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Thread: Teaser- "Adventure is taking inappropriate Equipment to out of the way places"

  1. #31
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    Jul 2012
    Just ahead of a flat line

  2. #32
    Watch This!!! junkjohn's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Cape Cod, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer01 View Post
    Is anyone reading this? Should I keep writing it??

    This is a great read, please continue.
    John Simonds
    2017 R 1200 GS Adventure
    1975 Norton Commando 850 Roadster Mk 3
    If it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is.

  3. #33
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Chicago, Ill

    Day Fourteen, Denali Highway and on to Valdez

    We all arose early, had some instant coffee and went our separate ways.

    Did I mention that somewhere during the unspeakably rough roads thus far I'd developed a leak in my final drive? I sent an iPhone picture of the seepage to my mechanic buddy and he told me there were two options, one to find a BMW dealer and wait for an opening for service or two, just keep adding oil.

    Given my ADD tendencies, I opted for Door #2. Except that for the life of me I couldn't find the access port to add oil to the final drive. Which given that the wizards in Berlin had decided that final drive oil was a lifetime item, they had omitted for this model year. That's OK, except when the seal fails. A quick check of YouTube showed a hack for adding oil anyhow, involving the removal the pannier, the rear wheel, the rear brake caliper and finally the speed sensor. Evidently the German engineers never contemplated the possibility of a seal leaking.

    They'd never ridden these roads either.

    We passed a Yamaha/Suzuki dirtbike/ATV shop on the way into town and we stopped on the way out of town to get a quart of gear oil. Then Fran demonstrated his mechanical brilliance by suggesting that given the tiny vertical access hole, I'd better buy or steal a syringe for adding the oil. Right. Never occurred to me.

    We stopped at the Fairbanks Walmart and I searched high and low for a syringe...finally I approached the nice woman at the pharmacy counter and made up a story about having a sick child at home and needed a way to precisely measure her medicine out. I was handed a syringe. Given my disreputable appearance I'm happy there were no further questions about the real use of this device.

    Fran was fully prepared to do this final drivectomy in the Walmart parking lot, but I declined... I mean it was just seeping, how much oil could have been lost? He rides an English bike, leaking oil is no big deal to him.

    We rode South towards Denali Park. Denali Park has been called "pure Alaska" and attracts Tour Busses by the score... all filled with elderly tourists with walkers out to buy souvenirs, trinkets and who hope to capture a picture of a real live wild animal with their hand-me-down point and shoot cameras. The smell of BenGay was overwhelming.

    We got down to the Town area, refueled and grabbed a hot dog, wading thru tourists in line. I noted that we were given space in the overheated dining bay without too much fuss. I told Fran that we'd head South... when the tourists took a right to be herded onto the Park Service official busses for their safe and sanitized tour of the Park, we'd turn left and head onto the Denali highway.

    Definately not safe and definately not sanitized.

    As we left the restaurant/Gas Station/Souvenir shop there was the biggest moose I've ever seen on the roadside grazing on some of the local flora. 'Had to have gone 1300 pounds. Fran, of course, didn't see it. I believe Fran could pass a dozen Cheerleaders on the side of the road, waving Pom-Poms and not see them.

    Yep, as always, words like 'Highway' are used rather liberally. The Denali is a bit of work, goes over two passes but also goes through some pretty fabulous central Alaska terrain. We saw moose, herds of Caribou, and bears... including a Grizzly gorging itself on dandelions. Frankly the Black Bears were getting annoying, I no longer marveled at their grace and beauty, I just blew my overly loud horn whenever I saw one on the road ahead of me hoping I could scare them back into the bush.

    Where was I? Oh yes... riding the Denali. The road was in marginally better repair than I remembered from 2009, but the washboarded sections still wanted to shake your teeth out, especially when the road crosses the glacial eskers.

    Fran was way out ahead of me this time... I later discovered that he'd chased a herd of Caribou down the Denali (he actually saw these for a change) and discovered that these critters can run at 35 miles an hour for a while, given the right motivation and proper encouragement.

