The Alaska Story

(this is a long story, just like the great adventure)

July 7, 2008- Just as I wished, the first day of my trip to Alaska was sunny and warm.  I decided to take all back farm roads through the state of Ohio then catch the interstate through Michigan. As all I wanted to do was get onto the wonderful Route 2 West. The first night turned out to be over crowded and noisy at Indian River State Park.  It also turned out to be the most expensive at $32.00 it was full of RV to my dislike. I can’t understand why folks drive an RV that takes about 3 – 5 miles to the gallon!  In the morning I woke to a little bit of rain then as I got on the interstate the sun broke out.  It was fun in the morning as I had folks taking photos of me going north on I-75 with their cell phone!  I went across the 7 mile Toll Mackinaw Bridge.  Wow what a view of the two great lakes. Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Huron to the east.  The day went good but the head winds went on for the rest of the day till camp I stopped at the State Forest near Wakefield.  No one was down in the valley of this camping area.  So I hung around to see if anyone else would be coming in – no one did.  I was uncomfortable with all the warning signs for bears, so I left to find a safer place.  I pulled into a campground that had a sign out advertising camping.  When I got in there the man said “No Tents Allowed”.  I asked him why he had a sign that said camping.  He had no answer.  All there was there were cabins and RV. – is that really camping?  I ended up at a nice place that charged only $11.00 for a night in Iron River, WI.  In the morning I woke to sunshine and loons calling at the lake below.  Nice way to wake up for real camping!  I went through Duluth, Minnesota around 10:30 AM. By 11AM. A deer ran right into the sidecar!  I pulled over to check the damage.  Not much damage not even a scratch just a small bend on the fender and a broken turn single lens on the sidecar.  I looked back to see everyone who was behind me was pulled over and stopped behind the deer lying on the road.  It was too far back for me to really see what happened.  I continued on down the road to the next town for an auto parts store so I could get something done to repair the turn single lens.  We reshaped the housing, replaced two bulbs and a yellow lens cover that worked good enough with some duck tape. I would say that the Russian’s make a good sidecar. Total cost was only $24.00.  The only time I saw Porcupines was when they were road kill along the roadside.  Bummer as it would be nicer alive than dead!

“Not much deer damage to the sidecar”

By noon the head winds continued.  But slowed down as I got into eastern North Dakota with views of large farms of wheat, wetlands and lakes. I stayed at a campground near Devils Lake, N.D.  It was called “Olga Pulst”.  It is a large 300 acre farm about 3 miles back on a dirt road where the owner took 8 acres and turned it into a campground.  Nice place to relax listening to the cows mooing off in the distance, a lake, fields, silos and a kitty cat named “Snickers” who is a little beggar to feed her litter of kittens.

“Photos of Olga Pulst Campground at the farm in Devils Lake, N.D.”

I woke to yet another fine morning of sunshine.  But that sunshine turned out to be too hot as I rode on through the day of western North Dakota and the head winds were harder than ever!  I had to keep my RPM’s up higher than normal just to keep up a speed of 45 MPH.  Stopped early as I was plum worn out.  The bike was running rough and had to adjust the exhaust valves as they were too tight.  The next day turned out to be the worst for the head winds – it was reported 80MPH gust!  The land was flat as a pancake and desert with sage brush blowing around in front of me!  It got to be a game dodging the brush!  I saw two other motorcyclists at a rest stop.  One was a BMW and the other was an Ural sidecar rig. At the next town I stopped for gas as it seemed as if I was going through it like water with the wind.  As I was filling up I saw the two riders again as they had pulled into a little diner for breakfast.  Since this seemed like a great idea I stopped with them.  It was great to have some company and someone to talk to.  The one man on the sidecar was on his way to Alaska too, but a different route as I.  I left out on my own on the same Route 2 west towards Havre, Montana.  As I got closer to the Glacier Mountains the winds died down and made the rest of the day nicer to deal with lower RPM’s.  BMW’s run nice at about 4500—5000 RPM’s.  I turned north to Route 89 to Browning, MT. to get gas and a campground.  I saw a sign saying Indian Pow Wow Campground.  Thinking this was a place to camp to my surprise it was a National Native American Pow Wow with free camping! I ended up having the time of my life with the dance, costumes, and music.

