Sunday, August 30, 2015

Barrow Misc.

I thing that I finally have things working and done, I can slow down a bit. On my way to the grocery store to pick up a small ActionPacker, I stopped at the now empty football field. This place was pretty packed yesterday afternoon when the high school football game was in full swing. The blue artificial turf really stands out against the drab tundra.

I needed the ActionPacker to bring back some of the tools, laptops, etc. from the office in Barrow for the winter.

This is a capture from the camera server installed on an instrument tram out at the BEO (Barrow Environmental Observatory). Seeing the video demonstrated to me that the network is working and I could plan on going home without something hanging over me. This site is about 1.1 mile from the nearest road and the boardwalk/trail would be pretty wet due to all of the recent rainfall. So the challenge for me was to do all of the reconfigurations without having to walk out to the shed housing the network equipment.

The last photo was a pano taken using the Nexus 4 Android phone that I had picked up for the summer tech to use while he was up here. After wiping the phone, I updated all of the software including Android itself. Not having to depend on a carrier for the update is one of the real benefits of the Nexus phones. I was curious how well some of the apps work. This pano was taken from the same bluff at the end of the airport runway that I had visited a couple of times on this trip.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Now that the winds have died down, we are seeing something that some dread hearing about so I won't say anymore about it for now. Let the picture tell the story.

The ocean is almost calm again though there is still a steady 10 kt wind from the SW. It feels nice compared to just a few days ago.

This afternoon, I went out to visit a group that was working out of a tent on the old airstrip. I had never actually driven out onto the airstrip before and was surprised to see that the surface was actually perforated metal plates which I'm guessing is to distribute the load of the military transport planes. This group was flying UAVs so the surface was only used for takeoff. For landing, they were snagging it out of the air. The group was carefully looking at the weather to see if it was adequate for flying today.

This may be a better view of the surface of the runway. The Weatherport in the background is where they have all of their electronics with multiple 2 KW Honda generators behind it. The large green building in the background is an old hanger from when this was originally built by the Navy in 1947. As you can see, the sun is actually out and it isn't snowing anymore. Oh, I wasn't supposed to say that word....

While waiting for my to-go order for dinner (East Coast Pizzaria) I went to the bluff that I took the storm video. The water is now calm with only a few waves. Not glass smooth but not 20' waves either.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Storm in Barrow

For the next several days I'll be in Barrow. I just arrived today with winds up to 45 kts coming in from the west. I hear that it is from some storm from the Pacific. Here is the view this afternoon of the normally calm ocean where it has washed out the road along the shore. Below is a short video that was taken after lunch from a bluff overlooking the ocean. It's a pretty short video since I am running out of memory on my phone.

I flew up for a meeting today and tomorrow and to resolve some network problem that has been plaguing researchers throughout the summer. I have been unable to access the device until I arrived as it required physical access to the network. The problem has been resolved and it is up and stable again. It was just a matter of changing the configuration of an wireless ethernet bridge that connected a field site with the main science facility. It actually feels pretty nice to get this problem resolved but there is still more cleanup to do.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Suitability (Part 1)

This picture is was taken last Saturday at College Coffeehouse and I thought it sort of fits this post. Plus, I thought that it was a cool experiment. It is an ADV version of the RnineT that BMW sales rep, Justin, set up for the local dealer. It has knobby tires, some Touratech engine protection with some Wunderlich parts thrown in. The exhaust wrap and tiny turn signals add to the look. George Rahn thought it looked silly. Justin said that the ride was a bit squirrelly in the rain with the brand new tires. Not really a suitable platform for off road riding but still very cool.

This post is about the suitability of the Ural for my last road trip. Kind of like the RnineT in the picture or Mike Saunders' 49cc Ruckus, the Ural may not be the most suitable rig for MY trips. I know that some have travelled all over the world with their Ural rigs and emphasize that if Urals are used within their design envelope, they will run forever.

