Philly to Anchorage - Leaving May 21 on an F650GS

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JackB1, May 13, 2009.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 0 - Wednesday May 20
    Start: Ocean City, NJ
    End: Malvern, PA
    Trip Miles Today: 93
    Total Trip Miles: 93

    Well, did it! We have begun! As advertised I shot down to the New Jersey shore this AM to establish a trip start point at the Atlantic coast. That done, fired straight back to Philadelphia to RevZilla Motorsports and a little kickoff gathering. RevZilla was generous enough to make a donation to The Austin Hatcher Foundation, a videographer from the CBS TV outlet in Philadelphia showed up to catch the proceedings (a short segment on the ride was shown on the 6PM news tonight!), and then I made the gruling ride back to my home some 20 miles away. The real miles start tomorrow - off for Detroit (600 miles all highway) at 6:00 AM. Gotta get through the boring parts to get to the interesting stuff. Hope that weather you see in the picture holds for another 16 days or so!
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    #21
  2. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    I love this! Were you reading my mind - you have my current thoughts about routing, both up and back, positively nailed!!!!! Thanx for the reinforcement. Jack
    #22
  3. BoochZilla

    BoochZilla Metal.Moto.Mania.

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    762
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #23
  4. heynowref

    heynowref ...

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,252
    Location:
    Berwyn PA
    Damn, forgot is was this morning.
    I had envisioned chasing you down 202 giving you the salute.

    Anyway - safe travels.
    #24
  5. BoochZilla

    BoochZilla Metal.Moto.Mania.

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    762
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Here is the best we got from your official departure from RevZilla HQ

    <iframe align="center" src="http://www.flickr.com/slideShow/index.gne?set_id=72157618585648586&" frameBorder="0" width="500" scrolling="no" height="500"></iframe>

    See the Gallery on Flickr.com

    Anthony
    #25
  6. GSdiablo

    GSdiablo cubical farmer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    On the wrong side of the river
    I have a place halfway between Danbury Wi, and Hinckley Mn. It's very private and has a hunting cabin with everything you would need. If interested, PM me. Enjoy the road :clap
    #26
  7. whatsgnu

    whatsgnu Scheissekopf

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    294
    Location:
    S. VT / W. MA
    Ride safe and enjoy the trip ! Riding to Alaska and raising money, YOU ROCK !

    In March 1979 I took the ferry from Seattle to Haines , AK then drove the rest of the way to Fairbanks and Anchorage in my old SAAB 96. I spent 2 years at Elmendorf AFB and almost stayed when I got out. Two of the best years of my life !

    Enjoy the ride and enjoy Alaska !:clap
    #27
  8. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
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    101
    I'll look at a tonight or tomorrow, may be interested. Will PM probably tomorrow. Thanks for the offer, Jack!
    #28
  9. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Hey, I thought someone was following me. Were you in a White Ford with blue and red flashing lights on the roof? No matter, I dusted him off!!! :rofl
    #29
  10. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Day 1 &#8211; Thursday May 21, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Malvern, PA<o:p></o:p>
    End: Novi, MI<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 555<o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 648.5<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p><o:p></o:p>It's pretty hard to make an adventure story out of a 10 hour ride on toll roads! Suffice to say, Thursday was a day of 500+ miles supported by flawless weather and flawless performance by the bike and my gear. I'm sure the "dramas " will come later (but soon enough.)

    The highlight of the trip was something that I knew would happen sooner or later. I never imagined it would happen so soon, however. While making a gas stop on the PA turnpike near Harrisburg, PA a guy just kinda wandered up to the bike and was examining it carefully. In my casual way I asked him "Do you ride?" His answer was, "oh yeah!" He proceeded to tell me that he rides a BMW G650X Challenge back at his home near Mays Landing, NJ. He asked if I knew the website ADVRider and I showed him the ADV sticker on the back! He told me his nic but I promptly lost it. In any case I knew I'd cross paths with other folks from this site. I just never imagined it would happen in the first hour and less than 100 miles from home!!!!

    I'm standing down in Michigan today (Friday) to visit with friends but will be back on the road Saturday bound for Wisconsin!

    Ride safe! Jack

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    #30
  11. bluecone

    bluecone Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
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    12
    Location:
    Northern VA
    Glad to see you made it to Novi...go Wildcats!
    #31
  12. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 2 – Friday May 22, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Novi, MI<o:p></o:p>
    End: Novi, MI<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 146
    Total Trip Miles: 792

    Not too much to say about Friday as it was always scheduled as a down day in Michigan to visit with friends. I put a surprising amount of miles on the bike just riding around from place to place (bar to bar??) and to friends homes. Now the seroius business of getting to Anchorage begins - I anticipate riding hundreds of miles each day. Off to Wisconsin today in another perfect weather day! Stay tuned!! <o:p></o:p>
    #32
  13. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    Doesn't look like that's gonna be on my schedule. Wish it was!
    #33
  14. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 3 &#8211; Saturday May 23, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Novi, MI<o:p></o:p>
    End: Edgerton, WI<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 427<o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 1218


