Uncategorized

Alaska Ride – June 4th – Day #10

WooHoo! We made it to double digit days! Although I’ve got to say the last day or so has been tough because I keep breaking and losing things. The zipper on my sleeping bag broke in the middle of the “night” (it was still light at 12:30a) last night. Tried to fix it while laying there, but gave up, fortunately it wasn’t too cold. Then I couldn’t find the cover for my chair when we broke camp. My best guess is that it blew away in the wind while we set up camp the night before and neither of us noticed. On top of all that, I lost the lens cap to my camera at some point. Oh well.

We were off at 8:45a today…Based on the recommendation of a person at camp last night, our first stop was at the Five Finger Rapids Recreation Site. It was a neat little spot that educates about the steamers going up and down the Yukon river during the gold rush, and how they ended up blasting out one of the rapids to make it safer. There was a staircase going down toward the river but we elected to skip it.

DSC03137

At Stewart Crossing, we stopped for gas and a snack. We went across the street to the visitor center where the lady tried really hard to get us to drive out to Mayo. Not today, we are on our way to Dawson City! We still haven’t seen a live moose, so I took a picture of the wall at our stop. I think this one might be a moose/elk cross-breed 🙂

DSC03142

The old man was feeling a bit groggy, so we stopped at a rest area at Gravel Lake. There are tons of nutrients in the lake and lots of waterfowl use it as a resting spot during migration (both directions). Sure enough, there were a bunch of birds there :).

A quick pic of the bikes at the lake, and the old man playing dead.IMG_0330

Dawson City is a gold mining town (they still actively mine up here). It looks like something right out of an old western. I need to take more pictures, this is the only one I took today…

IMG_0344

We stopped by the Yukon and Northwest Territory visitor centers to get an update on the Dempster Highway. The ferries have only been running for about a week. The road conditions are good, and all the campgrounds are open (ie no bear issues yet). There are showers in the forecast for tomorrow and Friday – enough wet to keep the dust down, but not enough to turn it into a muddy mess. Right now, we are planning on taking a rest day tomorrow and then start the trek to Inuvik on Friday.

The Yukon visitor center had a cool display of two moose racks that were locked together. Apparently they were battling it out during mating season, and there best guess is the smaller moose was killed instantly and the larger one either starved to death or got taken down by a predator.

IMG_0343

Based on the recommendation of the lady at the NWT visitor center, we walked over to The Drunken Goat for some dinner. We split one of their sampler plates that had lamb, shrimp, ribs, and chicken. Also tossed back a couple of beers. Good thing I am on a diet.

IMG_0346

Back at camp I still needed to figure out the sleeping bag zipper issue. I’m not a tailor, so please forgive my non-technical zipper jargon. The “slider” had come off one side of the “teeth”. My plan was to bend open the gap wide enough to slide the teeth back in, and then clamp it down. It worked…almost I was fine tuning the fix and busted the slider.

The zipper was the kind with two sliders facing opposite directions. So, I removed the other slider and reversed it’s direction. Then I started zipping up the sleeping bag, and taped the bottom together to act as a stopper. Seems to be working for now!

IMG_0349

Alaska Ride – May 28th – Day #3

It was cold last night! I didn’t have my sleeping bag zipped up all the way and I woke up shivering. I put on my “pillow” (also known as my down jacket), to help warm up and then it was back to sleep. Woke up around 5a shivering again! I was out of gear to put on. I suffered for a bit and then got out of bed. The temperature on my bike read 34F when I checked.

I gave myself a sponge bath with baby wipes since there were no showers at the campground. (BTW baby wipes are awesome to have along on a trip like this). My plan for clothes was to try to go three days before rotating to the next set…I changed my mind two days is plenty. I’m glad I brought three sets of clothes.

We decided to go for a shorter ride today – only 260ish miles. This allowed us to stop more, and get into camp a bit earlier and relax. We had our first official safety break today. Our plan is to take a “safety break” at any point that either of us feels tired. My dad made the first call today so we pulled over at a rest area so he could relax and make some coffee. Didn’t actually take a nap, but did hang out for about an hour.

IMG_0211

The KTM attracts attention whenever we stop. Last night, the campground host lady thought the orange crash bars were the coolest thing ever! Today we stopped to look at the GPS for distance to fuel, and a random guy came up to me and started chatting about it – apparently his buddy has one on order. Everyone thinks the Husky is a Honda since my dad has all the logos covered up.

