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Old 11-08-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
rgiroux
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Default Alaska 2009 - KTM Enema Relay

So, since GSDUDE threw down the gauntlet, I thought I would break my cherry and post up my first RR. (Lower your expectations!)

This report really starts a few years ago (2006), when my brother got me into vacationing by bike. Along the way we met up with Frijole (ask Nick about how they met sometime ) We did Yellowstone that year,





and Glacier the next year, with Frijole.



Glacier is where my brother and Frijole started a new trip tradition:



Turns out, Frijole was a great riding partner. Similar riding style and a great fotog!. We especially like the DVD's he does after each trip!. Check him out on

YouTube as JmBean68, and his ride pics at http://frijole.smugmug.com.



For 2008, it was Moab, but without Frijole.



(might have started a little early)




(ah, a little warmer. that's Frijole's standin for 2008, Joe)


Anyways, this report is about the Alaska trip last year. After doing long rides each of the previous 3 years, we decided (with the help of our Tennessee friend, Frijole) that we should do "the" ride. The one to Prudhoe Bay. Or, at least to Alaska, as we have relatives still living there and hadnt seen the place in years. I was game as I had been reading reports in ON and other places and figured it would be a test. Little did I realize how much of one it would be, and what exactly it would be testing.


The meetup was in Montana, where my brother lived at the time. Stevensville, at the intersection of two of the best roads I've ever ridden, Hwys 93 and 12 in Montana and Idaho. We had arranged to meet Jim there, I would be coming from SoCal.



(that's the ugly bunch before heading north)

It started out to be three of us, Frijole, me and my brother (no clever nickname yet, although he may use Spudnick). Frijole had invited another fellow, who ended up not being able to go. My brother was in the process of selling a KTM 640 he had just purchased, to a guy from Ohio. Nick had been trying to decide which bike would be better to take, the 640, or a 950 Adventure.

This?



or this:



(yes, there is a 950 Adv in there. Actually, there are two: his and mine. Plus a Road King (mine), two K12S's (Nick's and his wife's), a Sherpa 250, and a Boxer Cup Replica. Did I mention we have a sickness?)


cont'd.

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Old 11-09-2010, 12:01 AM   #2
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Well, he decides to take the 950 and sell the 640 to said guy from Ohio, forthwith known as OhioRick (to lessen the confusion with me, also a Rick). For some reason known only to my brother, he invites OhioRick along to Alaska, and for some even stranger reason, OhioRick agrees. I say even stranger as it later became obvious that most maps sold in Ohio dont really reflect how damned far Alaska is from civilization . And, seriously, have any of you ever ridden a single cylinder 640 over 5,600 miles in two or so weeks?

We usually name our trips for the hell of it. After a few days on the road with OhioRick and the 640 we decided this one would become the KTM Enema Alaska Relay Ride. We each took turns riding that vibrating monster! Not sure if the lower speed limits in Canada were a god send, or made it worse!






This trip started off different since we had a new rider along. After hearing about the planned routes and distances, talk started of towing some of the bikes behind my brother's motorhome. That way, we would have free rooms to stay in every night, and each could take turns off the bikes.

F that! If we wanted to take a motorhome, why did we buy these damned things! But, it took an extra day before the final vote was taken, and it was decided this was a cycle trip. To help us decide, we took a one day cruise around the Missoula/Hamilton/Darby area.


(Old Guy schooling us)





Skalkaho Falls (no words....)



Monday dawned nice and sunny and we took off to cycle heaven in Idaho, Hwy 12! 100 miles or so of twisties, following a river for the most part, and all downhill from Montana to Lewiston.



(Frijole had let his hair grow so the bears wouldnt guess he was dinner)



(this is what you look like BEFORE leaving on a 10k mile trip! From left: Nick, Rick (me), OhioRick, and Frijole)


We decided to head west on Hwy 12 as Frijole and OhioRick had never been on it, and you never know if this might be your last trip. I've instructed my brother to take and spread my ashes along this road.


(border with Idaho, when the great riding starts. OhioRick shows his noob phooning skills)


The weather was great and the ride excellent. We pulled over at a road side stop and had our first minor incident when the kickstand on the 640 got bent.


(Frijole has discovered manna from heaven, fruit pies)


Guess its not good to park those things, fully loaded, on a slope, with the kickstand on the low side.





