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Old 06-04-2014, 03:49 PM   #76
hwunger
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amazing story and great pics ... but you sure are going up north early eh ?

why not wait till late June say - when the bugs are really out in full force

keep it up !
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:38 PM   #77
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Great report, looking forward to more.

What model Fuji are you using? Your photos are really nice.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:21 PM   #78
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Are you wearing ear plugs at night in your tent?

Bears scare the crap out of me when riding solo out west, just curious about how you go about it.


Keep up the great report, i'm silently following along.





Quote:
Originally Posted by apophesis View Post
Great report, looking forward to more.

What model Fuji are you using? Your photos are really nice.
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Originally Posted by Hunter-Douglas View Post
Rootsy, I'm using a Fuji x-e1. It's a smaller, mirrorless SLR that fits really well in a tank bag. I was inspired to pick one up after reading Tourist's Uralistan report. He used a similar Fuji x-1 with a fixed 35mm lens (not that the camera had that much to do with how incredible his photography is).
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Old 06-06-2014, 06:50 PM   #79
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enjoying it

hunter,
im enjoying your ride report bud.
good to see the 'tao is treating you well. its perfect for what you are doing with it.

i like how part of your plan is to work as you ride.

*are you running with heated gear or are you just layered up ?



and holy crap dude! that is one jammed up radiator ! good job






see you in january right ?
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:43 PM   #80
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Hey all, thanks for the nice words and sorry I haven't updated this whole thing in a bit. I got to my summer job in McCarthy, AK and have been training nonstop the last few weeks as well as getting out on a backcountry trip. I'll get my last section up here in a bit, but in the meantime I figured I'd post a pic of the new office.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:49 PM   #81
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I figured I'd post a pic of the new office.
Nice office.
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Old 06-08-2014, 11:50 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by hwunger View Post
amazing story and great pics ... but you sure are going up north early eh ?

why not wait till late June say - when the bugs are really out in full force

keep it up !
The bugs are getting to be pretty solid out here in McCarthy right now. The locals say it will get worse here until the 3rd week of July die off. I'm slowly learning to ignore them. At least they aren't out on the glacier
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:00 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by CaseyB View Post
Are you wearing ear plugs at night in your tent?

Bears scare the crap out of me when riding solo out west, just curious about how you go about it.


Keep up the great report, i'm silently following along.
Thanks for the words. The bears aren't actually too bad up here, and down in the lower 48 it's definitely just annoying black bears that are usually chased off like dogs with no problem. Up here in the Kennicott valley you have to be pretty smart about not surprising a grizzly when you're bushwhacking through the alders. There guides here have a few stories about literally coming face to face with PO's charging browns. Scary stuff
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:33 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by swamp View Post
hunter,
im enjoying your ride report bud.
good to see the 'tao is treating you well. its perfect for what you are doing with it.

i like how part of your plan is to work as you ride.

*are you running with heated gear or are you just layered up ?



and holy crap dude! that is one jammed up radiator ! good job


see you in january right ?
I almost bought some heated gear in Seattle but plowed on through Vancouver on a sunny day and didn't think about it until it was too late

It helped I was packed for winter climbing conditions. I squeezed a merino base layer and a puffy under my riding jacket and that made things manageable.

January! Can't wait to track you down and ride in the dollar-travel-far land.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:55 AM   #85
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Alright, time to catch up. Where the hell was I...

I peaced on out from Fairbanks not really sure what would be worth heading towards for my last few days on the road (until Fall). Anchorage seemed further away than I thought and I was ready to get off the bike again for a bit and do some exploring. I rode through some construction zones down to Healy and saw a sign for an open brewery, so I slammed on the brakes and pulled into the dirt lot for the 49th State Brewery. It was a pretty grooving atmosphere with full bar and restaurant with a lot of nice beverages on tap. I sampled a few good ones and liked the names they gave out to their brews. Steward's Folly Stout was a solid choice. I ended up camping near some power lines in a spruce forest next to the local airstrip.