IMG_0214

The ride today was pretty ho-hum. The weather was mostly nice, with a couple of short showers. The scenery was trees and the roads were pretty straight. We stopped in Prince George for lunch (and WiFi to upload yesterday’s post). There is a Walmart in town…went in to grab some hats to help keep warm while sleeping. In fact, here is my dad modeling our awesome purchase.

IMG_0219

We are staying at Beaumont Provincial park tonight. As we pulled in, there was thunder in the distance. We rushed to get our tarps set up so we would have someplace to hang out while the shower passed. But, the rain never came.

The ground cloth for my tent was pretty wet and dirty from last night, so I rigged up a clothesline underneath the tarp. Once it dried, I used my tent broom to sweep off the dirt. Worked out pretty well!

DSC02962

There are a few mosquitoes here. Nothing like we expect to see when we get further north. I’m wearing a ExOfficio BugsAway pants, shirt, and jacket. I treated my socks with Permethrin myself. I’m writing this right before I go to bed, and I haven’t had any bug bites at all!

Alaska Ride – May 26th – Day #1

We are on the road! We started the day out with a barbeque at my house so some of our friends and family could check out the bikes and the route we plan on taking. It was lots of fun talking about the bikes and equipment we are bringing. We had a big map printed from Garmin Basecamp up on a wall, so people could see our route.

IMG_0189

Of course leaving was far from uneventful. First off, our headsets were not connecting. With the pressure of everyone waiting for us to leave, we gave up and used a cell phone connection to talk. I also tried riding off without one of my cameras (one of the guests was taking pictures as I was getting on the bike).  My Dad forgot to turn on his InReach, so we pulled over about 5 miles after leaving  so he could get it set up.

The ride was short (about 85 miles) and uneventful. We cruised up Highway 9 to miss the holiday traffic. Once we were north of Everett, we cut over to I5 and then Chuckanut drive. We are staying at Larrabee State Park tonight. There are showers in the forecast tonight, so we set up our tarps (ok, we are just geeks and wanted to play with our tarps). Tomorrow we are up early and heading into Canada.

DSC02936

The bikes are pretty heavy when trying to muscle them around parking, but once you are moving on the road, the go without any problems.

I verified that the Spotwalla and Delorme tracking sites are working, so follow along!

Alaska – Following Along

Internet access is going to be sporadic on my upcoming trip, so while I plan on writing my blog daily, there may be big gaps of time between individual entries being published. I’ll also try not to flood everyone with updates, so a bit of lag will naturally be introduced into the posts.

For people who’d like to be more up to date on my position, I will be using an InReach SE to track my location(as well as giving me a big red emergency button if I need to use it). The best site to view this data is spotwalla:

https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=9c8c537a897e9a1b1

The site will not show any updates until I leave tomorrow afternoon. Not all web browsers play nicely with spotwalla, so you are welcome to try the Delorme site as well:

https://share.delorme.com/ScottSkorupa

Another cool thing about the InReach SE is the ability to update Twitter via satellite – So, the most frequent up to date text updates will come via Twitter. You can follow me @adv_guy.

One final place I’ll be updating status is on advrider:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=979458

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Camera and Blogging Test

First off, I bought Kim an iPad 2 for her birthday, she also picked up a Zagg Bluetooth keyboard, and I’m using these right now to write this entry to see how well it will work for blogging on the road.  The physical keyboard is definately and upgrade to the touch keyboard – I can type way faster.  This combo will probably allow be to leave the netbook at home. For software, I’m using Be Write HD.  It seems to have decent reviews, so hopefully it was worth the $2.99 that I paid for it.
Camera Stuff

Well, I went out and bought the Canon SX230HS to bring along on our upcoming trip.  I still haven’t ruled out bringing along a Sony NEX as well.  I’m going to show off a few pictures that I took from each camera to see how well this software will import them (and post them on WordPress)

This first picture was taken w/the Sony.  The white balance seems to be off just a bit.
this one is also from the Sony – it is a fast camera, you can see that Taylor let go of the snowball a bit early.  I’m curious to see how this shows up in the post.  The picture is very clear if you look at it in the photo album – it appears a bit blurry in the blog writing software.

This is from the Canon.  The cousins while they were hanging with us last weekend.

These two photos are from the canon to demonstrate the zoom range of the Canon camera.  Obviously, the left image is full wide angle and the right image is full zoom.
That’s all for now – just over a week to go before we leave!