Thursday, September 13, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Butch's return home-day 5

My brother, my hero, made it home today safely. He traveled a total of 10, 007 miles............what a ride!!! He left home on August 1, and returned today, August 27. He will have to be introduced to his wife and kids. ;-) No one can call Butch a "poser", though, after riding over 10,000 miles in less than a month. He's my hero.

He and I both have a "raccoon" face from the wind and sun and the wearing of our shades, but his is much more pronounced than mine............his may never go away. Both his teeth and eyeballs appear to be whiter now. ;-)

We are already discussing our next ride. We would like to get a ride in next year, but we may have to wait until '09 and do the National Parks with Tammy and Gary. Ideally...... we would like to ride somewhere every year - just make this a yearly adventure until one of us can't swing our leg over the saddle any more. Bu we would both be divorced if we tried to pull that off, and we love our brides to much to let that happen. ;-)

But Butch and I have some wonderful memories and experiences from the Alaska trip that we will never forget, and hopefully, we will be able to re-live the ride with our spouses one day, but from an automobile. That is the only way that we will get our spouses to join us. ;-)

Thanks to all of you who followed along with us on our little adventure. We hope that you enjoyed the blog and comments and the meager photos that were taken. Until the next adventure............

Butch and Jim

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Butch's return home-day 4

Butch just called to say that he is in Manistique, Michigan for the night, and will have about five hours to travel tomorrow before he gets home. He has had great weather since leaving Everett, and says that he has been blessed. He will call when he arrives home tomorrow. And yes, he did call his lovely wife. ;-)

Ride safe, Bro.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Butch's return home-day 3

Butch left a message that he was lost in Minnesota......he repeated that he really was lost. Said that he took a wrong turn somewhere, but that he would figure it out tomorrow. He is going to try to make it home tomorrow (Sunday), but that he would have to ride 14-15 hours to do so. He then said, "We'll see."

Sorry I missed talking with him, but ride hard and ride safe, bro.


Photos posted today.........

Additional photos were posted today, (there may be some duplicates), but that is all that I will be posting to the pbase web site. My biggest regret is that we didn't have time to stop and take more photos. The most outstanding photos were passed by........and I really mean that.

Jeannine and I have been invited to see "Chicago" tonight with a co-worker of hers, so we will not be passing this up. The concert is outside and rain is predicted.......but hey, this is Seattle! That means that I won't speak to Butch when he calls this evening, but hopefully he will leave a message which I can post to the blog when I get home this evening.



Friday, August 24, 2007

Butch's return home-day 2

Butch called late tonight to say that he is in Miles City, Montana after having set a new personal record of 625 miles today. He said that he took my advise and drove 75 to 80 mph most of the day-with four hours today at 80 mph . He was traveling 80 mph when two crazy Beemers passed him like he was parked.He left at about 8 this morning and got to his motel about 7pm - to late to call his lovely wife whose time zone is 3 hours ahead of him. He stated that he was on I-90 and I-94 all day, and that tomorrow he will cut up to Route 2 for the rest of the way home. He stated that he should be in Minnesota tomorrow, and home by Sunday or Monday. Butch wanted me to let his family and friends know that he has been weaned from Mountain Dew. Here is the story: traveling to Alaska, we had to stop every 45 minutes to an hour so that Butch could empty his bladder. When we got to Alaska, his son Lucas and I convinced Butch that it was the Dew that was causing this bladder urgency so often. Coming back from Alaska, we could go 3-3 1/2 hours without Butch having to stop. He has sworn off the Dew, and wanted me to let everyone know that he is weaned.

Roberta, please keep us informed as to how long this will last. ;-)

I REALLY miss my Brother and riding with him-I feel as though I'm letting him down by not being there with him. But I also know that my vacation is over and that his will be over soon also.

Ride hard and ride safe, are in my prayers.


Site meter

When I set up this blog, I set it up with a site meter, just for curiosity. I don't know how accurate it is, since it is free, but the results, if true, are interesting:

Two brothers to Alaska
Site Summary


Average Per Day29
Average Visit Length4:26
Last Hour0
This Week205

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Butch's return home-day 1

Butch called from Kellog, Idaho and said that he had a good day riding..........except that it was so hot. He said that he also had a lot of construction to negotiate today, so he is going to try making his way to rt 2 again for the rest of the ride home. That is the same route that he took from Michigan to Everett.

Ride hard......ride safe, Bro.

Sad day...........

Today is a sad day for the writer of this blog. At noon today, I waved good-bye to my brother as he turned right onto I-90 east, on his way to Michigan, and I continued north on I-405 toward Everett. Sad, because I will miss my brother after being together for over two weeks. Sad, that this little adventure has come to an end for me. Sad, that we had so many shared memories that we still need to talk and laugh about over and over again. Sad, that he has to ride home to Michigan all alone. My prayers will be with him even though I cannot. My brother is a good man-a much better man than I will ever be in this lifetime. I already miss him a lot.

