Our Motorcycle Trip to Alaska
June 13, 1998 thru August 5, 1998
Trip Participants were:
- Art & Nita Fockler -
OH & Naples, FL (Both retired from Ford Motor Co.)
- John & Carol McGirr -
Alliance, OH & Naples, FL (John retired from Ford Motor Co.)
- Harry & Charlotte Memmer -
Akron, OH (Harry retired from Akron Beacon Journal)
- Bob Menegay - Beloit, OH
(Presently working at UPS (retirement end of October)
- Rita Hull - Salem, OH (Nurse
in Hanoverton, OH)
- Fred & Peg Nichols -
OH (Fred retired from Monarch Rubber Co.)
- Jack & Vera VanHorn -
OH (Jack retired from Timken & Vera retired from teaching in Plain Schools)
Subj.: We're in Wisconsin! Best Western Park Oasis - Mauston, WI
Beginning Odometer: 46606 End of Day Reading: 47227 Total Miles Traveled: 621
We arrived in Mauston, WI at a lovely Best Western about 5 PM, Wisconsin time. We
rode 620 miles from our driveway in Alliance, Ohio to here. It was a beautiful ride and we
had some rain in Toledo, but not bad rain. We put on our rain pants, but didn't need them
so much for the rain as for warmth. It was in the 60's, but it was overcast and humid,
which felt damp, so we needed a little more than we all thought we did.
We (Focklers, Menegay, Van Horns and McGirrs) got out of Canton, Ohio as planned
before 5 am, and met up with the Nichols and the Memmers before they had even reached
I-77, so we didn't even stop for breakfast at the service plaza as planned. We rode on
into Toledo and had breakfast at a Bob Evans.
We made it thru our favorite city of Chicago before noon and now we can just enjoy
ourselves as we ride. No more big cities to worry about! The traffic in Chicago wasn't
bad, but going the opposite way that we were going, there was a "parking lot"
for many miles. We don't have any idea why, but we were glad we were heading north.
We'll send another installment tomorrow night, so we're signing off for tonight,
we're going down to have some dinner and early bed since no one could sleep last night for
The Ohio group (we're trying to figure out a name for ourselves, but it's not
coming to us tonight, maybe we'll figure it out tomorrow.)
Subj.: We made it to ND, Fargo to be exact! Motel 6
Beginning Odometer: 47227 End of Day Reading: 47668 Total Miles Traveled: 441
We arrived in Fargo, ND about 4:30 on Sunday evening after another very nice ride
across some more beautiful country. Jack & Vera got to add 2 states to their list of
states that they have ridden through. They had never ridden their motorcycle thru either
Minnesota or North Dakota and we've hit both today. The rest of us are "world
travelers" and we had those states already. So they're catching up with the rest.
We did get into a little bit of rain today, but barely enough to have our
rainsuits on, but we had stopped prior to the rain hitting us and put them on. It was a
good practice and it also felt good when we passed thru the "front" as it had
cooled off considerably. We rode 441 miles today and it was nice to get off the road
The guys are down swimming in the motel pool and then we'll go for dinner about 7
tonight. I haven't told them yet, or rather reminded them that tomorrow's ride will be
about 500 miles again. But they are all seasoned travelers and they will handle it well.
So, until tomorrow...or whenever we can hook up...
As ever, The Ohio Eskimos (how's that one sound?)
Subj.: We arrived in Miles City, Montana! Motel 6
Beginning Odometer: 47668 End of Day Reading: 48167 Total Miles Traveled: 499
This is a special note from Harry to Peggy (you know who you are) He misses you
terribly and THAT'S GREAT! PS He's terrible too!
We arrived about 6 PM tonight after a very nice day of riding. We even took time
out to visit Teddy Roosevelt's National Park. It's the ND Badlands, which none of us knew
Carole Monteith - we saw wild horses mating....what a sight! We also saw 3
buffaloes and lots of prairie dogs running all over the place. They had told us there
would be 300 buffaloes, but they lied....we were supposed to see pronghorn sheep and
white-tailed and mule deers, but they weren't to be found either. Maybe next time! We saw
a couple of antelope on our way into Miles City, but only a couple.
To the Menegay kids, why don't you stay in the office Laurie? Your Dad tried to
call you from Medora before we went into the National Park and you weren't there....He's
enjoying himself tremendously with this bunch of nuts. The weather has been great, even
with the little bit of rain we've had, nothing big....but tomorrow....might be a different
story....only time will tell.
We were asked where we might be on Sunday, we haven't a clue...so between here and
there. Just send a card thru AOL if that's what you want to do.
And to the Fockler and Marks family....all is going good and having fun. Weather
is great and more fun tomorrow.
The Van Horn family - Lost communications with your Mother after observing an
elephant standing behind a horse. Never saw a trunk that long...spent one hour trying to
decipher this, will explain if ever able. Love Jack & Vera
To everybody else....we are all enjoying ourselves very much. The group is a good
group to travel with and we work well together. We traveled 500 miles today and have
traveled a total of 1544 from Art's driveway. We're not doing too bad for a bunch of
retirees plus one....(Bob Menegay retires in October). Tomorrow we expect to arrive in
Canada so crossing the border should be fun with this group. We'll send you updates
whenever we can hook up.
Until then, The Ohio Eskimos is heading "North to Alaska" (our theme
Subj.: We are in Great Falls, Montana! Town House Inns of Great Falls
Beginning Odometer: 48167 End of Day Reading: 48531 Total Miles Traveled: 364
We arrived about 4 PM today in Great Falls, Montana after a very miserable day of
riding. It has rained since we left Miles City this morning before 7 am. We stopped in
Billings, after 145 miles, and had our breakfast and then put on more clothes and rode
until we reached Great Falls, for a total of 364 miles. We came up short of our goal for
today, but we all were very cold and wet and miserable. We rode in some of the worst rain
that we had ridden in for quite some time. We think by staying here tonight, the rains
will move on out and we will have dry riding tomorrow. I called the lady in Fort MacLeod
and she was worried as to where we were, she knew we had to be cold and wet. Boy, did she
have it right! She reminded me that anytime we're in her area to be sure and stop by and
spend the night. We'll remember that!
This is a practice test for when we get to Alaska to see if we have the proper
clothing for whatever comes up. We have already purchased some additional gloves, because
the ones a few of us had got quite wet, and wet gloves are a no-no. We live and learn! The
motel that we are staying at is the Town House Inns in Great Falls and it has a casino, a
swimming pool and a hot tub. It also has a restaurant and laundry facilities, so we have
it made for tonight.
Our ride today was really enjoyable in the matter of seeing animals. We saw quite
a number of deer and antelope along the way. If the weather had been better, the scenery
would have been also, because it was a very nice way to come from Billings. We took a
2-lane highway instead of the interstate. While we were at breakfast this morning, a man
was talking with me and asked if we were heading on out I-90 to I-15 and then heading
north. I told him that we weren't, that we were taking Rt. 3 to Rt. 12 to Rt. 191 to Rt.
87 and then hitting I-15 at Great Falls. His comment was that's the best way, with the
weather the way it is you would probably encounter snow on I-90 at the Continental Divide.
So we did something right. They are calling for snow in the 6000-7000 foot range out here,
so we probably would have had a trip....
We'll sign off for today and we'll be in touch again...
Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"
Subj.: We made it to Edmonton, Alberta Canada! Comfort Inn
Beginning Odometer: 48531 End of Day Reading: 49055 Total Miles Traveled: 524
We traveled 524 miles today. We just checked into our motel here in Edmonton at
9:45 PM and it was still daylight. We arrived in Edmonton about 7, but couldn't find our
motel. It was to be a Comfort Inn within 1 kilometer of the big Edmonton Mall. They lied!
It is within 3 miles of the Mall. What a Mall! We went there and had supper at the Hard
Rock Cafe. It was a good choice! John and I had never eaten at one of those restaurants
and we were glad we got the opportunity. He had wanted to eat at Hooters, but the wait was
at least 20 minutes and nobody wanted to wait (especially Jack), we were hungry. After we
finished eating, we went looking for Door #24, which was near where we parked. We walked
for a long way and finally got to where we had parked, outside the Sears part of the Mall.
None of us realized that we had walked the entire length of this Mall. It is 3 city blocks
wide and 8 blocks long. Tomorrow morning, some of the females in the group are going
Our trip today was really a good one. We left Great Falls about 9 am in cloudy and
threatening rain. The weather improved with every mile that we rode. Harry says, "It
was a miserable ride because he had everything on that he owned. Just kidding!" When
we reached the Canadian border at 11 am, customs was a farce! The only shady looking
character must have been Jack, because they asked him about guns and pepper spray, as they
had asked all of us. They asked Jack if he had any "sharpened sticks". But, we
all cleared customs and moved on.
We made it thru Calgary without much trouble. But when we got north of there, John
decided we needed to visit a rest area. Well, we're here to tell you that Canada doesn't
have as nice of rest areas as the USA does. When the sign said to get off for the rest
area, John tried to go into the Maintenance Shed. (Doesn't that sound familiar Charles?)
