Alaska 2008

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by squonker, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Arkansas

    Arkansas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    I'm heading out from Arkansas mid May and returning through Monterey to go to the USGP in July. I'm going to Prudhoe, but I plan to spend most of the trip seeing as much of Alaska as possible. I haven't decided on a bike yet, though. Either borrow my dads FJR or use the trip as an excuse to buy a new bike! I'm leaving solo, but hope to meet up with some people. Planning is already starting to overwhelm me, but it's all going to be worth it!

    Any mountain climbers heading that way should PM me. I cut my teeth in the Cascades, but would love to do some small climbs farther north.

    -justin
    #41
  2. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,797
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    I just went last summer and met many people that had guides to the Alaska Highway with them. Problem was, some of them depended on gas stations in the guides. Gas stations on the Alcan may be closed, out of business, out of gas, or whatever.....fill up every chance you get.

    Way up North mosquito repellent was effective for about 3-5 minutes and then they were on ya again. Hats with the nets recommended also.

    Taking an R1200GS...take extra rear brake pads if going off pavement. You WILL need them and may have trouble finding them. Take spare bulbs too, headlight, tailight.....

    When on the Dalton, when you see a truck coming, slow down and pull over. If you do that, they usually will too. If not, you will be plastered with a wall of large gravel as they go by. Met many people with broken lights and windshields.

    Don't pay the big bucks for hotel in Coldfoot. 5 Miles north is a nice campground, no showers, but only 8 buck a night. Save 150 and get your shower at the end of the road, should this be the way you schedule it. I highly recommend doing the Fairbanks to Deadhorse loop in four days. You may be able to do it faster, but don't plan on it.

    If going to Prudhoe Bay....make reservations in advance and try to get into the Prudhoe Bay Hotel rather than the Arctic Caribou Inn. Will save you big bucks and they aren't any different.

    By the way, if you go all this way and do not do the Dalton, you will kick yourself in the ass for the rest of your life for not doing it. I was very apprehensive about it myself as I am not the most confident off road rider in the world, but it is really a great ride that you will never forget. Carry extra fuel.

    Make sure you visit Trails End BMW in Fairbanks. Things are changing up there and you do not want to miss the opportunity to meet George and visit this legendary dealership while you still can.

    Be aware that roads can close at any time. I travelled the Cassier and barely got through just before a road closure that lasted several days. Check ahead whenever possible or ask truckers about road conditions.


    Nice places I camped....Watson Lake at the first camground on the way into town. Got into town late, went to pay in the morning and they refused to take my money because I was honest about it. Showers were a toonie.
    White River Crossing...great place, friendly people, campfire going with people visiting till late and excellent facilities as well as only 16 buck a night. Salmon Bake in Tok...quiet place, brand new bathrooms and showers.

    If you haven't seen my report...take a look.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246031


    Those of you going on this are going to love this trip. It was one of the most amazing trips I have ever taken. You may see me up there again in 2008 unless I can control myself.
    #42
  3. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,892
    I really had no mosquito problems but if I had, I don't think they would have been worthy complaints. I certainly don't think that anyone who is truly ready for a huge adventure should worry too much about pesky mosquitos. Bears and moose and buffalo and RVs, sure.

    I got to Wiseman, on the Dalton, and I turned around. I don't regret it at all. Every rider I spoke with who'd gone to Deadhorse had had trouble- flats, crashes, mechanical problems. I like adventure but I don't like to needlessly destroy motorcycles. Granted I was on an RS and not a GS but every guy I met on a dual sport had big problems- even bigger problems than guys on road bikes because they managed to get themselves into deeper trouble.

    My only regret is that I didn't take a better camera and more memory sticks. My new camera is a nikon D40 with three 2 gig cards and two 500-750 photo batteries. I wish I'd had it in Alaska!

    That accident you saw in Dawson Creek- I saw it too! Here's my ride report. The accident is on Page 2. Don't pay any attention to the date-stamps on the photos. I set the date and clock in Bosnia a few years ago and now I can't reset it.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=278178

    If anyone has any specific questions feel free to PM me. I'm not an expert at all, but I learned an awful lot of stuff on that ride. I'm really excited for everyone else who is going. You're going to have so much fun. You're going to endure extreme hardship too, and you might even die. But whatever happens- take pictures and post a report!
    #43
  4. AWOL

    AWOL Desertsurfer

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Sherwood Park
    Hmm, maybe I was one of the lucky ones...biggest problem I encountered was noticing a burned out tail light as soon as I rolled into the Caribou Inn at Deadhorse.
    Solo trip on an '02 640 Adventure - that bike handled it all flawlessly. Although the last 55 miles into Deadhorse were brutal with fist sized 'rocks'...Sphincter factor of about 9.5 at times.
    The ride back home was even better, although after running into the northbound Bananaman just south of the Dalton, I hit a rain storm that had me wanting to trade the KTM in for the nearest canoe.
    Wow, what a trip!
    I highly recommend unloading any unnecessary gear in Fairbanks if you're gonna shoot for Prudhoe Bay. (tent, sleeping bag, etc) - you want to make your ride as light as possible if your plan is to get there, grab a room, take the oilfield tour to the Ocean, or whatever, then get back.
    I stayed at the Super 8 motel in Fairbanks the night before the push north. I left my camping gear in their locked room by the lobby for free. Glad I did.