“Indian Pow Wow in Browning, Montana”

In the morning I continued north on Route 89 to Alberta, Canada.  Crossed the broader with no problems, just with questions if I intend to purchase goods, goods for sale, had any fruit or vegetables, firewood, any alcohol or drugs.  I my way up Route 2 North in Alberta to the Rocky Bow Lunatic Fringe Rally in High River.  All of Route 89 and Route 2 north had views of mountains to the west.  Then views of farms and great vast plains to the east.  A lot of the farm fields were bright yellow with Canola plants.  This is what is used to make cooking oil.  It was a beautiful site to behold!

“Yellow Canola Farm Fields in Alberta Canada”

The Rocky Bow Lunatic Fringe Rally was good to be at with about 50 friendly faces with smiles.  Made lots of new friends and good food to eat which is always a great thing!  I went to a BMW motorcycle shop to have points installed and have the timing set before I continued up to the Alaska Highway.  Camped in White Court, Alberta Canada on Route 43 West.

“Campground in White Court, Alberta Canada”

In the morning I was on my way to the Alaska Highway and I noticed my Alternator Bulb was showing a bad charging problem half way through the day. Dawson Creek is the beginning of the Alaska Highway.  When I got to camp in Dawson Creek in British Columbia Canada and found that the Diode Board shorted out.  I know I didn’t do this deed as I always disconnect the ground on the battery before taking the front cover off.  To disconnect the battery is easy enough to do and a sure fire way to not worry about shorting out the Diode Board out.  I remember that the mechanic did not disconnect the battery.  It seemed as if when the front timing cover was put on the mechanic accidentally pinched the blue hot wire to the copper that ran from behind the Diode Board then goes to the Voltage Regulator. Thus it grounded out against the engine case.  There mixed thoughts about how the Diode Board shorted out.  Any input on this would be greatly like to be known.  I had two mechanics say yes to pinching to hot blue wire would short the Diode Board and one said no not likely.  I didn’t see this till I had charging problems later on down the road.  The alternator bulb was telling me with a dim light at the turn of the key but went out at start up. When I noticed this light I was about a as if there day and half away from that BMW shop that did the work.  I left my headlight on as Canada has a headlight law. Replacing the Diode Board and Rotor didn’t help the charging problem. I tried to get help in this town but it seemed was no one who could help me.  I put the OHM meter on the battery and it showed that I had 13 volts and was charging at about 5000 RPM’s. So I continued on down the road to get help.  I broke down about 40 miles east of Fort Nelson at with a low battery.  Had to get a push start from two folks on motorcycles – they were the only ones who would stop!  I would have used my cell phone for help, but it didn’t work in that area.  I found out later that there were a lot of folks who cell phones that would not work in this area.  This area uses Tellus service and it seemed as if only area folks have this service. There was no mention of this in any travel booklets!  At least I was having good weather with sunshine and very little rain.  I got myself to a campground to charge the battery it was a nice place to be till a bunch of drunken teenagers pulled into my space blocking my rig with their run down pick-up truck at about 2 AM. and then getting out to party in my space!  As they went to back part of my space I got out of my tent and manage to wiggle my rig around and went to another space.  Then moved my tent without them seeing me in the dark!?  later I heard the campground owner yelling and cursing out the kids – it turned out to be her son with his friends.  That morning I packed up and found help for the charging problem. I ended up at Ladsco a small engine repair shop in Fort Nelson.  Sandy got me a wonderful treat for breakfast of fruit and dip as I looked like I needed it!?  Then Randy made space for my rig and I to work on the problem.  This is when I saw that the blue hot wire that ran from behind the Diode Board had been pinched.  Yes my Diode Board was shorted out as the test showed.

    “The Ladsco Shop in Fort Nelson”                               “The Ladsco Team – Service With A Smile!”

