Rain, rain, go away... Dust 2 Dawson 2016 and OTHER adventures...! - Page 3 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #41 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Day 10 20 June [Cantwell to Sterling in the Kenai Peninsula]

Woke up to the "usual" (light rain...) at 0530 AK time. Cool TOO, as I made breakfast, then broke camp, finally underway at 0800. Rode onto the hwy, down about half a mile, then thought it MIGHT be BETTER to gas-up here. I did a U-turn, filled up (then didn't see another station for a LONG time), so THAT was a VG decision...! Because of the rain my camera spent more time in my tank-bag than I prefer, but here are some views of... SOMETHING....

Last time thru here (in '04) I took pics of the "Igloo Hotel" which I think was new at the time. NOW it looks like a parking lot for RVs, AND that somebody drove a truck thru the front entrance of....

NEVER saw Denali, which means I'm batting 1000 on 'not seeing Denali', tho' I flew by here in a 12 plane formation of C-130s in '72 to drop troops near "Big Bear" I think it was called, and had a FABULOUS view, W/OUT a camera...!

Rode thru Anchorage in the rain, than stopped along "Turnagain Arm" for some pics. That shower in the NEXT pic, pretty much where I was headed....

The next is the E end of the Arm, the Portage Glacier off to the right.

Rain, rain - go AWAY!!!

PLEASE.


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post #42 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Day 10 continued...

Once past the Portage Glacier I stopped near the sign welcoming everyone to the Kenai - for pics - just as another couple in a car stopped, so we made a deal - I photo THEM, they photo ME. As you can see - FULL rain gear, and the controller for my heated jacket liner on my left thigh, the connection wire laid on the seat....

THANK GOD for heated gear...!

From there the road heads S, then heads W. I put the camera away, turned the heat UP, kept going W, HOPING for a break....

The rain continued till the road was descending in a NW direction, then it flattened out, turning W - the rain STOPPED, and the sun came out. YIPPEE! [IF you look closely at the panorama I took - the rain and hill is at the left, while the GREAT weather is right, so this 180 degree pic shows it ALL...!] Seriously - it was POURING about a half mile back on the left.... Soon (20 miles) I pulled into the driveway of friends who live a block away in Florence, AZ, dismounted then knocked at the door.

"Come on in!", and "Would you like a beer?" came at me in rapid succession, so I croaked out a "Yes, please!"

Over the beer I was invited to stay THREE nights, go fishing the next day, then leave the 23rd....

"What a reception!" I said as I took a comfortable chair facing Darrell, and took a BIG swallow.

BTW - he built his log house.

Nice to have a dinner that I did NOT heat over my campstove, AND that contained SEVERAL food groups, cooked by Aileen! They EVEN gave me a VERY comfortable bed to sleep in.

Today added 350.1 miles (563.4 kms) in 8 hrs 20 mins, of which ALL of it seemed like in the rain.
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post #43 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 12:14 PM
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Great trip report - I got home on Monday Night from a similar trip.

Nowhere near the distance each day - just 300 miles / 500 kms per day on average.

I will post my shots (many similar) when I sort the 2,000+ photos

Although I have had Miss Jaffa (Burnt Orange 2007 Versys) for a while, I still have a lot to learn.


"The happiest people donít have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything."
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post #44 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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I won't add anything today - I'm "kinda" under the weather.

Years ago I found that it's NOT a good idea to chew gum in a full-face helmet, because the helmet's 'cheek-pads' push my cheek into where I end up biting it.

NORMALLY that hurts for a week or two, but, I found a piece of gum coming back from AK, and thought "What the hell!", put it into my mouth and began chewing.

SURE enough - I bit the inside of my left cheek, it swelled (making biting it AGAIN, almost certain...), but it hadn't gone away, so yesterday I woke up w/ my face swollen, went to my doctor and got some anti-biotics, and HOPEFULLY - in a week or so it'll be fixed...!

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post #45 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Day 11 - 21 June '16 ["combat fishing" on the Kenai River!]

