The journey (way) north - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Feb 12th, 2007, 4:40 pm Thread Starter
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The journey (way) north

On or about June 1, I am heading out on the GS to the Arctic Circle and Alaska. Below are the general plans for the trip. I have included a number of roads that I personally want to ride, ride again or roads that were recommended to me. If there are any other recommendations of nearby roads I have not included, sights I shouldn’t miss or places I should visit, I would certainly like to know about them. I will be armed with a compliment of professional photo gear and plan on making this a photo expedition as much as a great ride. The trip should cover 8500-9000 miles (unless I decide to ride the Dalton Highway up to Deadhorse) and should last 23-30 days. As of now I do not plan on making the trip up to Deadhorse and Prudhoe Bay.

I will be camping most of the time, with an occasional hotel when the mood strikes.

Leg1: ~ 1350 miles

To begin the trip, I am going to head out of Denver to US 40. Heading north on US40 through Steamboat Springs, CO, Vernal, UT, up through Dinosaur National Monument and on to Rock Springs, WY. I will continue on US 189/191 through Grand Teton N.P., Yellowstone N.P., and on into Montana. I will continue on from Three Forks, MT. on US 287/89 to St. Mary, across Going to the Sun Road to Whitefish, MT. From Whitefish I will head north on US93 to Kimberly BC. I have never been to Kimberly, but I am told it is a really neat German influenced mountain town.




Leg2: ~ 1700 miles

From Kimberly I will head north to Golden on Hwy-95 to Golden, BC and east on TC-1 to Kamloops, BC. From Kamloops I will head north on Hwy-97 to Prince George, east on 16 to Kitwanga, north on Hwy-37 (Cassiar Hwy) to the Alaska Hwy and on to Whitehorse, YT.



Leg3: ~ 2050 miles

From Whitehorse I will head north on Hwy-2 (Klondike Hwy) to Dawson, YT. From Dawson I will make the trip to Inuvic, NWT and back on Hwy-8 (Dempster Hwy). I will continue east to Fairbanks and south to Anchorage.



Leg4: ~ 2100 miles

I will depart Anchorage and head back to Whitehorse, continue on the Alaska Hwy to Dawson Creek, BC, southeast to Grande Prairie, AB then south to Jasper, AB. From Jasper I will take the Icefields Hwy to Banff.



Leg5: ~ 1250 miles

Heading out of Banff I am going to take TC-1 a few miles east to Hwy-40 south, continue on 940 to Coleman, AB. I am told that 40/940 is great forestry road in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.



Then I will continue east to Lethbridge, AB and south through Great Falls, Billings, Casper, Cheyenne and back home.



As I said above I welcome any suggestions, warnings or recommendations. Any suggestions about camping in BC, YT and NWT would be greatly appreciated.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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Last edited by randy; Feb 12th, 2007 at 4:48 pm.
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post #2 of 14 Old Feb 12th, 2007, 5:21 pm
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All I can say is wow! What an awsome adventure you are going to have. Please ride safe and bring home lots of pictures and memories. Wish I could pull off a trip that that!

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post #3 of 14 Old Feb 12th, 2007, 5:48 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrehder
All I can say is wow! What an awsome adventure you are going to have. Please ride safe and bring home lots of pictures and memories. Wish I could pull off a trip that that!
I haven't pulled it off yet, but at least it is a plan. I have the time off of work and with Michelle back in school for the summer, I received the thumb's up on the home front.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #4 of 14 Old Feb 12th, 2007, 6:36 pm
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Randy, all I can say is "wow". You're living my dream. No advice here, but I do have some questions.

You mentioned bringing pro camera gear. I think you shoot Canon, so that probably means a 1DMII. Plus lenses. Plus a thousand little accoutrements like cleaning supplies, filters, camera case, Tripod? And you'll be camping as well? Not to mention, this is Alaska and you will need serious clothing to span the gamut from 70's to below freezing, plus rain, maybe even snow. How in heaven's name will you be able to carry all this stuff??? I've seen the way some folks pack GS's, and I have to say, they seem to be able to carry more gear than LT's can. But still, they aren't packing pro camera gear. Are you bringing a trailer? Otherwise, you're gonna be packed up like Jed Clampit's pickup truck!

I'm also curious about your thoughts about long-term effects of vibration on your camera body and lenses. You'll be spending many days on poor roads. However, having gotten bit by the high-end camera bug a couple of years ago, I can certainly see the attraction in having your gear with you. It will be a photographer's dream trip. So what lenses will you be taking?

Cheers,
-joel
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post #5 of 14 Old Feb 12th, 2007, 8:22 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdog
Randy, all I can say is "wow". You're living my dream. No advice here, but I do have some questions.

You mentioned bringing pro camera gear. I think you shoot Canon, so that probably means a 1DMII. Plus lenses. Plus a thousand little accoutrements like cleaning supplies, filters, camera case, Tripod? And you'll be camping as well? Not to mention, this is Alaska and you will need serious clothing to span the gamut from 70's to below freezing, plus rain, maybe even snow. How in heaven's name will you be able to carry all this stuff??? I've seen the way some folks pack GS's, and I have to say, they seem to be able to carry more gear than LT's can. But still, they aren't packing pro camera gear. Are you bringing a trailer? Otherwise, you're gonna be packed up like Jed Clampit's pickup truck!

I'm also curious about your thoughts about long-term effects of vibration on your camera body and lenses. You'll be spending many days on poor roads. However, having gotten bit by the high-end camera bug a couple of years ago, I can certainly see the attraction in having your gear with you. It will be a photographer's dream trip. So what lenses will you be taking?

