Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: Mosquito Meander

  1. #1
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land of the Big Sky
    Posts
    3,899

    Mosquito Meander

    This thread gets its name from the many mosquitoes Annie and I encountered on our recent travels around Alaska and the Yukon. Dealing with mosquitoes is just part of the deal when you camp in this environment.

    We planned to ride to Valdez, then over to Dawson in the Yukon for the annual gathering known as "Dust to Dawson", back to Alaska and across the Denali Hwy and finally to Manley Hot Springs for the 4th of July. We left open the possibility of a final trip up the Dalton to Wiseman.

    Our rides for the trip were Annie's F650 GS and my R100GSPD. We left in the evening and headed from Fairbanks down the Richardson Highway in weather varying from bright and sunny to threatening clouds. Along the way we were delayed by a local.... they always have right-of-way.


    Our home for the evening was the Sourdough Lodge in one of their cabins. Great chow and nice folks.




    In the morning we stopped in at Glennallen to have a up of coffee with Jack (ALCAN Rider) Gustefson. Jack's idea of a quiet weekend day is to ride from his ome in Glennallen to Coldfoot for lunch and then back to Glennallen. Over a 1000 miles on a KLR.


    The ride into Valdez is always filed with great scenery.





    Valdez was cool, wet and windy... just another summer day in Valdez.









    We awoke on the second morning in Valdez to see snow very low on the surrounding mountains. Snow is always a threat in Thompson Pass, the only road out of town. Time to leave.

    The pass was clear.








    Back up the Richardson to the Tok cutoff, then up the Taylor Highway to Chicken, AK.
    Threatening skies again as we rode the Taylor.


    But once in Chicken it was a bright beautiful day.


    We stayed in a brand new cabin in the heart of downtown Chicken.


    Next morning it was across the Taylor to the Top of the World Highway to Dawson, YT.







    Next Dawson and Dust to Dawson!
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  2. #2
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land of the Big Sky
    Posts
    3,899
    Dust to Dawson (D2D) is a non-rally held for the last 17 years in Dawson, YT around solstice. It is overseen by a group of Alaskan riders known as Team Pterodactyl or the Gruvers. It is a gathering of riders with few organized events. There is a poker run, dinner, motorcycle games and finally the awarding of a decal at midnight. Good fun and great people to meet and be with.

    Arriving in Dawson from Alaska entails crossing the Yukon River on a small ferry.




    Dawson retains the look and feel of an early 20th Century gold rush town.



    It was home to both Robert Service and Jack London. The cabins of both men are still in town. This is Service's cabin.


    D2D centers around the Downtown Hotel.


    One "attraction" is the opportunity to drink a beer with a real human toe in the glass. tradition holds that the drinker allow the toe to touch the lips. And for that you get a certificate. This stone is a tribute to the original owner of the toe.



    Sights and folks of D2D.



















    Next after a resupply stop in Dawson.



    It was back across the Top of the World. This time it was 36 degrees and raining. Snow was low on the mountains.





    Leaking front fork seals required a diversion back to Fairbanks before our trip across the Denali Highway. Rain most of the way home necessatated a stop for ice cream at the Knotty Shop.

    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  3. #3
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land of the Big Sky
    Posts
    3,899

    Denali Highway

    The Denali Highway is 135 miles long with about 115 miles being unpaved. It connects Paxson on the Richardson Highway in the east to Cantwell on the Parks Highway in the west. Prior to the construction of the Parks Highway the Denali Highway was the entrance road to Denali Park. In my experience one can see as much wildlife on the Denali Highway as can be seen in the park.

    After a brief stop over in Fairbanks to fix Annie's fork seals we left in the evening for a ride south on the Richardson Highway and then on the Denali Highway to Tangle lakes to camp for the night. The first 20 miles of the highway on the east end is paved and at the end of the pavement there is a nice BLM camp ground.



    Bring a head net; there are a tremendous number of black flys and they seem to be immune to bug repellent. We used our new MSR 3 man tent for the first time.



    In the morning we made a quick 20 mile ride over Maclaren Pass to MacLaren Lodge for breakfast.







