Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

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stagewex
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by stagewex » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:10 pm

Were you in Montana since Nov. 2016? That was your last post till today.
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Current Herd all running amok:
2019 Honda CRF450L (Elec Start)
2008 Vespa 150S (Elec & Kick Start)
2007 Ural Patrol (2WD, Elec & Kick Start)
2006 Honda "Big Ruckus" PS250 (Elec Start)
1991 Honda XR250L (Kick Start Only) *NOT running amok, out for Bottom & Top-End Rebuild.
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List what you "have", keep the others in your precious memory bank.

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by ClarkA » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:26 pm

no I have decided to complete this report before I forget details.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

hotflash44
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by hotflash44 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:25 am

ClarkA wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:26 pm
no I have decided to complete this report before I forget details.
think i saw your video at Ural of New England before your big trip,are you still riding the Ural? :bow: :cheers:
2016 gear up asphalt grey, name Seryy Medved ,Air America CIA circa 1967/8 Vung Tau Viet Nam USS Tutuila ARG-4 (AND JUST A TOUCH OF AGENT ORANGE!)

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by ClarkA » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:35 am

The Ural NE video was after my Alaska ride .No longer riding I had a pretty bad accident and totalled the rig.
Last edited by ClarkA on Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

hotflash44
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by hotflash44 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:46 am

ClarkA wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:35 am
No, I had a pretty bad accident and totalled the rig.
sorry to hear that, the video i saw you had what looked like a raceway solo seat and we are about the same weight etc , so i bought one and really feel its a comfortable seat. anyway nice hearing from you ,and hope you recovered completely from the accident. :cheers:
2016 gear up asphalt grey, name Seryy Medved ,Air America CIA circa 1967/8 Vung Tau Viet Nam USS Tutuila ARG-4 (AND JUST A TOUCH OF AGENT ORANGE!)

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by RC20 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:33 am

Spearfish Wyoming: Slept off a bit of a night there on year coming back across the US.
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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by ClarkA » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:56 am

No, I had a pretty bad accident and totalled the rig.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by ClarkA » Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 pm

Sitting in my Wall , SD motel room emptying my second beer and ruminating about my journey home while trying to get my replacement laptop operating; I came to the conclusion that my bike would need a service and new tires soon, I needed a reservation on the Milwaukee to Muskegon ferry as it was peak season for travel and it was about time I actually got inside the SPAM Museum! With a plan in place I pulled out my trusty maps and GPS to plot my course of action for the next day. I determined it was 475 miles to Austin, MN from Wall, SD followed by a 170 mile jaunt down the road to the ferry in Milwaukee, WI. I next sought out a Ural shop to service my rig including replacing all tires with new Hiedenau K-37s, selecting Crawford Motor in South Lyons, MI. A phone call firmed up a service appointment in 3 days time. I called and sent emails to the ferry making a reservation in 2 days out of Milwaukee (more on this later). I awakened to a sunny, not too warm day to begin my day's planned activity along I-90 rolling out with my "stitch" vents closed and helmet visor down. I hadn't ridden very far when my wanderlust kicked in and I exited the interstate
8-IMG_20130626_101128-001.jpg
I had a prolonged UDF with a Scoutmaster from Ohio remembering my abbreviated Boy Scout advancement and reciting the Boy Scout oath to establish my bonafides! Getting back on the road I demurred stopping at the Minuteman Missile Historical Site in a vain attempt to make up lost time. With Reliance , SD looming ahead, my mind flashed back to the tank of bad gas purchased there on our outbound leg, that cost us 2 days of good riding and untold hours of grief and aggravation. I cannot state it enough, DO NOT buy 93 octane from small remote gas stations! As the day passed the heat increased and induced me to take a break in Mitchell, SD to rehydrate and cool off in an air-conditioned diner . :boogie: I was repeating my ambulate, urinate ,and hydrate regime near Sioux Falls when I realized that I would lose an hour due to the Time Zone change at the SD/MN border!!!! :oops: :oops: While pi$$ing and moaning about not being able to reach Austin before closing time for the SPAM Museum , I witnessed a young girl helping her father by filling up his jacked up Ford F-250 diesel pickup with GASOLINE :o .
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Last edited by ClarkA on Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by ClarkA » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:18 pm

As my in laws live south of Milwaukee WI, I thought of getting reservations on the evening ferry to Muskegon, MI, so I could mooch a free meal and some rest at their place. The "Ferry Gods" chose to continuing to not answer the customer service phone line or respond to my emails, leaving me unsure of my reservation status. Since I was off the dietary leash and another DQ appeared at the exit,I pulled in to partake of one of my favorite meals Chill Dogs and a Rootbeer Float. Of course I was subject to the small town version of UDF while enjoying my meal, not mention the sight of an Amish family stopping by for ice cream cones. Having accepted that my plans had gone awry, I readjusted my riding plan and expanded my gas stop times including taking a nap at one of the state rest areas along I-90. I was greeted by the aroma of cooking meat as I rolled through my once stopping destination of Austin, MN as the sun was setting.My ride into the deepening darkness was pretty uneventful, but the dark prevented my taking a picture of the world's largest Six-Pack in LaCrosse, WI!
IMG_20130627_010823.jpg
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SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by sagerat » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:06 pm

Wow, we both ride Urals and both picked the same color schemes for our Roadcrafters. Warped minds think alike.

