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Thread: Little GS, Big Adventure - F650GS to Alaska from Philly leaving 5/21

  1. #31
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 10 - From Dawson Creek, BC to Ft. Nelson, BC via the World Famous Alaska Highway!

    Day 10– Saturday, May 30, 2009
    Start: Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada
    End: Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
    Trip Miles Today: 278
    Total Trip Miles: 3732

    Got up early once again, but at least this time it was intentional. I wanted to go back to downtown Dawson Creek and get some more pictures of the Mile “0” stuff without traffic of "rush hour" like last evening.

    Just before 7 AM it was off to Fort Nelson, BC – about 280 miles distant.

    First stop of the day was in St. John for gas. This came only about 40 miles down the road, so about 240 remained to Ft Nelson. Up here one has to keep good track of gas stops and distances as gas stations can be very far apart!

    As the pictures indicate, it was a pretty morning but cold (low 40s) and very windy/gusty!

    The first 100 miles or so of this route is just rolling foothills. However after a time one can, once again, begin to see snow capped peaks to the west and the hills/valleys become steeper.

    Sometime shortly after leaving Fort St. John I saw my first moose (actually 2) . No pics though. For a large ungainly animal they can move pretty fast!

    I stopped for gas a second time in a place called Pink Mountain. Pink Mountain was my first stop at the prototypical Alaska Highway gas station. It had a dirt parking lot, sold no brand anyone ever heard of, had regular only, and took cash only. By this time it was still dry, still windy , but sky out in front changing, and not for the good.

    About 60 miles outside Ft. Nelson it began to rain and, at the same time,got considerably cooler. The temperature was now back to the same low 40s that it had been when I started the day 6 hours earlier. So I managed the final hour or so in those conditions. Looks like tomorrow's leg to Watson Lake, Yukon Terr. will start out much the same but will get better as I go.

    I arrived at Ft. Nelson shortly after 2. I found it a bit more developed than when here last in 1995. Unlike 1995, when I stayed in a shack of a motel with a black and white tv (and no telephone) I am staying in a very nice new Super 8 with internet, satellite TV and all!

    So tomorrow, as mentioned, I'm off to Watson Lake, in the Yukon Territory. It's about 330 miles distant, directly through the Canadian Rockies via a very scenic route. Once I get on the other side of the frontal activity that's causing this rain it is expected to warm up considerably and be excellent weather for several days. Looking forward to riding in the warm once again!!

    You can see more pictures from today and from the entire trip by going to http://jackb1.smugmug.com/






    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  2. #32
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 11 - Fort Nelson, BC to Watson Lake, YT. Wild Weather and Wildlife !

    Day 11– Sunday, May 31, 2009
    Start: Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
    End: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada
    Trip Miles Today: 333
    Total Trip Miles: 4065

    Today was a day that actually seemed like two entirely different days. Part I started with departure from Fort Nelson under threatening, but dry skies. Those conditions held for about 40 miles before the misting and then steady drizzle started. This, plus the temperature hovering in the low 40s (F), was ominous as the first 100 miles from Fort Nelson is mostly an uphill ride to the pass at Summit Lake, the highest pass on the Alaska Highway at well over 5000 feet. As I climber the temperature fell and the rain increased. Then I arrived at the snow band where the temp went to freezing and the rain turned to a mix of snow/sleet/freezing rain. To make matters even more “adventurous” there was, in the midst of all this, even a construction zone which basically was a rutted muddy path for close to a mile. In better conditions this is one of the more scenic areas on the Alaska Highway. For me, today, there was little time to look at anything but that didn’t matter because visibility was a serious problem with visor and glasses fogging anyway. The good news is that immediately following the Summit Pass the road starts downhill again and the temperatures almost immediately got better. By the time I approached Toad River, and a much needed break after 120 miles of truly unpleasant conditions, it was actually back up to 50 degrees F and the sky was clearing. This was the start of Part II of today’s ride which was a very pleasant Sunday afternoon ride. This part was warm, unencumbered by weather issues, and full of great scenery and especially wildlife sightings. The road follows the Liard River Valley for many miles and it is very compelling visually. Also readily sighted today were a fair share of Bear (6 in all!), Bison, and Stone Sheep, a sheep variant indigenous to this area and similar to Bighorn but slightly smaller and darker in color.) Stayed overnight in Watson, Lake, YT in a wonderful little place, the “Air Force Lodge”. Built as a 1942 barracks for military airmen/women it’s quaint, clean , reasonably priced and motorcycle friendly. Fullest recommendations!










