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Author Topic: Scoot'n Alaska  (Read 615 times)
klaviator
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« on: August 05, 2018, 04:09:52 PM »

This happened a couple of years ago but I thought I'd share it here.

I get limited vacation time every year so I normally try to use it to go riding. This year would be my 30th wedding anniversary so I decided to do something my wife would really enjoy. She does ride with me but riding is not her passion like it is mine. So we decided to do a cruise to Alaska. The plan was to fly to Seattle, get on the cruise ship, stop in three Alaskan ports as well as Victoria, BC. We started planning our shore excursions well in advance. We picked out excursions for our first two ports. Our third port would be Skagway. Here I found a scenic train ride ($$$) and a scenic ride in van going up the scenic pass road out of Skagway. The price for the van tour was pretty reasonable and I was getting ready to book it when I thought that I would be in a cage going up a scenic road wishing I was on a bike.

So I decided to do a little research and discovered that there was a place in Skagway offering scooter and motorcycle rentals as well as a scooter tour

So I wouldn't have to spend an entire week without riding and would be able to see some of Alaska on two wheels
Debbi was fine with the idea. We decided to do the tour. The scooters would be Honda Ruckus's (Rucki?). They are 50cc scooters designed for a rider only, no passenger.

Debbi was OK with that. She gave up riding years ago but figured she could handle a 50cc scooter. Just to be safe she rode around a bit on my Kymco Super 8 the week before the cruise.



So we spent one day flying to Seattle. I hate flying on the airlines but at least the had free movies from DFW to Seattle and I got to see 13 hours.

Of course I took a lot of pics of the cruise just like I would on a ride. I won't bore you with many of those since this is a ride report but there was some nice scenery to be seen on the cruise.

Seattle:



Exploring the ship was an adventure in itself, it had 19 decks!



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Ketchikan:



We did a walking tour.



.



.



.



.

 

Lot's of float planes in Alaska.



Cruising up narrow bay to see Dawes Glacier.



.



.






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klaviator
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2018, 04:18:33 PM »

Juneau:



.



I rode up a tram for this view then hiked up a mountain.



.



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It's nice having a camera with a good zoom.



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Some pics of Juneau.



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Just to get some scooter content in here.




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klaviator
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2018, 04:25:13 PM »

Up to this point we had great weather but when I got up the morning we pulled into Skagway, it was raining and gloomy.

We weren't go to miss riding just because of a little rain so we headed into town. Our tour was scheduled for 9:30. When we got to Skagway Scooters they said we could go now or wait a couple of hours and see if the rain let up. Or we could cancel if we didn't want to go. We choose option B, wait a couple of hours.

They had riding gear so we picked out our gear then wandered around town.

The local "Harley Shop". Like the Harley shops in many tourist towns it's actually just a T shirt shop.



.



The rain never did stop but it was just a light drizzle so we went to Skagway Scooters, met our guide, geared up and got our scooters.  



Debbi wasn't real happy with the way she looked in the gear since it's insulated and doesn't exactly make you look slim. The gear is First Gear. It was pretty worn out but it did keep us warm and dry. Our tour guide told us that a Klim Rep recently took the tour and talked them into getting new Klim gear to replace the old stuff next year. Helmets are optional in Alaska but we chose to wear the Speed & Strength helmets they had.

Most of the customers here have no scooter experience. No MC endorsement is required to ride 50cc scooter in Alaska. Because of this we started the ride by pushing the scooters about a block to a quiet side street where our tour guide could give us a brief on the scooters. Since we had both ridden the brief was nice and short.

Debbi and John, our tour guide.



Then it was time to start our adventure
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2018, 05:49:45 PM »

What a great adventure! Thanks for sharing.

Eric
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2018, 06:56:00 PM »

Looks like it was a great time!
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klaviator
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2018, 08:29:36 PM »

So we headed off. This was my first time on a Ruckus or any 50cc scooter. It's a little small and not exactly overpowered but I fit on it OK and it had enough power to keep up with traffic.

We headed out of town. I brought up the rear so I could get some pics.



It didn't take long to get stuck at a train crossing.  This was probably the train we could have spent big bucks on to ride to the top of the pass.  I'm guessing that they mostly had a view of the clouds.



I was happy to be on the scooters instead of stuck on the "cattle car" with all the other tourists.



