Thursday, December 25, 2008

Scooter Gang
in Homer

I met some friends from work in Homer this summer to go Halibut fishing. While out and about we saw this scooter gang from Wasilla.

They brought them down in the back of a truck and were enjoying the weekend even though it was raining pretty good. Just look at the smiles on their faces! Thats how you can tell if you have a happy scooter rider, by all the bugs in their teeth.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Bike!

The newest addition to my stable
2001 BMW R1150GS

First off I need to say that I stole these pictures of the Previous Owner's (xdbx) SmugMug.

Ever since this years Dawson City ride I've been considering a larger bike that is more road oriented for the longer trips. I also wanted something that could comfortably carry a passenger.

I considered several different makes and models but it always came down to a BMW GS. So when I saw this one for sale in the ADVrider FleaMarket it was hard to pass up.

Currently its stored away in a heated garage of undisclosed location in Michigan. I've got a couple options but most likely I'll fly down in the spring and ride it back to Alaska.

Should be a fun trip :D

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Whittier Tunnel (From the Inside)

Whittier Tunnel
Sometime last winter when Mitch and Joe came to visit.

My friend from college, Miner Joe, was in Juneau at a mine his company owned doing some training. It just happens that My buddy Miner Mitch works at that mine and had a companion fare for Alaskan Airlines.

When the weekend came around they flew up to Anchorage for a visit. We had a great time.
I couldn't let my two favorite Miners come to Anchorage with out showing them the Whittier Tunnel.

This picture is while we were driving towards Whittier.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Belarde's Pump Truck

Its a bird, Its a plane, No Its a Concrete Pump Truck!

This was taken on my job down in Kodiak. You can see the forms for new retaining walls at the Teen Center there, and a big blue boom reaching down from the sky.

That big arm is a Concrete Pump Truck. You back the Redi-Mix (Cement) truck to the Pump Truck, dump the concrete in the hopper, and the concrete gets pumped through that long arm and out the hose at the end. Its pretty convenient for jobs like this, things way off the ground like floors of a building, or places you don't want to drive the big trucks.

Three truck loads of concrete later the tops were finished and insulation was draped over the walls to keep them from freezing overnight.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Halibut Etouffee on a Cold Fairbanks Night

Last weekend I went to Fairbanks to visit Aimee. In case you haven't looked at the weather for Fairbanks its been cold up there! And its only going to get colder.

To combat some of that cold we made Etouffee with an Alaskan twist. Instead of using shrimp or crawdads, we used some of the Halibut Aimee caught when she came to visit in Kodiak.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Looking out my office window
Longing for the open road

While I had a mostly good 6.5 weeks in Kodiak its very nice to be back home. Too bad the weather this summer wasn't as clear as it was today. I can't remember how many times the mountains actually came out to be looked at.

Don't let the lack of snow and clear skies fool you, its pretty crisp out there. I never did check the temperature today but you definitely didn't want to go outside without a coat.

I've decided its too cold to ride anymore. I fell bad asking the KLR to start in the cold like this and it takes forever for it to warm up. Besides, it doesn't get above freezing and ice is a problem when you rely on friction to keep yourself upright.

Its good that winter is here. We cram a lot into the summers because we know how short they are and its time to rest up. We've only got 7 months until it starts all over again.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bamboo Room, Haines AK

When I was working in Juneau we spent about six weeks in Haines surveying the road out of town. We would always eat at the Bamboo Room for breakfast.

The reason they call it the Bamboo Room is because there is a bar and the dining room in the same building. Back in the day they were separated by a bamboo curtain. Its the local hangout for old guys who drink coffee in the morning.

One morning I over heard the oldest one talking about Timothy Treadwell, the guy famous for being eaten by a bear. He said "I met that Treadwell guy once. I said your an F'n idiot! One of these days you're going to get eaten by those damn bears! And look what happened."

I had to stop on my way through after Dawson for old times sake. It turned out that my friend Bar Tender Judy was working that day. Since there was a big bike race in town that weekend I gave up my seat in the dinning room for some kids that were under 21 and ate in the bar. The pancakes were still as good as I remember

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ship Creek, Downtown Anchorage

Some friends from work learned me up on fishing for Silvers and we've been out a few times since my last fish post.

