MP3 500 to Alaska
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Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:53 pm quote
Chiaroscuro wrote:
Just another day at the office.

The vastness is just mind blowing......................isn't it?

Liked the music for this section.

That's 1 hell of a road test you put your MP3 thru!!! Piaggio should confiscate your MP3 and give you a new 1 and put your MP3 on display with your videos.
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Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:53 am quote
Downtown Deadhorse
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Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:15 am quote
Re: Downtown Deadhorse
Chiaroscuro wrote:
Did you have to run 87 gas up there a lot?
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Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:37 am quote
Re: Downtown Deadhorse
norCal Randy wrote:
Chiaroscuro wrote:
Did you have to run 87 gas up there a lot?
I didn't pay attention - regular.
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Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:06 pm quote
Prudhoe to Fairbanks
I had no problem going to sleep. However, staying asleep was another issue. The room has paper thin white curtains and the sun is up pretty much 24/7. And that mother is bright as can be. Can’t they put in a coal plant or something to create a haze, bring in some experts from China? Long term I would have to spray paint the windows black in order to get a decent nights sleep.

I was up well before 0600 and went outside to check the weather. Cold but the sky was clear.

I quickly threw everything together and headed out. As soon as I got out from behind the wind break of the main housing I got hit with a 20+ mile an hour wind and the temperature quickly dropped another 10 degrees. It was in the mid to low thirties. Chilly.

However, the road I dreaded retuning on was amazing. While it wasn’t buttery smooth it was like night and day from yesterday. I rode for miles just staring at the northbound side trying to figure out how there could be such a dramatic difference.

Very little traffic all day. I ran into a Unimog headed North. I was thinking as I passed; Unimog? Scooter? Really.

I also ran across some hikers right before Atigun. Yeah, hikers this far North.

A couple of stops for construction and one refueling stop. At the refueling stop I got eaten alive by mosquitos. Really miserable.

And then I was in to Coldfoot. I grabbed some food and spent a few minutes talking to some motorcyclists that had made the run to Prudhoe. They told me that Yukon was out of fuel so I refilled the spare cans. All in all with the wait for fuel, food and general screwing around I probably killed 2 hours there.

I decided to head on in to Fairbanks attempting to make the run from Prudhoe in one day something that had never crossed my mind until about 10 minutes before trying it.

About 15 minutes South I realized that I had left my pillow behind. I was so pissed but I kept moving south.
I pulled in to Yukon River a few hours later and they had fuel. No issues here.

From Yukon there was no traffic, I was slightly uncomfortable from the lack of a pillow but I made the best of it. A quick stop at the Arctic sign and then I was at the Dalton sign in no time. A few pics and then on to Fairbanks.

I ended up at a Best Western in Fairbanks at midnight. Why do I remember midnight? They stop selling beer at midnight in Fairbanks! Bam, if I’d only left Coldfoot sooner I wouldn’t have to subsist on chips and soda.

About 16 hours or so, close to 500 miles, Prudhoe to Fairbanks in one run. Pretty proud of this one.
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Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:23 pm quote
Prudhoe Pics
Pics

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Yukon River crossing.

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I found this barge at the Yukon River crossing.

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Dalton sign.

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Yeah man, the Dalton is MINE!

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Note to self: get the parking brake fixed.

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Fuel stop, mosquito misery.

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Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:56 pm quote
Prudhoe Pics 2
Pics Prudhoe

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Coldfoot

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90 degrees above the Arctic Circle!

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Yukon River.

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Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:43 am quote
Re: Prudhoe to Fairbanks
Chiaroscuro wrote:
About 16 hours or so, close to 500 miles, Prudhoe to Fairbanks in one run. Pretty proud of this one.
WOW. I just drove (in a car) for 11 hours to Kentucky and I'm beat. I can't even imagine this intrepid journey of yours.

More great pictures and videos by the way - thanks for sharing.

Last edited by afishynado on Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:20 am quote
Re: Prudhoe to Fairbanks
afishynado wrote:
Chiaroscuro wrote:
About 16 hours or so, close to 500 miles, Prudhoe to Fairbanks in one run. Pretty proud of this one.
WOW. I just drove (in a car) for 11 hours to Kentucky and I'm beat. I can't even imagine this intrepid journey of yours. :shock:

More great picture by the way - thanks for sharing.
I was exhausted on arrival but the time seemed to go by pretty quickly.
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Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:14 pm quote
Prudhoe to Fairbanks
Part 1

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Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:47 pm quote
Prudhoe to Fairbanks 2
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Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:18 pm quote
Prudhoe to Fairbanks 3
The Atigun makes an appearance.