    I got towards the Eastern end and noticed that my bike was handling very strangely. Like broken frame strange. (I have no idea what a broken frame bike handles like, so I'm just making this up) but something was amiss.

    I pulled into the now abandoned restaurant at the junction with the Richardson Highway (as mentioned, retail is a somewhat fragile business proposition up here) and found Fran. We got perhaps ten miles down the road and I radioed to him asking for him to look at my rear tire as I passed him.

    Yep, flat. And like an idiot I'd ridden on it that way for the last 30 miles. He told me to find a wide spot on the road... I did what I could. We wrestled the bike up onto the center stand and I broke out my pump to add air, so the puncture could be located. (BTW... get an electric pump for your kit if heading down these roads. At this point we'd have used a case of CO2 cartridges if that had been our inflation method of choice). As quickly as the pump got working the Mosquitos descended. OMG. And I'm originally from Minnesota where we pride ourselves on being able to endure these flying vampires. These were bad...the kind of bad where you inhale three, swallow one and bite the heads off the rest, just so you can spit them out.

    Fran lay on the ground, riding suit up and helmet on for protection, spraying a soap solution onto the rotating tire looking for the leak. I eventually found it, the hole was so large that it was blowing dust and gravel around every time the hole got to the 6:00 position.

    It was about this time that the crumbling asphalt on the side of the road gave way and my bike slowly pitched off the Richardson Highway and upside down as it slid down the gravel embankment.

    That was fun.

    Fran was fortunately to the rear, not the side when this happened, but it sure looked dramatic to the passing motorhome... which quickly braked to a stop with a couple of locals piling out to help.

    I explained that this, contrary to appearances, was not a crash with fatalities, just a flat tire. They immediately leant a hand and the four of us were able to wrestle my bike back upright and onto the side of the road where the shoulder wasn't crumbling away. One of the guys looked at our situation and went back to the motorhome. In a few minutes we heard the sound of a Honda Generator and saw them walking back with a heavy duty compressor and 50 feet of orange extension cord.

    Wow. This was like the compressor at your local Goodyear store. My tire inflated so quickly that it literally popped up off the ground. Our savior then produced an industrial strength repair kit with oversized gummy worms and fresh rubber cement and in a few minutes I was repaired and ready.

    We thanked them profusely and offered cash, but they declined. "We never leave anyone behind up here" they said... and stuck around swatting mosquitos until I was repacked and ready to go.

    We assume they'd never spoken to Stan back on the Dempster Highway.

    We got riding again, but this repair had cost us 90 minutes or so. I looked at my map and mentally calculated the time we'd need reach Valdez.... we'd be arriving at about 10:30PM, assuming that the section that suffered the landslide a few weeks ago had been repaired... and getting to Valdez would involve crossing some really cold costal mountain passes.

    I mentally popped smoke, and radioed to Fran that we were going to do another slight deviation from our plan and were going to camp this side of the mountain range and save Valdez for another trip. We stopped for fuel and I mentioned that Fran that I'd seen a public campground just a few miles back. We turned back and easily found the sign announcing that this public park campground was open for the season!

    Did I mention the mosquitos? OMG. This campground seemed to be ground zero for them. We put up our tents as quickly as possible... I actually fled to the outhouse to take off my riding suit... and I dove through my tent door, flipping around to zip the door shut. I then spent fifteen minutes systematically killing every mosquito that had gotten in. Deet had little effect on these guys, though I had certainly sprayed myself with it liberally.

    Note... Fran eschews bug spray of any kind for reasons that are obscure to mere mortals. He claimed to have an agreement with the bugs not to bother him. That agreement seemed not to be in effect that evening as I heard him slapping the little vampires over in his tent too. The next morning we discovered that this campground seems to have been constructed on reclaimed swampland, with hundreds of dark pools of water all around us.


    No dinner. No bourbon. Just bugs.

    Tomorrow we'd start heading towards Burwash Landing and back into Canada.
    I went to sleep with the drone of circling mosquitos over my tent.
    Last edited by Beemer01; 11-25-2014 at 07:05 PM.

