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Old 07-21-2013, 12:08 PM   #16
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So far so good, thanks for taking me along! Is that the bear spray on your shield??
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Old 07-21-2013, 02:15 PM   #17
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Diggin' your story so far. Can't wait to see Alaska.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:25 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TarmacSurfer View Post
So far so good, thanks for taking me along! Is that the bear spray on your shield??
Sure is. I figured it would be smarter to put it where it would be within easy reach. Don't think a bear would wait while I dig it out of my side bags.
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:08 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SpecialAgentNancy View Post
Sure is. I figured it would be smarter to put it where it would be within easy reach. Don't think a bear would wait while I dig it out of my side bags.
Any trouble crossing the borders with it?
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:57 PM   #20
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Nope. Pointed it out each time.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:17 PM   #21
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Day 6 & 7

Spent day 5 relaxing in Seattle and woke up early for the first of many ferries to come. Bainbridge. It was slightly drizzly and I had knots in my stomach. The previous summer, my ride had many ferries and they were always unpleasant. Get their early and then wait a long time....

This was no different...although as a commuter ferry, that wasn't necessary. I met a couple of guys who were headed there for the weekend on a Triumph.

The view of the Seattle skyline from the ferry was beautiful.

Made it to Port Angeles where my dad helped me find a nice place for lunch and I made my way to the next ferry.
Guess who I ran into??? Aaron. One of the boys from the Mt Rainier loop I did a couple days earlier where I tried to deter them from taking the 25 which was closed. This is when Aaron told me the whole story and we had a good laugh about it.
Another fella also came up to me and asked if I was SpecialAgentNancy and offered up that he'd been following my thread on the Alaska forum trying to find a riding partner and then asked what made me change my mind from taking the Anacortes ferry to Sydney.

Contrary to how it usually works, we were loaded last.

Aaron and I shared a bench with a nice couple on vacation and once we arrived in port, went to visit his wife (they run a kayak business together).

Aaron offered to give me the tour of Victoria on his V-Strom so off we went.

Sometimes it's fun sitting on the back....take better photos that way.

Gorgeous neighborhoods.

Now I might be partial because I'm originally from Montreal but it always seems to me that no matter how 'low-income' a neighborhood is, the yards are always well groomed compared to U.S. cities.

We rode around different neighborhoods and the university.

Lots of harbors with boats. This is Jim Clark's yacht.

Aaron offered me a place for the night but I had an invitation from Yatman just outside of Victoria.

This was my room for the night. Flannel sheets and super soft comfy bed.

Marleen cooked burgers and made a delicious salad for dinner.

That night, Wyatt's mom came over....what a pistol she was. Very beautiful still, full of pep and vitality and a strong personality. I enjoyed chatting with her but the eyelids were heavy and I headed off to bed.

The next morning we had a hearty breakfast and got ready to leave.

I had nearly 400 miles to go to get to Port Hardy for my ferry the next day and Wyatt and Marlene rode about a third of the way with me to Nanaimo.

I didn't really stop be honest, I was rather disappointed with the whole Vancouver Island. I'd read a lot of RR about how amazing the ride along the island was this or that but all the way to Campbell River, it was just a 2 lane divided highway without much in terms of scenic views.
Perhaps what everyone was talking about were all the smaller dead end roads that branch off from the 19. Once past Campbell River however, the road went down to a 2 way, single lane road with some twists and Port Hardy itself was a cute, sleepy town.

Some gorgeous flowers, in fact, a veritable flowerhouse.

Checked into my 'anti-septic' hostel. Squeeky, metal bunkbeds with a cheap, thin plastic mattress.

Hit a little bit of rain but nothing too heavy. Walked along the waterfront.

Went to bed early as I needed to be at the port by 5am for the ferry to Prince Rupert. Some funny events were to come....
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:53 PM   #22
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Thanks for the great ride report so far. Will be following you as you travel and enjoy your ride.
The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #23
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My first big, long voyage ferry where I was warned tie down straps are a must. Port Hardy to Prince Rupert.

I was also looking around for all those 'other motorcyclists' I was told I would see in increasing numbers as I rode North. Ahem, none yet....just one lonely Tiger and his horned helmet rider S.A.N. The deck master came up the ramp and looked at the lanes of vehicles waiting to board. We were all waiting a really long time. 3 hours in fact.
Anyway, he actually called my big boy a "scooter". That's right. My 500 lb Tiger 800 XC, a scooter. So the ladies at the top of the ramp directing the traffic and I had a good chuckle because when it was time to send me in, they told him they were sending the "moped" in.

After the disappointing ride on Vancouver Island, I was wondering if this $400 ferry ride was hyped up too. The actual ferry was a modern, sleek and comfortable ship. So I found a reclining leather chair, kicked up my feet and plugged in my ipod.