    While it didn't happen until this afternoon, I am proud to say that I FINALLY go off the interstates and had a chance to ride some of the excellent (and empty) secondary roads in Wisconsin. Following a 7:30 AM departure today I took I-94 across the breadth of Michigan followed by a multi state stint on I-90 through the Chicago metro area. However, by early afternoon I just couldn't do it anymore! At Beloit , WI I hopped off the highway and went west to the small town of Brodhead, WI. As a pilot I know Brodhead pretty well and have flown in there a number of times. The Brodhead Airport, a grass field that is a throwback to times gone by, has a national reputation as a hotbed of antique airplane restoration and flying. Check out the pic of the F650GS in front of the hangar containing the 1950s Piper! After my brief visit to Brodhead I went to visit another flying/motorcycling enthusiast friend who lives close by. On his recommendation I plan to spend tomorrow morning headed North by West on more of those great Wisconsin backroads in the general direction of the Mississippi Valley and Lacrosse, Wi. Hopefully I can enter Minnesota by mid-day and North Dakota is still a possibility by late tomorrow. We'll see. I'm thinking I need to flesh out my plan to get to Dawson Creek, BC by Friday evening with a few more details over the next day or so. By sometime Monday moring, around Fargo, ND, I'll have to decide whether I'm going to continue Westbound in the US before turning North when I get to the mountains, or if I'm going to go Northwest toward Calgary and enter the Rockies in that area. Time will tell. At least teh weather is cooperating!!!

    Jack

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    #34
  15. vermin

    vermin unrepentant thinner

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    573
    Dude you let the secret out! The weather is always perfect in michigan, wanna buy my house cheap.
    #35
  16. ricohman

    ricohman Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
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    2,059
    Location:
    Saskatchewan
    #36
  17. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
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    101
    Day 4 - Sunday May 24, 2009
    Start: Edgerton, WI
    End: St. Cloud, MN
    Trip Miles Today: 454
    Total Trip Miles: 1672

    Today started out foggy, misty, and cold but ended up being the best riding day yet. Took off from Edgerton and headed Northwest around Madison until a mid-morning stop at the amous architect Frank Lloyd Wright's home near Spring Green, MN. Fascinating stuff and the visitor center is very well done. Tours of his famous home, Taliesin, and the grounds are available but take hours so I had to pass. About this time the weather cleared and the balance of the day was, once again in perfect conditions. A "post card" quality day! I headed West on wonderful secondary roads and eventually found myself at the banks of the Mississippi.At that point I headed North to Lacrosse where I (ugh!) once again jumped on the Interstate. I once again headed West, across the river, and into Minnesota. Some 90 inutes later I found myself in Austin, MN which, among other things is the corporate home to Hormel Foods and their signature product, Spam. It would be hugely remiss to be in Austin,MN and not go to the Spam museum. Seriously! No joke! There is a spam museum and, while a bit tongue-in-cheek and campy is actually very well done and maintained. I'd recommend it as a side trip to anyone who passes through the area. It's fun!! I left Austin about 3PM and sorta convince myself that I'd ride for another 3 hours and see where it left me. Where it left me is St Cloud, Minnesota which is where I'll spend the night. North Dakota and beyond tomorrow and it looks like there is a good chance I'll get wet for the first time this trip.
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    #37
  18. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    Having lived in SE Michigan for 33 years I know the weather is NOT always perfect. And, nope I don't need another house there. I had one that I bought in 1986 and sold (er.....gave away) last year!!
    :rofl
    #38
  19. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

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    Start: St. Cloud, MN
    End: Dickinson, ND
    Trip Miles Today: 453
    Total Trip Miles: 2125
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    Day 6 – Tuesday May 26, 2009
    Start: Dickinson, ND
    End: Shelby, MT
    Trip Miles Today: 501
    Total Trip Miles: 2626


    Days 5 & 6 were, in truth mostly about getting in position to start the part of the ride that I'm really excited about - Canada and the North! I managed to cover nearly a thousand miles in two days but it's hard to get jazzed about describing hundreds of miles on I-94 across North Dakota and Montana. It wasn't all tedium however. I did, however, make time to see "Sue - The World's Largest Holstein Cow" in New Salem, ND. My carefully crafted strategy was to do "big" miles the first 5-6 days of the trip so that I can take smaller bites and stop more often for photo ops and interesting sights and events once I got to Canada. That "better" part starts tomorrow. I will "highway" it up to Calgary tomorrow, then the plan is to do the Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper loop on the Icefields Parkway Thursday, and hopefully the Bighorn up to Grand Prairie and beyond on Friday. Will decide on a day to day basis based on weather but it looks pretty good. Bike is running great and I am surprised to say that even the stock seat is tolerable - at least up to a point!
    [​IMG] "Sue- The World's Largest Holstein Cow" New Salem, ND
    She's a big one for sure!
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    The view out the front. This is how most of Eastern and Central Montana looks.
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    In Montana every town has it's handful of casinos - some even double as gas stations!
    #39
  20. JackB1

    JackB1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    101
    Day 7 &#8211; Wednesday May 27, 2009<o:p></o:p>
    Start: Shelby, MT<o:p></o:p>
    End: Banff, Alberta, Canada<o:p></o:p>
    Trip Miles Today: 323<o:p></o:p>
    Total Trip Miles: 2949


    Rode a paltry 323 miles today but stopped more often to take in sights and scenery. Haven't seen much for wildlife yet (unless you count prairie dogs). I expect that will change Thursday as I travel from Banff to Jasper, Alberta via the Icefileds Parkway..reputed to be one of the most beautiful and scenic routes in North America. And supposedly plenty of animals too! Off we go!

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    You can see a lot more of my pictures on smugmug by clicking here !
    #40