Sept 26, 2005 - Monday
Anchorage, AK to Homer, AK

Riding along the Chickaloon Bay & Turnagain Arm
MPG, 7.6 MB, 0 min 58 sec

John (I hope I recall your name correctly) and I at the Spenard Hostel.  He has / just obtained his private pilot's license - plans to fly about the area tonight.  Also has plans on doing a long distance motorcle tour.  Nice to meet you!

Leaving Anchorage - houses and such up in the hills.  Mostly clear skies.

Riding along with the Chickaloon Bay & the Turnagain Arm

Running low (150 - 200 ft MSL) along the water we turn towards dark clouds.  The mountains closed in as I drove on and I ended up making a wide, right U-turn to come back down the other side a bit before curving to the left to head down another canyon.  Uphill stretches had nice two lane sections for slow vehicles - I think the road went up to about 1200 ft..

Some type of construction going on.  The odd thing about this stretch of road is that I'd see "Leaving Avalanche Area" but I never saw a single "Entering Avalanche Area" zone - odd.

Let's look back towards Anchorage

Unfortunately a bunch of pictures today turned out fuzzy.

I think this was near the junction to Kenai
(click for a larger size)

The bike is getting a bit more character - after the mud dousing of the Dalton, and a hose cleaning just before leaving the Old Chatanika Gold Camp, things, electrically, have been acting up a bit.  Nothing too major - but something's up.  The first to act up was the horn switch (left hand controls) - it would start sounding on its own - I'd hit and wiggle the switch a bit and it would stop.  Now the horn won't start - like the switch is packed with mud.  For several miles after leaving the camp the motor was not running on all four lungs - perhaps down to only two.  By the time I left Fairbanks all cylinders were running smoothly.

A couple nights ago, at a fuel stop near Talkeetna (where the lady at the office helped by calling about to find me a room), I went to start the bike but after hitting the starter switch (right hand controls) the starter just kicked a little bit and the motor backfired and stopped.  Successive pushes of the switch did nothing. Dang - did I run the battery too low with the jacket set too high?  I didn't think so - I've been monitoring voltate via the GPS and it's been up at 13.9 to 14.3 vDC.  At least the office is open with maybe some jumper cables if need be. With the bike in gear I rocked it back and forth a bit to jostle the motor - just in case the starter motor was somehow jammed (it uses an overriding roller engagement style and not a gear that engages / disengages).  After some rocking and pushing of the switch it sparked to life.  Voltages look right as well.  Looks like it's the switch acting up.  Hmmm.  For many starts after that the switch was touchy.

The third thing (they come in three's ya know) is that this afternoon - about 14 miles before hitting Homer an oncoming vehicle (overcast skies) flashes lights at me (all vehicles are supposed to run with headlights in Alaska but many don't) so I thought it was a "police ahead" notice - after not seeing anything for several miles I took a look down to the headlight - dark.  Toggle the high-beam switch (left handlebar controls) - still dark.  Looks like I'll have to take the controls apart tomorrow.....   (should be a simple task)  Perhaps when I'm done the horn and starter will be reliable.

As an aside - this bike has electromechanical / electronic turn signal cancel control - that basically never worked - guess what - it works pretty well now!

Getting closer to the Kenai Lake and Cooper Landing

Roads get more twisty, scenery gets nicer

Kenai Lake

This was a wonderful area - a place to stop back and rent a place to stay.  Rafting excursions.  Fishing guides.  Nice lake.  Sweet.

Kenai Lake

(click for a larger size)

After that area we head towards Sterling and Soldotna - the views flattened as the mountains disappeared / the valley widened.

Down near Ninilchick the road neared the water - running high on the bluff most of the time.  I could just barely see to the other side of Cook Inlet.  Somewhere in the clouds where these two mountains.

Over there somewhere...

Large ship, mountains in the mist, horses
(click for a larger size)

Last pic - rain's starting to fall.

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