Day 32 Wednesday July 7

Took the RT to the shop - they will call the factory for instructions and guidance.  The shop loaned me a new BMW R1200C Cruiser demo to ride today. I enjoyed the handling and the low seat, but the power is not up to the RT and the wind grabbed my clothes (no windshield or fairing). I wouldn’t trade my ACE 750 for it (because of the price - but if the price was the same, I’d go for the BMW).


Day 33 Thursday July 8

2:30 PM stopped by the shop and they found the problem. The connector on the coil wire was broken or ? and the current path was intermittent . That’s why the engine sometimes died and restarted. They are putting it back together now and Ken is picking me up at 5:15 PM to take me over there to get it. Whew! I am so relieved that they found the problem! Obviously Deming Cycle could not find the root cause and they replaced the computer and Hal Effect device. and for some reason it ran OK after that (Note: later - I think the mechanic in Anchorage caused the coil wire problem and that’s why I rode the bike thousands of miles to Alaska without incident until the 12,000 mile service.) 13,805 miles on the clock when the coil wire problem stopped the bike in Homer.

I also had the right mirror replaced - it cracked when the bike fell over at the Haines Junction fuel stop on the way up.  Tomorrow we start back to the “Lower 48.” Overnight at Anchorage, Alaska


Day 34 Friday July 9

Jim and I left Anchorage today, and rode to Tok. On the way we met a Gold Wing rider from Indiana who told us about Fast Eddie’s Restaurant in Tok, so we took his advice, got rooms there and ate there. The Indiana man told us a sad story - his longtime buddy had planned to come on the trip with him but was killed in a thunderstorm while riding a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy (this is a model of motorcycle). So, he was making the trip alone and thinking about his friend. Seeing the two of us riding together may have been tough for him. We ate lunch with him, then he rode on, and we continued to Tok.  Overnight at Tok, Alaska.


Day 35 Saturday July 10

We enjoyed staying at Fast Eddie’s Motel. Clean, new rooms and the food in the restaurant was very good.

We left Tok at 8:33 AM and rode to Watson Lake, where there are hundreds and hundreds of signs.  The story goes that a man working on the Alaska Highway (then known as the ALCAN Hwy.) was homesick and he erected a sign pointing toward his home town, with the name and mileage. Others copied him and the sign “jungle” came to be. Overnight at Whitehorse, Yukon Territory


British Columbia mountains - Where the clouds meet the road.

Day 36 Sunday July 11

Long day in the saddle (460 miles) with frequent stops. We met 3 riders (on GS BMW’s) at lunch. They were from Connecticut and headed for Prudhoe Bay.

Not 30 miles from Liard Hot Springs, we rode thru a heavy rain shower that got us wet. Not drenched, but we had been dry all day, and now we had to take wet gear into the room. The weather today was mostly broken clouds with rain showers in the distance. Overnight at Liard Hot Springs, Liard River, B.C.


Trapper Ray's Lodge at Liard Hot Springs, B.C.

Day 37 Monday July 12

We stayed over another night at Trapper Ray’s Lodge. Jim has a cough and stiffness in his joints and muscles, and I have soreness between my shoulder blades (maybe from stress.) We can take a dip into the Hot Springs and relax - that should help us to feel better.

We are two days behind my original tentative schedule, but we should be able to catch up as soon as we get into Montana. We can start early tomorrow and stop at a bank for cash. I’m running low on Canadian $ and banks are supposed to give the best exchange rate of C$143 for US$100. Otherwise we lose 10% or more at gas stations when they exchange.

Today the weather is cooler than yesterday with a light rain and blowing small gusts - just enough to discourage the mosquitoes from flying. The mosquitoes are everywhere, but not as large as Alaska, thank goodness.

Went to the Hot Springs and got some mosquito bites in the changing room where they seemed to hatch and swarm. The Hot Springs were very relaxing - both Jim and I enjoyed the experience. Lots of middle-age and senior folks, traveling in RV’s, were in the water.

I met two interesting bicycle riders today - Jaimey and Rod. I talked to them for awhile. Jaimey rode to Tierra Del Fuego in Chile then up to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. He has been riding for 7 months. Rod is from Los Angeles and started 2-1/2 months ago, meeting Jaimey in Alaska. Nice guys and they’re headed south like we are.


