While i'm getting my life back together, please look at a fine selection of my photos:

Saturday, July 19, 2008


From Homer i went south to Juneau, visiting my Dawson friends.

I arrived in Juneau by ferry from Haines and much to my suprise Andy was waiting for me at the dock. With his ural. Especially for this event he put on an orange shirt, orange is the royal dutch color. Very thoughtful. All that effort to make me feel at home ;-) .

We had diner at his house, waiting for Dave to be home, so i met his wife's parents and son. Nice family. I washed the bike to make myself useful.

In the evening we went to Dave's place, my home for a few days. I learned to know his family.

Friendly and nice people and i felt welcome. Nice. I could use Dave's garage to work on the bike and clean my gear. After six weeks, i can assure you, it is neccessary ;-)

The next day i spend with shopping and sightseeing Juneau. Juneau is the cappital of Alaska. There are no roads to it. Cruise ships are docking right in downtown Juneau. 1000's of tourists a day come spending their time and money here. A bit ackward. Another peculiarity: although this city has only 90 miles of paved road, Juneau has the highest number of motorcycles per capita in the US....

On the ferry i met Cynthia and her mom. They were great people. I asked them to have dinner with me while in Juneau and we went to a stir fry restaurant. Afterwards we saw a very interesting movie about a Iranian girl growing up in the time of the shah and rising of the Islamic politics, 'Persepolis'. A must see for everyone interested in history. We took the same ferry back to Skagway. The ladies were good company on the way back.

The following day Dave, Andy and i drove around Juneau. Funny that there is even a skiing resort 30 min drive from downtown. I forgot to put my memory card in my fotocamara, so no pictures ;-(
I learned a trick called 'stopdrilling'. If you have a crack, like in my front fender, you drill a small hole at both ends of it. the result is that the crack stays as it is. Apparently widely used in the Juneau airport maintenance dept. because Dave, as airport manager, was quite skilled in it ;-)

Next day was leavingday and the ferry to Skagway left in the afternoon. Instead of taking the ferry through the rest of the inside passage (i leave that for my retirement) i decided to ride the cassiar highway, which is very scenic, to prince rupert to take another ferry to Port Hardy, Vancouver island. Andy, again, came over to say goodbye. Thanks buddy!

The short time i spend in Juneau with my Dawson friends was very nice, it feels good to be welcomed in one's house like the way they did. I did hurt a bit to leave so soon.

Thank you guys!

Homer to Juneau

I left Homer in good spirit. Good to be on the road again. Besides that in Juneau i will meet my friends Andy and Dave which i met in Dawson. So the route is from Homer to Witthier, ferry to Valdez, Richardson highway to Tok cut-off highway (again..) and via the Tetlin Junction on the Alaska Highway all the way to the Haines Junction and finally to Haines, where i cought the ferry to Juneau. Quite a few miles, but as all alaskan highways, worth the effort.

En route i met a couple of dualsport riders and it seemed a good idea to tag along. Which they didn't mind. Jim and "Dee". Jim on a KLR, Dee on his '83-ish XT500. Cool bike, lots of miles, to mexico and back and this was the 2nd time to Alaska. Never a serious problem with it. I've never seen a simpeler bike than that. And i thought i was doing pretty well on that department.
it seems that the xt500 sort of evolved into the ttr.

Just before the Canadian border we got gas and in the assumption we would camp together, i asked Jim if they would like a beer with dinner. He answered laughing "we are not alowed to drink beer, we're mormones". Yeah right......... and i bought a sixpack.

Just across the border with Canada we found a campsite at eagle creek, so we set up camp and made simpel dinner. i asked Jim and Dee if they'd like a beer. "No thanks, we're mormones, we're not... etc." No Sh...! i tought you were kiddin'!! Damn, they weren't, obviously, and now i had this major problem of having six beers and no mates to empty them. Luckily the campsite was filled with people who could relate to my problem and were more than willing to help me solve it. Nice people here in Alaska ;-)

Jim and Dee, good, down to earth and humorous guys. Also one of the very few who are religious, but kept their sense of humor. If i even feel the need to go to a church, I'll give them a call.

