North to Alaska

Day 22

 

Day 22 for me.

 

Day 433 for Ruckus.

 

I never made it to Diamond Tooth Gerties last night.

 

On the way back to the hotel from the Dawson City Music Festival – I spotted a sidecar rig right in front of my hotel – with a group of bikers standing around it talking.  Even from afar, I could tell it was a Ural – a bike I have been interested in for some time.  Little did I know at that point, that I was approaching another one of those mystical moments that have come to characterize this trip.

 

Of course, Ruckus can’t drive the motorcycle – even though he is a Bull Mastiff – his road adventure is guided by John Segalla – from Weymouth, MA.

 
"Ruckus"
click on photo

A number of months ago I visited the Ural website – because I have been interested for some time in taking my Yellow Lab, Iowa Sioux, with me on the motorcycle.  I found out about John’s trip from his website http://hometown.aol.com/scags848/myhomepage/motorcycle.html and remember thinking how small my trips are in comparison to spending two and one half years on the road.

 

John lives off of less than $100 per week – camping where he can – and experiencing the generosity of folks he meets along the road.  He occasionally writes articles for the South Weymouth newspaper – represents the Ural importers – and writes profusely in his journal – which may one day become a book.

 

I invited John to bunk in with me – and we spent too many hours just talking about our experiences on the road.  He told me that he used to ride BMWs – and ride long distances each day when he was on the road.  However, the Ural is not a modern motorcycle in the context we have come to expect – it is, for the most part, made in Russia with, what we would call antique machine tools, and will not withstand 10 or 12 hours of running at interstate speeds.  It is a machine from a former time – which when driven in the context for which it was made – performs quite nicely.

 

And it has provided a platform for John’s journey which does not exceed 50 mph – or 200 miles per day.  He generally rides for an hour – then stops for an hour – contemplating the area that he has just ridden – then writing about the experience.

 

Ruckus, meanwhile, just rides in the sidecar – and just is the loving puppy that he is.

 
John Segalla, and Ruckus, Day 433
click on photo

I was not supposed to be in Dawson City, YT last night – according to my original plan – and I am left to wonder if I am here to meet him.  You see, I have been thinking that my trips are too ambitious – and I am longing for a slower pace – a place away from the interstate highways – a rocking chair on the porch of a general store – and time to listen to stories…….

 

John and I have breakfast – he heads down the street to the music festival – and I head down the highway to Whitehorse.  I invite him to join me for the drive to Whitehorse – and to bunk in with me for two more nights there – and he politely refuses – saying he will just find a patch of grass at the festival – and catch up on his correspondence.

 

What I don’t realize until I am well on the way to Whitehorse is that my 6 hour ride is his two day ride.

 

Is there a Ural in my future?

 

I doubt there is a day 433 for me.

 

But just maybe a motorcycle that can’t go 700 miles a day is the limitation necessary to learn to tour “On Yukon Time.”

 

So to you and Iowa Sioux and Dominique, Dalmatian, NYFD  – I say goodnight from Whitehorse, YT – and goodnight to you too – Ruckus.
 

 Index, Day, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 thru 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32&33 34