Sunday, June 30, 2013

DAT Thirty-nine: Crossing Idaho Rt 12

Today Da'mit and I crossed Idaho on Route 12. What a beautiful road for Urals. A long long slow climb along the Clearwater River until one reaches Lolo Pass, then a quick decent on the other side in Montana. 200 miles in all, with a curve every hundred yards. Tonight my arms and back are tired. We were so busy with the curves we didn't get any photos, except one.

Da'mit wants to know if all mules who sing off key go here? And if it applies to humans, Da'mit said I better keep my mouth closed.

Finally Montana, only 100 degrees out.

Spotted this barn where totem poles are carved. I visited a First Nations museum in Haines with an extensive display and explanation of totem symbology. Somehow I don't remember the three stooges with sun glasses inside a clam shell as being part of the First Nations heritage.

Tonight am in Darby, MT, where the town marshall is not into change, Keeping the water trough and hitching rail outside his office, just in case. Yes, this office is still active and in use.

A newer retail center, and ...

a used car/truck lot

A 1928 Ford Model AA, 1 1/5 ton stake truck, $19,000 obo...

Tomorrow we try to ride early to avoid the heat. Back into Idaho then into Wyoming, staying at higher elevations for coolness. We'll see how far we get.

Nite Da'mit, Nite all


Saturday, June 29, 2013

DAY Thirty-eight: Crossing Washington State

The alarms went off, I roll over and slept another hour. Had to have been tired. Today Da'mit and I rode Route 20 across the northern tier of Washington. Started to run into so much vehicular traffic we decided to angle our way southeast on side roads. Finally arrived in Pullman for the night. So we rode from the northwest corner to the southeast corner, missing the majority of the rain. So much for staying north and riding east.

Have two dates for lodging, Fort Collins and Angel Fire. Will try to hug the eastern slope of the rockies as I work my way south.

Here are a few of today's photos from Washington State.



Note: that is a regular sized door on the chapel.




Birds of a feather... Da'mit says if those two geese can out pull me, I'll eat feathers.

Being in Washington, had to get a photo of the fly-fishing rivers....

A river of fog runs through it......

Nite Da'mit, Nite all.


Friday, June 28, 2013

DAY Thirty-seven: Back in lower 48

Last night we were involved in a race. When we left Ketchikan, there were two cruise ships in port. Several hours later, we saw what looked to be a ghost ship approaching in the fog on our stern.

It was one of the cruise ships trying to get ahead of us before we both reached the Narrows, a channel where only one ship at a time can pass. Their Captain must have burnt some serious fuel because they quickly caught up and passed us.

Was fun and sober to watch the events unfold as the ship disappeared into then reappeared from the fog before passing us.

Awake at 4:30, can't sleep, too warm. We must be getting close to Bellingham. The fog is too thick to see anything. Our ferry/boat periodically blows the fog horn to let other vessels know we are there.

Finally we ease into the docking position and the announcement we are waiting for comes: "Passengers may go to your vehicles". It is a mad scramble with people lugging multiple packs, bundles and bags down the five flights of stairs they had climbed just four days earlier. With everything finally loaded back on Da'mit, we are ready to ride off. Oh, oh, the motorcycle in front of me has a flat tire.

In the parking lot, Tony, Keith and I say our goodbyes. It has been an enjoyable relaxing time with them, but each of us is ready to get back on the road, at our own pace, speed, destination and machine.

They head for the interstate, Da'mit and I take a leisurely Route 11 along the Washington coast. We are heading for Everett to meet Mr Cob/Dave of Ural fame. He has built several custom off-road Ural rigs as well as ridden around the USA on a Ural. Together we are going to visit the headquarters of IMZ-URAL, the north American importer of Urals.

Da'mit meets Mr Cob's Predator, an off-road rugged boulder-climbing beast.

Route 11 was a very pleasant surprise.... a twisting, winding, undulating narrow two lane road that hugs the Pacific coast, snaking its way south through the coastal rainforest. Canopies of giant green trees cover the roadway, allowing little sunlight to penetrate. One knows the Pacific is off to the right, glimpses through the trees would be beautiful if not for the heavy fog blocking the view.

Washington's Coastal Route 11

Arrive at the Buzz Inn Steakhouse early. Park out front. Da'mit sure gets peoples attention. Already today have had four different persons approach me to comment on or ask questions about Da'mit. Can't travel quietly and unnoticed with Da'mit. Good thing she loves the attention.

I spot the Predator first, as Dave wheels in with his friend "Dave" on Mr Cob's other Ural rig. The one he rode around the USA on. The three of us ride over to the IMZ-URAL headquarters. We get the grand tour, meet all the staff and workers. There are several rigs in R&D, trying on new developments and advancements for future releases. No photos allowed. Da'mit makes an impression even on these folks who see numerous modified Urals roll through here every month. Sometimes it is the simple and functional which attracts the most attention. Not the flashy, not the high tech, but the a simple uncomplicated solution to meet a need.

