Dear God No, Not another Alaska Ride Report: Los Angeles to Alaska 2019

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AllSeasonRider, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    For those of who have done "big" trips like this, do you often find people assuming you've "got it out of your system" once you're back? They just don't seem to understand how it works.

    My wife is gonna kill me...
    20190901_183743.jpg
  2. Lucky Explorer

    Lucky Explorer Traveled the world

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    Your thinking is correct! It's only the beginning. Have a blast.
    Allen
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  3. AwDang

    AwDang Long timer

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    When?
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  4. Vacillator

    Vacillator Adventurer Supporter

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    Really enjoyed this too. Sorry its over, now I have to find something else to read before bed.

    I do have a couple of quick questions -
    (sorry if I missed any of this, I read most of it at night, and possibly after an occasional drink).

    Total mileage?
    How the did the cruise control work out, was it worth the investment?
    How were the tires... the rear made it all the way??
    No extra chain maintenance?
    3 weeks seemed a good amount of time?
    With gas and hotels, and food etc. how was the budget (if that is not to personal)?

    Cheers, and well done!
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  5. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Years out, I'm sure. I was super inspired by @crashmaster 's No Fumar Espanol ride report, so this one's been in the back of mind for some time, now. Aside from some shorter trips around the US and Baja, this is probably the next big one.
  6. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Let's see...

    Total mileage?
    According to the bike it was 10,200 miles, but I think my speedo/odo is a filthy liar and it probably was more like 9,500 in reality.

    How the did the cruise control work out, was it worth the investment?
    Definitely. It's not as polished as a factory unit, but it's the only option for the 1090. I've done shorter trips without cruise and I would have lost my mind without it.

    How were the tires... the rear made it all the way??
    No complaints on the Motoz GPSs. They did everything great, were never wanting for grip outside of the Dempster mud (and nothing would do well, there). The rear still has 4/32" of tread, so I'm not even in a hurry to swap it yet. It'll do commuting duty for a while until I put some chunkier meats back on for a Death Valley weekend at the end of October.

    No extra chain maintenance?
    I cleaned it twice and adjusted it once. If I were more anal, it would have been adjusted once more and cleaned a few more times. I have a Nemo 2 oiler installed, so I'd give that a twist every couple hundred miles so it was always well lubed. Once the rain stopped (I had no rain after Liard Hot Springs) and I was done with unpaved roads (after the Dempster, except for farm roads through rural Idaho) it stayed much cleaner and the oil lasted longer.

    3 weeks seemed a good amount of time?
    I think so, yes. I know lots of guys take a lot more time, and I can see where it would benefit especially if you don't like doing the longer, big mile days. For me, while stunning, the scenery is not varied enough to have kept me entertained for any longer than I was up there. If I had done it again, I would have tried to spend a night in Tuk, a day in Homer, and a full day in Denali, so that only adds 2 1/2 days to what I did. I had budgeted 24 days including 3 flex days. I ended up not needing any of the flex days, and skipped my last stop in Nevada on the final leg home, so I was gone for 20 days total. Had I been able to do to Tuk on the upward leg instead of the return leg, I likely would have done those extra stops, but I was saving the flex days in case I needed to wait out weather for the Dempster.

    Getting home early and having a long weekend has left me with 4 days of decompressing before going back to work. I've been able to take my time getting the bike cleaned up and really just chill out for days. It's been nice - I usually give myself no time before back to the real world.

    With gas and hotels, and food etc. how was the budget (if that is not to personal)?
    In all honesty, I have no idea what I spent. I never really track a budget on trips like this - I know I'm going to do it, and it will cost what it will cost. I can tell you that motels ranged from $70 CAD (Westminster in Dawson) to $200 CAD (Nova Inn in Inuvik). Most were in the $90-100 CAD range. Rooms in the US were a little more... from memory, it was $90 for the cabin in Denali, $110(ish) a night in Valdez, $100 for the night in Tok and Haines, $110 for the room outside Glacier NP, and $70 for the room in Winnemucca, NV. Gas... well, I can't do it without it, so I don't pay much attention, and for food, I'm going to eat whether I'm on a trip or at home, so I never budget it for a trip, moto or otherwise. I didn't find the food prices to be particularly more expensive than anywhere else, if that helps.

    I only camped the three nights - if I were doing less miles per day I'd have camped more. Stewart was the by far the cheapest at $18 CAD. Boya was $20 CAD, plus $5 for firewood and $10 for the kayak rental. The KOA in Hinton was $35 CAD.