My friends had suggested we go fishing, so last evening we went and bought me a one-day license ($20US - same $ for everyone!), and this morning, after breakfast we headed E to the area where I had ridden OUT of the rain YESTERDAY, but today was sunny, clear skies - YIPPEE!!!

We drove to where we would 'put-in', unhooked the boat, then they drove down-river to where we would leave the river, left a car there, then drove back.

A little background: when I first rode thru the Kenai Peninsula in '04 I had seen HUGE numbers of fishermen, almost shoulder-to-shoulder, in waders, fishing the Kenai and Russian Rivers. When I inquired about it, I was informed that that was known as "combat fishing", and that when someone got a salmon 'on', everyone else would pull in their lines. OK - makes sense, I guess.... Here's what the river looked like where we started and here it is, about two minutes later - fishermen side-by-side as far as you can see...!

We floated down-river to where the crowd dwindled a bit, put in to shore, tied up - then began fishing. Aileen (a VERY keen fisherman) was 'into' a sockeye salmon on her third or fourth cast, then I had a strike, which turned out to be a pretty good-sized 30" rainbow trout that had to be released, as they are "catch-and-release" only (at this time or location...?) and then Darrell had a sockeye on, too! Here are BOTH salmon, to be BBQ'ed that evening...!

After some more casts, non-productive, we headed downstream to try another spot. Here the two salmon were filleted for the evening's meal.

We fished more, and I got our last strike of the day. Aileen was downriver from me, so the fish jumped right in front of her before it "threw" the hook, and she commented that it looked bigger than either of the two we'd landed. Oh well - ANOTHER "fish story"....

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post #46 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Day 11 - continued...

After filleting the fish we continued fishing, floating downriver, setting in to shore where we fished some more.

BEAUTIFUL country!

Soon it was time to float down, pull the boat out, and head home.

There are MANY guides on the river, and we had a bit of a 'set-to' w/ one. FIRST - NO motors are allowed, so you need to be VERY river-savvy to ensure you don't end up where you don't want to be because of the current and the fact that you're rowing w/ oars.

We were getting pretty close to the LAST place to get out of the river for miles (where we had left the extra vehicle), when a guide cut in front of us forcing us PAST the concrete area where we HAD to get off the river, but we managed to pull-in about 20 yards below it.

We would have to walk the boat UP the river around that tree, and both Darrell and I figured on getting wet.

Luckily, we made it w/out getting soaked, loaded up, got the two vehicles and headed home. After unhooking the boat, our first order of business - enjoy a cold beer! Then the BBQ was started, the salmon cooked, and we gathered around the fire-pit to enjoy a GRAND Kenai supper...!

We chatted around the fire till the solstice, then to bed around midnight.

GREAT way to spend the longest day of the year!!!

-
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post #47 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-17-2016, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Day 12 22 June [Sterling to Homer Spit to Homer]

After that GREAT evening of the longest day of the year, I slept in, not "hitting-the-road" till 1030, my plan to ride W than S to Homer Spit, take LOTS of pics, then get back to Sterling for another night in a bed, before heading back the way I'd come, NOW into the 'bottom half' of my adventure.

After gassing at Soldotna, the scenery is great, so I'll let the pics do the talking: all taken looking W across the sound, then I stopped at the Norman Lowell Gallery, then to the 'overlook' just N of Homer where I met two 'adventure' riders from White Rock, BC (near Vancouver) who'd ALSO been at D2D. We chatted, compared notes, then I mounted-up and rode down the Homer Spit to the Salty Dog Saloon, featured in one of Jack London's stories I'm told.

Then it was N on the Spit, past these 'tourist-traps'....

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post #48 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-17-2016, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Day 12 continued...

I waved to the two ADV riders, they headed S on the Spit as I headed N, then back onto the same roads I'd just come off of. There's been LOTS of road-work (of course - the ONLY time you can work on roads in the far north is in the summer!), w/ LOTS of these signs which, OF COURSE, we motorcyclists DO!

There was no real reason to repeat the same pics, so I didn't, but I rolled into a Safeway in Soldotna to buy supplies for the next few days on the road, and found a bottle of bourbon in a plastic bottle, so I included THAT.