Credit to these guys in Lewiston. They welded and painted the kickstand, all for $15!!!



We spent the first nite in Coeur D'Alene.

(this might be a long one as I get long winded sometimes and there are about 2000 pix to go thru. I wont post them all )
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:49 AM   #3
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Day 2:

The second day saw us getting out of the US and heading into Cranbrook, Canada.

Border crossing:



That nite was spent in Golden, NE of Cranbrook, where we camped for the first time. 4 men, 4 tents


(that black tent actually comes with a garage for the bike)


It might have been easier to share tents, but that day had also witnessed the rest stop rape along the Kootenay Highway.


(Frijole and I interrupted this...., this horrible crime being committed. What's been seen cant be unseen)



Our campsite was a great example of Canadian hospitality: everything, but with just a little attitude. It was a great camp site, with showers, a store, cafe, and spots with power, water and sewer. But, man, do they post a lot of rules.




(Frijole's pic. Told you he was better at this, even if he is from Nashville)



Day 3:


We were winging this trip a little. We knew where we would end up: Prudhoe and/or Anchorage, we just weren't sure which way we wanted to go. Each day started with a review of the maps to see what sights we might be able to see for that day.

This day was going to be the Icefields Parkway. Great choice, Frijole!

First, a stop in Golden to get breakfast, where we also saw this ninja warrior


(hey! wasnt he that rapist from yesterday?)


Actually, it was a little chilly being in the mountains, even tho it was late May. We headed east out of Golden to the Parkway, where we put on even more gear.




(you can see the smoke from one of the many brush fires burning that year)



(Frijole converted to Islam? Actually, since that aint towards Mecca he must be lining up one of his signature photo shots)

Like this:







The Parkway also brought us the first sighting of wildlife:


(what you cant see here are the 40 picture taking tourists just off to picture right)




After cruising up 1 and 93, we lunched in Jasper. Nice town, maybe a little touristy. But, the weather was excellent and foreshadowed what we were to experience for most of the rest of the trip.

After lunch, it was time for the first banzai run of the trip. we headed west on 16 to Prince George, where we learned not to trust the Zumo to pick your hotel, especially when there are bikers around to ask.

Word of advice: if you travel between Jasper and Prince George, DO stop for gas at that town that is about halfway between. Cause there is a long reach with nothing!
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
So, since GSDUDE threw down the gauntlet, I thought I would break my cherrie and post up my first RR. (Lower your expectations!)
Obviously you haven't read any of my ride reports. :rofl:


Awesome first RR! :woot:
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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Fuggin A, nice pics...except for the one where someone was being violated...
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDude View Post
Fuggin A, nice pics...except for the one where someone was being violated...
Hey, it was a long trip, thru lonely roads :har:






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Old 11-09-2010, 05:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by artonsafari View Post
Awesome first RR! :woot:

Well, there is more. But, I can stop now
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:51 PM   #8
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nice!!!

been on a few of those roads
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:56 PM   #9
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The gauntlet was not only picked up, it was well and truly thrown back.

Yeaahh!
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:55 PM   #10
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Day 4, Prince George to Stewart/Hyder:

Our choice today was going to be between the Alcan (Alaska Highway) and the Cassiar. Being former Air Force brats who grew up in Alaska (mostly), my brother and I had been on the Alcan several times. So Cassiar it was! Plus, there was the need for the typical Hyder picture that Frijole wanted to take.

We left Prince George, heading mostly west, thru some really nice country side. Stopped for lunch and met up with three other riders. A married couple and their friend. The married couple asked us if we were headed to Hyder and we said yeah. We talked a little with them and found out that they had been to South America (Ran Ayers tour) and a lot of other places. Since they were headed to Hyder, we played leap frog with them the rest of the day.


(Canadian rider Joan Kurylo heading to Hyder, with her husband, Steve. They've only ridden in South America and gone to Antarctica, among other places)




(Guess where we're heading?




(Frijole trying to convice his bank that his debit card hadnt been stolen, and that, yes, he really was in Canada)


At the cut off to Stewart, we stopped for some pics and a rest. My brother was nosing around and found this "North to Alaska" sign behind the building. We moved it back out front where it belonged.


(The song of the same title by Johnny Horton was the ride theme song)

Its funny how many ride reports I've read where this sign shows up.