Sorry about your crash and the Ural getting totalled. Hope you already have or will heal fast and well.
2004 Ural Tourist (2004-2018, 48,000 klicks)

2012 Ural Gobi (Forward to the horizon)

2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure (KIA, sniff)

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by ClarkA » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:20 pm

As I rode through the Wisconsin night, I was rewarded with he consistent sale of ethanol free 93 octane gasoline! Wisconsin Dells at 2 AM is a pretty unimpressive place, well lit but unimpressive.Riding across southern central Wisconsin I kept reflecting on my past eastbound rides through the area all seemed to be during hours of darkness. As I thought about my Wisconsin in-laws deer hunting stories, I flipped on my high beams and auxiliary driving lights!! My ride to Milwaukee was completely boring and not worth describing to those reading this report. I arrived at the Milwaukee ferry terminal just before dawn and immediately was immersed in ineptocracy! The security officer wanted reservation information which of course I didn't have since my inquiries to the customer service telephone were unanswered ! He was put out by my inability to provide the information he sought and my explanation was off of his briefed script. As he attempted to process my off script reply, I walked away entering the terminal building to seek a resolution myself. I introduced myself to the ticket agent a middle aged plump lady with red lipstick and big smile, who responded " Mister Adams ,we were just about to call you". I was informed that the only reservation available was on the morning sailing at 8:30 AM that day. So much for a visit with the in-laws so I shelled out cash for not just a ticket but a ticket in the deluxe cabin. Why Deluxe you might ask? Because the subject cabin has no children under age 12 being permitted resulting in some relative degree of quietness, along with free non-alcoholic beverages and concierge like service too. Ticket and reservations in hand, I returned to the parking lot to massage the ruffled feathers and feelings of "Barney Fife" with the desire scripted response which freed him of having to think through a set of circumstances . I omitted having my shotgun in the boat in my replies to his inquiries ,as I'm sure this information would have produced a meltdown on his part!!With "Barney" sated and his authority intact I was directed to the loading area where several other motorcycles were parked. Yes, with this being Milwaukee they were all well polished , heavily chromed without functioning mufflers ridden by people wearing the obligatory Do-rags,black leather vest some wearing chaps, HD t-shirts announcing their rebelliousness and non-conformity!!! As my riding buddy John would say, full Kabuki Theater Garb, LOL! The nearest rider was out of uniform by sporting tennis shoes instead of boots with his HD get up,he began a disjointed UDF moment, but lacking any knowledge of my rig he was lost. Since I was approaching 24 hours without sleep, I didn't encourage him to pursue the conversation. Finally it was time to board the ferry ,which was accomplished without any hiccups or problems. I found a corner seat in the deluxe cabin, kicked off my boots and loosened my "stitch" and made ready to catch some sleep. The out of specs HD rider ambled over to reconnect with me as the ferry set sail. I politely explained my lack of sleep and no desire to stay awake conversing during the crossing , which seemed to deflate him, but C'est la vie!
Last edited by ClarkA on Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by ClarkA » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:36 pm

My road fatigue resulted in my only being awakened by the noise and activity associated with the ferry docking in Muskegon 3 hours later. I reassembled my "electronic warfare suite" on the bike in the ferry terminal parking lot prior to heading eastward to South Lyons, MI. I had 24 or so hours and 160 miles to go before my service appointment so a lackadaisical approach to today's ride was in order! My travel across Michigan along I-96 at Ural speed wasn't appreciated by a good number of car & truck drivers as I tooled along in the slow lane. I Found a comfortable room in the local Comfort Inn which was surrounded by a litany of fast food establishments. Being off of the road settled in a hotel room with full daylight on this trip was a new experience! After a meal my wife wouldn't have approved of ,I resumed my efforts to bring my recently acquired replacement laptop into a functioning state. Fatigue, beer and the lack of required activity conspired to worsen my somnolence putting me in bed at an early hour. My appointment at Crawford Motors was for 8 AM so my early rising the next day was the reward for calling it quits so soon. I motored over to the address listed for Crawford Motors, which turned out to be an industrial park lacking what I'd expected a dealership to look like. At the appointed time a car rolled up to the unit I was in front of, the occupant exited it and Terry Crawford introduced himself. We spoke briefly and he explained this was his sales office and the service area was located at a different location, which he would lead me to. We traveled to a residential area which turned out to be his home's location along with the service workshop where we unloaded the rig and he got to work servicing it.
IMG_20130628_084049.jpg
After a few hours of work the rig was sitting on 3 new tires with fresh fluids,new points & plugs, valves adjusted and ready for the 750 mile jump home to Connecticut and the end of the saga!
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SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by ClarkA » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:28 pm

