Philly to Anchorage - Leaving May 21 on an F650GS

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JackB1, May 13, 2009.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    After sitting out the last five years without a truly big ride I am leaving next week for a 7+ week, 10,000+ mile trip to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. My intent is to capture the ride with real time pics and narrative both here and at my blog/website http://www.2wheels2alaska.com While I am in awe of some of the places and trips of other folks here at ADVRider, and my trip may seem a little tame to some of you, it's big stuff for me in any case. I'm gonna take off from my home in Malvern, PA next Thursday the 21st. First day will be mostly slab to the Detroit area (600 miles) where I'll actually spend the day Friday visiting friends ( I lived in Michigan for over 30 years). The "real" part of the trip will start Saturday the 23rd. I'm wide open for ideas on routes and things to see as I spend the first week getting to Dawson Creek, BC and the head of the Alaska Highway. I then plan to take a further week to get on up to Anchorage. I need to be in Anchorage by Friday afternoon, June 5 to meet up with my wife Lisa and another couple who are arriving via more "conventional" means (ie airlines=boring). The four of us will spend about a week touring via car/rail, then I'll pack them off in an airplane and commence my ride back. The good news is that the return isn't on quite so disciplined a schedule. I'm debating whether to make a run to Coldfoot to do the Arctic circle "thing". Will probably make that decision based on weather at the appropriate time. Then the return will probably be made south through BC - Prince George and the like and back into the US near Seattle. I'll probably explore the Pacific Northwest some then pound miles across the top of the US and home by 4th of July. All this on a new (OK 1100 miles) BMW F650GS. As I said, I'm totally open to others' thoughts on routes and destinations so jump right in here! An interesting angle of my trip is that I'm also doing this ride as an awareness thing for my favorite charity, the Austin Hatcher Foundation. You can learn more about them here http://www.hatcherfoundation.org or on my blog. I just know there are people here at ADV Rider who can help me with trip ideas so I stand ready for inputs. Ride safe everyone.

    Jack Broomall
    Malvern, PA 19355
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    61,030
    That's one heck of a long trip! 7 weeks on 2 wheels should cure all your ailments! Check out the Trip Planning forum for route suggestions and we look forward to updates on your trip. Safe journey! :thumb
    #2
  3. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    Did I mention that I'll be doing some camping along the way?
    [​IMG]
    Any good places on Rte 2 across Minnesota and North Dakota?
    :thumb
    #3
  4. heynowref

    heynowref ...

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    Berwyn PA
    Malvern? no sit, I'm right down the street.

    Prolly can't get out of work on Wednesday to join you but will definitely be following along here and the blog.

    Good luck
    :clap
    #4
  5. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    I just knew there were people around here in Chester County! Last year I went on an Edelweiss tour and met a guy and his wife who lived 2 miles from my house, also in Berwyn. Hope I can keep you amused with my trip reports! Ride safe!

    Other news!!

    My ride to Alaska is going to "officially" start from RevZilla Motorsports, 38 Jackson St, Philadelphia, PA 19148 on Wednesday, May 20, at 1:30 PM If you're in the Philly area come on out and say hi! More info at http://www.2wheels2alaska.com
    Hoping to see Philly area motorcyclists there to support me and my favorite charity The Austin Hatcher Foundation
    Ride safe,
    Jack [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Kraby

    Kraby Adventurer

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    Beavercreek, OH
    I'm not too far away in Lebanon. Can't make it there for the send off but have fun and be safe.
    #6
  7. akadvntr

    akadvntr Frozen

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    Anchorage, Alaska
    Sounds like a grand adventure! Ride safe and watch out for cagers. Sounds like you are doing this solo. Beware of boredom on those lonely stretches through Canada and into Alaska. Be sure to check the Alaska forum for inmates when you get into the Last Frontier!

    Ken
    #7
  8. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

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    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    Two recommendations for you:

    Ignore the last stretch of the Alaska Highway and enter AK by the Top Of The World Highway instead. It's a much better road (the route itself plus the scenery) and not especially technical, so no great problem for a solo rider. The AK border should just about be open by then, but the weather conditions could be a bit unpredictable. However since this is true for the whole area at this time of the year, I'm assuming you'll be suitably prepared.

    The Cassiar Highway coming down through western BC is also really worth doing on the way back. It'll give you access (again, weather permitting) to a lot of the coastal areas and is a great scenic road, that again is not terribly difficult to ride.

    I'm currently writing up a report of a similar trip that I did a couple of years ago, so you may find some other useful information there; however since I spend the majority of time whining about poor equipment and crappy accommodation, it might be of limited usefulness.

    Good luck with your trip.

    Douf
    #8
  9. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the insight Douf ! I had already begun to think that the Cassiar Highway was my route of choice for the return. My (nearly worn out) copy of the Milepost has been the subject of in-depth research for that route lately. As for Top of the World Highway I have thought that I'd wait and see how well I'm doing for travel time (unfortunately I'm kinda on a schedule while Northbound - gotta be in Anchorage on June 5 to meet up with Wife/friends) and what the weather is doing and make that decision when I get there. I'm well aware that it will still be very early spring (late winter?) when I'm traveling North. In 1998 I flew up to Alaska in a light plane via the highway route. We encountered rain , snow, & sleet while enroute! Of course 4 days later it was 90 degrees in Fairbanks. Hopefully I'm covered for the potential variety of weather conditions.