And everybody followed him there, but we got turned around and finally, after much
trouble, found their rest area. Charlotte agrees that they didn't want any one to find
their rest areas.
There were some snowcapped mountains off in the distance today, after we crossed
into Canada. They are the Rocky Mountain range and they were gorgeous. We saw miles and
miles of grain growing and that seems to be the only industry. The size of these farm
fields must be 10 miles square.
We're going to stick around tomorrow and visit the Mall and then we're heading
north to Fox Creek, Alberta for our room tomorrow night. We had to make several phone
calls to find some accommodations, but we lucked out.
It is now 11:06 and it is like twilight outside, it is beautiful. So, until later,
The Ohio Eskimos heading "North To Alaska"
Subj.: We made it to Fox Creek, Alberta! The Alaskan Motel
Beginning Odometer: 49055 End of Day Reading: 49215 Total Miles Traveled: 159
We had a very enjoyable time at the Edmonton Mall. We rode from the motel down to
the Mall in bright sunny weather in our shirt sleeves. We ate lunch at Hooter's and the
guys enjoyed the view. Then we were to meet up at the bikes at 2:30 to leave for Fox Creek
and when we came out of the totally enclosed Mall, it was RAINING. Yep, you heard it
right! It was a full blown thunderstorm. Of course none of us figured we were going to be
in a full blown thunderstorm, so we didn't really dress appropriately. We could have put
more clothes on and we would have been much more comfortable for this trip. But we
arrived, after 159 miles, and we're now getting warm ready to go and eat our supper. The
bikes are filthy. And we have all threatened Robert with his life if he washed his bike
again. Vera told Bob if he washed his bike again, she was going to kick his ass and she
meant it. He had washed his bike this morning before he even had breakfast so we are
blaming him for this latest weather phenomena.
We looked for moose but never found any. Maybe tomorrow. There was a lot of wood
being wasted up here. We saw probably 40 to 50 miles of trees that had been taken down for
the widening of this highway. They are burning the wood, but Bob came up with a possible
reason. The sap would plug the chimneys and they are just destroying the wood. What a
We wanted to make sure and remind Robin that we are all thinking of her for next
Monday and we are saying little prayers for her speedy recovery. We also would appreciate
it if Roy were to let Carole Monteith know when Robin has come out of the recovery room
and then we can relax and quit worrying. Thanks Roy! Good luck Robin!
A little note to Jodi and Steve - your Dad and I were DRY underneath our
rainsuits. Also there is a package coming in about a week. We have also added a code to
the pager codes....111 means to check your e-mail!
TTYL, Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"
Subj.: We made it to Dawson Creek, BC! The Trail Inn Motel
Beginning Odometer: 49215 End of Day Reading: 49427 Total Miles Traveled: 212
We had some beautiful weather today, for a change. We had almost decided that our
rain gear was going to be our uniform of the day, but not today. The temperature is in the
70's and pleasant. We saw several moose along the way, but didn't get any pictures yet. We
rode 212 miles today. We actually rode a few less than that to get here, but then we went
and delivered our laundry to the Laundromat and then had some lunch at a place called Mr.
Mike's and then stopped and visited the downtown area, including the place that all the
pictures of Dawson Creek include, the 0 milepost with the mileages to Fairbanks and in
between. Then we saw a movie over at the visitor center that shows the building of the
Alaska Canada Highway. Boy, were we born in the right era? Those people that built the
highway had it worse than the ones that built the Hoover Dam. What with all the elements
they had to deal with.
The fellas are all outside washing their bikes, they didn't get Vera's OK, but
she's sleeping so they figure they'll be all right. All the bikes will be clean, so she
can't kick all their asses. I just went out and checked and informed Arthur that he had
forgotten to wash his pipes, tail pipes. His comment was: well, they're both dirty
equally. He had to admit that it looked bad, so I think he will have a little help in
getting them clean. The guys are having fun doing their thing. As I have said before, this
is a very good group to be with on this trip.
I've been asked if I care if this message is shared, the answer is "no
problem". If someone wants to know how we're doing, let them know.
We have over 2800 miles on our trip as of tonight. So that's not too bad for a
bunch of "old farts" traveling on Gold Wings. We left 7 days ago and rode in a
lot of rain to boot, but from seeing the movie today, our trip is now about to begin. We
have all decided that this trip will be our supreme test and we intend to pass it.
So until tomorrow, TTYL, Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"
Subj.: We're back in Dawson Creek, BC for another night! The Trail Inn
Beginning Odometer: 49427 End of Day Reading: 49671 Total Miles Traveled: 244
Well hi there everybody,
We just got back from a very nice relaxing ride through the countryside which
included rolling hills and farm land and even snow-covered mountains in the distance,
however there wasn't a whole lot of wildlife....sorry Carole! No moose pictures today, we
did see a couple of moose, but not when we could get pictures. We'll get them soon! The
temperature started out about 64 degrees at 8:30 this morning and this afternoon, it was
86 degrees and really hot. But no rain... until we were about 10 miles from our motel and
about 30 sprinkles hit us and Bob was praying hard.
We rode 244 miles and made the Hope Loop Trip, which was a recommended tour in The
Milepost. We left Dawson Creek and rode west to Chetwynd (we tried to do a lumber company
tour, but not on Saturday) and then went north to Hudson Hope area and stopped and visited
the Peace Canyon Dam. Then we rode up to the W. A. C. Bennett Dam....now that's a dam. It
is the largest earthen dam in the world and it impressed the guys, of course, but it even
impressed us females. It was cute when we arrived, the girl from the tour bus came running
out and asked us if we wanted to go on the tour ASAP or wait an hour. She had been called
by the lady down at the Peace Canyon Dam and told that we were on our way. That was really
nice of them.
After touring the dams, then we rode east to Fort St. John, which joins the Alaska
Highway about 54 miles northwest of Dawson Creek. So after getting some petrol (the price
is up to 59.9 a liter), we headed back southeast to our motel. We will be going back over
the last leg of our trip tomorrow when we leave for Fort Nelson. There will be a side trip
at milepost 17, which will be about 10 kilometers long), so not all of it will be a
repeat. We rode over a bridge that was all grating with the Pine River and we have to go
back the other way in the morning. So Nita and John will not sleep tonight....
Well, we must get off here and go and have some dinner for tonight, so maybe we'll
write more later...If not, don't worry, we'll be in touch tomorrow.
TTYL, Love from the Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"
Subj.: Our home tonight is in Fort Nelson, BC! Fort Nelson Hotel
Beginning Odometer: 49671 End of Day Reading: 49954 Total Miles Traveled: 283
Happy Father's Day to everybody from the Ohio Eskimos! We had a nice Father's Day
riding the Alaskan Highway. We rode 283 miles to Fort Nelson and saw some very desolate
areas. We saw black spruce forests, which are useless. We started out this morning by
seeing a wrecked pickup truck about 30 miles north of Dawson Creek, if that! A large moose
was laying about 30 feet from the truck in the ditch. We regretfully inform you that we
didn't stop and take any pictures. We all decided that we should have done so, but it was
too late. The pickup truck needed a new front-end on it, for sure. It really woke us up to
the fact that we don't want to see a moose that close.
Then we made a scheduled detour to see the only remaining timber bridge left on
the original Alaskan Highway. It goes over the Kiskatinaw River and it was a curved wooden
bridge that was in excellent repair. We took lots of pictures and enjoyed the detour.
We rode for many miles of nothingness and then came to Milepost 175 and had our
lunch there. It was either stop there or not for another 60 miles, as there wasn't much to
be had. But we must say, we have had very good meals and motels along the way. We got a
surprise tonight when we got into town, the outside of this motel wasn't too inviting, but
when you get in here, it's really nice. We're glad we're here. So that just goes to prove,
"you can't tell a book by its cover."
We are really enjoying getting all your e-mails and if we don't get around to
answering every one of them, don't feel bad! We try to answer all your comments in these
updates, but if we have failed to do so, we apologize!
We're off to have some dinner. It's 6 PM here and there's a Chinese/American
restaurant across the street. Arthur went over and checked it out and that will be our
place to eat tonight.
We have rooms at Muncho Lake for tomorrow night. We have to go across the only
part of the Alaskan Highway that anyone has mentioned to be bad. That will happen
tomorrow. It will be a 15 mile area of construction around a mountain....
Subj.: We made it to Muncho Lake, BC! Highland Glen (Northern Rockies
Beginning Odometer: 49954 End of Day Reading: 50110 Total Miles Traveled: 158
You all will be getting this a day late, because we can't hook up tonight. We have
no TV's, and only a couple of pay phones. We have no electricity and this place is powered
by a generator. Remember, we are in the middle of nowhere! (As quoted by John & Harry
We have so much to tell you about from today's ride. We left about 9:30 this
morning from Fort Nelson and saw a herd of buffalo a few miles out of town. Then we rode
and rode and didn't think we were going to see anything....then we got into the
construction zone. We had heard all kinds of horror stories before we got here, but until
you do it yourself, it isn't true! Believe me! Anything they tell you is true! It was 1
miles of "hell" and 15 miles of white knuckles. We all made it through with no
injuries, but we did have a few problems negotiating this construction zone. If it would
have been raining, we would never have left. Just remember that whenever anybody else
attempts this trip, if it is raining, don't leave where you're at, if you have
construction to go through, because it all becomes slime. We were very fortunate that it
didn't rain on us until AFTER we were out of the construction zone. No big rain, just a
Right before we had all the construction, we passed a Mama Moose with a pair of
twins, and we got it on video tape. That has to be a rare sighting, but we did it.
