Long way up, over and back down again - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old May 11th, 2007, 5:31 pm Thread Starter
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Long way up, over and back down again

Well, it looks like the plans have finally come together. I am leaving on trip I have been planning for nearly a year. I have received a lot of great suggestions from friends here and at www.k-bikes.com since I first began the serious planning of this trip; many of them have been incorporated into the final route. Click on any image for a larger version.

I will be making the trip on a 2007 R1200GSA.



I wrote about most of the things I did to prep my GS in this thread

Here is the overview of the trip, which should cover around 10,000 miles.



On June 1, I will head out of Aurora through Wyoming to somewhere around Harlowton, Montana. On the second day I will head up through Lethbridge to Coleman, AB.



I will continue along the foothills on Forestry road 940 to just East of Banff. I will stay the night somewhere in the Banff area. Day three will take me on the Bow Valley Parkway to about Lake Louise, then up The Icefields Parkway toward Jasper. For those of you who haven’t been through this part of the Rockies, it is spectacular.

Lake Louise:

For a medium sized image click on the picture, for a full size (11mp, 8mb) picture click here

Bow Lake:

For a medium sized image click on the picture, for a full size (11mp, 8mb) picture click here

I will stop somewhere around Grande Prairie for the third night. From there I will continue on Canada 97 and stop for the night somewhere past Fort Nelson.



Then it is on to Whitehorse, YT where I will get some TKC80 knobbies mounted at Yukon Honda. I will keep those tires for the next 3000 miles or so until I return to Whitehorse on the way back home to get the Tourances put back on. I will ride from Whitehorse to Dawson, stop for the night . Then it is up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, NT. Around mid way on the Dempster I will cross the Arctic Circle. Since the Dempster is 470 miles of gravel, I have allocated a couple of extra days travel in case it is slow and wet or I get too tired to press for long days. I plan on leaving Inuvik by plane for a day trip to Tuktoyatuk so I can actually see the Arctic Ocean.

I will leave Inuvik early the next morning and head back toward Dawson. From Dawson I will go toward Chicken, AK across the Top of the World Hwy to Tok. Then it is up A2 to delta Junction, south on A4 to the Denali Highway. I will stop for the night somewhere along the Denali. When I get to Cantwell, I will decide whether to go to Fairbanks and possibly further toward Deadhorse on the Haul road, or to just head south to Anchorage. The Group Sales Director I worked with for this year’s Curve Cowboy Reunion at Tan-Tar-A is now working at a hotel in Anchorage. I will probably stay there a couple of days. From Anchorage I will head out on the Kenai Peninsula, possibly as far as Homer. I will depart Anchorage for Tok, then on to Haines and depending on the ferry schedule, will either take the ferry to Skagway or ride back up to Haines Junction and over to Whitehorse.
After getting the Tourances re-installed in Whitehorse I will head back on the AlCan to the Cassier Hwy then south to Prince George. From there it is south on 97 to Kamloops, on to Revelstoke, south to Nakusp, Kaslo and Creston. I plan on staying the night in Kimberly, BC crossing back into the US at Eureka. Then it is down to Libby across on US-2 to Whitefish. If the road is good and without substantial construction delays I’ll take the Going to the Sun Highway to Saint Mary. From there I will continue to Great Falls, then head south to Helena, through Yellowstone and stop for the night at the Jackson Lake Lodge to visit with the friends we made at CCR in 2005.



The last leg home will take me through Rock Springs, WY, Vernal, UT, Craig and Steamboat Springs, CO and back to Aurora. The plan is for returning to Aurora around the 26-28 of June.

I will be traveling with a nice compliment of photo equipment and plan on lots of time for photos. I will try to keep our website www.prades.net updated as I find Internet connectivity along the way. Additionally, I hope to put together a presentation of the trip for Curve Cowboy Reunion later this summer. While the general route is more or less settled, I still welcome any suggestions if there is something I am missing, but near along the way. One of the things I built into this journey is flexibility of the schedule.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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Last edited by randy; May 11th, 2007 at 6:25 pm.
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post #2 of 20 Old May 11th, 2007, 5:55 pm
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post #3 of 20 Old May 11th, 2007, 8:29 pm
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Damn, I am jealous...

