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 Troubles

Today was a day to try and fix the troubles with my motorcycle. The first task was to go to Lowes or Home Depot to get a strap for my fuel canister. Of course it was raining. And of course Lowes and Home Depot did not have what I needed.

Next stop was to get gas. On the way I noticed that my turn signals weren’t working. In fact nothing on my left side switch was working! Crap! After getting gas, which I paid for using my Visa card, I went to Starbucks before the BMW Motorcycle Shop opened. I went to pay for my purchase and my Visa credit card was declined! Crap again. Using Skype I phone Visa and they said nothing was wrong with my card but that Starbucks was using a Mastercard system. What???? I did eventually pay with my Mastercard and it worked. They assured me nothing was wrong with my card.

I got to the Motorcycle Shop and they were quite helpful, despite having a no walk ins policy.


The mechanic attempted to get the switch to work but couldn’t. He told me I would need to order a new switch. I asked if they could also order the other damaged parts. The part are suppose to arrive tomorrow by FedEx. My fingers are crossed! I did end up purchasing the Touratech strap and bracket for my fuel canister. An expensive waste to get the bracket too. Oh well.

Also While waiting at the Motorcycle Shop a couple of interesting things happened.


First, this is where Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman from Long Way Round stopped to have their motorcycles repaired. Apparently, a spoke was missing from the back tire and they simply had the whole tire replaced. The old tire was on display.


Second, I met Dr. Samuel Becker who was also getting his motorcycle repaired. He is on a trek from Florida to Alaska and crashed outside of Canmore. You can read his blog here – We got to talking about my medical conditions and he had a few suggestions that may help. Interesting. One thing about going to a motorcycle repair shop is that you meet the most interesting people. It is a great place for people to meet and share stories and advice.

The funny thing is, as I left The Motorcycle Shop, all of a sudden one thing after another started to work on my switch. First the turn signals, then my light, then the horn and the GPS switch. Go figure. I thought it may be moisture but the mechanic said there was no moisture in the switch. Probably should get it replaced anyways.

After a day of troubles I was able to spend the rest of it writing my daily journals and communicating with people. That part is nice. Thank you to everyone who sends me comments etc. They are much appreciated.

And then it was back to the Blue Fox Pub for dinner to top off the day.


Route for July 21, 2016

In and around this area in Anchorage trying to solve problems 🙂



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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