  4. #34
    Registered User REBGEN's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Clive, IA
    Wow!!!!! Been along for the whole trip report....AWESOME trip!

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to share this with us. I know that I'm never going to attempt a trip like this so this is as close as I'll ever get. I'm slapping at imaginary mosquitos in my office right now ;-) HATE those suckers and I lived in Minnesota too.
    98 R1200C Canyon Red

  5. #35
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    Dec 2013
    Fair Oaks, Calif.

    Thumbs up Teaser

    What I've been enjoying most is the spirit of your adventure. And of course the unexpected details including a Triumph wearing a car tire (seems to have worked, so far), the crazy "road" surfaces and the characters in those small outposts. I did much of that trip (all but the Dalton) in 1990 on an R100T. Whenever we saw a GS we'd say "That's what we should be riding." But I've got to say it's not the bike but the rider who takes it on. Thanks for sharing. Keep it coming![QUOTE=36654;948066]Same horse different name.......

  6. #36
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Calgary AB
    This is a great ride report which I look forward to your periodic updates. I can only imagine the howling whine of the hoards of mosquitoes that night in the swamp!
    Ken Dittrick
    2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blau)

    Excuses are the rocks upon which our dreams are crushed - Tim Fargo

  7. #37
    Registered User okiegman's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Eufaula, Oklahoma
    Keep it coming - I'm certainly enjoying it!
    Wes Fitzer-MOA BoD - President
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    NE Oklahoma BMW Club; BMW Riders of Oklahoma
    2016 R1200GSA

  8. #38
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Central Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer01 View Post
    Is anyone reading this? Should I keep writing it??
    Yes! and YES!

    Don't leave us hanging...
    2006 R1200RT

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Near Lynchburg, VA
    I don't read ride reports. Glad I didn't miss this one.
    This report has been excellent.
    Thank you.
    Is intermission over ?

  10. #40
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Chicago, Ill

    Day Fifteen ? Earthquakes, blown fork seals and? who was that Girl?

    I awoke to silence. No mosquitos. I peered cautiously out of my tent to see if they were massing for an attack. Nothing. Fran emerged from his tent and walked over to the thermometer mounted on his bike... 31 degrees. The bugs were probably just stunned, not dead, but that was good enough for right now.

    We shook the frost off our tents, packed up and motored down the road in the clear Alaskan morning. Soon we turned Northeast onto the Glenn Highway towards Tok, the Wrangel Range gleaming white in the morning sun. Somewhere along the Glenn Highway, Fran radioed that his bike seemed to be running hot...the next gas stop we peered at his radiator ... yep - nearly coated over with solidified mud and calcium chloride. This was a job that only a high pressure hose could deal with.

    Tok, Alaska was ahead, we'd surely find a high pressure wand there - and there was still the matter of my leaking rear seal to deal with. Maybe I could actually find an asphalted parking lot to work on my bike?

    Parts of the Glenn Highway were under reconstruction and then the clouds lowered and it started to rain as we gained altitude. At one point we stopped for gas at a bar/liquor store/gas station combo..I walked thru the bar, it was perhaps 10:30 in the morning, and the regulars were all there working their way through their daily rations of beer. I loved the fact that a mosquito coil was burning like incense by the front door. I bought a fifth of Jack... and man has to have his priorities. And it was cold out there.

    We made Tok around noon. 'Turns out that one of the gas stations offers free access to their high pressure wand if you buy gas from them. This was probably put in place with RVs in mind, but it worked for us too ...Fran was able to blow a lot of the baked on crap off his radiator with the water pressure. I on the other hand was cultivating an authentic filthy adventure bike look.

    Fran suggested that I do my final drive oil job on a paved parking lot, next to an auto parts store, since these jobs always seem to require tools not in your tool kit. This was genius it turned out. And even better there was a NAPA store just down the road, where the nice lady was amenable to my ignoring the "Don't repair your vehicle in front of the store" sign, when I told her I was just going to add oil. I didn't tell her that doing so would involve disassembling a BMW across two parking spots. On the flip side I did, as Fran had guessed, have to buy several expensive tools that were needed and not in my kit.

