Sunday, June 15, 2008

Anchorage

First I have to wish a Happy 30th Birthday to my Little Kid Elizabeth. I Love You.

Today was the coldest day of riding yet, but it was also the first dry riding day. It started sunny and the temperature rose to about 60 and then I approached Denali, also known as Mt McKinley, and it dropped to the low 30's. The wind was whipping, it was overcast, and the mountain was covered with snow. The road was in great condition with very little traffic. There also were not any gas stations for 150 miles and again I was beginning to worry. It seems when the temperature is below 50 my gas mileage goes downhill. I met a BMW rider at a gas stop and we shared a table for breakfast. During our conversation he also claimed to notice a reduction in mileage at the lower temperatures. It is now cloudy, a slight breeze, and 60 in Anchorage, but I still feel cold.

Last night I had a conversation with Bonnie and Paul from Kansas. They have been on the road for a month and have another month before they have to be home. They were each riding a BMW 650 Duel Purpose Bike. Bonnie has been riding since the early 70's and that makes her almost like a pioneer I would think. This is their second trip into Alaska and they both claim it is even better this time. Another unusual thing about them is they are members of the Iron Butt Association. Not the 1000 miles in 24 hour type of ride, but the coast to coast, timed, with bonus locations if you think you can stay on schedule. It sounded almost like a Smokey and the Bandit type of a race with motorcycles. There is a guy they called to check on who is right now trying to get from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Key West, Florida in four days. He left once and had a flat in Fairbanks, got it fixed, and went back to start over. Paul said he is a retired Air Force guy and he would bet that he makes it. The Iron Butt folks are tracking him via a GPS system and folks call in to be updated on the progress.

In my travels tomorrow I will be looking for somewhere to get a new rear tire. That brand new Metzler I put on just before I left is almost used up in 5,000 miles and I don't believe it will get me home. The roads are very abrasive and everyone I have talked to has the same problem and are replacing a rear tire. Just another peril of the Alaskan Highway. Also, after discussions with riders who have done this ride before I am changing my route home to take a shorter route to Seattle that is supposed to have great views.

Now it's off to dinner before it decides it wants to rain.

4 comments :

  1. Happy B-Day to Elizabeth! I feel OLD!
    Happy Father's Day to you! You are meeting a LOT of interesting folks!
    I'm jealous!

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  2. Wow, what a beautiful picture!

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  3. Happy Father's day to you! I'm glad you are doing what makes you happy on your special day!

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  4. Happy Father's Day to the best Dad I know! I'm glad you're having fun! Stay safe!

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