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Author Topic: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)  (Read 45806 times)

Offline NomadGal

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Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« on: June 27, 2014, 10:54:10 PM »
Hi everyone, here I am again!
I will be packing a few weeks worth in just today's date, but afterwards it should appear normal (at least time wise)
As for my title……. Do you like it?? I hope you get the joke :lol3

Tomorrow is the day!! Yippee!!
Even though I loved spending the winter in Fairbanks, just hopping back on the bike to ride is really what it's all about.
I have to admit though, baring my soul here, that for just a few seconds here and there, I almost didn't want to go.
I was nervous as hell getting on my trial ride today. Would I still remember how to ride?? I know that sounds silly, it's only been 5 1/2 months, but still……:huh The fact that I rode for nearly 18 months seemed to have no bearing on how apprehensive I was.
But I did it, and Spirit ran great!!! The new tank bags work great and other than a few minor little corrections, i.e. mirrors and rear brake angle, I'm set to go.

The yard-sale went great!! I sold everything of value and made some money. Then last night after having cleaned up (made multiple runs to the dump/free stuff site), I decided that it was now or never, I had no more time left to wait. I tackled the job of tie-dyeing my two white long sleeve shirts.
Well the youtube video made it seem easy……….:evil:eek1
I think my shirts were too thick so I just muddled on.
One shirt I rinsed out too early (I also didn't tie it but squirted it :D ), the other one, I have to admit, came out pretty great!!

Hmmm, my peace sign looks like the open road :lol3

But here is the rather weird thing!!!!! this photo is of the back, which I kept separate from the front and just tied it up haphazardly adding color here and there.
The result is just amazing!!! What do you see?????? (nope I'm not a psychiatrist :D )

I was blown away! I'll tell you later what I see!!

I had also made a tool bag real quick before selling my sewing machine at the yard sale.

Today I rode to Darrin to bring him back his burner (which I left at home!!!! :huh ) and hung out for a bit talking bikes with him and Jennifer. He was also gracious enough to keep a box for me (filled with Christmas postcards and such) and will send it to me whenI get back to Kauai.

So tomorrow I am riding to Tok, and kicking back at Eagle's Claw until Mark and the others arrive.
Still have some cleaning up to do and fixing the little things on Spirit.

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 10:59:31 PM »
Dust to Dawson????
What was I thinking?  LOL!
Thursday I was very proud of myself if I may say so, but let me not get ahead of myself.

Remember what the place looked like when I moved in?

This is how it is now.

I finally left Fairbanks on Tuesday morning, happy yet apprehensive to be on the road again.
It seemed just like 2 years ago when I left Port Townsend to go on my ride-about, and like that day, I had trouble parking my bike. I couldn’t figure out why, I had a new shock spring a new tire and no more weight than last time.
I figured that the fact that I ended up with a 130/80/17 tire instead of my usual 14/90/17 might have has something to do with it. The tire is so much smaller! I must have lost at least 1½ inches in height.
It’s only while I was riding that I realized why; I had never adjusted the shock thingy, it was still on 1!
I figured I’d change that as soon as I park somewhere.

Part of me was rather disgusted by the huge drybag on the back of my bike. I really had wanted to have a smaller pack on the back.
But then I saw these guys parked in front of the North Pole MacD

I didn’t feel too bad now!

The road to Tok started out warm, some clouds in the sky

But as soon as I got closer to Tok, it got colder and colder. Boy was I missing my heated grips!!! I stopped at a park to have a Lara bar for lunch

Spirit looked good!!

I adjusted the shock and went on to Tok.
Halfway there I started shivering, I should have worn my sweater under my jacket!
My new drybag had one more con (other than being huge) namely inaccessibility!
My straps kept it secure, but the only way to get into the bag is to unstrap and unroll it. My other drybag opened from the side, so I could stuff a sweater on the end in case I needed it
The one good thing about being cold is not getting sleepy :D
Finally I arrived at Tok, and  after a hot cup of coffee and thawing out at Fast Eddies, I headed to Eagle’s Claw.

It was pouring and I decided to take cover under the umbrella and wait for Vanessa to show me where to pitch my tent. When I stopped raining I walked around for a while taking pictures of her campground.

She converted an old ambulance into a place to sleep I’m sure the folks in here were nice and dry

A toilet with a stone heart in it

Her kitchen is simple but functional, it even comes with a stove to warm up the cold well water she supplies in huge blue jugs

This is definitely the cutest sponge holder I’ve ever seen

This is the inside of one of the cabins

A young girl from Idaho on a trip by herself in her car stopped by a little while later and we got to talking about being on the road. It was the first time she was out by herself, and even though she loved it she was happy to be heading home again.
Vanessa arrived a little while later and showed me where I could camp and she started the sauna before leaving again to go to a meeting.

As it was still drizzling I decided to test out my new tarp

Definitely big enough for my tent and Spirit

I took a nice long rest in the sauna and really got toasty warm again, it was awesome!
A few more people showed up at the camping, among them a couple from Germany who had work visas for the winter in Canada, and had worked at a ski resort. They were also heading to the D2D.
I had a rough night that night, not only did it pour all night, but ffI was freezing my butt off, again! My $175 “insulated” Nemo sleeping pad sucked all the heat out of me during the night. I couldn’t believe it. Now I was really regretting getting rid of my nice warm comfy, albeit huge, Mountain Alps sleeping pad. I pretty much tossed and turned all night, trying to stay warm.
The next morning I decided to go into town and find something to put between me and the pad. The insulating blanket from Walmart was no help either.
Before I left a sweet couple on a GS showed up, and I called Vanessa to see if there was room at the overflow for them, as the other sites all had reserved signs on them.
She said they could, so I had some nice neighbors.
I decided to walk to town as Spirit was so nicely tucked under the tarp.

Purple flowers were everywhere

I went to a few stores looking for something, and I almost ended up with 2 foam insulated kitchen rugs before I struck gold at a health food store. They had one foam sleeping pad!! Only $12.95! Yippee!!
I walked back to the campground and put it on top of the other pad. Yep, very warm and comfy now!
After relaxing and reading a while people started pouring into the campground, all riders heading to the D2D. Within hours there was not an empty spot in sight.
The area I was camped at was the overflow group area, and a whole bunch of beer and liquor drinking  rowdy guys took over my nice and quiet spot. Oh well, I knew that would happen.

Only once did I have to ask for one of the guys to please fire up the BBQ pit away from my tent. I told him I did not want to be bear bait, seeing as the smell of meat burning would probably stick to my tent.
He kinda grumbled but then complied and put it on the other end of the clearing. Phew!! I don’t think he would have done it if I had said that I was vegetarian and just couldn’t stand the smell of burning flesh.

I finally met Mark (AKDuc) that night, I am guessing the two of us were the only vegetarians there :D, and he introduced me to Emily, a girl from Anchorage.
The two of us decided to ride to Dawson together.
Cubdriver was there as well, so it was nice to know at least 2 people in the bunch.
Vanessa showed up to collect the camping fee from everyone and as I handed her my $10 for both nights she told me it had been taken care of already.
Turned out that Mark had paid for my camping. I tired to pay him back but he wouldn’t take it. :raabia
I hopped around just a bit talking to Marl and Dick, and some other people, and retired into the sauna for a bit, before heading off to bed.
One memorable thing was that Dick was saying that one of the guys there didn’t look to good, and that he might be having heart troubles.
He was right and before long an ambulance showed up and took him to the hospital.

I slept soooo much better that night. It was still cold and I tossed some heating pouches (hand warmers) into my sleeping bag, but I was no longer loosing body heat through the pad. It also stayed dry that night! Awesome!
The next morning the whole camp was up and packing, and as usual I was one of the last ones do ne. I really had to get back into the swing of packing. Emily had gone for breakfast at fast Eddies and I told her I’d meet her there.
Right before heading out I thought I’d check my oil, it seemed just a tad low, so I put a bit more in. I got my gear on and started the engine. What the heck????!!!!!!
A loud roaring sound hit my ears. Then I remembered hearing it before. I looked down and saw……….. no oil cap! Ahhhh, this is the second time I’ve done this, putting the cap on lightly until I closed the oil bottle (just so nothing would fall into the engine), and then forgetting to tighten it. The last time was in Pasadena at my in-laws. Luckily I had not even left and the cap was right there on the ground, still, what a mess those few seconds made!

Finally I left, Mark was still there and we said till later.
I did have to stop by Napa to get a clip for my little jack. I had misplaced my other one.
Emily thank goodness was still at Fast Eddies and the both of us left for Dawson.
There were quite a few bikers sharing the road with us, but once in a while we had an open view.