Eric and I went to Ship Creek in Downtown Anchorage on Monday night. After we'd been there about two hours Eric decided to leave and I said to him, "You know, as soon as you leave I'm going to catch one."

And sure enough, he walked around the backside of the bridge and I hooked the one in the picture above. I hollard at him and he came down to help me land it and take this picture.

Its not the biggest Silver I've caught but it is pretty tasty! I had some of it for Salmon quesadillas tonight.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Something Fishy

My First Attempt at Filleting a Salmon

Monday night I went fishing with Rich, Eric, and Tanya from work at Bird Creek about 50 miles south of town.

We heard the Silvers were running, and they were. Just not as hard as hard as we thought. Thats OK thought. I haven't been fishing in the river like that so they showed me the ropes and we had a good time hanging out and trying to catch some fish.

Tanya caught the first Silver, then Rich and Eric caught a few Humpy's and Chum. You'll have to ask me in person how I got my fish, because its kind of a funny story.

We're going to hit up Ship Creek down by the Port friday morning. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Alaska State Park in Haines, AK

This is at the end of the road into the state park in Haines. The road runs from the inlet, up a salmon river, to where it starts at this lake. In the Fall you are pretty much guaranteed to see grizzly bears stocking up their fat supplies for winter.

When we were there surveying in '05 we saw a couple large Boars and a Sow with two Cubs.

There isn't really much more to say about this spot besides its a lot more beautiful in person and on a clear day. Even though I had clouds there is still a nice mirror effect on the smooth water.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Open Road

Along the Glenn Hwy, South of Eureka

This was taken along the Glenn Hwy on my way to Dawson City. I left work around 3pm, but didn't get out of town until 5:00. I was afraid that I was going to get stuck behind miles of RV's escaping for the weekend. But that wasn't the case. As soon as I got east of Palmer there was almost nobody on the road.

There is just something about no traffic that makes things significantly more enjoyable. You can set your own pace, stop without worrying about getting run over, and you don't have to worry about busses getting in your picture of the open road.

Its hard to explain the feeling of the scenery passing as cool air transports the smells of your surroundings. Total freedom, you could ride in the other lane if you wanted too. Maybe there is a moose or a Caribou around the next corner. You get the security of a well traveled road with the serenity of the most remote places in the world which allows complete relaxation so you can enjoy the moment.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Beautiful Border

Alaska/British Columbia Border on my way to Skagway

This is the most spectacular border I've ever seen. From Whitehorse you head south and eventually start to climb and climb up the mountains, into the clouds, and past what looks like the surface of a different planet until you come to the unmistakable Alaska sign.

It was amazing as is but I can only imagine what it would be like with a clear sky.

The borders in Alaska are kind of strange. It seems as though there is never a good place to put two compounds, US side and Canada side, right at the border. So if your in Canada you pass their station and continue on, maybe for 30 miles or more until you get to the US station.

Kind of weird but it makes sense if you think about it. I just wonder what happens if you need to turn around in between. Do you have to re-enter the country even though you never left?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


About 70 miles up the Dempster Hwy

The Friday of Dust to Dawson I decided to run up the Dempster hwy as far as half a tank would take me. Beezer and BeamerTwin took the same trip but left before me and passed me on their way out.

The Dempster Hwy goes north to Inuvik, which is way past the Arctic Circle.

This is where I decided to turn around and head back to Dawson City.

I was riding along and saw some thing glimmer in the sun. When I got closer I recognized the car, I'm pretty sure its a Saturn Ion. Anyway, it looks like they were booking along heading south when the missed a corner and flew off the road, rolled several times, and pretty much cracked up. Non of the doors were shut, the airbags went off, and it looks pretty wadded up in general.

I think the moral of the story is this...

I can find spare parts anywhere. Even in the Yukon.
Katie if you ever need anything for your car call me because I can find that again.

I wonder if Onstar would respond on the Dempster?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Not the Dalton

Valdez Creek Trail about 5 miles off the Denali Hwy

Well, BeamerTwin and I did not make it to Prudhoe Bay this weekend. I had some fuel problems with the KLR just before Fairbanks and they didn't clear up by the time we got a good distance out of town. So we decided it would be better to change our plans then rick breaking down up there and having to beg someone with a pickup to take my bike back to Fairbanks.

