Monday, August 14, 2017

Part one and part two of my hike out to The Magic Bus

   This is Part one of my footage I compiled of my self recorded trip I made to Alexander Supertramp's resting place, The Magic Bus I'm working on the second part of this video but till then I hope you enjoy watching this. At least your feet will stay a lot dryer than mine did.
This is the second part of the trip or day 2. The video below is the river crossing that basically took place in between these two videos.
  The river crossing over. It went bad but could have easily been much worse.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Looks like I'm trailering my bike to Sturgis

   After crossing back across the border into Montana today I pulled over for this picture of my bike today. I then restarted my bike and began to head south to Sturgis. About 50 miles later, the engine suddenly died at 80mph. I tried to restart it but the starter was dead. I pulled over and checked the lights and they were as dim as could be. I was in the middle of no where and I had a dead battery. I disconnected my headlight to lessen the volts being used and tried to push start it. After about 20 tries, I got it started for about 2 seconds. This was bad. Real bad. The battery was also really hot and had acid seeping out the top even though it is a sealed cell battery. I made a couple of phone calls, including my friend Frank Kaelin at Kaelin's Custom Cycle in Louisville. He answered the phone saying he knew I was having problems- that's only when I call. Just as I'm trying to get some over the phone advice, a group of bikes passed by. They gave me the thumbs up and I gave them the thumbs down as they went by. After about a half of mile, they pulled over. They then turned around ( all 6 bikes) and rode back up the interstate to where I was pulled over. One of the riders looked at my bike and swore, " I don't believe it. It's f*ckin' Bean're". I knew this was a very good sign.
I started telling them what my problem was and the next thing I know is they had an ace mechanic named Hillbilly riding with them. He dove in with his knowledge and also a multi-meter and started figuring out I had some major electrical issues besides a dead battery. That was why it wouldn't push start.
  I got to talk and tell stories while he continued to work on my bike. He found a dead short that turned out to be my voltage regulator and possibly it took out the battery and stator too. They explained they were from Alberta, Canada and were doing their annual Sturgis run. This time they were doing it all on Shovelheads. And THIS is where the story gets even better. They had a chase truck with another Shovelhead in it. They said I could put my bike in the trailer and ride the Shovel. So just like that, my good luck turned and ugly situation into an awesome adventure. I'm riding a cool Shovelhead the next 550 miles to Sturgis even though my bike is getting trailered.
   So now I'm back in the wind, running with the pack.
Do you think it is possible for a guy to be any luckier? See ya in Sturgis!!!!!!!!




Sunday, July 30, 2017

Finishing the ultimate vacation

    With 30 days on the road this July, it all seems like a dream. A really, really good dream!
    I really enjoy meeting people in my travels but this trip seemed to be about Mother Nature and all her glory
I saw so much wild life. everywhere I looked was bears.
and not just black bears.
This made for exciting camping but I don't share my sushi, even if it is salmon.

This caribou stopped and posed for me before continuing to walk under the Alaska Pipeline
I also have tons of video footage that I filmed and when I get a chance to edit it, I'll pass it along here.
 Like my visit with Yukon Jeremy and his wonderful mom and my visit by boat, up the Yukon River to their home off the grid.
And of course, all my video of a little bit of what it was like to hike for 4 days, 42 miles "into the Wild" and see the Magic Bus.
Till then, I'll keep showing people that choppers were made to be ridden.
All the way to The Arctic Circle and BACK!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Into the WIld and The Magic Bus at Healy, Alaska


Hiking 42 miles total in 4 days through some very tough terrain to see the REAL bus that was in the book and movie - "Into The Wild".
Most of the trail was wet and muddy to say the least. This was just one of the beaver dams that flooded so much of the trail too.
But the views were spectacular and I'm sure very few people have struggled to get out here to see this. The trail with mid and thawed tundra, ruts and fallen trees not to mention the two rivers makes it near impassible even for off road utility vehicles.
This was a lot farther down than it appears.
Here is a video of two other crossing the river after I did. Crossing with full packs is brutal and VERY dangerous

But the harder the trail got, the better the views became

Camping 3 of the four nights but only 1 night did I sleep in the tent.
One night was in the ground in my sleeping bag
even after I found this bear track outside of my first night camping area and I know it wasn't there the day before. I think my snoring probably attracted it.

