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Old 07-04-2014, 11:16 PM   #76
Comrade Art
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Enjoyed your historical travelogue. My grandfather was Romanian and fought in World War II. He showed us his scar from being shot but never talked about the war. Later on I learned that he was part of Operation Barbarossa. In June 1941 Germany attacked the Soviet Union and Romania joined in the offensive. Romanian units fought side by side with the Germans forward to Odessa, Sevastopol and Stalingrad. Your pictures are a good reminder of what General Sherman once said, "There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys, it is all hell".
Thanks for posting
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:13 PM   #77
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One of the guys that came in from Sweden was having issues with his bike. It still ran but not at full power, not a Warrior. After talking with him he finally convinced us to go ahead with out him. So first everyone get the bikes out of the garage and into some kind of order.




To start the ride out there were only 6 of us but the weather was PERFECT! Not to hot not to cold.

First stop was atop this hill that had a car museum.


I have been mystified as to how all these American classic cars have wound up here. I don't mean just in the museum either they are driving around everywhere.



Bikes also there at the museum.









It was really a great museum and out back they had a little tower you could climb to see out over the trees.



Our first attempt at a group shot in the tower.


The leader says ohh see those smoke stacks over yonder there that's where we are heading next.


We made another pit stop down the road we had one more guy going to meet us there so we waited a bit.


Here is our group shot! This took a couple trys to get right but in the end it was worth it.


I don't remember if lunch was before or after the group shot but at some point we had lunch.
More photos from our ride


Not all Warriors but all were great people so it didn't matter much. One of the guys did a burn out and we were off again!


This was the last stop of the day. I think the ride out was something about 250 km. Beautiful scenery great people all in all it was a good day!


That night we ended up going out for dinner again. I didn't bring my camera but I think some of the guys have some photos on their phones. I don't think things got tooooooo out of hand

Our Swedish friend never did get his bike sorted. Finally figuring a faulty fuel pump. He could drive but after about 80kmh he lost power we think dut to not enough fuel being delivered. He took off in the evening to catch a ferry to get him most of the way back to his house
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:14 PM   #78
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I start back to Russia today so hopefully we will be getting back to our normally scheduled program of military stuff and bad roads!
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:57 AM   #79
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So I woke up Sunday morning ate breakfast and headed back towards Russia! I wanted to get back in a hurry, one for cheap gas and two just to have more days incase I needed them to see things.

I got across the border and turned east at Vyborg. I ran into this monument with 4000 Soviets buried here.




A little bit later I caught this out of the corner of my eye turned around to check it out. It was an old church, I assume Finnish. Only the foundation is left but it was interesting.



There was an old graveyard also. I don't know that the names are Finnish or not though.



Then came the first hint at what was to come!!!!


After about 20 miles of dirt road like above I made it to this city. This building was the post office......


A memorial to the Finns that died here from 1918 and the winter war

This monument to the Soviet dead was in the same town Melnikovo I believe it was.

My goal was Priorzersk I made it there just missing this mid evil festival...


This is whats left of the fortress the had there. The Swedes built it originally and then it was added to by the Finns until Russia took it and expanded its empire then I wasn't needed as it wasn't on the frontier anymore.

Monument to the war in Priorzersk

This is their fire house and fire truck! How you like that


Now I wanted to find a place to camp on Lake Ladoga. As soon as I left Priozersk the road went to hell again... I tried many trails off the road but all dead ended not anywhere good to sleep then I found this place!


Now it wasn't east to get to. The last 100 yards were hell. Go through a sandpit, around some stumps, avoid the 6ft square hole, then narrowly miss the torn up tree roots. I guess they are preparing to build something there.....
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:21 AM   #80
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the next morning just down the road it became paved! This is pretty typical as soon as one district ends and another begins there can be a huge difference in road surfaces
Welcome to Karelia


The pavement lasted all of 10 miles then this dirt road monstrosity. The sign says something like WARNING DANGEROUS ROAD.


You want to see Russian Life not Moscow this is it!

