Alaska Adventure Ride Information

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Mastery, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    UPDATE: Now planning on skipping the Parks Highway to ride past Denali on the way south from Fairbanks...and taking the Richardson all the way down to Valdez. Afterwards, riding to Haines and taking the ferry to Skagway. I hear the ride on each side of the ferry ride mentioned here shouldn't be missed. And I'll not be doing the little jaunt up to the Northwest Territories sign to get the photo on this trip.

    Original posting below:

    This year, after ten months of intense planning and preparation, I was forced to cancel my Alaska trip just weeks before departure. Even bought my Vstrom with the purpose of riding something more suitable than my heavy Ultra Classic. Well, the new goal is to leave on June 12, 2015 and be back to work on the morning of July 6th. 24 days to do the ride, fulfill a promise to somebody special to me, and to check off a bucket list item.

    Open to anybody that would like to ride along, partially or the entire way. Putting this out there now so interested others can plan with plenty of time. Leaving from the Indianapolis area; jump in/out along the route if you like. Come to my house the night before to stage for departure, or I can meet you along the way.

    My basic route (things can change on the way up/down, but this gives you an idea of what all I'd like to do...Dalton, Dempster, Icefields Parkway, Salmon Glacier, four Canadian provinces, two Canadian territories, nine states, etc; each day played by ear on where to go; pictures show up to Coldfoot, but who knows...Deadhorse may be chased):

    [​IMG]

    (map above changed to reflect my latest route)

    Going up through Montana, Grande Prairie to Whitehorse, then to Dawson and over the ToW to Fairbanks and then the Arctic Circle sign. Maybe Coldfoot.

    Coming back down to Valdez, back up and around to Haines, doing the ferry to Skagway, over to the Cassiar and down to Hyder and Salmon Glacier, then work way east and go over to Manitoba for a few miles before dropping down to come back home west of Chicago.

    Looks like I'll be there at least one of the days of D2D (Dust 2 Dawson).

    About me: Mid 40's. Sane, sarcastic, sensible. Livin' the dream of working for a living. Wife says, "See ya, triple the life insurance before you go". Ex-smoker; meaning the campfire cigar doesn't bother me, but constantly being around someone smoking does. I like a cold beverage after a hard day's ride but can't tolerate obnoxious drunks. I work for the government; so if you are 420 friendly and carry some with you, it's your choice but you should travel with somebody else.

    Been riding roads for over 30 years, not the greatest off-road but I usually figure it out. I'm not a fan of camping anymore but know it's needed on this trip so I'll do it and hold off on the complaining. This trip, motels when really needed. I plan to eat most meals at local diners since I enjoy that type of atmosphere or gas stations. Do not want to have to arrange time for campfire meals requiring three hours to prepare and cook three meals, but will carry an emergency meal for when food cannot be found. Most of my pic-taking happens on the bike with it running and takes a few seconds then on the road again.

    Do like to get off the bike every hour to stretch the body, but do it quickly. No problem doing lots of miles in a single day, repeatedly when needed. Will stop and smell the roses...when the roses warrant smelling. Oh, since it's a big deal to some...I like to ride in the mornings, so usually on the road pretty early. By the time others get on the bike at 10AM, I already had a decent breakfast served by a quick-witted granny along the ride and 100+ miles done in the fresh morning air.

    Know what a wrench is, but never rebuilt a motorcycle. Hate to jinx myself, but never had a flat on the bike...but have the tools and general idea how to repair one. Have more tools on my motorbikes than most people I have ever met and carry a custom EMT-level FAK and know how to use it.

    Can go with the flow but have absolutely no problem with each going their own way if our desires differ too much along the journey. Firm believer in "to each their own", and have separated and rejoined others numerous times on one journey when desires conflict. The bigger the group, the slower it goes. No problems pushing people to keep on track with the goal...but sometimes others prefer to slow down their pace, and I respect the fact that sometimes people split off to ride however feels most comfortable to them.

    Again, looking for anybody interested in riding along. I'm bringing a Vstrom so I posted this on the Stromtrooper site, but I could care less what you ride yourself. Wouldn't mind meeting some of you while out on the road, but as this will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip for me unless I win the lottery, I need to make sure I get up there in the time I have to do so. If I had to pick only one thing to see up there if I had to choose, that's getting to the Arctic Circle sign no matter which road it is on, but prefer getting into Alaska if possible as well. I understand that weather sucks for days at a time up there and used to riding in most all conditions.

