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Thread: In Alaska, Not Every Road Is Paved

  1. #121
    Seasoned Member UKTURFROCKS's Avatar
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    My wife and I did an alaska trip this year and your pictures really bring back alot of those memories. WE took the same pictures in the same exact spots as you did. You pictures really show what a great state alaska really is. You reallu did have a great trip




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  3. #122
    Seasoned Member AKLDRIDER's Avatar
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    Default From McCarthy to Kennecott

    Years ago, the only way in and out of McCarthy until the river froze over in the winter was via a manually operated cable car, the operator of which was advised to both wear gloves, and keep his or her fingers away from the pulley wheels.


    The towers anchoring the cable were not of the same height, so it required a harder pull to get back to the other side than when leaving the high side. The Kennicott River “dumps” annually when a portion of a glacier breaks up around early July, and would raise the river level sufficiently that anyone seated on the platform was assured of having wet pants once across. Since the crossing under those conditions could be somewhat terrifying, with chunks of ice hurtling over the crests of the standing waves and banging against the cable car, the river may not have been the only cause of the wet underwear.
    The photo above is one I took in 1983. Later that year an entirely new cable, anchors, and cable car were erected by the state. The new one was higher, to keep the car well above the river surface, and both towers were of the same height. It was many years later that the present pedestrian bridge was finally built.
    After crossing the pedestrian bridge, a winding, sometimes muddy, road, passing such reminders of its original usage as these rails protruding from the underbrush...


    ...delivers you to an intersection where you can choose to turn right into the old town proper, or continue down the former railroad right-of-way to the Kennecott Mine complex. The intersection is just past this building, the former McCarthy railroad depot, which now houses the railroad museum.


    Business names reflect the town's primary focus as a tourist destination.


    While additions utilizing more modern construction methods are often seen, the basic buildings in most cases date back around 100 years to when the town first came into existence.






    This little building was reputed to have been a bordello.

    (And a hearty Thank You to riding partner Amy for getting better photos than mine.)

    When the mine was closed down, and the last train left for Cordova, it carried mill workers, mine officials and their families, along with their personal goods, and little else. Vehicles and equipment were deemed to have insufficient value to haul back out so were left wherever they were last used. Here in the relatively dry climate, things last quite a long time, and much of the residue has been put to use... in one way or another.


    Some has been salvaged for its historic value.




    Going out the road toward the mines, a side road takes one to the McCarthy airport, with one of my favorite views of the surrounding Wrangell Mts.


    Here, too, old vehicles recall days when men were men, and trucks were made of steel... which rusts.


    In contrast, this fairly new-looking (this one was actually manufactured in 1962, so it's not that much newer than the Ford pictured above, but far better maintained) Pilatus Porter sits ready to take climbers into the mountains, or less ambitious folks on a flightseeing trip over the mountains.


    For someone coming to Alaska for their first, and possibly only, trip to the Great Land, such flightseeing trips are highly recommended. Driving or riding on highways, even if you were to cover every one, would only let you see less than 1% of this vast state. From the air you get to see a whole lot more, as the next photo illustrates. This was taken from a high ridge to the east of McCarthy, after a helicopter ride to lift me and my tools to a repeater site.


    Further up the road lays the former Kennecott mill/mine complex. It was, to all intents and purposes, a small town in and of itself, with bunkhouses for the single men, family quarters, a hospital, company store, etc. Most of the buildings there are undergoing renovation as the NPS attempts to recreate the glory of Kennecott in its heyday...




    ...although some still have a way to go.
    Double Darksider #0005
    Photos of Alaska and other pretty places: http://alaskajack.smugmug.com/
    '03 GL1800 - Winter: FR: (Looking for a new one), RR: Michelin X-Ice 195/55-16 35 psi
    Summer: FR: ME880 130/70R-18 @ 44 psi, RR: Michelin Hydroedge 205/55-16 30 psi
    When my pegs are scratchin, I still got traction!
    '02 KLR650 7x Prudhoe Bay veteran (including BB1500)
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  4. #123
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    great thread !!!

    to anyone who might be debating making a trip to Alaska all i can say is go ! we road up there in 2007 and it was by far the best motorcycle trip i was ever on ! hopefully we will be able to make the trip again someday !!!
    ehcycledude@yahoo.com
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    Default time

    It's time to kick this thread back to the top. Jack, you must of taken more pictures by now.