    This lodge is open year round but is accessible in the winter only by snogo or dog team. We try to get in there at least once a year for some really great snogo riding.



    The east end of the highway offers some of the more spectacular scenery. Maclaren glacier is a prominent sight.



    Haze from forest fires throughout the state hung in the air.





    On the west end the prominent features are the Susitna River



    And the highest peak in North America rising to greet you.





    The western end of the highway was very dusty this year.



    Then it was back through Fairbanks and north to Manley Hot Springs
    Last edited by AKBeemer; 08-19-2009 at 10:04 PM.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  4. #4
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land of the Big Sky
    Posts
    3,899

    Manley Hot Springs

    Most of the riders that come to Alaska are hell bent on riding the Dalton Highway (Haul Road) up to Prudhoe Bay. In my opinion a more enjoyable ride can be had by taking a left at the intersection of the Dalton Highway and the Elliot. Staying on the Elliot for another 80 miles (62 miles unpaved) will bring you to Manley, a quiet town of about 40 souls.

    Again we left in the evening and spent our first night in the Fred Blixt cabin at mile 62 of the Elliot Highway. This is a BLM cabin that can be rented and is part of a system of cabins throughout the White Mountains. The Fred Blixt cabin is the only cabin on a road system. Annie and I generally spend 3-4 nights out in one of the cabins over New Years, traveling via snogo.



    There were dozens and dozens of these little fellas around the cabin and they seemed to be waging a turf war.



    I'm surprised a fox or lynx has not moved into the area and cleaned them out.

    The ride to Manley is marked by some great views of the Minto Flats.



    Once in town we camped in the heart of town in a small park along Hot Springs Slough.



    Some scenes of the town. A one lane bridge across the slough.



    The Roadhouse.



    The Roadhouse offers just about all that one could need.



    The grounds of the Roadhouse.







    What the Roadhouse does not have the Trading Post will. Post Office, gas station, groceries and liquor store all in one.



    When did you last see one of these in service?



    This was posted outside the Trading Post; not a problem in most towns.



    Evidence of past boom times.



    This is the original one room school that was in use until the 90's. At one point there were 19 students enrolled. The former teacher still lives in town and owns the Hot Spring.





    After another brief delay to accommodate a local citizen we were on our way home to Fairbanks.



    In a few weeks we head to the Kenai Peninsula for a week of wandering about.
    Last edited by AKBeemer; 08-19-2009 at 10:07 PM.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  5. #5
    firefly
    Guest
    Wow...what an AWESOME trip! BEAUTIFUL pictures. That "toe" thing is kinda creepy if you ask me though...lol.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your wonderful adventures!

  6. #6
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Halifax and Larry's River, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    3,305
    really enjoyed this! Nice way to start my day. I lived in northern Alberta for a bit and visited the NWT; your pictures reminded me of some of those sights. But mosquitos!! I remarked at the time that if I clapped two pieces of bread together over my head I would have a meat sandwich. Beautiful country though. Some day Alaska though. Thanks again for the journey. -Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
    Salty Fog Riders Motorcycle Tourism Promotions
    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  7. #7
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land of the Big Sky
    Posts
    3,899
    The next leg of this summer’s ride was to take in the Kenai Peninsula. The Kenai is a world in and of itself. If fishing is your passion, then the Kenai is your heaven.

    Any trip to the Kenai takes you through Los Anchorage which means a stop at Alaska Leather is in order. There are always new gizmos to buy and folks to meet in the parking lot. Met a couple putting on new rubber for their ride back to Colorado. This was an expensive stop. One of our party left with a new Arai helmet, new Sidi boots, a Gerbing jacket and 1st Gear rain pants. Someone was a very lucky girl.



    First stop south of Anchorage is Whittier. The town was created during WWII as a port. It is surrounded by mountains and can only be accessed on the ground via a tunnel. Until recently the tunnel was for trains only, but now cars and motorcycles can go through the 2 mile tunnel.

    The ride in from the Seward Highway has some great views including the Portage Glacier and an iceberg in July.