    I contacted a number of people last winter when I was looking at riding up there this year...will reach out to those in the Tent Space thread again as time gets closer to see what can be arranged along the way.

    I'm ready to go today if I could. Prepared to go solo, with a buddy, or with a few others. If you wanted to do this trip but wanted somebody to go with, or your better half wanted you to have the safety of another person along or whatever reason, then here is your chance. Bring bear spray, a good attitude, and the knowledge that nothing will work out as planned (this is an a-d-v-e-n-t-u-r-e, not a trip to grandma's)...and we will get along just fine. Who knows, maybe a life-long friendship awaits us.

    Sorry for the book, just throwing the basics out there. There it is. Anybody interested, let me know. I now return you to your everyday living.
    #1
  2. akadvntr

    akadvntr Frozen

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I am planning a round-trip ride from Anchorage to Skagway via D2D. If our paths cross going same direction, I wouldn't mind riding along. We look kinda similar in attitudes.
    This year I did Florida to Anchorage (home) solo. Happy to answer any questions that might help your planning through Canada and into Alaska.
    #2
  3. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    Fort Simpson, NT
    Thread bookmarked. Your basic route looks good and you sound like you have it together. Tentspace in Fort Simpson, NT now has a boating/fishing/jetski option:evil. D2D is on my list for next year. Just heading to ride for a month in Ireland but will get back to spring planning in November.
    #3
  4. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    Would like to go into NT, but so far the plan is to get to Fort Liard to checkoff a visit to that territory, then turn around and then head west towards the Yukon. Time restrictions would prevent a trip to Fort Simpson; but sounds like some nice options in place for the traveler that gets up there.

    ETA: I'm not longer going to NT on this trip. Too much I'd like to see in Alaska, so had to trim this out.
    #4
  5. smurfturd

    smurfturd n00b

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    I just started planning a round trip ride to Denali for the same time frame, but we're coming from Houston, TX. I have to get back to work in a reasonable amount of time, so we'll be riding pretty quick. Hopefully we'll cross paths.

    This is my first long distance ride, so I'll probably be on here asking some questions. I want to hit Yellowstone on the way up, but once we get north I'll probably copy your route you've laid out.
    #5
  6. StrokedNBored

    StrokedNBored Been here awhile

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    Austin, Tejas
    Bookmarking this one.

    I rode a similar route (ish) from Austin, TX in July of this year.
    (in my sig line)

    If the stars align, I would like to get back up for D2D next year, but it will be a stretch.
    #6
  7. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    Your first route through the Rockies would be my suggestion. If you haven't been there you shouldn't miss it.
    #7
  8. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    Plan to do the first pic on the way up, second pic on the way back (or some combination between the two for each direction). Gets me the Icefields Parkway in both directions, and allows me to "check off" a few more states and provinces on my overall ride map. :wink:
    #8
  9. cardoctor1

    cardoctor1 Been here awhile

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    if your going to cold foot might as well go the extra 240 to prudhoe.

    it would be like having sex without the happy ending :lol3:lol3
    #9
  10. one2ride

    one2ride Adventurer

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    I am very interested. I will keep watching for up dates.
    #10
  11. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    Guess it depends on what interests you. Have you seen pictures of the industrial complex up there? Getting to the Brooks Range would be fine with me too...but riding for hours across mosquito infested flat tundra, to see a bunch of buildings made from ship containers, to riding a tour bus for hours and maybe or maybe not getting a chance to step foot in a bay that connects to an ocean...no, it's not on my "need to do" list. Different strokes for different folks. Who knows, maybe my thoughts will change once I get to Coldfoot.

    On my limited time schedule, I think I'd rather use that required day some place else, like seeing Valdez, Haines, Skagway, riding the Richardson, getting to Salmon Glacier, etc. We'll see... :wink:
    #11
  12. sstracke

    sstracke Been here awhile

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    Subscribed - I'm in the planning stages of a Austin / Inuvik / Deadhorse ride for June 2015. Hope you don't mind me picking your brain, from time to time.
    #12
  13. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    i'd be looking for a single additional rider if that's the way you want to travel. three's a crowd, four is a disaster...more than four is off the charts.
    #13
  14. sstracke

    sstracke Been here awhile

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    +1
    #14
  15. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    The issue is on this type of trip is that ten people tell you they are interested, eight people actually respond to your first detail email with info, six spend a few months chatting about it, four will be there when you are ninety days out, two will be there to discuss the rally point for leaving, one may or may not actually show up. If I grabbed the first person to respond that showed interest, there's probably a 90+% chance they won't be there nine months later to head out due to something coming up along the way. A trip like this takes a lot of funds/time/arrangements in order for most people to be able to do this trip...and over that period of time, there's many things that can come up in life that derails their desired participation.

