal sounds or issues besides the oil light, the problem could be a minor electrical fault. the bike might have been power washed, maybe more than once, and had been running in all that chloride mud.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:10 AM   #275
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*****mike's alive*****

i don't think Mike would mind me posting his recent email, he's got friends following the thread, and maybe wondering about his situation and location, as i was.

Hi Dave-
All is well... other than I'm two days behind schedule. Still in Whitehorse. You don't want to know why. Okay, I'll tell you anyway. Lost my wallet... changing clothes in the dealership. I got two hundred miles east yesterday and didn't have it. Came back (400 mile day going nowhere) Now have it again... heading for Kinaskin tonight. Raining like crazy.
Mech thinks oil light was caused by oil temp. Bike was totally caked with mud. A good cleaning and some brake fluid (and a new bolt in the fairing...) and I'm on my way. Cost- a pizza.
Chris is two days ahead of me... travelling solo, although I've spent the last three days with a guy who wrecked his wee-strom... we shared the tow. That's another story that I'll tell you sometime... driver was 14 hours late, and it took us 24 hours to get from Eagle Plains to Whitehorse.
Thanks for the concern and the phone messages- I'm not using my phone, so I had to call in to get them. Using a phone card.
Hope all is well on your end... wish me luck!
MM


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Old 07-21-2013, 10:45 AM   #276
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Nick had arrived, out of gas, he was running 90 American miles per hour, not that metric mumbo jumbo, and coasted to the pumps in time to catch the tail end of my credit card debacle. I’d never had a card problem, well, not since the last time I was up here, so that makes twice in the last 50 years, I sensed a trend. I paid cash so I could get the heck out of there, but noticed the guy was still trying to push a card transaction through, damn, I didn’t mind breathing fire once in a while, keeps all that nose hair under control “Hey, watcha doin’, I just paid cash”, then sotto voce, “Ya freakin’ nut”. Nick was standing there, thin cigar in the corner of his mouth, providing stoic naval overwatch, just in case I tended towards violence, wouldn’t want to miss the show.

Outside, and I was on the phone to the XO, ain’t Canuckistan wonderful, they had better cell coverage than the States. Turned out my XO had been trying to reach me, the Visa fraud people had called late yesterday, reviewed recent transactions on the card, she had then declared fraud immediately after hearing just the first amount, and the card had been cancelled, good girl. I still had to call Visa, stood around playing with their phone tree a couple times, quit, and was gone west on 1, screw it.

Foul humor, now foul weather, it was raining again as I rode west, not heavily, but enough to temper the day. Road construction seeming forever, mile after mile of fresh gravel, slow travel by my standards, and I passed a roller compactor with a panicked operator who was about to fall down a 200’ embankment. I stopped while he chained the machine to a pickup, except the compactor was so heavy that it would drag the pickup over the edge too, it was a crisis. I happened to have an unlimited heavy construction license and knew exactly what I would have done, but outside input was not something that would have been welcome, more like distinctly unwelcome, especially from a Yank.

Watching this circus gave me a minute or two to think about what I wasn’t seeing. There was no traffic on the Alaska Highway, and I’d been on this road several times, so I had a good benchmark. I’d been here when the RV traffic alone would be near bumper to bumper in impenetrable clouds of dust, not this time, and I ran off 15 miles without seeing a single vehicle of any kind in either direction. The tourist crowd had gone elsewhere, and the Horn River shale activity was off to the east, it was downright eerie. Many businesses were closed, including some that had been fixtures along the road for decades.

Soon over to Teslin, crossing the bridge where the Nesutli and Wolf Rivers converged from the northwest and north with Teslin Lake, a necessary bridge here in the WW2 construction era as the long narrow lake blocked a push straight west.



Teslin was a must do fuel stop for me because even though I was headed to Dawson, my route was through Skagway, about as indirect as it gets, and I knew fuel down that way could be sketchy. Fueled up at the big complex past the bridge, Nick’s bike parked in front of the store, the man himself lounging at a table on the porch…smoking a cigar, and that makes the fourth time today I’d seen him. He hadn’t decided on a stop for the day, but Whitehorse was looking like the frontrunner, especially when I mentioned the brewery. Heck, Yukon had by far the highest per capita consumption of alcohol in all of Canuckistan, they needed their own brewery, only logical.





