Alaska, is it Worth It?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Carl Childers, May 19, 2017.

  1. Carl Childers

    Carl Childers Ghost in the Machine

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    Things I don't like: Grizzly bears by my tent, swarms of mosquitoes. cold weather, lots of rain.

    So is a trip up there more than just earning bragging rights?

    I have time this summer so convince me or dissuade me from going.
    #1
  2. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Nope, it ain't worth it. As you mention, grizzly bears -
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    Swarms of mosquitoes -
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    Cold weather -
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    Lots of rain -
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    Why anyone would ride to Alaska is a complete mystery. :confused

    No scenery, the mountains get in the way.
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    [​IMG]

    Narrow, winding highways -
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    Dadgum tourists taking photos -
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    Restrictions -
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    Meals are expensive -
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    And it's a long way from anywhere -
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    Did I mention? There are also a couple of cities, with traffic -
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    Nope! :nono Absolutely no good reason to come to Alaska.
    #2
  3. RevyRider

    RevyRider FXD Traveler

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    I am of the same mindset. I have worked in some of these regions over the years and while I have a huge of appreciation for the remoteness of the Yukon/Alaska combined with the scenery/history..., I really wonder if I would want to commit to 30 days of riding in potentially poor conditions. Between rain, poor roads, mosquitoes, other insects, (bears don't bother me), and other potentially unpleasant scenarios versus exploring some of the other ares of interest to me, like the Canadian East Coast, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, PEI, New Foundland. Or more exploring in Oregon and California, or further south into Mexico???

    I am getting the itch to go for another road trip but perplexed with the choice of which way to go...

    I have been reading the Alaska Ride Reports for years on here and am definitely attracted to the aforementioned remote/rugged beauty combined with Historical interests... However, is the trip really that satisfying or is it more of sense of bragging rights for having endured the hardships of a harsh environment?

    I usually ride by myself and enjoy the off beaten route on secondary highways versus Interstates, ..I'm not so much into gravel/mud and scrubbing bug guts off at every stop. I sense that I know the answer to my own indecision, ...I will probably have to knock Alaska off my list one of these years but that being said, I will probably wait until I can afford another bike, one more aptly suited to gravel, mucky conditions, pot holes and the Northern climates.

    Which doesn't help me decide where to venture to this year...
    #3
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  4. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    If the OP doesn't like what he says then he shouldn't go. Everything Alcan Rider says is true. Me....I'll go every summer for as long as I live.
    #4
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  5. CommanderDave

    CommanderDave Kick Ass Adventure Rider

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    It's your Adv ride....make it what you want. Some guys think a trip down to the local tavern on their v-twin cruiser taxes their level of adventure. But....if your the kind of guy who rips the tag off of a mattress you might want to push the envelope out a little farther than that. Alcan rider layed it out pretty good. Have a good one...dave
    #5
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  6. Kerl

    Kerl Large Double Double please.

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    This all looks like Canada. Especially the expensive meal part.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  7. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Any bike will do. Last year there were lots of Goldwings, Harleys, scooters, and so called "appropriate" bikes having a great time riding the Dalton, Dempster, TOW, and Denali Highways.
    #7
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  8. Carl Childers

    Carl Childers Ghost in the Machine

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    Good responses so far, I'm no stranger to hardships on the road and have "toughed out" my share of situations. This summer is probably my one chance at a bucket list ride and I want to make the right choice, there's got to be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if I'm going to do it. As far as bikes go I'm pretty impressed by the guy who did it on a scooter but I'd be taking something a little bigger than that if I go.
    #8
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  9. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Grizzly bears by my tent, swarms of mosquitoes. cold weather, lots of rain. Plus it's a LONG way and you have to go through Canada to get there.
    I think everyone ought to go at least once.
    #9
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  10. eemsreno

    eemsreno Super Tenere Rider.

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    I just like the feeling of getting addicted to riding everyday, all day long. I can’t get enough of it. Camp, get up , drink coffee, get on and ride till late and make camp and do it again.
    That saying about any bike can be ridden to Alaska may be true but nothing beats riding a Super Fun bike, one you just can’t get enough of.
    There is just something about camping in the wild that puts more excitement in the trip and makes it memorable.
    I enjoyed every mile of the three trips to Alaska that I have made, and would do it every year [Like Tewster2] if I could.
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    #10
  11. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I was loving your post till I saw this... :patch

    What happened here....



    #11
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  12. eemsreno

    eemsreno Super Tenere Rider.

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    Tide came in at 1:00 AM.
    Like I said in my ride report "Hey, we're from Iowa"
    #12
  13. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Yeah - that looks a little damp.
    #13
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  14. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Do you have any pics of that site before the tides came in. Interesting to see the before/after.

    Probably cold water too... :lol3

    #14
  15. eemsreno

    eemsreno Super Tenere Rider.

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  16. oneway

    oneway Tehachapi CA

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    An obvious rhetorical question. Nobody should try to convince or dissuade you of anything because normally no one can.
    Be who you are, ride where you want, pursue what you enjoy.
    That's what the rest of us do.
    #16
  17. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    Carl, from my own experiences, I too can echo what Alcan Rider & Tewster2 have said about Alaska. I will recommend it, but it is not for everyone.

    Given where YOU live, and your desire to seek adventure....give some thought to doing the BDR rides...backcountry discovery routes.

    Rather than taking on such a big ride to the Yukon and Alaska....the BDR rides are broken up into individual states...which can be ridden separately, or in a chain of states together.

    http://ridebdr.com/
    #17
  18. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    With 2 trips under my belt and third in the offing in the next year or two, I know the concerns voiced by the OP are legit, but not insurmountable.
    Later in the season tends to be less buggy and not quite as wet.
    It's easily viable to stay at private or park campgrounds where the bear issue is not as great a concern. Others that just pitch a tent anywhere are comfortable with that and I've done it a couple times myself, but I prefer some company nearby.

    If the desire is only to blast up for a list checkmark and claim bragging rights - it ain't gonna be worth it.
    If you take the time to enjoy the sights and meeting locals and other travelers, visit some of the off the beaten track spots, like Kennecott or Eagle, or Manley Hot Springs, and the well visited but worth it spots like Denali, then it can truly be a trip of your lifetime. Even with bugs and rain.

    Extensive ride report in my sig line, AK proper starts at page 4, day 26, part 3, a lot of coastal BC is covered leading up to that.
    #18
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  19. Carl Childers

    Carl Childers Ghost in the Machine

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    I have ridden the east coast, the rocky mountain states, the south west region and west coast both on pavement and off. I've done most of the harder trails in the San Juans and other ranges in Colorado on a DR650 loaded down with camping gear. and have been as far north as Banff Canada. This trip if I do it will be on a 1200 GSA. My other choice would be Copper Canyon in the Fall but the more I read and see here the more tempting Ak. becomes.
    #19
  20. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    Alaska may not be able to control the number of mosquitoes that hover...and land..on every living and non-living thing in that great vast of land, but they have found a way to limit the number of R12GS's that come into the state every Summer. Now that you have admitted that you are on one of those over-sized beasts of burden, you will find that you would have needed to apply for a special BMW R12GS riding permit, at least two years in advance, and hope that your number is drawn in the bi-annual lottery.

    Now, if you really want to ride to Alaska without the need for applying for such a dubious permit, you may want to think about selling that R12GSA to Charley Boorman, and you buying either an 800GS....700GS (but not a White one) :jack...or a Wee-Strom 650XT.:-)

    Alaska does not limit the numbers of those bikes riding through each year, as they leave less of a damaging footprint than the overzealous R12GSA does.
    #20
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