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Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:24 pm quote
Prudhoe to Fairbanks 4
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Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:51 pm quote
Prudhoe to Fairbanks 5
The Dalton is mine.

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Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:39 am quote
Thanks for convincing me to never get an urge to ride/drive to Alaska. I flew over it coming back from Vietnam, landing in Fairbanks to refuel the plane. That was close enough for me.
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Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:47 am quote
norCal Randy wrote:
Thanks for convincing me to never get an urge to ride/drive to Alaska. I flew over it coming back from Vietnam, landing in Fairbanks to refuel the plane. That was close enough for me. :)
Your missing out. Get your ass off the couch and head North. The weather is still nice in Prudhoe.
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Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:14 pm quote
Fairbanks to Tok
After wasting 2 days in Fairbanks 'recuperating' I finally moved on. Up early and out on the Richardson Highway, 2, after a brief GPS detour. North Pole is the first town that you go through. Not much there but they do have a few businesses dressed up with Santa's and candy canes.

Oh, I have the fucking notch again. No doubt about it. Getting more difficult to control as the miles go by.

As I as passing Eielson AFB and what I think was a B52 from the Alaska National Guard came in for a 'touch and go'. That or the officer flying it made a grave mistake that will impact his career. He was still 30 or so feet above the ground 3/4s of the way down the runway when I passed him. I was thinking there is no way he/she is going to be able to land this in time. I was right as I saw it lift off in my rear view mirror at the last minute.

The weather was cool but not so bad with minimal layering. I stopped in Delta Junction for fuel. Delta Junction is the end of the Alaskan Highway. You have the option of heading down to Valdez via 4 from here.

On to Tok. The clouds started to build up and I saw rain in the distance. Of course the road slowly turned towards the rain as I rode along. I thought I was going to have to pull over and throw on all the rain gear but eventually, as I got closer to Tok the rain had passed.

Prior to Tok you get to cross several bridges of which a few are the old I-Beam construction. At Tanancross I stopped for gas. Near here, a few hundred yards is a bridge and right next to it is the Alaska pipeline. Very good views of it.

I stopped in Tok at Young's again for dinner. It was quite early in the day. I asked about a room as soon as I walked in. I was told that they only had one smoking room left. I almost passed but asked to see it anyway. I ended up taking it. I was told that the tour companies block book lots of rooms and that was the reason there was only one. A few minutes later as I was grazing at the salad bar I overheard someone asking about a room and he was told the last on 'was gone'. Close call.

Pretty light day but it gets me closer south and hopefully closer to a resolution to the 'notch' issue as well as a check on the drive belt condition.
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Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:28 pm quote
Fairbanks to Tok
Pics

Fairbanks Tok.jpg
It looks brand new - the pillow not the scooter.

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This sucks, at least he hasn't got the 'notch' to ruin his day.

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Alaska + Summer = Forest fires

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Mukluk Land!

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Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:58 pm quote
Chiaroscuro wrote:
norCal Randy wrote:
Thanks for convincing me to never get an urge to ride/drive to Alaska. I flew over it coming back from Vietnam, landing in Fairbanks to refuel the plane. That was close enough for me.
Your missing out. Get your ass off the couch and head North. The weather is still nice in Prudhoe.
I just got back from a 2,600 mile round trip across Nevada, up to Gibbonsville, Idaho, then across Idaho west to eastern Oregon, then down Calif. to Barstow. I ain't been sitting on my ass !!!..........unless you mean my MP3 seat. With your help I already know too much about Alaska to want to go back there.

Last edited by norCal Randy on Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:00 pm quote
Got it.
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Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:34 pm quote
Tok to Haines
Early start for what I hoped would be a fairly early day. Weather was cool but not too bad. The road out of town is straight as an arrow and they have that paved path that goes for miles that shadows it.

I was expecting a kind of a long day but with the weather I didn't think it would be too bad. A bit south of Tok is Tetlin Junction/5. This will take you north to Chicken then crossing the border using 9 down to Dawson City and eventually to Carmacks which I covered part of in 2010.

Again a pretty straightforward day with little drama.

A little over 130 miles from Tok you get to Canadian Customs. Pretty straightforward with a few questions concerning the scooter, weapons of mass destruction, my current BAC, sanity and I was in Canada. As the customs building sits well within the Canadian border Beaver Creek, Canada's most westerly city is just up the road for your shopping pleasure.