    Richard
    DS#809


  6. #125
    Seasoned Member timjoebob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Clem View Post
    It's time to kick this thread back to the top. Jack, you must of taken more pictures by now.

    Richard
    I was hoping the same!
    Tim
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  7. #126
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    AKLDRIDER - What HDR software do you use?

  8. #127
    Seasoned Member WingBunny's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for sharing these. Even though we'd love to take the trip to Alaska, we are postponing it for another couple of years. Who knows if we'll ever make it? These pics take us there anyway. Thanks again.
    ~Stephanie



  9. #128
    Seasoned Member ziadelsol's Avatar
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    Great Pictures and storylines with them.

    Next time you head up to the Arctic Circle or Deadhorse let me know beforehand.. I work at Pump Station 6 and if I am on shift, I can have some good Fresh ground Kaladi Brothers coffee ready for you when you get up there.
    I grew up in Talkeetna and lived all over the state before moving out to NM a couple of years ago.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. #129
    Seasoned Member Road Runner's Avatar
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    I don't mean to hijack this thread but here goes anyway - I love Alaska - was married there in 1959 while in the Air Force. In 2006 we Rode up through British Columbia...



    Rode there and stopped at the North Pole.



    Then headed for Talkeetna... did the K2 Aviation Flightseeing tour to McKinley with a landing on the Ruth Glacier.
    (Highly recommended)



    Was able to see McKinley...




    In the K-2 plane ready to fly








    When we landed on the Ruth Glacier - friends who endured...



    Not every road was paved... for sure!



    Dust and construction along the way...



    Would I do it again - you betcha!



    Quote Originally Posted by ziadelsol View Post
    Great Pictures and storylines with them.

    Next time you head up to the Arctic Circle or Deadhorse let me know beforehand.. I work at Pump Station 6 and if I am on shift, I can have some good Fresh ground Kaladi Brothers coffee ready for you when you get up there.
    I grew up in Talkeetna and lived all over the state before moving out to NM a couple of years ago.

    Thanks for sharing.

    "Road Runner" now riding Red....
    Retired and Riding # 1 - SW OH, SE IN and N KY

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  11. #130
    Seasoned Member AKLDRIDER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Clem View Post
    It's time to kick this thread back to the top. Jack, you must of taken more pictures by now.

    Richard
    Well... yeah, but all my recent photos have mounds of snow or piles of sawdust in them. Been slaving away on the remodeling job in order to have it done so I can go riding - once I dig the Wing out of the snowbank it's been parked in all winter.

    If I can find a few minutes to pull up some more photos from recent trips around here I'll get them posted before I head back north. Otherwise, I'll see if I can't get the Wing out onto the highway and start taking some with me riding between the snowbanks. Weather (between snowstorms) has been absolutely, fantastically beautiful lately. Days are getting longer with the vernal equinox just a few days away (after which we'll have more daylight than you will - ha-ha! - and the weather is typical of early spring, with it getting above freezing when the sun is near its zenith, then dropping to around 25 below at night.
    Double Darksider #0005
    Photos of Alaska and other pretty places: http://alaskajack.smugmug.com/
    '03 GL1800 - Winter: FR: (Looking for a new one), RR: Michelin X-Ice 195/55-16 35 psi
    Summer: FR: ME880 130/70R-18 @ 44 psi, RR: Michelin Hydroedge 205/55-16 30 psi
    When my pegs are scratchin, I still got traction!
    '02 KLR650 7x Prudhoe Bay veteran (including BB1500)
    '94 Concours "Alcan Annie"

