Geo: 61.7114, -148.894
It was a beautiful warm and sunny morning as we headed out of Steward, back over Moose Pass, and along the lower portion of Kenai Lake until we picked up Highway 1 again. Traveling along the Turnagain Arm, we had more spectacular views of the Portage Glacier and surrounding mountain peaks, this time without all the cloud cover and dark skies of the previous visit.
The bike had been performing well thus far, but starting in Homer we noticed that the rear shock kept bottoming out on the dips and bumps of the road. On closer inspection we discovered oil seepage from the piston. We were already planning a stop at the Motorcycle Shop in Anchorage for a t-shirt, so we used the opportunity to have them take a look at the problem
Although they didn't have any Ohlin parts on hand to replace the blown seal, their repair tech, Thomas, dug up some rubber seals he had saved from other shock repairs. As luck would have it, he found that would fit ours. He was able to get us back on the road in less than three hours (a miracle considering the backlog of bikes needing
service in Alaska). We figured this fix would get us back to Seattle, where I could have an Ohlin specialized shop take another look.
Outside of Anchorage, we took the Glenn Highway turnoff (still Highway 1) and headed north and east. The sky had clouded up since leaving Anchorage, but the temps were still in the low 70's. A one point we did have a light mist, but as we continued through the mountains along the Matanuska River, the cloud cover started to break up again with patches of blue. After about 60 miles, we passed the Matanuska Glacier and ice field, a spectacular sight to behold.
Just up the road from the glacier we arrived at Sheep Mountain Lodge, where we had reserved a quaint little log cabin for the evening. The Lodge sits atop a ridge with a great view of the surrounding valley. The area is a nature reserve for mountain sheep and goats. In addition to nice hiking trails, the property features a compound of sled dogs the owners are training for the Iditarod, and a great little restaurant. The food is as wonderful as the views.
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