2020 alaska trip

Discussion in 'Americas' started by wingtraveler, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    693
    Location:
    Pooler ga.
    Sounds similar to the plan we have here. Should be out on the road by Memorial Day. Camping most of the way with an occasional motel room( depending on weather) along the way. Perhaps we’ll see you on the road!
    #81
    wingtraveler likes this.
  2. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    norwich,ny
    been planning this adventure for almost 2 years, anticipating on taking the wing and roll a home, meeting the wife at Anchorage and having her travel back with me. Now its just me and i am taking the Africa Twin so now its a new plan, have to decide on what to bring. I think i will still camp but in a tent and motel when needed best thing is i am going to travel on the top of the world highway! i veird away from that route with the wing but since its the Africa twin now, i plan on traveling that and the haul road for sure
    #82
    PA Dewayne and shotty_co like this.
  3. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    424
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    Dont plan for too long or you will be riding with your grandchildren.
    #83
    sieg and scootac like this.
  4. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    693
    Location:
    Pooler ga.
    For me it’s a 5K ride one way just to get there. Lining up the time, money, bike, and a plan takes planning.
    #84
  5. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    569
    It takes money. It takes time. It takes a bike. The more you have of the first two, the less planning you need to do.
    #85
    wingtraveler likes this.
  6. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    norwich,ny
    going next year june 27 for 5 weeks had been planning on taking the wing and trailer ,now the wife has decided not to go so now i will be taking the AT and all the planning with the wing is so differant then with the AT. i'll be doing more dirt roads now and bringing less stuff !
    #86
    Bigbob1 likes this.
  7. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,445
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Having just done this, I'd say that it requires significantly less planning than most seem to do, including myself. Start with fresh tires and know where the long stretches without fuel are. My planned route and itinerary went out the window within the first week as I decided to chase the good weather. I stopped places I didn't originally plan to (in fact, I liked it so much I spent a whole extra day in a place I never planned on seeing), and did the rest all out of order. I didn't have a reservation for any place and always managed to find a place to stay - I only camped when I wanted to, not because I had to.

    That said, if you know you can't depart for a year, or two... or more (as was the case for me)... it's hard to not just keep planning in the meantime.
    #87
    nunzo, shotty_co and wingtraveler like this.
  8. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    569
    In addition to fuel availability: If you are not camping, you should at least know where you can find accommodations and where you can't, and when you should make reservations versus when you don't need reservations.

    While I did pick up a Milepost from the public library to look over and I googled the hell out of everything, for the most part I didn't sink much time into planning. I made reservations in advance for the Super8 in Fairbanks because I expected it to be full on the solstice, but I didn't make reservations on the way to Fairbanks. Once in Fairbanks, I made reservations for the rest of Alaska, but not for the way home. That worked out ok.

    My camping days are over. The one thing I don't like is to spend 500 miles or more on the bike to get somewhere only to find No Vacancy signs. If you go at peak tourist season there is always a risk around heavily visited destinations, Denali NP for instance, where you could have difficulty getting a room.

    Everyone has a different tolerance for uncertainty. Planning reduces uncertainty to a degree. But part of why most of us ride is because we like the freedom and uncertainty it provides. Weather aside, be careful not to plan all the flexibility out of your trip. You are going to discover things in Alaska and along the way that you glossed over in all the books, websites, and threads you read. Places you should stop and see that you didn't plan on stopping and seeing.

    On my trip I went to the auto museum in Fairbanks, the transportation museum in Anchorage, and the Klondike in Whitehorse on spur of the moment decisions. Those were among the most enjoyable parts of my trip. And on the flip side, I really regret not going to Dawson City even though skipping it was the plan.

    Leave time for the unexpected and you'll be rewarded for doing so.
    #88
    wingtraveler and AllSeasonRider like this.
  9. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,445
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, if you're not bringing camping gear, then you'd need to be a little more certain of accommodations, or be willing to keep riding to find a room. And noted on peak tourist season in some places, such as your Fairbanks example. I didn't reserve a campsite in Denali, so it meant staying outside the park. I did the same once to stay in Death Valley NP a few years back, but I was trying to stay at a specific place and wasn't camping.

    I've done Alaska and 2 coast-to-coast trips on the bike (plus one more in the car), and I think I've only made reservations twice that were more than a few hours in advance. Sometimes that means I spend a little more, or don't get my first choice, but I think it's a better solution - your own tolerance needs to drive this, though. It would stress me to no end to know I had to stick to a fixed itinerary. If I had reserved every night of my AK trip, I would have had to cancel all but 4 nights.

    I've heard of people not being to get a room anywhere in Dawson. In the moment I felt it nearly happened to me, but on reflection I had the option of a skeevy hotel, a tent cabin, a hostel, and camping. I chose the skeevy hotel 'cause the bar was hopping!