I managed to see a really neat museum called the “Heritage Museum” in Fort Nelson.  It was owned by an elderly man named Marl Brown.  He restored a 1909 Single-cylinder Brush car that has its original wood frame, axles and wheels.  Marl had driven this car for about 600 miles to Whitehorse, Yukon Canada and back again.

“Photos of the Heritage Museum in Fort Nelson” “A visitor at the museum” 

So I waited for a spare Diode Board to be ordered from a BMW shop in Kelowna British Columbia Canada. Sandy took me to a much better campground and drove me back and forth so I could work on my bike. I also found that I had a loose connection at the Alternator Bulb. I tighten it up by spreading the connectors up to get a better contact. It did help and made a better difference! That spare Diode Board took 1 ½ weeks to get to me!!! I didn’t want to go any further without a spare. By that time it was the end of July. It was too late for me to go to the upper part of Alaska and get to the Stanley Stomp Rally in Idaho. Which I prepaid for and wanted to get to for the fun of friends, hot springs, food etc…. so I decided to go to Hyder, Alaska instead. As I’ve heard so much about it. So I took a wonderful route south through the mountains on Route 97 south. Early that morning I was careful to watch for wild critters crossing the road as I did every morning. That morning I was in for a real treat as to se a Moose and her calf crossing the road. I had wished my camera was in easy reach but it was not.

I continued south to find a wonderful gas station that was a campground too next to the Sikanni River. It was too early for me to stop and camp now. So I took lots of photos as to remember this place so I can stay here when I go to the upper part of Alaska in the future! This campground is owned by a retried lady. She seemed to really enjoy her life with a dog and two kitty cats! As I left there I saw Wild Horses along the road in the plains. 

“Photos of the Sikanni River Gas Station and Campground” 

“More Photos of the Sikanni River Campground”

I was on my way to Chetwynd in British Columbia Canada.  In Chetwynd there were some great woodcarvings to behold.

“Woodcarvings in Chetwynd, B.C. Canada” Just off the Alaska Highway

“More Woodcarvings In Chetwynd, B.C. Canada”

I camped in this area. The campground also had an antique shop there I got Margaret Alexander a nice gift for her birthday. The owner there gave me a discount because I didn’t need water, electric or even a picnic table! The sidecar made a neat table, I had my own water and chair too! 


“Who needs a picnic Table?!”

Now I felt like I was in good hands with the mountains, trees, lakes, streams and rivers! In Prince George, B.C. Canada I took Route 16 west and camped at a free community campground in Burns Lake. There I met a couple named Joann and Hal who were also on their way to Alaska. I could tell they were to be good friends for a long time to come. They told me many fun facts about the Stewart Hyder area that I must go to. In the morning I continued on Route 16 West. Route 16 was nice with many snow cap mountains to view. Then turned north onto Route 37 to Route 37A west to Stewart, B.C. and Hyder, AK. Between the intersection of Route 16 and Stewart there are no gas stations.

“I really think they need to add a sign saying “No Gas for 140 miles” to this sign at the intersection of Route 16 and 37 North”

I was breathing on fumes with just a ¼ of a gallon of gas left in my tank as I pulled into Stewart, B.C. Canada. I had gotten gas at about 170 miles back. I was carrying a full gas can so I was not too worried. When traveling in some parts of Canada and The Alaska Highway a person should always carry a full gas can! The Route 37 and the route into Stewart and Hyder was the most beautiful route that I had taken on this trip. All along Route 37 I saw a lot of wildlife! Five Black Bears, a Wolf, a Coyote and there are lots of wildflowers! Not too sure about the Wolf but it was gray and brown in color and far off down the road to really see well. If you ever take this route drive slowly and keep your eyes peeled. Going down Route 37A was a treat also as the road curves along a river in the valley between two snow cap mountain ranges. There was to behold “Bear Glacier” with an ice cave at the bottom. After filling up with gas in Stewart, B.C. I went into Hyder, AK. and found a great art gallery called “The Boundary Gallery” that had postcards. Got myself about a dozen wrote them out. I then found the post office. The post master told me about the site that I must see and do. Then found a campground. The campground had lockers for your food because of the high bear population. By the way I never saw a bear in the campground! Everyone was told to keep a clean campsite of food. Hyder is a small town of about 100 people – my kind of place small and friendly. Here’s the area web site In the morning I went to The Boundary Gallery again and got handmade gifts by the town folk. I now have my favorite T-shirt showing a bear riding a motorcycle! Then went to the wildlife viewing area. There I got photos of bear fishing for Salmon. It was a wonderful site as the bear didn’t seem to care about people being around. Since it was well past lunch time for me I figured it was time for me to have Salmon for myself! I was told the best place to go was “The Bus” for fresh seafood. There were two gals who were running a diner out of an old bus while their husbands had a fishing boat catching seafood daily. I choose the Smoked Salmon Sandwich! Much to my delight it was the best ever!

