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Archive for August 12th, 2009

Day 247– 12th August 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on August 12, 2009

Wednesday – Tok, Alaska

A long hard day today, but very enjoyable and some great roads and scenery

We woke up pretty early as we had a long day planned, first up was a great omelette breakfast made by Sandy and the best cup of tea I have had while overseas, I am not just saying that either, mind you Sandy is English so is expected to make good tea anyway 🙂 One of the things that happen during winter here is that Joe takes off for a month on a snow machine with some friends and heads north a long way and lives out roughing it while hunting and trapping etc. That is a tough piece of fun and a tough character. Sandy on the other hand stays back home in the warmth and paints or sculpts, it sounds like a well worked out plan 🙂 So we said farewell around 9am, thanks for the shelter and food, I enjoyed my visit and your company 🙂 Anytime you want to visit Oz, come on down, it gets down to 2 degrees Celcius in my home town during winter, that is usually on a Wednesday, so pick your timing 🙂

Back along the dirt roads, through the sloppy road works and fuel up before heading north, our next planned stop was the Veterans Memorial to see if the mountain was playing the game today. We thought we may be in with a chance, but from so far away it was difficult to get a good shot, even though I did see the top in sunshine.

At the visitors centre I saw the perfect book for me 🙂

Over the next little while we saw some great snow covered mountains on our right before we got to Cantwell, where we fuelled up before finding the dirt section and letting the tyres down, pay attention down in the dirt Dave KLR-Dave 😆

The road was not the best, which is a bit of an understatement, it was very bumpy with lots of loose gravel on top, but I must be getting used to it because I only clenched up a few times 🙂 The worst part was the spotty rain, it got down to 5C and the rain was freezing with the visor up, but with it down, visibility was not so good, stuck between a rock and a hard place, I guess.

The scenery more than made up for the weather conditions though 🙂

If you are wondering why I only have one headlight on in the above photo, it is because I have switched one off to allow me to have all the heated gear on and not drain the battery 🙂 At some point along here I had seen Simons bike parked in a funny spot but no rider, so I kept going until I found a safer spot and pulled over to wait. This is when I noticed the FI error on my dash, FI is for Fuel Injection and I had had one of these before entering Canada about a month ago. So, being prepared for this I ripped the seat off and checked the dealer mode switch, it showed a C28 error which cleared when I recycled the engine, I had no idea what this was, but I at least had a fault code now and could look it up later. Simon had turned up and I waved him on, no need to wait, but he waited until I was ready to go anyway, just in case 🙂 We ended up stopping at the Maclaren River Lodge for a soup lunch about 15 minutes later, it was real tasty.

They had internet here and I found out the error code was for a Secondary Throttle Valve Actuator, I am just as in the dark as before, but now I have a name for it eh 😆 We kept on going after this short break through some more bleak and some nice scenery, the sun would have made this ride magic, as it was it was fun.

We eventually found pavement again, this was actually worse than the dirt to tell the truth, bumps galore, because we sped up a bit the bumps were worse, we did in fact make better time on the dirt overall 🙂

We left the tyres as they were because we were not sure when the pavement would end, we eventually got to Paxson Junction, here we pumped the tyres up again. My C28 error had occurred about 5 more times during the last part of the trip, but funnily enough, not while riding, only when I slowed to stop did it eventuate, restarting the engine cleared it, but if I let it idle too long it would reappear.

The bike was running fine, so we continued on, like we had any choice, we were in the middle of nowhere and had to head south to Glenallen before heading north to Tok, our supposed destination, still over 3 hours away, it had taken us 3 ½ hours to do the dirt section, that includes lunch and the distance was about 130 miles, slow going but it was fun and another road checked off! Mind you, this road which is called the Denali Highway, is slightly over named I think, I reckon it is more of a farm track, so Denali Road is more accurate 🙂 There were some nice snow capped mountains again to look at, always great scenery just when you least expect it. 🙂

This is the reason we are leaving the area, see the fresh powder coating of snow on the top, that is because summer is over and winter is nearly here, not a place to be on a bike, time to head south, but to do that we needed to head north and east.

There were a few moose around, they look very young and did not really care about us taking photos, which is lucky because Simon parked in front of me and I had nowhere to go if they turned nasty 😮

Well, the next few hours were just distance chewing, because there was nothing much to look at and it was getting late, but we eventually arrived in Tok and after talking to the visitor centre lady we grabbed a room at a local motel. We went for some dinner and then had a couple of beers, but did not have a late night out, basically did some washing, computer work and charge up some devices. Tomorrow, Simon was heading to Chicken and Dawson City, I was heading east, I hoped to get to Watson Lake where I could head south, it looked doable, but I would see what happens. I needed to make a phone call about my FI errors as there was no internet here to do some research!

One thing I did do while the timing was good was to phone the TomTom repairers in Oz. My bracket is getting worse and worse and is hardly ever charging the unit anymore. They were very unhelpful in that they said as it was a ‘repair’ I do not get more than 3 months warranty, I claimed that because I sent in a broken one for repair and they said it was unfixable, I needed to buy a new one, well to me a new one means 12 months warranty, not 3 months. he could not find his supervisor when I asked, but I told him I had been in contact with TomTom themselves a while back, who could not help me without receipt numbers of the job. Well, I got the numbers, and he sent me an email, I would not know this until I got internet, but I told him the fauly had originally occured back in June, so it should be covered under warranty anyway. If nothing happens with this over the next few days I wil be on the phone to TomTom putting in a complaint, then maybe Consumer Affairs, I am sick of being on the road with this dodgy stuff, but I cannot afford to buy a Garmin, if they lent me one I would try it out though 🙂

Day 432 miles and 695 km
Trip – 30,630 miles and 49,294 km


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