Prologue - Weve been meaning to get on the road and stretch our legs sooner, but couldnt bear to leave our best friend Duke the wonder dog behind. This situation changed this past November when at age 13, cancer had Duke on the ropes and we eased his passing and had him transitioned into eternal rest. I mention Dukes passing because several of the ADV crowd have stayed with us on their journeys and have played with him - Duke was a memorable pal to many and is dearly missed. Rest in peace, Dukie boy. The Trip A month, 10,000 miles give or take, Anchorage to the states - touring around - and back. Very loosely planned. In fact, they only hard date in this hair-brained scheme is we board the marine ferry in Haines, Alaska on May 28 and arrive in Bellingham, WA on the morning of May 31. After that, the plan is so loose, there is practically no plan. Weve always wanted to ride the Alaska Marine Ferry - and cruise the inside passage. The logic for taking the ferry down to the states was also encouraged by the fact winter is still hanging on and the Alcan and Cassiar highways through Canada are pre-green up - the route is still brown and the lakes are still frozen. After another month on the way back, the overland routes should be green and lakes melted - just in time for the mosquitos and RVs - wouldnt want to miss them! Well visit my brother South of Seattle and Debs Mom in the Los Altos area - other than that, were road bums. Well start riding home on an overland route (either the Cassiar or the Alcan - havent decided yet) to Alaska after about a month. Pre-Trip Prep Week Mostly packed and ready to go, just tending to some last minute tweaks. Funny, each little thing takes on a whole new perspective - could each thing we pack make big difference on a long trip? Or will it be dead weight? Well see. Our gear is minimalist - not much more than a tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, and jet boil for tea and oatmeal. Well camp when conditions are favorable and motel it otherwise. The rest of the gear is electronics, cameras, clothes, tire and chain repair stuff, and basic tools. Even though we think we are minimalist, it still looks like a lot of stuff - just keeping track of all the chargers and cables makes my head hurt - but Im not complaining, each thing is neat and adds functionality. The Bikes Deb: 2011 Suzuki DR650, moded and farkled for ADV riding. Gary: 2011 Suzuki DL650, moded and farkled for ADV riding. Since we havent had much riding season here as yet, we have only been out a few times this season to wake the bikes from their winter slumber and check out the newly acquired video cameras, mounts, etc. Here is a short 1 minute video of one of our shakedown runs: <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="https://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2497385529_x8TSQfg?width=640&height=360&albumId=28939472&albumKey=j7pvxc"></iframe> Best viewed full screen at 1080p. May 18 - One week to showtime. A late season storm brought cold temps and several inches of snow overnight. Opened the garage door this morning to this - the weather is making a point it is still boss. Not too worried, the forecast over the next week is supposed to be gradual improvement - so were hanging in there. Planning on rolling May 25 - that will give us three days to make it to Haines for the ferry. Figuring on making it to Tok, Alaska the first day, and camp at Thompsons Eagles Claw motorcycle park. Latest reports are some new snow on the Alaska Hwy stretch around Kluane Lake/Destruction Bay section - but the long range weather forecast is favorable, so hoping this will be a non-issue. If we get into Haines early enough, and the ferry schedule and planets align, we would like to check out Skagway. Weve stayed at the motorcycle park before - a neat, whimsical place. This was last year - July 2012. Ill post our SPOTwalla link before we leave & hope to see some of you on the road - stay tuned.