And one night was on the bus in the actual bed where they found Christopher McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp
This headstone is located at the door of the bus as you go in.
And the inside of the bus is signed with visitors from all around the world that have been touched by his story. Even his sister has signed the walls and visited here 3 times as the dates show.
So was it worth it for me? YES, it was on so many different levels. As I sit and write this, every muscles is screaming, I'm drinking tons of fluids and eating real meals instead of campfire food- and needing about a weeks worth of rest. But no time for that. I'm off on my next adventure


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Slow Down and Smell the Moose Nuggets

 Finally taking a break on this trip but not by choice. It is 41 degrees and after getting wet for 2 days, I decided to get off the Alaskan Highway and wait it out. It should be sunny and in the near 70's soon again. In the mean time, I found this Hostel in Haines Junction. The sleepy little town is just like the town from the TV series "Northern Exposure". But then, most of the towns scattered along the ALCAN are like this. After two nights in my own tent, I wanted better accommodations but didn't want a standard hotel room although, up here you have to take what you can get. Things can book up fast in the evenings. I found a pretty cool hostel called " Wanderer's Inn". I got there early enough where I had some choices. For 40 dollars I could stay inside in a dorm with bunk beds. They also have an outside cabin/ tent set up dorm style but for a few dollars more, they have a single private cabin/ tent with heat, electricity and a big comfy bed. It even has wifi so I splurged.
  This cabin/ tent has wood floor and sides but the coolest part is the roof is made from a government issue tent from the 1930's era. It was decommissioned and sat until the Wanderer's Inn picked it up and incorporated it in this cabin. Instead of heavy canvas, it is made from thin parachute like material. You can see the tent on the inside but on the outside, it is covered with a tarp to keep out the in-climate weather. As it rained all night, it made the nicest sound but stayed totally dry. I got the best night sleep in awhile.
  Still, hearing the non-stop rain only reminded me that soon I would have to be off and riding in it. I should also explain that although I am still a ways south from mainland Alaska, daylight is prevailing. Sundown is about midnight and sunrise is 4:30am. I've been waking up pretty early.
    After morning coffee inside the main house, I came to the conclusion that what is the sense of being a motorcycle nomad if I had to be on a schedule? I'm going to hang out and talk to strangers who will soon be part of my next story. After all, isn't that what life is all about?
  "Downtown" Haines Junction.

Night before last in Watson Lake, Yukon. Clear sky and 20 degrees warmer. Weather here can change fast.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The road to The Arctic Circle just got longer

   Always pushing to go further, I saved up my money for another Alaska adventure but this time I wanted to push the limits and make ut up past the Arctic Circle and up to The Arctic Ocean. Not just to get up there but to do it by motorcycle. And not just the enduro type adventure bikes, but on my chopper. It will be the better part a month endevour. Still, it can't be rushed.
  I also wanted to hit some National parks along the way. Yellowstone and Glacier National Park just to name a few. After riding through Yellowstone and making sure Old Faithful is still spewing up, I also carved my name in a 6 foot tall snow bank at one of the passes.
 I left the park at the wrong exit though. It was the most direct one for my route but I missed yet another great scenic byway- Beartooth Pass. So this morning I wake up, and decide to turn around, go back into Yellowstone and head east. In a couple of hours I'll be at the north east exit and the beginning of Beartooth Pass. It's adding another day to the trip but hey, good things can't be rushed!
I can't think of a better way to spend my Fourth of July. AMERICA! Oh yeah!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The next chapter in the Book of Bean

  Meet the newest addition to my family. It;s a 1998 Valkyrie with a Champion sidecar. That was the furthist ( no misprint) thing from my plans but once again, that is just how my life happens.
   I have been trying to get a sidecar for awhile. They are hard to come by. A Harley sidecar is not cheap and they are rather plain and also difficult to get in and out of. I had to do something soon though, as my time was running out. My plans were to kick off my " Share the Wind" in Digby Nova Scotia at the Wharf Rat Rally in August. That may seem like a couple months away but I am leaving for Alaska in 2 days then catching Sturgis on the way back then straight up to Nova Scotia and The Cabot Trail the weekend before The Wharf Rat. Yep, I needed to do something fast.
   That is where this came to be. I contacted a sales ad for the complete rig and asked if he would separate them. He said no so I replied with an offer just in case. back and forth we went till finally I got him to agree to sell the car separate. I went down to Atlanta to buy it and when I seen it in person, I understood why he didn't want to separate it. He had went to a lot of time and trouble to set this up right. I was going to try to attach this sidecar to my chopper and I'm not even sure if it would have worked. I've never seen a long bike with a side hack. This rig was ready to go, safe and secure. It just made sense. I bought the set.
    My first sidecar was a Champion almost exactly like this one although it was 20 years older. I though it was the same till I saw it in person. It is a much newer model. It was like they took everything about my old one that I DIDN'T like and improved it in the new model. One of the best things is the entire nose tilts forward making it easily accessible.
   It also has electric tilt so it rides better when it is empty and no rider. It has two different tops, a 5 point mounting system and even a very large steering stabilizer. There is even plenty of room in the sidecar for someone as tall as me!
  As for the bike, it has a 1500cc Goldwing motor. It is a 6 cylinder and even has 6 carbs. I just put 179 miles on it today through The Smokey Mountains and I gotta say, it really performed well.
   Now the question is, do I take this rig to Alaska or do I ride my chopper? I got plenty of time to think about it. I'm not leaving till Tuesday ( 36 hours from now.) Monday I'm going whitewater kayaking in the Ocoee River and then I'm packing for the trip.