I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Visa, standing in the rain at the pump island, an “X” marked right there, the only location where the call wouldn’t get dropped, I was way wet, and getting more and more pissed as the seconds ticked on by. Nick was still sitting on the porch drinking coffee, dry, and amused. Time to go “Adios my friend, ‘til we meet again” and I was riding west, wondering if I would bump into him again, or if Nick would ever see the report once written, he had the clues necessary to find it. It was a small world of travelers up here, and with only a handful of roads, I had encountered people 2000 miles from where we first met.

I followed the Alaska Highway northwest along the lake, crossing the Teslin river at the head of the lake at Johnson’s Crossing, finding a place where I would have made a pie stop had closed, I was outraged, man, I needed a fix bad. Homemade pie goes a long way towards adjusting a mindset during a rainy ride, no luck, and I turned southwest towards Jakes Corner, the services at that intersection closed too.

Jakes Corner was the top of Highway 8, the Teslin Cutoff, and was the shortcut back and forth to Skagway from the east, the Atlin road branching almost due south, I’d never been down there, might one day. The small community of Tagish was also on this road, but I’d never figured that place out, and the fuel stop had closed. The distant Coast Mountains of British Columbia in sight ahead, with the Alaska border running down the center of the Boundary Range.



I was getting weary as I approached 600 miles, the rainy weather had taken a toll, but I suddenly caught a break when the skies cleared a little and it looked like I would finish on dry roads. That was the problem, I didn’t have a solid destination, but as I ran up on the Tagish River bridge, there was a sign for a resort that included a postscript “Motorcycle Friendly” across the bottom, man, it was meant to be.

If you were to look at a map, these little places didn’t just appear on the map by accident. The waterways were important travel routes, even into the last century, and it was a lot easier to go by water than it was to hike over the mountains, Marsh Lake was up river north of the bridge, while Tagish Lake with it’s many arms was to the south.





The name of the establishment was Six Mile River Resort, not sure of the significance of the 6, but maybe the length of the Tagish River was only six miles here. One thing was certain, I didn’t remember passing this place the last time, or I would have noted the location. I wasn’t sure what I’d find, maybe a biker bar way out here, but instead found an old time resort tucked in behind the trees and fronting the river, some newer enhancements too. I met the owner of only three years, Doug Dupont, he showed me around, and yes, he had a nice spot to set the tent. He also gave me a look at the restored Norton Commando that he had just bought for his wife, sorry, no camera, the damn thing was in the tank bag.

I set the tent in some kind of world record time, rain threatening again, stowed the gear in the vestibules, and did a power walk imitation over to their dining room, they had the works, food, beer…and WIFI, the end of the day top 3 for the solo moto rider.

In a departure from the usual, the spotless commercial kitchen was up front in full view, good lookin’ uniformed gal chef and waitress, the tables had tablecloths, it wasn’t a biker bar, but a great find instead. So when I stepped up to the counter and said “I’ll be needing some food”, the chef and waitress glanced at each other, I knew that look “Who let this freakin’ cuckoo bird fly in here?”, and the chef said with as straight a face as she could manage “We have food, please let us seat you first”. Lordy, good thing I don’t embarrass that easily.

That’s how my dining experience started in this little treasure of a place on the Tagish, but I did get a chance to apologize for my boorish behavior, and got a little extra bonus with the meal I’d ordered, so I assumed I was forgiven. This was the first time on the trip that I was actually sitting down for dinner in a restaurant, I’d sorta been on the run. A fine meal with four beers, the tension of the day a memory, and I made it back to the tent, light rain falling, I just didn’t care anymore.

(to be continued…)
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:42 AM   #277
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Day 7: Tagish River, Yukon, to Dezadeash Lake, Yukon (261 miles)

I was listening for rain on the tent fly, just a few drops, and got up quickly when it stopped, I hate breaking camp in any kind of rain. No sleeping pad again, but I had slept well, except the zipper on the Marmot got stuck half way up, a little chilly. I had to smuggle Mike’s bike into Alaska today, better shave, so I took advantage of the Six Mile “wash” house, then backed the bike over to the drive, ready to leave.



The dining room/kitchen and owner’s quarters were newer, while the other buildings were mostly older, some interesting junk on display. I had owned or used some of the old outboards and saws way back, and it was interesting to see them again.



Cabins were available, $125 and up. Doug also owns a hotel in Panama where he and his wife spend the winters, that’s the life. I asked when they leave, and got “Before it snows”.



