About Larry

I live in Bandon on the southern Oregon coast and I've been riding for a long, long time, years, decades. We won't go there kiddies but believe me, it's been awhile. During that time I've done most of my riding on the road with occasional off-road forays, most of which were intentional. Some weren't. Until just a couple of years ago I'd never ridden a hack - that's sidecar to those who aren't familiar with the lingo. I figure riding a hack up Alaska's infamous Haul road all the way to Deadhorse should top off my torture tank for quite awhile.

About Mac

Mac hails from Robins, Iowa and has been riding bikes longer than most people have been around. He managed to torture his old BMW past the 100,000 mile mark and presently rides a Yamaha FJR. His newest ride, a 2008 Ural Patrol is waiting on the dealer's highest shelf until the flood waters recede after which they'll assemble it and turn it over to him. The fact that he's heading to Alaska for his first journey on a new rig should tell you all you need to know about him...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 29th - Deadhorse to Wiseman - Larry turns 200 today!

Happy birthday Larry you old geezer!

Early today we took the tour of the Prudhoe Bay oilfields. This was supposed to include getting off the bus for a short walk to the Arctic ocean wherein Mac would place his big toe and the icebergs would likely melt for miles around . Unfortunately for those who paid dearly for this tour the operators were not able to fulfill their end of the bargain and instead took us on a tour of oil rigs, gas plants, large equipment storage lots and other equally interesting items, not unlike a tour of 1950's Soviet technology museums. Yippee. Goodbye $38.

Thus began our southern return trip down the Haul road to Wiseman, a small hamlet located just north of Coldfoot. Rain was beginning to fall as we left the tour bus and mounted our filthy beasts. Being experienced in such matters I duded up in my flashy red outfit which Mac refers to as the Santa outfit. This from a man who wears rain pants with duct tape holding the legs on. Hmm...

Heading south it wasn't long before the weather turned really nasty, rain in torrents with cross-winds which turned the pot-holes into mini tire busters capable of dislodging the most firmly affixed items on your bike. This was no lightweight affair, it was serious stuff requiring constant vigilance to stay on the road and as we later agreed, not a helluva lot of fun. The run from Deadhorse to Wiseman was around 230 miles taking us over the Antigun pass again only this time in dense fog, rain, and more mud than you can imagine. Somewhere around mid-way I had to pee so I selected a carefully chosen spot and pulled over. Being garbed in multiple layers of zippered and Velcro secured rain gear meant having to do the boogie-woogie dance for several minutes while getting, er, uh, unleashed? Naturally as these things always go as soon as I was about finished Mac appears through the driving rain storm. This isn't any problem as he thinks I'm funny as hell to watch when I'm trying to get back into my gear. How delicate he is. Then up comes the German couple we'd met at Marion Creek campground a few days ago, soaking wet and covered with mud on their way north. Evidently Germans are accustomed to funny older men attempting to restore their dignity and little laughter was spent. Probably had something to do with the storm. Immediately on their tail arrived another guy on his BMW adventure thingy all dressed up in proper BMW adventure clothing, also heading north. We told them to avoid the tour and which hotel had the best food, etc., and off they went never to be seen again. I finished re-costuming and we rode off into the grime again. Camaraderie is everything...

We arrived at Wiseman late afternoon and thanks to Mac we located a great little cabin at the Boreal Lodge, a mom & pop operation with very reasonable rates. I'd stopped at the one before it and thought we were out of luck due to the no vacancy sign posted but Mac knew there were at least 3 places according to the Milepost book he'd brought along. At least the first one had some cool sled doggies so it made a nice stop. At the Boreal Lodge there was a nice community kitchen where we ate a dinner comprised of food we'd pilfered from the Prudhoe Bay Hotel, then crashed early in order to make a clean break in the morning. Rising early we used the water hose provided and washed off a lot of the mud we'd accumulated the previous day, then headed into Coldfoot for a great breakfast. On the way out we took pics of the old trading post plus Mac spotted a moose with her yearling calf standing in the river.

Our brief stay at Wiseman was a good one, the people who operate it had left their teen age son in charge and he's one of the nicest kids you'll ever meet. Polite, respectful, not given to laughing at older people, that sort of thing. We settled in and enjoyed ourselves. In short we got blitzed.