We stopped and had some lunch about Milepost 373. The place was called Summit
Lodge across from Stone Mountain. We had sandwiches made out of homemade bread and some
homemade soup and a fresh cookie for dessert. We left there and rode for a while again.
We rode some more and saw a caribou along the road, we also saw stone sheep a
number of times. Our biggie today was when we stopped for Jack & Fred to have some ice
cream. Of course, we all had some ice cream. But John & Bob took a walk behind the
place called Toad's River Lodge and there was a big bull moose in the river eating his way
down the stream. We all got to see him and observe him for a long time. We got him on film
and video so everybody will get to see it.
When we arrived at our "home for tonight", we were quite impressed with
it. It is a log home, almost as nice as Kelly's, Carole, but it's built by a log company
in lower BC and it is a lot larger than Kelly's. We all have rooms facing the mountain,
which isn't bad, but we were too cheap to pay the extra 10 for the lake view. We have
since found out that we did the right thing, because there are trees that would prohibit
you from seeing the lake anyway. So we saved some money.
We have really been surprised by the costs up here. We are sharing rooms that are
averaging $90 a night (Canadian) for 4 of us. That isn't too bad. Everybody tells us that
we will really be surprised when we reach Alaska, because the prices will go up
tremendously. Oh well, we knew that coming in.
Well, that's it for tonight, we're going to go and have some dinner here at the
lodge. They are serving Swiss style meals. We will have a Swiss Breakfast Buffet in the
TTYL, The Ohio Eskimos heading "North to Alaska"
Subj.: We are in Watson Lake, YT! Belvedere Motor Hotel
Beginning Odometer: 50110 End of Day Reading: 50281 Total Miles Traveled: 171
We arrived here about 4 PM today after riding only 177 miles. We had a couple more
construction zones to negotiate....bummer! But we all made it through perfect, with very
dirty bikes. The first thing that the guys did was go across the street and wash the
bikes. We should get much better gas mileage now that they are lighter...This is the place
where we will put our signs up from our hometowns. There is quite a display of signs which
we will have pictures of when we return.
We started off our day this morning by seeing a caribou run across the road in
front of John, but I think everybody got to see him. No pictures though! He seemed
spooked! Then Nita spotted a black bear and several people witnessed that sighting, but
still no pictures. We wonder if the deer alerts aren't spooking the animals.
We took a couple of side trips today. The first one was the Liard Hot Springs
where we walked back to several hot springs areas. It was a nice change. Then we rode on
and went across a suspension bridge (the only one still on the Alaskan Highway - 1143 feet
long) and came to Smith River Falls. Now there's a falls! It is quite beautiful to see.
There were only three of us that did the entire walk. We had a bunch of wimps! Bob, Fred
& I are the only ones that did it. It was 169 steps each way. But it was worth it at
the bottom. Coming back up wasn't easy, but we made it. There were three young gentlemen
that came down while we were down there, and they passed us by as we were coming back.
We're getting older!
We then rode quite a distance without seeing any animals, just construction and
gravel areas. We tried to stop for lunch twice, but we got refused twice, once because the
restaurant was full and the other time because they didn't serve anything but coffee and
Then right before we got to Watson Lake, John & I spotted a black bear, but we
didn't get any pictures again. So someday we might get pictures, but today wasn't the day.
We're going on to Whitehorse tomorrow and then to Skagway for possibly two days. We have
reservations for all those nights. The motels are starting to fill up now, so we have to
A note to Cathy, I just wanted to let you know that your Dad is really enjoying
his thermometer on his bike. He is amazed at the temperature ranges we experience.
Norma Nicholson - please make sure that my Mother has written the check for our
credit card bill, because we sure are using it and we don't want to not be able to do
that. I have talked with her a couple of times and forgot to mention it every time. CRS is
OK! Enough for tonight....we'll TTYL, the Ohio Eskimos almost to Alaska!
Subj.: We are in Whitehorse, YT! Stop In Family Hotel
Beginning Odometer: 50281 End of Day Reading: 50556 Total Miles Traveled: 275
The first thing we need to tell everybody is that we saw our first bald eagle. He
was only about 100 feet from the highway when it was raining this morning, so we didn't
get any pictures of him, just in our minds. He was sitting in the top of a topless tree
and boy, was he beautiful. He is probably the first of many, from what we hear.
Yep, you heard it right, we left our motel this morning in Watson Lake in the
rain. It was only 46 degrees outside and it was cold. Vera only had 8 layers on, including
her electric vest. But she became warm and toasty. If she ever shorts out, you're going to
see the Northern Lights in the summertime.
We stopped at the Sign Forest on our way out of town, and there really are 37,000
signs. Now there are 37,006 but it is hard to explain this and the feeling isn't the same
in the rain.
We rode for about 75 miles and then stopped to get warmed up. We all had a cup of
coffee or hot chocolate. It did the trick. At this rest stop, we met a guy from California
named Hans. He is only 36 years old and he is a retired person from GM/Toyota. He is
traveling by himself to Alaska. He joined up with us and rode the rest of the day. He
hasn't seen as many wild animals as we have seen.
We followed the Teslin River for many miles, the Milepost says we would follow it
for at least 50 miles. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery, in spite of the rain. Then we
rode on into Teslin, which is a town across from the longest bridge that spans the Alaskan
Highway. It also has a grated bottom, which makes it an "unfriendly bridge". But
again, we all made it. The good thing with that ride was that the rain had finally quit.
We ended up eating our lunch there at a very nice place called the Yukon Inn. That was
also the last of our construction zones for the day. We had been told that we wouldn't
have any construction on this leg of the trip, but they lied again. We can't believe
anybody up here when it comes to the construction.
We arrived in Whitehorse and were really surprised, it's quite a large town,
really spread out...especially after seeing nothing for many miles. We have a nice motel
tonight, and lucked out again and it has a restaurant right here. That makes it real nice,
when you arrive in the late evening, you don't have to go out for dinner very far.
Well, it's time for dinner again, so I'll send this on its way and we'll connect
up tomorrow night. I had to talk with the motel clerk to get her to let me connect up, so
I'll only send and receive at this time.
TTYL, The Ohio Eskimos heading "North To Alaska"
Subj.: We made it to Alaska....Skagway! Westmark Hotel
Beginning Odometer: 50556 End of Day Reading: 50671 Total Miles Traveled: 115
Hello from Alaska,
The Ohio Eskimos have made it into Alaska today. You know how everybody always
says that they have been here and want to come back. Well, here's to tell you....there are
11 other ones ready to come back again and we haven't only just begun to see it. It has a
beauty that we have never seen before in all our travels across this country.
We left Whitehorse this morning and went on a tour of a Fishway, in other words, a
Fish ladder. This was a very nicely done tour, even though we didn't get to see many fish
on the ladder. It's the wrong time of the year for the salmon to be here. They come in
August of the year. But the tour guide was very informative and told us much more than we
have ever been told before. This place has the longest wooden fish ladder in the world.
That in itself was impressive.
We left there and headed out of town to pick up the Alaskan Highway and back up to
the road to Skagway. What a surprise! It was 100 miles of the most scenic highway any of
us have ever been on and that takes in a lot of highway. The mountains were on both sides
of us, many of them had snow on them, the clouds were building up on the back side of them
and the colors were spectacular. We stopped a dozen times to take in the view. We stopped
at a lake that was so smooth that it looked like a mirror. We can never in a million words
explain the beauty. We didn't see any wildlife today but with the scenery we were seeing
we hardly missed them.
We got to Skagway too early to check in so we went to the RED ONION SALOON for
lunch. Nice place!
We are going on the Glacier Bay tour tomorrow that leaves at 4:30 AM and returns
at 7 PM so if you get an e-mail tomorrow, it will be late. We also made plans to go on the
White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad tour on Saturday. That tour will only be for 3
hours. So we have been busy little people since we arrived in
We are taking lots of pictures and videos for all of us to enjoy. For amateurs, we
aren't doing too bad. The first of the videos will be mailed out the first of the week for
Well, that's it for today folks, we are all really enjoying ourselves more than
anyone would imagine. This is a fantastic group to travel with and we look forward to
what's happening tomorrow. So TTYL, Love from all of us "Ohio Eskimos"
Subj.: Skagway, AK
Beginning Odometer: 50671 End of Day Reading: 50671 Total Miles Traveled: 0
Just figured Id let you know that the plans got changed last night. We
couldnt get a flight to connect for the Glacier Bay tour today, so were going
on Saturday. Its quite a chore getting everything in order for 11 people to go on
this tour. We were led to believe that we could wait until we got here in Skagway to make
our tour arrangements. They lied again! With a group of this size, all the planes were
either booked or they didnt have a pilot with extra hours available to fly us over,
we could have gotten back, but you have to get there to get back. The girls at the Gray
Line desk are the ones that have to make the arrangements and they really tried their
darnest to get us out of here today. The Glacier Bay tour involves us leaving at 4:30 in
the morning by shuttle to the airport, then a plane over to
Gustavus, then a shuttle to
the Glacier Bay lodge, then on the boat named the Spirit of Adventure for 9 hours, then
back to the lodge, back to the airport, back by plane, back on a shuttle to our hotel.
