We arose early so that we could get on the road and make some miles past Anchorage. The weather was not in our favor and our desire to go to Seward was overcome by the forecast of rain. We saw a good deal of the Seward peninsula so missing Seward is not a big disappointment.
Before leaving we checked our tire pressures and found wew needed to add some air. Justin got oout his pump and adjusted his then I started on mine. The front needed several pounds and the rear a couple psi. The rear started giving us trouble, in certain positions the valve stem was leaking. I made several attempts to get it to fill to the correct pressure but the stem kept giving us fits. One more attempt at topping air pressure and upon removing the air fitting the valve stem blew apart and all of the air came out. That ain’t good. The stem is a brass insert moulded into the rubber and it just let loose.
Now I need a new valve stem. I called Alyeska tire, which we could see from the hotel, and they said they do not work on motorcycle or aircraft tires. Next door to them is a Honda motorsports shop so I decided to try them first since the Yamaha shop was several miles away. As soon as I started walking with my wheel a local stopped and offered me a ride. I got to the Honda shop about 15 minutes before they opened and people were there. They said they do not work on motorcycles, only ATVs. When I explained that it is a tubeless tire like and ATV they did not care and said they did not have time. You don’t meet the nicest people at a Honda shop. I went next door to Alyeska Tire and bought a valve stem so that I had one and tried to talk them into helping someone with a problem who is 4000 miles from home. Tough shit.
Across the street was an independent auto repair place so I went there. At first the guy did not want to get involved but I explained that the valve is just like a car and the wheel is out front. he looked at it and took it to see what he could do. Ten minutes later the new valve stem was installed and he filled it to 42psi. He asked for ten bucks and I was on my way. The versatile independent shop comes through again.
I got the wheel mounted and we were finally on the way about and hour later than we wanted. It could have been a lot worse.
We made our way to Anchor Point and found the sign that indicates it is the farthest point west in the Americas to which you can drive. after that it was a long ride back in better weather than we had coming in; we only got a sprinkle once. The ride back along the Cook Inlet was very pretty once again and then we were in Anchorage. Get us out of here. I cannot commend the drivers in Anchorage. They must never see motorcycles because most don’t give a shit about us.
We made our way to the Glenn Highway, got groceries and gasoline in Palmer and headed to a campground about twenty miles east for the night. The campground was decent until we learned that the water pump did not work and the camp host was not around. A nice couple from Germany gave us a gallon of water so we were alright for the night. Lesson, make sure your water container is full before venturing to the nether regions of Alaska.
The campground is on the Matanuska River which is glacier fed and full of silt. The water is gray and there are no fish in it. There is a lot of water in this large river and the current is swift. We walked along the shore and found some nice pieces of what we think is Alaska jade. We turned in and awoke to dry conditions, hurray.