This is the first time I have sen something like this. 3 monuments all together in one square. This one Soviet for the war


This one Finnish from 1918


This one Finnish from WWII


Behind them were some old ruins from another Finn Church


Some drunks wouldn't leave me alone so finally they took my picture for me and I paid them like the equilivent of a quarter.


The road changed back to dirt and I found this little old church thing on the side of the road


It had another old graveyard behind it


The road and the bridge wasn't it to bad of shape


The north end of Ladoga! Pavement started back up again!

Monument to the Russian fleet that served in Ladoga during the war


Then I stumbled across this plesent town Sortavala. if you ever in the area its a nice quiet town with some interesting buldings



My favorite
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:36 AM   #81
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I had planned for failure when I started the day, July 7. I wanted to get a little over 400km. I knew a lot of it would be over not the best roads but thought what the hell I will try and if it works it works if not well I have a tent.

Main stop for the day was Ruskeala Marble Canyon. There is a lot of marble here and the Swedes started mining it way back in the day and it has been continued. Now the old mining sites have filled partially with water and formed a canyon of sorts.


its hard to tell how clear the water was! Just amazing and a beautiful sun shining day!


This is one of the few times I hate being alone. I wanted to do the boat ride but its something I didn't want to do alone. You could rent the boats but you had to row. So I ended up not renting on and heading down the road



A little info on Ruskeala


This was nearby. Someone tried to tell me it was from the war. That the house was burned down and the chimney was all that was left. I doesn't look that old but who am I to say the guy was lieing

A small river nearby

Little baby waterfall


Then it was down the road towards Ladoga again. head east a few km then north on what would become about 50 miles of gravel road, fairly decent though
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:56 AM   #82
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So I turned north and immediately got excited! Now this is something like what I was looking for! A gravel road, in decent shape, and no traffic!!!!! so I headed off not knowing what was there just knowing at the end of this road would be, hopefully a place to sleep.
In Loimolianioki I found this memorial for Soviet soldiers




And their old CLUB!!! I don't know if it worked or not but if I was a betting man.......... well I still wouldn't bet on it you just never know around these parts.


Then I started running into all kinds of stuff south of Souyarvi

These were everywhere. old bomb craters that have grown over. It was quiet interesting to see them and brought a whole new perspective to everything. Its one thing to see old trenches and stuff preserved as a museum but this, and they were everywhere, here in the forest forgotten by most. just amazing


There was a whole row of burials of soviet soldiers and across the river a whole row of Finns.


When people find things they bring them here and leave them


As I was about to leave an old truck pulled out and 2 drunk guys got out and we talked. They told me the fighting here was crazy serious and a lot. I don't know much about this area of the war, I believe it was the winter war 1939-1940, I need to research it more now. While we were standing there 3 Finnish guys drove by on bikes I tried to wave them down but they didn't stop. I figured they were headed to the same place as me. These people have a cottage in their yard and they open it in the summer to anyone but more specifically bikers.

This is where I ended the night
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #83
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So I ate dinner with Sergey and Katya. They own this place. Over dinner we talked and I decided to stay 2 days so Tomorrow afternoon we could drive around the lake and check it out.

This is where I stayed. A simple building with 3 bedrooms and only cold water in the kitchen.
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This is the bathroom separate from the house. The water for showering is warmed in the tub on top. They just use water from the lake for showering and the toilet there.
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I went to bed about midnight the sun still wasn't down of course and wouldn't go down completely.