    More pics from today and the entire ride to Alaska at http://jackb1.smugmug.com/
    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  3. #33
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 12 - Watson Lake, YT to Whitehorse, YT

    Day 12‘«Ű Monday, June 1, 2009
    Start: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada
    End: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
    Trip Miles Today: 292
    Total Trip Miles: 4357

    For once I managed to sleep in a little later and didn‘«÷t actually get on the road until after 9. This following a nice breakfast at Bee Jays Truckstop, reputed to be the finest restaurant in all of Watson Lake.

    When I rode out this morning it was already over 50 degrees (F) and it only got better from there. It was 75 (F) when I arrived in Whitehorse around 3:30PM, and sunny thoughout. Following two days of difficulty with weather, there was nothing but a few construction zones to inhibit progress today. Thankfully. Incredibly, after all the wildlife observed yesterday, I saw nothing in the way of interesting critters this entire day.

    The ride today was almost directly westward through area dominated by hills and wide river valleys. The road follows, in sequence, the Rancheria River, the Swift River the Teslin River, then immediately before Whitehorse it crosses the Yukon. White capped mountains are seldom out of sight on this part of the route. Tonight‘«÷s layover, Whitehorse, is both the largest city in the Yukon and it‘«÷s capital. Whitehorse, at the headwaters of the Yukon River, played an important role in the region‘«÷s 1890s Gold Rush History. It was a stopover point for Stampeders who came overland from the Alaska Ports of Skagway and Dyea, 100 miles to the Southwest. After drying out and repacking their stuff most continued by steamboat to the gold fields further down the Yukon River. The area‘«÷s rich Gold Rush History colors many of the tourist attractions but there is much to see also in the way of scenery and wildlife. I personally enjoy the vistas at nearby Miles Canyon on the Yukon River.

    I was surprised, and pleased to find a VERY nice new botique hotel, SKKY (www.skkyhotel.com), on the Alaska Highway just across from the Whitehorse Airport. A number of years ago, while on a flying adventure to Alaska, I had stayed at the old hotel on this site, the Airport Chalet or some such. The previous place was, to put it mildly, pretty dumpy. No so this place, only opened in February. Very nice place and very nice people. Rates are not out of line with the numerous lesser choices. I hope they make a go of it!

    More pictures from today and from the entire ride to date can be seen at http://jackb1.smugmug.com/





    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  4. #34
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 13‘«Ű Tuesday, June 2, 2009
    Start: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
    End: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
    Trip Miles Today: 224
    Total Trip Miles: 4581

    For the first time in over a week I didn‘«÷t go anywhere today. Well, it‘«÷s not exactly that I didn‘«÷t go anywhere. Maybe we‘«÷ll just think of it as a ‘«£local‘«ō ride. What I did was that I got up nice and early and rode the 100 miles to Skagway, Alaska, then returned later in the afternoon to Whitehorse. I made that trip for a couple of reasons. First, the ride along the South Klondike Highway is as scenery packed as just about anywhere else I‘«÷ve been on the trip. High alpine peaks, mountain lakes and rivers, waterfalls, the Klondike has it all. Secondly, Skagway is a very cool place to spend a day (or part of a day.) Skagway was an important port of entry during the Alaska Gold Rush at the end of the 19th century. Steamships came here from all the Pacific ports ‘«Ű Seattle, San Francisco, et al. Here the steamers discharged their gold stampeders, some 30,000 in the 1898 season, and they began their overland (and uphill!) trek to the headwaters of the Yukon River some 40 miles distant through the White Pass. Skagway today is basically a tourist destination that plies its Gold Rush heritage to good effect. As a deepwater port at the end of the Lynn Canal, Skagway is served by virtually all of the major cruise lines that offer Alaska tours. The ships come in as day stops. There were 4 of them docked in Skagway today. There is virtually no overnighting of tourist crowds here. The town comes alive with tourists about 8:00 am as the cruise patrons surge down the gangways and by about 8:00 in the evening it‘«÷s all back to a sleepy little town again as the cruise boats depart for their next destination North or South. Shopping, exploring the town‘«÷s history (an excellent visitor center), hiking, rafting, sightseeing, dining are all available. The third reason I cam here today is that good friends Don and Sandy Verdiani were on one of the cruise boats berthed in Skagway today. I went there to surprise them and to have breakfast before they headed out on their scheduled activities. Don and Sandy are the friends who will be joining my wife and I in Anchorage on Friday for our week touring as a foursome.