    The tunnel entrance and a view inside.







    Almost all the permanent residents of Whittier live in one of two apartment buildings.



    Everything else revolves around fishing and tourists.





    Next stop Seward.



    Seward rests on the east coast of the Kenai and is also a tourist and fishing center. To me the highlight of Seward is the Sealife Center.



    Sea lions...





    Fish and other aquatic life...







    And birds that line-up to weigh themselves before being fed...



    All this ably protected by the Coasties...



    Next, Homer and points west.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  8. #8
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Posts
    5,331
    Excellent stuff!
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  9. #9
    Registered User richardak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    296
    Great pictures and write up Kevin. Thank you for making me dread the end of summer. One of these years I'll make the trip....
    1983 R100RT hacked w/Cozy Rocket My blog
    2012 Ural Patrol
    Airhead #10576

  10. #10
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Posts
    3,532
    Your pictures are great. There is still wilderness, which is a mighty good thing.

    I could say "thank you so much for sharing" but that doesn't do it for me, but that's all I got.

    Tread Lightly.

  11. #11
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land of the Big Sky
    Posts
    3,899
    Thank you for the positive feedback.

    Next leg of the Kenai Trip.

    The ride from Seward to Homer takes one across the northern part of the Kenai on the Sterling Highway. This is one of the more dangerous roads in Alaska. During peak fishing and tourist periods the road can be crowded with RVs lumbering along on a two lane winding road. Impatience breeds risk taking and far too often tragedy results. The day after we left the Kenai on the Sterling three teenagers were killed when a person in pick-up made an ill advised pass and hit them head-on; caution is advised on the Sterling.

    The ride is not without its views.



    Ran into this rig along the way. Never saw a hack on the back of an RV before.



    We had to stop at a place with a name like this. That is the Chief out front. He does prepare a Kick Ass grilled cheese sandwich.



    Every now and then we have to make a stop that is purely for the feminine member of our party. A quaint shop in Soldatna. Absolutely zero bike related gear.



    We headed north to see what there is to see north from Soldatna and Nikiski. Answer not much until you reach this sign. There really is no more after this.



    You can catch glimpses of the 4 major volcanoes across Cook Inlet. From south to north they are Augustine, Illiamma, Redoubt (much in the news of late) and Spurr. This is a poor shot of Redoubt (best my little camera could do).



    I had long anticipated taking a ride down a road known as Kalifornsky Beach. It parallels the Sterling and runs along the west coast. I had visions of bikini clad girls, surfers unloading their boards from atop their Woodys and the melodious tones of the beach boys thumping in the background. No such luck. Trees, brush and nary a glimpse of the Cook Inlet or a beach. Bummer dude.

    At Ninilchick youÔÇÖll find a Russian Orthodox Church.





    And this tribute to their fallen veterans.



    This is the ÔÇ£Russian VillageÔÇØ area of Ninilchick.



    And a beauty hiding in the Fireweed.



    We arrived in Homer and early the next day made our way to the Spit. Some scenes of and views from the Spit.









    There is a brewery in town. Pretty good porter.



    Some other views of Homer.





    On the way home I tried some moving shots. Think I need some practice.

    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  12. #12
    JAMESDUNN
    Guest
    All very wonderful! I have to ask. Did you see any Grizzer bears?

  13. #13
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land of the Big Sky
    Posts
    3,899
    No bears. There was a report of one in the camp ground in Seward,but I suspect it was just a rumor.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  14. #14
    JAMESDUNN
    Guest
    Thanks for the post concerning bears. About a year and a half ago there was a story in the ON featuring a trip about the Haul road. Great and entertaining read, mentioned various wildlife encounters, one regarding a wolf. The wilderness contains wild things !

    Love the photos.

  15. #15
    Ambassador BeerTeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Fond Du Lac, WI
    Posts
    3,206
    Great report.

    Mosquito Meander . . . Alaska meander
    __________________
    Jim Klas
    BMW MOA Ambassador
    Enjoy the travel photos at: klasjm.smugmug.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •