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Old 07-27-2014, 11:38 AM   #1
Questor OP
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Questor goes to Alaska - MotoQuest Invitational 2014

Hello All.

In July 2014 I was invited to meet up with the folks up at MotoQuest to attend their annual invitational.

It was a nine day trip with about a dozen really great folks.

I've ridden in Alaska before, but this was... well it was epic.
All the things you would expect in an Alaska motorcycle trip.

Amazing scenery.


Old mining towns.

Beautiful seaports.


River crossings.

Miles of deep mud.

and bottle rocket wars.

Things were always right on the edge of getting out of hand, but we brought back most of the bikes we started with.

So come along and enjoy Alaska from the comfort of your chair.
Which is great. You don't need to worry about being eaten by a bear, trampled by a moose, drowning your bike in a river, getting stuck in the mud, or being eaten alive by mosquitoes.

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Old 07-27-2014, 12:03 PM   #2
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:38 PM   #3
just passin' through
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Heard about this one! I'm in bro
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:13 PM   #4
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Day 0

Well I'll start with Day 0.
Basically I flew from L.A. to Anchorage.

So Alaska looks like this.

Long Beach Airport looks like this.

and this...

The Anchorage Airport has things like this in it.

And this.

When I arrived in Anchorage it was 2:00am, so I didn't take many pictures.
But that will change.

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Old 07-27-2014, 03:48 PM   #5
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:54 PM   #6
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:22 PM   #7
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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Day 1

So actually, I got to the MotoQuest event a day early.
I figured there would always be something for me to go see.

So let me share the whole route with you.
We would start at MotoQuest in Anchorage.

Then we would set up Camp 1 at Copper Center.
Two days of exploring from Camp 1

Then move to Camp 2 at the Gracious House at Mile Marker 82 on the Denali Highway.
Two days of exploring from Camp 2.

Then a day riding back to Anchorage.

In total the route would look something like this.

Here's the map again without all my scribbling.

The guys at Butler Maps have done a great job here. I you ever ride in Alaska, buy their map and save yourself a lot of work trying to find the good places to ride.

So what did I do on Day 1?
Well I rode out Whittier to see a Glacier.

First I stop to get some breakfast.
Yeup. You know you're in Alaska when there is a Bear in the restaurant.

And funny metal animals outside in the parking lot.

Once fed I walked over to MotoQuest.

I've known Phil, owner of MotoQuest for a few years now, and re-introduced myself to Brenden and the rest of the staff.
We all first met at Dust To Dawson in 2010 and we all had a great time. We just can't remember most of it.

The place was a hive of activity.
Bikes were all over the place. Many were getting the final servicing before we all headed out tomorrow, including mine.

Since mine was still being worked on, Phil suggested I take one of the new BMW R1200 liquid cooled bikes.
Ummm.. Duh! OK! THANKS!

So while the staff kept busy sorting gear, and packing trucks...

Myself Jayson Plumber, and Rob Benfield got geared up and went for a ride.

YES! This is going to work out just fine.

I'd forgotten how smooth and refined these BMW's are. Very nice machines indeed for touring.

We hook up with coastal 1 and head 66 miles south along the sound.

Ocean views...

Then after an hour we head inland.

We leave the pavement and follow this dirt road.

Very nice. I'm relaxed.

We stop to stretch our legs and take pictures.

Here's the sweet R1200 GS LC I was riding.

Here's the glacier we came to see.

Then we turn around and ride back the way we came.

When we get back to MotoQuest we are assigned the bikes we would have for the rest of the trip.
Here's mine.

"Um Phil? There seems to be a problem. This is a KLR!"
"So? That's what you are all getting."
"But, but" I stammered. "I know it's a KLR, but... It's used."

As I rode it back to the hotel, I was shocked by the difference between the BMW I had been riding all day, and this little KLR. Little did I know, that by the end of the trip I would have a whole new world of respect for these tough little bikes.

Later that evening, the group gathered at the Millennium Club for dinner.
A real nice swanky place.

This is as close as I've ever come to a Polar Bear.

Outdoor dining was fun. We all shared stories.
Drank beer...

We ate food too.

And made fun of the one really drunk guy who nearly fell in the lake while relieving himself in plain sight of everyone else sitting on the patio.

It's still mid summer in Alaska, and that means it never really gets dark.
At around 11pm we all walked back to our hotels, passing the seaplanes, anchored along the shore.

It was good start to what was going to be a VERY memorable trip.

Approximate miles ridden today 112.


Questor screwed with this post 09-29-2014 at 08:40 AM
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:36 PM   #9
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Looking forward to more!
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:24 PM   #10
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Great pics Q, but where are all the orange bikes?
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:32 PM   #11
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Questor on a KLR? The end times are near
Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:51 PM   #12
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I know I'm not a long-time poster here, but I've been lurking for awhile now reading different ride reports (like the adventures of BigWan and LittleWan, Parepin, and JettinJim - among others). The reports I've read through have brightened many a night shift.

All I can say is...

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Old 07-28-2014, 05:02 AM   #13
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Let's see how this works out.
Thanks Questor!
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:04 AM   #14
retiring tomorrow
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Missing the SE, guess I'm still in ...
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:23 AM   #15
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Great way to start Monday morning.....guess I'm gonna be late to work, dang!!
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