We found out later that, by coincidence, we were headed to Hyder along with all the "Hyder Seek" riders. Hyder Seek is the ultimate Iron Butt where you ride thru all 49 continental states in 7 days! Our stature as world travelers dropped just a little




(recognize the "pose"? :wink




(me and the bro at Bear Glacier)




(and, there it is. the cliche Hyder, AK sign!)



We were finally here:




which meant it was time for this:



Hyder was great. We met a David Crosby look-a-like, some really hard core riders doing the Hyder Seek, and enjoyed one of the cheapest motel room rates of the trip. Now it was time to head North!




(Frijole runs into "David Crosby")




(No Sniveling! Rember that for when we get back to discussing how this trip got its name)




(Still cant believe our weather luck!)




(have you ridden a lot? this couple had two mileage stickers on their bike. He had 500,000 miles, she had "only" 300,000!)

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Old 11-11-2010, 02:19 AM   #11
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don't stop! I was just getting into it.

:beer:
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MooN View Post
don't stop! I was just getting into it.

:beer:
Thanks! More to come but training at work for a couple of days. Back real soon, now!
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:13 AM   #13
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Day 5 - Hyder to Watson Lake


We left Hyder and headed up the Cassiar to Watson Lake. The trip up the rest of the Cassiar was pretty easy going. Weather was great (couldnt believe our luck!)


(here Frijole points out something exciting. actually, he likes to walk into your pictures just at the right moment )



(started seeing more of these and less of the black ones. these dont run away as quickly as the black ones, either. Frijole started looking a little nervous)


Since it was pretty warm out, some of the gang decided to cool off. Ever see someone almost walk on water?


(well, when you make it a trip tradition to go swimming anywhere, you gotta put up with the 40 degree weather. The lake before this one still had ice!)


(The other two idiots in the freezing water Someone is gonna pop a nipple!)




(the farthest south sighting of a polar bear ever!)


Once the frivolity was over (and the shrinkage restored), we headed out.




(crossing into the Yukon, obviously)


Once we got to the Alcan, we headed east to Watson Lake. It was getting late, we needed gas, and we thought we would find a hotel. But, first things first. A stop at the sign forest:




We decided to leave our mark:








We also met two guys from California. We would run into them later, on the Dalton.




No rooms in Watson Lake, so we headed west and found a campground a little ways out of town. Here we ran into Blair, from Georgia. He was riding solo and also headed to Prudhoe. Blair doesnt let any moss grow beneath his feet. He was up at day break and gone before the rest of us were up. Says he stays on Georgia time, no matter where he is.


(Blair in red suspenders. We are all waiting for Frijole to finish his jambalya. Afterwards, it was a "musical" night!)
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:34 AM   #14
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Day 6 - Watson Lake to Haines Junction

Back on the road again. First, breakfast up the road at Continental Divide. I remember coming thru here in the winter of 86. The highway has changed a LOT since then.


(breakfast stop)



(overlooking Teslin)



(heading into Teslin Junction. nice, squirrely bridge! open mesh steel roadway makes for fun on the knobbies!)


One of Frijole's favorite trip pix:



(saw this at a rest stop. on the other side is a sign saying stay off bridge due to structural issues!)


Had noticed my rear tire getting a little worn. The highways in Canada were a little tough on the tires. We got to Whitehorse and ran around trying to find a rear. First stop was the Yukon Harley dealer. No tires, but they were helpful enough to tell us to try the Honda dealer. Great advice as they had tires and put them on right away!



(These bikes seem a little out of place here. But, the guys inside were great)



(Dilbert (me) gets a new tire at Whitehorse Honda! Thanks, guys!)





Back on the road to Haines Junction




Upon reaching Haines Junction, this sign was waiting for us at the campground:


(Frijole was really uncomfortable now. So, of course, we messed with him all nite)


Son of a gun, the sign was right! We saw these two youngsters about 1/4 mile outside the campground!


(hey, Frijole. They smell fear! )



(Frijole contemplating how quickly he can get back to Tennessee)


Needless to say, we survived that night with the bears.

Time to push on for Alaska. My brother and I hadnt been there in a long time. We hadnt driven there since 1984.

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Old 11-15-2010, 09:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by rgiroux View Post
Well, there is more. But, I can stop now
Here I am thinking you were done.

<==Art.

Sorry to interrupt. :
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