Put it simply the road from the border to Destruction Bay sucks. Even with the work that they are doing it's a terrible road. I pulled into Burwash Landing for the obligatory picture of the world's largest gold pan and almost got stuck in the loose gravel in the parking lot.

Back to Talbot's for fuel after running the long construction zone North of it. I didn’t see any roadside markers for the bicyclists I passed in the rain heading in. This time it was dry which made all the difference. Still difficult. That Lake Kluane is still pretty impressive.

I met a guy on a 1150 GS from the states. Apparently he has a weapon and was allowed into Canada but they won't allow him to leave with it. Quite a Catch 22. He was on his way to Whitehorse to mail it back to himself. Again, I didn't ask the 'why can't you mail it from somewhere else other than Whitehorse’ or ‘why do you need a weapon’ or ‘do you have any issues with your BMW that resemble the notch’.

South of Destruction Bay I hit another construction zone. I truly couldn't remember this one from the ride up. I just got in front of the line as the pilot car pulled up. Perfect timing.

It sucked truly sucked. They had re-graveled the road heavily and I was all over it. Thankfully there was limited oncoming traffic. It was almost impossible to control with the notch.

As I was in the lead I was getting very little dust. However, about halfway through the pilot car pulled over and I was left leading the pack. Quickly people were passing me and the dust picked up then oncoming traffic including tractor-trailers showed up. The dust was blinding. WHERE'S THE WATER TRUCK!

Slowly I crept out of this with my life and it was all-good for some time.

I pulled back into the Alcan Motel at Haines Junction in the afternoon. I was looking for a GoPro battery charger that I had left in the room on the way up. Well in short order they ended up losing my future business.

The office abuts the front room of someone's apartment and there was a woman watching some game show when I walked in. Seeing me she slowly drug her carcass out of the 70s lounger she picked up from a road side dump in ‘84 and made it to the front desk with a grim look on her face. Strike one. I told her about the issue and was wondering if housekeeping had turned in the charger. She gave me a look of disgust like I had just made a comment on her bad perm and dye job. 'They don't work here they work over at the other building. 'Oh, slave labor in the great Northeast. Strike Two. '

Me: 'Are they here'.

It: 'No and I don't know where they are.'

Me: 'Is there a lost and found box'.

It: 'Yes but it's locked up.'

Me: 'Could you unlock it so I could look?'

It: 'I guess I'll have to.' Accompanied by a shrill screech and look like I had just told her the biopsy was positive. Strike three, four and five.

Slowly we plodded to the next building. Although only 30 feet away I'm sure I saw movement in the sun across the sky it took so long. Strike six.

One key after another was slowly inserted into the lock. I was worried that the lock was going to rust between key insertions.

Finally the door creeped open and I forced my way in like a scene from Law and Order SUV busting an kiddie porn distribution warehouse.

I grabbed the box marked 'lost and found' and started going through it. Housekeeping does an amazing job with lost and found here; everything was labeled by date and room number. There was a lot of pretty cool electronics left behind along with the usual collection of bras and panties, hair gels and an assortment of Harley Davidson motorcycles paraphernalia that no one will return for.

It: 'I don't know why they do this?' Strike seven. You mean make an attempt to return lost items to guests who help keep your TV on 24/7 with game shows?

I left without the obligatory thank you for your time and patience and headed out. I will not be staying here if I come back through. The rooms are decent, price not too bad, WiFi good and there is a restaurant and bar. And this is Haines Junction. But that attitude!

South of Haines Junction the country opens up and there are some pretty incredible views. The mountains get big and broad. I hit some pretty strong winds here.

The temperature dropped a bit and I thought I was going to have to stop to add some layers. But I continued on knowing that I was close to the end. Eventually the winds did die down as you move into on a heavily forested road that blocks it as you drop down to Haines.

Entering the US I had some issues with the ass-clown that was there. I was really disappointed in how he treated me but rather than making a stink I held my tongue and waited for the signal to continue on. Pretty sure this guy won't be a finalist in 'Border Crossing of the Year Guard’ by CBP.

The wind picked up again as I went by the Chilkat River just North of Haines and the temperature dropped a bit. It was overcast with no sunshine at all. It had turned into a rally dreary day.

Finally I was back. I had made reservations at the Hasblinghand Hotel. It was advertised as being in the national registry and it seemed pretty cool looking. However, old tired rooms, no WiFI in the room, no refrigerator and no ice machine kind of took the sheen off of that national registry thing. They did have a pretty upscale restaurant with some tasty food that costs an arm and a leg. But it's home for the next few days.
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Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:10 pm quote
Tok Haines
Pics 2

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Grumpy guy sold out.

