Minimum time to ride to Alaska and back?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by wyosam, May 15, 2020.

  1. wyosam

    wyosam Been here awhile

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    So I am going to Alaska for some backcountry non- bike related adventures in August with a buddy who lives up there. His wife is pregnant, and they are concerned about me coming straight from the airport to their home. One possibility I have contemplated is skipping the flight, and riding up. Trip would be from Jackson, WY to Delta Junction, AK. Google calls it 2600 and change/45 hours taking the scenic route through Jasper. Sounds like the perfect plan, except time is a little tight. Our backpacking/sheep hunt is 7 days, and I can manage 5 on either end for travel. Is that completely insane to consider riding? Would be my longest trip by a ton. I’ve done back to back 5-600 mile days a few times. They are long but manageable. I’ve not done 5 in a row, and 5 days means riding rain or shine all day. All this is of course assuming Canada is open to that sort of thing by August. Also would likely be 100% camping (I’m fine with living out of a tent for 3 weeks).

    5 day ride, 7 days backpacking, 5 day ride. 5300ish miles. Stupidist idea you’ve heard all day, or great adventure?
    #1
  2. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    Do it, Flash G!

    I did.. 3 weeks up and back from Houston, Tx.

    Sure there were long days and you miss alot of things...

    but point is.. you're still on a road trip and there are still great things to do / see..

    Everything can be an adventure...
    #2
  3. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Atlanta-Tuktoyaktuk-Atlanta in 15days round trip
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  4. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    I'd say go for it. Especially as on Aug 15, daylight (civil twilight to civil twilight) goes from around 4:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. But by the end of the month, you lose 2 hours of that. So assuming you're not totally trashed from the sheep hunt (which you might well be), it's doable. Hopefully, you have a comfy moto as that would make a big difference. Think Goldwing, Honda ST1300, Yamaha FJR1300 etc. vs KLR650, DR650. Also, heated jacket and gloves would be darn well near a necessity.
    #4
  5. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    Not to discourage a motorcycle adventure, but Delta Junction is only 100 miles from Fairbanks Airport straight down the Richardson Hwy...?
    #5
  6. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    The ride is doable. I know a couple who went from anchorage to Seattle in about 50 hours, and you’re talking about much more reasonable times.

    Two things I’d be thinking:

    Is a bike or travel related issue going to screw up your hunt? How much of an issue would that be?

    Is she going to feel better about you coming to the house directly from a week of traveling? Obviously you won’t be crammed in a plane with a bunch of people, but you will have numerous potential interactions.
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  7. Cantab

    Cantab Been here awhile

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    Mate i reckon you might need an extra day on the back end as its always more tiring on the way home, and , thats where your concentration can slip, you've had an epic ride there and tramping, prolly had less sleep as well.

    Your trip sounds bloody awesome tho :clap
    #7
  8. Olythom

    Olythom Adventurer

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    I would not risk the sheep hunt nor upset his wife. Fly up and stay in a hotel. Do your hunt prep somewhere other than his house if that worries his wife. The increase in costs is probably minor in the big scheme of things. Besides, after a week of sheep hunting, you’ll most likely be in no condition to do 8-hour days on the bike.
    >T
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  9. ADV Wanderer

    ADV Wanderer Been here awhile

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    The issue now makes more sense to me... The friend's wife is concerned about him bringing covid into the home. Your suggestion is a good one!
    #9
  10. DaleE

    DaleE TransAlp Adv

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    I did Boulder CO to Fairbanks on a Transalp in just over 4 days to meet friends for a river trip. Google says 3067 m but my GPS had me closer to 3400. Almost 3 days of it was raining. It was my second ride up and had a deadline so didn't mind just riding straight thru. Took my time on the way back though.
    #10
  11. wyosam

    wyosam Been here awhile

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    The ride up option misses his wife (and the drive from anchorage with him) altogether- we’d be meeting at the trailhead. Cost doesn’t really matter- my annual trip up there is always on miles anyway. The post sheep hunt long days to get home are definitely a concern.
    #11
  12. wyosam

    wyosam Been here awhile

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    The ride up option misses his wife (and the drive from anchorage with him) altogether- we’d be meeting at the trailhead. Cost doesn’t really matter- my annual trip up there is always on miles anyway. The post sheep hunt long days to get home are definitely a concern.
    #12
  13. AK2ID

    AK2ID Been here awhile

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    Sheep hunting is the most physically demanding hunt in AK. I come out of the mountains sore and pretty drained. I would put a recharge/rest day in the schedule before riding south.

    I guess I would also ask if the aggressive timeline would compromise the "fun", not simply if it can be done.

    Though the primary factor, without compromise, would be the health of your friends wife.
    #13
  14. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    you can do the ride another day.
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  15. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    It's just highway riding and the days are looooong in August. 500 miles a day are super easy up there. In 2012, I rode 10,000 miles from Arizona to Prudhoe Bay and back in 24 days, 2up with the wife and camping most nights.
    #15
  16. Bigeyedfish

    Bigeyedfish Adventurer

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    Obviously the answer is ride up, kill a sheep in 4 or 5 days, relax in the back country for a couple days, ride home. "The best laid plans something something something..."
    #16
  17. 9point

    9point Been here awhile

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    2nd that. Sheep hunts are a lot harder to come by then bike trips... and a lot more demanding
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  18. wyosam

    wyosam Been here awhile

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    This decision seems like it will probably made by the border being closed anyway.
    #18