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Old 09-04-2005, 01:15 PM   #16
YOGOI
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I like it! I like it alot!
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Old 09-04-2005, 01:45 PM   #17
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Wow! I'm get'n Alztimers, er sumthun...I can't even remember take'n the trip; but, judge'n buy the pics I had a great time.


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Old 09-04-2005, 02:02 PM   #18
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Day Six
After coffee and breakfast at Meier's Lake Roadhouse, as I was packing my gear on the bike


I checked the front tire. The knobs on the TKC-80 tire were getting REALLY low. I noticed the first day (after I left AKrider) that the tire probably wouldn't make it the whole trip. Today, I decided I would have to do something about it.

Heading south, I stopped at the Gakona Junction at a store with a payphone. I called Phil from Alaska Rider Tours and told him my dilemma with the front tire. I was expecting some friction from them, but instead I got nothing but cooperation. Phil said he would call around to try to find me a tire.

As I was waiting to call Phil back, I met little Mickayla

She talked my ear off the whole time I was there, asked where I was from and where I was going, she was so cute and kept me company while I waited.

After about an hour, Phil called me back and decided the best option was to meet me about an hour away, and we would swap bikes. I said, "sounds good to me".

So I rode an hour west from Glen Allen, phil rode another bike 2 hours from Anchorage to meet me at the Eureka Lodge. As I waited in the cafe at the lodge, a guy working there told me I must see Top of the World Hwy. and Dawson City in Canada, and stop at the Chicken Saloon. I said I was thinking about it, and he reinforced that I must try to make it up that way this trip.

Phil showed up on the Blue V-Strom (I liked the blue better !!) about 3:30pm. The knobby on the Blue Strom looked good, but the rear tire on my bike was better than the one on the blue bike, so I helped Phil swap the rear wheels.

Phil (owner of AKrider) swapping wheels.


Phil said he'd give me an extra free day on the rental, I said awesome, and I even decided to extend my trip another extra day on my own, since I wanted to see MORE !! A big thumbs up to Phil and Alaska Rider !! He said their goal was to make my trip enjoyable, safe and hassle free.

After talking quite a bit while swapping tires, Phil said since I told him at the start of the trip about the ADVrider website, now he couldn't get his people at the shop off the website They were into all the photos and trip stories.

We parted ways, I thanked Phil and I headed east again. I was doing about 85mph and a Trooper lit me up as he passed me going the opposite direction. Dammit !! I watched in my mirrors and didn't see him turn around, then pulled over at a turnout. Waited a few minutes......he never came back, he must've just been giving me a warning...cool, lucky me !!

At the Glen Allen Junction, it looked like nasty weather heading north, so I turned south on the Richardson Hwy.

Wrangell Mountain Views along the Highway.
Mount Drum - Elevation 12010 Feet


Mount Sanford - Elevation 16237 feet


Mount Wrangell - Elevation 14163 feet


Further south, it looked dark towards Valdez, so when I got to the McCarthy turnoff, the weather looked clear heading east. I took the 95 mile road towards the mountains to McCarthy.

Stopped at Liberty Falls


Then at this Historic Bridge


You're not supposed to stop on the bridge.........


The gorge below


Looking straight down from bridge at the sheer rock walls and river below


Sunset on the McCarthy Road


This road is about a 70 mile dirt road to McCarthy, and is known for sharp rocks and old railroad spikes protruding up from the surface. I was movin' along at about 50-60mph. It started getting dark and I thought to myself, "don't be an idiot, Slow Down !!" This road was different than the Denali and Dalton Hwy. This one was much narrower and the trees came right up to the sides of the road, so if an animal ran out I would have no time to react. I slowed it down to 30-40mph as it got darker.

After 192 miles on the new, blue V-Strom, I arrived in McCarthy at 10:00pm and got a cabin at the Kennecott River Lodge. He wanted $100, but again, I chewed him down to $75. Only thing in the cabin was a bed, futon, gas heater and gas lamp. First thing I did was ride across the river on the walking bridge to find something to eat.

As I pulled into the tiny town, I saw a bunch of bikes out front.

I met a few of the riders as they were heading to their rooms. They were the other group from Alaska Rider. I had now met everyone renting bikes from AKrider on my trip......too cool !!

The Golden Saloon was open, kitchen closed, but they still made me a sandwich with soup. I met and hung out with some of the crazy upstate New Yawkers who were riding the KLR's.

L to R Me, Dennis, Tony

Whenever I mention the ADVrider salute, they are always happy to oblige !!