Quite a trip! We are supposed to arrive back about 7:30 in the evening.
Since we arent doing the tour today, were going on the train ride,
only 3 hours, that will go north out of Skagway and see some beautiful sights along the
We just came back from paying our monies for our trips. Now were broke, not
really, but slightly depleted. You only do this once. Were all doing our own thing
today until 11:30. Then there is to be a bagpipe show over by the train depot that we were
told should be pretty good. Well let you know! There are a couple more cruise ships
in port now. This is a real hopping place.
Well, its off to get this sent
so well TTYL, Love from the Ohio
Subj.: Skagway, AK
Beginning Odometer: 50671 End of Day Reading: 50671 Total Miles Traveled: 0
Most of the guys cleaned their bikes this morning, they had to use gasoline to
remove all the tar. We havent the slightest idea where the tar came from, but there
surely was enough. After the bikes were clean, then Bob & Fred took a couple of young
things for a motorcycle ride. What really happened was the two girls, Lisa & Heather,
that helped us get our tour together for tomorrow, when they found out that we were on
motorcycles, they wanted a ride. So being the nice guys that they are, Bob & Fred took
them. It ends up that it was a very informative ride for the guys, because Lisa, the
manager of the Gray Line here, is very informed as to what they were seeing. So now when
we leave on Sunday, they can tell us everything they learned. That was a nice way to repay
them for all the work they put in getting us a tour scheduled.
Right now, we are just killing a little time waiting for the next thing to happen.
We had an enjoyable ride for 20 miles up and 20 miles back on the narrow gauge railroad.
We saw some more awesome sights along the way. Most of us saw a black ball of fur in a
tree, but I dont think anybody really got a picture of it. We found out that it was
a bear and believe that it was.
When we returned we went and had our dinner, since we had missed out on lunch.
After dinner, I walked down to where the Alaska Marine Ferry was unloading to see
whats happening. When I turned around, up in a tree, way up high, was a whiteness,
so having the video with me, I zoomed it in and sure enough, it was a beautiful bald eagle
sitting here in a tree. Now the video isnt the greatest because I was zoomed to the
max, but you can tell its an eagle. Were hoping tomorrow to get some better
pictures, but at least, we have one.
We are all going to a show at 8:30 called "Soapy Smith". Everyone has
told us to be sure and see this show, so were doing it. Then we will all come back
and go to sleep for a short night, because we have to get up about 3:30 in the morning to
be ready for our 4:45 am excursion. We hope that it is as good a tour as the one we had
today. The weather was fantastic and the temps are in the upper 70s. Cant ask
for anything more, can we?
Until later, signing off
the Ohio Eskimos enjoying Skagway, Alaska
Subj.: Skagway, AK
Beginning Odometer: 50671 End of Day Reading: 50671 Total Miles Traveled: 0
Hello family and friends,
Yes, there is a God. We saw his wonders today. No human being could ever construct
what we witnessed today. The eleven of us have pretty well decided that there isnt
anything else that could top today.
We did, in fact, leave our hotel this morning at 5:30 am (it got moved back
because they got a different airline to fly us today, after the one that was supposed to
fly us couldnt pass with the FAA.) We arrived in Gustavus by 6:30 as planned. We had
a very enlightening flight over some beautiful glaciers and along the Lynn Canal (which
connects Skagway and Haines to the Pacific Ocean). We were transported to the Glacier Bay
Lodge where we boarded the boat called "Spirit of Adventure". We went for 65
miles up the Glacier Bay National Park and saw a number of wildlife. We saw eagles, a
brown bear, several whales blowing and John even got a picture of ones tail. We saw
Mountain Goats hanging on the cliffs, even a mother and two little kids. We saw dozens of
harbor seals jumping into the water. We saw puffins, scooters, cormorants and generally
were mesmerized by the scenery. We heard glaciers cracking, but we didnt get to see
any calving of glaciers. Thats about the only thing we didnt get to see. The
Glacier Bay tour was nice, but the airplane ride was just spectacular. The return trip was
so great because he flew us so close to the glaciers that we could almost count the cracks
in them. They are so blue down the crack. We just saw things today that blow your mind.
Well, enough for today. I sure dont know what will happen tomorrow, but it
cant be much better. Of course my son-in-law keeps telling me that youre only
just beginning to see Alaska. It has to be a great place and it has been so far.
TTYL, going back to Whitehorse tomorrow and then onward towards the rest of
Ohio Eskimos enjoying life!
Subj.: Whitehorse, YT
.The Yukon Inn!
Beginning Odometer: 50671 End of Day Reading: 50782 Total Miles Traveled: 111
We are having a very hard day figuring out what to do. Yesterday was a hard act to
follow. We got up this morning and went and had some breakfast, then we all did a little
shopping in Skagway. We left there about 11 and started our northward ride. It was good to
get on the bike again. We all made that comment. We rode a total of 110 miles and it was a
beautiful ride, the weather is really nice. Warm and dry! This is not a normal weather for
this area, is what everybody is telling us. I gather that you dont normally have 3
dry days in Skagway and we had 4. We looked at the weather for the next several days and
it seems to be a warmer pattern. That will be nice.
We are leaving here in the morning and riding about 300 miles to Beaver Creek, YT
to stay for the night. We are going to stay in a little motel named
"Idas". Lets hope its as nice as all the others have been.
Then on Tuesday we will be heading for Fairbanks. We will make a few stops along the way.
As for tomorrow night, there isnt any phones in the rooms, so I might not be
able to connect and send anything out. So if you dont get anything, dont
.well be in Fairbanks on Tuesday and Im quite sure we can hook up
TTYL, the Ohio Eskimos traveling "North To Alaska" again!
Subj.: We are at Ida's at Beaver Creek, YT!
Beginning Odometer: 50782 End of Day Reading: 51063 Total Miles Traveled: 281
Well, everything you ever heard about the Alaskan Highway is true. We are here to
tell you this. Today we left Whitehorse to head up here to Beaver Creek, a distance of 281
miles. We had at least 60 miles of gravel road today. Now it wasn't bad gravel, in that it
wasn't wet or slimy, but it was gravel. And we don't like gravel roads. But we did it and
if tomorrow we have more, we won't be happy, but we'll do it.
When we arrived here, we were tired, dirty, hot, thirsty and hungry. We have taken
care of a couple of those items. We are no longer hungry (Ida's had great food and beer)
and we are mellowing out because of Ida's beer. The rooms at Ida's are of a kind we
expected all along and didn't have. Well, we got them tonight. One room has a double bed
and two singles, another room has a double bed and three singles, and the third room has a
queen bed and two singles. There isn't any air conditioning when you get up here either.
The temperature got up to 85 today and there isn't any air. But we're making out just
fine. We're a spoiled breed.
Tomorrow we are going back into Alaska and will be 4 hours different from you all
again. At least for you that are in Ohio and the East Coast this will apply.
The gas prices have now climbed to $73.9 per liter here in Beaver Creek. We'll let
you know what it is in Alaska tomorrow. When we were in Skagway, the price was $65.9 per
liter there. So it is climbing upward.
We didn't see any animals today, but we decided that was because it was so hot
today. They're smarter than us, by staying where it is cool.
So long and we'll TTYL, the Ohio Eskimos almost to Alaska again!
Subj.: Destination: Fairbanks, Alaska....Goal Met!
Beginning Odometer: 51063 End of Day Reading: 51380 Total Miles Traveled: 317
Just a quick note to let everybody know that we have arrived safely in Fairbanks
at 6 PM Alaska time today with a temperature of 91.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It normally is in
the 70's here, but we brought them some heat. It is supposed to rain tonight, so the heat
will probably leave with that.
Our address while we are here will be:
2223 S. Cushman St.
Fairbanks, AK 99701
We had a beautiful ride today of 317 miles from Beaver Creek, YT. We made a few
stops along the way to "smell the roses" and get some info too. We stopped in
Tok, Alaska at the visitors bureau to check on our ferries for when we have to leave this
place. That's not for quite a while, we hope.
We saw the Alaska Pipeline for the first time today. We thought we saw Mt.
McKinley, but then found out it was Mt. Haines instead. I guess we will see Mt. McKinley a
So, until later, we remain the Ohio Eskimos in Alaska
Subj.: Thanks to everybody for their help with Mother!
I want all of you to know how much I appreciate everything that has been done for
my Mother. Its because of all of you that I can be up here with John and the group
enjoying this trip.