  12. #131
    Seasoned Member AKLDRIDER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twohondas View Post
    AKLDRIDER - What HDR software do you use?
    Photomatix. It's really good, and versatile.
    Double Darksider #0005
    Photos of Alaska and other pretty places: http://alaskajack.smugmug.com/
    '03 GL1800 - Winter: FR: (Looking for a new one), RR: Michelin X-Ice 195/55-16 35 psi
    Summer: FR: ME880 130/70R-18 @ 44 psi, RR: Michelin Hydroedge 205/55-16 30 psi
    When my pegs are scratchin, I still got traction!
    '02 KLR650 7x Prudhoe Bay veteran (including BB1500)
    '94 Concours "Alcan Annie"

  13. #132
    Seasoned Member AKLDRIDER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WingBunny View Post
    Thanks so much for sharing these. Even though we'd love to take the trip to Alaska, we are postponing it for another couple of years. Who knows if we'll ever make it? These pics take us there anyway. Thanks again.
    Glad to be able to do it. Not everyone can make the journey up this way, so sharing with people who appreciate the natural beauty, what I have the pleasure of being surrounded by every day, is a labor of love.
    Double Darksider #0005
    Photos of Alaska and other pretty places: http://alaskajack.smugmug.com/
    '03 GL1800 - Winter: FR: (Looking for a new one), RR: Michelin X-Ice 195/55-16 35 psi
    Summer: FR: ME880 130/70R-18 @ 44 psi, RR: Michelin Hydroedge 205/55-16 30 psi
    When my pegs are scratchin, I still got traction!
    '02 KLR650 7x Prudhoe Bay veteran (including BB1500)
    '94 Concours "Alcan Annie"

  14. #133
    Seasoned Member AKLDRIDER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziadelsol View Post
    Great Pictures and storylines with them.

    Next time you head up to the Arctic Circle or Deadhorse let me know beforehand.. I work at Pump Station 6 and if I am on shift, I can have some good Fresh ground Kaladi Brothers coffee ready for you when you get up there.
    I grew up in Talkeetna and lived all over the state before moving out to NM a couple of years ago.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Will do. Security will let me come in for a visit? Used to know quite a few of the Security guys at Pump 11 but never asked them about it.

    Looks like I'll be running up to Deadhorse about the middle of June, and maybe Memorial Day weekend too. There's a group riding from Key West to Prudhoe then, and a couple of the riders have asked me to go along as "tour guide". Would be fun to take the Wing and show them what a 900# "dual-sport" looks like. But the KLR is a lot easier to clean after the Haul Road.
    Double Darksider #0005
    Photos of Alaska and other pretty places: http://alaskajack.smugmug.com/
    '03 GL1800 - Winter: FR: (Looking for a new one), RR: Michelin X-Ice 195/55-16 35 psi
    Summer: FR: ME880 130/70R-18 @ 44 psi, RR: Michelin Hydroedge 205/55-16 30 psi
    When my pegs are scratchin, I still got traction!
    '02 KLR650 7x Prudhoe Bay veteran (including BB1500)
    '94 Concours "Alcan Annie"

  15. #134
    Seasoned Member AKLDRIDER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Runner View Post
    I don't mean to hijack this thread but here goes anyway - I love Alaska - was married there in 1959 while in the Air Force. In 2006 we Rode up through British Columbia...

    Would I do it again - you betcha!
    You haven't hijacked it, you've enhanced it!

    People come here to see the photos, and you've added some great ones. Don't be bashful, post some more. (Besides, it buys me some more time 'til I get a few more of my own dug out. )
    Double Darksider #0005
    Photos of Alaska and other pretty places: http://alaskajack.smugmug.com/
    '03 GL1800 - Winter: FR: (Looking for a new one), RR: Michelin X-Ice 195/55-16 35 psi
    Summer: FR: ME880 130/70R-18 @ 44 psi, RR: Michelin Hydroedge 205/55-16 30 psi
    When my pegs are scratchin, I still got traction!
    '02 KLR650 7x Prudhoe Bay veteran (including BB1500)
    '94 Concours "Alcan Annie"

  16. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKLDRIDER View Post
    Snow covering the ground, cloth covering the Wing... for now. That means there's a little time for posting some photos of places the Wing has taken me. For those who don't like photos that don't have a motorcycle in the picture - try to find your BACK button , because some of mine might have just scenery that I saw while riding. For the rest of you, I'll do my best to present Alaska as viewed from the seat of a GL1800.

