Alaska May 27 - end of June 09

Discussion in 'Americas' started by dbarnes180, May 6, 2009.

  1. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    2004 K1200RS...Solo Ride
    Getting things lined out for a great ride to Alaska. I will be trying to camp along most of the route. Starting in Lonoke, AR going through KS, CO, UT to Great Falls, MT. (6 days) Then following the Eastern Route (The MilePost) through Canada into Fairbanks. (6 days)

    About 10 days to visit Alaska! Nothing set in stone ... Just ride, take photos, and enjoy.

    I have really gotten a lot of valuable information from this site. Thanks SO much!

    How to pack .....
    (NO weapons, other than Bear begone..lol)
    Camera....
    Lap top....
    Aux power hook ups...
    Renting a Sat. phone...
    Using GPS...
    Emergency dog tags...
    Emergency ID cards...
    Places to camp....
    Staying at the dorm in Fairbanks...
    Things to see and not to bother with...
    Tools to take...
    Emergency MTS service...

    I have only been lurking around here a couple of weeks...
    lol and will probably be revising my list till the moment I pull out of the driveway.

    Fantastic Site!
    #1
  2. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    hope to see you on the road. wil be leaving Colorado Springs on May 29 to Prince Rupert, ferry to Haines, and then on to Fairbanks about the 8th or 9th of June.
    #2
  3. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    If all goes as planned...(LOL). I should be in Fairbanks June 6th or 7th. I am staying a couple of days in Great Falls , MT. to visit my sister, niece and family.

    Drive safe...I am already having sleepless nights in anticipation!
    #3
  4. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    May 27, Lonoke, AR. to Salina, KS...552 mi 8hrs
    KOA $21 one night
    May 28, Fort Collins, CO.................487 mi 7hrs
    KOA $34 one night.
    May 29, Billings, MT.......................498 mi 7hrs
    KOA $34 one night.
    May 30, Great Falls, MT..................219 mi 4.5hrs
    Sisters place for the weekend.
    June 1, Edmonton, AB....................502 mi 8hrs
    June 2, Dawson Creek, BC..............367 mi 7hrs
    June 3, Toad River, BC...................400 mi 7.5hrs
    June 4, Telsin, Yukon.....................363 mi 7hrs
    June 5, Tok, AK.............................498 mi 9hrs
    June 6, Fairbanks, AK....................200 mi 4hrs

    All subject to change! No hard and fast rules, regs, or appointments. It is for fun!

    Alcan Rider suggests......Forget Edmonton. From Calgary, go west, young man, go west. Just past Lake Louise (worth a quick side trip for photos if the sun is shining) then north to Jasper, east a few miles to the Big Horn Hwy (AB-40), north to Grande Prairie, then west again to Dawson Creek. Virtually the same distance, and two-lane with mountains rather than divided highway across the flat prairie.

    Great Falls, Mt
    Calgary, AB.............321 mi 5.5hrs
    Jasper, AB...............256 mi 5hrs
    Grande Prairie, AB....246 mi 5hrs
    Dawson Creek, BC....82 mi 1.5hrs

    Total distance 905mi 16.5 hrs as compared to my proposed boring route 4 lanes Great Falls to Edmonton, AB (869 mi 15.5hrs). I looked up the Icefields Parkway and I will be changing to this route. Sounds fantastic! Thanks for the tip. Keep them coming.......

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    #4
  5. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

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    Looks like you have a good starting plan. Instead of staying in Teslin, I might push on to Whitehorse and stay at the Robert Service Campground on the south end of town. It's some pretty fast highway through there. Good sites and decent showers and you can visit the Yukon brewing company there in Whitehorse. Worth it all by itself. And they have wireless. WH to Tok would then be shorter and you could take your time a little bit. The Kluane Lake area is one of my favorites.
    Teslin is pretty small. But then again, there are worse places. IIRC there is a little campground in Teslin just on the north end on the bridge they've been working on for the last two years. (not the metal grated one) The campground is next to the water and looks kinda nice, though I've never stayed there. On the right going north. Don't forget to stop at Sally's at the Junction of the Alcan and the Cassiar
    I look forward to seeing your RR.
    Have a great trip!
    #5
  6. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Wait a minute. You're traveling up through Alberta on 2? Instead of going west out of Calgary to the Icefields Parkway and seeing the best of the Canadian Rockies? :confused

    Forget Edmonton. From Calgary, go west, young man, go west. Just past Lake Louise (worth a quick side trip for photos if the sun is shining) then north to Jasper, east a few miles to the Big Horn Hwy (AB-40), north to Grande Prairie, then west again to Dawson Creek. Virtually the same distance, and two-lane with mountains rather than divided highway across the flat prairie.