THEN when I came out of the store, I saw THIS... [B]RATHER unusual, I have to say]/B]....

Then back to my friends for a nice evening, of dinner, martini(s) and a card game I haven't played before. (Hopefully they'll teach me and my wife how it's played, in the fall in AZ!)

Added about 185 miles (298 kms) to my total today.... I've had TWO days of GREAT, DRY weather in Sterling - wonder IF my luck will hold once I ride UP that hill that spelled the demarcation between wet and dry a couple of days back...?



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post #49 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Day 13 23 June [Sterling to Anchorage, then Palmer]

I woke at my usual time, had coffee w/ Darrell, then he headed to Anchorage for an appointment, while I went back to the LUXURY of a bed till 0830. Had coffees and breakfast, chatted w/ Aileen, then made a decision - my rear Shinko did not appear to have enough life left to get me home (after ONLY about 5K kms - 3K miles!), so I phoned a shop in Anchorage, making an appointment to have them replace my rear Shinko w/ a TKC80, the next morning, but figuring on dropping by today so I'd know where to go.... (For some reason, I had Palmer being just minutes away from Anchorage......)

Loaded up, then left at noon, sun shining as I turned E, at least until I got to THAT hill...! Pulled over to add rain-gear to the mix, then back on the hwy, the sky was starting to "sweat", my first stop Seward (ORIGINAL start of the Iditarod dog race).

As I headed N out of town, the sky took a DECIDEDLY nasty look - the rain commencing in earnest. At least my dirty-looking gear kept me dry...!

First time down this road I'd camped in Moose Pass, walking to this pub for a beer (or three...)!

The rain let-up a bit as I went N, so I decided to take a side-trip to Hope, a place I'd missed on my other visits.

It's about a 15 mile one-way ride, so I began thinking that MAYBE I could get my tire installed today, so turned back at the 'ten-mile mark'.

I followed my GPS to where the shop USED to be, asked for directions, then spent half an hour looking till I finally found it at 1700. When I noticed they were open till 1800, I inquired as to whether they could do my tire then, because I was over-nighting at Palmer. Service manager asked his tire guy - they rolled the GREEN HORNET TOO into the shop and onto the lift. YES - !
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post #50 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Day 13 continues... meeting AlaskaJeff and his wife!

Once the tire was off the bike I took a pic of it using a quarter as a "depth-gauge".

THAT is w/ ONLY 5K kms on it (NOT heavily loaded, either - at home I weighed my canoe-bag at 28 pounds...). Compare that w/ THIS pic of the 'take-off' Shinko waiting at home, w/ 4,556 kms on it, using a similar depth-gauge....

Here the bike is, ready to roll just after 1800....



I put Jeff's address into the GPS, noting that it's time estimate was for just OVER an hour - thank God that they fixed me up today...!

The ride N was initially wet, followed by periods of VERY wet, followed by intermittent EXTREMELY wet periods, but that all turned down to MERELY damp as I neared Jeff's home.

At my knock he came out, welcomed me, motioning me to roll the V into his shop beside HIS, then offered me supper, drinks, a warm bed as well as 'indoor plumbing'.

HEAVEN is...!

We chatted after dinner till time to go to bed (2330 BC time for me), and for an unknown reason, I did NOT get pics of the two of them then...!

Today had added another 287.6 miles (462.8 kms) in 8 hours, raining OF COURSE...!

-
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post #51 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-18-2016, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Once the tire was off the bike I took a pic of it using a quarter as a "depth-gauge".

THAT is w/ ONLY 5K kms on it (NOT heavily loaded, either - at home I weighed my canoe-bag at 28 pounds...).
I had to replace my Avon TrailRider rear in Calgary after 8,000 kms / 5,000 miles (but I am a big guy with lots of gear - all up the bags and I were 400 lbs / 180 kg). I had squared off badly.

The AK roads were eating tires this year.
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post #52 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Day 14 24 June [Palmer to Destruction Bay (on Kluane Lk)]

Jeff goes to work QUITE early, so I was able to sleep till 0730, then got up, had a coffee and a bun, MARVELING at the SUNNY skies, then began loading the bike. Mrs "AlaskaJeff" came down, chatting w/ me as I finished loading, then 'gearing-up', so I said "So long!" and headed E at 0800!