This morning, we rode over to Renton, Washington to visit some distant relatives. Bill and Delores Peless, and their offspring, are the only remaining Peless's in this state. It was good to visit with them and to get to know them better. They are good people.

Yesterday, Butch and I rode about 1 1/2 hours over to Oak Harbor, Washington to visit our niece, Tammy, and her wonderful family. Unfortunately, her husband Gary was at work and we didn't get to see him. But we did get to see his beautiful, new, BMW motorcycle. I took it for a spin and it really moves! (Just kidding Gary!) After spending much to short of a time with Tammy and family, Butch and I stopped at a Harley shop and got the oil changed on his bike. I had to restrain my brother from trading his bike in on a newer model that was in a "postal blue" color that he loved and really wanted . I convinced him not to do it when I said that his wife would "go postal" on him if he bought the newer bike!

Butch has promised to call me every night so that I can continue this blog, because his little adventure has not ended yet. He still has about 2400 miles to go before he gets home. Butch figured out the mileage from Everett to Kenai and back-5,015 miles. What a ride! But Butch will have twice that on his entire trip. He is my hero.

Things observed and pondered along the way:

1. Many thanks to Butch who planned this trip. He mapped out our route, and made reservations at many of our stops. He was lead dog, who, with his hawk-like eyes, spotted much of the wildlife (critters) for us. He also made the days go faster by keeping me in stitches throughout the day. He also kept me at a sensible pace, obeying the speed limits most of the time. I just relaxed this entire trip and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and shed the occasional tear for the yet another "perfect" shot that we were passing by. So, I thank you Butch.

2. We both noticed the lack of road kill along the highways in the remote areas of BC and the Yukon. No road kill at all-none. We didn't even notice any dead animal smells in the remote areas that we always smell once we get back to civilization. Conclusion: the bears take care of any excess carcasses that may be out there. Because the bears are every where.

3. Lack of billboards. It was refreshing to see no billboards for days at a time. None. Even approaching the small towns-none. Even approaching the larger towns like Whitehorse. None. Even when we got back to civilization in BC, the towns do not have the size or number of bill boards tha are found here in the states. Refreshing.
4. Traffic. Yesterday and today, every time that we got stopped due to traffic, we would look at each other and say in unison - "I miss the Yukon". We could drive for hours and maybe see one or two vehicles on the road.
5. There are enough trees in Canada to keep us supplied with paper products for a long time. As well as oil. According to two people that we spoke with, and one of them working for the oil companies, there is supposedly enough oil in Canada to keep the USA supplied for decades to come.
6. Canada and the USA are so similar in so many ways that the only way you can really tell the difference is in the money and the speed limit signs.
7. Butch and I REALLY want to take our wifes on the same routes to and from Alaska so that they too can see and experience the beauty of Canada and Alaska. But by car, and over at least three weeks.
8. Experience it yourself. Butch and I bought and read books on motorcycling to Alaska. We did research on the internet. We followed exactly what others were saying to do and not to do, and we learned that only about 50% of the information that we gathered was useful. Just do it and experience it yourself.
9. Cell phones are useless in most of British Columbia and the Yukon. That is one reason that the people look out for each other so much in the "bush". There is nothing else to fall back on except your neighbors. I like that.
10. Wonderful spouses. Our wifes are the best for putting up with two men who are still boys at heart and allow them to live a dream and ride a motorcycle to Alaska. Awesome.
11. We were blessed. We know that. And we are greatful.
12. And yes.....we would do it again in a heartbeat!!!! We just have to hit the Lottery, and make HUGE promises to our brides.
13. We are already making plans for the next little adventure. We were thinking of doing all 48 states in two weeks, but then we thought of taking our spouses on the next adventure instead. Salt Lake City, Utah is only a days ride from here, and it is about a days ride to about 11 national parks. So we are going to plan on seeing as many national parks as we can in two weeks with our spouses. We are planning this for 2009, because we are going to invite another couple, Tammy and her husband Gary, to join us. Gary is in the Navy and will be oversees for a year, so we will just have to wait until he gets back. By then, he will be a little older and a little wiser and will probably trade in his Beemer for a real bike. ;-)

So keep in touch with the blog, and I will update it as soon as I hear from Butch each evening.

......and thank you all for joining us on this little adventure!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day 14 - vs 2.0

Wednesday, 22 Aug.
I started my normal routine and was up with my bride at 5:30am, made her breakfast, kissed her and saw her off to the corporate world. Played ball with our dog Libby, fed her, and unpacked all my gear. Put a load of my laundry in to wash, and uploaded some photos to my web site. Read the paper and pat the cat. Life is good!

At 8am, my bro awakens, and I hear : "hey, I got to do some laundry - I have no clothes to wear!" Good morning, Butch.

Today we will wash our bikes, and try to get an oil change for Butch's bike, get all laundry done, and try to visit some family members and some friends that Butch wants to see before he leaves. Life is good!