    The syringe of oil worked perfectly. And of course I have absolutely no idea of how much oil to add, so I injected 500 ML, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. This only took about 90 minutes including the random conversations you always have with the locals when you are trying to do a project like this.

    We left Tok and headed Southeast on the Alaska Highway. We crossed back into Canada... ahead of us was an interesting duo, she looked like an aging professional "dancer" who'd had some failed Botox treatments, he was a heavyset middle aged guy, they were driving a UHaul...they had a cat and litter box on the front seat, and they were trailering a late model Mercedes. The Canadian Customers people were having a field day.

    Now that, I'll bet, has a great back story.

    The Alaska Highway down towards Burwash Landing is always in rough shape. This time it seemed ridiculous. There were dips and whoops rises that I never remembered from 2009, heck I was nearly airborne on a couple of occasions. When we pulled off for a 100 mile break, I noticed a sign showing the violent history of Quakes forming this area. I also saw that UHaul scream by, the trailer with the Mercedes rocking, bouncing and swinging in the rear.

    We finally reached Burwash Landing, where in 2009 I'd bought gas, camped in the bear free meadow, ate dinner in the restaurant and had a restaurant encounter with a self-proclaimed Arms Dealer, who tried to sell me an AK47. The gas station/hotel/restaurant had sadly gone bust. Which was a problem since we were nearly out of gas, and my trusty Garmin was telling me that there was no fuel for hundreds of kilometers.

    There was also a new problem...... The right side of Fran's Triumph and riding suit were splattered with fresh oil. Those whoops and dips? He'd blown his right fork seal.

    The fuel thing was however a more immediate issue, if we were to believe the $700 Garmin. (See earlier rant). We drained the rest of the fuel from my cans...not much there... and got back in the saddles to see what would happen.

    The still frozen Kluane lake blew icy winds across the road, I shivered and rechecked my gas gauge. I was showing 20 miles of range, and Fran wasn't a whole lot better. We crested a rise and there was Destruction Bay... a wide spot in the road, but one that had a gas station! Which appeared to have been in operation for about the past 25 years. Give or take.

    Thanks Garmin.

    We stopped and fueled everything up, tanks, gas cans...the works. Fran went to go inside, when I noticed that he'd been derailed in this task by a conversation with an attractive young lady riding solo on a KLR thumper with Alaska plates. Somewhere along this conversation he discovered that this area had experienced a 5.3 earthquake just 20 or so hours earlier. Which explained the road conditions. The thing is when you're out in Destruction Bay on the Alaska Highway, an earthquake just doesn't seem like that big a deal. The road develops a few more dips, the trees sway and life goes on.

    The attractive young lass was going the same direction we were...there are only two choices after all... so we decided to ride together at least as far as Haines Junction where there was sure to be camping and food.

    She rode fast, Fran rode faster...crossing the broad wash area at the South end of the lake the blowing dust was thick.... I eventually caught up with them at another Chinese-Western Restaurant which had about the same dismal food as the others. At least this one had cold beer. We sat and chatted and it quickly became evident that this Chick was running from something. She had just flown to Anchorage and bought this brand new bike and purple bike luggage...she changed her name a couple of times over dinner, finally settling on Crystal. She was evasive about where she actually lived and referenced a motorcycle accident down in San Diego a few years back that she was receiving a settlement for. Beyond that she wasn't disclosing anything.

    And she didn't want her picture taken. So there's that.

    Whatever. I paid for dinner so she offered to pay for a campsite. Still another Asian owned campground and she coughed up $25 on her Visa card (at least her credit was good) and we set up camp. "Crystal" hammock camped, though it didn't look to me like she had much experience in doing this...ditto her packing skills for her gear on her bike.

    We started a fire and spent another 45 minutes trying to get a fix on her, which was getting us nowhere. I polished off a bottle of Jack and headed off to my tent, leaving Fran to try and figure this gal out.

