North America, First and Second.

The black art of moving from A to B on foreign soil
OnHellas
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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:52 am

Troy and Tracy. Two top top guys. Friends without a doubt. Tracy is the bearded one.
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Tracys brother Chuck. Another nice generous spirited chap.
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Adventure Bike Rider New Issue Out Now
OnHellas
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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:18 am

Before we set off on this trip we made a list of places that we’d like to go and things that we’d like to do.
Tasmania, NASCAR, Milford Sound, a train ride, fire a gun.

Well now all of the above have been done. We were very apprehensive about the last one on the much shortened list above. Sarah had tried clay pigeon shooting a few years ago and I’d shot an air rifle when I was about 14.
On Sunday we ended up being signed in a guests at a shooting range, our UK driving licences were sufficient ID, and had a range of guns to have a go with.
Handguns and rifles. From a .22 to a .44, yes the .44 had a kick to it.
We tried revolvers and those with a magazine in the handgrip. I obviously have very little idea of all of the differences but with a good instructor came safety and paper targets with holes in.
The interest of gun owners is varied, some love hunting, some not so much. Our instructor is most interested in the engineering that goes in to firearms and the developments over the decades.
How one brand of revolver turns a particular way because the designer was left handed for example.
We have already forgotten so many of the details of each weapon that we were allowed to fire. The overall experience however, will never be forgotten.
Thank you Chuck. It was awesome.

It was also a scary thing and the amount of respect that I felt was required for the guns is way way up there. Guns are an alien thing to me. Each time I’d finished firing I wanted Chuck to confirm that the gun was safe. I felt that there is a huge responsibility in being in the position to use a gun. The reason they exist and what they can do was always forefront in my mind.
I don’t want to own a gun but I’d be more that happy to have another go. I certainly understand the enjoyment from hitting the target, seeing a couple of hits close to each other. I appreciate the skill required. Would I be nervous next time....you bet.

I’m not pro gun not anti gun. Guns are not part of the world I’m from. I do however have respect for people that do want guns and for the people that don’t want them. I would appreciate it if I don’t end up with comments about guns on this thread. It’s our trip report not a political debate after all.

Two happy people, two happy bikes.

OnHellas
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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:21 am

Pay $25 each, put your target out and shoot. Another new experience.
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OnHellas
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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:36 am

Yesterday was Sunday and we did nothing. Well that not quite true, we sat at the dining table with Tracy and chatted, swapped stories, recounted Central and South American experiences both separate and shared. Looked at photographs and drank lots of tea. Well the British contingent did anyway.
An early night was in order as we had to be in Anchorage at 05.45 this morning at the Alaskan Railways station. Our train to Seward left an hour after that. Tracy insisted that he is an early riser and was happy to give us a lift to the said station.

We’d ended up with a 50% discount voucher being donated to the cause which was well received and made the 5 hour train ride even more enjoyable.
The railway takes a different route through the mountains than the road we could’ve ridden, we could also look at the surroundings a lot more. The tourist commentary did wear a bit thin for me though.....
Seward seems to be a nice quite town, we had lunch, visited the sea life centre and checked in to our accommodation feeling pretty tired.
Tomorrow we carry on as tourists, although our shoes don’t look as new as most of the others worn on these excursions, as we are booked on a 6 hour boat trip to the Kenai Fjords. There may well be Whales and Seals and other wildlife to see. Hopefully the weather will honour the forecast so the the seas will be calm.....I’ll let you know how it goes.

Two happy people, two happy bikes.

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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:00 am

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OnHellas
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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:01 am

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OnHellas
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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:01 am

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OnHellas
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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:17 am

There was no rush to the start of the day, breakfast, followed by a visit to the boat tour check in desk...which was in the hotel so that was very easy.
Tickets collected and instructions understood we wandered over to the railway station to collect our return tickets. Why they couldn’t have issued tickets for both outward and inward journeys back in Anchorage I don’t know. I’m sure that there is some logic to it somewhere but I couldn’t and still can’t see where.
Return tickets in hand there was just time for another cup of tea back at the hotel before boat boarding time at 11am.
Seating was allocated as that where we’d be eating lunch, Alaskan Salmon of course.
The boat was quite busy and after introductions from the crew and the onboard National Parks Ranger we listened to the safety briefing and seasick instructions. Yes people were and no we weren’t.

We were now in Tourist Central and without our bike gear to distinguish us from the holiday maker type traveller it was down to the shoes. So many new pairs of shoes. Walking boots and shoes of course.
Yes, I am guilty of being a travel snob sometimes, sorry.

The highlights of the boat trip which we would both highly recommend if you ever find yourself in Seward, was spotting Killer Whales, Sea Lions, Puffins horned and crested, Sea Otters and a Humpback Whale.
The highest of the highlights for us was the Glacier. The name of it escapes me as we’ve seen and heard of many. There are about 475 of them in Alaska according to the guide in the train. Spoken guide over the tannoy, or is that annoy?, rather than written guide.
The Glacier ends at the sea. The blueness of the ice, the chill from it felt in the air and the lumps of ice calving in to the sea for seals to use as warming up perch’s was just a Wow! A total Wow! Something that both of us had seen on TV but the size of the thing.....of course the trusty iPhone takes great photos but the results only give you an idea, just about.

So that was the boat trip, a top day out and well worth the couple of days away from the bikes. Luckily for us Tracy has contacts and managed to ‘sort’ things out very nicely for us.
Hotel 360 in Seward and Major Marine tours get a Two Happy People 10 out of 10 and recommendation.

The train left just 25 minutes after we disembarked so there was just time to get rid of the tea and soft drinks that had been drunk during the day before finding our allocated seats for the 4 hour 15 minute journey back to Anchorage.
As it is still staying light until after 10pm here we were able to enjoy the spectacular views and listen to the tour guide. In the reverse order.
You’ll probably be pleased to know that train buffet car sandwiches are still over priced, over soggy and under flavoured. The cinnamon bun was passable and even a railway can’t ruin a bottle of water so it wasn’t all bad.

Two happy people, two happy bikes.
Last edited by OnHellas on Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

OnHellas
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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:18 am

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OnHellas
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Re: North America, First and Second.

Post by OnHellas » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:18 am

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