    Give yourself an extra day so you can take your time and camp in or near the parks. Worth every mile! :nod
    #6
  7. Snuffy

    Snuffy Long timer

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    +1 gazillion times. Missing the Icefields Parkway would be a bummer.
    #7
  8. EdOriginal

    EdOriginal Been here awhile

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    As said up thru Kalispel, MT. , Glacier, Lake Louise, Jasper./.to the Alcan.

    I'd suggest coming back thru Cassier Hwy/Prince George route...that way you see both routes...but Jasper route for Me is by far the most scenic.

    But based on picture above....PACK LIGHT!
    #8
  9. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    Icefields Parkway is a must do on the way to Alaska. Also check out Laird Hot Springs,Chena Hot Springs north of Fairbanks, Seward, Homer, Portage glacier,Glacier Brew House in Anchorage, SNow City Cafe for killer breakfast in ANchorage, Fast Eddies in Tok. Salmon Bake in Tok, beautiful wife and husband run it. And a whole lot more.

    Do not rush this ride or you will have missed the best part of it. You will not need a Sat phone, I took one then realized there is no one to come save you in the middle of nowhere. Just take your cellular. Common sense will be your best friend. As far as bears, do not sweat it, bring Bear Spray, as I have heard Bears love the scent of it... I would worry more about mosquitos. And rain.

    What a epic ride this is.
    #9
  10. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    That box on the P. seat fully loaded...
    camping gear weighs about 35 pounds.
    Suggestions ?
    The Givi top box will have...
    Lap top and related equipment. Plus small tool pouch.
    Suggestions ?
    Pannier,s will have...
    Clothes, (3 sets), tennis shoes, flip flops.
    Suggestons ?
    Tank bag (have not purchased yet) will have..
    maps, refreshments, quick snacks, mp3 player, rain gear, extra gloves.
    Suggestions ?
    ATV tank bags mounted behind my legs and run under the seat will have medicines, lip balm.
    Suggestions ?
    Garmin III GPS mounted on dash.
    12 volt stripped down air pump...
    mounted under the seat along with plugs, patches, ect.
    Suggestions (not much room left here...lol) ?
    Two tool bags
    mounted under the seat (no more room)

    Hey this is my first trip of over 500 miles so feel free to chime in with suggestions. I may have much more room than equipment....lol. I am a tad obsessive or pretty anal whichever you prefer.

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    #10
  11. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    The stuff under your seat - is it going to be really easy to get to in a hurry?

    Be prepared to mail about a third of that stuff home before you get halfway through your trip. :wink:
    #11
  12. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    Originally Posted by dbarnes180

    That box on the P. seat fully loaded...
    camping gear weighs about 35 pounds.
    Suggestions ? Cut it down to 25 #.

    OH MAN...lol.

    Two man tent, Zero degree sleeping bag, foam pad, small folding chair, two 6x8 tarps, combo type swiss knife and eatting utensils, one burner stove with one bottle of fuel, boy scout cooking kit, hatchet, fire extinguisher, 100ft nylon rope, 6 cargo straps, 20ft tow strap, 5 liter shower kit, one bottle of soap for all occations, T.P., baby wipes, syphon pump, large first aid kit, emergency 2 meter ham radio, (N5XXT), various chargers, inverter 12vdc to 110ac, emergency American Red Cross battery jump charger, small jumper cables, more duck tape, and electrical tape. And I know there is more in there, this is all I can remember off the top of my head without going and opening the box tonight....lol.

    The Givi top box will have...
    Lap top and related equipment. Plus small tool pouch.
    Suggestions ? Tools are usually dense. Keep dense items down low.

    Noted (also small first aid kit, allen wrenches, combo screwdriver hex, phillips, reg, pliers.)

    Pannier,s will have...
    Clothes, (3 sets), tennis shoes, flip flops.
    Suggestons ? Forget the flip flops - it's too cold up here to wear them riding. :rofl But bring more clothes. You'll need to be able to dress for every kind of weather.

    Noted! I read your riding report going from Fairbanks 82 degrees down to 44 degrees. And have read others that have been in 70 degree one day and snow on the ground the next when they woke up. So I will have lots of clothes....also plan on picking up heated liner between home and Great Falls, MT.

    Tank bag (have not purchased yet) will have..
    maps, refreshments, quick snacks, mp3 player, rain gear, extra gloves.
    Suggestions ? Where you putting the camera? And don't forget plenty of water - that's important!

    Camera, binoculars, water bladder also in tank bag.

    ATV tank bags mounted behind my legs and run under the seat will have medicines, lip balm.
    Suggestions ? Lip balm goes in your pocket or tank bag, where you can reach it without any trouble.

    Noted

    Garmin III GPS mounted on dash.

    Also 12 volt acc plugs two available on the dash. Actually pig tail tie wrapped to the dash.