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post #4 of 20 Old May 11th, 2007, 8:34 pm
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Absolutely fantastic! I'm happy for you (and a bit jealous, too ) that you're getting to take this trip and have such a wonderful adventure. Ride safe, and enjoy!

David Taylor
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post #5 of 20 Old May 11th, 2007, 8:37 pm
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Damn, I am jealous...
WOW
Me too!

Just Go
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post #6 of 20 Old May 11th, 2007, 8:40 pm
 
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If you have even half as much fun as I did on my last sojourn, it'll be a successful trip. But I have a feeling you'll have WAY more fun than that. Just try not to get too locked into "the plan". Some of the best parts of my trip were spur-of-the-moment places/sites. Sandia Crest in Albuquerque comes to mind instantly...as well as El Malpias National Park. I never heard of those two places until John (JGBurns) told me about them over dinner. My willingness to fit them into the plan paid off BIG TIME.

Enjoy.
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post #7 of 20 Old May 11th, 2007, 10:14 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
If you have even half as much fun as I did on my last sojourn, it'll be a successful trip. But I have a feeling you'll have WAY more fun than that. Just try not to get too locked into "the plan". Some of the best parts of my trip were spur-of-the-moment places/sites. Sandia Crest in Albuquerque comes to mind instantly...as well as El Malpias National Park. I never heard of those two places until John (JGBurns) told me about them over dinner. My willingness to fit them into the plan paid off BIG TIME.

Enjoy.
Thanks for the tips, Joe. The 'plan' is to make it to Inuvik, everything else is flexible - including a broad target for my return date. I will be prepared and able to camp or hotel each night and will be meeting several people along the way. The average daily mileage leaves me plenty of room for detours, when they arise.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #8 of 20 Old May 12th, 2007, 7:42 am
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Good luck my friend and I must say I am more than a little jealous. I look forward to hearing about it at CCR.

Nathan Coe
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post #9 of 20 Old May 14th, 2007, 7:50 am
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First of all I would love to join you. However with a new baby due in June I'm not making many trips away this summer (or should I say extended trips )

After reading about Joes trip and his unexpected "rest days" is taking off on new cycle a good idea? How many miles do you have on the '07gsa?

Just courious...
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post #10 of 20 Old May 14th, 2007, 8:52 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swb
First of all I would love to join you. However with a new baby due in June I'm not making many trips away this summer (or should I say extended trips )

After reading about Joes trip and his unexpected "rest days" is taking off on new cycle a good idea? How many miles do you have on the '07gsa?

Just courious...
I will have about 3000 miles on it when I depart. I have very little concern that I will encounter a failure. While some bikes (new or old) will break down, I am not concerned. I haven't had a single trip interrupting failure in any of the BMWs I have owned. Should the bike breakdown I am certain I can find something of value to do while it is being repaired. The reason I am making this trip is to encounter the 'unexpected', whatever that might be.

Despite the fact you may hear about individual failures, these bikes are very reliable. Joe's failure is unfortunate, but there are very few reported rear drive failures reported in the GT. There have been some GS failures as well, but not a large number. These forums tend to devolve into 'the sky is falling' mentality with regard to failures, I just don't happen to subscribe to those fears. Having been involved in the creation of this community as well as the Curve Cowboy Reunion, I have had fairly broad exposure to this riding community. The number of actual trip interrupting failures in these bikes is acceptably small to me. I would suspect that my odds of experiencing a failure must be increasing since I have never had one (other than a separated tire on the way home from CCR in Hot Springs). Since 1999 I have used 'Just Ride It' as my signature line in this community. I truly believe in that mind set. I get on my bikes to ride, to escape the worries from a complicated life. I am prudent in my planning, properly protected in my riding gear and defensive in my riding style. That is the best I can do.

Just as an anecdote, my 1995 GoldWing broke down and interrupted major trips three times in the 30,000 miles I rode it. We repaired each of the failures after a short delay and continued on the trips. The GL1500 has a reputation of being bulletproof. I rode my '99 LT for 60,000 miles, my '02 for 30,000 miles and my '05 for just under 10,000 miles. I sold or traded each of those bikes without ever encountering a single bike related problem. I rode Triumphs, Nortons and AMF HDs during the late 60s and 70s when I began riding. You HAD to carry tools with those bikes.

