07-24-2009, 02:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Cambridge, Ont., Canada
My "Slightly Past Mid-Life Crisis" Gold Rush Tour 2009
The Spell of the Yukon
As I near 50 years of age, I often look back on my life so far. I contemplate the choices and decisions I've made, my failures and accomplishments, dreams and goals. The past while I have not been a happy person. Something is missing. I have never felt such discontent and restlessness. Why? I have a wonderful wife and children whom love me very much. I have a nice home. I have a good job that pays pretty well. I have my health. But still, Iím not content. I am tired of the daily routine. I find that I have fallen into a rut of repetitious existence. My spirit is dieing a bit more every day. There is much more to living than this.
Since getting involved in motorcycling a number of years ago (after my first life crisis), I've come to enjoy long distance touring; every trip taking me farther and farther off the beaten track. Riding my motorcycle always took my mind off life's problems and the daily grind. One cold winter's night while "surfing the net" searching for interesting routes and roads for future trips, I came across a unique website, "Adventure Rider". I was inspired. Reading the well documented ride reports of two wheeled adventurers traveling through far off lands got me dreaming. What a better way to warm my soul and put some adventure back into my life than to do a long distance, epic solo trip to a place far away on a motorcycle! Time to "go walkabout"..... Alaska and the Arctic would be the destination!
I started doing some preliminary planning for this trip back in 2007. Then I owned a Honda VTX1800 cruiser that I felt no longer was the right bike for me. I needed something that was more nimble in the twisties and could perform reasonably on rough gravel roads. In 2008 I traded my VTX for a Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom. I spent that summer outfitting and farkling the bike to transform it into a machine that I was confident could take me across the continent and back, not always on the easiest path. In addition, I upgraded all my camping gear. I did a couple of trial trips down through the Appalachians trying out different gear, coming home and ordering more!
My 2009 trip plan was to ride across the US plains as far as the Rocky Mountains in Montana then turn right. I planned to visit the Sand Hills of Nebraska, the Black Hills of South Dakota, travel Beartooth pass from Wyoming into Montana, Visit Glacier NP and then cross back into Canada. I planned to see some of the Kootenays of BC, Banff and Jasper in AB, and make a 2 day stop in Hyder in southern Alaska to see the Salmon Glacier and perhaps some fishing Grizzlies as I worked my way North to Whitehorse in the Yukon. After a much needed tire change and bike service I would continue north to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories to see the midnight sun then back south-west into Alaska. After a number of days touring AK, I decided I would take a Canadian route across the prairies, around the Great Lakes and finally home. I had planned to camp most of the way hoping not to be ravaged by bears or other scary campground dwellers!
Well itís hard for me to believe but after 2 years of dreaming, planning, spending and preparing, my epic cross continent motorcycle trip to the Arctic & Alaska is now just a memory. I figure after being home for a week, I best get this RR started. What an awe inspiring adventure it truly was. Any expectations I had for this trip were greatly exceeded! I know there have been many fantastic ride reports, especially about travels to Alaska & the Arctic, but please sit back and journey with me and enjoy my contribution back to Adventure Rider......
~ Robert Service ~
I wanted the gold, and I sought it;
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy, I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.
I wanted the gold, and I got it --
Came out with a fortune last fall, --
Yet somehow life's not what I thought it,
And somehow the gold isn't all.....
Twistn'roads screwed with this post 07-26-2009 at 11:23 AM