While it is a bummer we didn't make it to our planned destination we did make a trip across the Denali Hwy where we found that someone had repaired some of the creek crossings on a trail off the road. This picture is about five miles up the 25 mile trail. If you look close you can see our bikes center left in the photo. That is the Susitna River in the back ground.

This trail goes another 20 miles back to a lake that is supposed to have some great fishing. I'm assuming trout and grayling. But I also hear its prime grizzly country.

Maybe sometime this summer I'll ride back up there, make camp at the bottom of the trail, and ride up for a day of fishing.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Prudhoe Bay

Hey everyone,

Sorry the posts have been few and far between since Dawson.
I'm headed to Prudhoe Bay with Beamertwin this weekend and will be gone for another five days.

Then I'll be back and work is going to be slammed so It'll probably be a few more days after that.

BUT, I promise to get more pictures up as soon as I can.

Here is a picture of a bear.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lutefisk Outlaws

The wall in the Pioneer Bar, Haines, AK

This is the wall behind the bar at the Pioneer Bar in Haines. Shown are probably just 1/10 of the bumper stickers tacked up. When I was working in Haines we would always eat Breakfast at the Bamboo room, a dinning room in the same building. Back in the day the two were separated by a bamboo curtain, hence the name.

After getting off the ferry from Skagway and putting around in the state park for a while I stopped in to get some breakfast. They were pretty busy and I ended up giving my table to a group that had people too young to eat in the bar, which was serving as overflow that day.

I had some flapjacks, sausage, and hash browns. All pretty good, but I haven't had flapjacks in a long time. I think I'm going to have to figure out how to make them for myself.

My favorite statement on the wall there is "When Lutefisk is Outlawed, only Outlaws will have Lutefisk!"

Followed second by "Move Willow to the Capital"
I think you have to live here to get that one.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Eagle's Claw

Eagle Claw Campground
Tok, Alaska

Wednesday night I left work early and headed to Tok to meet up with Beezer, Wheeldog, and whoever else happened to be there. Along the way I met up with hal0015 in Glenallen and we decided to head on up together. Turns out there were LOTS of other people on their way to Dawson City for the festivities. Around 11:30 we pulled in to Eagle's Claw Campground.

Eagle's Claw is run by a long time Harley couple who moved up from outside several years ago. They have day jobs, but they also run this campground targeted to Motorcycles with some cabins and a Tee Pee thrown in the mix. The price is right and if you want they'll even fire up the sauna for you!

After AKDuc helped me get my tent squared away. We had a few beers around the fire and eventually hit the hay in preparation for the Top of the World Hwy the next day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Alive and Well

Haine's Highway., not too far from town.

Well, I made it back alive and pretty much well. I'm pretty tired so please excuse the lag time it will take to post the pictures to my SmugMug.

That picture above though is on the Haines Hwy. When i was working with my friend Josh in Juneau we were went to Haines for several (6-8) weeks so we could make a topographical map of the highway.

This waterfall was in that stretch. Josh being the crew chief made me climb up there, into the waterfall, so he could get some grade breaks he wanted. Anyway, it also makes a nice picture.

Here is a quick break down of the trip.

-Had a great time, met lots of cool people and made a few new friends.
-The Mounties did not arrest me.
-I saw 3 grizzly bears, two moose, lots of squirrels, one mouse, and something I couldn't identify but might have been a porcupine.
-I crossed US/Canada Border 4 times at 4 different locations

Pictures and stories will be posted soon.
Stand by.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dust to Dawson

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. Things have been REALLY busy at work, and I'm trying to get everything together for the Dust to Dawson ride. I plan to leave Wed. afternoon and head to Tok, where I'll meet up with a couple other people. Thursday head to Dawson City Yukon with shenanigans when we get there. Then shenanigans and poker run all day Friday into Saturday morning. Saturday I'll be leaving for Skagway, AK. Sunday will start off with a ride on the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry to Haines, AK then back to Tok to spend the night once again. And Monday will be the home stretch back to Anchorage.

Over 1700 miles of two wheeled adventure packed in to five days!

I'll make sure to take lots of pictures and I'm sure I'll have some good stories when I get back.