    12 volt stripped down air pump...
    mounted under the seat along with plugs, patches, ect.
    Suggestions (not much room left here...lol) ? Good! :nod Just make sure you can get to the pump quick and easy. Sometimes you have a slow leak that you need to air up every so often in order to make it to somewhere you can get it fixed.

    Noted

    Two tool bags
    mounted under the seat (no more room) You carrying a spare final drive? Why three bags of tools?

    LOL...I hope note.
    Obsessive or anal...
    full socket set metric&in./combination wrenches metric&in./hammer..electrical wiring..fuses..butt splices..electrical tape..wire nuts..digital voltmeter..wire strippers&crimpers..pliers..two water pump..regular..and wire cutter. Wire ties..heat shrink two sizes. Small roll duck tape..bailing wire..Allens metric&in. Screw drivers phillips&reg..

    I plan to get everything packed and drive around here for a week or so loaded to get some familarity with the handling. So far the Brick is doing great! I have ridden it two nights in very heavy rain..(It has been raining here for a week.) and have not had any cornering or stopping problems.
    I have installed new front and rear disk pads. And new Pilot 2's front and back. New battery. Protective headlight cover, two car horns, fog lights, off road lights, reflective tape on all sides, red reflective 3" lenses on rear of painers, added red led running lights under the Givi red reflectors, also added interior light to the top case, tape reflectors inside the lid,hand guards that can be removed until needed. And just a host of other minor fluid and filter changes.

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    #12
  13. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

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    WOW! That is an awesome list. I went through and added some red highlights where it seemed like you could consider going a different way. Things like full sets of sockets and wrenches. If your bike is metric, it might not make sense to take an SAE set. Maybe only one roll of duct tape. Leave the chair. That kind of stuff.
    I still remember the first time I drove to Alaska. I thought I was going off the end of the earth once I got north of 100 Mile House. It was scary.
    Turns out there's a Costco in Pr. George and a Pizza Hut in Whitehorse and a Canadian Tire in Terrace and a McDonalds in Smithers and showers in most of the campgrounds and....and....:dg There's lots of stuff out there and lots of resources and people that can help. Edmonton is a metropolis, Dawson Creek is a big sprawling city, Tok, Watson Lake and Haines Jct. have plenty of services. Toad River area gets a little thin, but even Teslin has quite a bit of swivelization. :nod
    One of the questions I always ask people who have come back from the big adventure is what did you take that you didn't use. Tools and heavy stuff. Cooking stuff. Shower stuff. I think Sgt Marty had a good post of two about what he took that he didn't need. There are a few others. LWR and LWD have good spots about where they are carrying too much and have to mail (or abandon) a bunch on the road. There's also a whole thread that's a sticky in here somewhere about losing weight and they talk about taking too much stuff and how to cut that back. Less is more. :deal
    If your bike has been well taken care of, then take a few tools and go for it. If you were taking a /6 just to say you've done it, I'd say tools are more of a necessity. Alaska is not Siberia. The roads are paved the people speak english and there is plenty to eat. You are going to have a great time.
    Best of luck to you and we look forward to hearing more about your prep and the trip.:thumb
    #13
  14. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    That looks about like the back of my Concours, except that I use red tape on the back, white on the front. :thumb
    #14
  15. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all the input. I have read the threads about what to carry and packing light. But I got to tell you even when we go camping locally... I am that guy who sets up a kitchen with tables, chairs, refridgerator, microwave, big cook stove, big coffee pot (46 cups) and enough groceries to feed an army. I string tarps through the trees to cover my tent, which has double stacked blow up queen size mattress and double stacked twin blow up mattress. Big fluffy pillows and sleeping bags. If it is summer I tote an air conditioner for the tent, winter a electric oscillating heater....lol. If I can't decide what the weather is going to do I take them both. I carry my house with me.....
    It is just the way I am... I plan on storing a lot of this stuff in Fairbanks and just tool around doing day trips. Then moving on to Anchorage for a few days.
    Like I said, thanks so much for the tips. I will try to cut down on this crap....

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    #15
  16. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

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    You do seem to have a very high level of commitment and that will make up for a lot. One person on here (Valmis) I talked to said THE most important thing to take on the trip is a good (can do) attitude. Seems like you have a ton of that.

    For fun, I might suggest putting everything on your bike, riding around for a bit and then going somewhere and set up camp the way you want it and see how long it takes. Sounds like you are an expert at set up and take down so it might be not a big deal. But just and idea about how much time at each campground you will be investing on your personal infrastructure would be good to know. Then factor that against the mileages you need to make and the amount of sleep you want and you will be able to figure out whether you'll have the time or inclination to do eggs and bacon every day (and fight the bears for the food) or instead, pack-up and go up the road 2-20 miles and get some road house food. Always a part of the adventure.:deal
    Keep it safe and have your fun and let us know how it works out for you.
    #16
  17. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    First I am not an expert on anything...lol. I know enough about a lot of things to work myself into deep do do...lol.

