Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The long way home, getting down to Tok


As I had ordered a tire from Alaska leather, part of the day was dedicated to have it replaced. Also after 6,000 hard miles the engine oil was due for a change. I rode the few hundred yards to their shop next to the Motel 6 where I had spent the night. I pulled the rear wheel off and got it back shortly wearing a brand new Metzeler Tourance, my tire of choice since I purchased this motorcycle. The old one may have lasted another thousand miles perhaps, but for sure not the distance I needed to get me back home. The heavy camping load I carried and road surface in Alaska and Northern Canada had a lot to do with reducing rear tire life by 30 percent according to a seat of the pants measurement. Front however is still on the bike as I am typing, although not for much longer I reckon.

Next, I located  the BMW dealer who were really busy. After buying the oil, they were very accommodating in lending me tools and drain pan, and letting me change it in the adjacent gravel lot.

With the sad realization that what goes up must come down,  and listening to Supertramp's song “Take the long way home” I started the return leg of my trip, regretfully leaving a sunny Anchorage late afternoon. It wasn't long before rain clouds built up  ahead, and I was once more immersed in my usual by now rain riding environment.

I met two Texas riders at this overlook; for the next two days we would keep meeting again and again.

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Glenn Highway views must be allot prettier without rain and fog

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The road twists and turns with nice elevation changes and there are even glaciers seen from the road

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As altitude climbed, rain got harder and temperature dropped to 40’ish. I sure was glad I had fixed my heated jacked connection, but soon realized forgot to plug it in!

After a good freezing ride, I catch up with Texas guys at next gas stop, where we all warmed up with a hot chocolate and pie.

Finally the clouds break off and I ride into a beautiful view

.. but rain will return again later, along with even colder temperatures

Cold!!! I ride in NY winter but here it seemed far worse at similar temps. Probably due to being tired.


A magic view

More of this deserted, beautiful road

Catching up again with the Texans

Even though we caught up with each other, when we reached Tok we each went our own ways.

I’ve ended the day setting camp in a nice forested area campground next to two BMW riders from Washington that appeared to be father and son, but we didn't talk other than saying hello in the morning as they were on a mission to get going early while I was enjoining my morning Turkish coffee.

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