Next day I woke up went to town got gas and brought groceries since I decided I would make dinner for everyone tonight. This is the monument in town to the war.
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Katya got home and about 3:30 we headed out to drive around the lake. She on her Honda 250 me on my Yamaha 1700!
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First stop was this old Finnish Church. Its now being used as a camp for children in the summer.
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They let us inside to check it out
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We even went to the attic. I don't know why they made it so deceratorive
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View out the attic window
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Next stop some more Finnish remains of a church. this area at one time belonged to Finland then the Soviet Union took in in the winter war. I was told in this area around the lake there wasn't any fighting the fighting took place just south of the lake.
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We stopped this is a river flowing out of the lake. You cant see it here but all the water has a red tint to it.
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This is katya and I trying our best to look presentable
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Road Conditions
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An old finnish bunker This one didn't have guns on it so it would have been just to get out of the weather


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River leading into the lake and a bridge with gates on it that can move to let more or less water in
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I for the life of me don't remember all the story behind these ruins. it had something to do with one of the Tsaritsa's and her lover though. I do remember that!
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Just getting back now time to finish dinner
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this is Sergey Me and Katya! Just amazing wonderful people I cant tell you how awesome my stay was with them.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:51 PM   #84
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Now the fun part begins! So I put the food in the oven but before I did I noticed my rear tire was flat... I aired it up and finished up the food. So while the food was in the oven I went back out and my tire was going flat again.... OHHH boy

We all talked about it and decided at the least we needed to get the rear off the ground to look at it better. So after some thinking we went for this idea
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Slowly I said SLOWLY!
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And here is the finished product.

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We could see one nail in the tire and we could tell that the tire had been run for a while flat. One side was worn almost completely bald while the other looked fine. I guess I must of road like this for about 20 -30 km, maybe more nobodies sure. We plugged the hole and I decided that if it holds air I will try to finish the trip if not well then it will get interesting.
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Here I am trying to get the nail out
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Sergey finishing up the patch
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Then we pushed it over to his garage to the air compressor
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Everyone admiring our handywork!
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The last photo just after finishing a little after midnight!
I hope it holds air
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:48 AM   #85
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So I woke up the next day and the tire was flat again.... I didn't have internet access and knew it would be difficult to find the tire I needed in the next big town, 100 miles away. I sent a friend a text message asking him to do the research for me to put a car tire on the bike.

So I aired it up and headed off. I stopped at the gas station to fill up. here usually you pay first then fill up. I gave her 300 rubles and said until full. I got to 205 and it was full I went back for my change. She said no I needed to get more gas. Then she came out of the station and told me to put the nozzle back in my tank. So I did and said now what. Pump more gas I told her I couldn't it was full. So then she started to pump gas I told her 4 times to stop. Then gas was going everywhere I started yelling at her calling her all kinds of mean nasty names. Everyone in line was yelling at her also. Then she wanted to charge me for the gas she dumped all over the bike and ground.... The day wasn't starting off well

After stopping every 40 miles to fill up my rear tire I made it to Petrozavodsk. I must of stopped at 20 tire changing places trying to find a size that would work. Nobody had one but one guy said he would help me take the tire off my bike put a tube in and I could go ot.

So after lunch I went back to him, now it was raining, and we got to work

We shoved the front tire of the bike in between 2 stacks of old tires to hold it in place jacked it up and put tires around it and one under it to stabilize it while we worked.

After we got the tube in and I put it back on I pulled the tire out from under the bike and.... What the heck is this? The tire we needed all along!!!! Soo off came the rear tire again to change it for a car tire.

This whole time it was raining. I guess nobody expected it to rain because nobody had their umbreallas. All the women were in their summer dresses so even though it haad been a crazy day I had plenty of entertainment while we worked on the bike I cant complain to much
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:49 AM   #86
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So got the tire fixed and was on the way!!!! Headed north and all was good.

Found a place to stay for the night. This little resort hotel thing for about 40 dollars. One of the guys working there was restoring some old Soviet bikes we talked for a while about them.



This is in the town of Medvezhagorsk I have not seen a building like it in Russia before.


Look I found a motorcycle!

This is just past Medvezhagorsk. I didn't think the fighting came this far but maybe it did or these are guys who were wounded evacuated then died....



The road wasn't to bad I thought the clouds here were pretty cool


This is in Kargopol the road to get here was not bad but had plenty of gravel/rocks



I tried to find a place in Kargopol to stay but failed they were full..