Here is a link to my route on Google Maps
Dust to Dawson '08

And there is MORE great news.

I received my letter from the Alaska Dept. of Commerce informing me that I passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam!

This 8hr exam covered pretty much everything I was supposed to learn in college. This was not the first time I have taken it, but I'm glad to say I don't need to take it again. I have earned the right to take an even harder test in about three years to become a Professional Engineer.

I'm not going to worry about that for a while though.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

To Knobbie or not to Knobbie?

The KLR waiting to be Reshoed

In preperation for my trip to Dawson next week I dropped the KLR's front wheel off at Alaska Leather for a new tire. The old tire was wearing funny, and I'm not sure it was actually round!

I also installed a few other goodies last night and this evening. You may notice the tank guards wrapped around the Radiator shrouds just below the tank. Not only will they protect the radiator when I drop the bike, but I'm hoping it will be a good place to hang stuff. Like a dry bag with my tent in it.

One thing you can't see is the new K&N air filter. I always swore against them but a few people I know have used them with good results so I figured I'd give it a try. It will be easier to clean than my the stock foam filter, so maybe I'll get to it more often.

I also have some heated grips (thanks mom and dad :-D ) that need to go on before Saturday.

GlacierCraft is having the second annual Dust to Dawson tech day at his shop on Saturday. I plan to install my new chain and sprockets, and wire up the grips. I could do it here by myself, but sometimes its nice to have a little guidance too. Plus if I need a puller for the sprockets, or a tool to break the chain someone will have them handy.

I took the KLR for a test ride after the new front tire. Man it rolls a lot smoother with a round tire!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Aimee In Front of Eklutna Lake

Aimee came down to visit this weekend. Saturday, after a trip to the Abbey to find a chain and sprocket set for the KLR, we stopped at Thunderbird Falls and Eklutna Lake.

At the shore near the mouth of a small creek this little bit of gravel was sticking out of the water. The water was shallow so it was easy to find a way out. What Aimee didn't expect was the wet dog bounding through the water towards her.

I snapped this picture right before the dog stopped about 20 feet away, looked around, and then decided to run off in a completely different direction. There were a lot of dogs running around but they were all friendly. Even though nothing happened while we were there I did wonder if the bald eagles were eying up some of the smaller dogs for a snack.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Anyday is a Good Day

Hatcher Pass Forth of July Weekend '07

Here is the view looking down Hatcher Pass road towards Independence Mine. It was at the end of my three day 4th of July weekend. I had just come from Talkeenta where I had crashed at Ryan and Heidi's house the night after I finished riding the Denali Hwy.

Rain pretty much dominated my ride. Not wimpy light rain either. These were Big, Heavy drop moving sideways. This day was no different, except on my way back to Anchorage I decided to hang a left in Willow for my first trip over the pass.

Because of the fog visiblity was low but it was still neat peering off the edge of the road into a steep, green, fog covered slope below with no bottom in sight.

By the time I made to down the other side and into Palmer I was soaked. Dripping wet and cold, I decided to stop at McDonald's for a hamburger and a chance to warm up.

After I ordered the woman behind the counter casually said "Not a good day to be on a bike huh?" I replied with a big grin "It's always a good day to be on a bike!"

I must confess that I left a very large puddle on the seat of the booth were I was sitting. I hope nobody sat in it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Somewhere in Midtown Saturday Afternoon

Saturday afternoon the KLR rolled over 10,o00 miles on the odometer. I was pretty excited as it only happens once!

This event didn't happen during an epic journey or breath taking adventure. It took place between running errands and getting ice cream.

I think its kind of appropriate that it happened during everyday activities. Not only is the KLR a way for me to travel and see this wonderful land, but its also what transports me to and from work, the grocery store, and Dairy Queen!

Its not easy all the time. You have to have the panniers on or a backpack to carry your groceries. When your late for work and its raining you need to take the extra two minutes to put the rain pants on. And, sometimes the helmet hair is with you for the whole day. But the days where you hit all the green lights, power through the corners and smell the great smells of summer make it all worth it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Along the Glenn Hwy earlier this afternoon.