After a little while I realized that it was not as warm as it had seemed, and I was getting chilly again. But seeing as the weather forecast was warm and sunny I thought I’d just hold on a while.
So much for weather forecasts!!! It started pouring on us the closer to Chicken we got. I pulled over as it felt like my water-proof riding pants were not exactly waterproof. As I put on my raingear (boy was I ever happy I had kept it), Emily walked up to me and said that she felt that she was just not ready mentally to go to Dawson. She said that skill wise she could probably do the dirt road but that she was just lacking the will and energy that morning.
Part of me had taken comfort in knowing that if one or the other dropped her bike at least we’d have each other to get it up. Now it seemed I was on the road by myself. I told her it was all right, that she should always listen to her gut.
So she turned around and went back home and I set off in the rain.
Not too much later the pavement ended and mud started………..
I have to admit that I was scared as hell!! I don’t do well in mud.
Occasionally I felt the bike slipping and my heat would stop at those moments.
Then I saw the sign to old Chicken which Mark told me was a must see, but the sign also said 2.5 miles. There was no way I was willing to ride 5 miles in mud just to see an old town. I rode into the gas station at the intersection and had a cup of warm coffee, while listening to my internal debate. Part of me wanted to forget going to Dawson and just turn around and hit the safe pavement. The other part of me figured that I needed to learn how to ride mud, and that there would be more people on this road, even though I had left last. As I was standing under the awning watching it rain and drinking my nice warm coffee, a few guys showed up on their bikes. I asked one of them what the trick of mud riding was, I told them my partner had just bailed and I wasn’t used to riding mud.
Then one guy asked if I wanted to ride with them, and I happily agreed!
After the first guy rode off, the other guy told me to go next. I stayed about 15 feet behind the first guy and literally went where he went. Before he had told me, “Just plan where you go and just rev through it!” Well it would be the planning that would get me in trouble!!!!
The first half hour was the most nerve wrecking, after that I started feeling just a bit more confident. Still, there were moments that I almost lost control of Spirit, one was when we came up to a group that was really going slow, and I learned that going slow in mud is not a good idea. I just barely held it together and as soon as we could (after a huge RV passed) we hit the throttle and passed the whole group.
Phew!! Yep, soooo much easier. Another time was when I saw the guy in front of me all of a sudden hit really thick mud and his rear end was just swinging left and right. A split second later Spirit started to do the same thing. All I could think of was keep going don’t fall, keep going don’t fall…….. I made it!
By the time we hit the border I was spent!!! Mentally and physically.
We had been plowing past everyone we met on the road, going 50 mph in areas that I would have never dreamed of being able to go 50.
The border guard asked the guys a bunch of question, how long will you be here, do you have a job, how much money? I was hoping he wouldn’t ask me all those questions as well. As he came to me the riders we passes showed up, and he just said going to the same place as those guys? And I could truthfully say Yes!! I didn’t have to say how long I was planning on staying in Canada :D
He then told me to move so there would be room for others, which I gladly did. I was in Canada!

I look like a chipmunk! My cheek-pads are a tad snug

I took some pictures of the top of the world and rode of toward Dawson.

I was happy the worst was over…………
Hmmmm, I was told that the road after the border was in great shape……….
I think my heart just about fell in my boots, more mud????
After riding a while longer I noticed that Spirit was overheating. Yikes, what now?
Then I started thinking that maybe she couldn’t cool off because of all the mud and maybe the radiator was muddy too.
I pulled over as soon as I could

Sniff, so much for my nice clean and new looking Spirit

Yep, the radiator was covered in mud, about ½ an inch thick!!

It took me a while to get it off by poking sticks through the grid jabbing the clay-like substance loose. Then I used my water bottles to splash water on the now better-looking radiator.
That helped and she no longer heated up.
I stayed close to the guys while riding to Dawson, and before I knew it we hit pavement!! I guess maybe one of these days I will like riding the dirt as much as I like riding the pavement, but that day is not yet!

Finally there!!

Dawson City in the distance

I was the last one aboard the ferry!

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 10:59:54 PM »
As I rode into Dawson I realized that I had not a clue as where to go, so I just followed the person in front of me. Which was luckily the right thing to do as he rode straight up to the Tripple J? Hotel
I had heard one of the guys at Vanessa’s place mention that they had a hose there, and the only thing I could think of then was getting the mud of Spirit.
There was a line, but I happily joined them, and before too long I got to put the hose on her. I can’t say that it helped much, but at least the huge clumps of mud fell off and I figured I could do the rest later.
It had started raining again and I had to go find a place to camp.
There was a place near the airport I heard, but then someone local told me that past the bridge on the right were two campgrounds that might still have space available.
I really didn’t want to pay for a campground, but I was too wet, hungry and tired to care. The first one was filled up, but the second one next door still had space available.
It was called the Bonanza. I had to laugh and remembered that I always loved that show growing up. I found myself humming that little TV melody.
I got a spot right next to Walter who owns the ceramic coating business.
The Campground also had showers and a Laundromat. It also had a pressure hose for washing Spirit, perfect!!
It wasn’t too expensive either, only $14, so I couldn’t complain, but I knew that I couldn’t afford to do this every night. I would never make it to Labrador that way.

I pitched my tent and strung a line to hang up my muddy raingear.

Then off to the shower I went.
I had been able to pay with American dollars, and she had given me $6 Canadian back. The one dollar coin is called a loony!!
Anyway, it’s a loony for a shower so I jumped in and put the coin in the slot. Nice hot water was pouring down on me, heaven!!! After shampooing my hair I put in conditioner, and got myself all soaped up when clunck……. The water stopped…….
Here I was soaking wet and no water to rinse off.
I could have sworn she told me the slower was 10 minutes!!! Turns out you only get three minutes for a loony, and I was out of loonies.
My little towel was not big enough to wrap around me, so I quickly dried off the soap, and put my clean clothes on. The laundry was next door, and the machine that changed bills to coins as well. I got myself another 5 loonies.
As I was there I saw a sign saying the cutoff time for starting a new load was 8:30. Looking at the clock I saw it was 8:32. Sh…t!!!
So I ran in the shower stall, got my dirty clothes and put them in the washer. I looked around me for the soap machine, no soap.
There was a guy doing laundry and he told me the soap was in the office, but she was closed now. He was very sweet and handed me one of those soap balls to put in the machine. After the laundry got started I got back in the shower and got the conditioner out of my hair and the soap of my body.
Then I had to figure out where to get more Canadian money as I had not enough left to dry my clothes. There was a lady in front of the Laundromat who traded me a Canadian fiver for a US one. It was 10 by the time I was done and back in my tent.
After heating up some dinner and eating it, I crawled into my sleeping bag and crashed, or at least tried to. Looked like I would need my earplugs one more time, as there was an RV or something across the road making a bunch of noise. Then I did sleep.
I pretty much spend all Friday morning cleaning Spirit at the carwash site, and cleaning the bags in the bathroom. Afterward I rode to town to find a bank. I changed my $316 into Canadian and ended up with $335. That was kinda cool.
I also found the library and tried for half an hour to cancel my car insurance at Geico. Those suckers have set it up in such a way that you have to call them!! Crap, I didn’t have phone that worked in Canada, and my Canadian cell phone it turns out, no longer has a working sim card.
I guess until I get one I’ll just have to keep paying for a car I no longer have.
I also tired to upload my photos to photobucket, but the internet in Dawson was just too slow.
I found Mark’s campsite but no Mark, and as I didn’t really know anyone, nor knew what some of the ADVers that had gone to Dawson looked like, I went back to the campsite to relax and have dinner.
It had been a nice and sunny day, and all my washed gear was dry!

I had not purchased a banquet dinner as I found $20 a bit much for a potato and some salad, but around 8 I went back to town to see where the meeting was. A tourist gave me directions to where everyone was, as I had no idea where the banquet would be held.
I took a few pics on the way

Masonic temple

The road was lined with bikes

Spirit right in front

As I got there I found Mark, and also saw Dave S again whom I had met in Spokane at the start of my year on the road. He didn’t have a place to stay yet, so I told hime about my camp site, and that he was more than welcome to share it.
I sat next to Mark while the prize drawing went on, but I felt really out of touch and disconnected from all the happenings around me.
I did enquire about a road I wanted to ride, but no one knew about it or had ridden it.
After the banquet was done the games started in front of the Motel.

I think I was on of the few in riding gear as most stayed in town and walked there

One race was called the slow race, and the slowest person would win

Mark was number 8 and he had to show everyone what to do before the “race” started

Off they went!

in another race you were blinded with a hood, and had to go straight toward a plate on the ground listening to the audience tell you when to stop.
The goal was to stop as close as possible to the plate

After that were slaloms, and then guys had to partner up with a gal on the back. She had the job of biting into a hanging hot dog. Yeah, rather gross as they didn’t change the dog at each attempt. I wondered if they had vegie dogs.

The games ended right at midnight when people stood in line to get their D2D sticker. I couldn’t believe I had made it that late, as I was falling asleep around 9.