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Found some old cabins down from the border crossing. Life must have been difficult here but families survived and kids were raised. Probably some pretty amazing stories played out here.

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Canadians got it going on for construction stops. None of this 'hot college girl working for the summer' for them.

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Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:20 pm quote
Haines to Bellingham
After a couple days of sheer misery finally the day the ferry departs arrived. I’ve tried to ride the scooter around but it’s so difficult at slow speeds I finally gave up and hung out at a liquor store. They were looking for a night manager and I almost applied.

The ferry is not until 2315 with check in at 2115. It turned out to be a long day. I walked around in the morning and the docks were unbelievable with the fog rolling in. Of course I didn't have my good camera with me.

After killing as much time as possible I packed everything on the scooter and then hung out in the hotel lobby for a little while. When that got old I rode to the ferry terminal and checked in a full 11 hours before the ship was due to set sail.

I found out that the 1415 ferry North turns around in Skagway and becomes the 2315 on the return trip. Probably 50 vehicles got on here in Haines. I was surprised at the number. I also found out that Skagway is 300+ miles by road from Haines but only 45 minutes by high-speed ferry.

After the unloading and boarding excitement of the 1415 ferry I ended up going back into town for a late lunch. Pretty tasty Halibut sandwich.

Coming back from lunch it I was first in line. In fact I was the ONLY one in line for some time.

However, being first has its perks. I've never been approached by so many people about the scooter as waiting in this line. I even had people wanting to take a picture of the scooter with me in the picture! It was crazy. Somewhere out there is a 1 year old named MP3-500.

I was approached by two guys who had made the run up the Dempster in 2010 and recalled seeing my scooter parked at Eagle Plains at 0130 in the morning when they pulled in for the day. Another rider saw the scooter in Fairbanks the other day before the trip to Prudhoe. Crazy.

It was a pretty quick loading. In all there were about 70 cars/trucks and 25 motorcycles. They had the motorcycles parked at the front of the ship this time. So I’m sure the offloading will go quickly..

When ship pulled in I saw some tents set up on the solarium and I thought that I wasn't going to be able to get one of the deck chairs. But it wasn't an issue as there was plenty of room. A little chilly early on but eventually the heaters kicked in and it warmed up.

I love this ferry!

Last edited by Chiaroscuro on Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:17 pm quote
Tok Haines 1
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Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:32 pm quote
Tok Haines 2
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Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:45 pm quote
Haines/Fort William H. Seward
Pics

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Awesome Salmon!

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Always the 'man' trying to ruin the day.

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Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:56 pm quote
Haines/Fort William H. Seward
Pics 2

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This is how they get ice on the fishing boats.

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Hammer Museum.

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Apparently if there's a fire your supposed to stand on something and open these up to extinguish it.

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Early morning fog.

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If you're 11 hours early for the ferry this is what the parking lot looks like.

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Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:00 pm quote
Haines, AK
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Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:02 pm quote
Haines to Bellingham Ferry
I got up a little after 0500 the first night and I'm still not sure why. I went down to do laundry and take a shower but was denied as both opened at 0600. Back to the solarium and spent some time thumb twiddling and I then went back down at 0603; still locked. Off to the pursers office to get it unlocked. No issues.

Detergent ‘candy machine’ took the money but no detergent. Back to the pursers to complain. Back to the laundry to wait. Quickly sorted out and shower and laundry went off without a hitch.

Pretty uneventful day with a quick stop in Juneau. A bit longer stop in Sitka. I paid $10 for a shuttle to the downtown area to do a quick look around.

I think that Sitka may have more going for it that Haines. They have a McDonalds, Subway and a movie theater. It all depends on your criteria for 'going for it' though. Oh, they have a small aquarium, couple of museums, yoga studio, marinas, etc. as well. Kind of hipster light.

It was over cast and chilly most of the day.

I got up about 0200 to look around the next morning and it was fogged in. Fogged in like Titanic fogged in. You couldn't even see the water from the solarium deck. A few times during the night the ship's horn went off with a lot of zigging and zagging. I was just waiting for the abandoned ship warning to come on.

We pulled into Wrangell early in the morning with lots of mist and a light rain. The bridge warned that we were behind schedule so it was a quick stop and we were on the way without too much fuss.

As we got closer to Ketchikan it started to clear and I was hoping for a repeat of the northbound route. But about an hour out of Ketchikan the clouds rolled in and it started to rain.