The locals must do their best to keep the moose population under control.



Light rain now, no traffic except an eastbound Harley, the rider wearing one of those silly skull face masks, OMG, it was like sooooo scary looking, damn fool, must be the low T. The ride to Carcross didn’t take long, the road in good shape, then a big sign stating “NO PUBLIC DRINKING WEST OF THE RAILROAD TRACKS”, in other words, the town fathers didn’t want a bunch of chronic drunks mixed in along side the cruise line tour buses. Makes sense, but spoils the fun. I topped off the tank, no hurry, my ferry from Skagway over to Haines didn’t sail until the afternoon, then I was southwest on Highway 2, the Klondike, towards the Alaska border. The Chilkoot Trail and BennettLake, the goldrush era pathways to the Klondike were located just a few miles west of the road.

Below Carcross began an immediate and steady climb along Windy Arm of the Tagish.



LimeMountain was in the distance east of the lake beyond BoveIsland.



Man, another rainy and now cool day as I rode farther southwest and higher into the mountains, nothing to be done about, and as with all mountain ranges, the weather could be much better on the other side. Hold that thought, those were the cards I was playing.





I was just poking along, using the camera as rain would allow, no hurry to get to Skagway, I already knew what was lurking there. No traffic to speak of, I could stop anywhere without a problem.







Looking southwest, MountRacine was west of the road, MountConrad was to the east, those guys must have wanted that gold bad enough to die for, and many did.



The British Columbia border was located near the bottom of Windy Arm, pure chance since it’s just a latitude line, but I’m sure there was some discussion when all those gold discoveries came in north of 60.





I passed a very informative sign, but I realized that there hadn’t been a sign on the front end of that zone, probably an avalanche casualty.



Forty miles of rain found me wet and chilled at the White Pass border, Alaska, I was in, but not officially. Heck, anyone could get in here, say they had been to the States, photo standing next to the sign, cross it off the list. No M4 toting Border Patrol, no ICE, nuthin’, the border station was still down the road some seven miles.







Rugged country, besides the historic Chilkoot Trail, there was also the White Pass Trail, a toll road, then a narrow gauge railroad, all completed in the goldrush period.





Snow poles lined the road near the pass.



The small Moore suspension bridge spans Moore Creek, one of the few features that the road builders didn’t detour around or blast their way through.



The temperature had risen as I descended, and the rain had eased. I would have been moving slower, but I was looking forward to breakfast in Skagway, I hadn’t even had coffee yet. Back into my run and shoot, there were still some views worth remembering.







There was still some weather up higher, glad I was a little lower.





I reached U.S. Customs prepared for action, and got the “bad cop” routine right out of the Hollywood playbook. What a pain in the butt, repetitious questions ad nauseam, blah, blah, blah, yes, no, blah, blah, and I was barely listening. I could have interrupted, but I was hesitant to start laughing at a guy with a gun. Hey buddy, can ya hurry it up, ma foot’s fallin’ asleep, I’m late for breakfast, and about to crap a freakin’ horseshoe. I knew I would be getting into the United States of America…with the bike, no matter how big a deal this dude could make out of it. I asked for a passport stamp, but he had walked away, leaky Depends, no question, call HAZMAT.

Welcome back, sorta, I’d only been gone a couple days I think, I was a little foggy on the details, but in a big burst of kinetic energy, a certain USA citizen riding a certain USA citizen’s bike was gone to Skagway, cruise line capital of the northern universe.

(to be continued…)
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:22 AM   #278
jdrocks OP
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Mike should have an interesting ride report, i sure hope he writes it up. the guy Mike was supposed to ride with, and planned his whole itinerary around, is nearly home. Mike is still out there somewhere, and i hope he sticks to his route and does the high western passes that he was so much looking forward to riding.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:10 PM   #279
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Mike reports that he is back in Montana, bike running fine, and he's considering some different routes to Colorado.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:59 PM   #280
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On to Skagway, population 1,000,000, naw, it just seemed that way. Four cruise ships were tied up at the piers, I think they must have sailed directly from Shanghai, the passengers were mostly Chinese. The sidewalks and crosswalks were solid with people, way beyond my already low expectations for this small town that existed to serve the ships. Barkers were trying to lure passengers into the shops, buy the knickknacks, mostly made in China, including those labeled “native” crafts. How’s that for an ironic twist?