Luckily the sweet couple from Vanessa’s camp ground was there to talk to, and also on guy from Whitehorse who talked about obesity, diet, cancer, sunblock and all the ways to get sick from food etc. Very interesting fellow, but I hope he goes back on the diet he was so enthusiastic about, because he was getting a tad heavy too.

I couldn’t find Dave S to say goodbye, so I followed Mark to his campsite, he gave me one of the blue D2D stickers.
We said goodbye, and I rode back to the campground.
I was so eager to get my sticker on my fender, that I didn’t even bother to look at what it said. As a result I have two of the same lines stuck underneath each other. Awwww, why hadn’t I waited till the morning when I was a tad more awake?
I slept very well that night.
It rained during the night, but it stopped early in the morning.

Looks like it was finally summer! The Fireweed is starting to bloom

I took my sweet time packing up, and headed to town to get paper towels and fill up the gas tank.
One really good thing about Canada, they have dark chocolate Bounty!!! Yippee!!
Finally it was time to head south, and boy, this time I did not take the chance to get cold, so I wore my really nice thick woolen sweater which made me overheat while in town, but which turned out to be awesome while riding!
As I no longer had heated grips, I ended up putting my woolen handmade mittens inside my too large leather mittens form last year. The result was some nice toasty hands!! The only drawback was that I couldn’t take any photos while riding this way, so my right hand ended up wearing the leather glove I had bought in Fairbanks at the BMW dealer not as warm, but ok.

The road toward Carmack was very quiet, only a few cars heading the opposite way, and a handful of bikers.
I took a break at a rest stop on the side of the road.
While eating my Bounty I noticed lots of “wild life”

This shot turned out better than I had hoped!!

The road got even quieter afterward, and after I took another break in a small town I realized that I wouldn’t make it to Carmack, I was just too tired.
I then realized that I really hadn’t been able to take a day off in a really long time.
First work, then fixing Spirit on time, then cleaning the garage and having a yardsale, and finally the fun but tiring trek to Tok and Dawson.
I was due for some R&R!!
I kept riding for a little while longer when I noticed a small dirt road veering off the left, a minute later that same road popped up again, a loop!!
I slowed down and spun my bike around to go back and check it out. It was a short easy dirt road, but no place to camp, until I was almost back to the main road. There it was, the perfect spot!! Close enough to the road in case I ran into trouble, but hidden enough for some solitude.
The place felt perfect!
I pitched my tent up and charged my solar battery as the sun was shining bright

I was a happy camper!!!
Only once in a while a car would pass, but other than that it was really quiet.
As I lied in my tent relaxing listening to the birds chipper away, I realized that this was it, riding and enjoying doing nothing, total bliss!!
I am trying now to live each day to the fullest, not caring if or when I run out of money or what to do when that happens, I will face it then, right now, I am happy and content.
And while lying there, being content, I realized something else!
I was not worried about whether or not I was allowed to camp here, I had finally gotten to a point of I don’t care, and no longer felt guilty or imagined someone coming up to me and tell me to pack it and leave.
I have no words to describe the lightness that comes with being this way.

The next day I decided to stay there, it was Sunday after all, and the chance of Telus being closed on Sunday was to big for me to ride to White Horse.
I spent the day reading, knitting and……….. I actually drew something!
I had been carrying this little faux leather bound sketchbook with me for months, planning on drawing a lot. Now I want to see if I can make myself sketch something little once a day. Today’s sketch took me way too long, shows you how out of touch I am. But all in all it didn’t come out half bad.

I also typed up my RR up to now and ate heartily all day :D

I really did not want to go to White Horse to begin with, but I think my dad will appreciate being able to call me once in a while.
I also wanted to get another canister of gas for my stove.
The bummer is that when I’m done I have to go North again to Carmack, as I really wanted to ride the road to Ross and then Watson Lake

I got up at 8 this morning, having slept great!!
I took a while eating breakfast and packing, and was out of there by 11.
The road to White Horse was quiet and beautiful!

[COLOR="Lime"][SIZE="5"]I did have one exciting moment!!!!
I saw a grizzly bear right on the road !![/SIZE][/COLOR]
As I road toward it it just stood there and looked at me, did not move at all, so I slowed down just a tad, I didn’t want to hit him/her.
I veered left, the bear did the same, I veered right and he followed my move. Meanwhile I was like 20 feet away, punching my brakes as I really did not wan to crash into a grizzly. At about 10 feet the bear turned and ran down the slope!! I past him/her within feet!! Absolutely gorgeous animal, shiny brown coat and what movements, I could see the muscles ripple under the fur.
No time to take a picture though, had to keep my hands on the handlebars for that one!!

I am in White Horse now, it too me hours to set up my new sim card, the internet is so slow, and I kept running into trouble.
It’s almost 8 now and the camping store is closed. I am going to have to camp nearby and come back in the morning, as I am low on fuel for my stove. Bummer!!

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 11:01:49 PM »
After my last post at Starbucks I headed back to my tent (hoping it was still there).
I had marked how many miles exactly it was from the intersection so I would find it again. Glad I did cause I would have rode right past it :D

Yep having a green tent comes in handy

I cooked dinner while enjoying the fact that I actually had a houseplant for a while

I packed as much as I could (which really wasn’t much as I was tired) and went to bed hoping it would not rain during the night.
I slept like a rock and in the morning was woken by a shining sun.
It looked like it was going to be a very nice day.
I took my sweet time cooking breakfast and breaking camp, but was sure I’d be out of there by 10.
Why is it every time I am sure of something, something else happens?
Anyway, it was nothing major, or at least I hope it won’t be, but upon checking my tire pressure I noticed that the front was just a tad low, but the back didn’t show any pressure at all! I looked at the tire, but it looked fine, not flat or anything. I decided to get my green slime air compressor and look at the pressure that way as I figured my tire gauge bit the dust. Same thing, 5psi. I had a flat and didn’t even know about it. I had felt that Spirit seemed to pull a tad more, but I thought it was because of all the weight. I plugged the green slime in my 12 volt and blew up my tire.
I thought I’d better keep an eye on it and keep checking the pressure every so often.
This is the first time I had a 130/80/17, as I had mentioned before, and I guess pne of the pros on this tire is that you can ride it without any air in it!!

I also notice that the passenger footrest mount was missing a bolt. Must have rattled loose at some point. Luckily I had a whole bin of odds and ends, including a bolt that fit.

I finally took off at 10:30 and headed to Carmacks. Boy did Spirit ever ride a lot better!!! What a difference a full tire makes LOL!

I got to Carmacks at around 12:30 and was able to finally talk to my Dad.
It made all the hassle of going out of my way to go to White Horse worth it.
The fact that I now had 2 full cans of gas for my stove helped too, even though I didn’t find much of any kind of food for the road, as the only health food store was now gone.
A big part of me was nervous about setting out to do a 425 Km dirt road, but I had heard it was a gorgeous road, so I felt I just had to ride it, nerves or not. My only hope was that the nice weather would dry out any mud there might have been.

The road started out very promising and I enjoyed having the next miles paved

Everywhere along the route were burnt areas, and if I had not worked for a long time, I would have stopped and made camp among all the other Morell pickers, and made some money. As it was I just couldn’t do it, I had just finished with work and the thought of doing it again just didn’t sit well with me, I wanted to be free for a while, money or not.

I pulled over for a little rest and a quick snack, and couldn’t help but take a pic ot the mountain in between the shrubs

I also found some insulated winter gloves at the side of the road. It looked like they had been there a while, but the inside looked immaculate, never worn, as if they fell off someone’s snow mobile in the winter.
They fit me, so I decided to keep them and see how warm they were after they dried.

Seeing as the day was sunny, charging my GoalZero Sherpa 50 battery seemed like a good idea

This road just seemed like heaven to me, it was gorgeous beyond words, pictured don’t do it justice!

Before I knew it I had arrived at the town of Faro, the end of the paved road!

So far the road was just slightly damp, but very well packed with an occasional wet area.

It was a gorgeous road though!

Crossed over a bridge with a spectacular view, so I made a U-ey and parked the bike.
It was a pretty deep gorge!!

The one thing that was both annoying and a blessing were the heavy trucks barreling a tremendous speed down the road. I’m sure they helped to pack the mud down nice and tight, but the drivers could care less about other traffic I think….

I got to the turn off for Ross River, the last place to get gas.
I kept riding and ended up at the river where a ferry was waiting. Wait a second??? Did I miss the gas station? I knew that the ferry took you to the road heading into the North West Territories.
I turned around and asked a lady pushing a stroller down the road whre the gas station was. I had gone right past it! In my defense it wasn’t an ordinary gas station though. There was a fence with two huge metal tanks like on the back of a truck but stationary, with a wall that had the pumps mounted on them.
There was a note saying please fill up first and then go into the grocery store to pay for your gas. How nice!!!
I have to admit that I find the gas prices here in Canada staggering!! $1.50 or more per liter, which is about $6 a gallon.
I did notice though that ever since I filled up Spirit’s tire I had way better mileage, about 50 to 53 Mpg, not bad for a 685 cc
After enjoying Ross River, a cute little town with very nice people who kept asking me questions,

Once back on the road, I had a choice, back track 10 miles and hit Hwy 4 then make a left, another 10 to 15 miles, or go down the short cut, only about 7 miles. Hmmm, the entrance of the short cut was scary!! Deep ruts with mud, but it had some dry groves too, so I thought I’d chance it. I’m glad I did, as that was the worst part of the whole road!
The short cut was beautiful!!