More than one person has asked why we don't wear full-faced helmets, or at the least, a face shield. As the old saying goes-if I have to explain, you won't understand. ;-) But I will attempt to do my best. Now this is just my humble opinion. We met a gentleman riding a
Cowasaki motorcycle. He was washing his bike as we were washing ours. He was cracking jokes about Harley's, and you could tell that he REALLY didn't like Harley's or the people that rode them. Since this is the NEW me, I didn't go over and pound some sense into the disturbed man, as I may have been prone to do 5 years ago before the NEW me. I let him make jokes and carry on. Butch asked him something about riding in the rain all day today, and the gentleman replied that it didn't bother him because he had a heated jacket that he just plugged into his bike and was toasty all day. He said that he never felt the rain or hail that we rode in because he wore a full-faced helmet. Now this is just philosophy by jp, but if you are warm and toasty and dry, well, you might as well ride in a cage ( slang for automobile), because part of the joy of motorcycling is being free and enjoying the elements of nature. Butch and I smell everything -things you don't normally smell in a car. We hear so much more than one would in a car. And yes, we get wet, cold, and pummeled with hail - but that is part of the experience! If I have to ride in a heated jacket, heated pants, heated gloves, with a full faced helmet, than I will hang up my keys and never ride a bike again. The newer generation is missing out on the FUN and the CHALLENGE and the EXPERIENCE of motorcycling. Again, this is just my humble opinion.

Got to run........Butch is done with his shower and ready to roll......later.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day 14 - 21 Aug 2007

Butch and I arrived safely in Everett at about 7pm after traveling about 400 miles through some breath taking country. We did stop to take a few photos, which I will post tomorrow. Today's ride was a perfect weather day - no rain, no hail. Will post more tomorrow about today's ride and will include the photo's and will keep this blog going until Butch reaches home. I've asked him to call me each night with particulars to add to the blog until he gets home after an additional 2400 miles. He's my hero!

Butch and Jim

Monday, August 20, 2007

New photos posted 20 Aug 2007

Day 13 - 20 Aug 2007

We started out today at 9:15am to overcast skies and a light rain, that quickly turned into a moderate rain. This lasted for about 1 1/2 hours. We had a lazy day today, though, having traveled only 400 miles to Williams Lake, BC. , where we arrived at 6pm after traveling about 9 hours .

No critters spotted today - with all the traffic we encountered today, we know that we are back into civilization somewhat. Not a good day for riding, though, because riding in the rain can be challenging and stressful. To put this in perspective, imagine driving in a convertible with the top down, in the rain, with no windshield wipers, and no heat. Your visibility is reduced, the cold rain hitting your face (we have no face shields on our helmets) freezes your face, and your glasses are spotted with rain droplets. And then you get colder. But we do appreciate days like this - really we do. Number one, it humbles us, and number two, it makes us appreciate the warm, sunny days even more. And it makes us better riders.

But then we rode into hail. Larger hail stones than yesterday, that ripped parts of my beard right off of my face. Butch said that he won't have to shave tomorrow - ripped his one day growth right off. Fortunately, the hail was in short duration - much shorter than yesterday's hail. So once again, we were blessed. Humbled, but blessed. ;-)

Tomorrow's ride is an even shorter ride - about 385 miles to my home in Everett. Hopefully, the rain will have passed, and we will arrive safety at about 6-6:30pm without incident. We plan on washing our bikes in the morning before we leave -we have washed our bikes about 6 times since we left. Yet our poor bikes remain dirtier than we have ever seen them. We wash them, and it rains, or we travel through gravel pits and they get covered in dust. Would we do this again? Yes - in a heartbeat!

Things we learned today:

1. Never spend time washing your bikes the night before it rains.

2. Hail stones hurt!

3. We really appreciated the emptiness and the vastness of the Yukon and parts of British Columbia. Mile after mile of nothing. Very little traffic, if any at all - and even fewer buildings. Seeing the wonders of God's beautiful earth and seeing His creations (critters) in their natural habitat is a moving experience. Coming back to reality isn't as easy as one would think.

4. But we miss our brides, and are eager to see them ASAP. Being separated this long is not a good thing. That is why we will have to do this again - but with our lovely brides next time. ;-)

5. Butch said that he saw a lot of short horned elk today - does anyone know what he is talking about? This is a serious question - he said that Neil would know what he is talking about. Anyone else know?

6. We have been blessed yet again this day.

Tomorrow...........HOME!!!!! (for Jim anyway) ;-)

Butch and Jim

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Day 12 -19 Aug 2007

We left the lodge at 8:15 am this morning to overcast skies and 52 degrees. Just before we started our bikes, Butch asked if we would see any "critters" this morning. By 8:30, we saw our first Mountain sheep right on the roadway. Later we saw Moose and Caribou together, and later saw each separately at different times. No Bears today, although the couple that we met yesterday, who stayed at the same lodge as we did, and was leaving at the same time as we were, had seen a Grizzly.

