Sneaking Out of Alaska (and back) - Gary & Deb - 2013

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by GaryAK, May 19, 2013.

  1. GaryAK

    GaryAK Easy Going

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    228
    Location:
    49th State
    Prologue - We’ve been meaning to get on the road and stretch our legs sooner, but couldn’t bear to leave our best friend Duke the wonder dog behind. This situation changed this past November when at age 13, cancer had Duke on the ropes and we eased his passing and had him transitioned into eternal rest. I mention Duke’s passing because several of the ADV crowd have stayed with us on their journeys and have played with him - Duke was a memorable pal to many and is dearly missed.

    [​IMG]
    Rest in peace, Dukie boy.:cry

    The Trip
    A month, 10,000 miles give or take, Anchorage to the states - touring around - and back. Very loosely planned. In fact, they only hard date in this hair-brained scheme is we board the marine ferry in Haines, Alaska on May 28 and arrive in Bellingham, WA on the morning of May 31. After that, the plan is so loose, there is practically no plan. We’ve always wanted to ride the Alaska Marine Ferry - and cruise the inside passage.

    The logic for taking the ferry ‘down’ to the states was also encouraged by the fact winter is still hanging on and the Alcan and Cassiar highways through Canada are pre-green up - the route is still brown and the lakes are still frozen. After another month on the way back, the overland routes should be green and lakes melted - just in time for the mosquitos and RVs - wouldn’t want to miss them!

    We’ll visit my brother South of Seattle and Deb’s Mom in the Los Altos area - other than that, we’re road bums. We’ll start riding home on an overland route (either the Cassiar or the Alcan - haven’t decided yet) to Alaska after about a month.

    Pre-Trip Prep Week
    Mostly packed and ready to go, just tending to some last minute tweaks. Funny, each little thing takes on a whole new perspective - could each thing we pack make big difference on a long trip? Or will it be dead weight? We’ll see. Our gear is minimalist - not much more than a tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, and jet boil for tea and oatmeal. We’ll camp when conditions are favorable and motel it otherwise. The rest of the gear is electronics, cameras, clothes, tire and chain repair stuff, and basic tools. Even though we think we are minimalist, it still looks like a lot of stuff - just keeping track of all the chargers and cables makes my head hurt - but I’m not complaining, each thing is neat and adds functionality.

    The Bikes
    [​IMG]
    Deb: 2011 Suzuki DR650, moded and farkled for ADV riding.

    [​IMG]
    Gary: 2011 Suzuki DL650, moded and farkled for ADV riding.

    Since we haven’t had much riding season here as yet, we have only been out a few times this season to wake the bikes from their winter slumber and check out the newly acquired video cameras, mounts, etc.

    Here is a short 1 minute video of one of our shakedown runs:

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2497385529_x8TSQfg?width=640&height=360&albumId=28939472&albumKey=j7pvxc"></iframe>
    Best viewed full screen at 1080p.


    May 18 - One week to showtime.
    A late season storm brought cold temps and several inches of snow overnight.



    [​IMG]
    Opened the garage door this morning to this - the weather is making a point it is still boss. Not too worried, the forecast over the next week is supposed to be gradual improvement - so we’re hanging in there.

    Planning on rolling May 25 - that will give us three days to make it to Haines for the ferry. Figuring on making it to Tok, Alaska the first day, and camp at Thompson’s Eagle’s Claw motorcycle park. Latest reports are some new snow on the Alaska Hwy stretch around Kluane Lake/Destruction Bay section - but the long range weather forecast is favorable, so hoping this will be a non-issue. If we get into Haines early enough, and the ferry schedule and planets align, we would like to check out Skagway.

    [​IMG]
    We’ve stayed at the motorcycle park before - a neat, whimsical place. This was last year - July 2012.