Cheers,
-joel
I will be taking an EOS 1DsMkII with the 24-300mm -IS lens as my primary. Other than a little CA (which can be easily corrected in post) this is a very sharp lens. I also will have lots of CF and SD memory and a 120GB image tank. I will carry a 550EX flash, remote release, Gitzo CF tripod and ballhead, assorted filters and extra batteries. I will also carry a 1.6x converter and a spare lens (probably the 24-105 IS). I have little worry about a camera failure, but if I have room I may pack a spare body (5D). As far as the vibration goes, I have packed Canon 1D series bodies on quite a few trips, without any problem. They are legendary in their ruggedness and immunity to abuse. The body will be clean when I leave and I usually can get by with a small sensor brush for cleaning if needed. If I do pick up a little dust on the sensor, it can be cloned out.

On the GS the topcase will be devoted to camera gear and all of it will be in separately padded (Kinesis) cases. The tripod and ballhead will be packaged with my tent, sleeping pad and and sleeping bag (and other small items) in a Chicane bag strapped to the top of one of the side cases. Another Chicane bag will be strapped to the other sidecase.

For my travel clothing I will use BMW boots, pants and jacket with Gerbing liners if needed. They vent very well when it is warm, zip up tight for the cold and are very waterproof. Under that I usually wear Underarmour heat gear or cold gear - it packs very small and is very comfortable. Since this trip is mostly going to be a riding trip, I will only pack a few other street clothes and a pair of comfortable shoes. I plan on doing laundry at least once on the trip, so will only pack enough Underarmour and other things to last for 10-12 days.

I will have a chicane Tank Bag, two small Touratech bags on the crash bars, the two Chicane waterproof duffels, the adventure sidecases and topcase. If needed I can also use the BMW topcase bag attached to the top of the case for extra storage. I will not be hauling a trailer and have done a couple of trial runs on packing and feel like I can pack everything I need.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #6 of 14 Old Feb 12th, 2007, 8:55 pm
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It sounds like a great trip. I am also planning a run to Alaska (Anchorage area) this summer; however, your route sounds like it will be much more fun and scenic. Maybe I will have to deviate and look at your route. Just one concern, I have been on "Going to the Sun" a few times and, depending on the winter, it may not be opened before 15 June. You may want to do some research on "normal" opening dates.
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post #7 of 14 Old Feb 12th, 2007, 9:54 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redleg
It sounds like a great trip. I am also planning a run to Alaska (Anchorage area) this summer; however, your route sounds like it will be much more fun and scenic. Maybe I will have to deviate and look at your route. Just one concern, I have been on "Going to the Sun" a few times and, depending on the winter, it may not be opened before 15 June. You may want to do some research on "normal" opening dates.
I am going to look at he road status before I leave. If it is not open in early June, I am going to reverse my route and do that road on the way home. I have a letter from the NPS that says there will be construction with some delays possible when the road is open. The official date for the road to open is June 15, but it may open a few weeks earlier.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #8 of 14 Old Feb 12th, 2007, 11:06 pm
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Hi Randy!

June is the best month to travel the Dempster Highway. The earlier the better. The bugs can eat you alive when it gets warm. Make sure that you bring a hat with mosquito netting built into it that covers your face and neck. That way you can see and breathe, but won't be eaten alive if you decide to camp or have a breakdown. I bought mine at an army surplus store for $5. It folds flat and takes up very little room. When the bugs are so thick that you can hardly breathe, this hat makes life liveable.

Ron
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post #9 of 14 Old Feb 13th, 2007, 12:22 am
 
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Your routing is probably as close to perfect as your going to get. Looking forward to seeing your photos!!
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post #10 of 14 Old Feb 13th, 2007, 10:37 am
 
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Alaska Trip

You're gonna love it!! Might want to include from Anchorage down the peninsula to Homer....quite scenic. What dates wil you be in/around Anchorage? Have a bed and garage space available...long as your bike can share w/ an LT? We plan on being back up here 4-7 July from our trip.

Chuck
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post #11 of 14 Old Feb 13th, 2007, 2:41 pm
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WHAT A TRIP!

Since I haven't heard that you won't be attending CCR, and since CCR is in late August, well after this motorcycle ramble, I suspect that it might be a possibility that you you could be convinced to do a session or two covering the highlights of the trip?

What do all you folks think? Should we give Randy a choice, or just make him tell us all about it??

Jay Slomka
Johnson City, TN

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post #12 of 14 Old Feb 13th, 2007, 3:16 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKChuck
You're gonna love it!! Might want to include from Anchorage down the peninsula to Homer....quite scenic. What dates wil you be in/around Anchorage? Have a bed and garage space available...long as your bike can share w/ an LT? We plan on being back up here 4-7 July from our trip.

Chuck
I am planning on Anchorage around mid-June. I'll update this thread when the dates fall in place.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #13 of 14 Old Feb 13th, 2007, 3:22 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayz9705
WHAT A TRIP!

Since I haven't heard that you won't be attending CCR, and since CCR is in late August, well after this motorcycle ramble, I suspect that it might be a possibility that you you could be convinced to do a session or two covering the highlights of the trip?

What do all you folks think? Should we give Randy a choice, or just make him tell us all about it??
Jay - despite the implied coercion you read my mind. The trip is planned, if I am able to take the planned time off from work and if I am able to complete the journey, there will be plenty of pictures and a daily narrative. I will be happy to share it at CCR.

We all know the way to make God laugh......






to make plans.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #14 of 14 Old Feb 13th, 2007, 10:36 pm
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Thanks. I personally will look forward to it.

Jay Slomka
Johnson City, TN

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