It started raining early, and rained off and on most of the day....except when it hailed. We were in a high mountain pass with a very cold rain beating down on us, when it started to hail. Butch said, and I quote, " I screamed like a little girl 'cause it hurt so bad." The woman Harley rider, Julie, who was riding with us, said that she thought her lips were swelling from the pounding she took. I believe that we are scarred for life from the brutal beating that we took on our unprotected faces. Fortunately, the hail didn't last long. We stopped for fuel and met this couple, male and female riders, who had left
Massachusetts last November, and had been all over the southern part of the USA, Mexico, and was just returning from Alaska. We later had dinner with them when we arrived in Dawson Creek, where we are bedding down for the evening. By the way, we did wash off the 15-20 pounds of mud from our bikes today. Should get better fuel economy tomorrow.

What we learned today:

1. British Columbia has a lot of critters.

2. Hail really stings the uncovered face at 50 mph.

3. There are good people all over the world.

4. There is a LOT of open country in Canada.

5. Hail hurts.

6. It is good to be the writer of the blog - therefor, none of my silly antics gets posted. ;-)

7. We have been blessed.


Butch and Jim

Day 11 - 18 Aug 2007

We left Whitehorse at 9:15am.........temperature a balmy 58 degrees, blue skies, sunny, with good roads. Stopped at Rancheria Lodge (where we stayed when my bike broke down) and had lunch and good conversation with our friends Linda and Denis who own the place. Denis had a motorcycle bell for me, and placed it on my bike next to my other bell so that I would have twice as much luck. He asked what route we were taking back, and after we told him, he said that it was a beautiful drive, but to be careful of the Buffalo that like to mill about on the highway...but whatever you do, don't blow your horn at them, because it just irritates them and they have been known to charge at automobiles. As we were leaving, we met another couple who also stopped in for lunch who were also riding their his and her Harley's to Washington state. They left their home in Alaska at the same time as we did, and spent the night in Whitehorse just as we did. We talked a bit and hit the road once more.

Butch and I both agree that
today's ride was the best ride of all thus far......based on the good roads, the warm temperatures, and the wildlife or "critters" that we saw today. We saw Mountain Sheep, Caribou, one Black Bear, and of course, the Buffalo. The first Buffalo was lying down next to the roadway sunning himself. I stopped to get some photos, and we moved on. Shortly thereafter, we came across a herd of Buffalo, with a cow and her calf in the roadway. I got as close as I dared to so that I wouldn't spook them with my loud bike, so that I could get some photos. I looked behind me and Butch was a 1/4 mile behind me! I motioned for him to come up to me and he said, quote, "NO!". I shot several photos and this time yelled at Butch to join me. He did. He then asked me what we were going to do with the cow and calf on the roadway. I told him that I would lead, and for him to follow me, and once we got by the Buffalo, he could resume his lead dog position. As soon as I got next to the cow and her suckling calf, I laid on my horn button, and didn't let up until we had gotten past the entire herd that was off to the right of the roadway. By the time Butch pulled up to me yelling about me hitting the horn button, I once again had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. For some reason, he is still upset with me over that little incident, claiming that I am trying to kill him. We then arrived at the Northern Rocky Lodge, where everything was overpriced. No phones in the rooms, and to use the existing :public" phone was ridiculous. The internet service provided was using THEIR PC and you was timed at $5.00 for 20 minutes. So we went to bed early so we could get an early start. We rode 10 hours today - time for bed.

What we learned today:

1. Butch and I rate today's ride the best of all thus far.

2. The Yukon and British Columbia are
absolutely gorgeous. But I think repeat myself. ;-)

3. Good people can be found any where in the world.

4. Buffalo don't respond to a Harley horn - even when you are next to them.

5. We miss our spouses even more today than yesterday.

6. We have been very blessed on this little adventure.

Butch and Jim

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Partial blog

Butch and I arrived at Muncho Lake, British Columbia in fine shape. Internet is $5 for 20 minutes, and it is VERY slow, so will update info tomorrow.

Butch and Jim

Friday, August 17, 2007

Day 10 - 17 Aug 2007

We woke to a beautiful day today. Our hosts made us a wonderful breakfast at the B&B, and advised us that they just got power lines run past their place last March, but the lines spoiled their view of the mountains. But, their power expense averaged $1,000 per month last year using their two generators to power their large home and two cabins. I won't complain to loud about our electric bill in the future.

We hit the highway at 8:30am to a sunny, cloudless, beautiful day. Before long, we had our jackets off and rode all the way to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory (almost 500 miles) without them. We spent 10 1/2 hours in the saddle today, but we did have bad roads in Canada, and we did make more stops than usual for photos.

Crossing the border was once again a breeze - my 100 watt smile seems to be paying dividends thus far. ;-)

IMMEDIATELY after crossing the border, the roads were terrible. Here is a short education on the difference between Alaskan roads and Yukon roads: in Alaska, we can travel 60 mph through their "loose gravel" Yukon, we have to slow down to 15mph to drive through their "loose gravel" areas. Very time consuming and hard on the knuckles.

