Alaska trip - 2 weeks long enough?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Bwana, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Bwana

    Bwana Me Bwana You Toto

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    Thanks for the tips! I think you may have given me another idea on how to do it without killing myself racking up the miles everyday.
    #41
  2. Bwana

    Bwana Me Bwana You Toto

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    No worries. I'll come up with some way of doing it. It may not be all the way up into Alaska, but the main thing is having fun and seeing some of the sights people have posted about.


    #42
  3. justJeff

    justJeff Banned

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    Hey Bwana, it sounds like you've come up with a great strategy that will work for you, which is awesome. You're right (at least to my way of thinking) to want to be able to have the luxury of time enough to spend with cool people you'll meet along the way, and to check out unexpected spots that appeal to you. No two riders are exactly alike (which is why I only travel alone now). I know folks that really focus on the mileage and enjoy that. Others like to really smell all the roses along the way, and there are a bunch of us inbetween somewhere.

    I think in your own backyard that the PCH, 1 and 101 are great rides on your way north or south. The Oregon coastline is spectacular. If you have time check out some of the tourist things like the sea lion caves. Going north or south you may want to consider hitting the Olympic Peninsula. You can take the Keystone/Port Townsend either way and it helps you to bypass a boring stretch of I-5 and Seattle. In at least one direction it may be worth doing. Instead of backtracking one you go to Hyder I'd suggest taking the Yellowknife Hwy to the Cassiar and hitting the Casiar from the south, going to Hyder, and then take the Cassiar to the north. Time permitting you can either head west towards Whitehorse and possibly up to Dawson, or turn east on the Alcan and head through Watson lake and south on the Alcan. Not going to AK, other than Hyder, you'll have time to enjoy yourself, and maybe do a bit of planning along the way depending on weather and whatever floats your boat. Obviously if you mostly slab it going north on I-5 you can make great time, much faster than taking the coast. Maybe save the coast ride for the return trip, time allowing?

    Have a blast. Planning truly is part of the pleasure of all of this.
    #43
  4. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    2 Weeks would not do any justice to that ride. We took 1 month from Texas And Back. Took the ferry up. Great experience. You seem to be trying to do too much. My suggestion would be with some of the others who have completed this epic ride, spend 2 weeks instead enjoying NW Canada area, just as beautiful and alot more time to enjoy. When you have more time consider Alaska-it is amust do.
    #44
  5. One Eye Mike

    One Eye Mike Been here awhile

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    Take it from someone who lives here....
    2 weeks is not enough..................................:D
    #45
  6. EdOriginal

    EdOriginal Been here awhile

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    Best advise was 1) to Glacier NP, Waterton NP, BC, Alberta, Jasper and other areas of Canadian Rockies....great scenery and wildlife. That you can do in 10 to 14 days.
    OR
    2) Fly to AK and rent a bike....

    Have done the trip 3 times and don't see it realistic to make with less than 23 to 27 days...if you are going to see anything or have planned for at least one flat or some type of mechanical probm, roadwork delays, etc.

    If your work allows...do what I did. Carry a notebook pc, cell phone, customer list, and do whatever work that can be done from the road....to stretch 2 weeks into 3 or 4 weeks. Also leave 3 or 4 days before a holiday (ie: July 1 to stretch the holiday).

    14 days ? Go to Jasper BC (0r is it in Alberta?) until you can hire and deligate work.
    #46
  7. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

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    Whatever you decide, it will be a geat trip. I've done it in 11 days and I've done it in 21 days. (both in cages.) Both times, trips to remember. On a bike, it'll be more so. Best of luck and be sure to do some practie rides to see how you can take 400, 500, 600 mile days. You have the time.
    #47
  8. Bwana

    Bwana Me Bwana You Toto

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    Hey idea man,

    Thanks and whatever happens, I know it will be an adventure. Some great ideas have been posted here and I think I will have several options including riding just to Hyder and the PNW or possibly a fly-buy-ride out of Anchorage if I really want to see more of Alaska.

    I'm really looking forward to more detailed planning. As JustJeff posted, the planning phase is a major part of the pleasure of such trips.
    #48
  9. 8Superman

    8Superman Shut up and RIDE!!

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    Bwana,
    Ever thought about doing The Continental Divide ?
    #49
  10. Bwana

    Bwana Me Bwana You Toto

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    More info please.

    BTW, are you still looking into getting a 990?
    #50
  11. DangerRanger

    DangerRanger Not Enough Adventurer

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    Bwana,
    I am also going up in '09. We are planning to ship the bikes to Oregan and go most of the way north via ferry eventually to faribanks and back down through Banff nad Glacier and then ride back east between the great lakes. Tentative plan is for 17 or 18 days. We would go in '08 but one of our crew is blowing his vacation on some honeymoon thing so we agreed to wait another year. Take your two weeks and head for alaska. see what you can and what you can't will be for the next trip.

    Ride around for 10 or 11 days and then turn back south, remember, two weeks is really 16 days off work, 17 if you leave or return on a holiday.

