North Carolina to Alaska

Discussion in 'Americas' started by HeyWhatever, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    Alright... a little background on me. Generally, I am fearless... I have done extensive riding by myself, through the US on pavement. I am hoping to buy a F650GS soon for a little bit of gravel roading... but I would have to get rid of my beloved "Piglet" 2010 Buell XB9SX...

    I know it may seem strange to hear from a female, but I prefer riding alone. I do what I want. I do not answer to anyone. I go at my pace. I meet strangers that fast become friends. I could go on and on about how wonderful the 10 week trip was I took by myself on my Buell in 2011.

    I may be able to go again for three months starting July 1st of 2013.

    However, I have been sucked into the internet true crime reports... and I just watched 48 Hours on CBS about the Highway of Tears/ Highway 16 in British Columbia... there seems to be a huge dead body dumping ground around Prince Rupert, BC... I could avoid BC altogether and not go to Alaska, but where would the fun be in that?

    Any and all experience about BC is welcome. I am planning only at this point, and I am sure there are BC and Alaska ADVRiders that have done Seattle to Anchorage plenty of times. Also, if I do take a ferry ride into or back from Alaska, they all end up in Prince Rupert and the only way out is Highway 16... AKA the Highway of Tears. I would be really appreciative if any locals want to do that strectch as a co-rider... So any input is appreciated.

    Charlotte:clap
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  2. 8gv

    8gv Long timer

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    On your hip.

    It works on bears and other "higher" life forms.
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  3. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    Yes. I usually carry the small OC... at least I started to again, since the crackheads moved in upstairs. I suppose I am going to have to work on a riding buddy for at least the Canada part of the trip... lol
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  4. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    Well... that's what you get for sitting around, watching TV instead of riding. :wink:

    First I've heard of Prince Rupert being a "dead body dumping ground". While my own trips through that city have always been pretty brief - generally I have disembarked the ferry and immediately headed east up the Skeena River - it is certainly not a place I would hesitate to spend a few days in, nor have I run across any women who would.

    In over fifty years of traveling back and forth through B.C. (and other Canadian provinces) between Alaska and the South 48, cities in the eastern half of the U. S. have been of more concern to me than any in Canada. If you dig deep enough, you can find violent crime has taken place in just about any city/town/county/area at least some time in its history. Just as some riders develop a case of bear phobia any time they contemplate a trip to Alaska, you can conjure up a multitude of reasons to avoid a variety of places, times of day, days of the month, etc.

    The truth of the matter is that you are probably in far more danger within a few miles of home than you will be touring across the continent. In thousands and thousands of miles of travel all across Alaska, Canada, and the South 48 states my closest calls have always been from cage drivers. If you can avoid all other traffic, you will have the safest trip possible. After traffic, other risks are miniscule.
    #4
  5. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Been here awhile

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    Safe as riding a motorcycle.
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  6. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Just gotta ring in on the bad rap that BC has been getting in the press lately.

    I've lived in Prince George for over 20 years now, having moved here to go to college when I was 19. During those less-than-restrained college years, I got into all sorts of the usual shenanigans in all parts of town. Never once did I have cause to fear for my safety or well-being, regardless of whether I was alone or with friends.

    The whole 'most dangerous city in Canada' nonsense that MacLean's magazine stuck us with is a big load of hooey. All the crimes that lent to that rating were drug-related and involved individuals who were well-known to the RCMP, not crimes of opportunity, random muggings, assaults, or otherwise. I'd much sooner walk around in the middle of the night ANYWHERE in Prince George as opposed to most downtown areas of Vancouver or Surrey or any other number of major metro centers.

    The Highway of Tears cases are indeed a tragedy, but it seems to me that if you aren't hitch-hiking, you have nothing to worry about there. And to put that in perspective, that particular case involved 18 missing persons over a period of 37 years. In California last year alone, there were over 3500 missing persons reports filed for women that were classed as stranger abductions, suspicious circumstances or simply 'unknown'.

    Please trust me when I say 'BC is NOT to be missed'. I'm sure many other locals as well as travelers will echo that sentiment.

    I liken the hype to something similar to the bad press that Mexico gets (and there's a whole +500 page thread on that discussion).

    Hopefully you're able to put your mind at ease and have an enjoyable care-free journey. If you do happen to head through BC and wind up around Prince George, there's tent space or a spare room to be had at our place just 5 minutes west of the city off of Hwy 16.





    ... wow ... with all that preface about the hwy of tears, that invite must seem pretty creepy, huh? :rofl

    Honest, we've hosted dozens of other ADV'ers over the last few years, and none of them are buried in my backyard... yet :evil

    Good luck with the rest of the trip planning!
    #6
  7. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Me too. Rupert's one of the best places I've vacationed with some of the friendliest people.

    If you come up be sure to have a 1lb can of it, as opposed to a smaller can, with the word 'Bear' on it or Customs will confiscate it. If you can come up a month sooner the weather will prolly be better and you can meet a bunch of us northerners, as well as many other riders from around the world, at the annual Dust2Dawson gathering in Dawson City Yukon. Next year's will be Thurs/Fri June 20-21. Good times! :choppa

    Yep, I totally agree. I've long said BC stands for Beautiful Country! :wink:

    Good luck and have fun, Mark H.
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  8. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    I appreciate any and all input, for sure!!!

    Funny thing is the only place I got really creeped out on my long winter trip was exactly where there was a major body dumping ground... I just didn't know it at the time I was there... southeast Texas... :puke1

    It was one of those nights when nothing could go right and I ended up driving through the same refinery area three times and never did find where I was going to camp... which was a blessing in disguise.