After the train passed we continued on to a historic cemetery.  You'd think they would have a more solemn demeanor in the presence of all those dead people



John gave us some stories behind some of the colorful characters buried here.



It was interesting but I was much more interested in what came next. John told us that since we were experienced riders we would be able to do the ride much quicker than the average group so we could do some extra stuff. So he took a short hike to this waterfalls nearby.



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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2018, 08:57:17 PM »

Awesome pictures and report!
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2018, 11:22:58 PM »

When I go on rides I often go take off ahead of the group after stops so I can take some pics of the group from a different angle. I did that several times on this ride. Just after the Cemetery, John followed by Debbi.



Just to give you some idea where we were.



The roads were curvy, scenic and fun to ride despite being wet.



We stopped at this spot overlooking Skagway.



.



I went ahead again to get some pics. I saw this when I stopped. I'm guessing that most of the people on the tour probably miss this.



And here they come.



John hamming it up for the camera.








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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2018, 11:52:18 PM »

Klav,  great report and pics.   Thanks for taking us a along. Happy Anniversary.  Looking forward to meeting you in September.

Cathy
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2018, 01:50:56 PM »

Looks like a great vacation!
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klaviator
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2018, 04:23:48 PM »

After a few miles the pavement ended. I was a little worried about Debbi riding on the wet dirt road but she did just fine and kept up with John with no problems. I was a little concerned about riding the wet dirt as well but the little Ruckus scooters handled it just fine. Out average speed on the dirt was about 25 MPH which was also the speed limit and the speed of other traffic except for bicycle riders who were going slower. I'm sure the scenery would have been better on a sunny day but it was great on this rainy day as well.



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Interesting place to live.



Our next stop.



My picture doesn't do justice to how scenic this bay was. There was also a bit of history to this place.



.



The most interesting part of the "history" of this spot was IMO a story John told us about it.  When he first came to Skagway and started working here there was a shortage of housing so he had no place to stay.  So what he did was every evening he would drive his van to this spot and he and his "old lady" (his words) would spend the night here in his van which had a bed in the back.



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klaviator
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2018, 07:17:54 PM »

After the stop I rode ahead again to take some "action" pics.



More interesting stuff.



A winding road and great scenery!  What more could you ask for?



.



John pulled over and waved us on saying he needed to adjust his hood. He really wanted to see what speed we would ride if we weren't following him.



Debbi stayed at the same speed we had been going. John just wanted to make sure we were comfortable at the speed we had been going. He told us that many of the people who take this tour are afraid to ride "fast" so often the tour goes along at speeds as low as 12 MPH. I could ride a bicycle faster than that.

John spotted some eagles so we stopped.



This was one time I wished I had my Sony camera with it's 50X zoom with me. However, given the rain I just brought my waterproof olympus camera.

Debbi taking pics with her phone.




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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 07:50:23 PM »

Very interesting. Would love to see some pics of that area on a sunny day. As one who lives in a part of the country not known for sunshine, I can see a hugh difference in how the countryside looks on overcast and rainy days vs sunny days. I think that the sun makes everything look better. Perhaps I was traumatized by the picture my grandfather had of a ship wreck on Lake Erie during a storm - a very depressing scene. Yet here I am in my dotage back in snow country.
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2018, 08:27:39 PM »

Very interesting. Would love to see some pics of that area on a sunny day. As one who lives in a part of the country not known for sunshine, I can see a hugh difference in how the countryside looks on overcast and rainy days vs sunny days. I think that the sun makes everything look better. Perhaps I was traumatized by the picture my grandfather had of a ship wreck on Lake Erie during a storm - a very depressing scene. Yet here I am in my dotage back in snow country.

We would have also loved to have had a sunny day.  Every other port we hit on this cruise had fantastic weather.  The up side of the rain was that we had the tour to ourselves and were able to see some extra stuff that there normally isn't time for with a larger group.  We could have been stuck with some people only willing to ride 12 mph and that would have sucked.  Here's a pic taken on a sunny day that I stole from the Skagway Scooters website.

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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2018, 04:34:21 PM »

More riding.



.



Our next stop was by a scenic bridge over the Taiya River. I gave John my camera and rode across the bridge.



Very scenic.



This was also the beginning of the Chilkoot Trail which has quite a history to it.



John explained some of the history of the trail then we continued on.

Many of these old bridges are being replaced by more modern, concrete ones but I like these old bridges, rust and all.