I think the sign says it all :-P

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Along the Seward Highway on my way to Whittier

Almost a year ago I took this picture of the odometer on my KLR. It reads 500 miles, which is the end of the break in period for the motor.

I saw the millage getting close and pulled over near a boat launch along the highway. Right after I snapped this pick someone politely, but annoyed, asked me to move so they could back they're trailer down to get their boat. But in my defense it didn't look like a boat launch to me.

This more or less is a good marker for the beginning of me riding. I could now spin the KLR up past 4ooo rpm which meant I could go faster than 60 mph. :D which meant that cars wouldn't be as upset with me on the highway!

Since this day I've put a lot of good miles on the KLR, most of them over 4000 rpm. Thank goodness the break in period is only 500 miles.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cantwell Gas Station


I stopped in Cantwell for some gas. Even with the KLR $4.51/gal still hurts! And I didn't put $78.00 if gas in the tank. It was more like $11 :-D

While I was filling up two locals pulled up in a truck to ask me about the motorcycle. Turns out they both had KLR's too and were interested in my Corbin seat (the only reason I can ride more than an hour an day). We chatted for a while and during that time they gas station ladies turned my gas off because they wanted to go home.

After telling me that it was going to get warmer just up the road the two took off and I was on my way again.

Note to self: Get gas in Cantwell before 10:00pm

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wide Pass

Wide Pass on the Parks Hwy on my way to Fairbanks
(At least thats what I think its called :D)

Friday evening, after work, I loaded up and headed off to Fairbanks for the weekend. This is about halfway there. It looks dark but really it isn't, it was just the way the camera took the picture.

This is one of my favorite spots along the Parks Hwy. When your headed South you come around a corner and things just open up for you. A broad valley with short sparse trees and grasses, the train tracks passing through, and mountains on each side. Its really hard to capture the beauty that is there.

That spot is close to Cantwell, the coldest spot on the ride. (If you don't count the temperature inversion I hit going down the hill into Fairbanks)

In fact I picked up a Sheepskin Buttpad for the KLR at Alaska Leather on Thursday. Barb said I was going to need it so I didn't freeze my butt off in Cantwell. It worked! My butt is the same place it was when I left and there is no apparent frost bite.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


My Sister Candace Cutting Up Veggies for Pastys

This may or may not be the only digital picture I have of my sister. :-D

She called me yesterday to say she passed her Motorcycle Safety Foundation class and will be getting her license any day now.

Good Job Candace!

Have fun and keep an eye out for teenagers on cell phones.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


AK Railroad Tracks

My Landlords cabin is on a bluff above the RR tracks, which are down by the river. We were getting the water pump accessories situated, and when he had to go get some tools I took a stroll down the tracks.

I got a ways down, looked at the river and started back when I heard a rumble from around the corner. Sure enough the train was coming, so I hopped off the tracks and got as far away as I could. The swamp was right there so I could only go so far.

There were a lot of tanker cars. I"m assuming for heating fuel or diesel. It took a lot longer to go by than I figure it would. When it finally passed the tracks rang with a high pitched tone. There were no vibrations of the track that I could feel but thats the only thing I could think of that would make that noise.

This is part of the line that has the Flag Stop service. Maybe one of these days I'll take advantage of that.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Suck It In

Railroad Bridge Across the Talkeenta River in Talkeetna

My landlord has a cabin out the tracks from Talkeetna. Sunday he recruited me to help him with a project out there. Since it was still a little wet Four Wheelers were the transportation of choice.

The bridge is pretty narrow and its a squeeze getting the wheelers across. The one I was on is actually a little wider than the railings. But with its Independent suspension and four wheel drive it was possible to squeeze it across. The tires were actually squeaking along the railing as I went.

1 Year Anniversary

The Mount Denali Lookout in Talkeenta

Saturday was my Official 1 Year Anniversary for living in Alaska. This means many things, but most importantly I can get my resident fishing licenses. And let me tell you, its a lot cheaper to get them if your a resident!

The weekend had a great start with Friar's Annual BBQ at the Abbey (His shop). After some brats, beans, and BS I headed towards Talkeetna. As I rounded the corner going in to Houston Mt. Denali reviled itself. There was a little haze but you could definitely see it.

