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Old 01-21-2005, 10:04 AM   #1
Ge-Mini-gun OP
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Alaska under 29 days?

After reading R1150GSA report on his trip to Alaska got me thinking about doing the same thing, however, as I was reading his post he stated it took 29 days to do the trip, is it possible to do it under that time but not beat the hell out of your self in the process? Not interested in seeing Canada as I have already done that, would like to see Banff, so I was thinking leaving VA and get to Montana ASAP and then up from there. Options/problems, opinions, etc?
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Old 01-21-2005, 10:20 AM   #2
keith in alaska
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VA-AK-VA....an option

Anyway you slice it, it is a loooong way. Much of it is uninteresting.
If time is a factor, you can fly and ride out of Anchorage. We have been providing BMW rentals for 12 years. www.rentalaska.com
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ge-Mini-gun
...so I was thinking leaving VA and get to Montana ASAP and then up from there. Options/problems, opinions, etc?
I've done the Alcan many times. If you haul ass and don't see anything but a blur from WA or MT to Anch is 3 days. Not bad if you only had to do it once.

Your route though, assuming you saw nothing but gas stations between VA and Anch (and then back again) would consume 1/2 your trip... and that 1/2 would suck wildly. I vote for Keith's option. Fly up and start enjoying rather than attempt a forced march.
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:35 PM   #4
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When i went up in May 2003 i took 7 days up there, 7 days in Alaska, 5-6days on the way back. I saw a lot though i wish i had more time as always... i did haul ass at times due to the weather being shit at times, and i could not see some things literally since it was snowing...
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Old 01-21-2005, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ge-Mini-gun
After reading R1150GSA report on his trip to Alaska got me thinking about doing the same thing, however, as I was reading his post he stated it took 29 days to do the trip, is it possible to do it under that time but not beat the hell out of your self in the process? Not interested in seeing Canada as I have already done that, would like to see Banff, so I was thinking leaving VA and get to Montana ASAP and then up from there. Options/problems, opinions, etc?
Hey Mini Gun,

I live in Virginia too and am thinking of going to Alaska this year myself. I have done alot of long distance riding and I think I could get to the top of Alaska and back to VA in two weeks but prefer to take three weeks (give or take a few days). PM me if you are interested in a riding partner there.
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:22 PM   #6
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There are a couple of ways to look at this.....plus there's his own way...:)
I've always enjoyed trip planning.

Richmond(?) to Anchorage(?) is about 4,400 one way.

It's 1,800 to Portal (ND/SK), 3 days.
And Portal would/could be the CN exit point, also since he want's to do Jasper/Banff.
Total = 6 boring, tire eating, fuel burning days to CN border and back. OK, a week, it rained like hell or he had a bad hangover one day, whatever.

'If' he had 22 other days allowed for an AK trip, he could see a lot. The weather could be super or it could take him to his knees. I remember about 10 months ago or so Trailace, from Houston, posted about an AK trip he was gonna do and had 'x' number of days...like 3 weeks or so. I spouted off something like I, personally, wouldn't do it unless I had at least a month. Well heck, here I was last summer (late summer) doing a similar kinda AK run with only 3 weeks. It may not make sense to everybody else (or even to yourself at times) but when you wanna go, heck, go. Too often, time is more valuable than money in our society, so we just push it and get what we can.

You guys have some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. Gimme another couple Summers there, please.
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Old 01-21-2005, 08:42 PM   #7
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Even if you are not interested in Canada, you gotta go through it to get here. How many days less than 29 do you have? Are you camping or hoteling? What are you riding? Weather and time of year is always a factor, not to mention road closures due to fires last summer. It'll be an adventure. If you come through Anchorage, stop by. Barb
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ge-Mini-gun
After reading R1150GSA report on his trip to Alaska got me thinking about doing the same thing, however, as I was reading his post he stated it took 29 days to do the trip, is it possible to do it under that time but not beat the hell out of your self in the process? Not interested in seeing Canada as I have already done that, would like to see Banff, so I was thinking leaving VA and get to Montana ASAP and then up from there. Options/problems, opinions, etc?
I say go for it but.... I would do two things before I left:

#1...... mount a video and a still camera on your bike so that when you got home, you could check out where you'd been.

#2..... when you mount your cameras, wire in one of those tiny little tape recorders so that when you get home, you could listen to yourself describe the places you want to check out on your next trip. The one that affords you enough time to experience "The Last Frontier"


Short on time???? One word: FLYNRENT.

PS, I'm a little confused that you mentioned you were not interested in seeing Canada because you had done that, yet you hadn't been to Banff. WTF?

IMHO Canadian Rockies offer some of the finest riding available in North America.
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:39 AM   #9
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Maine to AK and back, through Canada, 11,300+ miles, 25 days. Any way to do it without beating yourself up? No, not unless you do the rental option or ship your bike both ways. Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2005, 12:00 PM   #10
Harry Swan
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Well, if you are willing to ship your bike you will cut out a lot of the boring stuff. I met some riders from Pennsylvania who shipped their bikes to Vancouver and rode like mad for the next 2 weeks. I think they were taking the ferry back to Vancouver and flying back. Not my idea of a Northwestern adventure but they at least got to ride. A more time saving way would be to ship your bike to The Motorcycle Shop in Anchorage ... Fly in and ride for as long as you want. On my first trip to Alaska I had a family emergency and I flew out leaving them to crate and ship it for me. My hat's off to them for all their help. They charged me around $700 bucks to do it, and it did take some time to float out of Anchorage and then truck it to Los Angeles. Give them a call. They were great servicing my bike, too, and I've heard nothing but praise about them from everybody else: http://www.themotorcycleshop.com/

Keep in mind that there aren't that many roads in Alaska and the adventure is as much getting there as it is riding there. You really need the time to explore. For me when you get there, you're going to want to get off the bike and get into some wilderness. That's really the point of going.