    I'm fine with plenty of people expressing interest; hopefully at least one or two come along for the journey. I make it clear the pace and expectations...if things change along the way, anybody can go their own way/pace/route/whatever. Nobody is locked into doing anything, including finishing the trip together. I don't mind waiting for anybody else at a gas stop...but I'm not waiting three hours after an agreed upon departure time for somebody to wake up and not be in any kind of hurry to pack up their bike and get moving in the mornings either.

    However...sometimes...things work out just right between a few people...but one doesn't know if one doesn't make the initial offer. :wink:
    #15
  16. Dr Shafty

    Dr Shafty hero in my own mind

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    I've been riding solo since my last best bike buddy died in a surfing accident, so, ~15 years. I like it fine on my own, but would love to do part of the trip with you. It's my busy time of year, so could only do 2 weeks. Maybe meet up in Montana, ride together to the arctic circle. Then look at the calendar, and if necessary take off for the south.

    Typically do ~700 mile days. Like your style; if I'm taking photos it's from the saddle. Early up and on the road.

    I'll follow this thread, as the time approaches we can firm it up.

    On another note, I've planned a lot of rides which included other riders, most of the time I've been the only one at the rally point. So, I understand how these things play out.
    #16
  17. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    It seems like you and I have talked before. I'm not sure. I have a 2012 wee2 so maybe it was about that?

    Anyway, this isn't really a response to join you. Our plans don't seem to coincide much. Just wanted to throw it out there that I'll be riding western Canada and AK at the same time. My plan is to take two weeks to get to D2D, solo, via some backroads in BC and the Cassiar, with no schedule other than to get to D2D. I'm figuring 10 days to go about 3000 miles. So if I haul ass the first couple days I can bank a couple days to rest or sit out weather or whatever. Hopefully have four days to ride the Dempster while in the area. Then head to Fairbanks to pick up my wife at the airport on that Sunday. We'll spend the last week of June in Alaska, then take the ferry to WA the week leading into July. Hope you have fun and maybe we'll cross paths somewhere. I'll be on the orange wee2 with Utah plates.
    #17
  18. CutterBill

    CutterBill I hate motorcycles

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    In. Retired so no schedule. Early riser, don't smoke, camping/motels ok, take a photo and move on, meals in a diner. My only decision will be: do I take my new 2014 V-Strom 650 and beat it up, or my 2009 KLR650 and not worry about a few scratches.

    Meet you in Montana.
    #18
  19. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

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    Lappe, ON Coldest, wettest place...well not quite!
    Long trip but totally doable! I did it last year from Northwestern Ontario, with a side trip up to Yellowknife, NT.

    My report is here http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=904169 Hopefully you can take away some info from it, Videos at the end of the report.

    I went all the way to Deadhorse, just to say I did it and get the Deadhorse sign at the General Store! As some people have stated, the last 150 miles is just tundra, pipeline and a few caribou :lol3

    Good luck!
    #19
  20. GillaFunk

    GillaFunk I use profanities

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    Location:
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    Was supposed to do Prudohe Bay last year, but broken foot got in the way.

    Am currently building a propper Alaska trip bike (DR800) for Alaska in '15.

    Depart Northern California anytime between mid-May and Mid june. Head to Boise for a quick stop 1 or 2 days.

    Depart Boise, hit up Banff, Lake Louise,.....then onto Prudhoe. Anywhere else in between is fine. I dont have any real details worked out yet. Camping as often as possible. Its a ride, not a bar hopping event.

    I am planning on 5 weeks all in. Doubtful any of my local buddies will be able to make it, so I may go solo.

    Goal; 1) Arctic Circle 2) Return home safely on the motorcycle uninjured.

    I'll keep my eye on this thread. I could meet you in Montana as well, then see how it goes. If it doesn't work out, go our separate ways, no harm no foul.

    +1

    Take the KLR. Your WeeStrom will get wayyy too much abuse on those funky ass AK roads.
    #20