I talked with Mother this morning and she was going to the doctors office to
find out just what all is broken. She has an immobilizer on her left arm and she is doing
real well with it. She asked us about going to work tomorrow and we told her to drive the
car around the block and see how she does. If it works all right, we saw no problem with
her going to work. She enjoys that and needs that time with others.
Ryan was so nice to come and move her bicycle up into the little bedroom for her
and she wont be riding it for a few days, but whenever she can, it will be good for
She thinks that she passed out and that might have been how she fell, but at least
now shes on carpet. John says when he gets home, hes going to build her a cage
around the bike so she cant get hurt again. I dont know about that one, but
the thought is meant well.
Until later, Love from US
This little note to Chase, Thank you so much for the page yesterday, Grandpa and I
really enjoyed it. Keep up the good work. And if you go up to Great-Grandmas,
dont forget to let her win once in a while. Ha! Ha! Love from Us
Subj.: We did our resting up today!
Beginning Odometer: 51380 End of Day Reading: 51402 Total Miles Traveled: 22
The "Ohio Eskimos" did their thing today and everybody washed their
bikes, cleaned the tar off of them again and now they were clean....yep, the key word
there is "were". We celebrated this evening by going to dinner at a special
place called "The Castle". Art bought the champagne and we all toasted our
arrival at our destination of Fairbanks and the promise of an even more spectacular return
trip during our stay in Alaska and then to home. We had a very good dinner and then when
we walked out of the restaurant, the bikes were wet and it was wet outside. Now, the
people around here were real tickled with the rain, they need it. But we all hurried up
and got onto our bikes and rode back to the motel and the guys dried off their bikes. All
their work for not! Oh well, that's the life of a biker!
Today, we did some shopping for necessities and some souvenirs and we all are
getting ready to ship some clothes home, thinking that we are probably done with the real
heavy stuff....after all, it is now July 1st. We should only have mild weather now.
So, until tomorrow, we remain the "Ohio Eskimos" enjoying Alaska
Subj.: Educational, but fun day!
Beginning Odometer: 51402 End of Day Reading: 51426 Total Miles Traveled: 24
Hi there people,
The group got educated today. We went to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks to
the Museum. We attended a presentation on the Aurora Borealis and have all decided that we
want to fly up to Alaska in March 2001 to see a most beautiful sight.
We also decided that we didn't want to participate in the native Alaskan Olympics
after that presentation. You'll have to ask us about them. We did enjoy that presentation.
Then after lunch we went out to the Large Animal Research Station that is owned
and run by the University. There we had a presentation about the musk ox and the reindeer
and the caribou. We also learned about the sandhill cranes.
When we were done with all our educational programs, we were brain-dead. We
decided to stop and visit at the Alaskaland park and just relax a while. It also had a lot
of antique machinery which interested the men in our group. Also there was a train car
that President Harding had ridden in to visit Alaska on exhibit.
So we had an enjoyable and educational day. We're all going to go out to visit the
Alaskan Pipeline tomorrow. There is another exhibit that is supposed to be good, so we
will check it out. It's called Gold Dredge # 8, so we'll let you know tomorrow if we went
There is a lady up here that I have written back and forth to for some months now.
Her name is Ann Roberts. I got to meet her the first night we were here and she took me
for a tour around the city so I would be familiar with it and could lead the group without
difficulty. Her help was very much appreciated and all that she has provided for us has
been well received. Thanks Ann! We heartily recommend the Ranch Motel (where she is a desk
clerk) if you're ever in Fairbanks. They are very helpful and the motel is nice. Donna
Gilbert is the manager there - she is running for Fairbanks City Mayor.
So, until tomorrow....we remain "Ohio Eskimos in Alaska"!
Subj.: We had a very enjoyable day today!
We did what we all like to
Beginning Odometer: 51426 End of Day Reading: 51558 Total Miles Traveled: 132
Happy 4th of July to everybody! Thanks to everybody for their 4th wishes. We
appreciate any and all wishes.
We are up here where the sun shines brightly all day and night, so there won't be
any fireworks for us to see. But we don't care. We are having the time of our lives.
Five of the six families mailed packages home today. The Memmers decided they
didn't have anything they didn't need, so they got to save some money. I think Harry had
that one planned. The packages should all arrive at their destinations by the middle of
Then we rode up to the Alaskan Pipeline Visitors Center and talked with an Alaskan
tour guide named Evelyn, who knew the answer to any question that anybody wanted to ask.
While we were talking with her, a bald eagle was soaring overhead, so we got some tape of
him, but he didn't land where we could see him closer. Oh well, in time we'll see all the
eagles we want to see. While there the guys were quite fascinated with the construction of
the pipeline. Across the highway from the Visitor Center was an old truck, that also got
their attention. Evelyn, the tour guide, told us about a real good restaurant about 10
miles up the highway. She also told us that the highway would end, meaning that the
pavement would end, about another 20 miles. So being the adventurous people that we are,
we took off for the unknown. We followed the Steese Highway for at least 20 miles after a
fork in the road and then stopped at a place called Captain's Creek. Bob wanted to pan for
We have video of Bob going down into the creek, taking off his shoes and socks and
wading out there and getting some dirt and then him and John trying to convince us that
they found some gold. We were pretty much believing them until a little bit later. After
this we decided that we probably took the wrong fork of the road and were going to head
back and take the other fork. Harry went on up the road to see just how far it would go.
On our way back we stopped at a place that we had seen a few motorhomes and people
milling around on our way up the road, and discovered they were all panning for gold by
digging dirt out of the mountain and then using the creek to sift it out. They showed us
what real gold looks like. Now, not the big stuff, just dust! Before we left there, Harry
& Charlotte came back and he had to ride just 11 more miles until he ran out of road.
We should have had patience and went also.
We then took off and went the other fork of the road named Elliott Highway and
came upon the restaurant that Evelyn had told us about. It's called the Hilltop Cafe. It
sits upon a hilltop. We went in there and had a wonderful lunch and a piece of pie. They
are known for their homemade food. We can see why.
After lunch, we rode north on the Elliott Highway until we came to the end of the
pavement. It ended at milepost 28. Then we turned around and came back to Fairbanks. We
didn't get back here until after 4 PM, so we had a very nice day, just doing our favorite
thing, exploring and riding.
Now, about 7 PM tonight, we all will go and greet Rita as she gets off the
airplane from Cleveland. She is supposed to arrive about 7:57, then we will all go and
have some dinner. She surely will be surprised when the darkness never comes. It hasn't
stopped any of us from sleeping though. When it's time for bed, you go to sleep.
Until tomorrow, The Ohio Eskimos in Fairbanks
Subj.: Happy Independence Day!
Beginning Odometer: 51558 End of Day Reading: 51659 Total Miles Traveled: 101
Happy Holidays to all of you!
We are up here where the sun keeps shining and we don't seem to know night from
day. But, we sleep and then get up and do our things. This morning we all got up (the
temperature was 73) and left about 8 am to take a ride up to one of the nicest places we
have found to eat, the Hilltop Cafe. We all ate hearty and then we split up because a
couple of people, Art & Nita and Jack & Vera, wanted to go to the North Pole, so
they took off for there. Then Bob wanted Rita to go and see all the sights that we had all
seen in the last 3 days today.
The other three couples took off to go to the end of the Steese Highway, we were
in that group. So I can speak with authority as to what happened with us. We rode out to
the end and then took our time coming back. We stopped at several places we had discussed
that we wanted to explore further. At one stop, Harry, Fred & John took off with the
video camera and went over into the "tundra" and discovered just what tundra is.
When they came back, Harry, being as ornery as he is, put his hand out for me to get
something from him, which he does a lot with pop tops. So I, being as naive as I am,
opened my hand and plop. Harry gave me 3 moose turds. Needless to say, we all had a very
good laugh, Harry was laughing so hard he almost cried. It was a sight to behold, and John
got it on video too. I didn't use my hand until after I washed it, Mother, several times.
But I still love Harry, but I'm going to get even someday.....hopefully!
Then we rode on down to the place that we had all seen the big gold dredge
yesterday when we rode by. So we stopped there and the guys took off again with the video
and us girls, Charlotte, Peggy and I went into the lodge that was across the road from the
dredge. This place was a museum inside and we had a good time exploring it. I found a
white arctic fox pelt that Dan Stuckey had asked me to watch out for. So I called Dan and
sure enough, we're bringing a fox pelt home as far as we have to get it shipped to him. We
probably will do that in Anchorage on Monday. There was a 1955 T-Bird that the guy who
owned the lodge had restored in very nice shape. It was a fun time for us all.
Then we came on back to the motel to rest up for our biggie tonight. The others
all returned after a fun day also, some with packages that they had to ship home and Bob
& Rita with stories of what they saw. We are leaving in 30 minutes to go on our plane
ride to the Arctic Circle. So I will finish this note when we return and let you all know
that we returned safely. Until then....
We made it back....all in one piece and we had a decent time. We are all in our
rooms at 12:15 am on July 5th. We crossed the Arctic Circle and landed in Bettles after
going through a little storm. Bettles is in a remote area of Alaska and there are only 30
people that live there year round. We all got attacked by the mosquitoes at this stop.