    Jack Broomall
    #9
  10. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    No really, the dealer said I could easily carry a small tent in the topcase. Am I missing something ??[​IMG]
    #10
  11. #1Fan

    #1Fan Been here awhile

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    ....lol I think you are supposed to fold the tent up before you put it on the bike!
    I am subscribed!!
    When I go to AK (summer of 2011) I plan on going all the way to the Arctic Ocean in Prudhoe Bay. Once in Anchorage it's just a hop, skip and a jump to Prudhoe Bay....
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...3.273182,-145.107422&spn=19.551117,90&t=h&z=4
    #11
  12. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    Prudhoe Bay certainly "calls" to me and remains a possibility. I can't do it on my way North as I'm kinda on a schedule and have to meet up with wife and friends in Anchorage on June 5. However, after I shovel them all on to a plane homeward I will have a bit more discretionary time. Prudhoe Bay or at least Coldfoot and the Arctic Circle are distinct possibilities. So many opportunities, so little time!!
    Jack
    #12
  13. BoochZilla

    BoochZilla Metal.Moto.Mania.

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    Too funny.

    #13
  14. BoochZilla

    BoochZilla Metal.Moto.Mania.

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    Philadelphia
    Just reblogged our account of Jack's forthcoming adventure...

    Blog.RevZilla.com

    Also listed all of the avenues to keep tabs on him..

    Anthony
    #14
  15. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    Not much left now but to get on the bike and do it. Tomorrow (Wed 5/20) will be pretty busy. I'm gonna take off from home and ride the 80+ miles (in the WRONG direction!) to the New Jersey shore accompanied by long time riding buddy and partner in crime, Don Verdiani. There I'll briefly dip my toe in the Atlantic Ocean (55 degrees they tell me ....brrrrrrr) and photo document same. This will validate the claim that this ride is truly "coast to coast." Then I'll turn around (ok, maybe a brief stop for salt water taffy)and come back to Philadelphia for a 1:30 PM get together at RevZilla Motorsports. Friends, supporters and interested parties are all invited to the store to chat about the ride, the bike, long distance travel, the charity that my ride supports - The Austin Hatcher Foundation, and to check out the absolutely blazin' hot ride gear in the RevZilla showroom. The RevZilla store is at 38 Jackson St., Philadelphia, 19148.I sure hope some friends, new and old, can make it. Looks like a perfect day to ride! By 3:00 I'll be headed out for real, this time headed in the proper direction - North and West. The short ride back to my home in Suburban Philly will end what I'd calling Day 0. Thursday the real mileage thrash begins with the 600 mile leg to Michigan! I'm totally amped! The long awaited trip is really here!!!
    #15
  16. drshakeg0nzo

    drshakeg0nzo n00b

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    I just posted my trip plans in CA desert regional forums. I'm a total noob but I can't wait to hit the road. I'll be leaving Philly as well. I'm originally from MI and use to live in Detroit also. I'm heading up north next month to gaylord , MI. An uncles getting married. I won't be on the bike though. Too damn cold up there. Ur nuts going to anchorage. But good luck ride safe. Good luck w/ that tent budd! yuk yuk !
    :rofl
    #16
  17. Shewbert

    Shewbert Been here awhile

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    Location:
    B.C., Canada eh!
    As you get to southern Alberta head west on #3 from Lethbridge to just west of Pincher Creek. Watch for Highway #22 going to your right. Go up #22 (The Cowboy Trail) to Highway #1,awesome scenery and some of the few twisties in Alberta. Then west on #1 to Banff. Then Banff to Jasper via #1 and the Icefields Parkway. At Jasper turn east to Hinton and pick up Highway #40 to Grand Cache and on to Grande Prairie. From Grande Prairie it's just a hop, skip & a jump to Dawson Creek and Mile "0". And you'll have ridden some of the best highways in Alberta IMHO.

    To go up the middle and hit Calgary & Emonton is typical prairie, flat & boring.

    Save Prince George for your return after you come down the Cassiar when you'll have to go through it anyways (and there is nothing there! Except for a few Advriders!!!!)

    Ride safe and watch for wildlife.
    #17
  18. unlokr

    unlokr Been here awhile

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    You may still be in the area...
    #18
  19. Brimfire

    Brimfire Crash Test Dummy

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    Philadelphia, PA
    Good luck with the trip my man! Me and my '05 GS are envious. I'll be waving to you from 29-N, from the Great Valley Corporate Center. ;)
    #19
  20. bluecone

    bluecone Adventurer

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    Best wishes and be careful of that angry, overly rambunctious tent you have! :evil

    I'll be looking forward to hearing how your f650 holds up on such a journey, as I just purchased one myself and am curious about long excursions on it as well.

    Chris
    #20