Matanuska Glacier

The highlight of today’s ride from Anchorage to Tok, Alaska, was the Matanuska Glacier and Jeannies Java.

Brent and I were up early as usual to make our escape from Anchorage while the weather was good – also known as cloudy. Both of us like to ride for a hour before having breakfast. This really works well in populated regions. But here in Alaska you could be in the middle of no where. A hour into our ride we hit two cafes. Both were not open until 9. We would have to wait an hour. We were told the next place to stop to eat was 100 miles away. It looked like we would be going hungry for awhile!

We forgot all about food when we arrived at the Matanuska Glacier. The Glacier is 27 miles long and you can see the end of it from the road. It is something you can’t stop staring at.


After our stop we continued our search for food. Not much further up the road we ran into a great place to eat and we didn’t have to go 100 miles to get to it either.


Jeannies Java

When we got to the Tok Cutoff we stopped off for a snack at Jeannies Java.


Now it just so happens that both Brent and I are big fans of Oisin Hughes. He has an awesome video series on YouTube of his motorcycle travels around the world. And Oisin Hughes stopped here too! See the resemblance 🙂




Our final destination was Tok, Alaska. Tok is a funny place in that there is nothing here. What it is though is the crossroads for travelers coming to Alaska. As a result there are lots of places to stay for the night to continue your journey the next day. Brent had stayed at a newly opened hotel on the way up for only $89 US for no matter how many beds. The only issue is that there was no TV and the only Wi-Fi was in the lobby. So for only $45 US for the night this was a bargain for me in Alaska. Splitting the costs was one of the advantages of riding with a partner.



This was to be the last day for Brent and I to be riding together.

The Motorcycle Shop

Today was all about getting my motorcycle fixed at The Motorcycle Shop after the damage the Dalton Highway did to it.


It was another day of rain. Dreary. I started working on the video of me leaving Victoria. I am behind on providing you with videos. Too much fun riding ha ha ha. As I started to work on it, I saw the pictures of my kids. A wave of homesickness came. I am sure it was also a combination of the crappy weather and the anxiety of whether my parts would be in today. Especially the switch.

Motorcycle Blogs

Before going to The Motorcycle Shop, I headed to Starbucks to catch up on my blog reading. I love reading the blogs of other motorcycle adventurers. Some of my current favorites are:
My Ticket to Ride
SM Boilerworks
Worldwide Ride

And of course my current riding partner’s website of Living Loving Adventuring.

My switch was still working on the way to Starbucks. As I was leaving for The Motorcycle Shop, the switch stopped working again. What the heck?! It works then doesn’t work.

Up until that time I was thinking that if the parts didn’t come in I would just leave tomorrow for Tok. Now I am thinking I better stay to see if they come in on Saturday. I don’t know. I’ll wait and see.

The Motorcycle Shop

I got to The Motorcycle Shop and Chris told me FedEx had arrived but they hadn’t gone through everything yet. So here I sit as I am writing this. Waiting. Hoping.


Well …. They took my bike in. A good sign.

The Cost of Repairs

Turns out all the parts arrived via FedEx! That made me happy.

What made me sad was the bill – $1,000 US! This was to replace the ignition switch that got Dalton mud in it that they couldn’t clean out and was causing it to stick.


The signal switch that was sometimes working and sometimes not.


The windshield. Oh … I should mention that I had purchased before my trip a larger windshield to give me more protection from the elements. I loved it. Now I am back to the normal BMW winshield.


And the right and bottom farings.


What a mixture of emotions. I was excited that everything was now fixed. At the same time, between the tires I needed to ride the Dalton, and the damage to the bike caused by my fall and mud along the Dalton, my motorcycle expenses were way over what I budgeted for. Also, food, lodging and gasoline have been expensive up here.I needed to wrap my head around this to feel some sort of comfort that my finances for the trip will work out.

I do know that once I get into the lower 48 states things will be cheaper and the weather better so I can camp. If need be I can also wild camp. In Mexico things will be cheaper still. And since I will be spending 6 months in Mexico, I will be able to spend longer periods in one spot enjoying life. This will also mitigate expenses. I am pretty sure I will be able to get it back to within budget.

With that in mind, I felt some relief and was happy everything was fixed and was ready to move on. Life is an Adventure or Nothing at All 🙂

My Route for July 22, 2016



The weather cleared enough that Brent and I left Fairbanks for Anchorage.

It felt amazing to be riding on asphalt where your mid didn’t have to be continually focused on the condition of the road. The day was overcast as we cruised down the highway. We reached Denali National Park.

As a kid I remember being enthralled with large mountains. Mt. McKinley stood as as being the highest mountain in North America. It was on my bucket list to see. However, it was cloudy out and it didn’t look likely I would be able to.

Mt. McKinley, as I knew it, is 20,310 feet (6,190 meters) above sea level making it third highest of the Seven Summits — the highest mountains on each of the seven continents — following Mount Everest in Nepal and Aconcagua in Argentina. The base to peak rise of Mt. McKinley is the largest of any mountain that lies entirely above sea level, some 18,000 feet. By one measure, it could be considered the third tallest mountain in the world.

I was interested to know that it is no longer called Mt. McKinley! It was named Mt. McKinley in 1917 after the former President of the United States. Since 1975 Alaskans attempted to change the name of the mountain to Mt. Denali. It wasn’t until 2015 when President Obama changed the name back to Mt. Denali.

In any case, as we passed through the park I couldn’t see anything. As we were about to leave the park, Brent pulled into a viewpoint. As I parked I looked up to my right and there it was. Amazing. What a view of the mountain. Seeing Mt. Denali made my day and fulfilled a bucket list item.


After a long ride we arrived in Anchorage. The University dorms had turned out to be a cheap alternative to hotels which are sooooo expensive. We had attempted to make reservations in the dorms at University of Alaska Anchorage but hadn’t heard back. We showed up anyways I got a pretty cool dorm room suite. They didn’t have dorms like this when I was going to University. We got 2 bedrooms attached to a common area that included the main entrance, shower, sink and storage.




After arriving I immediately went to the BMW dealership. On the ride from Fairbanks, I noticed that my ignition switch was sticky. A year ago I had the experience where the switch died on me and I couldn’t even start the bike. I didn’t want that to happen again. Also, I realized that one of the Touratech straps the held my fuel bottle in place was severed in two due to the sharp edge on the bracket. I needed to get a new one. The only strap they had that worked was the Touratech strap. But in the package was also the mount which I didn’t need. I figured I could find something at Lowes. As for the switch, they told me to come back tomorrow. That is when the saga started.

Route for July 20, 2016


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