There were more mosquitoes there then we have seen in the entire trip. And all of our
mosquito sprays were at the motel in our bikes. Good move! We survived it anyway.
We enjoyed this little ride, but after being in Skagway and having that trip, this
one was really a letdown. We had been told that there wasn't anything much to see and they
didn't lie. But we made it across the Arctic Circle and that was our goal. We are truly
glad that we took the plane instead of the bus....good move again!
We're leaving here in the morning for Palmer, which is down just above Anchorage.
So we'll ttyl....sleep fast, we are going to do that. Love from us all!
End of Fairbanks Section
Subj.: Palmer is a beautiful place! Fairview Motel - Palmer, AK
Beginning Odometer: 51659 End of Day Reading: 51996 Total Miles Traveled: 337
We rode 337 miles to get to Palmer today and it was a very enjoyable ride, except
for the last 10 miles. Those 10 miles it rained, and we all had our rain suits on, but we
still don't like the rain. We had put them on earlier in the day when it tried to rain on
us and didn't, so we all kept them on for warmth as well as protection. We needed them in
We left Fairbanks this morning after breakfast with the temperature in the low
70's and the sun shining. By the time we stopped to take a look at Mt. McKinley we had to
add some clothes. You don't have to get too far out of Fairbanks to get into the real
mountain areas. We rode down the Parks Highway all the way today and it was a very nice
road, only 2 spots of bad road all day long. That's a first in Alaska.
We stopped a couple of times to ogle at Mt. McKinley and we aren't really sure if
what we were looking at was the big mountain or not. I guess we'll find out when we go
back up there on Thursday. We did see where we're going to be staying when we go back.
Well, it really wasn't an exciting day to report, other than seeing all the
mountains. We were quite surprised to find out that all big mountains are really down here
in the southern part of Alaska. We had it in our minds that Anchorage was in a flat part
of the state. Boy, are we wrong! We are sitting here tonight in Palmer, which is only 30+
miles away from Anchorage and we are surrounded by mountains, big ones at that!
So, until tomorrow, we remain the "Ohio Eskimos in Alaska"
Subj.: Just another day in Paradise! Uptown Motel - Kenai, AK
Beginning Odometer: 51996 End of Day Reading: 52223 Total Miles Traveled: 227
We just came back from a moose hunt and we had the same success that we have had
since we came to Alaska. They have all these moose signs stuck up everywhere and we don't
see any moose anywhere. We're going to go back to Canada where we did see them. The kid at
the restaurant tonight told us to go down Marathon Road, we went down that road and didn't
see anything. Of course Menegay was leading and when the road turned to gravel, he refused
to go on. So we came back defeated! They don't know it but the cannery tour tomorrow is
down a gravel road. Surprise! Surprise!
We left Palmer this morning in rain...which makes everybody happy. We all bundled
up like "toads" to keep dry and warm and rode the 40 miles into Anchorage and
then we had to make a pit stop at Taco Bell and got them to open up for us. Some people
added some more clothes because even though it had quit raining, it was only 52 degrees.
That's a little cold!
We rode through Anchorage on the Glenn Highway and then turned onto the Seward
Highway in town and headed south. It didn't take us very long to negotiate Anchorage.
Surprisingly, Anchorage isn't a very big city. It took us about 10 minutes to get clear
through the town, 15 at tops. When we reached the southern end of Anchorage is when the
surprise happened. It was a beautiful surprise! Going down the Seward Highway is something
to behold. There are mountains on both sides of you, with the Gulf of Alaska (Cook Inlet
actually) off to your right. As you continue down the highway, you are met with very
strong cold winds. But the beauty is such that you really don't seem to mind it for a
while. There's also the Alaska Railroad going down along your left and there was a train
way out ahead of us, so it made for a wonderful trip. The tide was out while we were
traveling down. You do a complete 180 around the end of the bay and head back up for about
2 miles, then turn west and head through a cut in the mountains to join up with the
Sterling Highway with spectacular views on both sides. Of course we had rain off and on
for most of the trip. We stopped to have some lunch in Sterling and then it really rained
on us, but we were dressed for it and we rode on into Kenai to our hotel.
Then everybody did their own thing and we all had a good time doing just that.
Harry & Charlotte and us took off and went for a ride to check out where the cannery
tour will be tomorrow. We met the people that are in charge and they told us of their
operation. It turns out that they aren't a little company, but rather quite a large
company. We also went to the Beluga Whale Beach where you are supposed to be able to see
We ended up riding a total of 227 miles, what with the moose hunt included in the
mileage. Tomorrow we are going to go on the cannery tour and then spend a little time
going to the museum here and head down to Homer for the night. We have reservations there.
People have told us how nice it really is so we figured we'd check it out.
We seem to be a novelty in this area in particular. Everybody can't believe that
we have all ridden our bikes clear up from Ohio. The cannery owner also informed us that
he is going to take a picture of all 6 bikes and put that up on his wall in his office in
Seattle. Big shots, aren't we! Just kidding!
Well, we're out of here and off to bed, so must get this all sent before that, so
TTYL, Love from the "Ohio Eskimos" doing their things.
Subj.: Homer Spit! Ocean Shores Motel - Homer, AK
Beginning Odometer: 52223 End of Day Reading: 52376 Total Miles Traveled: 153
We started off our day very good by seeing our first moose while we were at
breakfast. John gasped and said..."there's a moose out there?" Then we all got
up and left everything and went outside and saw it go out of sight, but we had seen it. Of
course all our cameras were back in our bikes or motel rooms, so no picture.
After breakfast we all loaded up to go for our fish processing tour. As we were
leaving the motel parking lot, I noticed over to the right, we think, the same moose
grazing....this time we had all the cameras and videos going, so we got pictures. It was
only about 50 feet from us, so we got some good ones.
Then we went on our fish processing plant tour out at the Ward Cove Packing
Company. The head of the plant there is a neighbor of Charlotte and Harry's son Carl in
Seattle, so thank you Carl for hooking us up for a great tour. Bill gave us over an hour
of his time, valuable time, showing us all around and answering all our questions. We all
really appreciated you Carl, thinking of us and even recommending that we do that tour. We
got our eyes opened as to how our beloved salmon gets sent to Florida or Ohio for us to
eat and enjoy. There was a gravel road going back to the fish plant, but with all our
experiences on gravel on this trip, it wasn't a problem!
After the tour, we did our own things, like going to the K-Mart, going to the
museum and whatever, then met up at noon to leave for Homer. We were all very comfortable
as the sun was shining brightly in Kenai, but as we rode down the highway, the temperature
started to drop and the sun went under. Bummer! I think it dropped to around 49 degrees
and the high had been 60....that seems to be normal for this area. So we stopped and put
on a few more clothes to warm up and continued until we could stop for lunch. That is
another story! We stopped where the Ninilchik post office people had recommended we stop
for lunch. It was a little place similar to a root beer stand back home, but it was called
"The Whaler", well, it had a rock driveway and the guys had fun with that, so
they all parked over out of the way, along the edge. Well, we're sitting there waiting for
our lunches to come out and this irate lady comes up and wants to know who owns the
motorcycles. Now, being proud owners of our motorcycles, we say they're ours. She said
that is a PRIVATE DRIVEWAY and really continued commenting, but our guys just got up and
went and moved the bikes and didn't even argue with her. But they were thinking....we
think there must be a problem between the little merchant and the irate lady resident next
door. Oh well! Some people you just can't make happy!
We were riding on down the highway and on our left there was a field of
eagles.....John was leading and wouldn't stop. So there aren't any pictures of them
either. A lot of unhappy people, but no pictures. On down the way, there was a moose and
Harry stopped and got a picture of that for all of us. Then an eagle flew over John's head
and it was an immature eagle, but we couldn't react quick enough for a picture. We had
another eagle fly across with a fish in its talons, but it happened too quick so again, no
We arrived in Homer and stopped at the top of the hill at a scenic view and what a
scene! You look out over a body of water at nothing but mountains and
glaciers.....awesome! After we got done ogling at the scenery, we checked into our motel
and couldn't believe our view out of our windows. All full of mountains and snow and
We loaded ourselves back onto the bikes and rode into town to check it out. At the
end of the road in town, you ride out onto a "spit"....a natural jetty out into
Kachemak Bay. We took another road to the end of the pavement. But the end of this
pavement also ends in the water. Out there are a lot of little shops and touristy things.
There were a lot of charter boats and camping. This is known as the "Halibut Fishing
Capital of the World". We saw a lot of halibut fish on the hooks at all the charter
places. The fish were any where from 40 pounds up to 110 pounds. We saw a lot of fish.
I talked to a lady about taking a plane over to Kodiak Island to check out the
bears, but she wanted $475 a person to go over to see the bears. I told her "thanks,
but no thanks....too much money". We will get to see bears in Denali when we get
there on Friday.