“Bear Glacier”


“Waterfalls on the way down to Alaska” 

These mountains were about 7000 plus feet high!

“Hyder, Alaska” A small dirt road town.


                          “Camp in Alaska”                                       “More Snow Capped Mountain Views” 6000 ft. high 


“The Best Smoked Salmon on “The Bus”                                                “Fishing Docks in Hyder”


                        “Salmon Glacier”                                                                 “Store Front in Hyder”


“Bear Fishing For Salmon in the Crystal Clear Waters”

With not much time to get to The Stanley Stomp Rally in Idaho I moved my way east on Route 37A then back down Route 37 South to Route 16 East. Ended up camping at the nicest campground on the whole trip that is next to the Skeena River. It was in Hazelton, B.C. on Route 16. The ‘Ksan Campground is ran by the Gitxsan Indian tribe in Canada and very well kept. This is a magical area with the snow cap mountains and river. You can also see the mountain range called “The Seven Sister’s” which was about 40 miles away at about 9000 feet high! Their gift shop had many fine handcrafted items made be these people. I noted they made know the four colors of the elements – Green for the Earth, Yellow for Air, Red for Fire and Blue for Water! There was also an 1800’s Gitxsan village where you can view hand carved totems and a museum. For most of the night I could hear drums and small avalanches of stones off the banks of the Skeena River. I got out of my tent in the middle of the night and had a magical moment of viewing the Milky Way and many more stars. I gave a blessing to Mother Earth and Father Sky. Most part of the United States has ruined their night sky with light pollution! Do most folks even know what they are missing? It would be nice if they would shut off some of their lights. In the morning I woke to a call of a large bird near by. I got out my tent to see a Bald Eagle 50 feet away from my tent eating a fish for breakfast! I quietly got to my camera in the motorcycle took photos and stood there in awe. 

My views at the Indian ‘Ksan Campground in Hazelton, B.C. Canada 


“Wildflowers Along The Skeena River”                         “Bald Eagle near My Camp” 


“Totems at the ‘KSAN Campground”


“A View of The Seven Sisters” – About 40 miles away at about 9000 ft. high! 

The mountain has 7 peaks thus called “The Seven Sisters” The sign reads: 
Hagwilget – “The home of the quite people.” Was a carrier Indian village on the banks below. Here a bridge spanned the Bulkley River before the non-Indians arrived. Poles lashed with cedar rope were supporting timbers for the noted “marvel of primitive engineering.” Later, reinforced with wire by crews of the telegraph line, it served for half a century.” 

That morning I was on my way to Route 16 east. I stopped for gas when I noted that I had a dim alternator light at the turn of the key and also at the start of the engine! I knew there was trouble with my charging system again so I found myself a rest stop and started to work on the rig. The first thing I did was replace the rotor which didn’t seem to do anything to repair it. I continued to replace the Diode Board – no change, so then I checked the Voltage Regulator, Battery, Alternator Bulb and all the connections – even at the starter! Nothing seemed to change the situation. At this time I knew I had to get an auto battery installed to help me get to someone to help me. Some nice folks on a Honda motorcycle followed me to the free campground in Burns Lake. I picked this spot because I knew there was an auto parts store right across the road. In the morning I found out that Canada was having their national holiday and everyone was closed! There were some nice workmen that were working on building a “post and beam” gateway to the park next door. They called the auto store owner since they knew him to see if he would come in to sell me a car battery and install it in the sidecar. They store owner sold me an RV battery. An RV battery has a large space of volts and could be recharged easily every night. I was lucky enough when Richard the Mechanic across the way had come in to pick up a few things and would install it for me. I was on my way in a few hours with no more problems. 