    This fall a fellow rider managed to borrow a Suzuki DR650 and we rode north on the Haul Road together to Wiseman, enjoying fall colors along the way. Stopped at the Arctic Circle, of course -


    And a little farther north, at the top of Gobbler's Knob -


    Heading south the next morning, the lighting was pretty good for this shot across the valley of the South Fork of the Koyukuk River -


    Back at the start of the Haul Road, rather than ride back to Fairbanks, we turned west on the Elliott Hwy and rode to Manley Hot Springs. There were miles of this cobblestone-like rock that the Wing didn't really appreciate -


    But the scenery made it all worthwhile -


    A few weeks later a lady friend managed to obtain a permit to travel into Denali National Park, so we took the Wing two-up and rode all the way to the very end of the park road. Here's one shot as we were coming back out -


    More from that trip later.

    More recently, a little ride that was cut short by a heavy snowstorm west of Fairbanks. This was a gas stop at Tok earlier that morning. Temperature had warmed up to around 25° (from a low of 2° earlier), and there were 65 miles of icy pavement before I got on dry asphalt again.


    Our summer riding season is too short up this way, so it has to be extended into winter. Makes for some good photo ops -


    IF you don't mind a little cool weather -


    Will try to add more photos to this thread as time allows.
    Thanks so much for sharing your pics!
    I wanna ride there so bad......and one summer my wife & I will! Like your front tire also!

  17. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKLDRIDER View Post
    Photomatix. It's really good, and versatile.
    Thanks ALKRIDER! I will check it out! But HDR is small potatoes in the "big picture". Your composition, vantage point, framing and of course nature's finest/blessings, really are what is important. Your captures of the moment have fired an old dormant passion in me. Thanks buddy!

    Great rides and embracing the splendor and wonder of the adventure are what lures me out on the road. Keep it up!

  18. #137
    Seasoned Member bamadave's Avatar
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    Road Runner, wife and I love that first pic you posted.
    Akldrider, thanks again for the pics on the thread, I can not stay away from it. Good Lord willing, Alaska is on my bucket list someday.
    bamadave
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  19. #138
    Seasoned Member Mountainman's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Great pics man.... That's nice country up there.. I've been there and love it.
    I'm not sure I'd take my Wing though.....!!

    Mountainman....Muskoka Ontario, Canada

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  20. #139
    Seasoned Member scattercrkangus's Avatar
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    Well I am taking the I plunge. Going to Alaska from Arkansas. Some folks think I am crazy It may be a long trip. Good or bad but when I am an old man I don't want to look back at my life and wish I had!

    GL1800 Titanium Airbag (It cant hurt)

  21. #140
    Seasoned Member Road Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattercrkangus View Post
    Well I am taking the I plunge. Going to Alaska from Arkansas. Some folks think I am crazy It may be a long trip. Good or bad but when I am an old man I don't want to look back at my life and wish I had!
    Go for it --- My trip was from SW Ohio in mid-July - up to Minnesota - then across US 12 into Washington and then to Sumas where we crossed over into Canada. From Canada up through Kamloops and the Icefields Parkway - on to Haines, North Pole, Fairbanks, Talkeetna, Palmer, Anchorage, Seward, Whittier, Homer, Anchorage area Spenard (I lived there in 1959) then back out through Glenallen, Tok, Whitehorse, Skagway, Watson Lake and so many more. Was back home by Labor Day.

    Total trip miles was 12,153 miles and, being retired, I would do it again if i had lots of ca$h cause I missed so many things I wanted to do.

    "Road Runner" now riding Red....
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  22. #141
    Seasoned Member AKLDRIDER's Avatar
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    Smile I'm Back In The Saddle Again...

    Weather warming up nicely; snow melting rapidly; Wing dug out of the snowbank where it spent the winter hibernating.