We then took off and went looking for a place to eat. Well, let me tell you there
isn't too many places to eat in Homer. We settled on a Mexican restaurant called "Don
Jose" and had a very good meal there. They also served Italian, get that...a Mexican
restaurant serving Italian. I had a Calzone and it was really good, so they can cook
Then Charlotte and I came back to the motel to work on the motel arrangements for
tomorrow night and John, Harry, Fred & Peg, Bob & Rita all took off for a ride to
check for moose. They came back a little bit ago and they saw moose and got pictures. So
it was success tonight!
Well, that's about it for tonight, so we'll fill you in again tomorrow. We're
still "Ohio Eskimos in Alaska" and enjoying ourselves.
Subj.: We're in Moose Pass, Alaska for tonight! Trail Lake Lodge
Beginning Odometer: 52376 End of Day Reading: 52577 Total Miles Traveled: 201
We had a nice ride today of 201 miles. We left Homer this morning in a light rain
and cooler type temperature of 49 degrees. But when you dress for it, you really don't get
too cold. We all dressed for it. We rode up to Soldotna for breakfast and then after we
finished eating, it had pretty much stopped raining, but it had warmed up a little bit.
Nobody took anything off though. We rode on into Moose Pass and checked out the facilities
for our stay tonight and then rode on down to Seward. While we were at the motel area,
Fred sat on a toilet that was way up in the air. We got pictures -when you
gotta, you gotta!
We headed on down the highway towards Seward and when we were only about 10 miles
out, a big bald eagle flew alongside of us, but again we didn't get any pictures. It's
pretty hard to just stop when the traffic is so heavy, we don't want to get into any
problems so we do miss some things, but not with our eyes. We then rode on into Seward. It
is a nice little town along the coast, but our favorite place still is
Skagway. Sorry, but
it's true! We ate lunch in a place called the Legend, it advertises itself as the start of
the Iditarod race. There were all kinds of pictures and sleds and that stuff all around
it. It was a good place for lunch.
We did do the tour of the new Alaska SeaLife Center, or rather, most of us did it.
While we spent a couple hours there reading and watching the sea lion and the puffins and
the seals, the ones that weren't there did some shopping and went to the post office. The
SeaLife Center is also a research center and this is only the 3rd month of operation for
them. They will have a very nice facility if they keep expanding.
We're all just relaxing and waiting for the time to go for dinner downstairs. We
are staying in a lodge/motel tonight. There are two rooms with a queen size bed and a
single bed and a single sofa-bed for 4 in each room. Then the other two couples are
staying across the road in a motel, each with their own room. We had a hard time even
getting these accommodations, but they will do fine.
Tomorrow we will take off and go back up to Denali for three days. We hope that
the weather will cooperate with us and let us really see Mt. McKinley and all it's glory.
We also want to see a lot of animals.
Subj.: We are in Denali for three nights! Backwoods Lodge - Cantwell,
Beginning Odometer: 52577 End of Day Reading: 52886 Total Miles Traveled: 309
Hi there everybody,
We left Moose Pass this morning and it was a little on the cool side, but not real
cold as the day we arrived in the Kenai. We rode for quite a while and then we saw some
mountain goats and took lots of pictures. We arrived in Anchorage and had some sun for a
change. We rode up to Trapper's Creek and then stopped and did our laundry. We hadn't been
able to do it for several days and we didn't figure we'd find anyplace around Cantwell to
do it, so we just stopped and took about 2 hours and got it all done. Then we continued on
up the Parks Highway and stopped at a Denali Viewing site and realized that what we had
been seeing and believed was Mt. McKinley, probably wasn't the mountain at all. It's
really high and mostly in the clouds, it sure was today.
We arrived in Cantwell, Alaska at the Backwoods Lodge. This is more like an
apartment than a motel, for sure. We have two queen-size beds and a single bed in our
room. The second room has the same configuration, but the third room has three queen-size
beds in it. We have a microwave, a refrigerator, a coffee pot, paper plates and real
silverware. We also have a TV with 2 channels, one of which is pre-taped movies. The other
channel is nonexistent.
We arrived here in a little rain, but walked over to a restaurant that was .2 mile
from the lodge. It was nothing more than a truck stop, but it had very good food. We met a
couple of German fellas that had had their dirt bikes shipped into Toronto and had ridden
all the way to here, they were going to Anchorage after spending the next two days here.
Then they will see Kenai and then they intend to hop onto a ferry and go to Vancouver and
then on down the coast of the USA into Mexico. They took six months off from their jobs to
do this trip. Their only bad comment was how expensive everything is for them. They said
that our dollar is such that it takes 6 of their dollars to equal one of ours. That's
By the way, we can't hook up the computer here, so you will all be getting this in
a group, which amazes us because this is only the second time we couldn't send or receive
our messages since we left.
As ever, your "Ohio Eskimos" in Alaska
Subj.: We saw Mt. McKinley many times today!
Beginning Odometer: 52886 End of Day Reading: 52886 Total Miles Traveled: 0
We all got up this morning and went down to the pond behind this lodge at 6:40 am
and saw Mt. McKinley, all majestic as it shows up. We got all kinds of pictures of it. We
found out that we were about 90 miles away, but it is big and beautiful. We have heard how
people have come up here and have left without seeing the mountain, we have been fortunate
in getting to see it.
Then we left about an hour late on our tour with a woman tour driver. Her name is
Valerie and we all really enjoyed our tour today with her. We think she is probably the
owner of the tour company, Alpenglo Tours. (Ann - she says she knows both you and Donna
real well.) We rode 92 miles back to a Gold Camp and had our lunch and did some gold
panning. Needless to say, we didn't become millionaires yet, but Bob and Fred and Harry
think there might be a chance later. They all would like to come up here and spend some
leisurely time just panning for some gold.
Along the way we saw a couple of grizzly bears, far off, but we did get some
pictures. We also saw an eagle in its nest, we are guessing that it is an immature one,
but we got pictures to that also. We saw caribou, moose, beaver, dall sheep, arctic
squirrels, willow ptarmigan (Alaska's state bird other than the mosquito), little critters
that Valerie called gerbils but we think they are like prairie dogs - about the same size.
Susie & Gary - you were right about the roads in Denali, they aren't very
good, but our tour driver maneuvered like a pro and we all were very comfortable riding
with her. I'm sure that we would never ride our Gold Wings out through there, even if we
were allowed. We had 4 different rain storms while we were on our way back out the 92
miles. When those dirt roads get wet, they get real slimy. Thanks for the tip about taking
the long trip, it sure was worth it and we didn't take the park tour, we took a private
tour van. It was a 15 passenger Ford van and it handled it just perfect.
Today was a special day in other ways. This was Peg's 59th birthday and Jack &
Vera's 44th anniversary so we all celebrated big time with them. Even Valerie had us sing
to them while we ate one of our snacks. We are going to have some cake as soon as the rest
of the group gets back from eating their dinner.
Well, that's it for today. We'll write more tomorrow and you'll get it when we can
TTYL, The "Ohio Eskimos" in Alaska
Subj.: Another fun day in Paradise, otherwise known as Alaska!
Beginning Odometer: 52886 End of Day Reading: 52981 Total Miles Traveled: 95
We went back to Denali today and took in the dog sled demonstration at 2, we
missed the one at 10. They are all Alaskan Huskies or another name for them is
"Mutts". It was quite an interesting demo that we all enjoyed.
When we realized that we had missed the earlier demo, we hopped back onto the
bikes and rode the park highway as far as we were allowed. A total of 13 miles. There is a
rock formation called Savage Rock and that's where you have to turn around. We parked and
several of our members climbed the rock. The rest of us looked far and wide for animals,
but we didn't see any. In fact, on our trip out there today, we didn't see any animals
except the little squirrel types. Bummer!
Then after the dog sled demo, we split up and three couples headed back for the
lodge. The other three, Nichols, Menegay and us headed up to McKinley Park, which is a
tourist place with little shops, we all got a new cap to commemorate our Alaska adventure.
Then after it started raining, we decided it was time to head for the lodge. We rode for
about 15 miles in steady rain and all of a sudden, we spotted a female moose and her
little baby in a river along the highway. We stopped to take a picture and she started to
run, so deciding that the stop wasn't really a safe one, we continued on without a
When we arrived at the lodge, we had it made out that Fred & Peg and Bob &
Rita would bring Harry over a drink with his NEW swizzle stick. The next time you see
Harry, ask him about his swizzle sticks that were a gift from Carol.....got him!
We all went over to a new place to have our dinner tonight. The food was good, the
service was slow, but there is hope in the wind. While we were sitting there, a couple
rode in on an older Wing and came in and we got to chatting, they were from Wisconsin. She
had just flown into Fairbanks last night (sound familiar) and he and his son had left
Madison, WI on June 20th and had ridden up here together. He told us about riding up the
Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle and back and thought we missed it by not doing it. In
Well, that's it for tonight. We'll TTYL, The "Ohio Eskimos" in Alaska
Subj.: No McKinley today! Fairview Motel - Palmer, AK
Beginning Odometer: 52981 End of Day Reading: 53170 Total Miles Traveled: 189
Good evening folks,
On our way out of Cantwell this morning, we had hoped to get one last look at Mt.