“Richard the Mechanic” installing the RV Battery 

I headed my way to Kelowna; B.C. to where I knew there was a BMW motorcycle dealer. I started to get into Kelowna only to get caught in a traffic jam and with an air cooled engine with a charging problem I decided to turn around and get out. On my way out I saw something that made me upset. It was a wreck that involved a motorcyclist who did not have a helmet on. That person did not live to ride again. I will not go into detail as it was VERY a gruesome site. I was glad to have enough brains that are worth keeping wearing a helmet! I want to forget the memory of this site.

I knew there was another BMW motorcycle dealer just one day away near Lewiston, Washington. I camped near Grand Forks, B.C. Canada. In the morning I was on my way to Lewiston, WA. I crossed the boundary line to the Untied States on Route 395 South into WA. Later that day between Spokane and Lewiston on Route 395 south in Washington State I was pulled over by a State Trooper. I pulled over as soon as I noticed he had his lights on. I shut the motorcycle off as it is an air cooled engine. I did this because it was hot out and did not want it to over heat the engine, run the battery down and I was low on gas too. He walked up to the front of the motorcycle leaned over to look at the headlight and asked me if I knew why I was being pulled over. I said that with a question about my main headlight not being on. I also told him that my pilot running light was on, but he disagreed. I tried to show him by wanting to turn the key on but he pushed the fact that the light was NOT on. He stated the fact that I should get a new battery- I showed him the RV battery in the sidecar. He said then I should repair it- I told him I tried. Then he said that I should have gone to a motorcycle shop- I told him I could not as any motorcycle shop could not repair my problem as they would not know about BMW motorcycles nor would they have the parts. Then he told me I should go to a BMW dealer- I told him I was on my way to a BMW dealer at Lewiston/Clarkston, WA. He said there was one in Spokane, WA. My book showed there was not one. He may have been thinking that any BMW car dealer could repair my problem? I asked what is that I should do. He told me I should just pull over and park it! This would be a bad idea as I’m a woman by myself and it would danger my life and health. Seems as if he made me do this he would be legally liable. As he went back to his cruiser I checked to see if my dim running light was really working or burned out. It did work so I wanted to tell him that it was working. So I started to walk over to tell him but this seemed to upset him so he told me to get back on the motorcycle. I went back to the motorcycle but did not get back on the motorcycle as there was no protection against the traffic plus the motorcycle engine was hot. With full riding gear on (Jacket, over pants, reflective vest, and boots) it was too hot it sit on without moving. He went on and wrote me a ticket for running without a headlight on which I did have one on as a pilot running light.  This is a case of his word against mine. Then he wrote me another violation on operating a motorcycle without a 3-wheel endorsement.  I tried to explain to him that this was a case of a motorcycle with a sidecar. That I did have the proper endorsement on my driver’s license – a motorcycle endorsement.  He gave me the ticket.  He had my driver’s license in his hand and I had the impression that he was handing it to me as it seemed like we were finished. As I reached for it he pulled it away.  He held it out again thus me reaching for it the he pulled it away again.  He finally held it out a 3rd time this time he allowed me to take it.  The next morning I called someone who is knowledgeable in the laws of the state of Ohio. The Bath Police in my hometown know my motorcycle with a sidecar.  He looked into the matter of 3-wheel motorcycle endorsement by calling 1-800-83RIDER.  That morning I was on my way to get the charging problem repaired. Later that day I called the Bath police back and found out that all motorcycles with a bolt on bolt off sidecars are legal to have just a motorcycle endorsement. This is because the sidecar is not a permanent 3 wheel unit.  What a 3-wheel motorcycle endorsement is a unit such as a motorcycle made in a permanent 3-wheel trike vehicle.  Also the Bath police found out that code the State Trooper gave for this 3-wheel violation is two different things. The code # that Officer Powers gave was RCW 46.20.041 which means in the state of Washington “Persons with physical or mental disabilities or diseases”.  I do not see how this fits with the 3-wheel endorsement violation.  I also could not understand how the State Trooper could give me a violation for an Ohio law.  At this point I decided I no longer wanted to be in the state of Washington so I went into Idaho to camp and get to the Stanley Stomp Rally to find help there.  I camped in Idaho at a wonderful state park and there was someone who let me use there car battery charger.  This was far better than the slow little charger that I was using the past couple nights.  I took Route 95 South near Hell’s Canyon and the views were out of this world as it was hot and dry as it curved around following the Salmon River in this canyon.  I stopped to get gas, let things cool off and changed my oil again.  The road down to Grandjean was dirt for about 6 miles.  I found it to be nice for a change!  There was a rattlesnake that had thoughts about all the action that was going on.  As it was all coiled up and hissing madly!  I got to the rally site in fine shape and asked around about someone to figure out what was up with the rig’s charging problem as I could not repair it.  Early that evening it rained for a short time.  Then the sun came out with a double rainbow!