Good Alaskan Ale


Bartender Rebecca and her pooch


Scott, (originally from upstate NY) a local living 10 miles down the dirt road. He's been riding a Harley up and down the rough dirt road for years. He loved hearing about my trip.


We all had a great time until we got kicked out at closing time. I rode back across the river to the cabin. Today was the first day I didn't even wear my rainsuit, so all my stuff was dry. I went to bed, looking forward to another fantastic day tomorrow.

Rad

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Old 09-04-2005, 02:02 PM   #19
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Wow, great pictures. Did you get on the Yukon River bank from somewhere near the bridge? I didn't know I could get down there.

Those pictures make me wish I'd gone to Deadhorse, just to look at their big machines, and musk ox. I'd considered continuing at the time and taking my chances with gasoline, but it seemed too risky. You had several chances to get gas before deadhorse!
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowrider
Did you get on the Yukon River bank from somewhere near the bridge?
Those pictures make me wish I'd gone to Deadhorse, just to look at their big machines, and musk ox.
Aaron, down behind the restaurant, there was a boat ramp down to the river. I rode along the river for about 1/2 mile before it got too narrow and soft.

The ride to Deadhorse was different, yet interesting, and quite a little adventure in itself. At least you got to the Brooks Range. Oh well, next time you'll have to go all the way !!

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Old 09-04-2005, 02:24 PM   #21
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Wicked

your gittin close to a Gus and Friar incounter I can feel it great ride report!
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Old 09-04-2005, 02:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elefant 900 Rad
Aaron, down behind the restaurant, there was a boat ramp down to the river. I rode along the river for about 1/2 mile before it got too narrow and soft.

The ride to Deadhorse was different, yet interesting, and quite a little adventure in itself. At least you got to the Brooks Range. Oh well, next time you'll have to go all the way !!

900 Rad
Next time I go north, I think I'll try the Dempster highway to Inuvik to get my Arctic Ocean.
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Old 09-04-2005, 03:22 PM   #23
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Eek

check out my thread on what the dempster can do to a new tire
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94387
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowrider
Next time I go north, I think I'll try the Dempster highway to Inuvik to get my Arctic Ocean.
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Old 09-04-2005, 03:43 PM   #24
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Great ride report Randy just sipping on a Pepsi waiting for more pix and reading your awesome write-up. Sounds like you were enjoying that rain up in Alaska I beat every other word you said was "oh crap not more rain"
Sure beats riding the washes at Ocotillo, Wells doesn't it?
Glad your trip was a memorable one and someday --perhaps next year, I'll be making a simular trip.

Peace.

Darin
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Old 09-04-2005, 05:02 PM   #25
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Day Seven
I woke up and looked out the back window of the cabin....WOW !! Nice scene and blue skies !!


Cabin


The only way I could ride the bike to the cabin was up this single track trail through the trees, my only single track of the whole trip, a whole 200 feet long


Off to breakfast across the foot bridge


View from bridge up the Kennecott River


Breakfast in McCarthy


M & M - Margaret (Ohio) & Megan (Palmer, Anchorage)

I enjoyed talking to them during breakfast, they both work up there during the summer. Margaret had her laptop out, she said it's the only way up there to stay in touch with the outside world. Megan said she'd lived in Alaska for 8 years, and I'd seen more of the state so far on my trip than she had yet, poor girl.

Old buildings in McCarthy with awesome backdrop




After a good buffet breakfast and talking with the girls, I hopped on the bike and rode the dirt road for 5 miles to Kennecott mill and mine site......

The mill & mine was more than I expected..........














The richness of copper ore here sent the Kennecott Corporation on it's way to becoming a multi-national giant

Inside the buildings, I saw scaffolding, planks and worker's tools. They are shoring up the buildings to prevent them from collapsing. The mine and mill was closed in 1938.

I saw Randy & son Ethan from North Carolina again, who I had seen in Coldfoot a few days before.

They couldn't believe they ran into me here !! They never made it to Atigun Pass on the Haul Road a few days ago. I told them I went to Deadhorse, they laughed because when I saw them in Coldfoot, I said I wasn't going all the way to Deadhorse.

Glacial Moraine, which is debris leftover from when the glaciers carve their way through rock. The woman at the National Park booth said below all that debris is ice about 200 feet thick.


Mountain and glacier view from Kennecott


After an hour in Kennecott, it was time for me to head back.....destination today was Valdez.

Typical scenery and road surface on the McCarthy Road


These stacks of rocks are what's left after a glacier carved through the area


Breaktime under the bridge at the Kuskalana River Gorge


When I got out to the main road, I headed south for Valdez on the Richardson Highway. I got to the Worthington Glacier and had to stop to check it out.