    AWOL
    #44
  5. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,892
    Anybody going to Alaska should ask AWOL about his auxilliary fuel cells. Really cool setup.
    #45
  6. BARB

    BARB Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,970
    Location:
    ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
    I have the advrider sign-in book from 07 and it has enough blank pages to sign in the 08 riders too. Where are the other books? Barb
    #46
  7. Groomez

    Groomez Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    528
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    I missed it this past summer. Its definite for me. But my real goal is to down the sourtoe cocktail. :beer
    #47
  8. Sanderd

    Sanderd Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Flatland ;( a.k.a. The Netherlands....
    Hi there,

    Good to read there's lots of riders going to Alaska in june '08.
    I'm from The Netherlands and currently planning a trip from Alaska to Panama. Current idea to ship my bike to Vancouver area and do a round trip and go south from there.

    I have a Yamaha TT600R. So no heated grips, vests and not much wind protection etc. Not much of anything really, including storage space and weight.

    Already read some posts with route info but i'd like to know what temperatures/ climate i can expect in early June /Juli. What about Tire and parts availability? (21"/18")

    any tips/help etc. welcome!

    Sanderd
    #48
  9. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,009
    Location:
    Granbury Texas
    Did the Alaska ride last early June. You can expect cool temperatures, rainy days, not alot of traffic until mid June, and then the exodus into Alaska begins in full force. And alot of bugs. But worth every mile as it is a exceptional ride. Nothing else compares. Lots of places to stay, camp, etc. Food is also available when needed. Fill up with gas at EVERY chance. Watch for RV's, more dangerous than the wildlife, which you will encounter.Enjoy...
    #49
  10. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    15,327
    Location:
    In Your Head
    Ha ! Two of these guys are friends of mine. Ain't seen that pic in a while though. I just asked George last fall if he had enough laying around to build a bike like the one you see in the pic.

    No chance. :bluduh

    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. TCBronson

    TCBronson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    145
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I too am leaving Little Rock, Arkansas on June 7th 2008 SOLO with only 16 days to make the round trip to Prudhoe Bay. (this is my yearly two week vacation) This will be my first trip, so on my second trip I will spend more time sight seeing in the south central area. I will be riding a 2007 Vstrom 1000 unless I can buy a 2008 Honda Varadero from Canada before June! Anybody have connections on Varaderos in Canada?

    My route will duplicte my parents 1960 trip from Colorado Springs, through Glacier National Park in Montana on up to Dawson creek to Fairbanks. Hope to meet others along the way!

    Hang in there!
    Tom
    #51
  12. coop74

    coop74 Deal's Gap Junkie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,222
    Location:
    Alcoa, TN
    A group of three of us will be heading that way on July 3rd... based on your schedule we will be passing you on your way back. If you see a V and two wee's heading north wave as you go by!

    187 days and counting down!!!

    Coop
    #52
  13. RTWIN2010

    RTWIN2010 RTWin2010

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, California
    If I can get rid of my FJR and grab that F650 you might just see me out there on the trails. Hopefully.
    #53
  14. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,892
    Last summer when I went by that gas station on the corner of Cassier and AlCan, the gas station was closed before I could sign the book. I never even got to see it. But I'd like to put one in Panama. Can you describe the book itself? Is it just a notebook with ADVRIDER on the cover, or something? I'm either going to get one in Madison WI and take it down to Panama next week, or I'll get a notebook there. I'm also suggesting a book in Ushuaia. What do you think?
    #54
  15. BARB

    BARB Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,970
    Location:
    ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
    In Ushuaia, Jorge's motorcycle shop might be a good spot, I can find out the name of the shop. I just bought a journal type book and put Adv on it. I have all motorcycle travelers sign it, not just the adv guys. Barb
    #55
  16. g-bike

    g-bike beerdrinkin'fuckaholic

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
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    252
    Location:
    Limbo Ga. long story!
    #56
  17. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,892
    I'll see if the BMW dealer in Panama would agree to hold an ADV book. I've never been to Ushuaia, but if I get there before an ADV book is placed, I'll put one somewhere everyone can find it.
    #57
  18. spraypilot

    spraypilot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    141
    I have been dreaming of making the Alaska trip for years. I will be working in South Dakota until mid August and am wondering if that is too late to head north for Prudhoe Bay. I will have my H-D Roadglide with me in S.D. and go on it or possibly pick up a F800GS if one can be had:clap .
    How are the road conditions from Anchorage on to Prudhoe Bay? I'm sure it has been done on everything fom a sooter to a full-dresser but am wondering what bike makes the best sence.
    I will probally be runnin' solo because I will not be heading out until the work season is over and that time can vary.
    #58
  19. Vstromjim

    Vstromjim Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    124
    Location:
    North East Oregon

    Son is retiring from the Navy in July and I am just retired. :clap We will be spending a month or more July/Aug running around in Alaska, Yukon and NWT on a KLR and a WeeStrom. We will be looking for other ADV folks along the way.:freaky
    #59
  20. KLR AK

    KLR AK Yikes

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    The Taylor Highway and the whole Yukon area is a great ride but beware of moose in that area. Ill be taking a very tame ride from Fairbanks to Valdez probably around mid may if anyone else is interested.
    #60