This picture was at the lookout right outside of Talkeetna. A guy who is repairing a bridge on the Parks Hwy took the picture for me. He was my first disappointed person this summer.

After he snapped the picture he made his way to the rear of the bike to look at the license plate asking where I was from. When I told him I was from Anchorage a look of disappointment came over him. This is a scene that will play itself out over and over this season, same as it did last year.

Oh well, just because I live in Anchorage doesn't mean any of my trips are less Epic.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Turnagain Pass

At the Turnagain Pass Rest Stop

It was supposed to be rainy all weekend but instead, like a Christmas Present you weren't expecting, it was sunny and warm!

I posted a new thread on ADVRider saying I was going for a ride if anyone wanted to come along. Jim replied and we headed out at 3:30 for a run down to Hope.

We stopped at the gas station in Girdwood to stretch our legs and ran into AKDuc and his Ducati. Turns out the little strip mall there is the place to hang out on nice Saturday afternoon.

This turn out is maybe another 20miles down the road at the top of Turnagain Pass. Its a snowmobile (Snowmachine up here) hot spot in the winter. There were still Snowmachines running around that day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mother's Day Breakfast

Being the good son that I am I called my Mom to wish her a happy Mothers Day. After we talked a while she and my Dad had to go power wash the boat and I needed to get ready to meet Jim and Whitney for a ride up to Hatcher Pass. But before i got off the phone my Mom asked for me to make sure to at least eat something before I left.

I was in quite a hurry so I forgot to eat something before I left. But luckily I had a little time at the gas station where I grabbed this turkey sandwich and bottle of water.

The KLR makes a pretty good picnic table.

Hope you had a happy Mothers day Mom.


Man, its been a long weekend/week. I got two rides in and on Sunday night a bunch of Rathbuns came to visit.

From left to right is Matt, Aimee, and Walt sitting on my futon. Doing something computery.

Matt and Walt came up to visit Aimee and were finishing up their whirlwind tour of Alaska. They drove from Fairbanks to Valdez, and then to Anchorage. I hear they saw moose, bear, and Caribou, which is pretty good in such a short time.

On Monday they took a trip to Seward for a glacier cruise to spy on the whales and other ocean critters.

I think they had a good time.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Looking towards the Chugach Mountains from Wasilla

I went out the to Abbey to check out a BMW Friar had for sale and peruse the tire selection. While I didn't come home with an extra bike or a tire it was a nice chance to get out. And I'm glad I did because the next day we got our 18" of the white stuff.

This little gravel/sand pit was just off a road that parallels the Glenn Hwy on the outskirts of Wasilla. I couldn't resist playing around in it a little bit. Things were good until I stopped for the picture. It took a little getting started again but was able to come through without falling over.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Weekend in Fairbanks

This weekend I Drove to Fairbanks (I know, I should have ridden the KLR but I had tire issues to work out) On Saturday morning Aimee and I ran in the Chena River 5k, which was a lot of fun and not as bad as people may think. Then in the afternoon we picked up Chuck and did the things that are fun to do in Fairbanks.

We went to visit the famous Pipeline

That is Aimee standing next to a retired Pig. This pig was sent through the pipeline to scrape off wax buildup that deposits on inside of the pipe as the oil flows through.

We also went to Pioneer Park, which used to be called Alaska Land, and everyone still calls it that. While we were there we walked around a confusingly constructed building and saw a very impressive paddle wheel river boat.

Today I drove back to Anchorage, wishing I had more time to stop and smell the Rosses, I mean pine trees

This is along the Parks Hwy, if I had to guess around mile 200ish.

I had a really good time this weekend and even though I didn't get to ride I think it was a good start to this years travel season.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Perfect Day, Perfect Ride

Palmer Creek Road mid August

This was the day many of us on different types of motorcycles got together for a ride to Hope. The more street bikes had turned around but we still had most of the Dual Sport guys.

There were a couple switch backs and after another corner or two the valley opened up just wide enough to make you feel small. I knew Dave wasn't that far behind me so I sped up until I saw a nice background and waited for him. Since he's a nice guy he was slowing down to see if I needed anything but after I waved him by I snapped this picture.