Dom has pointed out in a comment on my last post,
"All things, made by Man, eventually fail."
When buying any sort of used vehicle there is always a risk on how it was treated by the previous owners. Raceway mentioned that some of the parts have evidence of "misuse" such as extended driving on pavement in 2WD and flying the sidecar with hard landings. I'm fairly confident that it wasn't me and pretty sure that it wasn't the previous owner but there is still before then. Only time will tell how well the replaced components last. Before, it was always difficult to shift into 2WD. Now it easily "clicks" in and out. Since I didn't have it from new, I didn't know what to expect. I remember that there has always been a lot of play on the sidecar splines but since I didn't have anything to compare it to, I assumed that it was normal.

Riding in very cold temperatures like I did last winter is probably outside of the design envelope as well but now that I no longer have a commute, that may not happen very often. At least one can hope.

Back to suitability. I had absolutely no issue with with the cruising speed of the rig. Especially after I discovered that the speedometer and odometer ran low (or slow) when compared to a GPS. The speedometer error is not consistent but in the past, cruising at 100 km/h on the speedometer was almost impossible to maintain and the engine sounded really strained. On the GPS, that equated to almost 70 mph. No wonder the engine really sounds strained. This fits with antidotal observation. Last May when I rode out to Nenana with the casual BMW group, George mentioned that I was going significantly above my claim of 55 mph. Maintaining 90-100 km/h on the GPS wasn't a problem and felt fast enough.

Engine reliability seems like it should be okay if one follows the general recommendations given by some other long distance Ural riders. Such as don't shift into 4th unless you are above 50 mph. The engine actually sounds really nice between 4000 and 5000 rpm. On the way down, that's also when it was burning oil. On the way back, no problem and 3rd gear at 4000 - 5200 rpm was common. Higher RPM allows the rod bearings to get more oil.

With the new rear brake shoes that happened to come with the final drive, braking is decent. There was the weird "clicking" that I though may have been the head bearings but it turned out to be a loose brake bolt. I'm going to check alignment to see what Raceway set it to as it handles pretty nice right now.

Tire wear is much more reasonable than I had expected. The K28 that I have on as the pusher was brand new when I installed it at Iskut, BC, and now has 9,981 km on it. It is pretty well worn but not completely worn out. The sidecar has the old pusher on it and now has just short of 19,000 km on it. It still has enough tread to get through the next winter. I don't think the tires get a lot of wear in the winter even as the pusher. I was happy to have the K37s installed on the front and pusher for the first quarter of the trip. The traction improvement was noticeable on the dirt, mud and gravel.

If you look at my posts early in the trip, I worried a lot about what was happening inside of the engine. The valves wouldn't stay adjusted, excessive oil consumption, higher than expected cylinder head temperatures, etc. Part of that concern was due to the lack of any service facilities in that part of the road system. I'd probably be concerned no matter what I was riding or driving. After passing the border into Canada, I knew that the next dealer was in the Vancouver area and the next dealer that would honor the extended warranty was somewhere around Bellingham, WA, or Spokane, WA. I had a hard enough time finding anyone in rural BC that knew how to weld the stainless steel exhaust system. Both repairs only lasted a short time before partial failure of the welds.

If it sounds like I'm not sure it's because I'm not. To be cont...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 Road Trip Summary

  • 66 Days on the road
  • 35 Riding days
  • 6 driving days
  • 20 Camping nights
  • 16 Hotel nights (includes wedding, reunion and OR coast trip)
  • 30 Nights with friends or relatives
  • 12,003 km traveled on the Ural (odometer error corrected to match GPS)
  • Ural was in the shop for 12 days
  • 240.5 gallons of gas (31.08 mpg)