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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2018, 04:39:14 PM »

Thanks for the pics and info, also for reminding me how dumb I am for not taking advantage of invites to Homer and Delta Junction Ak, free room and board AND free tour guides    
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2018, 07:05:18 PM »

Our next destination was the town of Dyea.



.




Well there used to be a town here. Eventually they decided that the location of the town of Skagway was more desirable so they moved the town. Everything from the old town was removed and there is no trace of it anymore.

A pic of Dyea from wikipedia:



More details on Dyea here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyea,_Alaska

John explaining all this to Debbi.



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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2018, 08:03:09 PM »

Since we were speed demons we were ahead of schedule and John took us on another side trip.



It was a beautiful spot.  We walked a short ways for this:




So what's here?

A closer view:



That's an Eagles nest. Look down and right from the nest and there's an Eagle. This was another time I wished for my Sony Camera with it's 50x zoom.

Then it was time to head back.



.



I didn't want the ride to end.



.



Too soon we were back in town.







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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2018, 10:13:50 PM »

Shame about the weather but even with the raid this adventure looks amazing.  Love the scenery, so many great photos it's hard to say what is the most fascinating.  I thought the old town of Dyea being moved was particularly interesting.
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2018, 05:21:02 AM »

Awesome report.  We just got back from 2 weeks in Alaska, first week cruise, second week land.  We stopped at the same ports and it was great seeing all the places we'd just been.  I remember seeing the scoot rentals as our bus crept through Skagway.  We also stopped at the cemetery, but after that were on the Yukon highway up into Canada.  Great scenery but it was, well, on a bus.
Cruise dropped us at Seward (after a day in Glacier Bay) where we spent a night, then a bus to Anchorage with a stop at Wildlife Rescue, then the dome train to Denali (2 days there - we were among the lucky 30% who actually get to see at least a glimpse of the mountain - 70% see nothing but gray), and finally a bus to Fairbanks where we spent 2 days before the flight to Seattle.
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« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2018, 02:36:14 AM »

These are just wonderful photos. Even though you had crummy weather it made for some interesting images. Great report. Thanks.
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« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2018, 01:44:33 AM »

That was a great travelogue.  We've been to all those places, too.  I lived in Ketchikan from 1951 to 1953, when we moved to Petersburg, then Fairbanks in 1955.  We moved to Juneau in 1959 and that's where I graduated high school.  The time we went Skagway we did do the train ride up to the pass.  It was well worth the cost, and we lucked out that we didn't have a fully packed car.  I had to laugh about your scoot tour in the rain.  I guess that made it more of an adventure than it might have been in sunny weather.  Personally, I'd opt for the sun, but you get what you get.  Glad you had a good time.  Thanks for sharing your adventure.
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« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2018, 01:48:25 AM »

Awesome report.  We just got back from 2 weeks in Alaska, first week cruise, second week land.  We stopped at the same ports and it was great seeing all the places we'd just been.  I remember seeing the scoot rentals as our bus crept through Skagway.  We also stopped at the cemetery, but after that were on the Yukon highway up into Canada.  Great scenery but it was, well, on a bus.
Cruise dropped us at Seward (after a day in Glacier Bay) where we spent a night, then a bus to Anchorage with a stop at Wildlife Rescue, then the dome train to Denali (2 days there - we were among the lucky 30% who actually get to see at least a glimpse of the mountain - 70% see nothing but gray), and finally a bus to Fairbanks where we spent 2 days before the flight to Seattle.

Darn, too bad we didn't know you were going to be up here.  We could have gotten together and I would have done some good tour guiding for you.  I guess we could call it a near miss.

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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2018, 01:50:23 AM »

For all of you who came up here but didn't see "The Mountain," Denali/Mt. McKinley, if you will.  Here's a shot I recently took last month.


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« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2018, 04:23:01 PM »

Darn, too bad we didn't know you were going to be up here.  We could have gotten together and I would have done some good tour guiding for you.  I guess we could call it a near miss.
I appreciate the thought but we were traveling with 4 others and pretty much on a canned tour, so much of our time was not really our own.

Nice shot of "the mountain".  I was sharing some of our adventure with a high school buddy after we returned and he reported he'd been at the park for 5 days and never saw it.

Here's a pic of the glimpse we did get - from the train.  The guide was really selling the view, talking about how cool it was to see the base, a cloud layer, and the peak above.  OK, sure.   

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