The road a head was a little more bumpy with lots of holes holding lots of water. It wasn't the worst I'd seen and you could pick your way around most of the bad stuff. Someone told Dave to go right through the middle. I'm not sure if they were joking or not, but he found a couple that were about 2 feet deep. I think he had wet shoes for the ride back.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Trailer Trailer

Top of the World Highway maybe 30 miles outside of Dawson City

It was getting pretty late but the ride had been awesome. I think it was around 10:30 so it would have been around 12hrs on the road. I didn't really cover that many miles but I stopped to take lots of pictures, had that adventure with the Caribou, and just soaked the scenery in as I went.

There are a lot of pull outs along the road where your not supposed to camp, though I did see RV's occupying several of them. Guess that proves its not real camping :D (just kidding).

Anyway, I was getting tired and hungry when I saw this trailer on a trailer. Laughing out loud to myself in my helmet I had to stop and take a picture. "Who puts a trailer on a trailer, thats seems kind of silly" was what ran through my mind. Then I started to think about all the reasons someone would do that.

When they are delivering trailers from the factory would be a good time to put many of them on a trailer. Or if there was something wrong with one of the trailer wheels, like a bad bearing or something. Of course you would think that if you could find another trailer to put the first trailer on you would tow it somewhere to fix it.

Other than that I can't really think of a good reason for this situation.
If its still there this year I'll be sure to stop and take another picture.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cold Hands

A bridge between Anchorage and Fairbanks.

I swung through Fairbanks and stayed the night on the way back from Dawson City. When I woke up that Monday morning the wind was blowing, the rain was pouring, and I had to get back so I could go to work the next day :-P

On my way out of town I was blown all over my lane by the wind as I climbed into the mountain pass. What is really deceptive is that the climb is so gradual you don't realize your gaining about 1500 feet in altitude. It got cold too!

My hands were really cold so I decided to stop at a lodge for some coffee and food. After a gallon of java and a bacon cheese burger I headed to the Healy grocery store (double wide trailer) to find some water proof gloves.

I found some cotton gardening gloves, and the largest dish washing gloves they had. Stuffing the cotton gloves in the rubber ones gave me a insulated waterproof solution. I'm a Engineer, a problem solver, problem solved.

About a hundred miles later I was getting gas at the beginning of the Talkeetna spur road and an old timer started making fun of my gloves. I figured he wouldn't be impressed about me being a problem solver and all that so I kinda shrugged it off.

I guess the moral of the story is to get water proof gloves. Unless you want people you don't know making fun of you, which can be fun too.
Along the Glenn Highway next to the Matanuska River.

Here I am along the Glenn Hwy not too far from Palmer. This section of the road follows the river on and off for several miles and is a lot of fun until you get stuck behind a RV. Its so much fun that there aren't many places to pass.

There are probably endless photographs you could take along this stretch. When I'm headed North I always look forward to it because its a sign I'm finally away from the Big City and the adventure is just beginning.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dumb April

Dear April,
We all understand that your showers bring May flowers. But what good is all this snow?

When I woke up Friday morning it was raining.

By ten it looked liked this. Its not going to stick though, spring has sprung, I've been riding in the evenings all week!

No dice. It did stick. 9 hours and 18 inches later this is what was outside my window.


Guess I won't be riding this weekend. :-P

For more tragic pictures look here "April Snows Brings a Runny Nose"

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ride to Nowhere

A fellow ADVRider advertised a BMW R65 for sale up in The Valley. The price was right, and it was a nice bike so I decided to go take a look. Unfortunately the bike wasn't what I was looking for, but I did get a nice ride in.

As things turned out the train was leaving town the same time I was. For a while I was able to keep up with it as it followed a road next to the Highway, but I wasn't able to get ahead of it for a nice picture. Then along the Hwy I was able to stop and snap a few as it was crossing the bridges over the Knik River.

The Alaska Railroad definitely has the nicest looking engines I've seen. I have plans for a couple Railroad adventures this summer, including a rafting trip out of Talkeenta. They also still do a flag stop train (they still stop for you along the line to either pick you up or drop you off) I think it would be a lot of fun to hop off the train, camp the night, then get back on the next day.

NOTE: If you would like to see larger versions of this image, just click on the pictures and they should open in another window. I've also started a new folder on my Smugmug for RR pics, ( AK Railroad ).