03-03-2010, 06:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
My 2009 AK ADV, Naco Mexico to Fairbanks and a bit beyond
It all started sometime around August of 2008; I don't even know what brought the idea to ride to Alaska into my brain, one day it just sounded like a good idea. I made my way over to ADVrider and checked out a few Alaska ride reports and they all looked like everyone was having a good time so why couldn't I expect to have similar wonderful experiences? Karen and I headed up to Tucson and came up with a few maps, travel books and the current issue of the Milepost and we were pretty much set. I set my main route by seeing what looked like the most fun in some ride reports and it gradually came together. The plan was to keep it less than 500 miles a day, camp as much as possible and just have an epic trip.
While planning the trip I realized that I would have to go somewhere fairly close to my buddy Chapa's house in Idaho. I emailed him to let him know what I was doing and that I'd appreciate being able to stop overnight at his house and get a good meal before heading to the Great White North. A couple of days later another guy at work, Houston, comes up and says, “so I hear we're riding to Alaska!”
Excuse me? I didn't realize my one-man adventure was going to be open to guests!
Gradually the plan came together, the day got closer, and Chapa decided he couldn't go. Cool except that Houston took that as a sign that his girlfriend DD should go in Chapa's place.
Finally the day came! Well actually the day before I was to leave came. The plan was to take the trip through three countries, living literally less than 10 miles made this a natural. Originally on the first day of the trip I was going to shoot down to Naco, then head back north to wherever I was planning on spending the night. Karen suggested we head down to Naco the night before so that I could get that part of the trip out of the way without having the bike completely loaded down, in addition it would give her a chance to join me on the first leg of the journey.
Day -1 of the great 2009 Alaska Adventure saw the two of us on the Strom heading down to Naco and get a couple of pictures.
So here's the route map for the first leg of the journey. It's not much to look at and it was only 10 miles in distance, well we had to go back home as well so I guess it was really 20 miles...
We messed around the border for about 20 minutes and took a few pictures to commemorate the beginning of the journey!
We made it home in plenty of time for me to get mostly packed up and ready for the next step in the morning.
I got up the next morning and realized that I had way more stuff than I had space to put it in. I tried to be honest with myself regarding the amount of clothing I was going to need and finally put that dress shirt back in the closet. I figured that as I consumed the food that was in my luggage I'd get more space anyway so the tight quarters would only last a couple of days.
After a bit of trial and error I finally got everything packed mostly where I wanted it. I even managed to squeeze on the camp chair so I'd have a comfy place to set my behind after a long day in the saddle. Notice the impressive size of the tank bag, it would come back to make itself known before the trip was over.
Yes, here I am finally ready to go. It's already getting hot out and I'm wondering what I was thinking with these heavy riding pants and jacket on. As I stand here Karen asks me how far I have to go today, of course I tell her that I'd specifically planned for the first day to be a relatively short 400 miles.
I then pull out my Day 1 route map and show her where I heading out to, Jacob Lake which just happens to be 520 miles away. I quickly realize that it's actually 9:00 and I have to ride 120 miles more than I'd thought and I'd better get on the road!