The next day Todd Millican from Britts and Beemers Bikewerks and Phil went at it and found that my spare rotor was fried too.  This is the reason I could not make the repairs.  I thought about when back on the Alaska Highway when I tried to the repairs on the first charging problem.  I had dropped the rotor at to the pavement which must have damaged the old rotor.  In any case Duncan and Sandy Reid sold me one of their new spare rotors to me. My charging system works like a charm now because of these helpful folks!  There was beer and Jell-O shots to be had for a mere donation to the BMW Airhead group.  The Idaho BMW group had great dinners every night and the BMW Airhead group had breakfast and lunch for donations.  A person never went hungry.  Then there was hiking, a heated swimming pool and as always the hot springs that were about a ¼ mile walk.  There was a small generator at the waterfalls to generate electric for the campground which was a good thing to behold.  I volunteered to help build the community bonfire.  The BMW Airhead group was so good to me I decided when I got home I would sign up again to become a member once again. Plus I got names and address of all my new found friends. Sunday morning came sunny and I hated to have it all end. That is when I decided I would have to make this a “come again” rally. 

“Views From The Rally Site” 


“View of Sage and a Huckleberry Bush” “Waterfall That Ran The Generator”


“View from a Campsite in Three Forks, Montana”

I grabbed the interstate I-90 east so I could get home soon to contest the ticket from Washington State.  I stopped at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park to see what could be seen.  What a great place to see. I got caught in a herd of bison on the scenic roadway for about 3 miles.  It made for some great photos as the bison were about five feet from the rig.  Looked as if they wanted to go for a ride!  They were so close I felt as if I was part of the herd.  The Bison seemed as if they didn’t mind the people being around.  I was told to NOT honk at them as they would take that as a contest and you would be charged down.  You just have to wait for them to move out of the way.  But it seems as if they liked walking down the road and being in the way to test you.  The tour bus behind me got tied of waiting for the bison and moved around us and made the bison move out of the way.  I took to the bus’s lead and followed.  I guess the bison figured the bus was bigger than them!  I saw large areas that were developed by the Prairie Dogs; it seemed as if they turned this area into a city of mounds of dirt and holes.  It was funny as they would stick their heads up to see you go by.  Every time I stopped to get a photo of them they would duck their heads back in.  So I never did get a photo of them.  When I got back from my 30 mile trek through the park I went in to see the museum and gift shop.

                 “North Dakota Badlands”                               “Bison in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park”


“Views at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park”


“More Views of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park”


            “Mom Bison with Her Calf”                                  “This Photo shows Just HOW BIG a Bison can get!”

