Alaska; is June ok or is July a must?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by BOHUNTR, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. BOHUNTR

    BOHUNTR Character and Honor Count

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    I am going to start PA school this August, so I want one last trip before the next three years of continual studying.

    I was thinking of leaving Austin in late May and heading west to California, up 101 to Washington State, then Ferrying to AK and riding back to Washington State. I would head home from there via Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, to Texas.

    No exact routes are planned yet, but this has me in AK in June.

    I will want a firearm in AK (.357 or .44 for bears), so I will need ship it to friends in Washington State from AK before I ride home through Canada.

    I think I would also like to learn to flyfish and try fishing on the trip. Anyone here ever fly fish? Do I need to haul a lot of equipment, or do they make something I can compact? Has anyone here ever fished along the roads in AK?

    Thanks,

    John
    #1
  2. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

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    #2
  3. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Broke it/Bought it Supporter

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    Alaska is beautiful in late May and June. I really don't think there's a bad time to visit, except maybe September/October when people are hunkering down for winter. :lol3 The roads won't give you any problems (except the expected mud if it rains, where appropriate), and I seem to recall it raining less in June than in August.

    My personal preference would be to be in Alaska for the summer solstice if possible, as far north as possible.

    John
    #3
  4. space

    space a.k.a. Jake

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    Or you could go later. I did September. Decent weather and ZERO insect life. LOTS of spectacular auroras, which is something you might miss in mid-summer. Chance of snow, especially if you plan to do the haul road. I wouldn't have gone that late if I hadn't been held up by my job.

    http://space-jake.blogspot.com/2008/01/alaska.html

    My point: don't rule out August or early September.
    #4
  5. Denalidirt

    Denalidirt High Plains Drifter Supporter

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    Anytime in the summer is great in Ak.. The state is so big, twice te size of Texas, weather can vary depending on were you're at. 90 degrees here and snowing there. Bugs and mosquitos, again depends on were your at. Hope for a slight breeze. June- mid Aug best bet, any earlier you may risk snow and ice along the way
    #5
  6. BOHUNTR

    BOHUNTR Character and Honor Count

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    I have to be back in Texas no later than July 31st. I figure on about 60.00 per day total. That's an average, I'll only ride one tank a day, 13.00-16.00, camp at KOA's or parks and stay with friends. I want to enjoy the trip, so I'm going to try to limit myself to 1 or 1 1/2 tanks per day, which is about 250-300 miles give or take, ride in the mornings, check out the sights in the afternoons.

    I had planned a similar trip in 2006, but started school within a week of returning from Iraq. I'm really trying to make it happen this time around.:ear

    Anyone have any different cash figures? I am guessing about 800 for tires, the set of TKC's in Seattle going to AK, and a new set of Tourances when I get back to Seattle and start weaving my way through the rockies towards Austin.

    My tires are 4K old now, so they should last from Austin to Seattle. I will TKC up there and have an 18K mile check done at the dealership while I spend the week with friends.

    Do I need to go to Bellingham or Victoria to get a ferry to AK?
    Because of the gun, I don't want to have to go to into Canada before AK. I'll send the gun back my when I'm done tooling around AK and pick it back up in Washington.

    Ideas so far:

    Austin to San Diego - 3 days (stay 5 days with friends)
    Route 101 to Seattle. Planning on 6 days? (stay in Seattle 5 days with friends)
    Ferry to AK, 3-4 days to give me time to play and enjoy the scenery
    AK - just riding around. Any ideas of what to do if I want to spend 5-7 days here?
    AK to Seattle - Ride back, 3 days
    Seattle to Coeur D'Alene - 1 day (hang out 1-2 days)
    Coeur D'Alene to Helena - 2 days
    Helena to Yellowstone - 1 day (2 days hanging out in Yellowstone)
    Yellowstone to Austin - this is where I kind of get hung up. Not sure what roads to take or how long to spend, way too much to see and do from here back to Texas... I want a neat trip through the mountains, that's about all I know.
    I am up to about 32-35 days so far. I don't want to push the trip much past 40.
    Any ideas?

    Tires - 800.00
    Fuel - 400.00
    Food/Lodging 1200.00
    #6
  7. ROYAL COACHMAN

    ROYAL COACHMAN Long timer Supporter

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    I have never been to Alaska but a I do love to fly fish while traveling on the bike. There are many packable rods available, 3&4 piece rods that break down to 30" or so. D'ont bring a lot of fishing tackle and flies get it in AK at the local fly shop along with some free advice as to were the good fishing spots are (the whole state). If you have the $$$ hire a guide service. they can provide rods, reels and flies. What do you want to fish for? Trout, Salmon?
    Ride safe
    Glen
    __________
    06Tiger
    P.S. St.croix, Sage, G. Loomis and Orvis all make great fly rods.
    #7
  8. akrider

    akrider mild adventurer

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    End of May and June will get you the best weather. June has less rainfall than July for the most part. August can be iffy and your gonna have rain in September not to mention low temps at altitude.