Next day we left for Haines Junction. Beautiful roads and sights again.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Close encounter of the BEAR kind

Sunday night, day before i left Homer i was reading a book in my tent. It was about 22:00 hours. Then I heard a very low voiced sniffing around, like a dog, but a few octaves lower. A BEAR!! I stayed quite...realy quite, scared as hell, being an ignorant European guy, i didn't know what to expect.

I heard a scratching sound, content of the bag falling on the ground. some poking around in the garbage and a loud eating noise of a bear eating the applecore i left. Some more sniffing and then nothing. Phew.. I stayed quit, very quit for another few minutes. And very scared....

Luckily i didn't had food or candybar wrappers etc. in the tent. yesterday i heard that one of the guys i met in Dawson (Mac) got his tent ruined by a bear while he was in it....
Apparantly the bear walked away instead of attacking him and he got away with it.

For the last few days I hung my garbage in a tree 3 meters from my tent and about 2m high. I thought it was okay, no bear droppings in sight, lots of other guests...

What worried me the most is that i didn't hear it coming through the bushes or disappearing. I took the bearspray out. And promised to myself NEVER EVER leave eating stuff around my campsite.

Amazing how little accidents happen though, i have seen quite a lot of people leaving their food or garbage near the tent. Although you see warning everywhere with the combination of the words "BEAR" and "DON'T KEEP FOOD AROUND YOUR TENT".

I know, I should know better by now with all the warnings. But still, at 50m distance there were people making noise, you don’t expect a bear that close.

Allan told me the next day that it was probably a young grissly. After two years they are abandoned by their moms and that is a critical period for young bears and they tend go to urban areas for food, usually harmless to people unless you scare or frighten them. And that i’m probably on the bears route. The have some sort of fixed route they go where they know there is food. Like campsites....

Lesson learned. I hope you forgive me for haven't any pictures.

The last few days i finally saw a few bears on my way from Valdez to Juneau. Young ones mainly. They don't look dangerous, even cute.....

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Stuck in Homer...

The laptop ordering thing didn't go too well ;( I really want it, so i ordered again in Homer. Totally NOT thinking, i ordered it on July 3th, with July 4th on Friday which is a national holiday. Three days extra waiting time. So, i'm stuck in Homer. Killing time. Oh well..

Homer is a good place to chill out a few days. It rains every morning till about 11:00, forcing me to sleep through this :). Finally, as you can read, i have plenty of time to update my blog. I contacted Allan, a guy i met in Fairbanks - he bought his brand new KLR '08 there, nice!!- and he lives in Homer. Being a Carpenter he build his own house and garage/workshop. It looked professional and clean, well organized. Nice. We spend a day, went to the Homer spit, the place for hallibot fishing (and eating...)

Yesterday I did a tourist trip to a small village called Seldovia, 1.5 hour by boat. Very picturesque and very quit. But with a nice beach. Too bad it was clouded, the picture doesn't do justice to reality. Camping on the beach is allowed. So if you ever end up here, go see it, it's nice.

A bit more about past route. From Inuvik i went back to Anchorage via (again) the top of the world highway (nice!), Chicken, Tok, Paxson, Glennallan and Palmer, hoping for my Laptop to be delivered to Paul & Carol. Also, the bike needed new tires and fresh oil. By now, after all these miles, there's hardly any thread left and cornering starts getting really, really scary...

Initially i wanted to go over the Denali Highway, another gravel road through beautiful nature parks. Weather didn't help me this time and water and gravel and water caused me headaches again. Besides, worn out tires don't do very well on bad roads. I skipped this one, and took the highway. No adventures this time!

Palmer has a nice campsite and ..uh... that's about it ;-) Not really, there's good food and live music at the Vagebond Blues. I stayed one day to do all service except oil- and tire change. Met a group of Texan riders and got one of the guys adresses. He has a workshop, so i have a service station somewhere along the road.

At this point it is a good moment to thank Paul & Carol again. These good people let me stay a few nights when i arrived in Anchorage and again when I was back in Anchorage to service the bike on my way to Homer. Isn't the cat great? She was lying like this and 30 sec. later, when i got the camera, she still had this pose.. Paul is a contractor in construction, Carol is a talented painter, please check her work on http://carollambertarts.com/

I just learned that i have to wait 2 other days.. enough time to finish Ted Simon's Jupiters Travels. Good book, very inspiring.

Oh, in between activities i send back about 7 pounds of luggage! ;-)