After no time at all I hit the main dirt road (untreated secondary Hwy)

I rode for a while enjoying the really well packed gravel road, looking for a place to make camp.
Occasionally I saw a spot that could have worked, but I held out for something better, a place with a view!
After abut half an hour I barreled past a pullout.
Screechhhhhhhhh, well, as much as I dare to brake on gravel.
I came to a full stop and turned around, that spot would be awesome if there was room for a tent!
I rode Spirit up the little hill to the lookout, and saw that it was just the most prefect place!! In one word, Awesome!!

I parked Spirit and pitched my tent, the only con about the place was the amount of bugs, gnats really, no mosquitos thankfully!

I was in heaven, a perfect place, nice and quiet, and maybe one car every few hours.
I ate and went to bed, blissfully at peace.

The night had been cold and windy but other than waking up a 4 having to use the bathroom, I slept like a baby.

The next day turned out to be hot and sunny. Did I mention hot???
I can’t remember the last time I was this warm. Sitting in the tent in my bikini enjoying each little breeze that blows through. There is no shade in this spot, but I didn’t care. I finally had a chance to take a baby-wipe bath without freezing my butt off!
I hung my shirts out in the wind to freshen up a little, and worked on Spirit. Looks like I need to re-bleed the brakes, they still feel sluggish like they have an airpocket in them.
I did change the Moose handguards, I had them on wrong so they didn’t break the wind at all. Hopefully they will now.
The rest of the day I filled with reading, taking pictures of flowers, typing my RR, and knitting.

Wow! Look! It’s as if the flower has a rib cage

I love my little roomy vestibule!

Freshening up my shirts

There are blue ones

and pink ones

some gorgeous wild roses

even very orange trippy moss on rocks

I can’t get enough of my view!!

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 11:02:06 PM »
After a good meal I decided to crash early

I woke up around 7, made a cup of instant coffee, and oatmeal, and packed up.
I was out of there by 9:30

As I was packing up my tent though, I noticed a few of these right under my tent wall. What the heck is this? I saw lots of these spit looking things on Vancouver island as well.

I am starting to really like my tent. I can pack everything while the outer shell is still up, which will keep me dry in the rain, and bug free.
Then I quickly break down the rest and leave.

One last look……

I rode for a few hours and mostly the road looked like this:

Once in a while a break would come with a bit better view, but all in all it was very smooth and relaxing

I stopped at an outlook, and saw a bird in the tree, as I was taking a picture it flew straight toward me!!

The he landed on the trash can observing me

I gave him a few sesame seeds, and hopped back on Spirit.

What a cool little log cabin this had been!

sometimes the road took my breath away

For those of you who are X-men fans!!

Unfortunately after this sign the road went down hill!!
I have discovered that you can actually shimmy your bike’s butt when going over wash board to fast!!
I did not like this part, it felt as if my teeth were gonna fall out, but around 70 km it wasn’t too bad.

At one point a sign came up that said road construction. I ended up following this truck, glad he didn’t dump any more water than he did.
After I passed him I wondered if that was all as far as the construction went, boy, did I ever wish that had been the case………….

Have you ever found yourself crying without knowing it????
I had to stop at the stop sign that a young girl was holding. She asked me just you?? I answered” Yep!” The I asked her how the road ahead was, she said it’s nice and soft, ??????? I figured I’d misheard her.
She let me go after radioing that a woman on a motorcycle by herself was coming.

The second I hit the dirt I about shit my pants, it was soft!!!! And how!
I hit the throttle telling myself you can do this!! One of those heavy rollers past me and I swerved to the left figuring that the road must be a tad more solid after that thing rolled over the dirt. Yeah, not really, but I was doing fine, until….
The dirt turned into upturned mud, with tire-tracks going left and right and up and down, with piles of mud here and there. Before I knew it I was about 6 inches deep in mud. Spirit’s rear end was sliding left and right and left and right for what seemed like forever. I was terrified and in my mind already saw myself flying over the handlebars while Spirit slid sideways. A construction worker heading toward me in a truck saw what was going on, and he pulled way over to the side to give me room to get out of the mud. I kept hitting the throttle tears streaming down my face, but unwilling to give in to my fear or ease off on the throttle, that would have ended disastrously! After a while the road got better and I hit some regular soft dirt before hitting gravel again. I don’t know if I breathed that whole time, I was so shaken up but kept on going. After a while it looked like the construction area was over and done with, and I was on a regular gravel road again.
I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t wipe, I made it!!!

You know, things do happen for a reason. I had been bummed that my ride over the top of the world had been one through mud and rain, but thinking backwards, if I hadn’t gone through that, there was no way in hell I would have made it through this! I am sending lots of thank yous to the guys that invited me to ride with them on that muddy road to Dawson City. I owe you more than you know!!

Before long the views turned nice again, and I took some more pictures (I had stopped shaking by then)

I made it to Watson Lake, and of course the first thing I saw where the famous signs

I stopped at the visitor center and asked for directions to primitive campsites. Well, the most primitive one was at Watson Lake, so I headed that way.
I also found out where I could take a shower :D

Flowers outside the visitor center

I found the camp site and pitched my tent between the mosquitos, and then grabbed some clean clothes and went back to town.
After a wonderful shower at the recreation center, I sat down to use their free internet. Yeah, it was free for half an hour!

So I decided to find another place with wifi, and ended up at Andrea’s restaurant.
I decided to splurge for once, and ordered a Greek salad and potato skins.
It was wonderful!
I figured once in a while I shouldn’t worry about money and spending it, and that turned out to be rather serendipitous! While eating I checked my Paypal Acount and saw that I had received a wonderful donation from katoom916!
Thank you soo much!!! This salad was on you!!

I’m about to head back to the campsite, number 39 is my spot, and hopefully will sleep soundly.
Tomorrow I’ll be heading to Fort Nelson and then North into the North West Territories for just a little while. There is a road (number 7 that turns in to 1 and then 35) that loops around and I end up in Alberta.
From then it shouldn’t take me too long to get to JustJeff in LacLaBiche.

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2014, 11:00:52 PM »
But here is the rather weird thing!!!!! this photo is of the back, which I kept separate from the front and just tied it up haphazardly adding color here and there.
The result is just amazing!!! What do you see?????? (nope I'm not a psychiatrist :D )

I was blown away! I'll tell you later what I see!!

Hey, great to see you back on the road! Pay attention to that shirt.  My son's marrying in August, the lady's mother does "soul portraits", very much like that image.  Not an accident.

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 08:07:59 PM »
Why do I even stay in campgrounds?
After paying $12 to spend the night in mosquito zone, I also ended up having to sleep with my earplugs in as some of the neighbors thought it was okay to play rock & Roll  music till 1 in the morning.
Needless to say after a tiring day (mud and all) I ended up with hardly any sleep.
The next morning I was disoriented and sluggish and got out of there pretty late.
Still I figured, it stays light long, so I can just take my time and ride longer.
I swung by Watson Lake tourist info again to fill up my warted bottles and met 2 guys on motorbikes heading to Dawson City. They asked me how far it was as they thought they could do it in one day. I guessed about 500 or more miles (it was 605) and told them it was a bit much for one day. I suggested the route I had just taken, warning them about the short construction nightmare. It would save miles, but I don't think they were interested.
They took some pictures and a lady took one with all of us. I gave them my ADV name and hope they'll remember it so they can post the pic.
I talked to my Dad for a while and headed out. About 5 miles later it popped into my head that I hadn't tied down the stainless steel water bottle on my passenger foot peg, I looked down, and sure enough, nothing there! Sh…..t!
I turned around with the hopes that it was lying in the parking lot of the info center. Right as I got there I saw something shiny and utterly flat un the highway surrounded by a puddle of water. :cry :cry :cry
I really loved that bottle, it held a lot of water!
So here I went trying to find another bottle that would hold water. Neither the grocery store nor the sport/tourist store had any nalgene bottles. I did find another stainless steel one for $10, not as big but close.
Got it filled up with water and finally was able to leave Watson Lake.
Once I started riding I got over my sad and frustrated mood of forgetting to tie up my bottle and having to buy a new one.
I think the reason why it frustrates me so much is that I am on a tight budget, and having to spend cash on something I really didn't need if I had had it together just frustrates me. I know people say that money doesn't buy happiness, but I do think having it puts you at ease. Still, I have to continually tell myself not to worry and that everything will be just fine. To be in the now and to quit worrying about what might or might not be. Some days that actually sinks in, other days not as much.