I left to find camp as it was a hot day so I stopped early in Bismark, North Dakota.  I woke yet again to a sunny morning and made my way to the back road of Route 2 East through Minnesota.  It was nice to be on the back roads again as I grew tied of the interstate for about 3 days.  I made my way to Floodwood, MN. to find a nice community campground even if it was full of biting bugs!  I found myself a great diner in this small town and had a dinner of fish with all the fixings!  Went to sleep early with a full tummy and happy to be alive.  In the morning it was rainy a little bit so I packed up and went to the diner for a fresh huge baked Cinnamon Roll and coffee!  It was a good thing to do!  When I came out of the diner it was sunny and the air was fresh.  I was on my way to another nice day of riding.  I decided I would make today a short ride of 250 miles to Crystal Falls, Upper Michigan.  Ended up to stay at another community campground called Runkle Lake Park. At this park there was a huge antique road paver that made a good photo. It seems as if the nicest places to stay are at community campgrounds.  They seem to take a lot of pride in their small towns.  Since I was early to camp that day I made phone calls to friends and took a walk down to Runkle Lake.  I came back to write in my journal as I did every evening and  a man walked up to me to look at the rig.  This seemed to happen a lot at gas stations and at the campgrounds.  People seem to be curious about the rig and my travels.  He seemed to be impressed enough to give me a $10.00 bill and told me it was for lunch for the next day.  What a nice person and I thanked him.

“Rusty road paver in a Crystal Falls Campground”

In the morning I woke to another sunny day as seemed to happen almost everyday!  The ride was beautiful along Route 2 as it followed Lake Michigan. There were blue waters and light houses to view and photograph!  I came across a large view of The Mackinaw Bridge that I was to go across for the second time on this trip.  It shows on the map that the bridge is seven miles long.  But I think some of it is on land too.  Maybe the part that goes across the water is about 4 – 5 miles instead.  Still an amazing engineering job for mankind!  It cost $2.50 cash to go across.  It seems as if it must be cash.  Otherwise they charge you $5.00 if you use a credit card.  They don’t want to see checks and travelers checks either.  Lucky I had the cash that was easy to get to.

“Light House at Lake Michigan”                                       “View of the Mackinaw Bridge”

I camped in Roscommon, MI.  It was like last time it – the most expensive and over crowded camping place in Michigan.  In the morning it was sunny again for the last leg of my trip to home.  It was nice to be home safe and sound.  I promised myself that I was to have to go on this trip again and make it to the top part of Alaska so I can see Denali National Park, plus to see the glaciers, ocean, rivers, wildflowers, stars and wildlife that I love so much! 

8000 miles later – August 16, 2008 (A week too early!)  I decided that next time I take this trip I will not prepay for any rallies that way there will not be any deadlines to make!

 “Home At Last Safe and Sound”

I want to great big thanks to these folks-

  • Ladsco Small Engine Repair in Fort Nelson, B.C. Canada for their help
  • Hal and Joann Lincoln for their friendship
  • Blue eye Phil for his help with a twinkle in his eye
  • Todd Millican from Bikewerks in Idaho for his help
  • Duncan Reid for his rotor
  • Brother Alan for forwarding text messages
  • Dan Browning for making my motorcycle be a motorcycle again
  • Fred Tressler ~ for being the best campground friend! 
  • Last but not least all the new friends that made the trip so much better 

After I got home I found myself a good mechanic to look at the bike to see why I had troubles on the trip – here’s what he found. “The bike had very bad blow by. Most caused by excessive end play on the piston rings.” To further clarify – the rings were out of factory specifications. It became an oil pump and not a motorcycle. The mechanic had advanced the engine in Canada as he said to “burn off the carbon”. This made the poor ole motorcycle run hot. Which probably burned out the other rotor? I was adjusting the valves about every 1000 miles which was a pain. I was dumping LOTS of oil in it all the time. But it got me home. There were no screens in the gas tank so grit went into the carbs and made the poor old motorcycle to run poorly at times! Since the motorcycle ran hot some wires had to be replaced too!!! All repairs have been done and in better running condition than before. Now I need a vacation from my vacation! So I plan to go to Alaska again soon and get to the places that I missed! OH by the way that State Trooper ticket was contested and won! Just a fee had to be paid.


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