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...

Monday, August 4, 2008

August 4th - Parting company, Mac heads to Montana and I head south on the Cassiar

It was an early morning start for both of us today, we said our goodbye's and each headed our separate way. Mac is going to Montana to meet up with a guy we met in Chicken who said he could help with his tire requirements and I'm back on the Cassiar highway. I stopped for breakfast at Sally's at Junction 37, my 3rd or 4th visit to this little roadside cafe. This time I decided to ask the gal who waits tables - all 3 of them - if she was Sally and she said "No, that's my husband's nickname." Somehow I'd guessed as much so she introduced us and I thanked him for fixing me great tasty meals whenever I'd passed through their way. She baked bread for 26 years and taught Sally how to do it so now it's his job. They've owned the cafe for 5 years and this coming winter will be the first one they'll be closed, time to go see the kids and hang out in warmer climes.

After leaving Sally's I rode on down the Cassiar passing Jade where I stopped to look at the tourist traps but declined to leave any of my tightly held cash. One can only use so many things in this life and Linda and I are pretty well topped off. (Sorry Honey, no jade for either of us...)

I gassed up several times today, added a reserve can at the Jade stop, then topped off at Dease Lake where I was approached by a skinny old geezer wearing a black leather Harley vest adorned with more silver hardware and doo-dads than I've ever seen in one place. His mission in life (outside of wearing all the HD doo-dads) was to advise me of the lack of fuel availability that I could expect to encounter as I headed south on the Cassiar. I thanked him for his advice but told him I'd passed that way before. He was overly concerned though and kept up his banter so I asked him if he'd ever heard of Deadhorse. "Nope" he said. Then I asked if he'd ever heard of Prudhoe Bay. "Nope" he said. Finally I asked him if he'd heard of the Arctic ocean and that rang his bell. "Yeah, Jesus, did you ride up there?" he asked... Dammit I love it when I connect with people.

I continued south and gassed up again at a little roadside camp of which I cannot recall the name and finally at Bell II where I also had a late lunch. There I met a guy and his wife who were moving from Fairbanks to Colorado. The guy couldn't believe I'd ridden the hack all the way to Deadhorse and survived. Uh... Seems he'd driven it once in a car and that was enough for him...can't say as I blame him, I doubt I'll do it again, it really raises hell with your equipment. One time though, it's worth it.

Just before arriving at Meziadin Provincial campground I spotted two blackies within a few miles of each other. The first was average size but the 2nd was huge, definitely not one I'd care to meet up close and personal. Fortunately neither one wanted anything to do with me or the hack so we all went our separate ways. The campground proved to be a great find, it's right on the lake and they have really nice sites. Gravel of course as that's the Canadian way and no water either as that's also the Canadian way. Eh? Eh? After arriving and getting my tent set up two of the guys next to me came over to chat and although neither ride bikes they were more than willing to point out the body English and lean requirements one must observe while riding, particularly relating to sidecars. Thanks guys. That's the Canadian way...eh?

August 3rd - Watson Lake campground

Boy did we ever haul a-- today, for some reason we made really good time and arrived at Watson Lake in the late afternoon. Getting gas and refreshing our liquor supply took a lot longer than expected as the locals were busy buying Bud and cashing in their lottery/Keno tickets but eventually we got it done. The weather was nice so we headed out of town a few miles and set up camp at the local Watson Lake Provincial campground. No water but free firewood and at $12.00 it's still a bargain. Mac made another memorable fire after we had dinner, he cooked his usual gourmet noodles and I feasted on corned beef hash and fried eggs, just what my girlish figure needs. The long day's ride had us both pooped so we hung it up around 9:00pm. Mac took some pics of our camp and he'll send them when he gets home, in the mean time I took a couple of the sign village. I only stayed a few minutes as it's mind boggling.