Hello - Alaska to Ushuaia

Discussion in 'Americas' started by az22, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. az22

    az22 n00b

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    Hey everybody I've been a member of advrider since 17. I've been planning the Alaska to Ushuaia trip since 18. I've got a firm plan in place and 12,000 dollars saved as well as a bike and want to make the Prudhoe Bay to Ushaiai trip happen. I'm looking at an April 2021 departure from Prudhoe Bay. Has anyone done the trip recently? I understand with Covid there is a lot of uncertainty but this is one of my dreams. I see about half of the borers are open at the moment. It would mean the world to me if others could share their recent experiences with this route as well as the problems/benefits they experienced.
    -Cheers, Aaron
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  2. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    Have you changed your name?
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  3. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    April seems a bit early for Prudhoe
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  4. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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  5. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA, 2016 R1200RT Supporter

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    How many months are you planning to take? I know people do it in three months, but if you’ve been planning this your whole life, you won’t want to rush like that. We (wife and I) took over a year, starting from CA. And $12k seems tight, to me. But others who have done the trip on a tight budget (which to be fair was not our case) may have better input on that. And April start from Alaska sounds like a stretch. No shame in saving Alaska for another trip and starting from the lower 48, IMO.

    I planned for almost 20 years for that trip. It was worth it - did not disappoint. Look forward to your trip report when you do go!

    Jim
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  6. az22

    az22 n00b

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    Hey Jim, Thanks for the response. After seeing your reply as well as others I'm debating leaving from the pacific northwest instead. Looks pretty brutal in Alaska that time of year. I've budgeted for 4 months including Darien gap cross as well as flight/get bike home. I've been in contact with a few boats that travel from Panama to Colombia with motorcycles but with Covid there is still a lot of uncertainty. Assuming things are back to normal by departure date of April is it realistic to find a boat/airline to cross darien gap in Panama or is it easier to book in advance? Again thanks for the info, it's really helpful talking to people who have done this trip before.
    #6
  7. az22

    az22 n00b

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    Fair enough. I've braved a few Northwest winters on a motorcycle but that could be pretty rough. Thanks for the info!
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  8. Dirt2007

    Dirt2007 Long timer Supporter

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  9. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    az22 , Just a few remarks for consideration . I wish you well on your proposed trip ,but the question remains if it will be possible to do it smoothly and within a four months span ,as you hope. You may need to postpone the effort for a year or more. April 2021 seems unlikely to be done with covid 19.
    Best to minimize the amount of avoidable complications , to wit the idea of going all the way to Alaska to conform to some notion that the ride must be from the Arctic Circle to the Tierra del Fuego in one swoop. . Your cv is vague , stating your location as only being the USA . Alaska is at your doorstep. Mexico and Central America are closer still in your neighborhood . You can go to Alaska any time the border with Canada opens during a sane ,warmer part of the riding season. Some riders do the BIG trip in multiple stages, so leave Alaska for some later year ,no bonus points lost. .If you live in Arizona then start going south from there ,no reason to go to Washington state before turning south .

    Use your time and your money to best advantage to move yourself south . Even that will be fraught with potential delays and unpredictability of border restrictions as the covid 19 situation unfolds , it does not appear likely to disappear soon. It would be risky, if not totally futile to commit to making travel reservations for particular times to be at specific locations to make transport connections . Booking transport past the Darien Gap will bring many headaches if you are delayed ,or blocked at any one of the intervening borders and you may need to race recklessly to hit your appointment and not loose your deposit for one of the rare ships that could take you. Give serious consideration to the air freight service to transport the bike and yourself from the Tocumen,PanamaCity, airport .When it is operating normally it is a fast and efficient way to connect to Colombian roads and by all reports one can easily arrange transport when one shows up there , no need for long reservation that would press an urgency and limits on your travel mode.
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  10. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    Out of curiosity, have you been planning your trip since 2018? Or since you were 18 years old? If since 18yo, how old are you now?
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  11. tellicotom

    tellicotom Been here awhile

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    I'm only part way through my first cup of coffee this morning, but it seems to me a 4 month trip leaving in April puts you in Ushuaia during the winter down there? ?