    Check out the D2D ride in Great White North. June 19 & 20, 2008 in Dawson City, Yukon.
    #8
  9. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

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    We have done Alaska in June the last 2 years and both times it was almost perfect. Go for it!
    #9
  10. Daggy

    Daggy Wondering ...

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    Bohuntr,

    I too was thinking about a small handgun and shipping it home. Does the AK ferry bar firearms, and if they find you with one, jailtime?

    Manditory jailtime for bringing an unclaimed firearm into Canada?
    #10
  11. Chipperdoo2

    Chipperdoo2 Been here awhile

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    Did this trip twice from the East Coast. After living in AK on Uncle Sam's terms,(USAF), and going thru BC twice to get there, I love it! Been back a few times and can't wait to go again.

    You could catch the ferry at Prince Rupert,BC to Haines ,AK for about a
    1 1/2 boat ride if I remember right. Of course to get to PR it would be a more inland route, but you could go thru Banff & Lake Louise and on up to Jasper on the Icefield parkway,(I guess that's Alberta), for some absolutly stunning views, scenery, etc.

    Bohunter

    Now you have me thinking........
    #11
  12. vegasphotog

    vegasphotog Las Vegas Cheechako

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    Forget the guns...and, there are two lengthy threads about bears and guns....it just ain't worth the hassle....if it is part of your manhood, then bring a water pistle.
    #12
  13. SFmax

    SFmax Guest

    I went up with my dad to AK last August. The weather was miserable in the north (rain) but beautiful in the south and southeast.

    My dad had spent some time in AK and insisted on bringing a gun. I was against the idea, voting to just not get eaten instead. When we were uncrating the bikes in Anchorage I found a Browning shoved inside MY airbox on the KTM.

    He thought it was a pretty funny joke. The only thing we used the gun for was shooting bottles in a gravel pit.

    My recomendation. Ship the bikes and avoid the costly ferries and extra time on the boat. Handguns are only legal for residents. Non residents must get a permit. Although no one will give a shit. Everyone is packing.

    If you're set on bringing a handgun. Bring just one round. For yourself. Thats about the only thing its good for.
    #13
  14. 1P8RIOT

    1P8RIOT Been here awhile

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    You can google "alaska marine highway system" and get to the website with all the info. about the ferrys. Check out the Cor-Bon website for some ammo options. It's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.:wink:
    #14
  15. Denalidirt

    Denalidirt High Plains Drifter Supporter

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    I say forget the gun. I live and fish in Alaska, for the past 20yrs, and have not had a run in with a bear that would justifing shooting one. Play it smart with your camping and fishing and you wont need the gun. You may spend the whole summer here and mybe see a bear cross the road ahead of you, they don't hang out on every street corner. You would be better off with a bear spray, that way you wont risk the chance of killing or wounding. Fish on the other hand, are in just about any roadside stream, south of Talkeetna. Egg sucking leach and wooly bugger will be more than enough. A 5-7 weight rod and a sinking line will put dinner on the fire many a nite.
    #15
  16. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

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    It's your choice on the firearm.

    However, take note that ferrying from Washington to Alaska, you will still be travelling through Canada, unless you take the cross-gulf route (which you wouldn't be).

    So you'll either have to leave it behind or ship it up to Alaska, then back home (or to Washington).
    #16
  17. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    Yeah, forget the gun, the Canadians will find it, and then your trip will be well over your 40 day limit. Also. you may be overestimating your tire consumption perhaps, I put a new set of Tourances on and they made the whole trip up and back without the ferry.
    #17
  18. Daggy

    Daggy Wondering ...

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    Good advice on the guns. Pepper spray is a much better idear ...

    Who knows if it's more advantageous to ride the big boat up & ride back or vice versa? Less crowded on board southbound early in the season?
    #18
  19. halfcent

    halfcent Adventurer

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    Can not figure out why you would possibly need a hand gun. If you are caught with one while in Canada you may end up in jail, and yes, here in BC we also have bears and cougars and wolves but you very seldom hear of anyone being attacked or killed by wildlife. You are far more likely to accidently shoot yourself or someone else as be attacked by wild animals.
    I really feel sorry for those that want to be an adventurer and explore the wilds but are afraid to leave home without a gun.
    #19
  20. reBARman

    reBARman Been here awhile

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    +1
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