    I think Fran is also a Minister of the matchbook variety, so I'm sure he tried to counsel her.
    I think she snored too, or we had bears sleeping nearby.
    Last edited by Beemer01; 12-18-2014 at 05:03 PM.

  11. #41
    Great job I am following it. Please keep it going

  12. #42
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Great report...adventure/misadventures have me hooked
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and SABMWRA Prez

    Be decisive, right or wrong.The road of life is paved with
    flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision~unknown

  13. #43
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Chicago, Ill

    Day 16 Haines Ferry Fail and near disaster on the Alcan

    This was going to be a fun day, as we'd be arriving in Haines, Alaska early so we could catch the Ferry that was to leave at 1:00 PM. We actually pulled in around 10:30 and found a really nice cafe/Thai restaurant and had coffee and decadent pastries, leisurely catching up on our emails... (WTF was Thomas?no word yet?).

    Around noon we rode through town and out to the Ferry dock where there were already cars and trucks in line...though it strangely appeared that they'd been parked there for a while.

    We dutifully noted that there was as yet no Ferry (It's hard to miss), parked our bikes in line and walked over to the waiting/ticket room. I'd made reservations weeks in advance, though there is always room for a couple more motorcycles.

    Imagine my surprise when the guy manning the ticket window informed me that the ferry for today was cancelled. Casually. No big deal. We'd ridden 150 miles just to get here for this ferry. I asked about my reservations... he shrugged and offered that he thought there'd be a ferry tomorrow.

    - You will observe that there is no giant ferry awaiting us.

    Look at this map... the distance from Haines to Skagway by water is just a couple of hours, by land it's most of a day of riding. A lot of vertical on those costal ranges.

    Exasperated we stormed out. There was another much smaller ferry service in town, but I didn't think they took vehicles. It took us another hour to confirm this. So back we went to the Alaska Highway, rejoined it and started towards Watson Lake.

    So this was going to be a long day ...close to 700 miles .... but hey, the weather was good and holding, and that why we came up here in the first place! The Ferry was just a side show anyhow I kept telling myself.

    We got to ride through Whitehorse, Yukon's largest town/city..there were actually three story buildings and paved streets!

    Somewhere on the Alaska Highway that afternoon I was running perilously low on fuel...again. But no worries, I remembered that there was a tiny cafe/gas station somewhere around here, I'd bought fuel, coffee and a muffin here back in 2009. Sure enough the buildings were still there, and there was a guy walking around...but it sure didn't appear that there was an operating business based on the dog that came charging out... teeth bared... to greet us.

    Oops. The guy walked over and explained that he'd just bought the place and would reopen it in a month or so, once he'd satisfied the Government folks that his underground tanks were safe. None of which was going to help me. I did hope that he'd done some due diligence on this property before he bought it!

    Miracles of miracles, he offered to give me some fuel out of the red plastic can in the back of his truck. Fran just shook his head at my luck. (Yeah, my fancy fuel cans on the bike were dry since I just knew this place was here). I paid in in American and a couple of loonies and we were back on our way, his dog chasing us to the end of the driveway.

    The Alaska Highway on this section was in good repair and we were making good time... we should arrive in Watson Lake by 9:00PM give or take. That section is wide and fast. I'd flipped my visor up and was just wearing my sunglasses when a Semi passed going the other direction.

    I figure I was probably travelling at about 75 MPH and the truck had been doing the same. Something hit me right in the left eye at a velocity of 100 MPH plus.

    My world instantly went dark.

    It doesn't take much mass at that velocity. And I thought I'd purchased the shatterproof plastic lenses.

    I was able to slow the bike and eventually stop it with one eye open and the other in... serious trouble. I got off just in time for Fran to pull up behind me to inquire why I was stopping. Oh my God, he exclaimed when I moved my hand covering that eye.

    No Cell service and darned few options. I didn't think it was serious enough to push the 911 button on the Spot... I didn't know what would happen if I did, but was pretty sure it'd be expensive and unduly alarming to the folks back home.

