Tok

Alaska Ride – June 22nd – Day #28

We woke up to another bright sunny Alaska morning today. Don’t know why we thought it was going to rain every day. We packed up and were pulling out of the site when the old man freaks out and rips his gloves off. Apparently something had made it’s way into his gloves overnight and was now using the back of his hand for breakfast. We never found the bug…I think he just made it up.

Now, his gloves are inside out. He wrestles with them for about 10 minutes and we hit the road again. He goes about 10 feet and decides that the gloves still weren’t fixed, and were impeding his riding. So we pull over in a nice safe spot – or so we thought. The ground was sloped the wrong way and over my bike went…thought I had finally gotten all of those out of my system. My pannier came off again and was all dented up, I managed to jam it back on and we were on our way.

We rode the Glenn Highway today. By far the best “motorcycle road” of the trip. Lots of twists and turns and some spectacular views. We lucked out and caught up to very few cars. We took a quick rest break at the parking lot for an ATV area.

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We were off, and then it happened! Remember the pannier that came off? Well it decided to come off again while I was going 60mph down the road. The Zega Pro 2 has this spring mechanism that you use to detach the pannier from your bike. Well, I think I neglected to lock it when I put it back on in the morning, so it launched off the side of my bike. I was fortunate to hear it go because the bike did not perform any differently, and I could have gone a long ways before I figured it out. Well, it was my right pannier, so it launched itself toward the shoulder and skidded to a stop. I found a parking pull out about 100 yards down the road and then walked back to pick up the pannier. The pannier itself is in great shape. I had a water bladder on top that had sprung a leak, but other than that everything was ok. When I get home, I’m going to design a safety strap to prevent this from happening in the future.

Spent the next little bit, banging my pannier straight again (from the fall this morning) and reattaching it to the bike. I added a couple of zip ties as a fail safe – you can’t get the pannier off without scissors now. The view from the repair site was pretty sweet!

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We cruised along for a bit and a moose ran out in front of me! The shoulders of the road were cut back pretty far, so I had plenty of warning, but I still had to put on the brakes a bit. I was a little worried that it was going to stop in the middle of the road. I wouldn’t have hit it, but I don’t think I want to be stopped on my motorcycle that close to a moose.

Shortly afterwards we stopped for a quick rest break and my dad took the time to clean up his windscreen and lights.

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We finally got to the gas station at Glennallen and it was a total zoo. There is an intersection of two major highways there and it was a Sunday afternoon. Cars coming into the station lined up in both directions. I thought a brawl was going to break out at any time. We decided to grab some lunch to see if the lines would get a bit shorter. They did, but not by much.

Next was a little zigzag up to the Tok cutoff road. Not quite as interesting as Glenn Highway, but still not a bad road. We stopped at a campground just before Tok, and decided to keep going a bit farther. We ended up staying at Tok River Recreation Area right near the river.

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Alaska Ride – June 21st – Day #27

Pretty short post today…

The heater in our room was stuck on, so it got really hot. We ended up sleeping with the window open all night. The only nights I have been too hot on this trip.

Our weather luck finally ran out. It was raining outside. We loaded up the motorcycles and started to head home! Of course it is going to take 9 or 10 days to get there…The ride today was not a ton of fun – it was raining for about 3/4 of it, so no good views and we’ve been on a chunk of this road 4 or 5 times with my tire fiasco. The one cool thing we did see – a moose was running along side the road, and it was hauling ass. Couldn’t believe how fast it was running. Went to hit the save button on my video camera, and it hung. Argh!

We are staying at the Eagle River Campground again, in a different site this time. When we pulled in, I noticed that my left driving light was coming a bit loose, so I spent some time pulling it off and using Goop for thread locker. Tightened everything back up, and it looks good! The old man changed the prefilter on his air intake, the old one was still in pretty good shape, so I’m not going to worry about mine (I have to totally disassemble the bike to get at the air filter).

No pictures today…no good views with all the crappy weather and I forgot to take pictures while I was working on the bike :(. Tomorrow should be different – we are heading down the Glenn Highway to Tok, which is supposed to be a great ride. Hopefully we are done with the rain!

Alaska Ride – June 13th – Day #19

We did a better job of packing up camp quickly this morning. We were on the road by 8a, our earliest departure yet. The weather was nice and sunny, but there was a bit of wind blowing. Nothing too bad though.

We stopped at the Pickhandle Lake rest area for our first break of the day The weather was still pretty nice. The views along the ride have been very scenic.

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We cleared customs around noon, and promptly gained an hour. We are now on Alaska Time! The customs wait was only about 10 minutes and the customs officer was very nice – he checked both of us out at the same time.

The road in Alaska seems to be in better shape than in Canada, but the weather seems to be a little worse. Rain clouds were closing in, so we pulled over at a wide spot to put on tank bag covers and make sure all our pockets and vents were zipped.IMG_0460

Other riders out there are just awesome. While we were stopped, a guy on a BMW slowed down to make sure we were ok. I gave him a thumbs up so he could continue on. There have been several instances when we’ve been on the side of the road (usually so my dad can strap his helmet on, which he forgets every other time we stop) and people always slow down to check that we are ok.

We did get rained on a bit right before the town ofTok. It actually came down quite hard for a few minutes and then eventually stopped. We had lunch at Fast Eddy’s – club sandwich with chips!IMG_0463

After lunch we fed the bikes as well. While getting ready to leave the pump another BMW pulls in and I chatted with the guy for a bit. He has been putting in 750 mile days…I guess I just have a whimpy butt!

The rain had pretty much stopped while we rode to our campsite for the night at Clearwater State Recreation Area. We have a cool spot tucked into the trees. Just as we got the tarps and tents set up it started to rain. In the picture you can see the dry area underneath my tarp. Gives me just enough room to sit in my chair with my laptop and keep everything dry (note – my bear canister did not spend the night under my tarp).IMG_0464

Dinner was freeze dried teriyaki chicken and hot chocolate. Yum!IMG_0468

Should be a short ride to Fairbanks tomorrow. We are going to try and stay at the University and get some laundry done – we need it, bad!