My first photo opportunity put a smile on my face

Yay!! Finally in Bison country!

Took a quick break to eat a Lara bar it the river, but there were too many bugs around to relax

Another bear!! I finally got my share of bears

Now this little bugger was determined to find out what was in the truck, it wouldn't budge. I rode up and he just looked at me, not going a foot away from the truck.

Just beautiful!

Aww, lots of baby ones too

I'm letting the pictures do the talking, I was just riding

I'm guessing it was loosing it's winter coat, either that or they always look so shabby

I was getting tired even though it was still early. I really am a person that needs a goof night rest!
I was riding through Muncho lake provincial park now, and everywhere it said campsite full. Tuesday will be Canada day, so it's a really long weekend with lots of folks camping.
Even Liard Hotsprings was filled up, so I didn't even bother stopping for a soak. Not my idea of fun to jump into a hot spring with tons of others in it.

The views were just amazing!

It's a pretty cool feeling riding that class to a lake, I don't know why, but I find it soothing and exciting at the same time.

After a little while I had to admit that I was beat, I needed a place to crash. 
I kept my eyes open for a little dirt road veering off, but there was nothing, until I saw a grown in road making a sharp turn to the right. It was going up pretty steep but I had ridden harder stuff so I went for it not knowing were it would end.
Haha, I didn't have to go too far to find out. The road stopped all of a sudden, like it was never meant to go anywhere, or had utterly gotten overgrown.
It was perfect!

I was high above the traffic and had another great view.
It was perfect timing too, as no sooner had I pitched my tent and gotten my junk inside when it started to rain!
I was very happy that I could finally relax and go to sleep.
There were some interesting flowers in my tent, but one was of a dried up yellow flower that now had something like and Avatar, hair end thingy

Wonder if these gave James Cameron the idea for the Avator way of connecting ??? :lol3

I warmed up a carton of of soup and crashed!!
Slept like a log and woke up around 5 am just to turn around and leap a few more hours.
It had rained for a while that night but not when I woke up.
I relaxed and read for a while thinking I'd break camp in a little when it started raining again

No biggy, I was more than happy to stay put for a day.
Around noon the sun came out and made the inside of the tent into a sauna!! All that heat and moisture contained in a tent was a tad more then I bargained for and I started packing my stuff.
It felt good to be rested
I was out of there a little past 1 and happy to be riding again toward Fort Nelson.

Not too long after I had left I saw my first male moose close up!!!
I was ecstatic!! Finally a moose!!

I think he got a little annoyed with me, as I was creeping closer and closer, so he turned around and walked away.

Saw a couple on a bike, with an MSR tent like mine (or close) tied on the back (I recognized the green bag)
The license plate was foreign, maybe German??

I gassed up in Toad River and bought a sticker saying Alaskan Hwy and it had a drawing of a huge mosquito on it, LOL.
The gas price there was staggering, not to mention that Spirit started stuttering not too long after. Diluted gas???
I hope not.
Almost exactly 100 miles after Toad River I saw the turn off to Yellow Knife and Fort Liard.
I needed to go to Fort Nelson first though to get a map and to fuel up.
The visitor information center was right as I got into Fort Nelson. What an awesome place!!!
You can hand out and use their wifi for free, have a cup of coffee on the house and just relax!!
That is exactly what I am doing now :D

In a few I will go and find a gas station, and then turn around to head toward Hwy 77 into the North West Territories.
The weather forecast is rain for tomorrow, so Maybe I'll just camp for a day until the sun comes out. The forecast for Yellow knife is lots of sun.
Afterward I'll head to LacLaBiche in the hopes that my brothers fancy shock will be there.

Offline trialsguy

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2014, 09:18:39 PM »
 :clap: :clap: :clap:
 :mol: :mol: :mol:

What MSR tent do you have?

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 12:57:20 AM »
:clap: :clap: :clap:
 :mol: :mol: :mol:

What MSR tent do you have?
MSR Hubbahubba with shed. I love it! did make a window in it though, can't stand not to see outside

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2014, 12:57:59 AM »
Last night was I night I'll never forget!! My first real encounter with a bear!!
But…… let me backtrack just a little

Left Fort Nelson pretty late, but as I had a late start i didn't mind.
Got back to the turnoff to Fort Liard in no time

The first part of it was paved, so the riding was smooth.

pretty awesome bridge

I kept riding for a while, but realized that I was getting tired.
I kept looking for a little niche to park my tent, but nothing felt right
One spot really appealed to me, on a little ledge near the river, the trouble was I would have to ride though a muddy dip that might be more than a dip in the morning if it rained, so I exed that idea.
A few more areas looked promising but were too sandy or wet.
Then I saw a nice flat area that looked perfect. there were a few more places like it down the road as if more people could camp there.
I pitched my tent and made dinner, it felt like a good spot.

The amount of bugs was surreal though!!

I checked to see if by any chance I had reception, and sure enough, that cell tower that I passed saying something about peace and for your use, must have been put there for travelers. Awesome!
A little while later I went outside to brush my teeth and in the corner of my eye I saw movement.
Hiding behind the bushes staring at me with a curious look on his face was a big black bear.
Well, of course that first thing was I froze… could not believe my eyes. A bear, here???
Ahhhh, what do I do? oh yeah, noise, they don't like noise.
So here I was hollering you bear, go, shoo, go!! He looked at me as if I was crazy and walked hesitantly toward me.
My foghorn! Where did I put it? In the tent! so I ducked into the tent to grab it. While I had done that he had come to me even closer and was now a mere 15 feet or so away. I pushed the bottom on the foghorn to scare him away, nothing happened!!! Not a peep. What the??????
I then ducked back in the tent and got the bike keys, started Spirit up and revved the engine while hinting the horn.
Yeah, he didn't like that at all and veered away from me. I revved a little harder and honked a tad longer and he bolted across the road into the bushes. I left the engine running a tad longer, just to make sure he didn't come back.
Phew!!! A little nerve wrecking. Later everyone tells me a black bear? ah, no worries they are really shy and scare easy. Well, he didn't look shy to me!
I got to wondering if he was looking for food, and if he could smell through the Pelicans.
So I got out the brake fluid and dabbed some on the pelicans here and there (away front he stickers!) hoping to disguise the food smell. The I tied a knot in the tank hose in case the bear came back and thumped over the bike, I didn't want the gas to spill! I also put the little jack on the other side so Spirit would be harder to push over, and went to bed.
I heard a few noises, but nothing major. I did smell some stinky stuff though, but was too tired to care and fell asleep.

Nothing happened at night and I woke up after a good nights rest.
It had rained just a little during the night, so the tent was wet.
Wondering if the bear might be back at some pint, I decided to break camp and head to Fort Simpson.
I had Pm'd MitchG to see if I could pitch my tent up at his place.
I packed up pretty fast and dried my tent with my REI towel, took a picture of where I saw the bear, and left

he was standing just to the left of the hedge

Glad to be heading North. The scenery was not very exciting though.

I made to to NWT!!

The road turned into dirt once I was in NWT, and for the next few hundred kilometers I rode on hard packed and squarely gravel.

I stopped in Fort Liard to gas up. It's a small town and I met an older couple on a gold wing heading to Alaska.
They didn't have much on them, but he said the only way he was able to get the wife to go was if they would stay in motels.

I finally started seeing some hills again!

Around three I was starving, no idea why all of a sudden I was so hungry, so I stopped and got out the stove and heated up some Tasty Bite Indian food. Now I only have one left, sniff!

I felt rejuvenated and hopped back on the bike.
An hour later I hit the intersection to Fort Simpson. 

Pavement again, yippee!! I think I rattled enough for one day.

Half an hour later I got to the Ferry into Fort Simpson

Fort Simpson in the distance.

Mitch met me at the visitors center and drove me around the island for a while.
He also noticed that my rear brake disk was history!! some huge groves were carved into the outside of the disk. The inside was still smooth. What the??? how was that possible?

Turns out that putting used disc pads from another bike might not have been the best of ideas.
I still have my old brake pads, so I'll put them on for the time being.
Looks like now I have to order a new brake disc and have it shipped to Jeff
I am so glad for the donations I have received in the last few days. It's like you all knew something was gonna happen!!!

Well, here I am now, and it's almost midnight. I am going to crash!!

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 11:28:13 AM »
Was I ever tired yesterday, hanging in there by a thread!
Now that I've had a good nights sleep (bug free) I feel so much better.
I went outside to take a look at my disc (rotor) and pads and saw that one of the pads was totally worn down to metal!
No wonder it scored the rotor!! How is that possible? When Jim shipped me a new brake caliper it had still tons of pad on the brake. Could it have just dislodged itself from the metal?
I wonder if a ton of mud got stuck in between from the "top of the world ride"?
Needless to say now I know why the scoring.
Looked online and boy those things are pricey!! $230!
JettnJim offered to send me one of his.  :shog:, but I start feeling that there not enough time in my life to make it up to him!!!   :gerg:

Mitch is a cool guy who has the good fortune of having a job that he really loves.
We were talking about that yesterday and it is so true that if you do something you love then your job is not just a job but something that is part of who you are. It's like living like you're retired, even though you're not, he was saying.
Most people once they retire start doing gardening or whatever, and finally enjoying their time. If they had done gardening as their job in life, they would have enjoyed their work more.

