Discussion in 'Trips & Events' started by A.M, Mar 1, 2017.
Every time we see you, you are smiling!
Very nice thread to read. Very positive and upbeat. Glad to see that you had some 1/2 decent weather.
Sunday, June 11
This is the day I set foot and rubber in the Yukon for the first time!!
Woke in Dease Lake to a beautiful morning and had an amazing ride through northern B.C. So gorgeous!
Stopped at Boya Lake and even with am overcast sky it was gorgeous teal!
When nearing Yukon then weather turned a bit damp and I had rain on the way into Whitehorse, but didn't care one bit...I made it to Yukon!!
Then Alaska Highway!!!!
Before heading west to Whitehorse, I headed east to Watson Lake and the sign post forest. Stopped for gas break first. More mud pits, but was so cool to get in more practice! Moto is hiding in bottom right behind red pillars.
Sign post forest! Pretty cool sight. I had no sign of sticker to leave, but enjoyed seeing it. Saw this sign from where I camped in Oregon! And Duckie must have been here...Alaska!!
After piddling and taking a bunch of condoms for the heck of it (they do it in Yukon and there is Spring?...scandalous...), I headed west to make it to Whitehorse. The weather cleared a bit and was gorgeous!!
Dipped into B.C. again for a bit even!
More rain, but who cares, and the rain smelled like the sea!! <3
First thing for me was to try and find bear spray. My favorite store, Canduan Tire, was closed so I had to go to Wal-Mart. Struck out. Went to Real Canadian Superstore. Struck out. What the what? That's not REAL Canadian of them to not have bear spray. Oh well, Anchorage would have some so I just headed for camp.
Saw this boat on the way!! Had to stop...
It stopped raining by time I made camp to set up so that was amazing!
I was invited for dinner, went for tea, and lost track of time with the never getting dark still tricking me up. So I turned in for the night to get some rest. Not before one of the campers offering up extra bear spray after stores in Whitehorse didn't have any. Most people are just wonderful people! <3
Good thing I got some rest before evening shenanigans...and apparently good thing I grabbed so many condoms. SPOT so busy at night...not me...just SPOT. Typical SPOT nighttime whereabouts:
Was a wonderful day riding all the way to Whitehorse. Naysayers just keep on naysaying...just find someone else to naysay to...
And all condom joking aside, how not cool is it to think just cuz I'm an adventurous female that I'm doing rides like this and hooking up with a Joe at every campsite. I've had those comments too. So commenters just keep on commenting...but make sure you say it about all the male adventure riders too...
Anyhoo, some things about riding through northern B.C. and Yukon:
The expanse is out of this world!! As far as your eyes can see...trees and trees and trees. Maybe a car or moto every hour.
It's just you and the road and you realize how small and tiny you are, vulnerable to wild life and the elements and surprise road conditions (though roads were all fine as long as you don't manage it like a hooligan).
The experience, at least for me, is humbling and brought me a wondrous but fearing feeling, being thankful there is a road out there for me to ride and see what so few people have seen. To imagine what it would have been like to be an explorer summitting a mountain and seeing trees forever, knowing it would take months to get across...months in harsh conditions with wildlife and probably dealing with hunger and sickness. I ponder these things and wonder so much and realize I'm just reaping the benefits of explorers long ago. I'm not the real adventurer...they already came before me.
So I can't whine much about frost heaves, surprise gravel, freezing rain, and tricky wildlife...for I'm invading nature and it's only because people laid a road that I'm able to be out there.
So, when you are on a ride, try to think about those things. Maybe many of you already do. It certainly helps pass the time, gets your mind off of dealing with scary or uncomfortable elements and wildlife, and keeps the naysayers' naysays out of your mind. You will realize how small you are and how lucky you are to be a part of it all. <3
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Monday, June 12
Getting to Alaska was super cold and rainy, but excitement kept pushing me on...though wore me down as the day went on...starting with a HUGE muddy stretch of construction...I'm so awesome in mud on street tires now!!
Rainy day, but so beautiful!!
I was so happy that the sun came out just in time and for long enough to snap some fun Alaska sign photos!!
Notice the border is cleared as far as your eyes can see!!