Unfortunately, the skies began going cloudy. PLEASE - not ANOTHER rainy day...! BUT starting to look like it....

After I turned NE at Glennallen onto the Tok Cut Off to Tok, things began clearing up.
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post #53 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 12:02 PM
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Eddie, you should look for a rain gear endorsement deal!!

Forty years away from 2 wheel fun. Sure is great to be back smelling the roses!!!
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post #54 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Day 14 continues...

Initially I had planned to overnight at Tok, but as it was just 1052hrs when I took these two pics, so that I changed my day's destination from Tok to Burwash Landing, YT, on Kluane Lake.

I had always thought of the Canadian side of the Canada/ US border on the Alcan Hwy as being the worst, but the Tok Cut Off a few miles SW of Tok was so-o-o full of short-coupled dips, that now I'll give the "Bad Road Crown" to THAT road. Stopped in Tok, to pick up some grub, and saw my 'pilot' friend Matt (w/ whom I'd shared the Dawson campsite) gassing-up. Chatted a bit, got the food, then I filled up, now headed E towards home - on the Alaska Hwy...!

I crossed into Canada at 1620hrs, tho' Canada Customs was STILL another 32 kms further E at Beaver Creek....

There was LOTS of hwy construction, TWO bits, 46 and 26 kms long, coming to mind. Basically ON-THE-PEGS doing 80 to 95 km/hr thru gravel... UGLY! The skies were beginning to look ominous TOO, again.... Or is that - STILL...?... but then began clearing.

I pulled into Burwash Landing, camping figuring prominently on the "welcome" sign, only to NOT find ANY, nor anyone who could point me towards them (it was NOW 1930...!), so I got back on the hwy still headed E. NOW I could see the mountains that are prominent along the S shore Of Kluane....

At the next town, Destruction Bay, I was able to see a GOOD SAM sign at a campground, pulled in, secured a site, PLUS bought a large schooner of draft beer for $5 - life is GOOD!

Once my camp was set-up, I started my supper, and pulled out the bottle of bourbon I'd picked up in Soldotna, pouring some 'bourbon-and-branch'....

NICE way to end a day (2034hrs) that had taken 12.5 hours, covering 503.5 miles, 810.3 kms...!
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post #55 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-19-2016, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Eddie, you should look for a rain gear endorsement deal!!
Chuck - at THAT point in my trip, I would have 'jumped-at' a chance for a whiskey endorsement...!


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post #56 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-20-2016, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Day 15 - 25 June '16 [Destruction Bay to Teslin]

I 'slept-in' till 0600, then up, did my usual morning ritual (sky overcast w/ occasional rain showers, starting AFTER I got riding......), got loaded-up then hit the road at 0745.

Soon became quite windy as I rode the S shore of Kluane, and I started seeing the SAME blowing dust (that looked like rising steam...) as I'd seen going W from Tok, some days back, altho' it was looking BETTER at the extreme E end of the lake.

I remembered an old log cabin SOMEWHERE around here - wonder how it is...?

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post #57 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-20-2016, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Day 15 continues...

Sure enough... THERE it is, and THE DOOR'S OPEN...! So I rode off the hwy, past the park visitors center, and arrived in front of it. I wonder what TALES it could tell...?

So, I went inside, and here's what it looks like. The floors were covered w/ what I figure was mouse droppings so I walked outside to look around, dust still blowing ahead.

I noticed a grave marker above the cabin, took a pic, but decided against climbing up to it. ANOTHER story I'm sure!

Pulling out, headed E, I noticed a high-glacier, high-winds evident....

The road passes just S of this island, then turns N, the early-morning light high-lighting some mountain reflections (altho' NOT visible - that cabin is at the bottom of this mountain, near the left end).

Now the Alcan turned towards Whitehorse - light rain falling.... (Unusual, huh...?)

Continuing E thru the 'cloudy'... - but it WAS starting to open-up, some blue peeping out, here-and-there.