We docked at around 1300 and I headed to McDonalds to use the Wi-Fi. There was a long line of people on the street that were from the ferry with pretty much the same idea as me. I'm sure the locals have a term for it that is not too flattering. While at McDonalds it started to pour. I tried to wait it out but had to make the decision between getting wet or missing the ferry. I decided to get wet. Soaking wet.

There is a lot of marine activity here with several large dry docks, a robust container yard, and several seaplane operators with planes landing and taking off during our entire stop. Right across from the ferry is an airport that several commercial jets landed and took off from while we were docked.

As we pulled out you could see that there were three large cruise ships docked at the commercial center of the city south of the ferry terminal. This probably accounted for much of the seaplane traffic as well taking tourists out to the glaciers.

We picked up a fairly large number of passengers from Ketchikan many of them children. So many that the bridge sent out a warning that the railings on all the levels were not a jungle gym for playing on.

About 2 hours out of Ketchikan the weather cleared somewhat and the sun peeked through the clouds making for a pleasant afternoon.

The next morning I was awoken early by the most god-awful sight; a big bright sun and a bright blue sky. It was a bit unnerving as it was so in your face after days of clouds, rain and fog. Really pretty though.

It stayed like this the whole day. As we are backtracking on the northbound trip I got to see places that were obscured by clouds or the night so it was quite interesting.

Passing Bella Bella I saw the lighthouse that everyone scrambled to see on the outbound trip. In the morning light it was absolutely gorgeous.

Bella Bella looks like quite a robust community with some road traffic we could see from the water. As we passed it a fairly large prop plane with landing gear down slowly drifted over the city and disappeared on the other side. So they must have a fairly large airstrip to support the town.

Mid afternoon an announcement came overhead that a meteorite had been seen passing over the ship by a crewmember. And sure enough there was a contrail passing over the ship. No extra charge for this thrill.

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It doesn't get any better than this!

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Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:16 pm quote
Haines to Bellingham Ferry
Pics

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Meteorite!

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Approaching Bellingham.

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End of the line.

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Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:02 pm quote
Back in Seattle
From Bellingham I hightailed it to Big People Scooters. I’d called ahead to make sure they had the parts and the time.

I dropped it off and took a cab to a hotel as it was going to be an all day affair fixing the scooter.

The next morning was a pretty straightforward day. Killed time at the hotel. They graciously let me check out late. Georgtown Inn in the 'Georgetown' area of Seattle. Just over a mile from BP Scooters. Nice, clean and fairly reasonable. I sat in the lobby for some time and people just raved about the service. They were literally gushing over the manager. From what I saw he did a great job with the guests. Highly recommended.

Quick taxi ride to BP. Pretty strange riding in a car.

The scooter was out of the service area so I thought it was done. They still had to check the belt as I requested to see if there is any abnormal wear since I'm running on the used drive pulley with the grooves. So I had brunch at Exact Schooner.

Shortly after it was done and I waited with baited breath for the bill. Over 1k - ouch. I still need to get the bearings re-torqued at less than a 1000 miles from this service so I've got to be on the look out for a Piaggio shop on the way home.

Victor of Big People reminded me that Touratech and Ram-Mounts were in the area as I was leaving so I decided to head over see them. Touratech was closed. At least I think they were closed as the lights were off, the door was locked, loading dock door down. I pressed my face against the glass pretty hard but couldn't see any movement.

On the way to Ram-Mounts I noticed that the turn signals were not working on the left side of the scooter, neither were the emergency flashers. Pulled over to think about it for a few moments and turned around to go back to Big People. I didn’t enquire if they could help me I just the scooter up and into the building at the entrance to the service area.

About an hour later back on the road $150 lighter. The controller on the handle bar was corroded out and had to be replaced. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Last edited by Chiaroscuro on Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Hooked
Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 290

Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:35 pm quote
Exiting Ferry in Bellingham
Hooked
Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 290

Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:52 pm quote
Seattle to SLC
The next few days were a race to find a scooter shop that could re-torque the front end. It was recommended that I get it done within a thousand miles. I called several places and eventually decided on a dealer in Salt Lake City.

The ride to SLC was pretty straightforward although I got caught a few time in some real windy conditions I kept plugging on as I didn’t want to have to deal with front end issue ever again.

A few stops such as the Snake River Canyon – Miss you Eval! He actually died in my hometown. Great riding but the issue of the front end was always on my mind. I was blessed in the Twin Falls area of seeing the ‘Weiner Mobile’ four times. The hot dog vehicle not the US Representative.