    Riding over to Skagway also meant that I reentered the US and, in particular, Alaska for a few hours. So I guess I can now say I rode to Alaska. Still, there are some 700 miles to go till I get to my real destination which is Anchorage and the surrounding area. No claims of ‘«£mission accomplished‘«ō quite yet.

    As you can tell from the pics, the weather was perfect ‘«Ű except for the part where it was really cold riding out there in the early morning hours. Like REALLY COLD! Like 28 degrees (F) in places. By the time I returned after noon it had warmed up mightily and it even got over 80 (F) this afternoon, so my discomfort was short lived.

    I saw two more bears today. I saw one on the way over to Skagway and the other on the way back. Both Blacks, but they seemed bigger that the ones I saw the other day. Perhaps that‘«÷s just because I was closer to these guys. Each one was right adjacent to the side of the road! No pics, though. They ran away too quickly. I suppose that‘«÷s actually a good thing.

    I‘«÷ve just checked the weather and it looks like the good stuff is going to hold for the next two days. That‘«÷s good. I‘«÷ve got about 700 miles to go and I am going to try to split it up as 400 miles tomorrow and 300 on Thursday. If that works out I should be in Tok, AK tomorrow night. Stay tuned to see if it happens just as planned.

    Thanks for being on the ride with me!

    More pictures from today and from the entire ride to date can be seen at http://jackb1.smugmug.com/





    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  5. #35
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    Your ride report is very enjoyable. I look forward to reading and viewing each day. Keep it up and thank you.

  6. #36
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 14 - Whitehorse to Tok, Alaska. Very close now, only 300 miles to Anchorage !

    Day 14‘«Ű Wednesday, June 3, 2009
    Start: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
    End: Tok, Alaska
    Trip Miles Today: 378
    Total Trip Miles: 4959

    Day 14 will be fondly remembered as the day of poorer road conditions and construction zones. However, the day started out on a somewhat odd note. I departed Whitehorse with no drama and was happily sailing along, some 50 miles down the road when I noticed that the gas gauge was WAY down ‘«Ű like already only a quarter of a tank left. This with another 50 miles to go to the next available fuel at Haines Junction! My heart sort of skipped a beat (or two!) as I went through, in my mind, what the problem could be. Maybe the fuel gauge has failed‘«™.seems unlikely to fail in this mode. Maybe the engine controller is in some sort of default mode where it goes full rich‘«™nah, the bike‘«÷s running too good, and there is no sort of indication of any problem in the dash. Geez, maybe the fuel tank is split and the fuel‘«÷s spilling overboard‘«™‘«™stopped, checked, no leaking fuel! Then it came to me. The problem is that I am a moron, and I had neglected to fill the tank last night after returning from Skagway. Whew. I had pondered how I could complete the trip with some sort of failure that allowed me only to go 100 miles at a time and it wasn‘«÷t a pretty scenario. Good thing the problem is simply that I am an incompetent.

    Anyway beautiful weather prevailed and the main thing to be said about today is that the condition of the roadway North of Whitehorse, and especially after Burwash Landing and the Kluane area is dramatically inferior the that of the highway further South. I also spent probably 25 miles in construction zones today ‘«Ű loose gravel, hard packed gravel, and mud. It‘«÷s really not so bad if one maintains a reasonable speed but the worst is the trucks and buses, all going too fast, and pelting the bike and I with rocks. Thank heavens for lexan visors. I mentioned that the road was bumpy with uneven patches, holes, frost heaves and hollows. The highway department tries to mark some of the big ones with red flags and cones but there are so many that it is easy to become numbed to their existence. Also, they clearly can‘«÷t/don‘«÷t mark them all. Be advised - if there is a red flag there is probably a bump. If there is no red flag, you cannot assume there is no bump!

