$$$$ How much need I save for a trip to Alaska

Discussion in 'Americas' started by randyo, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    hot weather is not for me

    why? why do people go trout fishing ?

    my sanity has already been questioned locally, riding when its -25°F or in the middle of blizzards or at night in freezing rain

    its quite relaxing, I need more of a challenge

    I do want to do the ride in summer first, to get a feel for what the roads are like and the distances

    I usually ride 200 miles before breakfast
    #21
  2. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    Nope, I eat breakfast, eggs, sausage/bacon, potatoes, bread, OJ & coffee, you might see me spread some jam on my toast, but you'll never see me make a meal out of PB &J

    on the road, morning is the important meal

    based on the info I've got so far, my budget is going to be about $13,050
    by rough calculations 10k round trip + 5k side trips = 15000 x 45¢/mile = $6,750

    6 weeks/42 days x $150/day food-lodging = $6,300
    #22
  3. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

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    +10000 on hostels for inexpensive lodging. Just google alaska + hostels and you will get a lot of different individual hostels and hostel organizations. If it says youth hostel, don't worry, they're almost always for everybody.

    Just be aware. Hostels vary widely in cleanliness, security and rooming arrangements. I stayed in a horrible one in Anchorage - 4 bunk beds in a room (which isn't bad in itself), but not particularly clean and full of somewhat inebriated, staying up late 20 somethings. Stayed in a fabulous one on the Kenai Peninsula. It was the downstairs of a log home, immaculate, quiet and looked over a river where we watched brown bears. Read reviews.

    Reservations? I reserved in Anchorage, the one in Kenai I didn't.

    Bed and breakfasts in Alaska are not the same as down here. A lot of them are spare rooms in a house, not a whole house that has been converted to lodging and frufrooed up with victorian decorations. Might check out for lodging - may be cheaper, not sure.
    #23
  4. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Definitely reserve a room well in advance at Deadhorse and Coldfoot/Wiseman (if you're breaking up the Dalton into 2 days). Accommodations are scarce there and run out quickly. Boreal Lodge in Wiseman is a nice place and not too expensive. Prudhoe Bay Hotel in Deadhorse is expensive (like everything up there) but very nice.

    Everywhere else accommodations are plentiful, you shouldn't have a problem.
    #24
  5. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Summer of 2011 I rode from Calgary to Deadhorse over to Inuvik and all around Alaska. I was gone for 31 days and spent 2375.00. I love my tent.....oh ya and the f650 thumper gets 70mpg!
    #25
  6. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan from Scottsdale Supporter

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    $6 per gallon will cover it. All the hotels/motels in Canada are expensive. Most are little shanty things with maybe a bakery attached. Figure $100+ per night. Food is expensive too. Particularly the full breakfasts you list. I guess a full breakfast would come in about $15.

    I typically ate 2 bananas for breakfast purchased at a market. Maybe a couple snacks in my tank bag. Those bakeries on the Alcan are to die for, so I try and get a muffin and coffee at a gas break. My favorite is at Johnson's Crossing south of Whitehorse. Lunch might be a Subway or something similar. At night I'd try to eat something a more starchy and filling. I typically rode 600 mile days or so. A few 700's but not often. You are sort of limited by your nightly destinations.

    In 2006 and 2010 I rode the Alcan 5000 TSD rally. Seattle to the Circle; over the top to Faibanks; finish at Anchorage. 4500 miles in 9 days. Then another 3.5 days and 2400 miles back to Seattle. Cost about $3500 total for the motorcycle trip, which included my entry fee. Figure $120/day food and fuel. Another $100/day for lodging. I rode an KTM 950 (40mpg).
    #26
  7. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    If, that's an IF! you ride 200 miles before bkfst then is it really not lunch? And riding that far in a day in the winter headed that far north, maybe it's supper? And how does scouting the roads up there in summer have anything to do with those same roads in the winter? If I sound skeptical , you are spot on! :huh I'd say you need to save a bunch of money for the 2nd trip.
    I live in KY & local visitors ask how I get to my house in the winter and it is a loooooooooooooooong ways from AK...:rofl
    #27
  8. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    You do realize there will be minimal daylight, snow covered roads, and seriously cold weather.
    Do it on a snowmobile, it would make more sense.
    "200 miles before breakfast" 200 miles per day would be a good target that time of the year.
    Whats the name of the village your from? Are they going to find a replacement when your gone, because you know every village has one.
    #28
  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    My wife worked in mental health & truth be known that many villages have several...
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  10. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    200 miles before breakfast would not be a winter ride

    yes, I do realize amount of daylight at latitude is limited and seriously cold weather, cold riding and extreme storms are not new to me. I feel this would be the next step above what I have done locally. my annual StupidBowl Sunday Kanc ride has weather just slightly milder than the summit of Mt Washington, I've logged several hundred miles in active blizzard conditions and well as sleet & freezing rain, (more experience in the dark than in the daylight) and been out in temps down to -25°F on the bike, I have also experienced working outside in -40° and colder with wind chills at -100° or colder, so its not that I don't know what to expect or the dangers are

    in extreme conditions, I would expect to ride 300-350 miles a day max, if there's no way stations at that distance, I'd obviously have to cut it short

    anyway, the point of this thread is to start planning for a 6 week summer vacation with the ultimate goal of returning during winter months to "climb the mountain" so to speak
    #30
  11. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Riding @ -25degrees,that ought to be fun? I'm actually more personally concerned as to IF I can ride into the "snow free zone" headed south in a few weeks to Mexico from KY. It's common to trailer a bike to that area before actually riding but then I'm not a "biker in the snow & ice" type of guy...
    #31
  12. ArcticRider

