Sunday, May 26, 2013

Uraling through Alaska - Day 47: Tok and New Friends

At Talkeetna, we all pretty much started waking up around 06:30 or so, it was a bit cold but bearable for the most part, especially once I got a fire going in one of the campsite grills with the aid of some Marvel Mystery Oil.

We all wandered over to breakfast at the Roadhouse Cafe.  The place was doing a booming business and while service was a little slow due to the crowds, the food was very good.

Breakfast over with, it was time to pack up the rig and say goodbye to everyone.  I was on the road by 9:30 AM and was soon heading south on the Parks Highways heading back towards Wasilla.  Once past Wasilla, I got back on the Glenn Highway for the third time this trip.  Everything of course looked familiar so I didn't take as many pictures as the two prior times I rode this beautiful highway.

Still, there were occasions demanding me to stop and take pictures.

 Views along the Glenn Highway

As I approached Glennallen, I could see that Mount Drum was not hidden by clouds today as it had been the last two times I'd ridden near Glennallen!

Looks like it's floating in the sky above the valley

27SEP13: a picture of Mt Drum from Bob Peek aka AlaskaHack

I then got on the Tok Cutoff road, heading for Tok which was the night's destination.

 The mountain next to Mount Drum from the Tok Cutoff Road

A view of the mountain range one sees when approaching Tok
from the south.

I got to Tok around 6:30PM I believe, made pretty good time covering the 310 miles or so from Talkeetna to Tok.  I looked around and found some engine oil for the 35000 Kilometer service for Valencia.  She's at 34542, but am doing it early as it was convenient to do it tonight.

As I got the oil, I noted a rider on a Wee-Strom and his wife on a Suzuki DR650 pull up for gas at the station I bought the oil at.  I approached them and asked them for a recommendation for a good camp site.

After introductions, Gary and Deb, not only clued me into a local motorcycle camping spot but also invited me to have dinner with them at a local eatery called Fast Eddies.  We had a nice dinner, I published yesterday's posting using the diner's wifi and then we adjourned to the campground.  The place is called Thompson's Eagle Claw and it caters to motorcyclists with an assorted collection of campsites that include small cabins, a tepee, and the unit I ended up with, the walled tent:

My accommodations for the night

We'd gotten a six pack of beer before going to the campsite and we spent some time just chatting and getting to know each other before everyone retired for the evening.  The leftover beer was left in the communal area for the next riders to enjoy if they so desire.

 Deb and Gary, with their motorcycles at their cabin

Gary and yours truly

I must say, while a bit rustic, the Thompson's Eagle Claw Motorcycle Campground is outstanding value for the price!  It's basically $10 a person and while there's no electricity or wifi, the amenities are great.  Vanessa, the owner, even let me use the shop facilities to do the oil changes on Valencia, no fuss, no muss.  This place is highly recommended if you're ever thinking of camping in the vicinity of Tok, Alaska.

 The communal center where one can get/heat water, the outhouses and dispose of gray water

 The most eclectic of the housing accommodations, an ambulance!

Near the junction of C Street and Borealis in Tok

In a further happy coincidence, both Gary and Deb are heading to Haines as I am.  They're taking the same Tuesday ferry that I am scheduled on, heading for Bellingham.  They're headed on a month long tour of the states, though destinations remain relatively vague for now.  You can follow them on advrider, their handles are Arwenalaska and GaryAK.  So, I'll be transiting the inner passage back to the lower 48 in the company, how great is that?

Today we head for Haines Junction in the Yukon Territory, probably getting a room.


Martha said...

Be sure to give them our contact information if their travels bring them to Colorado: we can provide a cold beer, a home cooked meal and probably a place to pitch a tent. Not as scenic as Alaska, but there ya have it. As wifey, I am most relieved to know you've got some company in this last stretch towards the lower 48!

SonjaM said...

Again with those marvelous sights. I am stunned, and this orange certainly goes well with this particular background.

What a nice campground, plus again good company. You must be blessed to find so much positive encounters on the road. But motorcyclists are a special crowd anyway.

Unknown said...


I was following Gary on ADVrider and he posted that he was taking the same ferry as you, so I knew you would meet them. Now you will have company for a few days.

Enjoy your ferry ride

Riding the Wet Coast

Paul Stone said...

Great you found the motorcycle campground ! Made that ambulance my home on a really soggy night last summer. It is always nice to have company too. Really enjoy reading your blog, look forward to it every day .

RichardM said...

I had heard wonderful things about that campground but couldn't remember the name. Since Tok is only 4 hours from home, I rarely have a reason to stop there. Fast Eddies is a great place especially if you arrive in Alaska salad deprived. They have a great salad bar...

redlegsrides said...

Martha...I will do so of course, they're such nice people.

SonjaM...truly am I fortunate in terms of the folks I've met on this trip.'ll be that much nicer to know folks on the ferry...

Paul Stone: I didn't peek inside...should have. I really like that campground.

RichardM, you really ought to check it out perhaps on your next ride to the Outside. As to salads, I went for the steak sandwich!