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Fasten your seatbelts it's going to be a fun ride

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dust 2 Dawson...with plenty of dust!

This year's adventure involved a gathering of adventure bike riders in Dawson City Yukon from the gold rush of 1898. 
I found out about this on 
Couple hundred riders come from all over for this once a year on the summer solstice.
But before I did the ride there, decided to visit south of Anchorage, the Kenai peninsula, which involved a stop at Copper Landing for gas and food. 

The menu item that caught my attention...the pig vomit omelet. 
If you can't read the menu below....A house favorite. Stuffed with bacon, sausage, ham and cheese. Smothered with country gravy. 
Disclaimer: the PVO causes heartburn, indigestion, clogging of the arteries as well as high blood pressure.

It was delicious.

This guy came out from the kitchen. 
His name is Bear.
Course, there is a type of guy here in Alaska.
And they all call themselves Bear.
He lives in a tent during the winter down the road.
Yes, a tent. 
50 below.

Across the water, in the haze, shot up volcano peaks.

Charlie in Homer invited me to stay. 
This is my bathroom, complete with Jacuzzi tub. 

Comfy bed. 

This is the Homer Spit. 
All the fisheries are there. 
Including the Time Bandit.
My friend Paul wanted me to get him a hoody.
All I could say to that is if I didn't have room for high heels I certainly didn't have room for no hoody.

Gorgeous day!
I think it's worth talking about the weather.
It's been amazing. Just a little storm cloud here and there.
Clear skies as far as the eye can see.
Just unbelievably good weather for me thus far.

Charlie took me for halibut fish n chips.
Homer is the halibut capital.

Everyone in Alaska makes coleslaw with miracle whip instead of mayonnaise. 

His kitty. Hunter. 

Moose crossing the road. 
Plenty of these buggers.
Cute as heck. 
I even got to kiss one, more later....

They are quite curious but also easily scared away.

Stopped by a roadhouse in Copper Landing.

The water is such an amazing color,
 an opaque turquoise.

What has surprised me about Alaska is all the water. 
Right on each side of the road are bodies of it.
It's marshland actually and the road is raised above it.

On the way to Seward is Exit Glacier.
Spooky signs showing where the glacier was at certain years. 

About a mile hike to get to it.
Through mosquito infested forest.

Water run off, freezing!

The Iditarod starts here in Seward 
(sign in the background).

Dogsled tombstone. 

My hostel room. 6 bunks total.
Complete with one girl that snored very loudly.
But I'll take it as dark, looming clouds closed in.

I met with a local marine biologist named Russ who also rides a Tiger like mine. He gave me the backstage tour of Sealife.
This is the lab.

These are the trackers he makes.

And this is the scary crossbow he uses to shoot them at whales. 

I won't even show you the harpoon gun. 

One of their guests.

Massive crab in the window.

The bird sanctuary.


We had an expensive dinner at the marina 
and then it was time for bed. 

Halibut in a curry sauce. It was weird.

The next morning woke up ridiculously early and rode back to Anchorage to meet up with the boys for the ride to Dawson City. 
I encountered a bit of rain but nothing too heavy.

Rode out with Mark and his neighbor Vic, a state trooper. 
Darned convenient. He decided to take me to this petting farm so I could see elk and caribou up close. 
In spite of the maddening signs alerting motorists to the possibility of Elk jumping out at you on the road, I didn't see one Elk.

These moose antlers were a lot heavier than the ones on my helmet.

We stopped for lunch at Sheep Mountain Lodge.
Since I've started talking to Mark, he's talked about this place and their legendary pie. 
It was excellent. 

And found this stuffed moose smelling flowers next door.

Finally made it to Tok and that motorcycle camping.
This time I got the teepee.

49 bikes that night....all on their way to Dawson.
There is gonna be dust for sure!

Met Julia from Germany and Annemika from Holland.
That girl is 6'4".

Stopped in a community called Chicken.
The puns on chickens were just hilarious!
I left a deposit here.

Like I said before, pie is a big deal in Alaska.

It wasn't that good here. 
But my new stow-a-away liked it.

Clever use of a large bush to show the chicken and it's tail feathers.

Didn't take many photos on the 100 miles of dirt to dawson.
It was dusty beyond compare.
Beautiful scenery and one last ferry across a fast moving river.

My hotel.

Walked around in the muck, well muck doesn't actually begin to describe it all that well. So let me elaborate.  The locals call it snot when it rains. Somehow the mud here is different and when it gets wet, there are only 2 options. Stop and camp there, where ever that is or try and ride in it and expect to take a fall.

The firehouse museum.

The whole town is dirt roads and wooden sidewalks.

Jack London's home.

This is how you keep bears away from your food back in the day.

Great museum in town too.
Even found an indoor Olympic sized pool to swim in.

There were competitions at midnight.

Riding blind.
Weaving through cones.
Tossing and catching water balloons.
All on bikes. 
I was a spectator giggling my head off.

This is the main street.

Oh and most important. I finally met Russ in person.
He's the gentleman from Texas that I share the ride home with.
He's lighthearted.
He's a lively conversationalist.
He's a good rider.
And he finds having a good hearty meal as important as I do.

I did take some photos on the way back this time.
Less people racing on the dirt road, most of them hungover.

Those rain clouds in the distance?
Yup, they rained on us.

This is called the Top of the World highway.
It was gorgeous.

Back from the Yukon to Alaska.

Oh, did I mention, another 100 miles of dirt the next day?
The Denali highway proved to be a bit more challenging.