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Old 12-29-2014, 06:59 AM   #1
BigDeal OP
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Joined: Aug 2014
Location: NW Arkansas
Oddometer: 17
Arkansas to Alaska 2014

So I've been a lurker on here for quite awhile for information. In addition to my V-Strom DL 1000 I now own a Yamaha WR250R for some dual sport action here in Arkansas. I have been only posting to Stromtrooper but now that I have the new bike I reckon I'll post here too now. I took my Alaska trip in July of 2014 did this ride report about the trip on the Stromtrooper site. Several people seemed to enjoy it over there I'll post on here every couple days or so. The posts will get more photo heavy as I go along.

I had another post about my packing list and it can be found here I did make some changes but this list is basically what I took on the trip. There were several people telling me I am taking too much stuff but I really think they just could not comprehend how small a lot of the stuff was. A lot of it is backpacking gear. I had plenty of extra room in my cases with the 2 dry bags behind me containing my tent, sleeping bag and ground pad. If I left again today knowing what I know now I would only make a few changes but Iíll save that for later.

I think it helps to know a little about the rider for things like this soÖ. Iím a 36 year old married man with no kids (we did have an exchange student for about a year). Iím 6í and 170 lbs. I enjoy fishing, hunting, shooting, rock climbing, sailing, Jeepín, canoeing, and love the outdoors. Iím fairly fit and I donít mind putting in long days of riding. I think prior to this trip the longest day I had put in was 14 hours and I have had several days of 10+ hour rides. Iíve had my V Strom for a little over 2 years now and have been riding for over 4. I think I am a fairly decent rider. I have plenty of experience in the twisties living in NW Arkansas and a little experience on dirt roads. I also have a Rokon. (and now after the trip I sold the Rokon and WR250R for me and a Honda CRF230L for the wife) I am no stranger to camping and have camped off the bike several times. I like to try new things. I kind of have an off sense of humor and donít shy away from the embarrassing stories of myself when they are funny (and I have a couple of those). I have taken a couple week long trips but not anything over that before.

On this trip I had a good mix of riding with groups and on my own. I think there are advantages to both and I think I struck a good mix on this trip.
Before leaving we had decided that we were going to burn through the closer states and spend more time in the farther away places. I knew I would be skipping some good riding in WY and MT but I can always make another trip there later. I had just over 3 weeks for this trip leaving July 3rd and returning on the 27th. We also planned to mainly camp on this trip. Weíve been planning this trip for about 2 years now. Most of the details of the trip planning worked themselves out in the 2 months before we left. When I say planning for 2 years I include getting the bike ready and farkled out for this trip and planning on what gear to bring or buy.

I'm riding to Alaska, and I'm headed into nowhere
My Garmin's showing me the way, I'm riding alone
I've loaded up my V-Strom, and I'm looking for adventure
I'm a stranger, and I'm riding alone
yee haw
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:00 AM   #2
BigDeal OP
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Joined: Aug 2014
Location: NW Arkansas
Oddometer: 17
Day 1 and 2

I am going to lump these 2 days together to one post because nothing that exciting happened as I was mainly hitting interstate and heading north quickly.
I left July 3rd after lunch and headed to camp at a KOA in Salina KS (the only KOA of the trip) I didnít want a really long riding day right off the start so I got in 7 hours today. Iím normally a pretty laid back guy and not normally a guy that gets nervous but this trip and the enormity of it has kind of hit me yesterday and today. Itís a long ways and I have a fear that my neck wonít make the trip. It has been acting up lately and hurting when I sit still for long periods of time like when I am sitting at the computer or on the bike. It acted up 2 weeks ago when I rode down to Little Rock (4+ hour ride). I went to the chiropractor last week and I have a variety of things to help with me. I picked up some roll on stuff called Bio Freeze from the Chiropractor, I have icy hot, ben gay, heat patches, and I even packed a travel pillow. So.. this will look ridiculous but I bought one of those travel pillows and it clips on the front. I tried it on at home with my helmet on and if my neck really acts up I plan to wear this for some support. I can still lift my head up and turn it fairly easily. Itíll be like one of the braces race car drivers wear right? I really hope it doesnít come to that. The last time my neck acted up I noticed that when I wore my GoPro camera with my helmet mount it helped out. The wind resistance caused by the camera required me to use muscles to hold my head forward and that provided some relief for the muscles on the back of my neckÖ sounds crazy but it worked out pretty well. The only problem is I left my camera in Boulder add Iíll have to pick it up along the way.