    The route today takes you through several regions. Most of the remaining portion of the route in Yukon continues in the same wide river valleys and around lakes in the same fashion as prior to arriving in Whitehorse. As before, snow capped peaks are not far away and almost always in sight Then, getting closer to the Alaska border the character of much of the terrain changes to large marshes, ponds, and swamps (as well as, no doubt, this year‘«÷s bumper crop of mosquitoes.) This is the kind of place where you would expect to see moose, which I did. He was a huge bull just grazing through one of those innumerable ponds. Sadly, he was too far away to get a worthwhile picture. The other wildlife sighting of the day was a very large porcupine which crossed the road in front of me, then stopped and ran alongside for as long as he could. He was a bigger animal than I expected him to be, and another critter that I had never before seen in the wild.

    Rode just short of 400 miles today and will finish up the remaining 300 miles to Anchorage tomorrow. The bike has developed this cute little ‘«£thing‘«ō where it likes to stall at idle. I believe it has something to do with fuel tank venting as now, whenever I open the fuel tank to fill it there is a substantial vacuum in the tank. Just got off the phone with the BMW dealer in Anchorage and he is going to take the bike in on Friday and see what he can do with that as well as do a 6000 mile service while I am in town. Other than that, all is well and I look forward to completion of this northbound portion of the ride tomorrow and errands in Anchorage on Friday. I‘«÷m warming up to the idea of not riding for a few days and simply being a ‘«£tourist‘«ō like so many others I have met on the trip.

    More pictures from today and from the entire trip can be seen at http://jackb1.smugmug.com/






    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  7. #37
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 15 - Hatcher Foundation arrives at the Hatcher Pass!

    Day 15‘«Ű Thursday, June 4, 2009
    Start: Tok, Alaska
    End: Anchorage, Alaska
    Trip Miles Today: 364
    Total Trip Miles: 5323

    Well, the weather held on for one more day and I was able to complete the Northbound segment of my ride to Alaska without having to crawl in to my rain gear a final time. While I did have times of cold and wet, I really don‘«÷t think I could have hoped for any better at this time of year, in this place!

    The 364 miles today was pretty straightforward. South from Tok Junction on the Tok Cutoff, briefly to the Richardson Highway, then to the Glenn Highway into the Anchorage area. This is Alaska Route 1 the entire way and it would be hard to get lost. The scenery is pretty non-descript for the first 50 miles or so but then you get an excellent look at the Wrangell-St Elias National Park and the Wrangell Mountains ‘«Ű most notably Mt. Sanford at over 16,000 feet. After the turn onto the Glenn Highway at Glenallen, most of what can be seen is the glaciated North side of the Chugach Mountains and this range remains in view all the way into Anchorage as the highway follows the Matanuska River Valley. I did make the side trip up to the Hatcher Pass, above Palmer as The Hatcher Pass was the symbolic goal for my charity raising activities for the Austin Hatcher Foundation. Fortunately the weather was decent as it can still be pretty nasty this early in the season.

    As has been the case throughout, the bike ran just fine, though it did do its little idle die-out trick a couple of times. Tomorrow it will be deposited at the BMW dealer in Anchorage for the motorcycle version of a week at the spa.

    No recent day would be complete without the mention of wildlife. An early morning highlight was a very good look at a moose, up close and personal. A large cow (shown in the pictures) was grazing on the right side of the road. The good news is that I saw her in time because apparently my movement, or light, or noise, caused her to do the obvious thing ‘«Ű move into the road directly in front of me. Oh well, it makes for great photo ops! These animals are not PhD candidates. I did see one other moose standing in a lake well off the side of the road. However, THE most amazing sighting came at about 4:00 PM, inside the city limits of Anchorage and not a mile from the International Airport. I was sitting at a stoplight, amongst all the other cars, and here come a moose mommy and her two calves walking slowly and deliberately up the median. This sort of thing is not seen very often in the part of the world where I live!