Today, Butch saw both a moose and an eagle. That boy has eyes like a hawk! I couldn't see anything due to the tears in my eyes. While we were crossing a "loose gravel" area at 15 mph, an 18-wheeler coming from the opposite direction at 75mph through a boulder that struck me square on the nose. I was looking through two waterfalls for about 27 miles, and missed the eagle and moose.

We probably had our best ride thus far on this little adventure. Warm temps, blue sky, and very little traffic. While we both regretted having to leave the beautiful state of Alaska, it was good to be on the road heading back home to our lovely brides. My bride even e-mailed me today and said " Hey, enjoy yourself on this little adventure-take your time and bring back some good photos.........Winston and Libby and I are fine." I'm worried! I wonder if we pushed the envelope and rode day and night if we could be in Everett in two days. ;-)

My brother is much smarter than I am...... and a much, much, better person. Plus he has good eyes. So what I am about to say is not to mock him in any way. I wouldn't do that. But he has cracked me up on this entire trip with his
insistence to always moving to fast. Our friends the Nelson's, and Jeannine, will concur with me and understand what I am talking about when I say that Butch is ALWAYS in a hurry. Butch drives Mary Nelson crazy when we go scuba diving together because he is always in so much of a hurry. Case in point: this morning, Butch takes his shower first. Within 30 seconds, he comes back to the room bare-butt naked to get his bath towel that he forgot. I have timed him in the bathroom in the mornings- 3 minutes and 45 seconds consistently. I followed after him into the bathroom, and there were his vitamin pills sitting on the counter, never to be seen by Butch again. He is constantly miss-placing items, which just cracks me up! Today, we stopped at Tok, Alaska for fuel and a soda. Tok is the highest latitude that either one of us has ever been on this earth, so we took a break across the street at the Visitors Center (which placed us at an even higher latitude!). We are outside, I'm sipping on my soda, and I look over at Butch and he is putting his helmet on-he's ready to go! Then he asked me "Have you seen my sunglasses?" "Ah, no I haven't Butch". "I wonder where they could be, he says." I said, "maybe you left them in the building". So he says yea, I probably did, and takes off his helmet. Yup, you guessed it, his shades were still on the top of his head! At this point, I had tears running down my face and soda coming out of my nose. He then looks and points at me and says," If you put this on the blog, I'm going to have to hurt you." That comment did two things: made me laugh even harder, and committed me into putting it into the blog tonight.
Whenever I would get too bored, I would think about my brother being in too much of a hurry, and I would start laughing all over again. Maybe you just had to be there. ;-)

Things we learned today:

1. We saw only 1/10th of 1% of Alaska, and yet it was so stunning with beauty that we would love to come back again with our lovely brides.

2. The Al-Can highway from the border to the other side of Destruction Bay in Canada sucks.

3. Trucks coming at you at 75mph throw boulders at anyone on motorcycles.

4. It is much better to ride in a t-shirt than a heavy jacket.

5. Butch has a new, quote, theme song that goes like this: " Rollin', rollin', rollin', O my butt is swollen, keep these engines rollin', raw hide!" Butch says that he sings this as loud as he can while rollin' down the highway. My bro is funny-he just keeps me laughing all the time!

6. Butch rates the pain as, and I again quote, "somewhere between unbearable and unbelievable!"

7. Butch is a funny man, and I love him for his humor also.

8. We have been blessed on this little adventure.

Butch & Jim

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day 9 - 16 Aug 2007

We left Kenai, Alaska at 9am this morning to 52 degree temperatures and a light rain.
The rain soon stopped, and by the time we got to Anchorage, the sun was shining and it was much warmer. We stopped to take a photo of a glacier, and took off our extra clothes-it was that warm. Just before arriving at our B&B for the night, we stopped at a place called the "burger bus" for dinner. I will try to upload the photos tonight so that you can witness us eating outside in short sleeved shirts due to the wonderful weather that Alaska is famous for.

Butch knows no strangers. As I write this blog, he has captured the owners attention with his many stories concerning just about everything in this world. The owners now know more about Butch's history than I do ;-)

We will take off tomorrow and ride to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Of course, we won't leave to early due to the wild life crossing the highway, or as Butch calls them, "critters".

The owners of the B&B said that we are a little late in the season for traveling by motorcycle, but we should be alright. I will try to upload photos of this beautiful B&B tonight, which the owners claim is the cheapest place on the highway.

Things we learned today:

1. We are blessed.

2. Alaska has a ton of small air-strips along the highways. The owner of the B&B stated that these are all privately owned planes, for the most part. The state runs some of these, and use them for emergency purposes primarily. The planes in Alaska right now use wheels and/or floats, but in the winter, they are equipped with skies and land just about anywhere. Amazing.

