Alaska Ride – June 15th – Day #21

Happy Father’s Day! I got to spend today riding to Denali National Park with my dad…but let’s not jump too far ahead.

There was lots of construction around the dorm that we stayed in last night. As a result, we parked our bikes in a lot across the street. My dad got up this morning to move the bike closer to the building to load it. He tried to get back into the building and his cardkey didn’t work! He stood under our window and yelled till I heard him – I went downstairs and let him in. While we were down there, we gave my key a shot. It didn’t work either! Apparently they didn’t program our keys properly. At least we didn’t go out at the same time – it would have been a bit of a walk to get to the office.

My bike fell over again today – this time I wasn’t even on it! I was rocking it up onto the center stand so I could check the oil. I didn’t quite get enough momentum to get it up on the stand. When it rocked forward, the front wheel was turned away from me, and I slowly let the bike down to the ground. Bummer.

We rode the Parks Highway from Fairbanks to Denali NP today. It was a great day for a motorcycle ride – blue skies and warm. The road had a 65 mph speed limit, and had plenty of corners to keep it interesting. There were a few construction zones but nothing too scary.


There was a big line to register for a campsite. Probably took us 45 minutes to get through it. On our way to the campground after registering, my tire pressure monitor alarm went off. My rear tire was down to 26psi and slowly falling (ok it was at 24 when I stopped a couple of minutes later). Popped the bike on the center stand (didn’t push it over this time). Spun the rear wheel around, and this is what I saw.


That doesn’t look very good. Unloaded my toolkit and grabbed a pair of pliers to pull it out. Well, it kept coming, and coming, and coming. The stupid thing has to be about 4” long. it appears to be some kind of restraining pin.IMG_0474

It also left a pretty gnarly large hole in my tire. Good thing I have tubeless tires – I could repair it in place. I grabbed my handy dandy plug kit and went to work. I’ve never done this before, so it got kinda interesting. Every time I tried to pull the plug tool away from the plug, I kept pulling the plug all the way out…well I read the directions a little better and figured it out after the 3rd or 4th try. This has got to be just about the largest hole I can fix with the plugs that I have. Here is the plug sticking out, before I trimmed it down to the tread. IMG_0477

I took the bike for a short test ride, and the plug seems to be holding ok.

Once we were settled into camp, we went to the store to make bus reservations for tomorrow. You can’t actually drive into the park very far on your own, you have to take some kind of tour bus. They have several different options – we decided on the cheap option. No tour guide, but we can get on and off the busses where ever we like. On the way to making the reservations, a fellow camper pulled us aside and asked if we wanted to see a moose. One was bedded down right near their campsite. I got out my zoom lens and took a picture without getting too close.


Our tour bus departs from the Wilderness Information Center. We didn’t know it’s exact location, so we walked over to check it out. It isn’t too far away, maybe a 10 minute walk from our campsite. While there,  we watched a movie about the construction of the park. Really, I did stay awake for most of it.

Back at the campsite, we have cell service. So, I called the charter boat company in Homer and finalized our halibut trip for Friday. We could go on Thursday, but they didn’t have any openings. We gave them my cell phone number in case they have cancellations.



  1. Reblogged this on Linda & Charles BLOG and commented:
    Scoot did such a good job summarizing this and I am lazy today so I will just re-blog his post. The only thing I can add is that the ride to Denali NP was really nice in perfect motorcycle riding weather. Great roads and great riding.

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