Sunday, July 15, 2007

My way on the highway...

Ok, so I believe where I left off was I was in Whitehorse by myself contemplating whether I really wanted to do this or not. Sorry it's been so long, I've been busy having fun! Also, "THANKS!" to all those that sent me words of encouragement.

I rode towards Tok from Whitehorse by myself. It was a really refreshing ride. The Alaska Hwy gets a bit rough and has some construction along these parts, but I made good time and REALLY enjoyed the ride. I caught up to the group right before we entered into Alaska (they had at least a 3 hour lead on me!). I rode with them into Tok, Alaska. We stayed at the Thompson's Eagle Claw motorcycle campground. It's primitive, but I do highly recommend it. They have tents with cots for those not wanting to setup a tent.

Anyway, once I caught up with the group I remembered why I wasn't having a good time before. The time alone had brought back what I truly love about motorcycling. Freedom. Free to do what I want. Free to stop where I want. Free to see what I want. All that is lost in a group. The group was supposed to have meetings in the morning to go over the days plans. I was planning on telling the group I was officially dropping out of the group prior to leaving Tok. But, the group was never disciplined about these meetings and didn't have one that morning. So, with everyone else already loaded up on their bikes I walked around and told them all individually I wouldn't be riding with them any further.

I felt bad. A little like I was letting the group down. And very disappointed in myself. I'm not a quitter and it just doesn't sit well with me that I dropped out of the group. But, this is my vacation and I should enjoy it.

So, I have been enjoying it. I rode from Tok, AK to to Fairbanks. I was hoping to catch the dealer before they closed, I missed them. So, I took off and headed towards Anchorage. I made it to Anchorage in the early morning (rush hour traffic). Anchorage is a nice city. I camped at the Harley dealership in Anchorage. Yes, they actually have FREE motorcycling camping. Really nice washroom facilities and all. Free coffee in the morning too.

Since I had been riding all night to get to Anchorage (I took a couple naps along the way), I setup camp and slept. In the evening I went to the resturaunt across the street from the dealer and met the cool dude, Brit. We got talking and he told me all the scenic spots in Anchorage. I tried to remember a few of them and was planning on heading out after diner and finding them. As I was preparing to hop on the bike, Brit stopped over and told me to get in his truck, we would go explore together. This was freaking awesome, I had a guided tour of Anchorage.

The next day I headed down to Homer from Anchorage. For those not familiar, it is the most westerly point you can drive to in the USA from the lower 48 states. I went to the Salty Dawg Saloon. It's kinda a famous old time saloon. I NEVER drink when I ride, I made an exception and had a drink. It was pretty cool.

From Homer I headed back to Anchorage. Stayed another night there. Then headed back to Tok. It was a beautiful ride up Rt 1 from Anchorage. Maybe one of my favorites.

Now I'm in Whitehorse (doing laundry again). About ready to head out to the road again. Not sure of my exact path or itinerary and pretty happy about it.

It's been a lot of fun traveling by myself. One thing I noticed is I'm a lot more likely to talk to strangers when I'm by myself. When I'm with a group I stick within the group. Now that I'm by myself, I find myself talking to ALL SORTS of people. Some good, some not...but always interesting. And, I love hearing everyone else's stories.

I'm tried posting pictures, but no luck. I promise next time I'm near civilization...

Update on the other riders...Cris and Leroy made it to the Artic Circle. Erica's throttle cable broke so her, Bruce, and Ron turned around prior to making it to the Circle. Bruce, Erica, and Ron went down to Anchorage. Ron and Erica went down to Seward (towards Homer) as I understand. Bruce got his bike worked on. Cris and Leroy decided to skip Anchorage. Cris' drive belt broke near the Canadian customs check point. I spoke with him briefly yesterday. He was doing just fine. He was expecting a tow truck at any moment. He's planing on having one of the dealerships fix it on Monday morning and get back on his way. Leroy was off to meet some friends as I understand, once he made sure Cris was set.


brad said...

Sounds like the group thing was too much like work. Glad you figured out a way to make it work for you. I'm gonna be flying solo when I do my weeks vacation at the end of the month. Think I'm gonna stay a little more south though.

Write more when you get a chance!

Cindy Dietz said...

Dan, I am so happy to hear you are now having fun. I think if you are a good solo rider, then a long group ride is very frustrating as you know what you would do differently if you were not confirmed by the group. Ride your ride and update your blog more! We are out here waiting!

Judy said...

I'm so glad things are turning out OK. As your mom, I have to say this: Be careful! I know you'll make the ride work for you. More blog updates please.

Cindy Dietz said...

You tell him Mom. "More blog updates please." Dan you should always listen to your mother!

Judy, you did a fine job raising this young man. He is my hero.

Richard P. Smith said...

I have been follwing Your trip through the XL Page. The pics on Your Blog are BREATHTAKING! Your a lucy Man. Ride Safe Brother.

Richard P. Smith
Zephyrhills, Fl.

2001 XL883C "The Crow"

Richard P. Smith said...

OOPS... You know I ment LUCKY.