TravellingStrom

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Day 243– 8th August 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on August 8, 2009

Saturday – Wasilla, Alaska

Well, what a late start to the day, but never mind, after last night who cares 🙂 We had some breakfast under the watchful eye of the hostel owners before heading off south. We had arranged to stay with some people that Art knew in Wasilla. There was also a bike shop here where Simon could do an oil change and I could check my steering headset bearing as I had a slight clunk.

The first stop down the road was the Montana Creek, here we checked out the Red Salmon, they were doing their spawning run up the river and there were fishing rods everywhere, no bears though at this stage. Because the river was not still, the photo does not show them all that well, so I put a black dot on each of them, I have missed heaps, the river was full 🙂 Of course they are not hungry, to catch them you have to annoy them with something until they snap at the hooks like these girls are doing.

After that we headed south again where there were a few nice views of the ranges and some lakes on the way.

And in the middle of the afternoon we arrived in Wasilla. Now, I had been given the address of Rogers place but no way would my TomTom accept any of the interpretations I gave it, so we stopped at a ‘landmark’ and waited for Roger to come pick us up after I had phoned him 🙂

When Roger turned up we were easy to recognise, the only bikers in the bar, so we had a soft drink(on the house) with Roger and then we were taken straight to the bike shop called The Abbey and is run by Friar Mike. He had answered a post of mine on ADV riders forum, so I recognised the name. Here was where I left Simon to do an oil change on the beamer, Roger had to go to work, so I followed him home and took note of the road signs as compared to what my GPS was telling me. In the end, the street he lived on was called a different name entirely, but was there, so I could save it as a favourite. [As a follow up to this, later on when we got on the net, the Googlemap name for the street is the same as my GPS, not the two different local variations given to me 🙂 ]

Anyway, I left Roger to head for work and went back to the bike shop, here I was intending to check my headset bearing, but in the end we got involved in a discussion about the amount of distance left in my back tyre, well no way would I get to Canada where it was more costly anyway, so I took the only choice I had, buy the only tyre in the neighbourhood and install it. Now, this tyre has done 5,500 miles, a pitiful few compared to the H rated tyre of the same name (Marathon), so I am bitterly disappointed as I expected at least 10,000 miles like the last one. I guess it is a combination of lower pressure in the dirt and crap roads 😦 Anway, tears over, back to the job and in no time I was retyred (pun intended) 🙂

Now, in the earlier photo of Simons oil change, there was a green machine there, well that belonged to KLR-Dave, he was a friend of Rogers and had offered to take us around for a local ride, so that was great 🙂 He was taking us on a 2 hour ride, but we started a bit late due to all the workshop time, and thanks for waiting until we did all our stuff. I have to thank Friar Mike for taking his Saturday off and helping us out the way he did, very kind of you 🙂 So, we headed off up some windy roads until we came to a river lay by, here Dave said it may get a bit cool and wet up top, so we added some layers and had a quick snack as we had missed lunch!!!

So we headed up the winding road above some clouds and getting real close to others.

We headed up to a mine entrance, but it was a state park so it cost money, Dave said we were going up this dirt road instead along the Hatchers Pass, it was a crap road, uphill with deep corrugations and loose crap on the surface, this went for a short while until we stopped at a popular lookout.

We checked with Dave who said we were on dirt for the next 30 miles or so, right, down with the tyre pressure, that will stop the rot, with hard tyres you bounce everywhere, and it is hard to control!! Dave did not bother to let his tyres down, I think he may do in the future though 🙂 Off we go down some pretty rough road, potholes by the dozen, sometimes you got some road between them! The scenery was excellent though and was very enjoyable, we played tag, getting in front and stopping to get photos of the other two, some turned out quite nice 🙂

I took an opportunity to get in front and was setting up for a photo of the other two a bit later, the track was fun, bumpy but fun. 🙂

Now, I was parked here, waiting and Simon as you saw had gone past but where is Dave, did we take the wrong turn? We waited for a short while then Simon headed back and so did I and came across the following scene, KLR down 😦

It seems Dave had hit a rock on the corner which kicked the front end out into the loose gravel, so, rather than take a dive into the trench by the side of the road(4ft deep and full of rocks and water) he stepped off, well when I say that I mean most people would have laid the bike down and slid on their bum to slow down, but no not Dave 😳 He went face first into a full on face plant, now how and why he did this escapes me, but well done for effort that man 🙄 But he survived and only a small bit of damage to the bike, windscreen broke, mirror snapped off. 🙂 His clutch had sheared off, so we had to get him rolling then nursed him for about 35km back to the highway, then another 65km home. Let the air out of your tyres Dave and remember, rubber side DOWN, not up 🙂 Just stirring m8, glad you are OK 🙂 By the way, he was wearing full ATGATT at the time and for those who do not know what that means, it is All The Gear All The Time If he had been like the normal bikers around with minimal gear, it would have been hospital time.

So, we got him to his place without mishap and then went back to Roger and Mary Ellen’s place where we set up camp in some campers they had there, Simon took the big white one at the back, I had the small teardrop one in front.

We were given a great burger and some beers and generally had a chat. Dave was still allowed out after his mishap and he and Amy Beth turned up for a short while as well. We had a great evening having some beers and chewing the fat, but as all good things do, they come to an end and both Roger and Mary Ellen had to work the next day, even though it was a Sunday, but it was still after midnight before we turned in.


Day 199 miles and 320 km
Trip – 29,707 miles and 47,809 km

Cheers
TravellingStrom

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6 Responses to “Day 243– 8th August 09”

  1. Donunder said

    Quote: ” Let the air out of your tyres Dave and remember, rubber side UP, not down Just stirring m8, glad you are OK ”
    Maybe you’ve been in the northern hemisphere for too long TS and you’re a bit disoriented about which way is up! Either way I think you should try to keep the rubber side down. (Sorry to be a smart arse.)
    Cheers, Don.

  2. carl said

    please tell me you asked the girls to join the fishing club rich. it would make a nice change from looking at your little bald head fishing next to me allday. keep up the good mate and by the way broncos won last weekend.

    • No, sorry I had other things in mind 🙂 And I know you miss this little bald head fishing next to you, just so you can catch a bigger fish than me 🙂

      And, good on the Broncos, on the come back trail, winning from 8th place maybe 🙂

      Cheers TS

      • Art Wallace said

        Looks like Roger & Mary Ellen took good care of you there in Wasilla. Hope you enjoyed your visit… They’re great hosts! Looking forward to more updates, too. Wacthed your Spot yesterday on your approach to the Canadian border. Looked like that went off without a hitch.

        Safe travels, m8!

        • Hi Art

          Yes, we had fun and they looked after us real good 🙂

          So did Joe and Sandy in Trapper Creek, so thanks for the contact info, real nice people 🙂

          I had no problems at the border, I was asked no embarrassing questions at all, I guess they figure all the hard work has been done on the other side 🙂

          Still behind in the updates, taking a few days here in Watson Lake to catch up and have a rest, from booze 🙂

          Cheers TS

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