The clouds were fluffy and colorful with enough sun peaking through to make good photos.

and this inside passage was as impressive, if not even better than anyone had said it would be....I got a bit hungry and headed to the fancy restaurant.

I ordered wings....yes I love chicken wings. My favorite chicken wings are Hooters 3 mile island, drumsticks only, breaded, wet with blue cheese.
Just thought I'd mention that since you've seen this before already.
I also change my diet a bit when I ride. Fruits for breakfast or a salad for lunch just don't cut it for me when I'm riding 300 miles a day. I am a steak affectionado. Give me plenty of bacon with my breakfast too....

During the voyage past sleepy coastal towns and both manned and un-manned lighthouses, we passed a Disney cruise ship which billowed the Disney theme at 1,000 decibels. Imagine you are the parent of two hyper-active kids kooked up on a ship for a week with that Disney tune blaring over and over all day long..... no thanks.

Arrived in Prince Rupert at 9pm and it was still bright out.

Rode straight to the hostel.

Checked into my 3rd story (asked for 1st floor so I wouldn't have to shlep all my gear upstairs) back facing room (asked for front, street facing so I could see my motorcycle). These people can't follow instructions worth a damn...and here again, another painfully low ceiling.

I will say that it had its comforts though and a kitchen clean enough to cook in.

So I bought some groceries, including that thick, fatty rib eye steak I was craving and made breakfast the next morning.

I had a day to kill in Prince Rupert because the Alaska Marine Highway didn't depart for Haines until the next day so I walked around and acquainted myself with this cute town.

City hall was art deco with the motif's being indigeonous.

Learned that Prince Rupert accounts for 70% of the Asia-North America ocean container business.

Went to a museum where I saw this cool 'wood turned' box made with a single piece of wood.

And Kul Mom on my ADV thread suggested the fire house museum too, where they had a real REO Speedwagon!

What is the "riot act"

Didn't crop this photo on purpose...would have been a cute play on the eyes though to see a boat floating in the water at sunset with the tail of a whale like that....

The original train tracks through town to service the ocean freight business.

And wandered into this cute store and found my favorite nick nacks....Hello Kitty!

Met up with Tim back at the hostel later in the day, he was going to catch the same ferry to Haines the next morning. We talked a bit about tires and bikes (the usual ADV secret handshake stuff) and agreed to go together the next day.
The next morning had some more fun in store that involved some fried chicken and the ship's captain.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:58 AM   #24
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Great RR, brings back lots of good memories .
Keep it coming and be ready for the best : Alaska and the Alaskans
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:51 AM   #25
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Sunshine in Prince Rupert

Nice to see pictures of Prince Rupert in the sunshine. PR has the distinction of having the fewest sunshine days in all of Canada.

Enjoying the RR.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:12 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by SpecialAgentNancy View Post
It all began here....

I posted on ADV to find a riding partner to go from San Francisco to Dawson City Yukon for the D2D event.

Normally, every year I fly to Bulgaria where my second motorcycle is stored, and tour a month or more through multiple foreign countries, braving questionable food and gas, all kinds of invasive searches at border crossings (don't ask about Turkey) and cross places off my list of things to see. But this year, I decided to visit my favorite place as a kid. Alaska.

I remember being perplexed when my father, who worked on the pipeline, came and found me playing with some other kids to tell me it was 1 a.m. and time to go to bed and the sun doesn't set here in summer. (no wonder I was so darned tired)

I remember taking a cruise out to the glaciers and covering my ears when the ship blew the horn to make some ice crash down into the water and watched in awe as the waves slowly made their way to the hull of the ship and rocked us gently.

I remember also catching my first fish and when the crew saw it was a "junk" fish, threw it back in without another word, leaving me with balled fists and sniffling.

I remember the microscopic flowers that grew all over the the ground in wonderful pastel colors and loved them so much, my father later sent a whole bunch delicately dried and pressed in an envelope back when the postal service took "do not bend' seriously.

SpecialAgentNancy rides again and this time to Alaska June 1st from San Francisco. She will ride solo and with new friends.
She will eat all manner of meat. Elk, Moose, Raccoon, Caribou and yes even Bear if she can.
She's called "The Hobbit" and it's not for the hairy feet. (I'm going to have my second breakfast when I finish this).

My first partner in crime was Mario, a rider I met at a dirt rally in Mendocino National Park in May. He's got impeccable taste in bikes!

We rode that day together with our Tigers and had a great time!
So a few weeks later it came together and my boyfriend Arka, my riding partner for that day Mario and I all met for breakfast June 1.
Day 1.

Had an excellent meal (as always) at Cafe Aquarius in Emeryville and took the first important, "before", photo of the epic month long journey to come.

We took a winding path through the hot central valley towards Chico for a lunch stop and discussion about route. The south entrance to Lassen Park was still closed. Fortunately, 8lives helped us by telling in time.