Closer view


I guess I'm a Glacier Nut......too many photos here, but I think it's cool.........cool, get it ?!! err err err


Up close and personal with the glacier


The valley below that was carved by the glacier over thousands of years


Close-up of rock showing scrape marks as the glacier moved across it.


Glacial Ice is at least 40-50 feet thick here.


Glacial Rad Explorer


Looking down at the very bottom of the glacier, where it grinds through the rock as it slowly moves across it.

I found this all so interesting and amazing to be so close to it. This glacier has been there for who knows how many thousands of years.

Leaving the glacier, I saw a dirt road and had to explore it, I couldn't make it across this stream.......


At an overlook on the pass, I saw a two-track jeep trail going over a ridge, so had to check it out


View from top of ridge towards valley below, leading down towards Valdez


Spectacular view from top of ridge






I think I was having a good time here.....


Scenery posing with Me....


From the top of that ridge, I saw another two-track trail heading down a ridge towards the valley, of course I had to go down it......


I had to turn around because it got rocky and the little V-Strom didn't have enough ground clearance.


Stream crossing


Back on pavement towards Valdez, Bridalveil Falls


I heard the scenery on the way to Valdez is great, and I was not dissappointed !! The road through a canyon on way to Valdez.


Roads end, as far south as I could go in Valdez.


Oil Tanker terminal at end of the Alaska Pipeline.


View across the bay.


Ferry coming in.


Before I went to dinner, I called GusGus's house to let them know all was going well. His wife Mary answered and said he and FriarMike were on their Saddle Sore 1000 Ride today. I said I was in Valdez and she said they were ending up there today. I rode around town for 15 minutes looking for them, but figured they had already come and gone, so I went to dinner at the Totem Inn. I had an awesome Teriyaki Salmon dinner and talked with a few people sitting at the bar. Afterwards, I decided I was going to head north while it was still light out, and cover some more miles.

On the way out of town, I saw 2 Beemers heading into town....I realized it was GusGus and FriarMike, COOL !! I hung a U-turn and we pulled over, they were glad to see me, as I was to see them. Friarmike led the way to his favorite restaurant, "Mike's Place"

FriarMike and his BMW


I talked while they ate dinner
Friar, Rad, Gus


Posers out front of restaurant: Mike, Randy and Don


Friar and Gus saluting as they were homeward bound, 2 hours ahead of schedule on their Saddle Sore 1000.


After hanging out with Mike and Don, it was late and I realized I wasn't doing any more riding tonight. I stopped at a local dive bar and hung with some scruffy, tough local fishermen and oil workers. Had enough and then rode a few miles out of town to the Glacier Campground and pitched my tent. The clear night sky was full of stars.

Total mileage today was a mere 235 miles. I just couldn't believe that the scenery could keep going on and on.......and on and on, it was almost overwhelming, but that's not a bad thing.

More to come............

E-9-R
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Old 09-04-2005, 08:32 PM   #26
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Thats a butt load of photos. Thanks for take'n the time. I'm love'n it.
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Old 09-04-2005, 09:59 PM   #27
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Great stuff! Thanks for sharing your trip. It sounds a lot more feasible than trying to get my bike up there.

At Kennecott, the pictures of what the lady told you was moraine, look to me more like tailings from the copper mine. I am probably wrong, but the color & shape look like tailings to me.

Thanks again for sharing!
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Old 09-04-2005, 11:47 PM   #28
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Excellent Story and Pic's

D2D next year in your plans?

(N. of Willow where we bid Randy adieu)
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Old 09-04-2005, 11:52 PM   #29
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I've heard of the Dust to Dawson Run. I know it's to Dawson City, but what is it and where does it start ? Maybe some year, but doubt I'll be heading up that way next year, unless I hit the lottery !!

E-9-R
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Old 09-05-2005, 02:12 PM   #30
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Day 8
Woke up and got out of the tent about 7:00am, it was pretty chilly out. I was glad to see clear skies and this view from the campsite


It was nice to pack up a DRY tent in the morning. This was the second and last night of the trip I would camp.


Went to the Totem Inn for breakfast. Met Greg and Dennis from Los Angeles on rental Harleys. As I ate breakfast, talked with Ted from Idaho, who goes to Alaska for the winters to drive a big rig. He told me I should go check out all the dead salmon on the other side of the bay, so that's where I headed after breakfast.

Thousands of dead salmon in the water and along the shore as they die after they spawn.


Some salmon still flopping and jumping around before they die.


Left Valdez at about 10:00am and headed back the way I came. More waterfalls along the road norhtbound.


