Alaska 2018 - Let's Share Plans / Logistics

Discussion in 'Americas' started by rickj, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    Following this thread.

    My two sons and I are planning a trip for June/July 2018 that is very similar, except that we plan a little longer trip and adding Inuvik/Tuk and possibly Deadhorse, depending on the weather conditions.

    The current plan is to trailer the three bikes from Alabama to Montana, then ride from there. The three of us can rotate driving and get to MT quickly, saving more vacation time for the mc ride.

    I have ridden to AK before, but it was a quick trip while competing in the 2001 Iron Butt Rally. Been wanting to go back ever since then and take time to see more of BC, YK, NWT, and AK. My sons have heard me talk about AK their whole lives and are pretty excited about the trip.

    Alaska Jack is a friend of mine and has been assisting with suggestions and advice on our plans.
    Like most, I have read a lot of the reports on ADV and have several places that we want to see along the way.
    We plan to camp mostly, getting a motel from time to time to clean up.

    We will probably change from street oriented DS tires to knobbies in Dawson and then back to street oriented DS tires in Fairbanks.

    If you see a Super Tenere and two V-Strom 650's with Alabama plates, be sure to say hello!
    #21
  2. inverted

    inverted Berwyn rocks

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    #22
  3. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    Yes, teslin. It was cold and rainy. I didn’t want to camp after riding in that and I didn’t want to set up camp in the rain.

    I will be cobbling together a RR soon.
    #23
  4. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    I think you mean Alcan?
    #24
  5. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    About 110 miles outside of Dawson City on the Klondike highway I noticed a paved road called Silver Trail that goes in 32 miles to a town called Mayo. The road then goes to dirt for another 37 miles to a remote town called Keno City, which is known as the "Town at The End of The Road".

    Here's a VIDEO of Keno City, which looks really interesting, and here's a recent NY TIMES ARTICLE.

    Mayo is a "big" town with a population of 226 according to the 2011 census, while Keno City boasts a whopping 20 people! It does have 2 bars though, which are right across the street from each other.

    Mayo is just a short ride on a paved road, but is it worth riding to? The geography seems pretty cool, and a place where animal encounters are likely. Keno City looks like the best attraction, but has anybody been there recently. Is the road heavy ADV bike friendly?

    So much to see and experience up there!
    #25
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  6. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    ScoutDad,

    Your trip with your two sons sounds amazing! My dream would be for my son to be interested and able to ride to Alaska with me, but he doesn't show any interest in riding anymore. Too busy with more important stuff. I hope our paths do cross.

    What are the places along the route that you're most interested in seeing?

    Rick
    #26
  7. gpax

    gpax Honda NC750XD Yamaha XT250 Kawasaki VN-1700

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    In 2017 I rode to Alaska via Dawson City and the D2D. Towed my DL650 to Spokane from Florida. Up Icefields Pkwy to Yellowhead. Up Cassier to Dawson City. ToTWH to Tok. Richardson Hwy to Valdez and back to Glennallen. Trip ended at Crossroads Medical Clinic when I had a heart attack. Life Flighted to Anchorage for emergency surgery. Took side trips to Hyder and Skagway on way up.

    My motto: start off slow and ease off. My plan is the opposite of the iron butt. 300 miles per day. A maintenance day every fourth day. Stay in a hotel if the weather is nasty and ride out the storm inside.

    My longest day was 450 and my shortest day was 250. Most days around 300. Spent a couple of nights with newly made friends. 3 nights in a tent in their yard and 2 nights inside. Was solo but almost never alone. Had a blast up until the HA.

    Want to go back in 2019. My wife is not ready for me to return this year although I would love to.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #27
  8. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    Greg,

    I followed your trip last summer's with great interest. You had am amazing journey up until the point you had medical issues, but it could have turned out very different. Good reminder to check my insurance coverage, and to get the medevac insurance just in case something happens.

    I like your motto of "start slow and ease off". We're going to try to find a comfortable and safe balance, as we have lots to see and experience, but limited time. I have a Streets & Trips route that me and the guys have created with the general route we plan to take. It also includes all of the optional places we'd LIKE to visit. The bad news is that the route is 6896 miles, and we'll likely end up doing more like 6000! There will be compromises and changes along the way. The good news is that our loose schedule allows for changes on the fly, riding around bad weather, a couple of down days, etc.

    I hope you make it back in 2019. After all, you have a ride report to finish.

    Rick
    #28
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  9. gpax

    gpax Honda NC750XD Yamaha XT250 Kawasaki VN-1700

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    Thanks. I plan on going all the way in 2019.