    I sit here tonight asking myself how it went by so fast. It was 15 days, and 5323 miles ago, that I was standing in the surf at Ocean City, NJ. When I checked in to my hotel this evening I felt tired, the normal result of a long hard uphill push. Less than an hour later, though, I found myself with maps spread on the bed ‘«Ű contemplating the return trip and how to make it a worthy partner to the northbound trip I completed today. I am both somewhat weary, but amped up at the idea of a return that follows a different route and is longer yet! I achieved all the goals I set out for myself for this segment. I arrived at the Hatcher Pass, in the Talkeetna Mountains, just north of here, near Palmer, with a minimum of fuss. This completed the ‘«£Hatcher Foundation to the Hatcher Pass‘«ō element of my trip which has been so important to me as a fund raising activity for The Austin Hatcher Foundation. In fact it was made even more fun when I added a visit to Austin, Minnesota and the Spam Museum so I could call it the Austin (Mn.) to Hatcher (Pass, AK) ride. OK, maybe only fun for simple minds like my own. I was also able to accommodate one of my most important supporters, RevZilla Motorsports, by being able to also claim ‘«£RevZilla to Wasilla.‘«ō I was, however, mightily disappointed this afternoon, as I stood on Main Street in Wasilla, and discovered that I could not actually see Russia. Perhaps if I were a little taller.

    I do not intend to do daily entries as I spend the next 10 days or so traveling with my wife, Lisa, and friends Don and Sandy Verdiani. I may make entries from time to time but, not to worry, I will be back to a (hopefully) daily entry to cover my return trip starting on or about Tuesday June 16.

    More pictures from today ride, as well as from the entire ride can be seen at http://jackb1.smugmug.com





    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  8. #38
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    I'm truly enjoying your posts and the account of your trip. I should have posted sooner, but in any event, I'm sure a lot of us will be looking forward to your return trip! Nice job.
    Dan

  9. #39
    2wheelsround-The Rider
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    Similar interests and areas

    I am inspired by your conquest. After reading your posts, it seems we live in the same area. I am outside of Philly in the Chadds Ford area (Unionville). I also have a place in OCNJ.

    I am planning on a long trip coming up over the next fews weeks and quite frankly, overwhelmed with the possibilities on where I can go, or should go. Also have my bike maintained at Hermy's.

    I enjoyed your blog and your pics. I am assuming you are heading down to the International Rally in July?

  10. #40
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Getting back on the road today!!

    The touristy phase of my trip is over and I'm getting back on the road today!! Leaving Anchorage for the first leg of the even longer trip back home! Regular reports will begin again today!
    Jack
    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  11. #41
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddorwart View Post
    I am inspired by your conquest. After reading your posts, it seems we live in the same area. I am outside of Philly in the Chadds Ford area (Unionville). I also have a place in OCNJ.

    I am planning on a long trip coming up over the next fews weeks and quite frankly, overwhelmed with the possibilities on where I can go, or should go. Also have my bike maintained at Hermy's.

    I enjoyed your blog and your pics. I am assuming you are heading down to the International Rally in July?

    Hi! I've found a number of local folks who have popped on to my radar scope as a result of my trip and my posts. It's very cool. Won't be going to the MOA rally this year as i have to be at a wedding in Vermont. Good luck planning your adventure trip. Keep me posted!
    Jack
    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  12. #42
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    Safe trip home. Hope the Phillies are still in first when you get home.
    Terence
    Current rides R75/5 R100RS R1150RT
    Past rides K100RS R1100S
    My Smugmug

  13. #43
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 27 - The Return Begins. Anchorage to Tok . Bentleys?

    Day 27 - Tuesday, June 16, 2009
    Start: Anchorage, Alaska
    End: Tok, Alaska
    Trip Miles Today: 317
    Total Trip Miles: 5902

    Once again, the game is on! I departed Anchorage this morning under partly cloudy skies on the first leg of the trip to home, to Malvern, PA. Ordinarily there is something distinctly anticlimactic about a return trip. That‘«÷s doubly true in this case as the first three travel days will be exactly the reverse of my northbound journey. So, today‘«÷s leg was Anchorage to Tok, AK via the Glenn and Richardson Highways and the Tok cutoff. Tok is my entry point for the Alaska Highway southbound. Despite the lack of scenery surprises (I‘«÷m seen it all before) there were several very unexpected highlights to this day. Sure I got another look at the Wrangell-St Elias Range and also the glaciers on the North side of the Chugach Mountains. In many ways the scenery looked were better than 1 ?Ę weeks ago because as I went along today the weather only got better and better. By mid afternoon it was mostly sunny and 70 degrees (F) so I actually did get more really good photos this time through the area. However it was those unexpected elements that served to make today special.

