Monday, September 28, 2009


Flattop Mountain 9/26/09
(yes that's snow, it has been there for at least a week)

Saturday afternoon turned out to be pretty nice. After working a couple hours, eating lunch, and watching "The Matrix Revolutions" (it was a Matrix weekend) I decided to take advantage of what might be my last chance to hike Flattop Mountain.

Flattop is probably the most popular hiking trail in the Chugach State Park. I've also heard its the most popular in Alaska. The popularity is probably due to the fact its right in Anchorge, and gives the best view of the city. At least the best I've found.

The reason its called Flattop is because it has a flat top. Crazy, I know.

I got a late start and had to turn around half way there because I remembered that I left the stove on but I eventually made it. Besides being way out of shape I was able to hike through the Aplenglow to the second saddle at the base of the most difficult portion.

After a good rest and some pictures I decided it would be in my best interest to take a cue from the sun and head down.

Looping around the back side of the knobs previously ascended, I made my way down a steep slope covered in about 6 inches of snow. It wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done, but it wasn't the stupidest either.

At the bottom, walking through the trees to the parking lot I heard the grunting of a HUGE moose (at least the adrenaline rush told me it was HUGE). I did not want my day to end by being stomped on by a moose. The only tune I could think of was "she'll be coming round the mountain" but I sang it anyway in the hope that I wouldn't startle 1600 pounds of hormone crazed craziness.

Several tense minutes later the parking lot came into view with no moose in sight.

Sunday I found myself up a valley near Hope. If I would have had more time I would have tried climbing to the top to see what there is to see. I forgot how much I like to hike. There will be a lot of snow shoeing this winter and more hiking in the out of the way places next summer.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Some Glacier in Canada

If you click on the above picture to look at the larger image you'll see a little two track on the left side of this glacier in Banff Nat'l Park. They have buses with HUGE tires on them that take tourists for a ride up and down the glacier. In Alaska we do this with airplanes but I suppose the end result is the same.

Here is one of the buses with the GS next to it for scale.

Thats about all I've got in me tonight. This weekend I rode up to Talkeetna to spend some time with friends that I haven't seen in a while. We had a good time, looked for moose, had good food, and caught up with great stories from the summer.

Before I headed home today I rode down Petersville Road for a good while. The GS did a pretty good job but the KLR is really a better tool for that job towards the end before I turned around. Next time the KLR and I will see what there is to see at the end and report back. This week I'll post some pictures from the weekend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Calgary, Alberta
The loudest Wendy's I've ever been in

So there I was. Thinking I was a day behind because of my front tire worries, tired as all get out, and upset with Calgary traffic. I pulled off into a mall where there was a Wendy's with the thought that a little food would calm me down and pick up my spirits.

Tired and hungry I levered the GS onto the center stand and moseyed on into the restaurant, ordered my lunch, and sat down.

Maybe it was because I was dehydrated. Maybe it was because this was my 4th day on the road with nothing but my thoughts and my poor singing to keep me company inside my helmet mile after mile. No matter what the reason I found myself in a melting pot of very loud people. People of all nationalities, religions, and degrees of passion. One group of older middle eastern men vigorously debated politics while behind me college students discussed religion, and to my right teenagers, being the way teenagers will be, acting very obnoxious. One thing all these different people had in common was that they were loud.

It was too overwhelming. I finished my meal and escaped to the parking lot where I discovered the motorcycles key had been misplaced. Back into the restaurant, looking around my table and in the bathroom, I finally found it sitting on the counter by the register.

I thought about Anchorage, by far the biggest city I have ever lived in. Was Anchorage loud and overwhelming like Calgary? I didn't think so but maybe its because I was used to it. Anchorage was overwhelming at first. I had a permanent "Surprise Face" the first two weeks in town terrified I would not be able to find my way to work in the morning.

Maybe its all the same. Maybe its all different. I just know I'll be driving AROUND Calgary in the future. The traffic was horrible.