But wait there's more! I again pulled out my maps and debated the route home from South Lyons. I have an "Old Army Buddy" living in Flint, MI area north of my location to stop and see ,so heading into Canada was a reasonable plan . I called Mark & Tanya to alert them I was coming over and said my adieu to Terry. I can not overstate my appreciation of Terry's quality work and very agreeable personality. I wholeheartedly recommend his business for locals and transients like me in need of help with their bikes. I easily traveled to my friend's home where we revisited many of our Army days topped off by the decision to visit Frankenmuth, MI for dinner. Frankenmuth is a faux German town that plays host to those seeking to experience Germany without actually going there. The experience includes many excellent food establishments a military and space museum along with a local history museum.We decided dinner at Zehnder's all you can at family style chicken dinner meal was to be our evenings repast!! I elected to disprove the saying of "one's eyes being bigger than your stomach", failing at it miserably . The food was great the company even better! Like all good things must, the evening came to an end with me settled into the spare bedroom for the night.Having been on the road close to a month, I was smitten with get-home-itis and decided to get rolling after a leisurely breakfast with my hosts. I headed north on I-69 towards Port Huron, MI and the Port of Entry into Canada at Sarnia, Ontario. I took note of the water's color at this crossing being on par with the blue waters of lake Tahoe, Muncho & Crater Lakes. I cleared Canadian Customs smoothly after showing my firearm transit permit acquired back when I first crossed into Canada at Coutts ,Alberta almost a month previously. With getting home in the next 24 hours as my goal, driving the interstate highway system entirely was the plan. Highway 402 towards Hamilton, ON was in very good condition with reasonable traffic flow until approaching London, ON and junction with Highway 401. I stayed true to my goal when I passed by the Jet Aircraft Museum located on the outskirts of London without stopping. My travel on 401 was not as fluid and traffic flow approaching Hamilton became hectic with the multiple junctions and poorly placed signage to the 406 Highway. Riding along the shore of Lake Ontario on 406 was in some areas potentially a scenic ride if the traffic had not have been so heavy and conflicting with Ural speed travel.Due to Friday evening traffic east of St Catherine, ON I took the first exit/bypass to Niagara Falls hoping to not suffer in the Buffalo, NY Friday commute. I was for once on this leg of my trip rewarded with less traffic and smoothly crossed back into the USA! No, I didn't stop or do any tourist activity in Niagara Falls Ontario or New York, but I did point the rig towards the New York State Thruway for the final 500 miles to my home. Well I am sure that more than a few of those reading this have ridden or driven the NY Thruway or similar roads over the years, that said I feel no need to describe riding this highway during daylight or nighttime hours.As you may recall I purchased aviation fuel totalling 17 gallons in my various sized fuel cans prior to leaving Fairbanks, AK. Why does this point arise at this juncture in my travel? As I was trying to push on avoiding unnecessary stops ,I ran out of gas after dark somewhere approaching Utica, NY requiring me to fill my gas tank with the last of my aviation fuel supply to get back on the road. This was the "last bump in the road" of my month long 10,870 mile , 9 tires, 3 flats ,journey. As I rode deeper into the night and closer to home I reflected on the experience of the trip and felt some regret for not seeing a few "must see"sights along my route but felt pride in accomplishing what very few serious rider ever would!! As the sun rose I exited I-91 to my hometown turning onto my street my fatigue was replaced with the joys of seeing my wife and grandchildren! Thanks for bearing with my intermittent posts over the years it took to tell my story.
Last edited by ClarkA on Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by ClarkA » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:42 pm

P.S. Since I completed this trip , my brother in law lost his battle with Brain Cancer, my son retired from the US Army, my second son married the true reason he could not make the fulltrip, I had a mild heart attack, 2 months later, totalled my Gear-Up ended up hospitalized with significant internal bleeding ,multiple broken ribs, a TBI and concussion. My oldest son and his uncle & cousins are talking about repeating the trip carrying the ashes of his uncle Nick who rode to Key West with us before leaving the ride. I'm 65 now on the edge of retirement ,recovered from my crash and off of blood thinners with a 1974 BMW R90/6 with a Ural Sidecar sitting in my retirement home's garage. I'm feeling the itch.........Be safe and keep the rubber side down.
SFC 91C/ Medic US Army 1971-1996
"John 15:13"

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” - T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Connecticut to Alaska via Key West Ride Report Blues

Post by sagerat » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:45 pm

Congrats! Quite the adventure and great attitude. Thanks for your service.

Ah, the NY Thruway. Lived in Plattsburgh as a kid as Dad flew B-47s. I rode my Guzzi on the Thruway from Utica to Plattsburgh in 2006 as part of my Bend-Plattsburgh trek.
2004 Ural Tourist (2004-2018, 48,000 klicks)

2012 Ural Gobi (Forward to the horizon)

2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure (KIA, sniff)

2017 Kawasaki KLR650 (Semi-orphaned by Urals)

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