3. Alaska has been the warmest part of our trip thus far........I never would have guessed that.

4. Alaska is very similar to the Seattle area. It is very green, has a lot of water, and a lot of rain (so I have heard from many different sources). It's similarity ends when winter sets in. ;-)

5. Butch and I would like to bring our lovely spouses to Alaska sometime - but not on a motorcycle.

So I will leave the blog and upload photos now.

See ya tomorrow.....

Butch and Jim

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Day 8 Aug15 2007 v2.0

Butch and I picked up our Harley's from the shop about 5:30 this evening. Butch got a new tire, a quart of oil, and was about $200.00 lighter when he walked out the door. I was only $95.00 lighter, after they noticed that my bike was missing two an engine mount bolt, and the other the rear axle adjuster bolt. That's a testament to the difficult roads that we traveled over at 15 mph. But......we are all set to ride tomorrow.

Day 8 - 15 Aug 2007

Woke up this morning to rain here in Kenai, AK, and we have to ride about 1/2 hour to the Harley Davidson shop to have our bikes checked out and new rear tire placed on Butch's ride. If we could have gotten the bikes in yesterday, we would have been on the road heading back to Everett by now.

We spent yesterday doing laundry, planning our route back home, and doing a little site-seeing (see photos).

Today we will finalize our trip back home. We our taking a slightly different Watson Lake, instead of going south we will continue east to Fort Nelson, then south to Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and onto Prince George. From Prince George, the route is the same to home. By taking this route, we will avoid the infamous and dangerous route 37 and avoid another white knuckle day. We are going to take it a little slower so that we can enjoy the beauty of the land, take some photos, and not ride so hard. It will take us one day longer to get home, but it will be more relaxed and much safer.

Not every place that we are planning on staying may have internet connections, so if I miss a day for the blog, that will be the reason. Of course, our cell phones are worthless in the Yukon and most of British Columbia..........but they do work here in Alaska. But tomorrow we once again leave civilization for the long ride home. We miss our spouses and are ready to ride back home.

Who knows what adventures await us on the trip back?


Butch and Jim

Monday, August 13, 2007

Day 6 - 13 Aug 2007

By 8 am we were packed and ready to go with the temperature a balmy 58 degrees. But........before we could leave, some ladies from Tokyo wanted to take some photos of the two handsome Harley dudes. (her words, not mine ;-) ) After the photo session, we started off........and Butch's bike started right off. He thinks that the bike had some bad gas, and I tend to agree with him, since I can vouch that the owner of the bike has the same problem.

We traveled for about an hour, and since this was a short riding day, we stopped and had a real breakfast. I'm already liking Alaska a lot!

The beauty that we saw riding this day is awesome, to say the least. We did stopped for a couple of photos, and will try to post them tonight.

As we approached Anchorage, the traffic picked up and we were on our first 4-lane highway in 5 days. The temperature kept rising, and soon Butch and I had to stop to take off our jackets.......for the first time since we started this little adventure. It is hard to believe that we had to travel all the way to Alaska to hit temperatures close to 80 degrees.

We stopped at the local Harley dealership to see about getting a rear tire for Butch's bike, and continued on until we arrived at Butch's sons' home at about 5pm after traveling only 385 miles today.

Things we learned today:

1. It's good to eat a good breakfast.

2. The beauty of Alaska is STUNNING!

3. Alaska has warm temperatures, green grass, flowers, and Mexican food (my favorite).

4. Butch's little grand daughter is a cutie!

5. We have been blessed on this little adventure.

Butch and Jim

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Day 5 - 12 Aug 2007

What a beautiful morning!!! Nothing but blue skies - no rain. Butch didn't want to start to early due to the cold and the "critters" that are still out crossing the highways. We had the bikes loaded and we were ready to go at 9am. The temperature was 40 degrees, the skies blue, and the riders rested. But........Butch's bike wouldn't start. 9:15am, he got it started and we hit the road. A beautiful day all day. We had 525 miles to ride, which should have been done in 10 hrs, but the Canadian roads LOVE to have loose gravel placed on them for whatever reason. So we would have to slow down to 15 mph time and time again. But the scenery was magificent. I love the of the prettiest places in the world.If it didn't get down to -50 degrees in the winter for a month at a time, I might consider retiring there. The Yukon is almost the size of Texas, but only has about 30,000 people, with about 22,000 in Whitehorse. Amazing.
We crossed the border into Alaska at 4pm. It was the easiest crossing thus far........I showed the officer my drivers license, he asked where I was from and where I was going, and that was about it. Amazing.
I had mixed feelings on leaving the Yukon....sadness mixed with gladness. Sad to leave such a beautiful and hospitable country with its warm and friendly people, but glad to arrive in Alaska knowing that in one more day we would arrive at our destination.

While riding a bike for hours on end, one tends to ponder different things in detail. The lessons that I learned in the Yukon hopefully will stay with me for some time. I learned a tremendous amount about serving others, and putting someone elses needs before my own. I learned the there are wonderful people everywhere-no matter what color they are or what religion. But I'm rambling..........

