|09-04-2013, 03:54 PM||#1|
Joined: Jul 2013
my first real adventure ride -- the 50 year bucket list
2013 was the year of bucket list for me. the 50 year bucket list.
the list of unfinished goals, shelved challenges, unrealized dreams was quite large.
with my wife's permission and urging i decided to go on extended sabbatical from my career as a trainer.
months earlier, wife and i had decided to become parents.
she urged me to chase the bucket list now, while i had the chance.
i began to plan and train for a grueling ski expedition.
months of training for the expedition had to be shelved when i tore my hamstring halfway through training cycle.
yearning for adventure, and having fallen in love with motorcycle riding only 5 years before, i decided a solo trip to alaska and the yukon on
an adventure bike would be a sufficient sub for 30 days of skiing across an ice shelf.
the length and distances travelled, as well as exposure to inclement weather, would be physically taxing enough to be "adventurous", but my
hamstring would still have time to repair itself.
keeping skiing on the horizon for spring 2014, i wondered how i could acquire a fully kitted adventure bike and still keep
budget reasonable? all in short notice.
not knowing as much about engines as i should, decided it would be best to purchase brand new japanese bike rather than used, already
farkled bmw or triumph.
decided on the 2013 vstrom 650 adventure bike, which came with engine guard, rack and hard bags. i added tank bag, hand guards, throttle control.
after a two day 600 mile dash at reasonable speeds around washington's olympic peninsula to break her in, my new bike had her first oil change.
8,677 miles and 1 month later, i returned home. weestrodamus is probably due for her 3rd or 4th oil change.
riding from seattle to alaska via the alaska highway, temps ranged from 104 degrees to just below 40 near prudhoe bay.
enroute to alaska hooked up with serbian gentleman and two belgian gentlemen who were enroute to inuvik. rode with them for a day, had delightful evening in whitehorse drinking, eating and being inspired to make sure prudhoe bay was on my agenda.
biggest challenge proved to be the dalton highway. conditions can vary on that road depending whether it's raining or not. when bone dry, riding is relatively straightforward.
however, when raining and road construction are going on, the dalton is a different beast. a slimy slurry of mud that will eventually coat entire bike (and rider).
lets just say i was "fortunate" enough to experience miles of rain and mud. and though i was stressed and physically taxed, it was awesome.
before the dalton and prudhoe, toured south-central alaska with a flyrod and hip waders added to motorcycle kit. this part of trip was a very successful camping and fishing expedition (unfortunately, usually in the rain).
after south central alaska, after the mind-blowingly beautiful ride over atigan pass and vast beauty of the arctic on the dalton highway, decided to dash off to haines alaska to take ferry to prince rupert.
2 1/2 day break camping on ferry was nice. met wyoming couple who did the dalton highway, two-up, on a ktm. met another vstrom rider, woman from central bc on solo trip to skagway and hyder alaska.
with the down-time on boat i researched hyder alaska. decided to add 500 miles to route home by dashing up cassiar highway to stewart and hyder to watch bears, ride undeveloped road to salmon glacier. definitely worth the trip.
jasper and banff were stunning but, after experiencing the vastness of the yukon and the arctic, too crowded for my liking .
had the pleasure of experiencing severe thunderstorm heading through alberta to montana -- sidewinds nearly knocking me over, lightning demanding i find shelter.
glacier park was also too crowded for my temperament. fortunately ranger suggested camping at one of their undeveloped backcountry campsites. proved to be a stunning 50 miles of dirt and gravel to reach beautiful campsite then head towards columbia falls.
even though i was used to the stunning scenery of my home state, the route home via north cascades highway was gorgeous. finished ride to seattle via the mtn. loop highway, which included 14 miles of dirt and gravel.
for now, weestrodamus is corralled in the garage, but i'm already dreaming of short weekend adventures, hopefully a future trip to inuvik, yukon territory. perhaps the dalton again….. and of course the rest of the planet.
ykcornelius screwed with this post 09-04-2013 at 04:06 PM
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