What worked well or glad to have

  • Heidenau K28 tire as a pusher
  • MSR MicroRocket iso-butane stove
  • Half cover for the bike
  • Small tank bag
  • TwinMax carb balancer
  • Extra fuel line
  • Magnetic parts tray
  • Reuseable shopping bags
  • Roadcrafter Light was ideal riding gear
  • Hammer
  • Folding cot
  • Ice chest
  • Li-ion battery and USB chargers
  • Roll of disposable shop towels
  • Amsoil synthetic oil
  • Closed cell foam pad used when working on the bike
  • Small tarp used when working on the bike (don't lose things in the gravel)
  • GoPro camera and remote powered off of the bike
  • Air compressor and tire tools
  • Mirrored visor plus clear visor w/pinlock shield
  • 20oz SS thermos
  • Crocs and running shoes
  • fleece jacket

Stuff that rarely/never got used and probably won't bring again

  • Oil drain pan
  • Front 10 litre gas can
  • Oil Filters
  • MSR multi-fuel stove
  • 120W Inverter
  • 1 Gallon insulated water jug
  • DSLR telephoto and prime lenses
  • Tail bag (useful but a lockable top box would be better)

Stuff that rarely/never got used but will bring again

  • Grease gun
  • Inner tubes
  • Spare glasses
  • Extra bulbs
  • Final drive oil
  • Ural specific spares
  • Cooling vest
  • Gerbing liner, gloves and controller
  • Cooking spatula
  • Cooking knife
  • Bicycle cable lock
  • FIrst Aid kit
  • Li-Fe jumper battery

Stuff that I should've brought

  • Shop hand cleaner
  • Nitrile disposable gloves
  • SAE allen wrench set
  • Spare metric hardware
  • Pacsafe maybe to secure stuff to/in sidecar
  • Two more USB ports in the sidecar to charge electronics
  • Small hatchet would have been useful as both a hammer and making kindling

Other things

  • The new FirstGear riding boots worked great
  • The Big Agnes tent was a big improvement over the Sierra Designs tent
  • I think my 40 year old down sleeping bag needs replacement
  • The Spot 2 is starting to fall apart
  • The Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx is no longer waterproof due to deteriorating gaskets
  • The iPad was used much more often than the laptop
  • Pre-paying for the Candian cell phone minutes and being able to make and receive phone calls/SMS was really handy

Now the big question. Would I take the Ural again on such a trip?

Pros: It was easy to pack up when camping. Having a passenger was simple. It was completely reliable on the trip up from Oregon. Mounted spare tire. Alternator capacity to spare. Easy to haul spare tires. Plenty of room to pack things such as the small ice chest.

Cons: 60 mph max cruising speed. Fuel consumption. (I was able to cover the same distance in half the number of days on the Beemer using 50% less fuel) No longer under warranty. Only 200 km range. Uncomfortable seat. Needs more locking storage.

So probably not. Depends on the length of the trip.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Day 66 - Fairbanks

It was a chilly 32°F at 6:00am in Tok and even with the propane heater running full blast, it wasn't that much warmer inside the cabin. Around 8:30, I packed up and headed back to Fast Eddy's for breakfast and coffee before getting on the road. When I actually hit the road, it was still cold enough to justify the heated liner and gloves. By Delta it had warmed up to 55°F so I switched gloves and disconnected the controller. Tok to Delta is a very boring, straight road. Two hours to Delta Junction then two more hours to Fairbanks. I looked a bit for the new Ural shop location but nothing really jumped out at where I thought Mickey had said the shop was going to be. I guess there is about the same Ural signage as there was at the Anchorage shop (one Ural sticker on the window). This picture was taken at the Birch Lake turnout as I had forgotten to dig out my earplugs.

Just before 2 pm, I pulled into Fairbanks and I was in the driveway in short order. My 2015 Road Trip is over.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day 65 - Tok, AK

It rained for most of the night. Which made me glad that I didn't have to pack up a wet tent in the morning. After having a cup of coffee, I packed up and headed for Beaver Creek, which was 55 km away, hoping that I had enough gas. About a third of that distance was done behind a pilot car due to more road construction. I made it easily and didn't even have to switch back to reserve again. That was 275 km. I stopped at the Alaska border sign to take the obligatory photo. It must really be the end of the season as I was the only one there. The border guard had questions about the Ural as he had been looking at getting one and was surprised to hear that the dealer had moved to Delta.

The Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge visitor's center was about 10 miles after the border crossing and was a good place to stop and do things such as put away my passport, switch the units on the GPS back to "Statute" and put in my earplugs. As you can see from the flag, I still have a head wind to deal with though it is pretty moderate compared to the wind at Haines Junction. The pano below was taken from the deck of the visitor's center.


Upon reaching Tok Junction, I stopped at Fast Eddy's restaurant as they have a nice salad bar. The last time I had a decent salad was in Pasco, WA. After lunch and checking the weather, I went to Eagle's Claw Motorcycle Campground just south of Tok. The weather is supposed to be beautiful tomorrow and it's around 200 miles to Fairbanks. Tonight, the temperature is supposed to drop to about 36°F so I opted for the "bunkhouse" option for the same price as a campsite. The cabins have a propane heater and I must be getting old. Or my sleeping bag is getting old…

Today was about 240 km.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Day 64 - YT

Since it was still raining a bit this morning, I got a late start out of Whitehorse. It was in the high 40s (°F) and I rode into a strong headwind all the way to Haines Junction. After Haines Junction, the headwind picked up enough that 3rd gear and 40 mph was about it. By the time I reached Kluane Lake, the wind had died down and it warmed up to 52°F. At the visitors center, I dug out the heated liner and got it all plugged in.

This is a beautiful section of the highway. I zipped past Destruction Bay confident that I could fill up again at the next town. The next town plus the next five roadhouses were either closed for the winter or no longer in business. At 167 km, I needed to switch to reserve. The headwind was really causing the bike to get miserable gas mileage. I added the 3 gal of gas from the gas can and it should be enough to get to Beaver Creek. According to the Milepost, it's about 33 miles away.

I was warned while on the Cassiar that there was 50 km of horrible construction between Kluane Lake and Beaver Creek. There was a cyclist heading north that was even thinking of trying to find a ride between Whitehorse and Tok. I think that maybe those tourists don't know what horrible is. It was just the normal repave process. The gravel road in the construction area was a lot smoother than the normal potholed chip seal. The only issue I had was the rear wheel spinning in the mud where the road was watered down to keep down the dust.

I was hoping that the White River RV Park that I had stopped at on the last trip was still open. Especially after seeing all of the "Closed" signs on this stretch of the Alaska Hwy. And it is still open but under a new name. Now it is the Discovery Yukon Lodgings. One of their many offerings are wall tents with optional heat and the cost is only a bit more than a tent site. Since it's supposed to be raining all night, it seems like a good option. Very slow but functional wi-fi through their satellite Internet connection.

The owners have all of these old military vehicles scattered around the campground. Some are in really good condition such as this truck. I believe that it is drive able as there is a picture on their web site showing it full of tourists. This is another good campground.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Day 63 - Still in Whitehorse, YT

Since my meeting isn't starting for a few hours I wandered around town for a bit this morning. This brightly colored building is the Almost Home Guest House and B&B. I also took advantage of the temporary reprieve from rain to pull out my soaked tent and dry it out on the lawn. The 15 kt breeze helped dry things out pretty quickly. I have been benefitting from the wind the last couple of days. On the northern end of the Cassiar, I got 34 mpg due to the nice tailwind. It was a good time as this was a 240 km stretch without a gas station. I didn't even have to use my spare gas. Yesterday, it was more of a cross wind.

Breakfast at the B&B is cook/serve yourself but there was quite a variety of stuff to choose from.

I had heard that the worlds largest weathervane is in Whitehorse in front of the Transportation Museum. Apparantly, the DC-3 will slowly pivot until the nose is pointing into the wind. In this case, the wind is from the south and the nose is pointing in roughly the right direction.