Headed out and found this amazing place to camp


One of the best pictures of the bike I have taken, I think.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:08 PM   #87
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The next day I was headed north out of Kargopol. I was a little hesitant to take this route because I knew there was a military base on it that is a closed area. I didn't know if the road would go through but I was assured the road was not closed and no check points. So off I went!

Sorry for the blurry pics but it was saw mill on the road. Just in front of me I could see dirt roads... A old man on a scooter stopped and I asked him how far the dirt went. 35 km and that's itt then smooth sailing to Arkhangelsk!

The road was bad but not absurdly bad.

Here is the road. I they lay logs down first then buld the road over it. in places the logs are starting to come out.



Then the fun began. just got off the gravel road! filled up with gas got down the road 10 miles and the rear end got all wobbly on me.... Pulled over and sure as hell its flat. Tried to air it up nope not happening. So I started trying to flag some down.

About the 2nd car that passed stopped and this guy was there. Told me 8km further was a tire repair shop. I told him I cant drive it like this so he asked if I can take the tire off. I looked at him smiled and said ohh ya.

So it began. First take everything off the bike. Get the rear end apart as far as possible. then lay it on its side. OHHH shit wait pick it up pick it up gas is going everywhere. ok the gas cap doesnt seal completely so drain fuel into a can then try again.


Got it!

This is how we left it. Some want to lower the rear well how that for lowered!


We got it fixed up came back and put it on the bike. Then he invited me for vodka. I said no way man its only noon. Yes I understand its Friday but damnit where is my license plate.... ohh shit Thanks for everything I and going to head down the road heres some money for helping me.


Got down the road and came into another 20 miles of gravel road. finished that up and stopped for a break and another biker stopped we talked and ended up riding together until he turned off.

I got to the main road between Arkhangelsk and Moscow. I had intended on going to Arkhangelsk but after the last 3 days and now with out a license plate had started to doubt it.

There was a gas station so I stopped to clean myself up and think. The sign said Moscow 1000km Arkhangelsk 130..... I thought about it and that DH Lawerence quote came to mind. " I never saw a wildthing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop dead from its bough without ever having felt sorry for itself". I said hell I cant go to Moscow now Just over a little run of bad luck. I wanted an adventure well its turning into one. I cant call myself a biker if I take my ball and go home over a couple flat tires and a license plate.

So now here I am in Arkhangelsk for the night about to turn in!
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:07 PM   #88
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Supercool camping spots! Great going.

Rear tire jinxed?
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:43 AM   #89
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So I finally made it to Arkhangelsk. I found a hotel and decided the next day I would see the city and see if I couldn't find a new tire....

I scoured the internet and found a few leads on places to try. Though first I decided to hit up a cemetery since it was only a few blocks away.

This memorial is to the guys from WWII again. This was a port helping to get goods in and to the surrounded Lenningrad, now st. Petersburg.


This though is the reason I wanted to check this out. Below is the cemetery for some WWI guys. Not just any guys though in 1918 England and America sent soldiers here to Russia, Arkhangelsk and Siberia I believe, Quiet a few died of diseases and the cold and from the fighting that took place here.


Most of the men left there now are British. America repatriated most of the dead from this little piece of history in the 1930's, I believe.
There are something like 30 Americans left in Russia buried in various places.
During this excursion the Americans and British were fighting against communism. There was a lot of supplies delivered to Arkhangelsk to help Russia in WWI when Russia pulled out America and England used the excuse of not wanting the supplies to filter to the Germans so they sent troops there to protect them. Then the goal of the soldiers changed as time passed to fighting against the communists.



Next door to this cemetery was some for other wars in Russia history. This one for the men who died in Afghanistan
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:55 PM   #90
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Yes, Allied involvement during the Russian revolutions/civil war.....a strange time indeed.

If I recall correctly, there were many WW2 Allied convoys that carried supplies to Archangel and Murmansk. Especially tough duty on the convoy sailors due to the terrible weather in winter, ice build-up on ship superstructure, etc, and the fear of enemy attack.
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