We arrived in Glennallen at 8:15 this evening with 522 miles and 11 hours in the saddle. We are now about 386 miles to our destination.....our shortest ride thus far in a day.

Butch just told me that he never dreamed that we would ever ride motorcycles together to Alaska....but here we are........we did it!

Things we learned today:

1. We have been blessed tremendously on this little adventure.

2. Canada's roads don't even compare in quality with the good ole US of A's!

3. We miss the Yukon......but we have to go back through there again. Yes!

4. I really wanted to ask the Customs Agent just what did he do to upset his old boss so much that he was sent to the lonely border crossing at the Yukon. He must have really screwed up big time. ;-) But I learned to keep my big mouth shut since I didn't feel like going through the full body cavity search. But I was tempted.

5. We learned that we miss our spouses more with each passing day.

6. We learned that two old brothers CAN still ride like the wind and make it all the way to Alaska.

Tomorrow.........Butch's son Luke's home - our final destination.

Butch and Jim

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Some photos are posted now.....

Day 4 - 11 Aug 2007

This morning, Butch and I awakened to a beautiful day. My bike started, but Butch's wouldn't. I Let my bike run for about 45 minutes, because it always stopped after it warmed up. At 46 minutes, it stopped and would not restart. At that point, I asked the friendly motel owner to load my bike onto his trailer and take me to Whitehorse. Butch's bike still wouldn't start. About noon, Butch's bike started, my bike was loaded onto the trailer, and we left about 12:30 for the Harley dealership. We arrived at the Harley dealership at 4pm. I walked in and explained to the general manager/mechanic what the problem was, and he said that he would take a look at my bike, but that they closed at 5pm. We unloaded my bike, and by 4:30 pm he stated that he thought that he knew what the problem was, but the bad news was that he didn't have the needed part in stock, and that it wouldn't get here until next Tuesday or Wednesday. After Butch revived me with cold water and helped me off the cold floor, the GM said that there was another a current owner of a Harley that was manufactured between 2000 and 2003, and use their part. The Harley Owners Group secretary happened to walk in with a list of all the members in the group, and the GM started calling off the list those with bikes as old as mine. I believe that there were only three on the list. First one, not at home. Second one said that he couldn't because he was involved in an event this weekend. The third person said sure-I'll be right over. I was in shock, needless to say. Someone was willing to give up a part from their trusted steed to a stranger for nothing at all. Amazing. Within 5 minutes this 25 year old guy came in with his bike.
The GM put the part on my bike, and he was then able to hook my bike up to a shop computer to diagnose the problem - which he couldn't do before without the part. Turns out, the part that the GM originally thought was bad, wasn't bad at all, but it was a small electrical wire that controlled the original part. And the GM had that part in stock! About 15 minutes later, and $170.00 lighter, I was on my bike again and riding toward the motel. Amazing.
While all this is going on, Butch is talking to the 25 year olds father who followed the good samaritan over in his car so that he take him back home. It turns out that they are from the Netherlands, and has the same last name as one of our great grandmothers, and lived in the same area in the Netherlands. We are most likely related. Amazing.
One of Jeannine's favorite sayings is "There are no coincidences.....that is just God's way of micro-managing the Universe". I'm a believer in that.

We will get on the road by 8am, ride 10-12 hours tomorrow to a town called Glennallen in Alaska. 525 miles.

Things we learned today:
1. There are some VERY good people in this world-and they don't all live in the good ole USA.

2. There is no reason to get upset when plans go astray - everything happens for a reason. We just don't always know the reason-and that's ok also.

3. Where our bikes were parked last night, a bear was killed last year.

4. Yukon Territory is almost the size of Texas, yet it's population is only about 30,000 people.

5. The people in the YT are OUTSTANDING!.

6. We have been greatly blessed on this adventure thus far.

Tomorrow night we will be in Alaska......see ya then.

Jim and Butch

Sorry about lack of photos

Tried to up load 10 photos. but the connection here is so slow that I gave up after 1/2 hour. Will try to upload at a later time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Day 3- 10 Aug 2007

Jim got very little rest due to leg cramps, but Butch slept very soundly and snored loudly most of the night. Jim awakened at 5am, and was ready to go! Butch finally awakened at 6:30 and announced the he wasn't getting his fat butt out of bed until 7, because he didn't want to be on the road until 9am due to the cold weather and ice forming on the many bridges we had to cross. We finally went to breakfast and noticed two bicycles parked outside. We sat down, and as Butch raced for the food, I asked the young lady sitting at the next table if the bikes belonged to her. She said yes, that she and her friend (another young lady) were biking to Whitehorse - the same place that we were headed for. We planned on being there this evening, whereas they planned on being there in several weeks. Butch and I vowed then and there that we would never complain again about anything. We were going to spend the night in a hotel-they were camping in the rain with the grizzlies. Yep, you'll never hear us complain again!

