Blogging the Dalton Part two- Breakdown

Breakdown- Go Ahead and give it to me!

-A nod to the late great Tom Petty.

 Upon returning, we told the pack we were rolling out early, and would catch them back at Cold Foot. 

15 miles south at our first stop, we shut down the bikes and waited for the Pilot Car.

And then, my bike wouldn't start.

Don never looked back. He didn’t know I was missing for fifteen miles.

The rest of the team showed up. Other riders we met along the way stopped to help.

I shared my story. I told them it was no sense to stay with me, I would have to find my own way.

“It ain’t pretty,
after the show.
ain’t pretty when the pretty leaves you
with no place to go”

                                                       -from “Pretty Vegas” by INXS

It is said that man makes his plans, but God guides his steps.

Hours upon hours with spotty phone reception, attempting to find out how to get my MTRCL 500 miles to Fairbanks.

 I finally had it figured out, and was strapping down my MTRCL on a flatbed. For this service it would cost $1,000. Another night at Deadhorse up to $200, and a flight to Fairbanks the next day $600. But hey, it’s an adventure!


I was sent an angel in the form of an Eskimo named Herbert. Herbert was willing to take me the 500 miles to Fairbanks for gas money. The trucker said “save yourself some cash” and we loaded the bike into the pickup. Now this adventure was becoming epic!

 Surprise! The halfway point going to Fairbanks, and the only place for fuel is Coldfoot Camp. Imagine the surprise of the pack, when I opened the door of the pickup, just as Mira and Dean were stepping out of the cantina. They simply did not know what was going on with me. This was camaraderie at it’s finest! Even people we met along the way joined in.

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Herbert had a list of items to take care of on his way to Fairbanks. As the ride went on, I learned of the resourcefulness of the Eskimo. Herbert wore many hats. One being that of a whaling captain for his village. In the land of the midnight sun, business never stops and the chore list is as long as a grocery list at Thanksgiving. We stopped to assess the trailer damage from a previous trip of Herbert’s. Was I Herbert’s good deed for the day? Just a simple detour on the road? Maybe someone to chat with?  I am used to driving, not being chauffeured. It wasn’t long before I saw the bible on the dash, and listened to Herbert tell stories of family, and his life in a Village 100 miles from civilization by boat. He couldn’t see the tears streaming down my face as the stress began to melt off me.  I am a man. And the worst part of a man’s life is not being able to fix a problem. This problem was on the way towards resolution in just 500 miles. 14 hours in the back seat of a king cab and I would be fine. Well, as fine as I could be.

 Herbert took a risk to help a stranger.  I have been to Alaska before and many adventures come from the art of taking a risk. Risk starts with a simple ‘hello’.

In another setting at Darwin’s Pub in Anchorage, I asked a native, “Why does everyone seem so friendly, so willing to chat or help people?”

The answer I received, “For one, it is said that in the winter it is illegal not to help a motorist in need for fear they may starve or freeze to death.”

Logical, as they might not see another helping hand for hours.

An ever better answer I was told, “This community is small. If you deny someone a hand, Karma might come around and bite you in the butt when you need it.”

Gracious and understanding Trail’s End BMW gets the bike in within the hour to attempt a diagnosis.

Trail’s End BMW of Fairbanks, as busy as they were, quickly brought the bike in for a diagnosis.

-Right away Trail’s End said, “There’s no fuel making it to the pump. That’s a five hundred dollar repair. From there, given there are no other issues you can expect new fork seals, a standard oil change, change the final drive fluid and new tires. Then…anything else that may come up.”

New ride. Back with Friends. Time to finish what we started...