McKinley, but NOT! It was raining continuously the whole way down to Palmer. We came by
the viewing places and there wasn't even a mountain there at all. I can believe how people
have commented that you can come to Denali and never see the mountain. We lucked out and
saw it the first day we were there, but it hasn't been seen since.
We did have a nice ride down to Wasilla and stopped at the Walmart to get some
supplies before coming on into Palmer and our motel. We arrived at the Walmart about
noontime and figured that our motel wouldn't be ready for us yet. I called and talked with
the manager and he thanked me for calling and said to give them at least an hour. When we
got here, our rooms were ready for us. Imagine this! We had stayed here last Sunday night
and he remembered us and even welcomed us. We must be doing something right!
Across the street from this motel is the Alaska State Fairgrounds. This weekend
they have had truck pulls and they were still going on when we arrived. So the men
couldn't decide whether to go over or not. Art & Jack rode over to check out the
happenings and when the guy told them that they were half over and they still wanted $15
to get in, besides another $2 to park, the decision was made, it wasn't worth it. So they
stood at the balcony and watched and listened for a while. Then everybody went to their
rooms and took little naps. It's surprising what a ride in the cold rain will do to you.
Tomorrow our plans are to go into Anchorage for the day. Some of us want to visit
the zoo, others want to go to the Honda shop and get new shields for their helmets, and
Harry needs to go and get a new sock for his headset. The other place we intended to visit
was the Ulu factory, but I called there and there isn't a factory tour, so I don't know
how much time we'll spend there. We will be staying at this same motel one more night and
then we'll be moving on down to Valdez. I just called and made reservations for us to tour
the Alaska Pipeline facility there, so we'll be busy on Tuesday doing that.
Until later, the "Ohio Eskimos" signing off in Alaska
Subj.: Bears - we saw bears, moose, caribou and all kinds of animals
Beginning Odometer: 53170 End of Day Reading: 53285 Total Miles Traveled: 115
Well, we did it! We saw bears today, up close and personal. We went to the Alaska
Zoo in Anchorage. It is a nice zoo, much smaller than any zoo we had ever been to before.
But the nice thing about it was that they had animals that are in Alaska, so we saw a
grizzly, a black bear, a brown bear, baby moose that had been orphaned, just all kinds of
animals that we had wanted to see more of in the wild. So we're seen them now.
We had lunch at "Peggy's" restaurant when we finished with the zoo. It
was a nice restaurant and we had seen it several times as we passed, so we thought it
would be a good place to eat, and it was. We now know that Peggy has been busy, feeding
all these people up here in Anchorage. Which reminds me Dale, Peg enjoyed her birthday
wishes very much.
Then when we got home, or rather, back to the motel. John decided to check our
front wheel bearing. It was a good thing that Fred had an extra one in his bike, after
last year's episode with his bike, because ours was bad. So it has now been changed
successfully and we can all roll on tomorrow, just fine. John confessed that he had been
noticing something not quite right for the last couple of days, but didn't say anything.
We tried to stop at the Honda shop in Anchorage earlier today, but it's closed on Mondays.
Then we stopped at the Honda shop in Wasilla this afternoon, but they didn't have what he
wanted, I guess. We stopped with the excuse that Harry & Vera needed new socks for
their headsets. They do need new socks, but he had other things on his mind.
Well, I'm off to send this off to everybody, and then we'll be going to dinner in
Just a little favor to ask. Please feel free to send us e-mail, but can the jokes
please wait until after we're home. We can't hook up to get the ones that have to be
gotten while online, because we are just able, at present, to hook up long enough to
send/receive. Later on, all jokes will be welcome. Thanks!
Until later, the "Ohio Eskimos" in Alaska
Subj.: Valdez is wet and beautiful.....Westmark Hotel!
Beginning Odometer: 53285 End of Day Reading: 53546 Total Miles Traveled: 261
Where do we begin? One thing we want to tell Art's family is that he and Nita just
visited with the Wanner's from Navarre, OH. She works at Mid's Spaghetti House in Navarre.
She is also Art's granddaughter Laura's mother-in-law. Her and her husband arrived tonight
at our motel and Art spotted them walking by and went and got them and they visited for a
while. Small world!
The next thing we want to share is when we left Glennallen today after lunch, we
noticed this motorhome traveling by us with a tow bar hanging with nothing on it, dragging
the pavement. So we all got him to pull over, after a little while (we think he must have
thought that the Hell's Angels were after him) and then John went and asked him if he was
supposed to be towing something because there wasn't anything there. The guy looked almost
like he was going to have a heart attack and said, "You mean there isn't a car behind
me." So we left them not knowing where or when he had lost his car, but hoping that
everything would be all right with them.
The ironic thing is that when Art & Nita were talking with the
Wanner's told them about this green car that was less than a mile from the intersection
where we spotted the guy in the motorhome. The green car was in the woods and they
couldn't figure that one out. We hope it was the motorhome guy's car, but we'll be going
back that way tomorrow and check it out.
We left Palmer this morning with a temperature in the upper 60's and it was clear
and beautiful. We rode the Glenn Highway all the way to Glennallen and had some
construction again, but nothing that we couldn't handle. The road was really bumpy in a
lot of places. It probably was one of the worse roads that we've been on since we left
Canada, for the longest period. We saw several beautiful glaciers along that stretch of
highway and got some pictures. We had been told that when we headed for Valdez, we would
enjoy that highway as much as we did the highway to Skagway. Well, the first 50 miles we
didn't agree with that statement, but after those miles were gone, the real beauty showed
up. It's a different scenery than the highway to Skagway, but just as awesome. We rode
into Valdez and right after we arrived at our motel, it started to rain. Oh well! We are
going on a tour of the Alaska Pipeline at 7:30 tonight and I called the place and they are
going to pick us all up at the motel. Can you believe it! We don't have to ride our bikes
out there in the rain. Of course, I didn't ask if they were bringing us back, but I'm sure
that they will.
We aren't leaving Valdez until around noontime tomorrow as we want to see a little
more of this lovely little town, hopefully it won't be raining, but if it is, so be it!
We were discussing the Monteiths and we haven't heard what you guys found out with
your bike, so please will you enlighten us. To answer your question as to how many miles
we have ridden since we left, a total of 6960 miles about now. The price of gas today was
$1.549 in Glennallen, but that's a little bit higher than it has been normally in Alaska.
Food prices are somewhat higher, but it depends on where you eat and what you eat. We just
ate supper tonight and it cost us $25, which is about normal for an evening meal.
Breakfast usually costs us almost $20 and lunch is about that price too. So I guess you
could say, it does cost us more up here, but if you play, you pay! Thanks Carole!
We'll write some more when we return from the tour.....we're back....it's 9:56 PM
here in Valdez. We just returned from our tour of the Alyeska Marine Terminal here. That
is the name of the Alaskan Pipeline that we all have heard about. We rode on a bus for
over two hours all over this terminal. Our bus driver, a female, gave us so many numbers
that we all decided we are on overload. But it was a very informative tour as to what all
takes place with the pipeline. We saw two ships -- one being loaded, the other one was
loaded and finally left port.
On our way out the road from the terminal, she stopped several times to let us see
some bald eagles. We got some pictures of some eagles and we all decided that on our way
out of town tomorrow, we will go down that same road and see if we can get some pictures
in the sunlight. There's also supposed to be some black bears on that road, so we're
Well, it's off to bed time for all of us, so TTYL, the "Ohio Eskimos"
still exploring Alaska
Subj.: We made a round trip.....2945 miles....Young's Motel in
Beginning Odometer: 53546 End of Day Reading: 53815 Total Miles Traveled: 269
Hi there folks,
The ride up from Valdez was really beautiful and the weather was nice too. We
decided that the ride was "majestic" to say the least. We didn't leave Valdez
until noontime and then rode out to see if we could see any eagles and/or bears out at the
terminal, where the tour driver had told us they would be. We did see some and got some
pictures, of eagles, not bears.
We had lunch in Glennallen, where the guy lost his car yesterday. We saw a place
that we saw that could have been where his car ended up, but the waitress or the owner of
the restaurant didn't know anything about it. After lunch, is when we got onto the bad
road. Gary, you told us about these kinds of roads up here, but believe me, this was the
worst. The name of the road is the Tok Cut-off and we did it. There was a driver from NJ
that was driving a motorhome that if we could have gotten hold of him, he wouldn't be
driving again. He was the biggest jerk on the entire trip so far.
We made it, not until 7 PM tonight. We thought about 3 PM that we might not make
it, but we did it and nobody had any real problems, but we have all decided that this was
the worst day of our trip so far, as far as the gravel roads are concerned. We had a
section of highway that the sign said was 55 miles long. Well, they weren't kidding one
little bit. Harry said he deformed his handle grips and John said he was in love with his.
It was longer than that, because the bumps were really bad, some to the point of hurting
when we hit them. But we had a celebration when we arrived here tonight. We drank 18 beers
between all of us, that's not too bad considering how the roads were. It's called
"tension release". Then we went and had our supper. We're all going to bed early
tonight, we have another day of gravel tomorrow that we were through on the way up here.
There isn't any other way to go, or believe me, we'd do it.