Butch was ready to go at 8am, and chomping at the bit to leave............we finally pulled out at 8:30am. What a lovely place Bell ll is............we'll have to bring our spouses next time. This is a link for Bell 11 which is noted for their heliskiing:

Shortly after we left the hotel, we ran into a little rain, but the temperature was about 50 degrees. We did cross over at least 4 wooden planked bridges and 2-3 metal-mesh bridges. Then it happened: CONSTRUCTION. This was supposed to be an easy day of only 450 miles - we were hoping to get into our hotel in Whitehorse early enough to relax a bit before bed - but construction was going on big time! This day will be forever known as "White knuckle" day.........we ended up going about 30 miles is LOOSE GRAVEL and 30 miles in MUD. Our top speed was 30 miles per hour, but most of the time we were going 15-20 mph - with our hands tightly holding onto the grips with all our strength. Needless to say, we lost valuable time-about 3 hours of valuable time. We wouldn't make Whitehorse until 10pm, so we decided to stay elsewhere, a place that was about one hour from us at the time. Bad luck. Jim's bike broke down..........the engine just stopped at 70 mph shortly after we entered Yukon Territory. After several tries to restart it, we simply hooked a tow strap to Butch's bike and towed Jim's bike about 1000 feet to the first building we had seen in about 45 minutes......a small mom and pop motel. But we were grateful for a place to spend the night. As a matter of fact, Butch is asleep and snoring even as I write this. Seriously. Anyway, I will call the Harley dealer in Whitehorse in the morning and hopefully explain the problem to them (I believe it to be electrical) so that they can bring the necessary parts to fix my bike. Otherwise, they will have to take it back to their shop and repair it there.

Things learned today:

1. We have been very blessed thus far on this little adventurer.

2. Bikes can be easier repaired than people.

3. Butch can sleep anywhere and at anytime.

4. We both miss our brides very much, but glad that they didn't join us on this little adventure - they would not have enjoyed today at all.

5. We are blessed.

I had hoped to post at least six photos per day, but we miscalculated some times, and didn't allow for so much construction, so photo ops are not feasible. If I stopped for every outstanding photo I saw, we wouldn't get very far. But I have passed up hundreds of simply outstanding and breathtaking shots - British Columbia is beautiful! I will post some shots tonight before I go to sure to check out the link at the top of the blog.


Day 2 - 08/09/07

Started the day at 6:45am to 40 degree temps and a wet fog. Today we saw most weather conditions: fog, sunshine, clouds,and rain. Not a bad rain, but a light rain a couple times during the day. Saw plenty of "deer", "elk", and "moose" caution signs-and saw both deer and elk, but no moose. Strange that British Columbia doesn't post "bear" caution signs, because we saw a total of seven black bears on four different occassions. Encounter 1- a large black bear crossed the road in front of us causing us to hit the brakes and slow down. Encounter 2- we came upon two black bear cubs playing in the middle of the highway. A vehicle coming at us had stopped to watch the cubs play, so of course we stopped also. Soon the mother bear came out of the brush, scolded the two cubs (most likely male ;-) ), and off they went. Encounter 3- An even larger black bear SLOWLY crossed the road in front of us, causing us to seriously slow down. Butch said that this was probably a male due to its size. Enounter 4- A black bear and her cub was spotted about 8-10 feet of to our right side feeding-neither looked up as two Harleys passed so close to them. So many bears today......what a thrill!!

We arrived at Bell ll (our hotel) after traveling for 13.5 hours and 605 miles.

Things learned today:

1. New, stiff, gloves hurt your fingers and hands within 250 miles.

2. Spending 13.5 hours in the saddle is insane.

3. Ya, we would do it all over again.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Day 1 - 8 Aug 2007

We are spending the night in Williams Lake, British Columbia, 3 hours shy of our Prince George original destination. Jim couldn't get his act together this morning, so we didn't leave until 9am. We drove a total of 406 miles in 10 hrs and 10 minutes through rain, heat, high mountains, traffic, construction, and more rain. This is beautiful country.....and fortunate to have the opportunity to see it from the back of a bike - thank you Jeannine and Roberta for making this trip possible.

A couple things was learned today....

1. Butch is the lead dog. Jim drives to fast, Butch obeys the speed limits.....thus, Butch is lead dog.

2. Jim is to busy singing along with Garth Brooks to notice things like Elk and highway signs - thus Butch is lead dog.

3. The rain gear works - it was worth the expense. We road in some heavy rain today, and we are both dry at the end of the day.

4. Butch's butt hurts, Jim's doesn't. Conclusion......the old man still has it!

5. Crossing the border was so simple, all we did was show our driver's license and smiled at the pretty customs agent. No passport asked for...........nothing. We both still got it!

6. We will be getting up at 5am tomorrow to continue our adventure.

Jim & Butch

Wednesday, July 25, 2007