Indiana to Anchorage and back in 11.5 days on a V-Strom?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by scarysharkface, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    edit: I did it, but it took 3 weeks round-trip on a BMW. It's doable in two though, imho. Look here:

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/scarysharkface-indiana-to-alaska-to-indiana-2015.1080786/

    John

    edit: Looks like I'm doing this over the course of 3 weeks (june 26, 2015, to july 19, 2015) on a BMW instead. - john

    Teh Google says I can do it with a bunch of 12 hour days.

    This would begin the last Friday of August (the 30th) at 5-ish pm after work and I've got to be back at work at 8 am September 11.

    I'm a glutton for punishment, but wonder if the external factors make the timetable too agressive for this.

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    Night 1 Brodhead Wisconsin sleep in a hanger
    Night 2 Minot ND
    Night 3 Edmonton AB
    Night 4 Tetsa River Provincial Park
    Night 5 Haines Junction YT
    Night 6 Anchorage AK
    Night 7 Haines Junction
    Night 8 Tetsa River
    Night 9 Edmonton
    Night 10 Minot
    Night 11 Brodhead
    Night 12 Home

    I probably won't attempt this, but I might. I might just ride until halfway through time available and turn around.

    Thoughts?

    John
    #1
  2. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Go for it. :nod It's not as bad as it looks. Considering I've gone from Glennallen, AK (about 3 hours east of Anchorage) to the Twin Cities in 3 1/2 days, you should even be able to do some sightseeing along the way.

    Get an early start in the morning to avoid some of the heavier traffic, and you won't have to travel late at night, although I prefer nighttime travel myself - when traffic is really light in most places. But up north, in moose country, it's best to be able to see far ahead.
    #2
  3. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    Awesome.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
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  4. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    Well, it's a couple of years later and I have a BMW R1200GS at my disposal and I'm revisiting this idea.

    John
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  5. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    Beautiful fall scenery at that time of year, but...

    the weather can be very iffy all the way, including snow and below freezing riding temps, and daylight is short. There's nowhere on that route where you want to ride after dark no matter the season.

    I was turned back by snow west of Watson Lake the second week of September, then had snow, sleet, and rain off and on all the way back to Montana.
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  6. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    Excellent points. I should have put in there that I'd consider doing it in, say, early July if I were to do it now. I know I'd bake across the plains, but the mountains would be better and I'd have some significant daylight up north.

    John
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  7. Bravo616

    Bravo616 Adventurer

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    I was going to travel at the same time of year initially. I still might go that route. Less expensive, less crowded, less mosquitos buzzing in my ear. The tradeoff is the unpredictable weather. Like you, I wanted to just beat feet up there, ride around some (take the mandatory pics) and beat feet back. On another trip I would take my time and enjoy more.
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  8. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    I've driven the highway twice, up in '88 and down in '91, both trips in winter conditions. Traffic was zilch, being the off-season, and scenery was spectacular. Days seemed awfully short though and progress was slow due to snow and ice.

    Many friends question the value of riding up, turning around and riding home, but they don't understand that the joy of the trip will be the riding through that part of the world. My wife gets it, but still thinks I should plan more down-time. Ultimately, I'd like to ride to Seward and maybe Homer as well, or do the loop through Fairbanks and Denali.

    John
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  9. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    I'm leaving in June and going up and back in 24 days from the same state and realized I'm not getting a chance to do a lot of sightseeing off the route with my schedule. Kudos if you can pull it off in 11.5 days and still feel fulfilled!
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  10. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    12 hours of drive time is more than that of actual travel time. I've done plenty of 12-14 hour days, but it was too much, even though I went out and did it again. And again. I never learn. I rode until 1am one time when I was in a groove (and felt kinda dumb afterwards.) But for 11 days in a row? Depends on you I guess. If you have to ask, then probably not. Not to be snide, just the truth.
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  11. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    I think just having the time on the bike in mountains would be good, but there's a lot of flatland in-between.

    It really depends upon what kind of days they are, but yes, you're probably right that if I have to ask, it's probably not for me and I may just have needed someone to type the words.