I ended up stopping in Pasco, WA, Twin Falls, ID, and finally Woods Cross, UT. I had an appointment with Harrison Imports for the re-torqueing. Kind of a strange place as I pulled in. They sell used high-end cars and scooters. A pretty odd mix. Everyone was very friendly and it seemed to be a pretty quick stop for me.

After about an hour or so I was outside walking around and the service manager approached me. They had the scooter apart but didn’t have the tool to do the service with! I was like do you normally disassemble vehicles and then check if you have the proper tools?

They have another store in Sandy and they called to confirm that they had the tool. The plan was to put the scooter back together and me to take it to Sandy for service. It was at this point that the light bulb went off and I offered to drive a car down for the tool and back. I would then ride back to the store and drop off the tool. I love the light bulb.

Transitioning from a scooter to a car in heavy traffic is not as easy as it seems. I nearly crashed a few times in the mid-day traffic. To compound the issue the motorcycle/scooter store is just off the freeway with a quirky entrance and exit. On the exit I nearly got t-boned not once but twice.

Back at Harrison Imports with the tool it was a matter of about 2 hours and I was on my way South. According to the service tech the bearings were loose and needed to be re-torqued.
Hooked
Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 290

Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:26 pm quote
Seattle to SLC
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Twin Falls, ID.

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Hooked
Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 290

Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:33 pm quote
Seattle to SLC
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Bring the bike along.

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Hooked
Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 290

Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:03 pm quote
Utah Sign Southbound
Hooked
Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 290

Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:44 pm quote
Utah Olympic Training Park
Hooked
Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 290

Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:49 pm quote
Moab
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It's important to hydrate in the dry heat.

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Yeah, THAT arch.

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Hooked
Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 290

Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:56 pm quote
Moab
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Understatement!

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Hooked
Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 290

Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:38 am quote
Moab to New Mexico
On the way out of Moab they were still working on the road next to Arches so a fine layer of gravel road was there to greet me. It only lasted a few miles and then the road out to 70 alternated with the brand new butter smooth asphalt to old rough asphalt..

Turning south on 7 Thompson Springs is the last town for 60 miles for fuel. You almost have to get to Grand Junction, CO for fuel.

South from the turn there was pretty much no vegetation for the most part. Just a few small trees and scrub in the fields. Very desolate.

On the approach to Grand Junction it appears as if you’re going to head up into the mountains but you turn away from them as you get closer to the town.

From Grand Junction I headed to Delta and I had storms on both sides of me. I had my fingers crossed that the road would not turn towards on e of them. As usual I was wrong.

I pulled over outside of Montrose and put on some rain gear. Wise move as it started to rain pretty hard a few minutes later. No cats, no dogs but pretty hard.

Montrose is at about 5800+ feet then you ride up to Ouray at 7700+ feet in short order.

Ouray was hopping as the downtown area had a bunch of open-air restaurants and people walking the streets everywhere. I almost pulled over for the day. Very inviting.

The road above Ouray climbs pretty quickly. And from Ouray there is no guardrail and no shoulder to speak of. It was pretty scary. The road was wet from the rain and on one of the turns I felt the back end slide as I crossed the centerline. Kind of scared me.

It really scared me when it happened again a mile later. The scooter never seemed as if it wanted to go down just the rear end sliding. It really rattled me as the edge of the road seemed so close with that drop off. If I had had a breakfast burrito earlier in the day it would have definitely exited fast on one of the slides.

The are quite a few kick backs, 15 mph turns, one 10 mph turn. I even saw cars puling over to let others past even though everyone was doing 25 mph at times. I even saw I was going 8 mph on the GPS on one turn.

On through Silverton. Not so much happening there.

At Red Mountain Pass it was 11,081 feet! I was freezing as my gloves were wet and all I could think of was I'd just sent my cold weather gear home. My waterproof fleece gloves were en-route to Florida! The scooter pulled strong all the way up and over..

The run from Red Mountain Pass to Durango is pretty cool but I was still spooked from the sliding to really enjoy it. The road dried out several miles down from the pass and finally around the ski area the sun began to peek through. I pulled in here for a quick look and saw quite a few 'For Sale' signs in balconies. Not sure about the economy in this part of the country.

Durango's historic district had a lot going for it, as there were a whole lot of people out. This is another place I would have liked to stop and spent the night but I kept moving. South of Durango I set the GPS for Clearwater, FL finally. I was 33.33 hours from home!

I ended up in Bloomfield, NM at a Super 8.
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