    $12,000 seems reasonable if you camp alot or find cost effective hostel. My wife and I did 3 and a half month trip to Alaska with a budget of $100 per day for both of us and we're pretty close....
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  12. knight

    knight Long timer

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    Have you considered that leaving in April for 4 months has you timing your arrival in Ushuaia during winter ?

    You may want to think about delaying your departure till August in order to achieve a much better outcome
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  13. az22

    az22 n00b

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    Hey Sjoerd, thanks for the reply. You gave a lot of good information for consideration.
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  14. az22

    az22 n00b

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    I'm early 20's. I've had the idea about doing this trip since 18 and have been taking more and more steps as time has gone on to be ready for a trip like this.
    #14
  15. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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  16. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    Yolo! (You Only Live Once)

    I was in the southern Argentinian Andes a few years back (non-bike trip) and met a young solo 19yo German lad who had just started the week before in Ushuaia and was now heading north by surface transport (chicken buses etc). When I asked him how long he was going to travel for, he said "until I run out of money!" Which I thought was the best possible response for a young guy.
    He ended up travelling for 13 months, finishing in San Francisco. Found himself a Colombian girl midway through the trip. Learned how to surf. Today he's a doctor back in Germany.

    I think its awesome that you intend to do this trip. It will change you in ways you can't imagine, for the better.

    Its great you reached out to the forum. I think you've received some sound input, particularly about winter that early in Alaska and at the other end in South America. Covid will very likely still be a thing in central/south america next year, and you'll likely have significant issues trying to cross the numerous borders, closed hostels, etc.

    While 4 months seems like plenty of time... it really isn't. What you'll remember and appreciate after your trip are the experiences... people you meet, friends you make, cool towns you stay in for a week, mountains you climb, seeing Machu Picchu, ...etc. Its not the miles-per-day-every-day.

    Why not go really epic, save for another year, then take 6, 8, 10 months to do the trip?
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  17. az22

    az22 n00b

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    I appreciate the advice! I'm definitely trying to make the trip as memorable as possible so taking a bit longer certainly isn't a bad idea.
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  18. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Late April to early May can be a really beautiful time to ride Alaska and NW Canada. We did a Motorquest transporter deal a few years ago at that time and while cold (freezing +/- 5F) in the Yukon, the roads were completely clear and the weather was sunny the entire trip. Stunning views at that spring snow melt time of year.
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  19. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    This would work much better regarding covid. I would be surprised if Canada has the border open by April, they have been very strict, so you most likely would not be able to do Alaska to the US anyway.

    I am usually pro go for it, as life always gets in the way, but I think I am on the opposite side of the fence for you. My advice, spend all the money/time in Mexico/Central America, even that in 4 months is rushed, but would be pretty doable even in a covid world, as most of those borders are open. You are young, you can then return home and save and do S. America separately, no need to do it all at once, especially when you can put the shipping $$ towards fun instead.

    My friend and I budgeted 6-12 months to go from California to Argentina, 2 years later I was still in Colombia and had to return as I ran out of time....and I regret none of it. It is not about the destination, the slower you go, the more you will see, and get a much better feel for the people and countries you are in.
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  20. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    :vardy Are you kidding ??+ 5 F to -5F?
    I hope so .

    Of course it was bearable if you were inside a Mercedes Transporter , but wasn't the discussion about bike riding?

    :vardy:vardyFIVE DEGREES FAHRENHEIT on the plus or minus side may be fine for riding IF one is a POLAR BEAR:vardy:vardy

    That’s cold enough to freeze the giblets regardless of how many Watts of electric clothing one might have.

    If there are no leaves on the trees it ain’t no fun season for this rider:lol3 I’d say July would be a better time up North in Canada and Alaska
    #20