    I don't think I am over reacting really though. I am not someone who worries too much as I have a martial arts background, check in regularly with my peeps, and have a really good creep-o-meter. I know when something is NOT right within about 5 seconds of meeting someone.

    It would be nice if I could carry a Glock, but I don't know what kind of permitting mess that might cause.

    The worst case scenario would be a breakdown on a real deserted part of Highway 16... but I am planing on getting an EPIRB if I do go up that way by myself.

    You never know when you might hit a horse. Yes, I had a friend recently hit a horse at 60 mph...:eek1
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  9. ak bike

    ak bike Been here awhile

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    Acan rider, Ak Duc and our canadian brothers have it right..You can add Alcans 50 years to mine that will give you 100 Years of alcan travel. I always stick to good public or private camp grounds ,ride thru check out what the folks look like there , stop and shoot the breeze with some ,make a campsite selection and sleep good . Have pulled into one or two got bad vibes and moved on. 98 percent of my trips are solo which I prefer like wise. Most of the bad vibes were in the south 48.. Hoping to ride out and back in 13..Getting long in the tooth but you can't beat riding a bike. You'll enjoy Alaska especially if you don't mind riding thru some weather now and then.
    #9
  10. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    Unfortunately, the stars need to align just right before I can make this happen...:huh
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  11. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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  12. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    :clap:clap:clap

    Nothing bettert than a girl on a bike wandering around in the wilderness...

    Too bad I have to study today... will look at it more tonight...

    Thanks!

    :wings
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  13. kag

    kag Wander Lust

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    I am heading up june - july, Been through BC and Alcan before but its been 10 yrs.
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  14. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    Kag,

    What bike do you plan on riding?

    :ear
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  15. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Whatever,
    Forget about the sensationalist crime reports you have read. Just go and a s you say, get off the highway before dark into a campground or motel , so you won't run into a moose, deer ,buffalo or bear.Riding at night is lunacy- you miss all the wonderful scenery along BC16.
    The Highway of Tears story is bad, but it seems to be pervert copycats preying on hitchhiking young women who happen to be mostly of the native populations, and probably living troubled lives. Keep it in perspective.
    Is sombody now going to start a thread titled Is BC Safe ? or Is Canada Safe ? ...
    #15
  16. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    I guess I didn't make myself clear.

    My main concern is having a mechanical failure, or something worse in the middle of nowhere where
    I HAVE TO WALK on that particular stretch of highway to get to help...
    which would only happen if I had no cell service there... and from what I have experienced of ATT, that is 99% chance that I won't hence, the comment about the EPIRB...

    I could have 200 contacts in the area, but if I can't reach them by cell, I am completely shit out of luck.

    I do not over-react to "sensationalist reports".
    Never have and never will.

    I traveled for ten weeks in the US by myself, and only felt really creeped out in one area, which, it turned out to be a "dead body dumping ground", unbeknown to me at the time...
    The energy of that place and the situation I was in, late at night trying to find a campground was enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    I absolutely KNEW what was going on even without knowing anything about crime statistics, hence, changed plans, since I didn't want to end up lost and out of gas in the dark.

    I have taken enough martial arts classes to not really fear any kind of mugging... I know the pressure points and where to strike... I also know that a good dose of adrenaline makes an average person very very strong. But that is another thread...

    However, as men, you generally do not have to worry about these things... such as I do...

    What are the chances I can actually carry a firearm into Canada?
    I would guess slim to none. That would be my simplest solution.

    Even in the wild west in the US, you are not usually more than a four hour hike from someone who could help... as I understand, the further north I go, the less this would be the case...

    Alright... I am off my soapbox for now...

    :bite
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  17. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    Your concern is well founded, but... the farther north and into the wilderness you get, the less likely you would have to walk any distance at all.

    Breaking down on a freeway, you will be pretty much ignored by every driver who goes zooming past. But far from cities we tend to look out for one another to a much greater degree. A car with the hood up, a motorcycle stopped with the rider standing next to it, looking befuddled - those will almost certainly have the next vehicle to come along stopping to inquire about any problems. Over the years I have probably traveled just about every main road you might be on between your home and any part of Alaska, and traveled those miles in the wee hours of the morning, as I frequently ride all night long. There have been many times that it has been over an hour between one vehicle and the next along the Alcan, Cassiar, or Dalton Highways at those hours. But sooner or later another one comes along, and if I'm stopped alongside the road, the other vehicle will always stop to check on my welfare.

    The point is, you never walk to get help up here as you would have to if you broke down near a city. You wait for help to come to you... and it will. It's hard for folks who live in urban areas to fathom this, but those of us who live in sparsely populated parts of the world are accustomed to it and take it for granted. It's an unwritten rule - you never pass by someone who might be in need of help without stopping to check on them. You may not be able to help with their problem, but you can at least relay a message to the next place that can.
    #17
  18. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    I appreciate that.

    One weekend in Wisconsin, my friend's bike crapped out on her.

    Can't even count how many people passed us, no less people on motorcylces...

    Recently, I had three people stop in the hour I had to wait for a tow job here in North Carolina.

    I guess it is more of a feeling that my ass is in th wind I don't like.

    A long time ago,
    I had, not one, but two flat tires on my truck in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico... but then I just started to unload my mountain bike, and this dude ended up giving me a ride...
    a total stoner that made no sense, but I got where I was going.
    #18
  19. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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  20. HeyWhatever

    HeyWhatever HTFU !

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    Yeah... I don't need that crap from the Canadians.

    It is a PITA enough to comply with US laws.

    I would never do that...

    more just pondering.

    :(:
    #20