I rode down to the harbor just to make sure I knew where the Alaska Marine ferry would depart later in the day. The waterfront itself was the only place in town to get away from the hordes, man, NYC at lunch hour has fewer people on the streets.



I was desperate for a place to eat, not high on the list for the ship’s breakfast buffet crowd, and had to bully my way through town a couple times before I found a small storefront, some kind of muffin shop called Bites on Broadway. I had somehow found the place where the locals stopped in for coffee and a muffin, travelers pray for happenstance events like this, and ordered a big sausage/cheese breakfast muffin, oh baby, salvation.

I was looking out the front windows while I ate my muffin, can’t eat just one, and was watching a tall Chinese woman trying to convince the guy she was with to buy something for her from the store next door. She was whispering in his ear, I didn’t speak Chinese, but I think the conversation went something like “Monkey sex, big boy, anything you want, on the sidewalk, right now”. She looked determined, wanted that souvenir trinket pretty bad, and was smiling when they went back in… so was he.

I ate another muffin, drank more coffee, and was thinking seriously about a third when I felt that phantom tap from the XO on my shoulder, better not. Outside the ship passengers were gawking the bike, it must look like a lunar explorer if you traveled by cruise ship, and I met Jim, a Skagway resident and 1150GS rider. Jim had long range travel experience, and we compared notes on our trips, plus, he was going up to Dawson for D2D, maybe I’d see him up there.

I had been through Skagway before, but never spent any time looking around, so that was what I did, but it was slow going through the crowds. I was trying to make a left turn to get to some less crowded side streets, couldn’t get the seas to part, gave up and went straight, without canceling the left signal. Edging the bike straight ahead, some Chinese dude started going nuts, jumping around, shouting, pointing at the signal. My Glock and bear gun were locked up at home, I couldn’t get away with running over his ass, too many witnesses, so I sang out “Happy Norovirus”, and left it at that.

I sailed at 3, but the report in time was 1:30, so I had the bike down there in line at the appointed hour. I always found the waterfronts interesting.





There was a helicopter base serving the cruise ship passengers, copters coming and going nonstop, they never shut down on the pads.





The ferry had arrived, and while I was standing there next to the bike, a couple came over to look at the bike. Kevin Huddy and his wife Annie from Lincoln, Montana, ex Fairbanks where he ran the UAF dorm program, and where I met him in the spring of 2009. To tell the truth, I didn’t recognize him with a goatee, and they were at the ferry to meet some Alaska friends on their way to D2D, then ride up together. I told them I had come within a few miles of Lincoln 4 days earlier, small damn world.

While waiting I also met an ADV rider from Juneau aboard an R80, who was gracious with a current road report and camping information on my route ahead. That was life on the road, and I never turned away from good information, it was foolish to do so, although I had seen info ignored.

The best news of all was “Goodbye Skagway”, and the ferry sailed almost on schedule, leaving the cruise ship chaos behind.



The sailing time over to Haines was a little over an hour, but in that hour you could get the full flavor of coastal Alaska. The last time I was on this ferry, the crossing was at midnight, daylight was much better.







There were many Euros on this ferry, cameras pointed all directions. It takes a decent camera to do anything up here, theirs were way better than mine.







The ferry docked in Haines, and after the usual scramble to get off, I was out in the parking lot getting the bike squared away, stowing my tie downs. I planned to top off with fuel, then run back up into the Yukon. I had seen Haines also, the opposite flavor of Skagway, and didn’t plan to linger, it was gas and go. I knew a fuel stop here, found it again, fueled, and talked to the owner about the gold show on cable that was originally filmed in the Haines area, but now other places too. He knew where all the main characters were working, also how they were doing. I don’t think he was all that impressed.

I began the 40 mile run northwest to the border on Alaska 7 where I would re enter British Columbia, following the ChilkatRiver, the TakhinshaMountains to the southwest. Beautiful setting, and once again, no traffic.



The river was running very full, and near Klukwan where the road was at the river, I found one of those revolving fish traps in operation. This was a well designed and fabricated example, so close to the road that it was partially tied off to the guardrail.



The Chilkat seemed even higher where it meets the KlehiniRiver flowing in from the west, and it didn’t look like it would take much to put the bridge deck under water. Near the bridge was the turnoff to Porcupine Creek where some of the gold show was being taped.

