The next day, Motoquest removed the faulty luggage case rack. The rear tire fender had failed as well. The metal alloy thread which housed the bolt connecting the fender to the singarm sheered off due to the rocky conditions of the Stampede Trail. Phil, the founder and president of the company, and the guys at Motoquest were extremely helpful and understanding of my predicament, both my rear tire blow out and the rack and fender problems. They offered three extra days of the rental and to reimburse me for the tire and lodging in Whitehorse, and I gladly accepted. We removed the luggage rack and I handed them the rear fender that was strapped onto the back of the bike. I rode off, thankful that I wasn’t responsible for compensating them for the damaged parts. Renting a bike is an added stress that I could do without on an adventure of this magnitude. I vowed to ride my KTM 990 to the Great White North the next time. When will that be? Alaska’s enchantment had gripped me and I was ready to return while I was already there.
That afternoon, I hiked a famous Anchorage trail up to the summit of Flattop Mountain. The cardiovascular exertion felt painful and liberating. The contrast from sitting upright on an uncomfortable neoprene seat for hours on end was welcomed. At the top of Flattop, I smiled at the sight of families snapping photos and laughing. They were proud of their accomplishment. A gloomy downtown Anchorage provided a visible reminder of the concrete machine dragon everyone at the summitt was attempting to slay.