I cannot begin to express what I was feeling...finally being in Alaska. I've dreamt of it since before I was in Kindergarten while crushing on John Denver and his dreams and songs. Being finally here was magical...
I took plenty of time to soak it up and have fun being in Canada and U.S. at the same time like I was in Hyder, AK.
Finally it was time to move on to the border crossing...which is after the Alaska sign...and 30 kilometers after Canada checkpoint. Not sure what that space is...neutral, shared, I don't know. All I know is a grizzly thought about hopping a bridge guardrail and running across the road in front of me on that space. He was huge! Glad he decided to dart back into the ditch below.
Anyhoo, I was let in Alaska with no issues. In fact, at every crossing I'm this trip the guards were all thrown by a female Kindergarten teacher from Kansas out on her own. They asked the required and where I'm from and what I do for work...then the amazement questions.
Anyhoo, at this stop, the guard stamped my passport so I could show my students and gave me a huge wall calendar with Alaska photos for my class. Guards giving me gifts?! Heck yess!! Unfortunately I couldn't pack it in my bags as it was too big, and it got too wet and ruined. I had to throw it out. But it waa the thought that counted!
After the sunny crossing into Alaska, weather turned horrible. Near freezing rains, definitely freezing wind chills, and rain leaked through gear. Thought this was a fun photo...storm and sunny clouds in visor:
But Alaska was oh so magical even in the rain and I loved these special tree that were everywhere!!
Got to camp in Glenallen, Alaska and almost dumped moto in a foot deep soft pea gravel I had to ride through to get to camp.
Whew, I'm glad slow and steady wins most of the races for me...
I then set up camp which was a pain to get in and out with moto.
And I wrote this Facebook not knowing if it would post or not:
I'm beat, hungry, freezing cold, a little damp, tired, prolly a bit hypothermic (lots of 40°F rain pretty much all day), my leg is giving me fits, I am frustrated my cell service isn't working and neither is WiFi calling anymore or text messaging. Not sure if this post will work...
I don't do this because it's easy...
It sux having to endure the elements, find camp, set up in rain, be physically beat, long for a hot meal and some company at the end of the day.
I do this for me...it's my self love...it's who I am and if I don't go out on the road, my passionate adventurous spirit is restless and tirelessly trying to break free.
In order to fulfill my passion of riding, wandering, and pondering on the road, I have to deal with the adversities...including even people thinking I have a screw loose being a woman out here alone.
How can I whine at the small things when I'm experiencing such big things?
It's the tough times and the easy times on the road that make all my senses feel alive at once and my heart full...
So as I turn in, see what my Roland Deschain is up to so I have company, and pull out my Alaska victory sucker, I see my motto right away:
Choose to Smile
Yes, it's that simple <3 <3
Soooo...I may smile a lot, well, I do. But sometimes it is definitely intentional. Practicing mindfulness, metacognotion, meditation, whatever you need is so important in life. Things will suck even for the most positive people, but I choose to choose my attitude.
You can't control what happens in life sometimes, but you can control yourself...
Let yourself feel the frustration or sadness or anger or whatever feeling it is and they are okay feelings, but then let it be quick with a plan of action. Especially on the road like this.
This isn't a horrible unfun trip of perseverance to do just for the sake of saying I did it...which I've been accused of. This is a trip of my dreams and much desired...but in which things will need to be dealt with or won't be ideal...like freezing rain...
When something means so much to you, it's not dreadful perseverance. It's love and passion. But sometimes you do have to be intentional. Anyhoo, enough of that gush...It's just who I am and who I am works for me.
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Tuesday, June 13
What to do in Alaska?!!
First things first...find a hot meal for breakfast with hot tea after being cold, wet, hungry, and lonely all night.
I decided to chase the weather for this day's adventure. With the help of friends who have helped suggest routes, camping spots, and kept me abreast with weather updates (THANK YOU), I have been able to make good choices.
Skipping the fjords where it was cold and rainy and heading straight to Denali was the answer!
So I finished breakfast in Glennallen, dropped postcards off for some special kiddos, and headed out for a day of riding and seeing things on the way to Denali.