After wandering through town and not really finding anything really interesting, I stopped at a Subway to pick up one of their Atlantic lobster specials (Canada only I'm told) for lunch during the upcoming meeting. There was a enough lobster to taste the sweetness and I'm not complaining. It's been awhile since I had a lobster roll. The Subway version is not on a buttered, toasted hot dog bun but for Whitehorse, not too shabby. I saw this on the menu while on the Yellowhead Hwy a few days back but it was after I had ordered a bowl of soup. The sandwich with a cup of hot tea and some fruit made for a tasty lunch. Better than most road food.

Speaking of "road food", there hasn't been a lot of mention of food on this trip. That's because it has been pretty boring. Coffee and sometimes instant oatmeal in the morning. Maybe a granola bar as a lunch time snack unless I have some other reason to stop such as Wi-Fi at Tim Hortons. And usually one of those pre-made, vacuum sealed packets of Indian food for dinner. There was quite a good selection between Trader Joe's and the natural food store in Corvallis. Sometimes served over rice packaged the same way. There have been exceptions. At Nugget City at the north end of the Cassiar, I had dinner at their diner since it was late in the day. Yesterday, while stopped at Johnson's Crossing for a cup of coffee, I noticed that they had poutine on the menu which I hadn't had in years. I couldn't resist. It wasn't made with cheese curds but was still tasty.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Day 62 - Whitehorse, YT

I got a relatively early start today as I am feeling a bit run down. I think too many long days in a row. It was a brisk 45°F this morning so the grip heaters were on 3 of 5 but the heated gear wasn't used (yet). If it started to rain again, then it all would've surfaced. The roads were pretty deserted until about 10am. Until then, maybe another vehicle would go by every ten minutes or so. This is the view of the steel grate bridge at Teslin again. I had to stop about 2 km back to add the contents of the gas can. This was the first time I ever let the tank run completely dry. Now I know that I can go around 37 km after switching to reserve. That information could be useful. Only 414km today.

Just a quick stop at the Whitehorse info sign. I found a really reasonable B&B (i.e. cheap) and booked it for two nights. A little recuperation time from the long days and I need to call into a meeting tomorrow noon through the afternoon. I need reasonable Internet and cell signal to participate in the meeting. I originally thought that I would be back in town by the meeting but that was based on my last trip with the Beemer. According to the forecast, it'll be raining here for the next couple of days.

Absolutely no issues with the Ural on this half of the trip. Some oil consumption (½ qt since Crater Lake). The waterproof switch I installed for the four-way flasher function is too hard to switch. I never used to think that there was much difference between different brands of gasoline but based on this trip, the Ural seems to prefer regular (87 octane), non-ethanol gas. Higher octane non-ethanol gas will drop CHT about 25°F but will drop gas mileage and performance as well. Adding ethanol significantly drops mileage and performance.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Day - 61, Watson Lake, YT

724 km today and made it to the north end of the Cassiar Hwy. this is easily the prettiest part of the trip to Alaska and I never really get tired of it. Since it's raining, I decided to get a sleeping room at Nugget City RV park. This is the same plane I camped at on the trip down. The picture was taken at the junction of the road to Stewart-Hyder and the Cassiar Hwy. No other pictures though I did take a couple of short video clips. 

Only 2 black bear sightings. But did spot a R1200GS sidecar rig heading south. They had a huge wave for me. At Dease Lake, the RV in front had an airhead fanatic. About 30 km north, he was pulled off the side of the road taking photos of the rig going by. Lots of smiles and waves. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Day 60 - Kitwanga, BC

Today was 602 km and I'm now at the southern end of the Cassiar Hwy. The day started out chilly at 48°F and warmed up to a high of about 72°F. Quite a difference from a couple of days ago. It kept threatening to warm up all morning so I just turned on the grip heaters instead of stopping and switching gloves. The summer gloves got put away and I dug out my regular riding gloves in Prince George. Once I was away from Prince George, the traffic really died down and by late afternoon, there was only occasional traffic. The only stops were for gas and a bowl of soup at Subway. No pictures. Plus, it was raining between Burns Lake and the Cassiar Hwy turnoff.