    I had stuff deep into my eye... it hurt like h***. We spent 20 minutes trying to flush that eye out with water from my Camelback... we might have gotten something out, I just couldn't tell. Fran fashioned an eye cover for the ruined eye with a napkin and duct tape, and I rode another 60 miles with one eye. Depth perception does suffer under these circumstances.

    Shockingly, about ten miles outside Watson Lake the Mounties were running a roadblock looking for DUI drivers. The officer walked up to my idling bike... took a step back and reached for his radio calling for an ambulance. I waved him off... I'd already ridden 60 miles, another ten wouldn't kill me at this point, and it'd be faster if I drove myself into town.

    Watson Lake is a tiny town of a few hundred people, I had little expectation of even a doctor....I thought if I were lucky I'd get a nurse or something. The Mountie informed me that there was a complete Hospital manned 7/24 on this side of town.

    God bless the Canadians.

    Long story made short, we eventually found the medical center ... didn't look like a hospital back Stateside ... and they were waiting for me, courtesy of the RCMP radioing ahead. I went through the paperwork, relatively easy, though my US Insurance card was no good up there, my Mastercard or cash would work just fine.

    Within 15 minutes the Doctor came in... very nice and very professional ... and while we compared notes on the differences in the respective National Healthcare systems, he adroitly removed three shards of glass/plastic from my eye. He proceeded to give me the worst case scenario and my options...none of which sounded very appealing. He suggested bed rest for a day and to avoid bright light.

    Well, my sunglasses were toast but I did have a flip down sunscreen on my helmet, so there was that.

    As it was we made it back to the Air Force Lodge where I'd made reservations. We crept in, found our room, pulled the shades and I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. My eye still hurt, just not like before.
    Last edited by Beemer01; 03-11-2015 at 05:30 PM.

  14. #44
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Chicago, Ill

    Day 17 ? Bryan kills Woody and gets Hyderized

    I woke up to an empty room, Fran's bunk was empty. I raised the shade and saw him finishing up changing his front tire back to street rubber out in the parking lot. I knew that my Knobbie front tire was good for another 5,000 miles or so, so I left it in place.

    Geez... it was like 8:00 or something...I never sleep past 6:00AM. Must have been the hospital visit trauma.

    My eye felt much better, the vision with the left eye was still dodgy, but on balance I felt great. And lucky. The Doctor had told me that if the projectile had hit 1-2MM lower, I'd likely have lost that eye.

    Well, permanent black eye patches are cool, but no depth perception makes off-roading tough. I'd literally dodged that bullet. Or rock. Or tire tread. Or whatever it was.

    I showered and packed up my gear and we rolled down the street to have breakfast. I think all we had eaten the day before was coffee and a roll, so a proper Yukon breakfast was in order. I have no idea what this means, but probably included Canadian Bacon.

    We rolled out of town and grabbed the Cassiar Highway which runs more or less South through Beautiful British Columbia. The Cassiar is almost completely paved two lane these days, but there sure isn't much traffic on it. British Columbia has some new and fairly draconian traffic laws regarding speeding, but fortunately we weren't aware of them and blissfully made reasonable time based on road conditions. (Fast)

    British Columbia is beautiful...but expensive. The locals joke that BC means Bring Cash.

    Our goal today was Hyder, Alaska, which weirdly does not appear on the Butler map I bought. On the other hand, it's pretty hard to get lost on the Cassiar, so I figured we'd eventually find the road to Hyder...probably paved with good intentions.

    We travelled through some great country, one stop was notable because it was - in the winter - a Heli-skiing port. In the spring it operates as a way stop with a nice restaurant. We took a short break here, Fran saw a couple of black bears pillaging the trash dump out back. We were out front with one of the dreaded tour busses pulled in and the walkers and members only jacket crowd emerged... slowly picking their way to the restrooms. We evidently looked scary enough that no one spoke to us as they shuffled by.

    We saw a chopper coming in hot, they evidently offer airborne Glacier tours as well.