The border crossing into Canuckistan was the opposite of my experience crossing into the USA, passport scanned, “Where are you headed?”, and when I answered, the woman agent said “Oh, you picked the best one, have a good trip”. I don’t think I was stopped for a full minute, never even took my helmet off.

The highway became BC 3, ahead were the Three Guardsman and ChilkatPasses, also well known from the gold rush history of 1898. Like the route north from Skagway, this route went into the Yukon directly from the coast.







The sun was lower now in the evening, shadows across the mountains, and views to the horizon all around. There was a 50 mile stretch of road here that would make my top 10.





Above ChilkatPass is KelsallLake to the east, the KelsallRiver flowing south into the Chilkat.



The route through the passes and then the valley had been closed by the local Tlingit Indians to protect their trading business up until the gold rush when they were simply overwhelmed by the number of people heading north.



Since Haines, I had seen only two moving vehicles, plus two parked, one a provincial pickup guarding a washout on the southbound side, the other a young woman who had stopped to cook dinner at a windy turnout, no bugs.





With the road to myself, I was using the whole thing, why not.



This long valley was almost alpine in appearance, and I kept wondering if I was going to get rained on again as I dodged showers to the west before breaking into partly sunny skies.







When I saw that the road was to crest, I knew to be on the brakes, a long view to the horizon ahead.









I wasn’t in danger of running out of daylight this far north, and near the solstice, but I was getting tired, it had been a long day after all. I was getting near the Yukon border, the last few miles equally beautiful.



Finally the signs I was looking for, goodbye BC, hello Yukon. It had been quite a day of border crossings.





The Yukon was even willing to take BC trash, as long as it ended up in the bear proof can.

I was now on Yukon 3, soon up to Deasadeesh Lake, my stopping point for the day, and had seen a total of 6 vehicles since leaving Haines, about 115 miles.





I had been told back in Skagway that all the provincial camp grounds would be very buggy at this time of year, Deasadeesh the least so with it’s location on the lake…if there was a good breeze from the right direction.



I met a guy walking his dog when I pulled in, there were just two RVs and a woman tent camper at the lake. I started to say something to the dude, but he waved and scurried away back to his RV, both walker and dog jumped in, door slammed. How rude, but then I realized he was running from the mossies, dark clouds of them, gazillions. There was a slight breeze, wrong direction, I’d been warned.

I chose a site for the tent, had a little grass but exponentially more bugs, moved to another, then another, no relief. The lone woman camper was seated next to a fire, heck, I’d seen less smoke from our land clearing brush fires that were started with the aid of old truck tires. I set the tent on the gravel parking area after smoothing things out as best I could, it was late by local time, early morning eastern. There was no way to sit outside, and I grabbed the little food I had, bottled water, Mike’s bourbon, and dove into the tent, dragging 2500 bugs in with me. It was a slaughterhouse in there, much flailing, swatting, whacking, and cussing as I whittled down the population to less than a dozen, the survivors were in hiding. Gee, I wonder why nobody stops here without a forecast of frost.

Ate what I had, commenced drinking bourbon and water, in this case alternating gulps of each, no cup handy. I scribbled in my notebook, the quality of the scribbling always a gauge of my overall condition at the time, and since the notes were near indecipherable, I had no freakin’ memory of anything past that point.

(to be continued…)
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:14 PM   #281
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this trip was way too long for "Day Trippin'", duh, now the report is in "Trip Reports".
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:37 PM   #282
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this trip was way too long for "Day Trippin'", duh, now the report is in "Trip Reports".
LOL, with all the BSing and conversations, I was surprised it wasn't kicked over to "Inmates" a while ago. I think "Trip Reports" is getting dry and they need some fodder there for awhile.

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Old 07-28-2013, 07:58 PM   #283
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FYI, Mike just checked in from Aspen, he's home safe.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:31 PM   #284
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LOL, with all the BSing and conversations, I was surprised it wasn't kicked over to "Inmates" a while ago. I think "Trip Reports" is getting dry and they need some fodder there for awhile.

David.
kicked to "Inmates"? that's downright cruel, although you could have said "JM" i suppose.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:45 PM   #285
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FYI, Mike just checked in from Aspen, he's home safe.
thanks. yeah, just got an email from him a few minutes ago. an eventful 4800 miles for Mike. 10000 total miles up and back, one fork seal with an occasional drip, not bad.
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