The campground may look familiar. It's the Cassiar RV Park in Kitwanga, BC. They have a really nice grass area for motorcycles and bicycles. And it's only $15 with decent wi-fi. I stayed here twice on my last motorcycle trip in 2012 and thought it was one of the nicest campsites on the trip. I didn't stop here on the way down since I passed by around noon.

I have a meeting that I need to call into on Tuesday afternoon so I'll need decent Internet and cell signal. To me, that means either south or north of the Cassiar Hwy not in the middle. So I'm putting in the long days to try and to at least Watson Lake by Monday evening or possibly even Whitehorse. Whitehorse would mean two more 600 km days so it sort of depends on the weather. RIght now, I'm sitting in the gazebo listening to the rain.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Day 59 - Quesnel, BC

Be careful of what you wish for. This morning started out at 62°F and by late morning, I had on my fleece jacket and the grip heaters on low. It looked like rain all day (but no rain fell) and no matter which way I was heading, there seemed to be a stiff head wind. The gas consumption reflected the driving conditions with full throttle being the norm.

It was yet another long day (320 miles). This was on Canada 1 to Cache Creek and Hwy 97 north to todays stop at Quesnel, BC so everyone else seemed to be in a huge hurry and the speed limit was 110 km/hr on many parts of the hwy. I was looking for a campground starting about an hour back but nothing really stood out. I don't remember passing a single Provincial campground today. Probably because I'm out of the mountains. Since there wasn't functional wi-fi at the last campground, I stopped at a Tim Hortons for lunch and used their wi-fi. It was really slow but at least it worked.

Not really finding a nice campground, I stopped at an old standby. The Airport motel and RV Park. Nothing really to write home about but it'll work. And the price is right ($15) and the wi-fi works. The only real negative is the lack of shade. I think that most of the other "campers" are really seasonal workers.


Day 58 - Salmon Arm, BC

After a couple cups of coffee at Toad Rock, I was on the road by a bit after 9. I took Hwy 31A, the winding road towards the Upper Arrow Lake ferry, the same one that I took on the way down at the end of June. After reaching the other shore, I pulled over and let all of the other traffic go by as most seemed to be in a big hurry. The queue for the ferry was long enough that I had to wait for the next loading. Another Harley rider from a couple of vehicles back came by to chat. He had some good suggestions for other routes but had no good way north to Prince George without going on Canada Hwy 1.

The ride across the lake was only about 15 minutes but there was a nice breeze and the huge 5th wheel RV provided some welcome shade. The first part of todays ride was wonderfully relaxing with mostly 2-lane shaded winding roads following rivers and lakes. The Kootaney Lake region claims to be the best motorcycle roads in Canada. I'm not going to complain. Temperatures at the beginning of the day were around 70°F and stayed around there until I dropped elevation and it rose to a high of 95°F.

This is just the view from the front of the ferry. BC freshwater ferries are all free and none of them have prioritized boarding for motorcycles anymore. I'm told that they used to, it was abused and is now no more. After getting off the ferry, I spotted a Ural Gear-Up waiting to get on. After turning west at Revelstoke, I was now on Hwy 1 with all of the "features" of an Interstate without the benefit of multiple lanes. Lot of vehicles, all in a tremendous hurry to get somewhere.

I am camped at the Hidden Valley Campground & RV Park just east of Salmon Arm, B.C. Not a bad campground, nice showers but kind of noisy. For a lot of other campers, this place seems to be their destination as it looks like they have moved in.

I'm not sure when this will be posted as even though their wi-fi works, their Internet doesn't. Kind of frustrating as that's one of the few reasons for staying at a private campground.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Day 57 - Kootenay Lake, BC

I left the tri-cities at 8:15am and it was already 85°F. It was a real grind getting through eastern Washington. I was not looking for this part of the trip and just sort of pushed my way through. This was a real nice visitor center in Ione, WA. I'm told it's pronounced "I won". 

After passing into BC, the temperature dropped from 106°F down to 90°F and now it's around 85°F. Quite an improvement. I'm camped at Toad Rock Motorcycle Campground again. Not many motorcycles as the place seems to have been taken over by old VW busses. Some sort of rally. 

