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Thread: North to ALASKA!

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  1. #1
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    North to ALASKA!

    Studying maps and weather. Packing the last important items. You'd think we'd have done this enough that it would all fit.

    But this time we're taking the F650's. More gravel road worthy for adventuring, but that means a new packing system.
    And chains instead of shaft drives which means Paul found space for different tools and spare parts. Sure is nice to have my mechanic with me. He's has been mounting tires and doing services on the bikes. Preventative maintenance that should provide trouble free sMiles.

    We plan to be in Hyder, Alaska by next Friday so we have time to smell the roses along the way. Tenting when the weather allows.
    Internet where we find it. Motel with internet when we get desperate. Paul will carry his ThinkPad. I have a new Asus eee - a tiny thing with lots of internet power but not much memory. So we'll store pictures on the web and share them now and then.

    Some of our friends are doing a 49 state ride in ten days. We'll help them celebrate next weekend.

    Wish you all could join us. What fun we'd have!

    Voni
    sMiling

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  2. #2
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    Thumbs up

    Enjoy your trip!!

  3. #3
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Enjoy

    We'll all be smiling along with your sMiles. Looking forward to the ride report.

    Holly

  4. #4
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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  5. #5
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    We spent lots of time this morning trying to find the path that wouldn't result in running into those red and yellow blotches on the radar. Finally took off just after 11. Got great gas mileage with 40 mph tail winds!

    Took the red and blue roads on the map. Finally, as we neared Plainville, KS Paul saw a Mom and Pop motel and suggested we stop. Turned out that was a great suggestion. There were tornado watches in the area, and as we watched the weather channel we heard of baseball size hail and tornadoes on the ground south and west of us!

    As I started to move my bike to the room, my starter just clicked.

    TRAUMA! But, wait. I have my mechanic with me. Turns out it was a loose connection at the battery. No worries.

    Tomorrow's another day.

    Voni
    sMiling
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  6. #6
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    ...
    Wish you all could join us. What fun we'd have!

    Voni
    sMiling

    Yeah, we wish we could join you! Have a super trip! We'll have to settle for ride reports and pictures...
    Dan

  7. #7
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Really looking forward to the debrief in Gillette. Of course you could post a few shots here as you go along.

  8. #8
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    What a great trip. Looking forward to following along. Right not it looks like lots of rain across western Montana and Idaho if you're heading up that way. Let's hope it passes for which ever route you take.

  9. #9
    Yellowjacket
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    And the fun begins

    Sounds like you're already having fun. If you have any questions or need any help when you get into Alaska, give me a call. I sent you a private e-mail with my number in it. Ride safe!

  10. #10
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Sure do appreciate all the good wishes!

    We sure are having fun!

    Saturday morning was blue sky crystal clear. The only trouble was that the town had lost water pressure. At least nothing had blown away! 20 miles away we saw what was left after a touchdown. Toothpicks!

    And now it's Sunday night. We're in Sheridan, WY camping again. Free internet!
    Blue skies and 60 degrees. Last night was south of Chadron, NE in a forest service campground. Cool sunny weather both days with just a short shower at Carhenge, so I didn't stop there for pictures.

    The prarie has it's own special beauty though it's hard to capture in pictures.

    Paul's electric vest isn't working so he's troubleshooting. We'll need it tomorrow! Highs in the 50's predicted, and scattered showers. Maybe we'll miss them all!

    Gas in Gillette, WY was the cheapest we've seen at $3.59.

    Paul just rode back in. All fixed.

    Voni
    sMiling
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves/
    Live fully. Laugh deeply. Love widely.
    BMW MOA Ambassador / FOM / Roving Forum Moderator/
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  11. #11
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Voni

    Thanks for the link to the pictures. Having a great time "arm chair" riding with you all. Looks like you are having a wonderful trip.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  12. #12
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Great shots. Thanks for taking the time to post them! It's good to see you've had at least a little bit of sunshine ... and lots of sMiles.
    Dan

  13. #13
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Darn, I can't view photobucket at work. Guess I'll actually have to work and check out the pictures when I get home.
    Sounds like a fun trip so far.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  14. #14
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    My turn again.

    We left Hyder Sunday morning and rode north on the Cassiar Highway to just outside Dease Lake. There was one 25 mile stretch of "gravel breaks" - broken out pavement with the gaps filled with gravel. These were mostly short spots, all the way across both lanes. A bit bumpy but not really very loose.

    There was one 8 to 10 mile unpaved stretch. Very well compacted. Nothing loose at all but a few spots where it was ridged a little bit from rolling tires. Not ruts, but the ridges could be felt when they went off one way and you were trying to go straight.

    We camped about 6 miles from Dease Lake at a nice (we were the only campers) Lion's Club campground abutting the Dease River. There were rapids right at that point so the white noise made sleeping wonderful. 31 degrees F when we got up, but the Sun quickly warmed things to a more tolerable temperature.

    Monday we rode the rest of the Cassiar up to Watson Lake in the Yukon. Got some provisions and settled into a nice campground. Lots of RVs, but grassy shaded sites for tents too. The north end of the Cassiar is generally narrower and rougher than the south end, but not bad on a dry day. There is one 12 (or so) mile stretch not paved. It was like the one further south, except that the water truck with calcium chloride had driven it maybe an hour before we got there. It was still damp, and even wet in some of the shady spots. Nothing to worry about but that mixture can be a little slick when first applied.

    The very north end of the highway for maybe 20 miles is quite rough and broken in spots. Nothing very loose in the gravel breaks, but rough enough to be real equipment breakers if hit too fast/hard. I think if I started out on that road heading north to south I might wonder what I was getting in to.

    All in all this is a very decent motorcycle road - in good weather. I would not have enjoyed either of the unpaved sections in the rain. I'm sure they would have been pretty firm, but probably slimy.

    Since the weather forecast for Watson Lake was rain on Tuesday I wanted to get up the Cassiar on Sun-Mon. Sure enough, it rained very lightly much of the night and is still raining lightly here as noon approaches. I had semi-planned today to be a lay over day, and since the forecast is for the rain to stop today and then sunny skies tomorrow we are staying put. I have some shopping and futzing to do, so this seems like a good place/day to do it.

    Here's some pics I've shot along the way:

    http://s14.photobucket.com/albums/a3...Alaska%20Paul/

    Paul
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  15. #15
    Bo Griffin
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    Thanks Paul

    If this is the Cassiar, then it is a lot smaller than I anticipated. I assumed it was much wider like the Alcan only gravel instead of pavement. I'm not a big fan of gravel riding myself, but it is on the list "to do". I'm not a big fan of camping either, but your pictures make it look inviting. Keep up the good work.



    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post

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