Alaska bound

WELCOME TO MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT A BLOG. I PLAN ON USING THIS SPACE TO SEND "REPORTS FROM THE ROAD" FOR A MOTORCYCLE TRIP MY FRIEND BOB AND I ARE TAKING THIS SUMMER. MASSACHUSETTS TO ALASKA! A FIVE WEEK ODYSSEY THROUGH BRITISH COLUMBIA, ALBERTA, The YUKON And ALASKA....ALL THE WAY TO THE ARTIC OCEAN. If you would like to be notified when we update this blog, simply drop me an email or send me a "comment" and I'll add you to the notify list......... THANKS FOR COMING ALONG FOR THE RIDE!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Oh, Oh..."This is going to leave a mark!"




Well.......It WAS a great trip. We got up early on Saturday morning and prepared for a 400 mile day, across the US / Canada border, across the top of Washington State and through Idaho, into Montana. After we crossed the border I called Tom and Carol to inform them that we would be showing up on their door step a few days early. It was brutally hot! I stopped to change my face shield out to a tinted one and used the restroom at the US Customs office to soak my shirt and pants so I'd be cool for at least a few minutes on the bike. The temperature was hovering around 100 degrees and it hit 102 as we crossed the Columbia River bridge.......
Off we go........
The roads were great and we hooked up on some roads that rose 3-4000 feet. A bit cooler at altitude, but still hot. As we came down the backside of a mountain, the road surface was recently chip sealed and they had just sprayed the surface with tar. It was shining in the sunlight like fresh oil, and it felt like it under the tires. Every 1/2 mile or so there was a sign saying "Motorcycles Use Extreme Caution"
I was in the lead and Bob was about a 1/4 mile behind me. We were just about to cross over to the Idaho border and we were using "Extreme Caution".
Ahead of me was a little blue Ford Ranger pickup truck. We were traveling no more than 40 MPH. At one point the road straightened out and the pickup pulled over to the right, putting its two right wheels into the gravel on the side of the road. I thought it was pulling over to let me pass, so I pulled out to pass.
The next thing I see is the pickup make an abrupt left hand turn directly into my path..........I had zero time to react and impacted the pickup directly into the side of the rear fender.........Tell me this is a bad dream and this isn't really happening! The woman driving the pickup says she was making a U-Turn to go back to a yard sale she just passed.
The rear fenders of these Ranger Pickups are made of Fiberglass, The fender shattered upon impact. I nailed the brakes and immediately went down and slammed into the truck.
Amazingly I wasn't hurt. Not a scratch except for the bike landing on my foot and bruising my instep. The bike is totaled.......Forks bent in, fairing destroyed, saddle bags all cracked........
As Bob comes upon the scene he can't believe I'm sitting there shaking my head. He jumps off his bike and runs over to see if I'm OK. I'm fine I tell him. I get up and walk over to the bike laying in the middle of the street to get it out of the way of oncoming traffic. Bob the woman and her boy friend are very concerned about me, but I'm perfectly OK.......We lift the bike up and move it out of the way, call the police and then I call Tom and Carol to see if they can get my truck and trailer and come get us.
We are 300 miles from the end of a 7500+ mile motorcycle trip. And up till now it was a PERFECT trip......
Tom and Carol say they will be right there.....in about 4 hours. A few miles up the road is a gas station with a small cafe. I ask the cop if he can give me a ride there to wait for my friends, as it's 100 degrees where we are on the side of the road. We load all our gear into the gals pickup and I get into the back of the patrol car.......which by the way is a first time experience for me! That is one nasty feeling! Our gear is brought to the gas station and Bob and I wait for Tom and Carol. 3.5 hours later, they show up, we go get the bike loaded up, put Bob's bike in the trailer with mine and head back to Montana.
We stopped in Sandpoint Idaho for a fantastic Italian dinner and got to Tom and Carol's house by 2:30am........
What a freakin day!!!!!!!!!!

As Bob said, if we were going to have a crash on this trip.....this was a "perfect" way to do it......The trip was over, no one got hurt, and we were close enough for a relatively easy rescue.........

So Tomorrow (After I go to church and say a TON of prayers!!) Tom is going to take us up to the National Bison Range and to do some other sight seeing......And then Monday AM we are back on the road heading home...........

Just a quick word of thanks to all of you that sent emails, and left comments on this Blog......It was a great part of the total experience!

At this point if you want to leave a comment, please leave it on my email address..

rvb100@comcast.net

Thanks!

4 Comments:

At Tue Jul 25, 06:51:00 AM, Blogger Venturello said...

Oh crap... been reading your blog for a while, sad it had to finish this way, but glad you did most of the trip and came out from what could have been a bad crash so well. Basically unhurt. Shame for the bike, shame for not riding home, but glad all is so well!

Best of luck, and thanks for sharing!

 
At Thu Jul 27, 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

You came out of the crash without injuries ! This is a great trip afterall - Live and learn - When and where is the next trip ?

 
At Thu Jul 27, 08:04:00 PM, Blogger repete5 said...

Wow, glad your ok. I'm in Wall, SD ... mired down in the same heat.

http://vstrom2alaska.blogspot.com

 
At Mon Jul 31, 10:31:00 AM, Anonymous jeniffer said...

Roy and Bob, Thanks for such a thrilling trip report! I enjoyed it all the way until the dang u-turner. I'm glad there was not damage to you, Roy. This sounds like a great opportunity for a DL650 with ABS, yes?

 

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