This is the hangout spot where one can find the wi-fi. This time it seems to be working. Over 300 miles yesterday and today. Too far on a Ural but I really didn't want to camp in those temperatures. I'm just going to sort of back track my way through BC though I don't plan to go to Dawson City. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Day 56 - Pasco, WA

This morning I met Dan, aka Irondad, at Coffee Culture on 9th St in Corvallis. We spent some time catching up on things as he doesn't update his blog much anymore. It was also one of the first ones that I started reading especially since there was a lot of riding training tips and information in his posts. After too short of a time, I was on the road again heading north. I set the GPS to "avoid highways" and started north on 99W then 99E. So many little towns, construction zones, stop signs that I gave up and jumped onto I-205 then I-84 around and out of Portland. I was originally thinking of going through Bend and Redmond until I realized how far south I would be going. The interstates weren't that bad as I wasn't battling rush hour crowds nor the weekend warriors.

I initially set the GPS for the Greek Bakery on highway 97 again. This is the same place that I had stopped at a month ago but this time I ordered lunch. This is moussaka, a small Greek salad, some warm pita type bread and dolma (stuffed grape leaves). A very fantastic lunch and well worth looking for.

After lunch, the temperature kept climbing until it was 101°F in the tri-cities area. TIme to look for a hotel with air conditioning. The app didn't help as there wasn't much to choose from in the Pasco/Richland area. No issues with the Ural and it didn't seem to mind cruising at over 60 mph as measured on the GPS nor the triple digit temperatures. Tomorrow I will be crossing into BC and heading for the Toad Rock Motorcycle Campground again. So there may not be a post tomorrow.

Update - Short video added from today's ride.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Day 55 - Getting Ready

Today was a long day. Medford to Portland then back to Corvallis. This was in the borrowed Honda minivan. (Thank you Carole & Peter!). We left around 10am and I was back at my mom's home by 7:30pm. Now it's time to get everything sorted and packed up. I didn't take a single photo today while on the road (I think that this is a first for me).

After dinner, I started to go through my mental checklist to get ready to go.

  • The Spot tracker has fresh lithium batteries
  • The GPS has a fresh set of alkaline batteries
  • All chargeable batteries are charged (computer, iPad, jumper battery, Li-ion electronics battery, camera, GoPro what am I missing?)
  • I ran a USB power cable to the monopod for the GoPro. I'll use that on the return trip. I prefer it's higher location
  • Engine, transmission and final drive oil checked
  • Tire pressures checked
  • Laundry done
  • Made sure that I knew where my paperwork was located
  • Refreshed food supplies
  • Refilled med containers
  • Water bottles in the freezer for the ice chest

I think I'm finally ready to head out tomorrow morning.

And thank you Brad & Brandy for all your help and company (not to mention the fantastic trail mix!)


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Day 54 - Heading to PDX

We headed north from Chico at about 11:30am. Thank you to my sister and brother in-law for their generosity. I really enjoy the time I've been able to spend with them and their family. We stopped at Yaks on the 5 in Dunsmuir, CA, for lunch. Their sign boasted that they were in the top 100 restaurants in the country and Yaks is an acronym for "Yet Another Koffee Shop". Kind of artsy and lots of potential with their homemade ingredients and quirky menu. This is a photo of one of the light fixtures in the dining room.

I had one of their burgers and the garlic parm fries. I'm afraid that I can only give it an OK. Not bad but not that fantastic. The fries had way to much raw garlic but the homemade asiago aolie was very good. Service was very slow but that may have been partially due to the huge group that had arrived just ahead of us.

After lunch, we headed on to Medford again. Thank you Dan and Judy for letting us stay yet again, and Mike and Suzanne for letting us crash your barbeque. Tomorrow, we head for PDX then back to Corvallis to drop off my sisters minivan and load up the Ural. I start heading north to Alaska on Tuesday.