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post #58 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-20-2016, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Day 15 continuing...

I had just passed Haines Junction and this... whatever... when I spied a grizzly near the hwy. This would turn out to be the FIRST time I was able to get a pic of a grizz on one of these rides (I'd seen a mama grizz w/ cubs, AHEAD of me before, but I was always afraid to stop for a pic w/ NOWHERE to go IF she charged...!), so I got a few.... It certainly was looking UP at me in the second pic....

Again going E towards Whitehorse, and after filling-up I turned S to head to Carcross [comes from Caribou Crossing], along Emerald Lake, then to the Carcross Desert - one of the most NORTHERN ones in North America!

Then into town to the General Store for my usual ice cream, the White Pass narrow gauge railway loading in the background.
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post #59 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-20-2016, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Day 15 - STILL continuing...

The LARGEST natural lake in BC is near here - Atlin Lake - down Hwy 7 near Jakes Corner, so I planned to ride down and have a look, then camp there overnight, but first passed these.... Soon I turned S, and took this shot of Atlin Lake - as I headed S, LOTS of road construction in evidence.

I pulled off for a scenic opportunity (THAT is still Atlin Lake) and discovered that my LEFT fork was now leaking, at about 18,000 kms (the RIGHT had started at aprox 16K kms - 10K miles)!

DAMN!

I decided to turn back N (ONLY 35 kms from Atlin) to avoid at least a BIT of road construction, but, the sky WAS improving.... Now re-entering the Yukon.

I passed a lake w/ an unusual name, from the WW2 era I'll bet. (In the event that "snafu" means nothing to you, it's an old military acronym meaning - Situation Normal All Fouled Up...). And MORE Atlin Lake - then rejoined the Alcan near Jakes Corner....


now about an hour and a half W of Teslin, and now following along Teslin Lake.

At Teslin I pulled in to the gas station/ RV park at the W end of the Teslin bridge, asked if they had an empty tent site for one night.

AFTER paying for it, I found out that the tent sites do NOT have tables, and, in fact, you're pushed out behind the laundry-washroom building!

I set to making camp (AT LEAST - it wasn't raining...!), then headed over to a vacant RV site to cook supper (and enjoy a bourbon or two...), only to be approached by a couple who asked if that was MY site. When I explained my situation, they told me it was THEIR site, and graciously invited me to use the table (for breakfast TOO!) as they would eat in their RV, then brought out a bottle of water for the whiskey....

NICE people! They helped me to appreciate the camp a little bit MORE, but I would still advise AGAINST camping there, if any of you are up that way (there's a territorial campground a few miles E, which I would have used...).

Today had added 605.3 kms (376 miles) in 8 hrs 45 minutes, and I was READY for bed!
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 02-21-2019 at 01:41 PM.
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post #60 of 99 (permalink) Old 07-21-2016, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kelowna, BC - summer; Florence, AZ - winter
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Day 16 - 26 June '16 [Teslin, YT to Kinaskin Lk, BC]

I was awake, and up, at 0530, so I took my cooking gear (and food...) over to the table I'd used yesterday. Quietly boiled water, made coffee and noodles, ate, then broke camp, packing the GREEN HORNET TOO in front of the 'laundromat' where it'd spent the night.

I had watched, then chatted w/, a Harley rider who'd been in AK, now headed back to civilization, then decided to take pics of my leaking forks (since repaired UNDER WARRANTY by Kawi!).

Due to my feeling of being "screwed-over" on my tent-site and not willing to spend more $ there, I rode back W about 100 yds to the next station for gas, and took a pic of the 3/4" plywood "RCMP cruiser" stationed in front....

The weather was partly cloudy, as I turned back to the E, getting underway at 0745 w/ this pic of the Teslin bridge, and then took another from up the hill at the 'lookout'.

Soon it clouded over, becoming overcast, then started a light drizzle. Luckily I saw construction equipment that I could use to 'struggle' into my rain-pants and boots.
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'08 V AZ, '15 V650LT BC
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 02-22-2019 at 12:01 PM.
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