11k miles through AK, Canada and National Parks

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by 73datsun, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    271
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I depart July 2nd to begin a month long trip. Starting in MN, through Canada, into Alaska, onto the Dempster. South to Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Bonneville Salt Flats, Grand Canyon, Continental Divide, Rushmore, Black Hills, Badlands and then home.

    As planned, the mileage is ~11k miles.


    The route:

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    Here's a link to my daily stops and notes: http://goo.gl/jKJpA


    The bike:

    2013 BMW F700GS; comfort and safety package
    SW Motech crash bars
    MOD Bashplate
    SW Motech pannier rack
    TRAX panniers
    MOD tail rack
    Rotopax 2gal aux
    MRA adjustable windscreen
    Throttle lock
    Barkbusters
    Touratech headlight guard
    Touratech 20mm bar risers
    Touratech GPS mount
    Garmin 660
    Giant Loop Fandango, modified for accessory power
    Alaska Leather sheepskin butt pad
    Pazzo adjustable clutch and brake levers
    Wunderlich clutch arm
    Wunderlich brake pedal enlarger
    MOD side stand (assuming it gets here in time)

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    The gear:

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    Packing list, may be helpful for other folks who are prepping for a trip: http://goo.gl/X5IeY

    I've since decided to ditch the MacBook Pro in favor of an iPad and bluetooth keyboard



    I'm doing 75% solo. But a fellow ADV'er, AspentureRider, is meeting me in Anchorage and then riding the Denali, Top of the World, Dempster and then south with me. So I'll be riding with someone else during some of the more harry times.

    If you have any last minute recommendations, I'll gladly take them. But please don't tell me "you're doing it all wrong!" I don't need the panic attack at the last minute.

    :D
    #1
  2. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    735
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    #2
  3. JDK111

    JDK111 Been here awhile

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    Good luck on your trip!!

    fyi; If you need any BMW stuff after your first couple of days there's a decent BMW dealer in Saskatoon. They'll be very convenient if you need anything (2 blocks off your route).
    #3
  4. selkins

    selkins No hay banda!

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    You're certainly well organized! Here are a few suggestions - take or leave 'em:

    * Dawson to Fort McPherson is a long day in good conditions, VERY long in my limited experience of poor conditions on the Dempster.

    *There are lots of bits that I would slow down for, but the one that really sticks out is your Jasper to Waterton Park day. Jasper to Banff is really worth a full day IMHO.

    * Leaving Whitehorse I was very happy that I went a little further than Muncho Lake and stayed at Summit Lake campground. It's on the road, but very scenic and peaceful.

    * Have you ridden the Going to the Sun road in Glacier NP? I'd say it's worth a re-route to go over that then down through Missoula, rather than the east side of Glacier and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

    * I'd ditch the machete entirely, and the shovel for a small trowel. Maybe substitute a small axe if you're planning on chopping wood for your campfire.

    * Walden - can't fault your taste in reading material! I'd suggest also a collection of Robert Service poems and maybe Muir's Travels in Alaska.

    * Be sure to pack some quality rain gear and insulated/waterproof gloves!

    * I'd leave the dog behind, though it looks like s/he is already feeling a bit crestfallen, so maybe you've broken the news?

    Have a great time! Looking forward to your posts.
    #4
  5. srelegante

    srelegante srelegante

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #5
  6. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
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    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I'm hoping for the best with the Dempster. If the conditions suck, I'll bail and gain some more time for the Jasper portion. But I totally realize it could make for a long day.

    I'm take it or leave it on the machette. I like that it's serrated/saw on the back edge. It slide under the rear luggage rack, doesn't really contribute much in size or weight. Might ditch it at the last minute.

    I guess a garden trowel would have worked. Not sure why I never thought of that. I picked the entrenching tool because it packed small and worked for pounding tent stakes, etc.

    Good to know about Whitehorse, I'll see if I can push for a longer day.

    I'm locked and loaded to ride the Going to the Sun road, I've noticed that the links in my shared document don't always display properly when clicked on by other folks, so perhaps that happened when you looked at the map link.

    I'm a reader, so it was tough to plan a book to take, I guess I could go e-books, but even as a tech lover, I prefer books. Somehow, I've never read Walden.

    I had originally planned to do this in two additional days, but my brother is deploying to serve as a PA in the Army hospital in Afghanistan, so I'm flying to Savannah with my wife the day after returning to give him a family farewell.

    Thanks for the tips!
    #6
  7. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    :D

    Oops. I have the BMW Rallye Pro 2 suit with the gortex liner. I was hoping I could do the ride in that suit. I did a 150mi ride in a torrential downpour, for practice. And the only thing that became damp was around my waist line from the water pooling.

    Maybe I'll buy something at one of the shops on the way.
    #7
  8. broken paddle

    broken paddle Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    North Georgia, Cedartown
    I have been dreaming of a similar trip for 10 years or better. Plan on retiring in the next few years and do a similar trip from Georgia. I have gone fishing in AK for the last 5 years and really love the state. I would have to carry some bear spray as I am a little afraid of them. Looking forward to following you travels and hoping you a safe and wonderful trip.
    #8
  9. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    I'm only 30. So I hope I have a chance to top this.
    #9
  10. Ironheadziggy76

    Ironheadziggy76 What the hell?

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    Belton, KY
    I'm in! :clap

    I made the trip up north back in 09, and I'm in the planning stages for another trip up in 2015 with a good friend. He is just about to pull the trigger on a bike just like yours, so he will probably like to hear how it does on the trip.

    Be safe!
    #10
  11. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    Testing tapatalk app. [​IMG]


    This is a fish I caught over Christmas.

