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Thread: Northern Riders ...Eureka Pie Run

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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    Northern Riders ...Eureka Pie Run

    I belong to a club called Northern Riders and every summer the club schedules some pretty cool rides around Alaska. We've got some traditional runs like the "Freeze Your Buns Run" to Fairbanks that happen every year. Other rides are wherever we feel like going.

    My buddy Rich and I were the guys that set up the rides for this summer and the first scheduled ride for the year was a run to Eureka Lodge which is about 135 miles N x NE of my home in Anchorage. There's not a whole lot out in Eureka but for the lodge, some fabulous scenery ...and they make a pretty decent piece of pie too.

    Oh yeah ...and they've got gas.

    I met Rich and Mike over at Rich's house around 8:30a Saturday morning. We then met up with the other riders that live in Anchorage at the Carr's supermarket parking lot at about 8:45a. Nine o'clock or so we headed out to Palmer to meet up w/ more riders at a Carr's supermarket there. Here's the group that was forming up in Palmer.

    Palmer's about 45 minutes north of Anchorage.
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    Last edited by legion; 05-07-2003 at 06:53 AM.

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    Re: Northern Riders ...Eureka Pie Run

    Originally posted by legion
    I belong to a club called Northern Riders and every summer the club schedules some pretty cool rides around Alaska. We've got some traditional runs like the "Freeze Your Buns Run" to Fairbanks that happen every year. Other rides are wherever we feel like going.
    Just out of curiosity, how long are the days up there right about now?

    That's just awesome to see.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    From Palmer we rode out to Long Lake which is roughly 30 or 40 minutes north of Palmer. This is a view from Long Lake back toward where we'd just come from.

    The ride to this point was a little gusty with the odd windblast catching you by suprise. That area is a natural wind tunnel and it's pretty much breezy all the time. The old saw is that the wind blows in the Matanuska Valley because Palmer sucks.

    Only the Palmeranians know for sure.
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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Northern Riders ...Eureka Pie Run

    Originally posted by KBasa
    Just out of curiosity, how long are the days up there right about now?
    Not sure on that one Kbasa. It's light out when I get up and right now it's a little after 8:00p and it's broad daylight, but the shadows are starting to get fairly long.

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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    Still at Long Lake but a shot in the direction we're heading.

    See that road sign? That's the good kind.
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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    I've got an old buddy that's a homesteader at about MP100. His name's Wally and I'd guess he's about 80 years old or so.

    His wife lives here in Anchorage and Wally lives in a little cabin on his old homestead. This is the view from near Wally's place and all along the highway in this area. It's called the Matanuska Glacier and it's supposedly over 1000' thick in some spots and at one time was over 4000' thick.

    You may recall a news item a few years ago about a school in NY as I recall that brought some kids out this way to teach them some sort of lesson they apparently were shorted in the environment back home.

    They camped on this Glacier and one of the kids went to get water in the morning and never was seen again. No telling how deep a crevasse is, but they twist and turn and often go all the way to the bottom.

    Beautiful and potentially deadly.
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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    You saw the glacier up toward the end of the valley. Here's what it left in it's wake...

    Nothing but gravel. Lots and lots of gravel.

    The process of grinding all the big rocks into little bits of gravel leaves a byproduct called silt. It's gray and powdery and looks a little like it might be sand from a distance. It's not.

    When it's wet it turns to a clay and it's what this valley is lined with and it's the reason the river is so gray and turbid.
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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    Summer is construction season in Alaska and the road was torn up for about 9 miles starting at MP100 or so. In this 9 mile section I got a flat rear tire on a B/S Trail Wing with not much more than a thousand miles on it.

    Bad Bob on an LT had a plug gun but hadn't used one before. K75 Dave knew how to use one ...and I had a handful of CO2 cartridges. Between us I was back on the road in no time.

    Bad Bob picked up a nasty dent in his front rim in a separate incident though and Herr Kurt bumped his GS/PD into another of our highway irregularities that could've turned into a problem too.

    If you're coming to Alaska make sure you've got good tires and watch out for rocks, frost heaves, and the like that you might not be used to seeing in your neck of the woods.

    That's Herr Kurt on the GS/PD in the left of this pic. We're waiting for the chance to go through the construction zone. You can see part of the Mat Glacier on your far left.
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    Last edited by legion; 05-07-2003 at 07:22 AM.

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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    Eureka! I called ahead a couple hours early to make sure we'd get a table.

    Snowmachiners hog this place up in Spring. Not today though.
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    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Awesome pictures.....

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    We all enjoyed a nice lunch (I missed my pie), then turned around to head back home. A few minutes south of Eureka is a patch of mountainside I've been looking at for 30 years and wondering why it's like that.

    Orange in some spots. Purple in others. Really pretty. This is somewhere around Caribou Creek.

    The guy in the foreground on the LT is Rich. Beside him is Mike. The two have been friends for about 30 years. Rich was a huge help in scheduling the group rides for the year.
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    resistive load legion's Avatar
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    In the middle distance you can see one of our geological anomalies called a butte. As I understand it these things are small mountains carved by and left in the wake of glaciers.

    This one is called Gunsight Mountain.

    (edit: It's called Lionhead. Gunsight is back a ways and not in this pic.)
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    Last edited by legion; 06-01-2003 at 08:50 PM.

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    You can never be sure what some of these nutbars are going to do next. The saluting seemed to start that morning in Palmer when Herr Kurt suggested I get everybody on the road.

    Next thing you know, well...

    On another note, you may have noticed that there are about 15 different riders here but you see smaller groups and they aren't always the same bikes in the pics. For the most part this is a fairly experienced group of riders and rather than ride in one long parade line they broke up into smaller groups. That way the speedier riders aren't forcing an uncomfortable pace on those that prefer to smell the roses a little more (and vice versa).

    We are fortunate to have a few of the Speedy Gonzales types, a few in the midrange group, and a few of the 'savor the corner / smell the roses' types ...so everyone can have partners that share their riding style if they so chose.

    Just takes a little while to find out who rides at your pace. A couple rides and that's sorted for those that have a strong preference.
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    Last edited by legion; 05-07-2003 at 07:21 AM.

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    Here we have Lonely Lisa, the sign girl in the middle of nowhere.

    Glenn rides a Suzuki Bandit with a few minor engine modifications. He has absolutely no clue what the word slow means and is shown here learning the new word.

    I think she finally broke out the pepper spray to calm him down. He never did get it right.
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    Keith here was with me when I bought my K100RS from Don Rosene at The Motorcycle Shop in 1986. He keeps his bike too clean.

    We're pulled over at a turn out near the cliffs above Palmer.

    You can walk up on the silt in the background and see the valley we had ridden through. The bad part though is that if you lose your footing there's about a 1000' drop.
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