Out front of the brewery they had the bus from the filming of Into the Wild, a replica of Bus 142 outside Denali Park that Chris McCandless lived in for a season before he passed. I was pretty intrigued by the thought of getting out to see the real thing so I scoped the route that was supposedly 40 miles round trip and involved a pretty substantial river crossing. I was pretty weary of the flow levels I would find this time of year when I got out there and the fact it might not be low enough to wade across. All my flotation and river gear was in the mail to McCarthy so there would be no crossing if the flows were high. I figured I'd check it out once I got out there and be stoked on the journey regardless of whether I got across or not. I packed a few more supplies and headed out to the trailhead at the end of the road /edge of town. I was surprised to see a four wheeler trail carry on past the dirt lot and figured I'd give it a go to cut off some of the hiking miles. A 1/4 mile in I found an abandoned bogged truck and two pretty sizable potholes. Not the best signs to start, I thought. I'd never gunned through one and figured this might not be a bad time to get some Asia training under my belt. My heart pounded and I gunned it through and made it across with water coming in over my boots.


Right after I crossed and put the camera away another truck came in behind to winch out the stuck Dodge. I walked back over to help them out and found out it was a rental truck for a nice Romanian guy who's English was a little spotty. I ended up popping in the cab for him and manning the wheel during the winching process so there weren't any communication issues with the local nice guy he had tracked down to rescue him. The trail from there was more ATV friendly than bike happy but I managed to keep pushing on through in first gear and found a few miles worth of potholes. I got some great experience scouting and picking my lines through them but my blood was pounding every time I felt the bike take a swerve or start to slow down.


I passed a group of ATV and 6 wheeler tours and was a little envious of how easily they blasted through the water and over the creek bed. I talked to the guy leading the group and he confirmed the water on the river was still too high to cross, so I changed my plans to just cruise in as far as I could and camp out for the night. I thought the potholes would be the worst of it but the dry (and wet) creek beds slowed me down even more. I called it after I heard a few odd sounds after pinning the throttle through a silty bit of stream. I found a nice spot with a great view of Denali Park to the South.










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Old 06-09-2014, 02:25 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Hunter-Douglas View Post
Alright, time to catch up. Where the hell was I...

... when you camp like this, do you ever worry about bears, cougars, or rattle snakes ? .... here in BC we have all three, and it just seems more comfortable knowing a regular campground is somewhat safer ?

.... or are we just kidding ourselves ? ...
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Old 06-09-2014, 04:59 PM   #87
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... When you camp like this, do you ever worry about bears, cougars, or rattle snakes ? .... Here in bc we have all three, and it just seems more comfortable knowing a regular campground is somewhat safer ?

.... Or are we just kidding ourselves ? ...
+1
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:13 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwunger View Post
... when you camp like this, do you ever worry about bears, cougars, or rattle snakes ? .... here in BC we have all three, and it just seems more comfortable knowing a regular campground is somewhat safer ?

.... or are we just kidding ourselves ? ...
Cougars, not so much. I think I've seen one once in my life. I do carry my big bottle of bear mace for whatever might come rustling along but I figure people have been doing this sort of thing for a long, long time. As long as you have your food locked down well enough critters aren't too much of an issue. Well, at least relative to the danger of coming around a corner with a moose perched in the road. That scares me a lot more

Then again, I worry a lot less about them now than I did the first few nights I slept out in new bear/ cat territory.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:01 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Hunter-Douglas View Post
Cougars, not so much. I think I've seen one once in my life. I do carry my big bottle of bear mace for whatever might come rustling along but I figure people have been doing this sort of thing for a long, long time. As long as you have your food locked down well enough critters aren't too much of an issue. Well, at least relative to the danger of coming around a corner with a moose perched in the road. That scares me a lot more

Then again, I worry a lot less about them now than I did the first few nights I slept out in new bear/ cat territory.
I haven't yet been able to understand how you spray bear mace from inside your tent at a bear who is grabbing you from outside your tent?
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:41 PM   #90
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I haven't yet been able to understand how you spray bear mace from inside your tent at a bear who is grabbing you from outside your tent?
That is my actual worry time. I'm fine when moving or hanging. As soon as I close that zipper....'what the f was that ?'

I carry mace, which as you pointed out would be useless in your tent. What then? Stab the bear with a little knife as he is munching on your leg pulling you out.
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