I can see in reality that that could be true, but I've just never found something that I enjoy doing more than a few times and then not get tired of it. LOL, must be my restless nature……
But that's what my journey is all about, finding the thing I love doing most, other than riding camping and knitting  :Hap1:
I'm going to put my other brake ad on it today, and hope it will last till I get to Jeff's place.

Offline Bernie

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2014, 02:40:03 AM »
 :thumb: :thumb:

Thanks for coming back N G

Offline Jettn Jim

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2014, 01:21:29 PM »
Rotor shipped out to JustJeff in LacLaBiche today!!!  :clap:  :claps:

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2014, 11:52:13 PM »
I'm back in Fort Simpson!
I can tell you that not sleeping for two nights in a row is not something that I can do!!! :sleep: :sleep: :sleep:

Little way cabin for the stranded motorist in the winter, a place to get out of the cold. It had a barrel stove to burn wood in and some funky wood benches to keep you off the floor.

Mitch and I took turns driving and even the first night I had some problems keeping  my eyes open, but we stopped a lot and drank coffee so I made it till daylight. Then because we arrived a tad early we parked at a rest stop for an hour or so for some shuteye. I could't sleep, bummer!
We ran around Edmonton pretty much all day, picking up stuff, including new brake pads and chain lube, picked up the jet skies and trailer, and stopped by Costco for a box of Lara bars. I was bummed to find out that the Canadian Costco does not carry Tasty Bite  :'(

Finally by around 5 we headed back to Fort Simpson.
Barely an hour out of Edmonton we got hit by a heavy storm. Hail the size of golfballs (luckily not rock hard but sludgy) was smashing down on the car and the window. I thought for sure the window was going to crack, and the roof totally dent.
Afterward it turned into a torrential downpour, where you I barely see in front of me! I'm glad that I'd lived on Kauai for so many years, and had gotten used to rainstorms like that.
The rain lasted a while and for short periods it only drizzled or stopped, but after a while it picked back up again and it basically kept raining non stop.
We kept drinking coffee and taking stops, stretching out legs (Mitch smoking) and me running to the bathroom thanks to the coffee, but by three AM I didn't dare climbing behind the wheel again, I was done for. It might have worked if I had put toothpicks between my eyelids  :Hap1:but seeing as that seemed rather painful I opted out of that solution.
Mitch got a room at a Quality Inn in High Level (amazing place by the way with an awesome shower and heavenly beds) and we both conked out. Well, I know I conked out the second my head hit my pillow, Mitch checked the news for a while.
I slept like a log, trying to make up for lost sleep I suppose, but 6 hours later the alarm went off and we had to hit the road again (after I insisted that I needed to try the nice looking shower  :smiler:)
I travel, without a shower, so every opportunity I get to actually take one, I got to grab.
It was still a bit drizzly and we stopped at he Esso to gas up.
The Esso has this amazing salad in the cooler! It's Kale and cranberries, sunflower seeds, shredded broccoli and other things topped with a poppyseed dressing. Just GOOOOOOODDDD!!
Once we got back on the dirt my heart sank a bit!!! It looked just like the Top of the World Hwy!!! Slick and slippery! I would have to ride that tomorrow?? 200 km of it?? Ahhhh.
I kept hoping the rain would stop or at least  have not hit the part near Fort Simpson, but nope, it was muddy everywhere, and it kept raining.
We stopped at one point to see if we could find Morels, but the only ones we found were old and utterly soggy! I think the rain ruined what was left of them.
We did stop at a waterfall.

What an amazing amount of water!!! The mud creating variegated colors.

Yeah, the van wasn't exactly the cleanest place after heaps of coffee and candies!

We hopped back on the ferry and got home around 8 PM
I cooked dinner real fast as I was hungry and am now fighting to keep my eyes open long enough to post my RR  :sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep:

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 06:28:08 PM »
I'm in Yellowknife!!
Let me go back a few days….
Saturday afternoon Mitch took the two jet skis to the river

He backed the van up to the water, and I held the rope so it wouldn't float away (strong current!)

After he parked the van, he walked in the river (Brrrr, water cold!!) and started it.
Within seconds I hollered at him to stop, something sounded awfully wrong!!
Sure enough, the jet ski has this reverse start so what happened was that the ski was too close to the edge of the river, and it sucked gravel water through and damaged some plastic thingy )forgot what it was called).
So bummer, no jet fun that day. He had pre-ordered a stainless steel one, as every said that this would happen.
I basically relaxed the rest of the day and got a bit further on catching up on my blog (still not done though :( )
Packed most of my stuff that night, so I might leave early.

I left Mitch's place in Fort Simpson around noon on Sunday  basically cause I couldn't fall asleep (which I finally did) and ended up sleeping late. That was fine with me as I was hoping the mud to be drier the later it was.
As it turned out the road was perfect!!! The mud was solid dirt and the gravel punched in pretty good.

Sambaa Deh falls, didn't hike down as I couldn't tell whether it would stay dry or not

The air was pretty hazy and smokey

Bridge before Fort Providence

I made it to Fort Providence in no time.
As I was tired I decided to find a place to pitch the tent early. I wanted to relax and go to bed early.

Found a secluded dirt road, near a gravel pitch.

Within seconds of stopping I was inundated wit bugs.
I frantically pitched my tent hoping to escape them

No such luck!!!

Got the inner tent in and hid out in there until I could face them again.
The noise was horrendous, Ten Buffalo could have surrounded me (or bears) and I would not have heard a thing!!

There were wild strawberries everywhere, and very sweet!! I wanted to pick a bunch but the bugs were just too much.
I thought I'd wait till it got colder and then pick some, but as I went to sleep at around 11, it was still warm, and now the mosquitos where there as well. I decided to go to sleep instead.
Slept long and late!!
It got too hot in the tent, basically forcing me to move and pack up.
Put my bug jacket on, even though it makes me hot, and blurs my vision, and got to work packing Spirit.
I was done in no time, and even skipped breakfast as my vestibule was riddled with bugs.

I stopped along the road to get rid of the trash when I found I had a hurt passenger

His tail had gotten stuck in my umbrella :(

I let him go and rode off toward Yellowknife.
Well…….. the road there was rather boring only as I was nearing Yellowknife did the scenery change.

Sand on the side of the road, like there were dunes!

Yeahhh, can't see the lake in the photo, it was very hazy

For a second it looked like New Mexico, Utah or Arizona

Stopped at the visitor center to find out where the health food store was…….. there isn't one!!! :cry

So Here I am at McD for internet. I did find a Chinese store that had some That vegetarian curry. And nearby is a grocery store that I've been told carries a few health food things.

I'm not sure if I want to try a paid campsite for tonight, or if I'll head back ways and find somewhere along the road.
It depends on the camp ground and if I can get away from the RVs

Offline nvklr

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2014, 07:07:47 PM »
Once again following along.  Thank you for taking time to keep up your ride report! :claps:

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2014, 12:23:40 AM »
Well!!! I make a lousy tourist!
I did find the yarn shop and bought a couple of skeins of green (JettnJim's request) and I did find some very tasty Indian snacks at "your independent grocery," but other than that I just didn't feel like hanging around Yellowknife.
Then I thought. "Let's just stay at the campground here and explore Yellowknife tomorrow when I'm not so hot and tired.
Somehow I missed the sign to the campground and then decided I'd just find a spot to camp not too far out.

A few miles later I slowed down as I neared yet another milestone.

It's official, I've done 40,000 miles since I left Washington! Cool!

Twenty mile outside of Yellowknife I saw a dirt road veer off to the left. I followed it and it dead-ended at 2 gates, none of which looked like they had been opened in years.
After parking Spirit I was getting ready for the barrage of bugs, but wow! Wonder over wonder, none came!!
You have no idea how weird that was. Weird but wonderful.

I pitched my tent to the side just in case someone drove up to go through the gate. The sun was a red smokey blob in the sky, as the forrest fires still were going on.

Amazing how strong ants are! This little fellow was pulling a dead fly across the rocky ground

Went to bed exhausted and woke up in the middle of the night by the sound of pouring rain. Ahhhh, I love the sound of rain on my tent.
I turned around and fell promptly back asleep

The next morning it was still raining and I decided to just wait and see what happened. Other than raining not much! So, "R&R day" it was! I even dozed at some point, and that says something, I normally can't nap.
Went to bed around 10 and woke up at 5 AM.
I smelled smoke, and how. Of course the first thing I thought, hmmm I wonder if there is a forest fire nearby and the road is closed, so no one knows I'm here. I listened for traffic, but it was eerily quiet.
I figured that no one is normally on the road at 5 AM.
I tried to go back to sleep, but is was way too smokey, so I packed up (yep my wet tent too). It was 7 AM by then.