    Contractor work on my house is nearly complete. I can get in my garage again. Bikes have been trapped in the garage for a week. Started up my three bikes today. Postponed my trip to Natchez when they discovered termites. Couldn’t go off and leave my wife with that mess. I’ve got it all planned out as soon as I find a good week.

    Would like to do the Cabot Trail and the Maritime Provinces this summer (2018). Perhaps my wife can stay with friends in New England while I’m in Canada. Looking at June for that trip.

    Speaking of Canada .... Got a new passport card. I can use it in Canada this coming year instead of my passport book. I’ll put it in a sleeve on a lanyard around my neck for border crossings.
    #29
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  10. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    Rick,

    I hope our paths cross as well.

    Figuring on around 35-38 days, not counting the truck/trailer nonstop travel from AL to MT and back to AL.
    #30
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  11. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    I plan to just go and ride around. :-)
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  12. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    I used to do that, but everytime I got home, I would learn about some cool thing that I was close to and never knew about.

    So now I tend to do a lot of research on where I am going to try and at least be aware of some of the hidden gems.

    If I find something else along the way and don't have time to see everything, that's OK, because at least I know what is in the area and I can decide which is more important to me.
    #32
  13. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    Wolf on the Cassair? Was it this guy? He was very curious. I fear that people are feeding him.

    My wife shot this video from the back of our bike in August.

    #33
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  14. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    What's the general opinion of the driest time to go? I know it can and will rain anytime, but there is usually a period where the odds are slighty better than others.
    #34
  15. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    I saw this video in your ride report and it's amazing! Seems like a playful and curious adolescent. For me, seeing wildlife is one of the major draws of the north. In my two previous trips I saw plenty of animals, but I have never seen a wolf in the wild.

    In '96 I was riding up solo on the Dalton on my '90 Yamaha FJ1200 when I came across a moose in the middle of the road. (The road may have been a bit narrower back then.) I came to a stop at a safe distance and the moose turned and faced me. I revved up the engine and honked, so it ran down the middle of the road a ways and turned back to face me again. Rev the engine, moose runs again and turns back to face me yet again. The classic Mexican stand-off. We repeated this game several times until I finally got brave enough to get closer to it, and it finally got scared enough to run into the bush!

    Everyone that makes the trip up north will have stories to take back, and yours is a great one!
    #35
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  16. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    As far as changing tires in Dawson City, are you bringing the knobbies there, or is there a bike shop there, I myself haven't heard of one. I'm riding from Milwaukee, WI on street dual sports and plan on changing in Whitehorse at the Honda dealer...but if there are services in Dawson, that would be great.
    #36
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  17. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

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    An interesting thing about Alaska is how small the place feels sometimes. During our trip this summer, everywhere we turned, we ran into people from earlier in our trip. Grocery stores, liquor stores, gas stations, campgrounds, ferry boat rides, etc. We kept seeing the same people, again and again. We even ran into a husband/wife couple that live 10 miles from us (although that was a little planned because we knew they were in the area).
    #37
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  18. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    If we change there, I think we will be doing it ourselves. We do our own tire changes all the time anyway. Don't really want to haul tires on the bikes, so thinking we may contact someone local and order tires to be shipped to them. Still working on those types of details.
    #38
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  19. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    With all the post about tires...when you get to Deadhorse there'll be folks staying at the hotels that rode there on giant Harleys, Gold Wings....and scooters....on street tires :lol3

    My little group of clowns will be running Michelin Pilot Road 4's the whole trip....our route is about 15,000 miles....we'll put a new rear on in Anchorage after we get back from Deadhorse for the ride back home to NC. The fronts will last the whole way :thumb

    Each to their own :thumb but the gravel roads in Alaska are just like gravel roads everywhere....if you ride gravel around your patch on dual sport tires then they'll work just fine up north.

    Here's an excellent post from Jack (Alcan Rider and life long resident of Alaska) from his awesome "Alaska Primer" sitiky thread about all things Alaska. This should be everyone's required reading who are planning on riding in Alaska.

    "TIRES: Sometimes it gets downright comical - the discussions over which tires are the optimum choice for getting to Alaska, and then riding some of our roads. Should I use this one? Should I ship tires to a drop point up north or carry extras with me? Will this tire get me back home? Can I make it to Inuvik/Deadhorse/Ross River on brand Z tire? Is it going to cost me too much to ship tires? How much can I save by buying tires at home and shipping them? Sheesh! What you need are round ones, usually black, that have some tread and hold the appropriate quantity of air. What you really need is to spend some time learning to ride your bike on whatever tire you choose. That latter is undoubtedly far more important than all those other variables put together".
    #39
  20. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    Gotcha.
    #40