Doug Grosjean's
Alaska Trip Report

June 1999


Day 2; Sunday, May 30th, 1999
Start: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
End: western South Dakota
473 Miles

Morning, day 2
Sunday dawns with perfect weather again. Joe's wife has packed us some homemade cookies, we eat breakfast, and we're on our way.

Joe leads us out of Cedar Rapids via rural 2-lane country roads, this is really nice - Ive always just blasted across Iowa, in a car or on a bike, and found it be rather long and bland, and all this scenery comes as a very nice surprise. Lush farm fields, just like back in Ohio, the smell of earth and crops, but unlike northwest Ohio the roads curve pleasantly this way and that, and it's all very relaxing.

We stop for lunch at a Pizza Hut in some small Iowa town, and it seems as though I haven't left Ohio yet - the whole trip thing seems rather surreal and improbable. We're going where? Alaska??!!! Can't be!

We meander around on various county, state, and other highways over to I-35, and then we take I-90 westbound.

Rest area repair
In late afternoon, at a roadside rest in South Dakota, we notice oil on Joe's rear wheel. Uh-oh...!

Joe pulls the rear wheel off his R1100gs and goes to work. I just watch, as one of the things that I was concerned about when we met on the net was that any partner be able to take care of themselves. He gets a socket to tap the rear-end seal in a little deeper, hoping to have it seal on a bit of virgin metal, then slips a tie-strap under the lip of the seal and goes all around the seal to try to remove any foreign material, buttons it all back up and were off. Maybe 20 minutes, tops, and most of that time was to unload and load the bike back up again. Slick! Im very impressed.

Now we both hope that it's OK....

We continue on across South Dakota. It cools down in the evening, and begins to rain. I throw my electric vest over my T-shirt and bicycle shorts, and put on my overboots. The vest with shorts looks funny, but works out OK for the short time that I need it.

We stop at a motel, I think that I fell asleep watching Star Trek. Or maybe it was a movie...

Doug Grosjean
Pemberville, Ohio