The rising sun was red again, too bd it didn't really show very well in the photo

Luckily I did hear a truck here and there pass on the road so I knew the road wasn't closed.
Because it was so smokey I had no desire to go back to Yellowknife and opted to just head to High Level.
I had PMed Agplant at tent space, if I could pitch my tent in his yard on my was through High Level, and got lucky in that he actually checked his messages a day later :D

smokey horizon

The bridge at Edzo river

Too bad it came out fuzzy

Lots of buffalo on the road that morning!

I kept riding and found myself yawning a lot. I am no early riser, that's for sure!!
I made it to Fort Providence and gassed up. That place is expensive!!
They did have free wifi so I checked my messages to see if Al replied, he had. Yippee, I would have a place to pitch my tent without having to look for it. And no worries about bears D
I was filling my tires with air at the pump when I heard this guy holler, excuse me ma'am!! He was holding my water bag that I had left in the diner! Wow, he had run all the way across the muddy parking lot to bring it to me. I told him he just saved my life!! IN a sense he did, as my Spot dangles from my camel pack.

I got back on the road , and before I knew it I got to the bridge.

I didn't get that view coming from the other side, so I stopped and took a pic.

As I hit the turnoff to High Level there was a huge sign saying,

"Road may be closed due to forest fires"
Ah, great! I hoped that this wouldn't be the case

Got lucky, the road was open but it was smokey and it looked like they just got the fire contained

As I got to the NWT/Alberta border I stopped at the tourist info, and had a cup of coffee. As I was sitting there it started pouring like there was no tomorrow. Later on it started hailing as well!! Boy what strange weather for July!
I think I spend more than an hour there, staying dry. Afterward it cleared up pretty good, but still I put on my rain gear and hit the road again. This time I had a Canada map that the owner of the info place got out of his truck and gave to me. He was very impressed that I did this ride all by myself :D

I got to High Level at 6, and went straight to the Esso for another one of those delicious salads!
I texted Al, and he came shortly after to show me where he and his family lived.

More later, my eyes are falling shut!

Offline hotshot

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2014, 06:45:29 PM »
NG thanks for your reports.  :biker_h4h1:
Pushing for 100,000 miles

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2014, 12:57:01 AM »

I just had to take a pic of these pretty clouds

Following Al to his house in High Level

I had a great but short stay at Al's (Agplant). While his wife Melanie was in town we talked bike and travel stuff, but once she was back and I noticed that she crocheted, the talk switched to creative stuff  haphap
So I sat and knitted while Melanie crocheted, and we talked about family and other things.
I had pitched the tent in their yard, and it was very comfy!! They have a really nice and quiet yard.

complete with strawberry patch  behind me.

Al had to go to work early and Melanie shortly after, but they let me use the kitchen to fix my oatmeal and finish packing.
I left fairly late that morning, as the tent was still wet.
Once I got packed I hit the road, it was drizzling unfortunately, but I was hopeful it would dry up fairly soon.

The beginning of Hwy 88 to Red Earth and then Slave Lake was a tad dull.
I did see these things in the fields, but have no clue as to what they are. I'm hoping someone can enlighten me

They are about 6 to 7 foot high

After Red Earth however the scenery turned way nice, rolling hills and a few curves does much to improve one's riding!

Once the rain let up I parked Spirit on the side of the road. sat down and had a snack.

These yellow shrubs where all along the road, making the scenery very sunny and lively, and putting me in a way more cheerful mood

Mixed in was some clover

While sitting there eating my snacks and looking at the flowers I realized that I was positively getting addicted to these!:

They are made with just corn flower, oil and salt, no cheese or anything, yet they taste totally cheesy!

Of course, one of the things that happens when riding down a not too challenging road, is that one looks at the speedometer more often, to see how far one got.
As I looked down I was a few miles away from this

I just had to slow down and then stop right as I hit this number

I hopped back on the road after a while until these amazing flowers caught my eye (more like the color caught my eye)

Side view

top view

I just love clover!

After a while I found myself getting tired again and automatically started looking out for a good spot to camp.
Then I decided on a whim that maybe it might be nice to stay at a camp ground for a change, and grab a shower.
Looking at the map I saw one near Slave Lake. I found it easily. It was a fancy road, and even saw a deer in the bushes.
Once I actually got to the entrance the place looks just too fancy!
RVs everywhere, kids running about and huge building for showers. Yikes! Something tells me this is not a $12 camp ground!
LOL, it wasn't but truthfully it was not as much as I would have guessed, namely $24.
Still I wasn't willing to spend that much for a small piece of dirt to pitch my tent, and probably not even get much sleep with all them folks about!

I turned around and spent the next hour trying to find a place to crash. Some of the roads I got on were just too muddy and I found Spirit doing the old tail swinging again. I really am not comfortable with that feeling!

Lesser Slave Lake, there was an awesome day park, and I was very tempted to sneak Spirit into one of the little hiking trails and hide there. The gate closed at 11. Yeah, I really didn't fancy getting caught and having to break camp up again, so I left

Finally I rode through Slave Lake and headed toward Lac La Biche.
About half an hour later (after a few wrong roads) I saw a steep dirt road veer off to the right. I drove past it not wanting to deal with steep mud, but then I turned around, maybe there would be a spot right on the top with a view.
I walked up the hill first to see how thick the mud was, not too bad! And yes!! a gorgeous spot on the top.
So even though I was tired and didn't need the challenge I decided to go for it and rode up the steep hill.
Spirit made it easy!!!
The only thing wrong with the location was the amount of garbage people left lying around! Why do folks do this???

I pitched the tent in no time and crawled in. It was bear country but I decided to just be aware but not to worry too much.
It was a very cold night!!
I woke early, 7 actually, and the tent was covered in dew and condensation. I turned around and went back to sleep for an hour.

Yeah, in no time at all my tent turned into a sauna!! It was time to pack up!
The ride toward Lac La Biche was pleasant and quick

lots of yellow fields, which Jeff says is probably Canola

Stopped at the visitor Bureau in LLB and according to my GPS I was parked in the water! Sorry, blurry!

I sat outside for a while enjoying the scenery and the fresh air

And the birds

And some more of those amazingly beautiful blue dragonflies

Tomorrow Jeff and I are going to Edmonton (wasn't I just there with Mitch???) to get a new rear tire for Spirit.
The 130/80 is just too small. I have a hard time parking and believe it or not, but that tire is almost worn out!!! I've only done 2,500 miles since Fairbanks. I've never had a tire go bald on me that fast before.
I wonder if it spins a lot more because it is so much smaller……

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2014, 12:43:29 AM »
I had fun today! Went ATVing  :smiler: More later.

Saw a fox walking in the yard

Yesterday, Saturday, Jeff and I drove to Edmonton to pick up the Shinko that he found at Alberta Cycle.

Stopped to take some pictures of these tiger lilies

When we got there we looked around to see if maybe…….. they had a 130/90/17. The one he put on hold was a 140/80/17.
Lo and behold!! They did, Jeff found it. I was happy, the 90 is taller and so much easier to slide your hand in when pushing the tube valve through the rim hole.

We walked around the store for a while looking at bikes and goodies.
Then because Jeff paid for my Shinko, I told him I'd take him out for lunch at Guru, and indian restaurant.
LOL, he had never had Indian food.

I think it hit the spot!!
The food was awesome, and we almost finished the whole order. (Ended up with a tiny doggie bag)

We stopped at a few other places, including on the highway to take a photo of this mosque,

and got back to Lac La Biche around 8
Jeff asked if I was interested in going for an ATV ride on Sunday, I said sure, sounds like fun.

When I got up this morning he was at his neighbor's picking up an ATV for me to use.
I took a quick cruise around the yard to try it out.
Then Jeff took me on a trip around the property, which I later found out was so that he could gauge how well I could ride the ATV.   :Hap1:

It was good to have a few obstacles to run over before we set out, because the road (Hmmmm, don't think I can call it that) was quite a challenge here and there!  haphap
I'm just going to post a bunch of pics:

Following Jeff

Lots of those little blue dragon flies

It's amazing how a beaver can fell a huge tree!

Stopped at a beaver dam

dragonfly in flight

A little too much light, but Jeff is in really deep water there!! He had to back up as the ATV started floating!

Tomorrow I'm going to replace the tire, change the oil, clean the air filter and maybe figure out why my heated grips don't work.
The Shock is not here yet, my brother sent if off the day I got to Lac La Biche…….
According to DHL it just left Cincinnati. Yeah, we'll see when it gets here…..