Madina, the VP of Marketing, poses with Da'mit.

Mr Cob/Dave congratulates CCjon/Jan for riding a Ural from the Southeast corner of the US to northwest corner; CCjon/Jan congratulates Mr Cob/Dave for riding a Ural all around the lower 48 states.

Very nice to put faces with names, people you have communicated with over the past six months but never met. Thank you Dave and Thank you Madina for a very pleasant and informative afternoon.

After later buying a replacement helmet, decided to retire early tonight and get an early start tomorrow. Texas is still a long way away. Checking the weather, discover the Midwest is having a heat wave. Decide to ride east for a couple of states while before turning south.

Nite Da'mit. Nite all. Nice to be back in the lower 48.


UPDATE June 28th

NOTE: The SPOT locator/location on my Blog is not correct. The last transmission was from Tok Alaska. The SPOT has disappeared. Called back to the campsite in Tok, Vanessa the owner says ity is not there. Can't believe it fell off after being secure for 30+ days on the rig, so assume that someone needed it more than I.

So there are no more SPOT updates to my map location on the blog, but rest assured I am fine and still traveling. Arrived this morning in Bellingham, WA, via ferry from Haines Alaska.

Now to work my way east and south, back to Texas. Looking at the temperature forcast this week, think more east and less south for the next couple of days.


Thanks fort following along on this little ride.


Jan and Da'mit

DAY Thirty-six: Open water

Day starts warmer, scattered clouds, bits of blue sky. The crew warns we will cross open water today, might get rough. Several announcements warn of Open Water.

The rest of the morning is spent visiting with fellow passengers, exploring the ship/ferry. Have met retiring school teachers, school teachers on vacation, writers, engineers, Avon salesperson, fishing guides, hunters, native craftmakers, families and grandparents. Some sleep in a cabin, others on deck.

Photos from around the ship/ferry:

Looking toward the bow of the ship from the Solarium area. Now overcast again.

Snack bar area.

Enclosed forward lounge area for viewing

Tent camping on board under the Dining area.

There is a lot of art work both painted on and hanging on the walls.



And some original art work too....

There are instructional and directional signs everywhere on the ship as it is easy to get lost.

My favorite is .....

So do you go UP to the Lower Deck?


We finally reach the open waters, I take a nap and awake after we re-enter protected waters. Missed the rocking and rolling. That's okay, get enough of that riding Da'mit.

Tomorrow we land in Bellingham, WA.

Nite all, sleep well.




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DAY Thirty-three: Hanging out in Haines, AK

Rode out early to see if the bears were fishing yet....... they weren't.

Where I was told the bears would be, is on the short river that empties Chikoot Lake into Lutak Inlet. Only a mile or so long.

Where the river starts at the lake.

The river coming thru the canyon, from deep shadows into early morning sunlight.

The weir was set up by the state for counting the salmon to determine migration patterns. The salmon have to go through two channels in the weir. Wanted to talk to this two gentlemen working the weir, but they never came ashore in the hour I hung around.


Yesterday the count was 23 around 1 pm. Not sure what number they need to determine the run has started.

Did not see any bears this morning. Too bad bears cannot feast on pine cones, they are plentiful this year.

The tide was low in the Haines harbor this morning.


This evening the tide was coming in....

Did not take photos, but found an old local cemetary from the turn of the century. Of the headstones that were legible, it stated the name, day they died and their age. Very few had birth dates on them. Seems they died young up here back then. Many passing on in their teens and twenties, the oldest was 52.

Visited the American Bald Eagle Foundation center.

Eagles rescued are brought here for rehabilitation. Those that cannot be returned to the wild are kept for educational and training for eagle interns from North America.

The final photo for the day.... a self-portrait!


NIte Da'mit, nite all.


DAY Thirty-four: Ferry to Sitka

In a drenching rain we boarded the ferry for Bellingham, Washington. There are 14 motorcycle on board. Keith from Oregon is riding a Yamaha sidecar rig. Tony from Rhode Island is riding a Harley. Together we staked out a sleeping quarter on the Solarium deck. Sleeping bags on lounge chairs.

Our view off the stern of the ship

We were awoke at 4:30 am for those getting off and boarding in Juneau.

The rest of the day was a combination of sun and fog. No rain though. Some of th sights of the day....

Fishing boat heading out for a days catch in Juneau

Distant snow peaks

Racing back to port ahead of the approaching fog

Sitting in Sitka, the fog gains on us

Working barge with rock rubble, men toil and struggle....

"There's a race of men that don't fit in,

A race that can't stay still;

So they break the hearts of kith and kin,

And they roam the world at will.

They range the field and they roam the flood,

And they climb the mountain's crest;

Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,

And they don't know how to rest."


from "The men who don't fit in" by Robert Service.


Nite Da'mit, sleep well my friends