    ArcticRider Been here awhile

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    Randy, no disrespect but I have spent many winters in Deadhorse and along the haulroad over the past 20 years and it is not advisable for you to consider this trip in winter. Having a deathwish is your own business but you place everyone else at risk including the emergency responders that will have to save your frozen carcass.:huh seriously.

    That is a real good idea you have to check it out in summer first. I had dinner with the last three riders up there this fall...they were from South Korea and riding 800GS. The Pass was already pretty snow packed the day they headed south in Sept but at least they had daylight. Maybe you should fly Alaska Airlines up to Deadhorse in the winter to check it out first.
    #32
  13. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I fully understand what the conditions are and have no plans to attempt the ride without full consideration of what I would be attempting to do, any winter ride would be sponsored and I would most likely have a chase vehicle. A summer ride is my first step toward this goal
    #33
  14. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Great advice from Arctic Rider , , spoken from actual experience in winter up in Alaska.
    And now Randy, the plot thickens, . If you have a chase vehicle does it still qualify as actually riding , or are you just going to dash out of the warm coccoon of said chase vehicle do do a pass for the camera here and there and pose for some pictures? Is that the technique you use back in Vermont to make a quick afternoon dash out in the weather before returning to the heated house?Are you airfreighting the bike and stuff up to Alaska or are you actually riding it there from Vermont.?
    What about the legality of riding a bike around in the frozen hinterland roads? Even this past summer I saw lots of signs warning about the legal requirement for cars and trucks to carry and to USE chains from Oct to April . The troopers might just order you off the road for safety sake Even if you are " a citizen" you will still be deemed a "subject " of the law. .Arctic Rider , ,how does that work in Alaska?
    What about the ice conditions- how often do you fall down even in your home state when/if you ride around in blizzard conditions as you claim. ? What if your chase vehicle loses sight of you in a whiteout and you disappear down an embankment into deep snow? Two wheels are not the ticket for staying upright and mobile on ice roads or icy roads,.Perhaps you have been watching too many episodes of Ice Road Truckers where they do the macho thing up north while sitting in secure heated truck cabs knowing that rescue vehicles are within range .
    And RandyO how is the search for sponsorships going, or how do you envision " sponsors" ? Are they just going to give you money to live your fantasy or are they going to demand something in return? Will it be a sponsorship to support some pet cause - in which case most of the sponsorship money would really not be yours to spend..
    As proof of your bonafides why don't you post here on this site an extensive video of your previous exploits in actually riding in supercold and blizzard conditions on you motorcycle in Vermont and prove to all potential sponsors what they may be paying for .No fancy editing of many short action bits , show us the whole picture of how you actually RIDE in blowing deep snow with lousy visibility on icy roads with oncoming traffic.
    #34
  15. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    Vermont?
    #35
  16. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    :D Vermont- New Hampshire- same thing , one of the small lumpy green states holding New York back from falling into the salty drink ,both with 8 months of winter and 4 months of bad sledding :lol3 so how about a video ?
    #36
  17. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    video

    no, I ride for my own gratification and could care less what others think

    VT is green, NH has a rockpile that sticks up into the jet stream. Winter weather is as extreme as anywhere on earth
    #37
  18. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    While Randyo's idea might sound a bit suicidal to those who have not done something similar, it isn't. Given sufficient preparation and an awareness of the hazards associated with such a ride, it is entirely doable with relatively little risk. The weather would, of course, be a major factor. But closely monitoring forecasts and picking the right time would do a great deal to mitigate potential problems. From my own experience, the bigger problem would be getting the motorcycle started in the morning if there were no way to store it inside a heated building overnight.

    During the winter, the surface of the Haul Road is more uniform and less likely to cause a rider to go down than in the summer when grading and rebuilding is being done. North of Atigun Pass caribou are dense across the coastal plain during winter months, but due caution (and good lighting) can make that a non-issue.

    More difficult rides have been planned and executed successfully. Rather than explain why it can't be done (and it certainly can, as has been proven more than a few times), perhaps the collective wisdom should be applied to assist in getting it done safely.
    #38
  19. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    I'll bet any money, you and Jessie James are facebook friends
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  20. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    My thinking on that one is easy if I have place to plug block heater in.

    I remember the day I rode at -25°, it was before i had my V-strom, not that it makes any difference, it took quite a bit to get my SV650 started, even with the battery connected to a tender overnite, it still cranked so slow it wouldn't start till I blasted the bike with heat from my salamander for close to a half hour. I was running 10-40 oil. I am looking for a 0w-20 or 0w-30 oil that has shear strength modifiers like zinc but no friction modifiers like moly
    #40