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2010 Deadhorse Alaska Trip

'Tuesday June 1st, 2010 10:00'
This adventure is over.

It was largely an uneventful day. I had thought about maybe leaving on Thursday but because of some health insurance issues I needed to resolve I decided to stay an additional day. I am bureaucratically challenged and hate paperwork.

But it's good because it gave me an extra day to shop for supplies and resolve a few issues I have.

Back in Spokane, Kalee from Ed's Snowmobile and Motorcycle Shop went way above the call of duty to help us out. I know it's no longer done and is a bit excessively old school but I wanted to say thank you in some substantive way, so I had decided to send her some flowers, but I had forgotten to do it earlier in the week. Doh! I've always gotten a kick out of giving flowers ever since I was a kid.

As a teenager back in highschool I used to instigate what we called "flower runs". Me and a couple of friends would buy a bunch of flowers and then drive all over creation leaving them on doorsteps so that as our targets left to go to school in the morning they would be greeted by something to brighten up their days. We had this down to such a science. We would turn off the lights and engine, coast up to the target house and silently place said flowers and be off back into the dark. It was always done anonymously. This would keep us occupied for some hours as we would do this for half a dozen or more girls. It was always fun to see the stir it would cause at school the next day. I always particularly enjoyed leaving flowers for Terri, a.k.a. Talons. This little ritual is one of my few good memories of that time.

Once, on Valentines day, I had bought some roses for a friend and her sister. Their mom had always been really nice to me so I brought some for her as well. So I showed up on the doorstep, flowers in hand to say Happy Valentines Day. When I gave their mom flowers she burst into tears. Her husband hadn't gotten her any. Remember how I said I keep getting myself into trouble? Yea, I still can't win for losing. I became a lot more cautious after that. It bothered me, deeply. I still think about it from time to time.

It seems to me that the online florists business is ripe for re-invention. All I wanted was to find some nice polite white lillies to send, but nothing doing. Anything that says "delivered in a box" shows up frozen. I made that mistake once some years ago. Never again.

After spending way too much time trying to find the right compromise, I finally decided on a bouquet and hit send. It's much better if you can actually walk into the store and see the arrangement. There's always this apprehension about flowers that they'll end up not coming out right and the intent will get lost.

But I get such a kick out of doing this especially when it's out of the blue. There's a bartender who's been very kind to me that I would love to send flowers to as well, but I spent the morning looking and can't yet find the right bouquet. I might actually have to call an actual florist. Egads.

The tankbag I bought in Spokane is sort of working out but the strap setup Kalee and I improvised for it isn't working out well. Unfortunately, the Tourmaster Cortech bag uses some apparently non-standard clips. I was hoping that I could go to a motorcycle shop and find the right clips but the one BMW shop we visited had nothing of the sort.

The parts guy there suggested I try Mountian Equipment Co-op in downtown Victoria. Ian said it was a longish walk from the house so off I went GPS in hand.

She lies. I don't know why she lies but she just lies more than she tells the truth. I punched in the name and the result was "55 miles away". I've learned. I asked. "It's just 3 blocks up the street." 7 blocks later I was there, but not before I had stopped at a Starbucks for a cup of coffee.

Starbucks in Victoria are a bit different than Starbucks in the states. For starters, they don't put lids on coffee. The lids are stacked next to the napkins. Separately, I noticed the bathrooms. "Two women's bathrooms?", I questioned somewhat curiously. "Aha!".

I could just hear the Canadians thinking to themselves, "Silly American Tourist taking pictures of bathroom doors".


But this makes so much sense. There's always a line in front of the womens bathroom, but so rarely in front of the mens. So you make one of them unisex and call it done. Seems like a good solution to me.

I did eventually find my way to the Co-op and against all odds they actually had the exact same clips that Tourmaster uses. In a little bit here I'm going to see if I can't try the clips and test fit the tankbag back onto the bike.

While I was there I picked up some cold weather gear. The forecast up north has dropped a bit. It's going to be cold.

On the way back I stopped in Starbucks again compulsively.

Too ... much ... coffee ...

I had had only a few blue berries and yogurt for breakfast and I forget to eat lunch. Ian and Tanya suggested we go to this Teriyaki place downtown. Against all odds, the place was packed. We sat and waited. "10 minutes", the waitress said. There were only three waitresses for the entire place. They were hoofing it never stopping for even a minutes break, but because of the load we ended up having to wait nearly an hour to get a table. Classic denial of service attack.

By this time my body started digesting itself. I think it's the brain that goes first. I kept thinking "What about their legs? They don't need those" but wisely no waittress got within arms reach. Man was I starving. But food eventually arrived and I was no longer hungry. Everyone survived, even the waitresses.


The Ian, Tanya, Anouk and Arlo clan.

I head out tomorrow for points north. I've got to get up early to make the morning ferry back to the mainland. I don't know what kind of access I'm going to have while I'm out in BC. My cellphone data service doesn't work up here so I'll have to see about finding WIFI hotspots to use, if I can.

I have to clean the saddlebags. One needs to be fixed with some epoxy. It's got a huge crack in it. Also I've got to go through my gear and ship some of the heavier items back. I've also got to see about doing some laundry.

Ian checked the weather forecast in Deadhorse. "It's dry for the next few days but looks sketchy after that", he said. "It'll be raining and turned into a mud pit by the time I get there.", I replied. I have to admit I'm a bit apprehensive about the next two legs of the trip, going up there and coming back here. I think, if they are around, I'll stop back by here on my return trip. If I make it, the bike will need tires and an oil change. 6000 miles up and back, then at least another three to get back to DC.

And that reminds me I should call my insurance agent about travel and evacuation insurance.

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