So we chose to go the long way round: 32 north from Chico > 36 East > The the Mooney Road 'shortcut' which started as gravel but quickly went to pavement > to the 44 West and 89 South to Manzanita Lake campground.

With promises of chicken roasted over an open fire, we rode all day in hot weather punctuated from time to time by farmland irrigated with water that helped to cool the air down a bit.

As my stomach began to growl as loudly as the bike we arrived at our campsite.

Where Mario didn't dilly dally and got things started right away!

The smell was positively mouth watering....

We discussed the debate of 100 deet or not....and the ride we did. This is my favorite part of riding with's worth the hassles in my mind. I love nothing more than to discuss the fun, strange things you've seen and the overall feelings about this very special kind of travel.

We were expecting a visit by Highplains Drifter but it wasn't meant to be. The campground "police" told us he was camped there the night before and mentioned that I'd be arriving and to look out for me and say hello in case he didn't make it back. Heck, they even brought us firewood. I collected an armful myself walking around and got myself good and dirty in no time.

Went to bed with a fully tummy and felt great about my decision to ride 3000+ miles alone. Into Alaska, the last frontier.
It was great riding with you Nancy. Glad to see the trip went off without a hitch
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:42 AM   #27
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Hello Nancy,
It is a great pleasure to look at your photos
They are magnificent
Thank you for this report
Continuous like that... change nothing

See you soon and safe journey
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:53 PM   #28
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Nice trip so far.
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:45 PM   #29
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Day 11 & 12

I promised some funny shenanigans. Here we go. Woke up early and had breakfast but discovered Tim had already left. Perhaps he went for breakfast before the agonizing 3 hour wait in I headed to the ferry terminal and was waved on through. I parked and checked in to get my ticket and sticker for the bike and took my place in line #7 behind a bunch of cars. I spotted these old timers. Two couples with dogs heading to Prudhoe Bay. I told them to be careful when those trucks wail by them and watch out for fist sized flying rocks.

Meet Dave. He's a musician and brought along this ukulele. Judy his wife was making sandwiches and then the unmistakable smell of fried chicken wafted over....I went nearly mad with hunger, my mouth was salivating and I began to consider knocking on the doors to all the campers, convinced someone was making fried chicken while we all waited....

Now let me take a moment and talk about Dave and Judy. Nice folks and by golly, I ran into them twice over the next couple of weeks. There are only so many roads in Alaska so it's inevitable that you'll see the same people again. I experienced this after the D2D event, pulling into gas stations or camp grounds and seeing familiar faces and bikes....I'll mention Dave and Judy again twice when I saw them next.

I walked back to my bike as it seemed we were getting close to boarding and a nice man in a white shirt came over to me to say hello. I joked with him that I was about to lose it over the smell of fried chicken and he assured me that the ship's cook was making it. I gave him a cranky 'I haven't eaten in 3 hours look' and he assured me that I would have fried chicken.

I told him if he was pulling my leg I was going to personally come and find him. He smiled and walked off. Turns out that man was the ship's captain. Captain Rudini to be exact.

Once I secured the bike, dropped my bags and heard over the ships P.A. system...."would specialagentnancy come to the purser's office". I followed the first mate to the ship's mess hall.

Yep, that's 2 plates of fried chicken you see there on the table. I had 4 pieces of fried chicken and boy was it delicious!

Tim gallantly offered to share his cabin after I told him I was going to the solarium and a little nervous about that. We agreed on a sufficient amount and I offered to buy him dinner in addition to that. He got a cabin with a view.

I had the top bunk

And our tiny but clean bathroom (something I ate in Prince Rupert didn't agree with me so I was grateful for this).

Settled into the observation lounge for even more coastal beauty. The ferry was quite a bit older than the BC ferry I took the day before but it had it's charm. No wi-fi so we had to actually talk to each other and socialize like human beings. Met this interesting man who was native tlingit, pronounced "clinket" who carved silver and gold jewelry. He was humming a native american tune that had me enthralled and after some conversation offered me half of his Moose sandwich! Like I said, this trip was all about trying and doing things I couldn't here and not only was seeing a moose at the top of the list, but so was eating one.

The ferry was 5 hours late leaving Prince Rupert due to mechanical issues....and this was fortunate and unfortunate as it allowed us to navigate through the famous Wrangell narrows during daylight and pushed me to go straight through through to Skagway to save time.

This is called the green island lighthouse. Seems this 52 year old attendant is looking for a wife.

Came into Ketchikan just before sunset.

So I put together a group of passengers; Judy, Dave, Tim, Scotty and Larry and we all piled up in a taxi and went to Saxon totem park.

and we all know this famous outline....

Next stop Skagway!
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:31 AM   #30
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Green with envy..... in the drought-stricken, roasting, Texas panhandle. Our forecast is in the 100's for the next 10 days. Your report is a lifeline. Thanks for bringing us along!
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