Prudhoe Bay Afterthoughts

Several things that I found along the way:

As the miles and weeks went by, I was more and more willing to pay for a room rather than look for a campground. This became very expensive over time.

I only used my camp stove a couple times, and could have done without it even then.

I carried several things along with me that I intended to use but never did. I had a helmet-mounted video camera kit that I hadn't had time to set up before I left for Alaska, and my plan to set it up and use it never happened. I forgot I had the thing after a while.

Camera batteries became expensive. I had some rechargeable batteries and a 12-volt charger at home, so I chose not to buy another charger on the road. It would have been cheaper (and more environmentally friendly) to buy another charger rather than dispose of so many batteries.

It got easier and easier to ride long distances at a stretch, with the notable exception of my ass on the hard Corbin seat. Gotta get a better long-distance seat.

I went about 15% over budget, which isn't bad. Gas and accommodations were more expensive than I expected.

I had sufficient tools to do everything I needed, except that the socket wrench I carried was too short to let me remove the front sprocket nut. I used a pneumatic impact wrench both times that I replaced the sprockets. I will carry a longer wrench next time.

My compact chain breaker did not fit, even though it was designed for my chain. Also, I carried a file to help remove a chain link pin, but the pin was way too hard for the file. I needed to use a shop grinder to grind off the head of the pin before knocking it out. There were a few more things that I hadn't had time to test before my departure date, but most things worked out well enough. The new heated gloves never did work, and that led to some very cold hands a few times.

Aside from the early death of the chains and sprockets, the biggest problems I had were electrical and I was able to fix them all. I had a kit for electrical repairs, and used it a couple times.

I had expected to find needed parts in motorcycle shops, but this proved not to be the case in most cities. From my experience, and from other riders' advice, I learned that I needed to call ahead and have parts waiting for me.

I found generous and helpful people everywhere. When possible, I tried to be one of them.

Small towns usually have more interesting characters, and you are more likely to meet them.

If you skip the opportunity to take photos or stop and see something interesting, you will regret it later.

Company was easy to find when I wanted it, but solitude was even more precious.

Gotta do it again some day.


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