Offline Jettn Jim

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2014, 03:51:28 PM »
:banana: WoooHooo great  four wheeling you did!!!
Jeff's an ALRIGHT dude! :deal:  :thumb:

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2014, 06:22:30 PM »
I've got pain in muscles I didn't know existed!! Yep, ATVing is good for arm development!  :Hap1:

Changed the oil today, and again had some metal slivers in it, not too much like at the beginning of my trip a few years ago, but still some. Mostly aluminum, but a couple of tiny slivers looked like either bearing or stainless steel (bolt?) There were only a couple and about 2mm in size. I'm just hoping that these were wedged somewhere that I didn't get to when cleaning the engine after cracking it open and replacing the worn out bearings. I never did remove the electric copper coils (stator?) so maybe they were wedged in there. Still, she sounds and runs good so I'm not going to worry.

Afterhaving changed the oil, I loosened up the rotor bolts and the axle before lifting her up and putting a frying pot  :smiler: underneath her.

Who would have thought such a pot could have a double use??

I removed the rear wheel and one of the bolts attached to the links. Took out the shock bolts and then took the shock out.
As I looked at the shock I thought "What the???????"

I was baffled at first until a small piece broke off………. I had never seen dirt accumulate like that before.
I'm guessing the red stuff is shock oil, which really shouldn't be leaking out like that though….

As I had to take the plastic covers off to get to the shock I figured that my air filter would probably like a cleaning as I'd been riding through a lot of dirt and dust.
I took the screw out and removed the cover, then noticed a small strip of plastic that had slid down and wedged against the frame. Whoa! isn't that supposed to be attached to the air box cover?

Never thought I'd see that! Well, nothing some plastic glue or duct tape can't fix!

Yeah, she looks like this again : :eek7: So much for my silent hope that I would not have to work on her for a few months.

I had put the new tire in the sun for a few hours, and started to remove the little 80 off the rim.
I am very thankful that I didn't have a real flat tire along the way, i.e. a nail or so.
This little bugger was hell to get off!! Had to use Jeff's C-clamp to squeeze the bead down. Even then it took me quite a while to get it off.
Putting the 90 on was a piece of cake!!! So much more room to work with. Had the valve in the rim hole is just seconds. I think it took me half an hour last time to get it in while I had the 80 on it, and ended up with bruised knuckles and fingers to boot.
Yep, I am so happy to have been able to find a 90!!!

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2014, 12:29:59 AM »
The now Ohlins shock arrived today!!!!
It is awesome!   :banana:

Other than a few minor glitches the shock fits beautifully, and as far as I can tell, without having had a chance to ride it yet, works great too. I haven't even messed with the settings yet!

The old and the new just so you can compare the difference. The dampener is the little black ring on the bottom, and the spring preload adjuster is the one on the top, kept in place with a similar ring that needs to be loosened first when adjusting.

close-up of the dampener and the difference in the bottom mount.

The top is different too! I removed the spacers and foam bumpers so you can see the heim-end (like a ball bearing)

That is sooo cool!

It was really a shame to put such a nice and shiny shock in a dirty bike, but after hours of trying to get the clay off everything, she still looks absolutely dirty!!

The only thing that was missing in the box was the Ohlins sticker that I was to stick on my bike!
haha, I guess my brother forgot to put it in.
Thanks Stan, I love it!!!  :wings:

Offline Jettn Jim

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2014, 09:38:04 AM »
That is suweeeeet!  :bugey: good on Stan for hooking you up!  :mol:

Offline NomadGal

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Re: Just following my nose! (good thing it's not crooked)
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2014, 05:21:31 PM »
I am in Big River after having slept about 12 hrs straight! (Well sort of)

I loved my stay with Just Jeff, I could have easily stayed longer! LOL  :Hap1:
Jeff is a really sweet guy who surprised me after coming home from work, with veggie cheese and my favorite Veginaise mayo. I cooked dinner a few nights and he got a taste of meatless life. :smiler:
The Ohlins shock was awesome, but unfortunately I had to leave it with Jeff, as unfortunately the main R&D guy that put the shock together forgot to put the 7.4 KG spring on it. Jeff and I were baffled for a while, trying to figure out what was going on. Well good to know that even the guys in Taiwan are human and can make a mistake  haphap
So Stan my brother is sending Jeff the correct spring, and Jeff will mail it to me once I figure out where I will be.
Jeff had designed a spacer to go under the spring on his KLR, and he put it on mine.
Basically what it does is that the spring has a way higher compression now. Amazing!!! i"m way high up and done bottom out. back to tiptoeing though! Even with a full load!
So I decided to leave Thursday even though I could have hung out till Monday for the now spring to arrive. But I figured if I wanted to make it to Quebec in about a month time (to maybe meet up with Jettn Jim) I would have to mosey on…
Jeff told me about Meadow Lake provincial park, and suggested taking Hwy 950.
I was on the road by 9

This picture is for Jeff who did not quite believe me that my RPM is only 4200 at 65 miles an hour (98kmp)

I rode into Saskatchewan and decided to take a picture of Alberta too, as I had missed the sign entering from NWT

Yep, now I am in Saskatchewan

Route 950
I easily found the turnoff to go to Meadow Lake provincial park. Right as I got onto the gravel I realized that my tire pressure was just way to high! I was going all over the place. I stopped and lowered it to 25 psi to see if it made a difference. In those few minutes I had 2 trucks stop and ask if I needed help, how sweet  :smiler:
I hopped back on and continued.
15 half an hour later, Spirit really started squirreling, what the??????
I hopped back off and immediately saw what was going on. I was standing ankle deep in gravely sand! Yikes.
Just by looking at it you can't tell. Someone had just grated this road!! Wonder if it was that huge weird tractor looking thing I saw?
I lowered the pressure down to 15 and decided to keep going on (I kinda debated turning around I have to admit)
While I was lowering the pressure another truck stopped and a guy came out offering to help. I told him what I was doing, and of course there came the usual questions, where was I from and where was I going. He kept on saying I don't believe it, by yourself? This whole way? He kept shaking his head, but was really sweet and gave me a map of the park and told me how much more of this sand I had to endure. He said even his little truck was going all over the place. He said bye and drove off, me I hopped back on hoping the ride would be easier now.
It helped just a little but not much. I basically kept riding on parts of the road that looked the hardest, and occasionally hit really soft groves. It was no fun!
On top of that I saw a bear at the side of the road, now would be a really wrong time to crash! Luckily it took one look at Spirit and ran.
There were maybe 4 or 5 times that I almost dropped her but didn't. Phew!

I finally hit this, oil treated, yippee!!

For my brake I stopped at a day park at a lake (can't remember the name) and had a bite to eat

I decided to forego my idea of going all the way north on this road, and took the turn off to Goodsoil.
I was already getting tired and figured I'd set up camp early

Lots of farms on the road, which I thought might make it a bit of a challenge to find a spot to pitch my tent
After a little while I saw a sign dead end road…. Bingo, that might work.
I rode down there a bit, but it was getting very hairy! Deep sand ruts, yikes, nope, not my cup of tea….
I managed to turn around in the sand and rode back to the road.
Right before I got there I saw a meadow on the left with an old run down shed. Perfect!
Away from the eye, unless you came down the road, and close enough to the road that even if it rained I could easily make it.
I did have to ride through a ditch of sort, but it was dry.

I love the high grass, it keeps the mosquitos out!

It was mosquito heaven there, so I quickly pitched the tent, tossed my junk in there and crawled in myself.
I lit some incense to keep the bug aways and got ready for the night.
As soon as I had gotten myself settled, it started raining. Talk about perfect timing!
It rained all night, sometimes heavy sometimes light. I fell asleep at 8 but woke up at midnight with one thought on my mind, I rode through a ditch to get where I was! Of course then I started worrying about how to get back on the road if the ditch filled up with water. I finally convinced myself that worrying did no good and that I would just have to find out in the morning. I slept till 9! I did dream about someone walking around my tent though, but I couldn't talk or move, it was weird.

Cute little fellow!

There was no rain in the morning and as I peeked outside it looked like it might be a nice sunny day. The weather forecast for Beauval and Flin Flon was rain rain rain. Crap!
I decided to ride to Green Lake and find out if they knew what the road was like up in Beauval.
Luckily I bumped into a Harley guy who called his friend in Beauval to see what the road was like. It had been raining up there too.
I decided then and there that I was going to head toward Prince Albert and take the road through Prince Albert National Park to avoid going through the city, and then head North to Flin Flon.
Don't ask me why I want to go there, I don't know myself! Still if the forecast keeps being tons of rain in Flin Flon I might just chance my mind, and stay where the sun is  klrt3

I made it to Big River and am drinking some decaf while typing up my report at the Esso gas station which has a cute little diner

They have lots of good stuff to eat if you're a meat eater, I did see a Greek salad on the menu too though :D
Well, it's 4 PM and I am off again, spent too much time typing up my report!!!


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