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Old 01-22-2005, 05:23 PM   #11
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So I guess I should make sure that I have a minimum of a month, huh? Skyline thanks for the offer, however from what is being posted here I don’t think I’ll make it until mid 07, if you want to wait till that time you have a partner. I’m in school until then and was asking about the time frame, because I thought I would be able to get it in between semesters, but looks like not. What I meant by not interested in seeing Canada is I don’t want to run from the east side of CA to the west side of CA, I would rather see the US first. Thanks for all of the great advise, you guys are super!
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ge-Mini-gun
So I guess I should make sure that I have a minimum of a month, huh? Skyline thanks for the offer, however from what is being posted here I don’t think I’ll make it until mid 07, if you want to wait till that time you have a partner. I’m in school until then and was asking about the time frame, because I thought I would be able to get it in between semesters, but looks like not. What I meant by not interested in seeing Canada is I don’t want to run from the east side of CA to the west side of CA, I would rather see the US first. Thanks for all of the great advise, you guys are super!
I've never seen more people willing to help others 'thinking' about riding to their part of this continent than the folks from Alaska.
Helmets off to you guys.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Rider
I've never seen more people willing to help others 'thinking' about riding to their part of this continent than the folks from Alaska.
Helmets off to you guys.

The pleasure is all ours..... or is it all hours??? I forget.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:22 PM   #14
Fighter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ge-Mini-gun
So I guess I should make sure that I have a minimum of a month, huh? Skyline thanks for the offer, however from what is being posted here I don’t think I’ll make it until mid 07, if you want to wait till that time you have a partner. I’m in school until then and was asking about the time frame, because I thought I would be able to get it in between semesters, but looks like not. What I meant by not interested in seeing Canada is I don’t want to run from the east side of CA to the west side of CA, I would rather see the US first. Thanks for all of the great advise, you guys are super!
GMG... I understand completely. When you do make it to northern Montana/Idaho, check this out. Round trip from Sandpoint could be done in an easy day, but you might decide to keep heading north. Not sure if you had seen the following. Fighter


Living in Alaska for over 30 years and being an avid motorcyclist for half again that long certainly doesn't make me an expert but.... here is a route
that I use.
From Flathead Lake:
Glacier National Park to Babb, MT
Babb to Pincher Creek, AB: with a side jaunt into Waterton Pk
Pincher Creek over the Crows Nest to CranBrook, BC
Cranbrook to Creston, BC
Creston to Kootenay Bay; free ferry to Balfour
31 and 31A to Nakusp
23 to Galena Bay; free ferry to Shelter Bay
Shelter Bay to Revelstoke, BC
Revelstoke into Lake Louise and up to Jasper, AB

Not sure if this works but if you are anywhere near either Revelstoke on the north end or Creston, BC on the south end, DO THE ABOVE.

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Old 01-22-2005, 11:29 PM   #15
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Rather than fly & rent, you might consider shipping and flying. You can ship your bike and all your gear on a truck ahead of you for probably something like the cost of your rental. I've shipped bikes and its not as expensive as you might imagine. The advantage of this (other than the obvious one of riding your own bike) is that you get to ride back. Rather than the Alcan, I *strongly* recommend the Cassiar Highway. I didn't find *any* of the ride uninteresting, but that's just me. I understand that the Alcan is flat, straight and boring for quite a ways, which is why I rode the Cassiar up and down. Highly recommended, amazing scenery, and you get to stop in at Hyder, AK. In fact, if all you wanted to do is "go to Alaska", and you could save the "see all of Alaska you can see by road" for a later trip, you could buzz on up to Hyder and back in a couple of weeks taking it easy.

I met a fellow midwestern rider and great guy in Fairbanks and we rode to Deadhorse together. It was probably the most awe-inspiring experience of my life (I'll elaborate a bit below). He rode from Madison, WI to somewhere in MT in one day, picking up some kind of ironbutt 1500 mile day or something, then got up to Fairbanks in another 2 or 3 days. We spent about 5 days on the round-trip to Deadhorse (waiting in DH for a day for a spare tire for his bike, which was flown in from Anchorage and changed by hand). He had other equipment problems and needed to spend a couple days in Fairbanks repairing his GS. Anyhow, I think he did the entire trip in 2 1/2 or 3 weeks, which is pretty amazing. He only got to see the very northern part of AK, though.

My riding parter wanted to ride up the road to Deadhorse at night, so we left Fairbanks about 9pm, reaching the circle at exactly midnight on the 4th of July. We rode through the night and stopped to camp at about 7am or something. If you decide to go up there, definitely do it on this schedule. While the sun doesn't set, it gets fairly low, and we were rewarded with about 5 hours of magnificent, sunset-like skies as we watched the sun move west to east in front of us. He had come all the way to AK, on an absurd schedule, just to do this. I can't describe this experience, but I can certainly understand why he did this. Just incredible.

I posted a picture taken at 3am a couple of years ago. I don't know if its appropriate, but I'll post it again here. Sorry if this is poor forum etiquette; I don't get by here that often.

Definitely take the trip.

FWIW,

Jim
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