    Sure enough, we eventually found the road to Hyder/Stuart. I stopped and noticed that I'd managed to kill a beautiful Woodpecker... I said a silent prayer, apologized and placed the remains off in the forest.

    As we stopped at that empty intersection we met a really interesting couple that were midway through a round the world tour on an Honda Trans Alp and an Honda Africa Twin. (Always astonishing to me that these bikes were never imported to the States, very nice designs and reportedly durable as rocks.) She was American and he was Scandanivian..they ride( as far as their money will allow)... when they get low on cash they pick up odd jobs until they feel flush again and off they go.

    He had the single largest top box I've ever seen could have held all my gear and still been half empty! Anyhow they had gear stuffed everywhere possible. Great approach to life!

    The ride down to Hyder is absolutely stunning. Perhaps the most scenic section of riding I've ever done ...glaciers, incredible waterfalls that seemed to tumble a thousand feet, trees draped with hanging moss, blowing fog. Shoulda been a movie set.

    This is the only way to get to Hyder, ride down. Stuart is the nice little Canadian town that sits next to Hyder... Hyder is a completely end of the road "town" that has a notable bear population that increases geometrically whenever the Salmon run.

    It's also notable because there is no US Customs station as you leave Canada and reenter Hyder, Alaska. As Fran noted, where on earth would you go from Hyder?

    We rode through town, and then reached the end and turned around. This takes about three minutes. We stopped at the famed Glacier Inn where a long standing tradition of getting Hyderized is fairly easy.

    Here are the rules, you ask the somewhat shopworn bartender, Kris for the ritual. She pours a double shot of something into a glass and pushes it across the bar to you. You are informed that it must be taken straight back in one gulp, and if you fail at this you must buy a round for the entire bar. She also would not tell me what it was until after I drank it.

    I contemplated the glass of clear horror and ordered a beer chaser. She pushed a can of Coors across the worn bar.

    Working in Sweden for years was good practice... I took the shot..and waited for the applause. Crickets. Of course, there were probably only ten people in the bar besides us and Kris. They would certainly have applauded if I'd choked on the Everclear and had to buy a round.

    I washed it down with the Coors...and asked for another.

    For the first time in my life, the bartender didn't want to serve me another round. I assured her that we were not going to go back into Canada at Stuart (The Canadians are a bit more diligent about letting people back into BC than the Americans and they operate a customs station there. I also think the agents who work there must have drawn the short straw) and she reluctantly served me another round... we also ate their fantastic fish and chips.

    Fran's electric vest had died again... he did a detailed inspection of the vest, cord and switch and discovered another broken wire. He walked over to a table of locals and asked if anyone had a butt connector in their truck. After two Hyder bombs and a couple of beers and fairly Hyderized, I probably missed some of the details and conversation, but sure enough he returned with a repaired vest 30 minutes later.

    Fran volunteered to pay for a room for the night, since the campground that we saw on our first swing through town looked muddy.. and probably full of bears. There was a run down motel - for sale - but still operating. Kinda. Fran negotiated a room with twin beds that was about halfway through a renovation and we crashed there for the night.

    Tomorrow - actually I wasn't sure. I didn't think we'd make it this far, so hadn't done the day by day planning any further out.

    And WTF was Thomas?
    Last edited by Beemer01; 12-18-2014 at 05:11 PM.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Just ahead of a flat line

    Teaser -

    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer01 View Post
    As we stopped at that empty intersection we met a really interesting couple that were midway through a round the world tour on an Honda Trans Alp and an Honda Africa Twin. Always astonishing to me that these bikes were never imported to the States ? very nice designs and reportedly durable as rocks.) She was American and he was Scandanivian..they ride( as far as their money will allow)... when they get low on cash they pick up odd jobs until they feel flush again and off they go.

    He had the single largest top box I?ve ever seen ? it could have held all my gear and still been half empty! Anyhow they had gear stuffed everywhere possible. Great approach
    Is her name Azure? Here is their ride report. He is Dutch she is American I think.
    I am too poor to buy cheap stuff, I need it to last forever (tewster2)

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