    Thanks for the input, everyone. If this is still floating around my brain when warmer weather hits, I might revisit again.

    John
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  12. Vin

    Vin Hopeless Addict

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    If it's what YOU want to do - GO.
    If it were me (and it's not) I'd pull the date in just to get longer days. Midnight Sun and literally riding all night was the coolest part of my late June trip. But there was more traffic that time of year - most of it pulls off the road by 6:00.
    You've got a bike and a supportive wife - what else do you need?
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  13. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    If you have 11 days, just go. Ride as much as you feel like each day, get as far as you get, then turn around. It's not like riding thru Canada sucks. You don't really need a destination, and if you have one, you don't really have to reach it.
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  14. smitty141

    smitty141 Only Pussy's die of natural causes.

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    In 2011 I road from St. Louis to Prudhoe bay and back in 14 days. Had a few side trips.. Up the Alcan, Prudhoe, Valdez, Chicken, Top of the World to Dawson, down the Cassier into Washington State, then home. I am all about the ride, not turning over every rock along the way.

    My trip up the Demster in2014 was about the same.. I just can't wait to go back...

    Smitty
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  15. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    If I can finagle 16 days off I'd be golden. *peruses calendar in earnest*

    John
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  16. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Don't fret too much about the date. My first trip over the Alcan on a bike (bringing a new-to-me bike back home) I pulled out of Sioux Falls, SD the day after Labor Day. My only regret was not having warm enough clothing, as I was dressed for comfort across the U. S. Being that I generally ride all night (Alcan included) I thought I was going to freeze to death in the wee hours north of Haines Jct. :vardy
    In subsequent trips I have carried warmer gear for such occasions and once left home at the end of August, arriving back home September 16th. Great weather all the way except for a little rain going north out of Dawson Creek, and hotter weather than I'm used to around Cody, WY. :knary

    Extra lighting is almost always beneficial, but with the stock lighting on most new bikes is not essential. And remember, until the autumnal equinox we still have more daylight here in the north than in the South 48.

    You can hit rain and miserable weather in July... and you can have perfect weather in September. Nothing is certain when it comes to Mother Nature. She's a woman, y'know. :rofl
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  17. sstracke

    sstracke Been here awhile

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    Just a thought...

    If you're running out of time, what about riding the TOW and back? You'd save 500 (+/-) miles, see Alaska, and get off the pavement. No Anchorage, but it looks just like Chicken, anyway.
    #17
  18. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    I'm fiddling around with Google Maps while working on computers today.

    Atigun Pass would be neat-o, as would Liard River, but the mileage would complicate things and tighten up the schedule if I were to do either of those.

    I figure I could shave a day-and-a-half by turning around at Tok, so yeah, I'm looking at alternatives.

    We lived in Anchorage and still have friends there and it would be pretty neat to pop-in for a visit and leave the following morning, but really in the grand scheme of things I'll be happy riding anywhere different and scenic.

    I've been around much of the state (I was a videographer with KTUU and covered the Iditarod in 1990, among a zillion other things), but I haven't been to Chicken or Dawson so that's tempting.

    I figure if I bias the first week's riding to include any side trips or longer routing, then I'll have some leeway with the return.

    I brought up taking a couple of weeks of vacation around late June and early July at lunch with my wife. She just said, "you're doing it, aren't you.." and smiled. Depending upon how things go with her father, who we just moved into a 24-hour care facility, I'd sure like to have her along, but the future in that regard is immune to planning.

    John
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  19. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Something you might look into, especially concerning ferry schedule between the two cities, is to turn off to Skagway at Jake's Corner (south of Whitehorse on the Alcan), ride over White Pass, take the ferry from Skagway to Haines (17 miles, 1 hour), back up over Chilkat Pass to Haines Jct, then on up the Alcan to Tok. If you were able to coordinate with the ferry sailing it would add just a few hours for some very worthwhile riding.
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  20. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    Ooooh! I hadn't even thought about that. Excellent suggestion!

    John

    edit: Looks like they don't do motor vehicles though. :(

    edit edit: Looks like I was looking at the wrong one. :)
    #20