I am heading to Red River, NM for Rango's Roundup in three days and for the Arctic Circle two weeks later. Concerns about the bike breaking down don't even get the tiniest fraction of my thoughts while preparing.

Is this trip a 'Good Idea'? You better believe it.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #11 of 20 Old May 14th, 2007, 10:05 am
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Mmm, June 1 is a Friday - if I can time this right, maybe catch you going past on I-25 and escort ya through town (at least!). Wonder how many of the local crowd I could gather...

Mmm, could even set some of the hams down near Glenrock to watch and holler - get a 'scout' report of a GS headed this way.

What's your guess for passing through time?

Knowing you're out to make some time - wouldn't expect ya to stop. But would be fun to make a bit of a celebrity out of ya.

Tate

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post #12 of 20 Old May 14th, 2007, 10:59 am Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zotter
Mmm, June 1 is a Friday - if I can time this right, maybe catch you going past on I-25 and escort ya through town (at least!). Wonder how many of the local crowd I could gather...

Mmm, could even set some of the hams down near Glenrock to watch and holler - get a 'scout' report of a GS headed this way.

What's your guess for passing through time?

Knowing you're out to make some time - wouldn't expect ya to stop. But would be fun to make a bit of a celebrity out of ya.
Actually I do plan on covering a lot of road for the first few days, but it is still a fairly relaxed schedule. I plan on leaving Aurora around 7-8am on Friday and Casper will be my first stop for a meal. we could meet somewhere for a quick lunch if you have time. I'll probably stop again around Billings then end my first day between Harlowton and Stanford, MT.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #13 of 20 Old May 14th, 2007, 12:57 pm
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Randy, I'll MAKE time.

Just say when - I'll find us an easy to get to where.

Rember: Good, Fast or Cheap - pick two, can't have all 3. Usually.

Tate

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post #14 of 20 Old May 14th, 2007, 1:02 pm Thread Starter
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Randy, I'll MAKE time.

Just say when - I'll find us an easy to get to where.

Rember: Good, Fast or Cheap - pick two, can't have all 3. Usually.
Good, fast and along I-25 works for me. I'll send you a PM.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #15 of 20 Old May 14th, 2007, 5:36 pm
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Gotchya covered!

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post #16 of 20 Old May 19th, 2007, 6:40 am
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Well, it looks like the plans have finally come together. I am leaving on a trip I have been planning for nearly a year....
Randy, you're "trip" is truly an adventure of a lifetime. Can't wait for the after action reports and photos!

BTW, when you're WAY to the north of BFE, will you have any working communications (cell/sat phone), or are you totally on your own?

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #17 of 20 Old May 19th, 2007, 7:50 am
 
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Man I am excited for you Randy! ... and add another to the jealous ledger...

I hope you have a safe trip and thank you taking us along via narratives & pictures.

Vaya con dios!
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post #18 of 20 Old May 19th, 2007, 2:01 pm Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jayjacobson
Randy, you're "trip" is truly an adventure of a lifetime. Can't wait for the after action reports and photos!

BTW, when you're WAY to the north of BFE, will you have any working communications (cell/sat phone), or are you totally on your own?
I'll have a cell phone with a full North American calling plan and an Iridum 9505a Satellite phone.

Randy Prade
Aurora, CO

Just ride it!
Meet Riley

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post #19 of 20 Old May 19th, 2007, 8:10 pm
 
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Cool Life is an adventure!

Randy,

I am just so darn proud of you for doing this. I will be reading your stories and keeping up.

You as usual have prepared for it all.

Have a wonderful time and thanks for letting me know about this wonderful adventure.
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post #20 of 20 Old May 19th, 2007, 9:33 pm
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I too will be tracking you on the journey. I am planning, or at least seriously contemplating, a similar trip next June from Seattle. I would love to pick you brain when you return; I expect that many may have questions. Maybe charge a doller a pm to help fund your trip.

Take care, ride smart, and have a wonderful trip. Good luck, Ken
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