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 ).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Surf's Up!

Along the Glenn Hwy heading towards Glennallen.

I was headed up the Glenn Hwy on my way to Dawson when something yellow caught my eye. There were two kayakers surfing the curly wave in the river. They would get into the wave and ride it for a while, do some spins and other tricks, and then they'd float over to the bank and walk up stream to do it all over again.

When your riding a motorcycle you almost need to stop every once in a while to stretch your legs and take a rest. Its really nice when you've got something fun to watch like these guys.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Straight from my apartment in the Valley of da Moon!

I went for a nice ride down the Seward Highway after work today. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera, which is a bummer, because there were Mountain Goats almost on top of the road about twenty miles out of town. I would say that they were actually farther away Vertically then they were Horizontally. Alaska is a neat place, I promise not to make that mistake again.

So you may be wondering, "what is all that stuff in front of the fireplace?" People that know me are thinking, "That can't be Brian's apartment, it looks clean!" It is actually pretty clean minus some cloths and riding gear on the floor. But anyway

That stuff is what I'm going to pack on the KLR this summer. I don't have everything packed, this is just the first step of me getting organized for my first overnighter. From left to right: Saddlebags, sleeping bag, stove, cookware, fuel, tent, sleeping pad, tripod, random dry bag, with my tank bag sitting on the hearth, and my gold pan on the saddlebags.

It looks like a lot of stuff but it will fit nicely when the time comes. Since I've got both days off for the weekends this summer I'm going to be doing a lot of packing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hatcher Pass

On the Paved Road to Independence mine, the lower portion of Hatcher Pass.

It was a beautiful weekend in Anchorage, maybe even most of Alaska. I heard it got 58 in Fairbanks. While the mercury didn't get that high today it was still a amazing chance for a ride.

Alaska Leather helped me find a great pair of riding pants last week, and I'm glad they did. They kept my legs nice and warm the whole time, even at 70mph on the Highway. I actually saw Barb on the other side of the stop light right down the street from my apartment. She's probably wondering who was the dope on the KLR waving at her.

Good views of the mountains, Bald Eagles everywhere, and a bee in my helmet are all signs that spring is here. The dry twisty road to the Independence Mine state park was clear and mostly sand free. It was nice to get'r leaned over again and feel my butt planted in the seat as I rolled on the throttle.

This picture was taken on the way back down. You can make out what I think are the Chugatch Mountains in the way back ground. Even though the road is pretty short the views are amazing on a clear day. I'm looking forward to many more quick trips after work or in the mornings on weekends this summer.

You can find the "complete" ride report on here "Hatcher Pass, Alaska"

I'll be posting ride reports like this from now on. Maybe a short synopsis when I get back with a link to the complete report on Adventure Rider. I find that the Blog format isn't very easy to read as you go and the Forum is a lot more conducive to that format.

Talkeetna Winter

At the end of the road in Talkeenta on a snowy winter evening.

This must have been earlier this winter, maybe January. I needed to get out of town. So one Sunday afternoon I hopped in the Jeep and headed up to Talkeetna to have dinner with my friends. It was a great day, clear as far as the eye could see. I got to town just as the sun was setting and snapped this picture.

There is a fence behind the little cabin there. I think its where the Reindeer in a cage lives during the summer months. Except last summer. From what I hear he was a little sick and needed a break from all the fame.

We went to the Westrib for food and beer, a good time was had by all, and it was a nice distraction from the craziness of Anchorage.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Different Rides

Late August on the way to Hope and Palmer Creek Rd.

A post went out on the Great White North forum of ADVrider and a bunch of us got together for a quick run to Hope on a beautiful Sunday morning in August. In the group there are a couple Harleys, two or three BMW GS's, a R1150R, sevearl KLR's and a Suzuki DR650.

This picture was taken at the gas station in Girdwood. We regrouped after fighting the RV tourist traffic between there and Anchorage and headed off to hope for some breakfast.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April Ice Fishing

I was invited by some of my friends at work to go ice fishing this weekend. Not being one to pass up an Adventure I woke up at 4:45am Saturday morning so we could head up to Lake Louise and catch some fish.

The plan was to head out, unload our stuff at a lodge where we would be spending Saturday night, catch our limit, and head home Sunday morning. Eric was the only one to catch a fish, even though it was too small to keep. Everyone had a good time though and it was nice to spend a entire day outside.

When I picked up my one day fishing license the ladies at Fred Meyer made sure to tell me i was crazy and to be careful on the thin ice. It only takes two words to sum up the reason we were able to fish that day.

Power Auger

Here is Rich and Eric standing next to the trusty Eskimo auger looking down the hole.

This was taken just moments before.

If I had to guess the ice was a good 3 feet thick. Thank goodness for small two stroke engines.

Friday, April 4, 2008

October Mountains

October '07 and my second to last ride for the season.

Beezer took me up to Coyote Lake which is very close to where I got the KLR Really Stuck. The weather was crisp and it was almost too cold to ride that far on the Glenn. It was a beautiful day though. The skies were mostly clear and every once in a while you'd catch a whiff of someones wood stove reminding me of fall back home.

What I really like about this picture are the mountains in the background. They are just kind of casually hanging around back there. Covered with what was more than just a dusting of snow waiting for winter, then spring, and so on.

Now I'm waiting to for a warm(er) day so I can ride by those mountains again.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pizza and Beer

Its true!

You can fit a small Southwest Taco Pizza and a growler into a second hand Wolfman Tank Bag.

For some reason I found myself at work around 7:45 (I only did a little work) so I ordered a Pizza to pick up on the way home and grabbed a growler of their Golden Ale to help things along. I normally don't park between two cars like that but I was only going to be inside for a second and there was plenty of room.

The pizza and beer tasted pretty good by the way.