    I’ll post our SPOTwalla link before we leave & hope to see some of you on the road - stay tuned. :nod
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,519
    Location:
    Toronto
    Safe ride! :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    572
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    I'm in.
    #3
  4. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,440
    Location:
    Stony Brook. NY
    I am in...envious you are getting away...will be tracking you too. Hopefully we can see you on your way back...enjoy and be safe!:D
    #4
  5. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,089
    Location:
    Wanaka, New Zealand, Currently RTWing
    Great stuff you two, really looking forward to your shenanigans :clap
    #5
  6. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Franklin County MO
    Thanks Leslie for letting me know about this ride, Im in! :clap
    #6
  7. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,440
    Location:
    Stony Brook. NY
    ^ I am to please :rofl
    #7
  8. TooTallRacing

    TooTallRacing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    Lanesville, IN
    I'll be following along. Deb looks good on that DR.
    Sorry to hear about Duke
    #8
  9. arwenalaska

    arwenalaska swimmin' the lacunae

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    214
    Location:
    BearyWoods
    Thank you GB!
    not only for your post - but also for ADVrider and for all the friends from around the world we've made because of ADVrider.

    from Deb (of Gary and Deb of this ride report)
    #9
  10. arwenalaska

    arwenalaska swimmin' the lacunae

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    214
    Location:
    BearyWoods
    TTR,
    "That DR" sure is a great bike. I didn't think I could ride a bike bigger than my 250 Super Sherpa, but my wonderful husband Gary trained me up, got me the DR 650, and farkled it out real nice. Not only is easy to ride just like my 250 Super Sherpa - but ooooo, it's nice when I twist the throttle - I love the "Extra Juice".
    deb
    #10
  11. Jettn Jim

    Jettn Jim This is Liv'n!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,839
    Location:
    NE PA Some... PNW Some... On HIGH ADVENTURE Most!
    WoooHoooo I'm sooo in! :clap Looking forward to this one, Gary had helped Alex "Paerepin" and I soo much back in 2010 that I know we're friends for life! :deal
    Wishing you both a HIGH ADVENTURE!!! :norton
    And looking forward to meeting you sometime Deb!
    #11
  12. cyclone67

    cyclone67 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Western Alaska
    I'll be watching this one! I am going to be teaching in Gambell this year and want to take the ferry when I travel back for the summer next year. Have a great trip!
    #12
  13. DR. Rock

    DR. Rock Part of the problem

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,539
    Location:
    NYfC, yff
    Hope you make it as far as NYC. :evil We'll be following along.
    #13
  14. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,426
    Location:
    Homestead, Florida
    I am in!!! If you get to the Southeast corner of the 'states' give me a shout!!!! Return the favor for some of the advice you helped with on my trip to your area!!!
    #14
  15. La Donna Fugata

    La Donna Fugata You're not the boss of me

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Downtown
    Hi Gary and Deb

    Looking forward to following you along. Enjoy the journey. Safe ride.

    LDF
    #15
  16. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts!

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    572
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Give me a shout if you get to Charleston.
    #16
  17. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,089
    Location:
    Wanaka, New Zealand, Currently RTWing
    All these years I have seen inmates saying "subscribed" and today I found that button. :evil

    Too much time at the mo so learning how to better use technology :clap

    ..... no escape now guys :rofl
    #17
  18. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    #18
  19. RealOldDualSportGuy

    RealOldDualSportGuy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    487
    Location:
    Queen City NC
    If you get within any distance of NC, let us know.

    We have a spare bed, a stock frig, several local Suzuki dealers , and tools to share.

    Ride Safe

    :clap
    #19
  20. arwenalaska

    arwenalaska swimmin' the lacunae

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    214
    Location:
    BearyWoods
    Launch day is fast approaching!
    I find my thoughts are shifting nearly imperceptibly from exacting PPPPPPPP mode (Perfect Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance) and morphing like a Ken Burns overlay film frame fade into an inner smile of pleasure and anticipation of adventure and discovery.
    Discovery of what?
    During both Gary and my intense career time, in our off time we each flew our own airplanes and explored Alaska "off the grid".
    Hence why we now want to be "Sneaking Out of Alaska (and back)", to go see what is "out there".
    While we both have seen different parts of the world - it's been a while.
    And I grew up in the SF Bay Area, CA: backpacking the High Sierras, family adventures rafting the Colorado River and exploring other great places of the West.
    So, I'll "rediscover" and see what's changed in some places, but mostly I want to see places new to both Gary and I.

    We have some set destinations to visit family, but our "plans" are mostly "not plans".
    We know will make a big circle and come back home to Alaska.

    We look forward to starting out most days not knowing where we will end up.

    We look forward to coming to a fork in the road, grinning at each other, twisting the throttles and saying: "let's go that a way and see where it takes us".

    So I guess you could say we don't know what we will discover and that is precisely the plan.

    For those of you ADV friends reading along with us, we will post up what we find "out there".
    And we hope to see some of our ADV friends while we are out there on the road.
    #20