Day 38 Tuesday July 13

Rode to Pink Mountain, B.C. It rained part way. Beautiful countryside of rolling hills. It’s cold today - in the 50’s.

Pink Mt. (the place) is just an outpost in the middle of nowhere. But it is self-sufficient and a haven for workers and travelers. The first thing I noticed upon entering was a sign “Remove Your Muddy Boots - This Means YOU”, and a bordered square area with bits of mud where boots had been stored. There is a very good restaurant, where the world’s nicest waitress works - she called everyone “Hon” and always accommodated the smallest request. I remember she said to Jim, “You can have your food any way you like it, and if it isn’t right, I’ll take it back and get it right.” Both Jim and I enjoyed meeting her. Also at Pink Mt. was a motel of concrete block “cells” on a long hallway, and a gas station. There were phones in the lobby, and a large screen TV in a large foyer between the Restaurant and the wing of rooms.


Day 39 Wednesday July 14 - overnight at Pink Mountain, B.C., Canada

We left Pink Mountain at 7:33 AM in a cold rain. Strange how we had such great weather in Alaska and down here we’re getting wet and cold. We refueled last evening and were ready to go after loading the bikes, which takes about 15 minutes each morning. It rained lightly off and on to Grand Prairie where we ate soup to warm our bones. After getting onto the correct road to Grand Cache, I opened up the RT, as the road was fairly dry, and left Jim behind. I waited in Grande Cache for forty minutes then went back 27 miles but no Jim. I tried to talk to an RCMP officer to report that he was out on the road and unaccounted for, but the office was closed and my attempts to reach them by phone were not successful. I decided to go on Hinton, as Jim knew where we had reservations for rooms. When I arrived at the motel, a message from Jim told me that his rear tire picked up a screw, and went flat. A passerby stopped, had a cell phone, called a tow truck, and he was towed 60 km back to Grand Prairie.  Took him to the only MC shop in Grand Prairie, got a new tube and patch/plug for the tire, and he got a room for the night.

The weather is unusually cold here for this time of year. The temp is in the 50’s degrees F during the day and up in the Jasper Park it is snowing at night. We wanted to go up there to enjoy the beautiful scenery between Jasper and Banff, but it will have to be another time. I’m trying to decide on our best route thru Calgary and south down to Sweetgrass, Montana. We’ll have to stop for the night before Calgary - maybe Red Deer? Jim will have ridden 4 hrs more than me, as he’s coming from Grand Prairie tomorrow AM, then we go on together. Overnight at Hinton, Alberta, Canada


Day 40 Thursday July 15

I waited in Hinton until Jim rode over from Grand Prairie - he arrived about 12:45 PM. We ate lunch, then rode to Sylvan Lake (just short of Red Deer) and got the last room in town. There was a large religious group coming to Sylvan Lake for the weekend and they rented all the rooms. This is a small resort on a large lake - looks pretty quiet and laid back. Might be a popular spot for Calgary and Edmonton residents.

We stopped because the sky ahead of us was black to the horizon, dumping rain, and we didn’t want to get wet again. Very flat terrain here - lots of farms.

We’re making steady progress toward Sweetgrass and unless a problem occurs, we’ll be there tomorrow afternoon. Overnight at Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada.


Day 41 Friday July 16

In Lethbridge we stopped for a cold cut lunch from the deli counter of a supermarket. I bought German Bologna (my favorite cold cut) and a Kaiser bread roll. We sat and ate on a park bench across the street from the market. Stinger enjoyed the chance to run around and sniff.

We stopped in Sweetgrass, Montana (just a gas station/convenience/tourist store and a few other buildings with some scattered houses around it - right on the US-Canada border - one could walk from the store to the border in two minutes.) I wanted to mail postcards that were postmarked “Sweetgrass, Montana” so we stopped at a roadside rest stop for 45 minutes while I wrote to my friends and relatives. I was so happy to be back in the “Lower 48” and had to share that feeling with everyone. We rode on to Great Falls where we got rooms for the night. Overnight at Great Falls, Montana.


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