    This was just a test for mobile uploading. I depart this evening with a short ride to the family cabin.
    #11
  12. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    So today was a simple ride. Just 125mi or so. But was delayed 3hrs waiting on a bluetooth keyboard case for my ipad. UPS finally came and I hit the road.

    Initial thoughts:
    I screwed with the MRA shield just prior to leaving and it created a weird buffeting pocket. No bueno. That whole, "don't screw with anything before a big trip," yeah, that advice should be adhered to. :D

    First time using throttle lock. Awesome. Changes everything for longer rides.

    I mis-aimed my headlight when putting the MRA shield and Touratech guard on. But I'll have time to tweak that tomorrow.

    Nothing exciting for this update. Spending the next day with my wife and her family at their cabin. Fishing. Grilling. Generally freaking out about the impending trip.

    So it goes.

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    sparing updates to @ _ccampbell on instagram :: http://instagram.com/_ccampbell

    updated more regularly @ https://www.facebook.com/campbellca/...0704051&type=3

    satellite spot tracker @ http://share.findmespot.com/shared/f...ucLYqI95WQCprO


    Thanks for the well wishes. Manitoba on Thursday.
    #12
  13. tvbh40a

    tvbh40a PSUViking

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    Location:
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    Made the Dempster trip last July 5th from Idaho. Most memorable ride ever. Ran the Dempster in a day each way with a lengthy lunch and dry out at Eagle Plains.. Your stock tire will give you no love on the Dempster when it rains. I did say when not if...
    #13
  14. Moto Mikey

    Moto Mikey Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    When in Tok, camp at Thompson's Eagle Claw Motorcycle Park:

    http://thompsonseaglesclaw.com


    I'll be riding a similar route on my way from Alaska to FL. Looks good :D
    #14
  15. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    Minneapolis
    The good news, I'm headed to Anchorage first. In Anchorage I'm switching to TKC80 front and a Tourance rear. Per Barb, of Alaska Leather, suggestion.
    #15
  16. Noone

    Noone Long timer

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    From the "for what it's worth" department. I can highly recommend a Coleman rain suit (2 piece) from wally world as an "extra" just in case. I buy two sizes large for fast donning and doffing. Packs small. Keep the receipt. If you don't end up using it, return it for a refund.
    #16
  17. willys

    willys Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,937
    I'll second the suggestion above. I have tried all manner of rain suits which as so called rain suits and won't leak...they all DO!!! The only thing that will not leak after many hours in the rain is a solid rubberized material similar to the Wally World type suit. Yes it won't be super comforable or allow for breathing but you won't be sitting in a wet diaper after an hours of heavy rain either. You can help the sweating facter by wearing less under it...keep the armour and ditch a few warmer layers to get the right heat insulation factors. You may not look like a true high class adventure rider in your Wally World Rubber suit but you will be dry and so will the rest of your clothing. Drying out riding clothing is very difficult when you don't get enough warn sunny days to do so.
    Take my word for it, You WILL get rained on almost every day when inj the far north. Maybe for a few minutes or a few hours even a few days. It's not IF it's WHEN. Same goes for the prairies but there you can see the storm hours before it hits and sometimes you can ride around it if you choose. Plus you can gauge when it's best to stop and suit up. It will take some time for the first few times to get everything on in time and pack away the other clothing you strip off to stay cooler.

    Sorry to go on but you will find it to be true.......I hope this helps.

    Oh....buy the biggest yellow submarine suit that will fit over your riding jacket....it will be a good thing to look like a big yellow banana as well once the visibility goes for a turd.:deal
    #17
  18. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    Deal. I will stop and buy a rain suit at my first Walmart or similar store. Worth the investment. It's pretty funny, I have two big rain suits at home that I throw on over my (car) racing gear.

    Guess I'll be adding a third to the garage.


    JULY 2nd :: A blessed life.


    As I sat at work, everything began to dawn on me. I thought it was the coffee on an empty stomach. That creeping feeling of nausea. But it hung with me for hours. It was finally settling in that I was about to take off for a month on the road. Most of it on my own.

    Prior to this, my longest solo motorcycle trip was 3.5 days. And a total of 2000 miles. In truth, I probably have only 5,000 total miles of motorcycle experience. So 11,000 miles weighs a bit daunting.

    I only had one remaining item that I was waiting on, beyond that I was entirely packed. By the time the bluetooth iPad keyboard case arrived, I was already three hours behind. My goal is to avoid riding in the evening as much as possible. Get up early, get to camp, enjoy the sun setting. Goal not achieved. On day one.

    My wife and dog set off an hour ahead of me. We're spending the next day and a half relaxing at the cabin. Fishing. Grilling. Just spending a beautiful day together.

    Many friends ask how Carley is taking it. Surprisingly, she's taking it well. She's wrapping up her thesis and preparing for boards. But that's just the surface facade. As she takes my photo I can see her getting choked up. It's really going to hit her a day from now when the family gather's around for a blessing and I depart early morning for Manitoba.

    I'm blessed in many regards, great wife, supportive family (with a nervous mom at home), an employer who pushes people to pursue their dreams and gave me the time off to do this.

    I sit here, excited. But still a bit nauseous.
    #18
  19. SparkyL

    SparkyL Been here awhile

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    You have a great route planned. You have a screen name that brings back fond memories of my first car. You're riding a moto I am interested in learning more about. Have a great trip! I'll be right behind you, figuratively speaking. Thanks in advance for your reporting! :clap
    #19
  20. flyingz06

    flyingz06 Been here awhile

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    Saw the Ball U sticker. I live about an 1hour north.

    Enjoy your trip!!:wink:
    #20