Iím heading out on the big adventure ride and only 120 miles from home I almost get run over. Iím riding on a 4 lane road and letís say the lanes are 1,2,3,4 with 1 and 2 being oncoming and 3 and 4 going my direction. I am in lane 3. A car in lane 4 decides that he really needs gas and slams on his breaks and cuts across and nearly over me to turn left into the gas station. I hit the brakes and the horn and we were both in lane 1 by the time he stopped coming over. Here I am 120 miles from home and I am thinking of all of the challenges I might face and I nearly get ran over and had an abrupt end to my trip. It was good wakeup call that even though I was heading to some remote far off places my biggest danger was still other drivers. The rest of the day was uneventful boring KS ridingÖ I pulled into the Salina KOA and didnít get that good of a nightís sleep. The campground was near the interstate and several big RVís came in during the night waking me up.

The next day was a longer day of riding. I have to meet up with 2 more of the group that Iíd be riding to AK with. So today I plan to ride to Boulder, CO and Iíll hang out with my little brother for awhile then on the WY. He was originally going to go on this trip but wimped out just a month before we planned to leave. I rolled into to Boulder around lunch time and we grabbed a bite to eat and caught up a little. I realized that I could use a block of wood for my kickstand to keep my bike fro sinking in the dirt and grass at campsites so he cut me off a piece of 1Ē board that was about 5Ēx5Ē. I also picked up my GoPro and rode on another 4 hours to Casper WY to meet Shawn and Heather a married couple from Kansas City MO. They are both riding Buell Ulysses. They had a 12 hour ride that day themselves and a little adventure when they rode in on fumes to find the gas station had burned down and bought 2 gallons off a guy who had some in a can for about $15 to make it to the next gas station.

Heather has to travel for work and booked a room at the Hampton inn with her reward points for this night. I arrived much earlier and had time to go for a swim and soak in the hot tub. I picked up a little piece of candy in Boulder that really helped me relax and having a couple beers at the bar also helped. I was asleep when they finally rolled in after midnight. They had a late start. Heather is a meticulous planner and organizer but they had not practiced loading their bikes up and that took them awhile to get it right and on the road. It also took them awhile the next few days each morning until they got a good system down. I think this is the first bike trip for them that they had to pack camping gear. It didnít bother me any waiting on them.

here is the bike all loaded up ready to go
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:06 AM   #3
BigDeal OP
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anyone know how to make the pictures smaller on here? seems like the same format as the other Blogs I am used to and have posted to but the pictures are huge on here...
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:23 AM   #4
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Colorado
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I think there is a post on here somewhere about doing just that.

Try a search.

I don't know because I resize any picture I post to the web to be 800 pixels in it's biggest direction (depends on if it's portrait or Landscape orientation on which side is bigger)
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:59 AM   #5
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Kansas City
Oddometer: 37
Best wishes on your trip!!
Even the wind and the waves obey Him
2007 F650GS
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:17 AM   #6
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Joined: Dec 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Oddometer: 82
Wish u a safe trip and in
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:01 AM   #7
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Joined: Sep 2013
Location: Las Vegas
Oddometer: 54

Hello :) I did Las Vegas to Prudhoe Bay Alaska last summer.

Here's the video

Good luck on your adventure! Be safe
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:37 AM   #8
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Francisco Peninsula
Oddometer: 1,281
adjust the photo image size

Your photo is 1600px by 1200px - pretty big!
You should change the image dimensions - I suggest no more than 800px wide.
That way it should fit on any screen. As it is now, I have to scroll back and forth on my laptop to read each line of text - or make it so small I cant read it!

this seems to be a good tool for resizing on windows
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger:
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 01-13-2015 at 10:17 PM
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:14 AM   #9
Harden the phuck up
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: God's country, Western North Carolina
Oddometer: 943
Looking good! KOAs are the McDonalds of the camping world. Nothing wrong with that and you know you will be able to do laundry, have wifi, etc., at the cost of often being nearer to traffic noises or similar "compromises" for motorcycling'tent camping. Their Kabins are a good option in severe weather and less $ than flea bag hotels too.

Anyway, your bike packing isn't too bad, my first cross country trip I used the Beverly Hillbilly loading model minus Granny in the rocking chair
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:04 PM   #10
BigDeal OP
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Location: NW Arkansas
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well, I'd have to re-upload all of the pictures to make it work on here so F that noise. I have limited Data at my home so I'd have to go into town and do it all again. If I could have copied and pasted it I'd have posted it all on here.

But... here is a link to the original report on Stromtrooper if anyone is interested
Take advantage of rare opportunities
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