    Trial camp out sounds like a great idea! I have been riding with bike loaded for about a week and have been pleasantly surprized at performance and gas mileage. (High 40 ies driving speed limits and using cruise)
    I am not much on breakfast for myself...pop tarts and such...but love to have biscuits and gravy.
    Thanks for keeping track of my rants and helping with this adventure.
    Speaking of I just ordered some of the Advrider emblems and decals for the painers and my helmet. Nice!
    I am so ready to get out of here and on the road....lol.

    take
    care
    my
    friend:D
    #17
  18. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    A Hint: You have a timetable of May 27th to the end of June. Right now, that probably sounds like a lot of time. Trust me, by the time you get back home you will wish it could have been twice as long. You are going to be traveling a lot farther than it appears on any map; seeing far more than your imagination can encompass right now. You can spend a great deal of that time setting up and breaking down your camp, playing with your laptop... or you can be riding, getting the most out of your trip.

    Like you, I tend to prefer having everything, including a portable kitchen sink, when I travel. One of my vehicles is a 15-passenger van - that I can fill just going for a weekend trip alone. But when I hit the road on a bike I have to make a major transformation. Everything gets pared down to essentials and a bare minimum of those. My camping gear consists of a lightweight two-man tent (barely big enough for my sleeping bag and the gear I bring inside with me in case of rain), a lightweight bag (if it's too cold, I can always sleep in some of my clothing, although I avoid doing that if at all possible). No cooking gear. When I get up, I break camp and ride until I find a restaurant. The fresh air substitutes quite nicely for coffee. In the evening, some chewy granola bars suffice for the midnight snack.

    There will be places where you would enjoy sitting next to a swirling stream, feeding the mosquitoes, savoring the tranquility. But every minute you spend on that (which you could probably do closer to home) is a minute you lose in trying to see all the things you may never get a chance to see again.

    In multiple trips, some as long as 7 weeks and covering over 18,000 miles, there are always places I wish I had had time to visit; roads I want to go back and enjoy. Take notes as you travel, lots of photos, and get as many (s)miles as you can while you can. You can sit on your butt when you get old. :lol2
    #18
  19. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    I am beginning to get the idea. I have so much room, I was sitting around last night thinking what else can I take! Instead of pairing down the mass of stuff I have already assembled. In going over more and more RR and noticing bike loads and methods of carry items. I really think I am about ready to take off the trunk. But tomorrow is another day and I might add it back on. My intentions are to enjoy my surroundings but not get too fast nor too slow on the trip. Not to dwell on whats behind me that I should have seen but whats ahead that I can still see. It will all work out the way it is supposed to. I am getting great insight from you and others here and the wealth of information is unreal.......The pictures are fantastic!.....Yall even have threads on how to take pics!
    I would have never thought to use the lens of my binoculars as a long range zoom for my camera. But I tried it out and it works great. Even the little circle it creates looks cool.
    So Thanks again,

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    :D
    #19
  20. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    That box on the P. seat fully loaded...
    camping gear weighs about 35 pounds.

    The actual weight was 52 #....... Wow!

    Suggestions ? Cut it down to 25 #. Or less
    Two man tent, Zero degree sleeping bag, foam pad, small folding chair, two 6x8 tarps, combo type swiss knife. 100ft nylon rope, 6 cargo straps,20ft tow strap, , one bottle of soap for all occasions, T.P., baby wipes, large first aid kit, emergency 2 meter ham radio, (N5XXT), various chargers, inverter 12vdc to 110ac, small camera tripod, small jumper cables



    ((eating utensils, one burner stove with one bottle of fuel, boy scout cooking kit, hatchet, fire extinguisher,)) Gone....



    ((5 liter shower kit)) Gone...



    ((siphon pump))....Gone



    ((emergency American Red Cross battery jump charger,))...Gone



    ((, more duck tape, and electrical tape. And I know there is more in there, this is all I can remember off the top of my head without going and opening the box tonight....lol.))...Gone


    The box now holds the stuff up above plus the sleeping bag. Which was strapped to the top of the trunk.
    Weight now at 30 # even.


    Also moved air pump, plug kit, and made one set of tools and all the odds and ends to the two small ATV tank bags mounted behind my legs against the painers. Each of them weighs 4 #. All duplicated items were removed.

    (( tools removed weighed about 3#s.
    Items removed from the truck weighed 12 #s, So we lost 15 #s and got stuff were it is much more accessible.))


    At present...
    Top Box and Pannier,s are empty and tank bag has not been bought. So I still have plenty of room for clothes, camera, binoculars, etc.

    Thanks for the tips!

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    #20