    My riding friend Amy called from Anchorage and asked if I'd like to meet in Palmer for lunch (41 miles for her, 140 for me ). Hadn't had the Wing out on the road yet, so it took a while to get it loaded with bare necessities - toilet paper (my packing philosophy: first goes in the toilet paper, everything else is optional), cameras, windshield cleaning rags, leather gauntlets, insulated jacket, spare faceshield, and so on. Fueled up and pulled out with the thermometer reading 52°F - not bad at all. Cooled off with elevation increase, down to 39° over Eureka Summit. Still over three feet of snow alongside the highway.


    Had a few sprinkles starting around Mile 78 but the temp was 43° so no danger of snow. We ended up meeting at Pinnacle Mt, which is at Mile 70.


    More sprinkles while we ate, then I followed Amy into Palmer to refuel before turning around and heading home. Cloudy weather through the mountains looked threatening, but little precipitation. Sun was dropping over the Talkeetnas while I was about halfway back to Glennallen.


    Temperature never got below 32° all the way home, but that was cool enough since I hadn't brought any heated gear with me. The heated grips were on most of the way though.

    All-in-all, a great way to get the riding season off to a good start. Y'all have fun out there in the smaller, warmer states.
    Double Darksider #0005
    Photos of Alaska and other pretty places: http://alaskajack.smugmug.com/
    '03 GL1800 - Winter: FR: (Looking for a new one), RR: Michelin X-Ice 195/55-16 35 psi
    Summer: FR: ME880 130/70R-18 @ 44 psi, RR: Michelin Hydroedge 205/55-16 30 psi
    When my pegs are scratchin, I still got traction!
    '02 KLR650 7x Prudhoe Bay veteran (including BB1500)
    '94 Concours "Alcan Annie"

  23. #142
    Seasoned Member bamadave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattercrkangus View Post
    Well I am taking the I plunge. Going to Alaska from Arkansas. Some folks think I am crazy It may be a long trip. Good or bad but when I am an old man I don't want to look back at my life and wish I had!



    I hear you man!
    On my bucket list, just wish this was the year I was going!
    bamadave
    2006 Goldwing 1800




    "Pass the taters"





    "Tat my baby's daddy...I thinks"!

  24. #143
    Seasoned Member Herbike's Avatar
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    We are sending our Sheriff, DA, Game Warden and a friend of theirs your way this summer. I hope they realize what fun they are in for.
    I don't know what all are riding but the Sheriff is on a KLR and the Game Warden is on a V-Strom. OH boy!!!!!!

  25. #144
    Seasoned Member Road Runner's Avatar
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    Default Glenallen at the Caribou Hotel

    You say Glenallen?


    "Road Runner" now riding Red....
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  26. #145
    Seasoned Member Road Runner's Avatar
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    Default Bikes at Tok and a mountain or 2






    and a mountain or 2 from Talkeetna and K2 Aviation






    "Road Runner" now riding Red....
    Retired and Riding # 1 - SW OH, SE IN and N KY

    Florida Prowler #5
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  27. #146
    Seasoned Member Wingleader09's Avatar
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    Jack, I don't know how I missed this thread the first time around, but I'm glad to have found it now. All I can say is "WOW!, Fantastic!", Absolutely stunning pictures and great descriptions/narrative. Thank you so much for sharing all this and for taking the time and effort to post!
    -- Jim --

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    ..................(I had it before the shirt.)



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    Default agreed

    Jack is probably out riding. It was supposed to be 47* in Anchorage today.

    Richard
    DS#809


  29. #148
    Seasoned Member Texas Black Bird's Avatar
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    Now this don't look like your typical ice cream social run.


    "The 'Wing is my wife's bike - I'm just the driver."

    "It's a motorcycle, not a lifestyle."

    Some Pics. ... Trip'n with Tom

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  30. #149
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    Keep'em comming, so I can keep dreaming! Great Pics........
    #289 on the DARKSIDE If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O' Donnell fat!

  31. #150
    Seasoned Member m45mcdan's Avatar
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    AMAZING!!!


    2004 GL1800
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    154,000 miles of smiles...all mine or ours!
    MSF RiderCoach ID #134890

    Ride, Eat, Sleep, Repeat...if only it was that easy.

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