Jewells in America
Monday, August 29, 2005
The Diary: Thursday 11th August 2005 to Saturday 20th August 2005
It was only a short ride to the town of Stewart and past the Bear Glacier, an amazing glacier which runs into a lake and is right on the side of the road. In the evening we rode to Fish Creek to watch the bears eat the spawning salmon. We saw two grizzly bears and thousands of fish in the creek. It was quite an experience to see the bears play with the fish and then eat just the skin and brains and the eggs of the female.
It was a rest day today and we gave the bikes a good clean and check over. The bikes have in the Wunderlich blue filters which were caked with dust and dirt from the gravel roads. All that we needed to do was wash them out and spray them up and put them back in the bikes.
Saturday and another great riding day to Smithers. En route we stopped at Kitwanga to see the old totem poles.
Sunday and we are now on Highway 16 to Prince George. The road is busier but still runs through beautiful scenery and many lakes.
Mondays destination today is Jasper and the start of the Rocky Mountains. We had a wonderful view of Mount Robson on the way into Jasper. Jasper is a main tourist centre, surrounded by stunning mountains and is in the middle of Jasper National Park.
Tuesday and a day off today to explore Jasper.
Wednesday and onward to Radium Hot Springs. In front of us 223 miles. It was raining when we left Jasper and along the Icefields Parkway, heavy sleet descended. Then as we descended the sun came out. We diverted up to Lake Louise, with a huge chateau hotel at the top and then on through Kootenay National Park – great twisties!
Thursday and another 225 miles today to Waterton Park. It is our last night in Canada. Once again, beautiful scenery in Alberta. We did an optional ride to Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, a place where the Indians used to herd the buffalo over the edge of a cliff, were they were butchered to provide food and clothing.
Friday and one of the best days so far. Back into the USA and Glacier National Park in Montana. Words cannot describe the scenery; you just have to come here and ride it yourself. I think the whole group were in awe at its splendour. The Going to the Sun Road was fantastic. We spent the night in Bigfork where we enjoyed some local Montana hospitality. Even the barman was buying us pitchers of beer! What a great day.
Saturday and a long day of 325 miles to Livingston and the edge of Yellowstone National Park. A brilliant ride through Helena National Forest with lots of sweeping bends. A bikers paradise.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
The Diary: Monday 1st August 2005 to Wednesday 10th August 2005
D DAY! Anchorage to Fairbanks 340 miles of good roads and fantastic scenery. Passed by Denali National Park and had a great view of Mount McKinley and a really clear day.
240 miles today, of which 140 was unpaved. Road again was stunning and we saw our first bear as it ran across the road in front of us. Stayed over night at Coldfoot.Camp, a remote settlement above the Arctic Circle.
Wednesday was a real blast. Another 240 miles of dirt, gravel and mud road. Probably one of the most challenging rides we have ever done. There was not a single town or house along the whole road, only the oil pipeline and pump stations. We all arrived safely in Prudhoe Bay late that afternoon. We had a walk to the Prudhoe Bay General Store and saw a grizzly bear on the way back. Decided not to walk past and flagged down a pick up truck!
Thursday We had a day off today and took an afternoon tour of the BP Oilfield, which took us out to the Arctic Ocean. Several members of the group (but not us!), decided to jump in naked! BRRRR! Then Dr Dave gave us all some seal oil to try which was so foul that two people ended up jumping off the bus to be sick.
Friday was the start of heading south and back down the Dalton Highway for 240 miles to Coldfoot Camp. It was nice to have a cold beer, because beers had been banned up at Prudhoe Bay. It is a dry town!
Another great days riding on Saturday following the Alaska Oil Pipeline. But there was a mishap. Dr Dave from Anchorage, who had been travelling with us, hit a rock through a road construction area and came off his bike breaking his leg. He had to be airlifted by military helicopter to hospital.
Delta Junction to Beaver Creek on Sunday. 184 miles and the birder crossing into Canada. We are now in the Yukon. Brilliant scenery and stunning roads. Missed a large moose by only inches as it ran out into the road. A narrow escape!
Monday and 194 miles to Haines Junction. More stunning roads and rode past the Kluane Lake – the largest in the Yukon and an incredible turquoise blue colour. Fantastic hotel for the nights stop, with great food.
Tuesday a 370 mile ride to Watson Lake along the Alaskan Highway. Stunning scenery of lakes and mountains.
Wednesday 320 miles along the Stewart Cassiar Highway to Bell Lodge, where we stayed in log cabins. The roads just keep getting better.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
The Diary: Tuesday 26 July 2005 to Sunday 31 July 2005
We began with 8 hour flight to Minneapolis then 3 hour stopover before another 5 hours to Anchorage, arriving 8.35pm local time. Pretty much knackered!
Up early at 5.30am ad had a walk around downtown Anchorage. After breakfast the minibus took us to the airport to collect the bikes. They had all arrived safely and we all rode to a local restaurant for lunch. Then back to the hotel to pack the bikes.
Rained all day. Wondered into Anchorage and went to an IMAX theatre where we saw a fantastic film on Alaskas wilderness.
Had a ride out today a 260 round trip to Seward on the Alaska coast. Had our first group evening meal at Rumrunners.
More rain again today. Walked around Anchorage local market in the morning. In the afternoon we rode up to the foothills of Anchorage to a locals house Native America Indian, Dr Dave Baines, where we had our sweat lodge ceremony. What a fantastic experience and it was enjoyed by all.
A TV crew turned up from the local Anchorage Alaska 11 news programme and filmed us riding through Anchorage and did some interviews. It was shown at 6pm and 10pm all over Alaska. Spent the afternoon with local bikers, Team Pterodactyl.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
What is Jewells in America?
Three SPC customers are off on the trip of a lifetime this
month when they leave to do the Trans Americas Expedition
with world record holders Kevin and Julia Sanders. John and
Michael Jewell and David Power will leave on 26th July and
fly to meet their bikes in Alaska. The 19 week trip which
starts on 1st August, will take them from the northern tip
of Alaska to Buenos Aires taking in the delights of Canada,
USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica,
Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina on the way. John
Jewell said: "This will be a wonderful adventure and the
chance to experience lots of different countries and
cultures. Michael and I are ready and can't wait to set
off". Keep track of the boys adventures here!