    So how often do you see a Bentley Automobile? I‘«÷d have to say not very often and I‘«÷d wager that anyone who is reading would say much the same thing. Bentleys - stately, expensive, rare. So all that being said, who would have expected to see over 30 classic and vintage Bentleys cruising along my route today? That‘«÷s exactly what I got. Over 30 Bentleys being driven to their overnight stop in Tok, AK as part of the 2009 Bentley Drivers Club Canada-Alaska Tour. Some of the cars date to the 1920s, there are a number from the 30s and the newest that I‘«÷ve seen ‘«£only‘«ō date to the 60s. The event started in Vancouver several weeks ago and I‘«÷ve tripped over the group as they make their return from Anchorage. It looks like we‘«÷ll be on the same route for the next couple of days‘«™.Tok to Whitehorse‘«™.Whitehorse to Watson Lake, YT. I‘«÷ve personally spoken to entrants from England, Australia, and Switzerland and I‘«÷m told there are others. The Bentley Drivers Club is an International organization that stages several International rallies like this per year. Seems the members just ship their cars to wherever in the world an event is being staged. This is obviously an avocation for the ‘«£Leisure class.‘«ō To read more about this event go to http://www.bentleyalaska.com The cars are WAY COOL and these people drive then pretty hard!

    The other unexpected highlight today was aviation related. First, let me back up to last weekend. Over the weekend, on TV and radio, we kept hearing about some substantial military exercises that were being commenced in the South Central Alaska area. Mostly the PR was to make people aware of the potential for sonic booms (Cool!), lots of military aircraft activity and the like. OK. This morning, about mid morning, while still following the Glenn Highway in the Matanuska River Valley, I happened to look up just in time to see two Air Force C-17 Transports flying the river valley, directly toward me, and not 500 feet in the air! Those suckers look huge at that altitude! Of course, they were gone before I could dig the camera out of the tank bag and fire it up. Nonetheless, a very neat sighting ‘«Ű right up there with seeing bears (which I did not today!)

    Several people have asked about my return route. As mentioned, I‘«÷ll take the Alaska Highway at least as far as Watson Lake, YT. At that time I‘«÷ll make a decision whether I‘«÷ll go south to Prince George via the Cassiar Highway or continue on The Alaska Highway to Dawson Creek, BC and then go south to Prince George from there. I‘«÷m mostly waiting to seen on weather and road conditions, though the fact that this Bentley Group plans to take the Cassiar complicates things a bit as they have the ability to absorb nearly all the hotel rooms in some of these tiny towns. I‘«÷ve got a couple of days to sort that out. In any case I‘«÷ll get to Prince George, and then continue southbound to re enter the US near Seattle. After that I‘«÷ll be headed for Oregon and only then begin to head East via a, as yet, mostly undetermined route.

    I‘«÷ve also had inquiries regarding the stalling issue with the bike. The bike was in the BMW Dealer in Anchorage (The Motorcycle Shop) for a week while I traveled with my wife and friends. Upon my return and following pickup the bike has performed flawlessly. The idle is stable, as it was when new, and I‘«÷ve had no stalling issues in the first 500 miles of riding. The dealer was pretty evasive about what they did but talked about lines to the vacuum canister. The fact that there is a 40+ page thread on ADV Rider regarding a whole of litany of issues as I described makes me believe that there is a real issue and apparently dealers know what to do with it. In any case, the problem is fixed ‘«Ű at least for now.

    I‘«÷m in kind of a reflective mood tonight as it‘«÷s my last night in Alaska (for now!) but tomorrow, in any case, it‘«÷s off to Whitehorse. That will be a nearly 400 mile day through the crappiest (and most construction intensive) portion of the Alaska Highway so I‘«÷ll be glad to get tomorrow behind me. I hope the weather holds!