Boy was it super cold and rainy, but just spectacular!! I was in the clouds!! <3 <3
One thing I was not expecting was the views of the Matanuska Glacier Valley along Alaska Highway 1 between Glennallen and Anchorage. If it wasn't for the ocean by the fjords, this would have been my most favorite stretch of highway in Alaska that I saw! Just beautiful!
The Matanuska Glacier
Soon after that valley, the weather started to clear just as expected!!
And the rest of the day was riding the way to Denali, seeing its beauty, seeing Mount McKinley clear from a distance and storm covered close up!!
Had a beautiful ride put of Denali including much piddling and stopping at this interesting abandoned place...
Chose a camp near Palmer which is just north of Anchorage. This is where I made camp for a couple of nights.
I didn't make it to Palmer camp until after dark and it was rainy. But check out how light it was at 11:30pm at a gas stop!!!!
Anyhoo, pulled into camp in rain and dark only because of the cloud cover, set up, and passed out.
Woke in the morning to a surprise of how I even got the moto into the spot through mud, rock, rain and dark. Those mudding practices are really helping me!
Hope you enjoyed looking at photos of the day! I have dozens more, some prolly even more pretty, but you'll have to go there yourself one day to see! Or find me on FB since I post way more tgere and more often...its so much faster and quick way to update a ton of people at once that mostly aren't on here.
Oh, wildlife....EVERYTHING except Samsquanch. Just i don't stop and pull over for photos. I'll slow down and have a looksee though. So I'm sorry no wildlife. Not even the magical and mystical Raven that has been hands down my favorite, even over the bald eagles and bears. The call of the Raven is beautiful yet haunting, they seem very intelligent, are fun to watch, and aren't easily scared. They are curious creatures and I already miss mesmerizing in them...
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Okeee, just updated a few days so look back a few posts.
The next posts will be for (I'm posting for my own reference mostly)
Wednesday, June 14, in Alaska
Thursday, June 15th, back to Yukon (pre-snow)
Friday, June 16th to Liard Hot Springs
Saturday, June 17th to St. John, B.C.
Sunday, June 18th to Edmonton
Monday, June 19th in Edmonton
Tuesday, June 20th to Calgary and into Banff
Wednesday, June 21st playing on Banff
Thursday, June 22nd dragging my feet to U.S. border to Whitefish, Montana
Friday, June 23rd blasting through Montana to Twin Falls, Idaho
Saturday, June 24th playing on Twin Falls
Sunday (today but yesterday technically now), June 25th, Twin Falls to Alpine, Wyoming
Monday (today), June 26th, definitely Yellowstone and Beartooth Pass!!!!
For now, sleepies...
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Fantastic trip AM.
Doesn't look like there is much traffic in that neck of the woods.
yep - was thinking just that same question...
Great photos! Post some more.
Up that way, when they get three vehicles one the same 1 mile stretch of roadway, traffic control is required. you wanna really screw up and Alaskan or Yukonian? Erect a traffic light.
You're now super good at riding through (lets see) 1. Mud, 2. Pea Gravel, 3. Pot holes, 4. More mud, 5. Shoulders of roads, 6. Rain, 7. Snow, and 8. The occasional paved road. Resume filler!!
Don't forget she can ride in oil with no problem too! lol
AM, I have more respect for what you do than you can imagine and your quote above really made me think about rides I push off because it won't be easy or I might hit bad weather, etc. Your words really hit home and I hope to enjoy some of the trips that you have already completed. Glad you made it back home safely. Get some rest, there's still time for another trip before school starts up again.
9. Oil. I would be remiss if I did not put that on the list. Thanks Gator, for keeping the list honest.
More power to you! Easy to be negative and down on everything. Takes character and strength to be a positive person and it lifts others around you. Keep it up you are an inspiration>
Beartooth, oh yea baby, just hope there isn't one of those blow in 1 hour snow storms, as this happens this time of the year , other wise pretty epic area, dinner break in Red lodge and while there look for a dollar bill stapled to the ceiling, and if you can , I mean you'd have to come back down Beartooth tag onto Chief Joseph Byway.
I love spending time living vicariously through AM's pictures. You go girl!
Great posts AM, love reading about your adventures and looking forward to the next instalments !
I think her next installment of data dump will be impressive
Yes it will, since shes gone through yellowstone and the greater area including the Beartooth , She now in the Denver area.
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