Up near the Thompson Pass, I saw a big helicopter in a gravel parking lot off the road. I stopped to get some photos.


I wondered what they were doing, so I rode down to talk to the crew.


They had just lifted a 10' x 24' building up onto the high mountain above us. As they loaded up the chopper, I told them their photo would be posted on ADVrider and people from all over would see it.


Another chopper coming in for a landing.


I hung out until they were taking off. The co-pilot was motioning something to me. I pointed, asking if he wanted me to move, I was only about 100 feet from the chopper. He shook his head NO. He kept motioning something to me, I couldn't figure out what he meant. As the blades rotated faster and faster, I figured out what he meant. I started getting pelted with sand and gravel from the turbulence created by the blades. I ran for cover behind the bike, and had to hold the bike from falling over. First my gloves blew off the bike, then my new helmet blew off the bike and went rolling across the gravel. I didn't know any better, I bet they were thinking what a DORK I was !! I got this on video, but don't know how to post it.

After wiping the dust from my camera, face and eyes, I hopped back on the bike and continued north. Destination today: Top of the World Highway towards Canada.

After covering over 200 miles, I needed a break and stopped at this overlook with a historic sign about Allen's expedition through the area.


I sat and pondered what it must've been like 150 years ago exploring the valley below.


I got up to the Tok Junction later in the afternoon. After gas, I saw a guy ride by on a fully loaded BMW. I had to follow him to find out if he was from ADVrider and just to meet the guy. Met up with him in a store parking lot.
I said, "Looks like you're on one hell of a trip".
He said, "Looks like you're no slouch yourself".
Me: "Where you headed".
Him: "Top of the World Hwy. and Dawson City".
Me: "I was headed up that way also !!"
Him: "Looks like I got a riding partner."

Chris was from Ontario, Canada and had been on the road 3 months since May 1st........too cool !!


We rode east to the Tetlin Junction, then north on the Taylor Highway. I wanted a photo at this sign.




We continued north as the pavement turned to dirt and had to stop at the World Famous Chicken Saloon.


As we checked the place out, the bartender, another Randy, asked where we were headed. We said into Canada, and he said, "The border crossing closes at 8:00pm sharp, it's an hour and a half drive there. You're not going to make it, so you might as well pitch your tents, stay the night and party at the saloon". We laughed, it was 6:30pm and we knew we could make it the 70 miles to the border.

We got on the bikes and hauled ass up the dirt road. This road was in pretty good shape. I stopped to wait a couple of times, make sure he was doing OK on his heavily loaded 1150GS. He was never more than 15-30 seconds behind, so I opened up the V-Strom to a blazing pace.

Next stop was at a turnoff, where I decided to hide my Ruger .454 Casull cannon under a rock in the woods. Chris pulled up a couple minutes later, he was a little further behind this time since I had railed those last few miles.

We got to the Canadian Border at 7:45pm with 15 minutes to spare, we rode 70 miles (mostly dirt and gravel) in an hour from Chicken !!

Chris pulling up to the border


Canadian Side of Border


Female Border Guard: "Do you ever carry a handgun on your motorcycle?"
Me: "No"
Guard: "Did you stop anywhere before the border to hide a gun ?"
Me: "Nope" (I had to stop myself from laughing)
Guard: "You have any alcohol with you?"
Me: "Yes, a couple of beers in the cooler".
Guard: "How many is a couple, 2 , 3 or 4 ?"
Me: "Let me think...I guess there's 3 left in the cooler".
Guard: "OK, you're free to go".
Funny how she wanted exact answers.

We continued towards Dawson City for 58 miles on the Top of the World Highway.


Since we weren't in a rush anymore, we took a little break and talked more. Chris was a retired dentist from the Canadian military, so his nickname was "Doc".

Doc with his 1150 Adventure.


Sunset on Top of the World


Crossing the Yukon River on the ferry to Dawson City


We were going to camp for the night, but it was 10:00pm, I didn't feel like pitching camp, and since Doc hadn't had a motel room in 3 months and no real shower in 12 days, I offered to pay for a room for the night. He was pretty happy with that idea !!


After getting a room, we went to Bombay Peggies


The band was packing up, but the singer sat and talked with us for awhile


I forgot her name and didn't write it down, but she and Doc are in a deep discussion here


We later headed to "The Pit", where it was crowded with younger people dancing to the live band. After having a little bit of fun, we headed back to the motel about 2:00am. We talked more until it was time to pass out.

It was a long, 480 mile day of fun, awesome riding and meeting new, interesting people along the way.
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