    There are always more pictures at http://jackb1.smugmug.com
    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  14. #44
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Thanks, and keep it up. Interesting about the stalling. I've heard about it quite a bit over on F800.org, but so far my bike hasn't been bitten......yet.
    Dan

  15. #45
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 28 - Good Times in Construction Zones. Welcome to Canada!

    Day 28 - Wednesday, June 17, 2009
    Start: Tok, Alaska
    End: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
    Trip Miles Today: 384
    Total Trip Miles: 6286

    Well, my trip is now over 6000 miles and counting. Not exactly ‘«£epic‘«ō in the classic sense but pretty epic by my standards. I‘«÷m pretty sure that I‘«÷ll break 11,000 miles by the time I return home and 12K is not out of the question. I found today to again be a battle against the elements. The elements today consisted mostly of road conditions and a bit of weather thrown in for good measure. As I mentioned during the Northbound leg of the trip, the 125 miles from the Alaska-Canada border to the East end of Kluane Lake in the Yukon, is the area in most disrepair and the area with the majority of construction activity on any portion of the highway. When re-entering Canada this morning the construction zones were already on my mind but, unprovoked, the nice lady at Canadian Customs advised ‘«£be really careful in the construction zones, we‘«÷ve had several bikers down in the past few days.‘«ō As if I needed reminding. Basically these construction zones (5 of ‘«ˇem in the first 125 miles‘«Űvarying in length from 3 to 8 miles) are where the old paved road has been completely torn out and a dirt/gravel/mud path takes their place. Sometimes there is 2 way traffic and sometimes it‘«÷s one lane only with either flagmen or pilot cars. Also, the condition varies from very hard, stable dirt with embedded stone to something that is like a slurry of pea gravel and mud. The pea gravel-stone-mud ones are the worst, especially just after rain or the water truck has come through to keep the dust down! This mushy stuff is just waiting to toss unwary motorcyclists. The first construction zone after crossing into Canada is the very worst for these conditions. I came pretty close to dumping the bike but judicious throttle application saved the day. Others were not so fortunate. Late in the day I spoke to some German Tourists, riding 2 up on a Moto Guzzi, and they had laid the bike down in that very area. Like the Canadian Customs Lady said ‘«£be VERY careful in the construction zones.‘«ō On top of the fun of customs and unstable road surfaces, I got pretty well doused with rain in the area around the aptly named ‘«£Destruction Bay‘«ō (named by Alaska Highway road builders in 1942 when, while building the first highway, some mega storm came along and trashed everything.) Not only did I get doused but, when the storm came up the temperature dropped down to 40 deg. (F) for almost an hour. Good thing that I had the foresight to put on my NEW heated vest which works flawlessly!

    The route today was simply to go nearly 400 miles down the Alaska Highway. No turns, no side trips. Just pounding out miles. Still contemplating what to do for a route to Prince George ‘«Ű Cassiar Highway or Alaska Highway to Dawson Creek, then over the Yellowhead to Prince George. Cassiar Highway is about 100 miles shorter and reputedly has better scenery, but has some unpaved stretches 20 miles or so in length and less in the way of services ‘«Ű lodging, gas, etc. I sure would like to run into some riders who have come up the Cassiar to see what they have to say about the condition of the road. In any case I‘«÷ll have to make a decision after tomorrow. We‘«÷ll see.

    That‘«÷s about the story of today. I‘«÷m holed up in Whitehorse for the night. Hope I can get some more sleep that last night. Here‘«÷s a travel hint for everyone. Don‘«÷t stay in hotels occupied mostly by construction workers especially if there is a bar nearby. Noisy crowd, they. I've also been checking for hotels one and two nights down the road and nearly everything seems to be full. I guess all those northbound cars and campers I've seen the past two days need a place to stay too. It sure is different from even 2-3 weeks ago when I made the northbound trip. Then everything was empty - now everyone is sold out. I may actually have to do some planning it seems.


    Near Northway, AK


    Big Storm brewing near Destruction Bay, YT


    Kluane Lake
    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

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