    Oh, and I didn't think I was going to care for Dawson, but I ended up really having a fondness for it as soon as I arrived. I spent 3 nights there in total. You missed a gem!
    #89
    wingtraveler likes this.
  10. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    norwich,ny
    i have not made any reservation for this trip so far, since the ride has changed from my wing to my AT,and im going to dawson city i may need to set a date to be there so i can make reservations most every night i will camp and i will stay in a motel when i need to i have planned out my ride and also areas to spend the night but that can all change when ever i want it to i can ride when needed to not afraid of that my only concern now is fuel i had it mostly figured out when i was taking the wing but the AT gets better mpg but i can still follow that fuel plan i guess i do carry 2 gallons of fuel with me anyways, i also read every response and other threads on this subject the more one can know the more prepared you can be. i'm going to enjoy this adventure with what ever i bring and hope to meet others on the same journey
    #90
  11. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    693
    Location:
    Pooler ga.
    My plan isn’t “ where to eat, sleep, stop, etc” it’s rather basic. Schedule the time off from work in such a way as to get paid while gone, get the cash put aside so no credit card bills afterwards, have the bike serviced and ready for an extended trip. There are no planned routes, rather general directions. While I’m prepared for riding in the rain if given the choice I’ll avoid it, same for gravel and mud. Dead horse would be a great destination but not a must get to place. Camping is part of the plan but I’m not going to pitch a tent in the rain. The general idea is to get in some great riding, see some spectacular views, and have fun, enjoy a new adventure. You can’t always do what you want when you want to. Hence, the planning! A couple more years to go before my time is more mine than the job’s!
    #91
    wingtraveler likes this.
  12. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    norwich,ny
    whats everyone use for a tent when they travel, looking to purchase one for my trips i'll be taking thanks
    #92
  13. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    693
    Location:
    Pooler ga.
    I’ve got a kelty 4 man tent that works but I’m considering something different, it weighs 11 lbs. on a different note, the guy who has been planning the trip with me is waiting to see if his job here has been terminated. He’s not completely out of the trip yet but should know by mid October. If that’s the case I may modify my plan somewhat. Regardless, I’m going to continue the preparations for the trip. Time off has already been scheduled, a list of gear for the bike is being worked on, finances being sorted out. I’m going!
    #93
  14. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    norwich,ny
    i'm looking at a eureka timberline 2 man simple to set up also have the 5 weeks off working on gear for me and the bike since i will be taking the AT instead of the goldwing
    #94
  15. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,445
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    If they're still making Timberlines the way they used to, they're a good tent. Heavy, which doesn't matter so much on a bike, and a little bulky, which does matter, but they're a good compromise for the price point.

    I have a small 1 man tent. It works for me, but I'd get a two man if I had to replace it.
    #95
  16. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    424
    Location:
    Southeast USA
    Svens hostel in Fairbanks is the way to go there. Kitchen, bunks, showers, company....

    Beeze Knees in Whitehorse. Same thing as above.
    #96
  17. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    norwich,ny
    is there gas at stewarts crossing im looking on google street view and it shows 3 pumps do they take cc? or a petro card?
    #97
  18. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,445
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think there's a card lock there, but I never had to use it so I'm not sure if it's working or not. I couldn't get the cardlock to work at the bottom of the Dempster so I just swore them off for my trip.

    There's gas in Pelly Crossing and Carmacks. One of those is all you should need between Whitehorse and Dawson.
    #98
    Bigbob1 and wingtraveler like this.
  19. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,445
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I should also note... My bike will go a reliable 250miles on a tank and it's done more from time to time. I rolled into a few places on fumes on my trip but only because I was getting cocky and skipping a lot of gas stations. I never ran out or needed my spare fuel.

    Unless you're doing the Dempster or riding something with a 3 gallon tank, gas just isn't an issue up there.
    #99
    wingtraveler likes this.
  20. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    569
    I always topped off the tank at any point past 1.5 gallons used on the remote sections of the AlCan which for me was 66+ miles. I enjoy having the peace of mind, stopping and getting off the bike, interacting with fellow travelers and locals.

    I took a 20 year old Coleman Peak1 backpacking tent I’ve spent a hundred or more nights in. Used it once for nostalgia. Camping may be cheap but it is takes a lot of time. Even though I was motel-ing it, having a tent made camping always a backup option.

    The best advice I can offer is to slow down and enjoy it. You’ll need the extra stopping distance when an animal steps out in front of you. You’ll need the slower speed when you hit an unmarked gravel section or a bone rattling frost heave.

    Any bike will do. Truly any bike. I saw a whole lot of Harley’s, a few Wings, some Triumphs, and a few Indians. Any adventure bike is far more than capable.

    Don’t sweat the details. Plan just enough to get you on the road headed in the general direction and deal with the rest at the time.
    wingtraveler likes this.