    It's not the destination, its the ride.
    #51
  12. IB Mike

    IB Mike AKA Yukon Cornelius

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    there is no way I could plan a trip 2 years out.... I'd go nuts! I am already dying for May to get here, as me and WTF-OVER (who is bringing a couple friends) are headed to Prudhoe.

    We are planning on taking 2 weeks using this route: [​IMG]

    I'd love to be able to take longer, but getting more than 2 weeks is a stretch for any of us... and I'm all for doing what I can now and hoping for a chance to do more later. I've already gotten orders to Japan since we started planning; I am going to head there in Jan, then fly back in May to do the ride. Then I'll ship the bike to Japan. (hopefully I can find some good ADV riding in Japan... and though I haven't even begun to check on the possibilities, but I'm hoping for a ferry of some sort to China... would be WAY cool to do some riding there!!!)

    WTF & I am experienced IB riders, so we can handle long days in the saddle; we are planning 500-ish miles a day. I agree it won't allow for TOO much flower sniffin... but the ride is as much about the adventure of spending 2 weeks on the road (and getting to Prudhoe)as it is the scenery... so that is cool with me!

    Lots of great input in the thread, thanks for putting it out there Bwana! Sending the link to this thread to the other fellas to review. Welcome any inputs on the route... WTF put it together, he is a planning machine! Thanks bro!
    #52
  13. 8Superman

    8Superman Shut up and RIDE!!

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    [​IMG]
    #53
  14. 8Superman

    8Superman Shut up and RIDE!!

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    #54
  15. Bwana

    Bwana Me Bwana You Toto

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    Hey Mike,

    Japan is awesome for motorcycles. I've been there a couple of times and the roads outside of the major cities will probably rival some of the better roads here. You might want to contact Jim Davis over at http://www.easternbeaver.com/Home/Main/main.html. He lives in Japan and rides quite a bit over there. I don't know him personally, just buying a fusebox from him.
    #55
  16. IB Mike

    IB Mike AKA Yukon Cornelius

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    #56
  17. gsilvernale

    gsilvernale Lowlander

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    My son and I rode from South Dakota to Alaska. It took us 9 days, stopping and seeing stuff. The best part of the ride was the Cassiar Highway. Just make sure you fill up with gas every chance you get. Its a long way between gas stops and some of the places that used to have gas are no longer operating.


    My suggestion is that you do the ride on a good $3000-$5000 650 CC single dual sport. (KLR, F650, etc). Then when you get there, put the bike on Craig's list and sell it. Then fly home.

    You will sell it in a hurry if you do not ask too much for it. And the flight home will be cheaper than riding back down or taking the ferry.
    #57
  18. Deadly

    Deadly Asphalt Adventurer!

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    A friend and I are planning a possible trip from KC, Missouri to Hyder, Alaska in June of 2009. We are planning on hitting Glacier Park, Montana then on to Hyder, Alaska but we also do not have a lot of time and are looking at a 12 day round trip time table. This would be much easier if we were retired so we may not make it past Glacier Park.

    The info you posted will be a great help in our planning aswell, thanks for posting it Mead11. :thumb
    #58
  19. gwl

    gwl Been here awhile

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    My wife and I did the trip from Bend Or. to Fairbanks last year in just under 3 weeks. We had 3 days off (valdez, denali, fairbanks). I guess we averaged 10 hours a day driving with two 16 hour days. So yes you could do it in 2 weeks but it would not be fun.

    We started the trip by going to sandpoint ID then into Banff Jasper area. We set the bar to to high by going to the Canadian Rockey's first. I wish we would have spent the three weeks just poking around that area.

    If you drive from Banff to Jasper you will have huge moutains on your left and right for something like 250 miles. That does not take into acount all of the side area to check out. It is the coolest area I can think of.

    Alaska is great and you would love it the Denali Hwy is something else, then there is the road to Homer and the one to Valdez and on and on. I will go back but if you are a little short on time treat yourself to a Canadian trip.
    #59
  20. JoeMongo

    JoeMongo ¿Por dónde? Supporter

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    A couple of years ago I rode to Alaska (from San Francisco) to meet my family for a vacation on the Kenai and up near Denali. Their flights were coming in Tuesday afternoon, so I needed to get there around noon to store my bike and pick up a rental minivan. My ten year anniversary was on Friday, so I did the ride to Anchorage in about 3 & 1/2 days. It was not particularly easy, and I took the time to take only one photo during the entire trip north.

    I took an extra day getting home, but I needed to be back to work, so my total round trip riding time was 8 days. I had to average nearly 1K miles every day, which is OK as long as you don't plan to do anything else other than ride the ride. If you want to stop early some afternoons, or stop frequently during each day, or spend any days off the bike, then the time adds up quickly.

    Given my vacation constraints that summer, I did what I had to do and don't regret it at all. Would I have liked to have had three or four weeks? Of course.

    BTW, it rained every single day that I was north of the lower 48, sometimes all day, sometimes only for a few hours. Long days riding in the rain in the far north require serious rain gear, or you'll end up getting off the bike early. I was riding alone, so I could make much better time than I would have with my wife, or with any other riders.

    When all is said, two weeks is probably a minimum for most people, and three weeks is much better.
    #60