    Hope that helps!
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  7. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    Yeah....
    I’m taking Spanish right now with the idea of eventually heading south.
  8. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Ha! Wife says I can't go until I know more Spanish, though she's OK if I did a couple week immersion course down there, too.

    I know enough at this point that I wouldn't starve, but that's about it.
  9. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    I thoroughly enjoyed the hell out of this RR - great photos and even more thoughtful & entertaining commentary! And it was an added bonus meeting & hosting you along the way! Cheers and ride safe!!
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  10. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter --Crazy MoFo-- Supporter

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    Thank you for the ride along! Lots of good info, pics, and overall entertainment with your commentary. Glad it was relatively smooth and safe for you.

    A trip like this is on my list and probably do it alone unless I can find a like minded and equally prepared partner. From what I read here, about $4K plus any extra fun stuff or break downs. I was wondering about the back tire situation and I'm thoroughly impressed that yours made it the entire trip!
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  11. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    First day back to work... so... there's that...
  12. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter --Crazy MoFo-- Supporter

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    I took the entire month of June off for a combination of physical and mental health reasons........The first week back was a rough one!
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  13. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I did some REALLY rough math and made a bunch of estimates, and my rough cost was $3,500. This assumes you already have a bike suitable for the trip, but includes stuff you'd need like an oil change, fresh tires, etc.

    Biggest expense was motels for me - the more you camp, the less you spend (obviously). If I had camped every night, even in campgrounds, my cost would have closer to $2,500.

    That total includes food as well.

    So your $4k estimate is probably pretty accurate, especially if you take a little more time than I did.
  14. Vacillator

    Vacillator Adventurer Supporter

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    I thought you might have spent a few $$ on extra bear spray

    Thanks for the breakdown. I find it really helps when fantasizing about such trips....

    I did mention to the wife in passing how much I enjoyed reading your RR and that I thought I might enjoy a month long trip to Alaska, to which she replied, "not as much as I would enjoy you having a month long trip to Alaska". So I guess that's a positive??
  15. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Sounds like permission to me!
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  16. MGV8

    MGV8 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the ride report. Started reading when you left then got busy. To see if you made it I just read the last bit yesterday. Made me go and read the whole thing. Your pictures brought back all the memories from my trip to Tuk and you are spot on with your comments about the Dempster. 5 years ago I rode up to the Arctic circle out of Fairbanks on my ST1300. Time restraints kept me from going all the way and the rain storm coming up from the South. I think it was paved most of the way. I looked longingly up the Dempster road as I passed by but knew better than to even try then, that's when I made the commitment to go back. I've been up there three times now and still have haven't seen a lot of Alaska and the Yukon/NWT. Going back again as soon as I get the chance.
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  17. staudio

    staudio Time to take a ride.....

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    I agree with the others......this was a damn good ride report.
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  18. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    Damn good ride report indeed!

    I've been up to Alaska three times myself, the last trip being in 2018, and I really enjoy reading these ride reports. I'm somehow "connected" to Alaska and the ride reports are all I can have right now. I don't have any plans in the near-term to go back up that way, as I've promised my wife that I wouldn't take any more "long" trips while she's still working. She retires at the end of next year, so perhaps I can still get up there in 2021. There's much more to see and experience along the way.

    I really enjoyed your writing style, and your pictures really captivated the lands up north. I'm glad you were able to make it to Tuk. I've open been as far as the arctic circle markers, mainly due to time constraints.

    Looking forward to reading more ride reports of your adventures!

    Rick
  19. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    If you guys like this ride report, I'd strongly suggest having a look at this one - it's fantastic and done in the same style.

    Oh man, I crack myself up.
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  20. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    I'm going to have to read through your vintage report - I scanned the first page and it looks great! I also realized you were the mastermind behind the Alaska 2018 planning thread, which based on the 2019 thread I'd say has started a new advrider tradition. I found the info in both of those threads invaluable and look forward to being able to contribute to them in the future as someone who's gone did the thing.

    Unfortunately, it'll likely be a number of years before I can manage another epic-length RR to read. I'm hoping to fit in a long weekend in Baja, maybe this winter, to start to get my feet wet south of the border, but my South America ride will likely need to involve a little more planning and prep than this one did, and a lot more time and money.

    Plus, if I don't go somewhere with my wife soon she's gonna leave me!
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