Newfoundland-Alaska ride - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Jul 13th, 2014, 4:09 pm Thread Starter
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Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Just home from a 27day, 20,000kms ride from Newfoundland to Alaska return.
Started the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, Watson Lake, Whitehorse, Dawson City, (too wet to do Top of the World HY), Whitehorse, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Homer, Tok, Haines, took ferry to Skagway, Watson Lake, Cassiar HY, Stewart/Hyder and back home via Yellowhead to Saskatoon and so on.
Beautiful scenery and wildlife which was my reason for going. The grizzly bear is a beautiful creature. It makes a black bear look like a kitten (although I am told black bears are the more dangerous as they are unpredictable). The weather was not great but Alaska gets lots of rain and I expected that.
The southern area of the Kenai peninsula was a highlight for me with some very scenic riding. Lots of people fishing in the rivers along the way...and they were catching fish! Had a great feed of Salmon at ďAlaska Salmon BakeĒ in Fairbanks!
Thank you to Gary Kramer, in Edmonton, for changing my rear tire and providing accommodations!. I met some great people along the way and the memories are forever etched.

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post #2 of 17 Old Jul 13th, 2014, 8:37 pm
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Hi Kelly, sounds like an amazing ride! Hope you'll post some pics or link a blog or something.
cheers from the other end....

Chris
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post #3 of 17 Old Jul 13th, 2014, 8:49 pm
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Congrats on completing a great ride. Other than the tire change was it a mechanically uneventful trip? We went to Newfoundland one year and then to BC the next, only went up to about mile 150 of the Alaska Highway.

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post #4 of 17 Old Jul 13th, 2014, 11:42 pm
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

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Originally Posted by ktompkins View Post
Just home from a 27day, 20,000kms ride from Newfoundland to Alaska return.
Which bike made the trip? LT or RT?

Hope you took a lot of pictures as I have to do this ride vicariously for now.


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post #5 of 17 Old Jul 14th, 2014, 4:26 pm
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Nice to see you had a great trip. Must have had some long days with little sleep. Hope to go to Alaska next year, but plan at least 6 weeks to do it.

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post #6 of 17 Old Jul 14th, 2014, 6:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

I tried to post a few pictures but not having much luck. I will try again later. I took the RT as I no longer own the LT. Other than regular service the bike was fantastic. I know many people complain about the stock seat but I think mine is great. 1,150kms was my longest day and that's plenty for me.
6 weeks would be a much more realistic timeframe for this trip but I couldn't be away that long. That would have given time to sit out some rainy days and smell the roses! I was nervous camping with all the wildlife but stuck to campgrounds with others around. As long as I could outrun most people I felt safe!
I had never planed to drive the Dalton and after driving some 5-10km sections of construction in the rain (very slippery) I ruled it out completely. Alaska is a huge state and very beautiful. I am so happy I was able to do this.

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post #7 of 17 Old Jul 14th, 2014, 7:54 pm
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

What a great trip.

I did my Alaska trip in June of 2012. I saw a few grizzly bears in Denali NP but didn't see any elsewhere. Saw so many black bear in Alberta, BC and Yukon that I quit counting them. Saw a moma black bear with three cubs on the haul road. Also saw a wolverine on the TOW Highway.

Where did you see your grizzly bears? I am fascinated with the great bear but have only seen them in National Parks. Have seen fresh grizzly scat on hikes we have done so I know they are close by.

Here is a Toklat (blonde) griz sow we saw in Denali.
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post #8 of 17 Old Jul 16th, 2014, 10:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Saw the grizzlies north of Haines Junction HY #1. It was late in the evening and they were feeding and playing along the road. I didn't take pictures of bears as my hands stayed on the handlebars!

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post #9 of 17 Old Jul 16th, 2014, 2:46 pm
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

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Originally Posted by ktompkins View Post
Saw the grizzlies north of Haines Junction HY #1. It was late in the evening and they were feeding and playing along the road. I didn't take pictures of bears as my hands stayed on the handlebars!
Pretty cool. I'm sure we rode past a bunch of Griz but didn't see them. Especially on the Cassiar highway.

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post #10 of 17 Old Jul 19th, 2014, 3:21 pm
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

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Originally Posted by ktompkins View Post
Saw the grizzlies north of Haines Junction HY #1. It was late in the evening and they were feeding and playing along the road. I didn't take pictures of bears as my hands stayed on the handlebars!
Smart decision
I saw one in Yellowstone last year actually was forced to keep my eyes on it since the roadway was obstructed with inconsiderate cagers trying for photo opt. My gloved hands were glued to the grips until the rangers broke up the log jam. National Geographics does all my grizzly pictures Wouldn't mind seeing your other pictures though . . .
ride safe
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post #11 of 17 Old Jul 19th, 2014, 10:05 pm
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

How many miles a day did you put in? I am leaving from Dallas on Wednesday and have three weeks to make the trip and curious if I will have to put in 15 hours In the saddle. I just couldn't get comfortable on the stock seat and will see how my RDL works out for me. I plan to stop in Hyder AK and visit the bear observation post. Would love to see some pictures of what is in store for me .
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post #12 of 17 Old Jul 20th, 2014, 3:32 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Here are a few pictures from my trip. It's my first attempt to attach files so I hope it comes out ok. I should have taken more pictures but when riding, I would say "That's nice!" and poof, I was gone by and it is now a memory!
The picture of the people fishing is on the Kenai peninsula. I am from Newfoundland where the salmon fishing is big but was amazed at how crazy it is in Alaska. Try and get a spot on the river!!
My longest day was 1,150kms but averaged around 800-1,000. Tenting was a great idea. I haven't tented in years but really enjoyed it. Lots of campgrounds $12 being the average price. Have correct amount of money for these campgrounds as you put money in an envelope and into a locked box. Be prepared for rain. My Darian Aerostich was perfect and keep me dry through it all.
Enjoy your ride and let me know if you have any questions.
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post #13 of 17 Old Jul 20th, 2014, 9:01 pm
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Those are some awesome pictures, thanks for sharing. I plan to do some camping along the way but also have planned several hotels along the way just to wash up and stay refreshed. I planed on bringing plenty of cash but wonder if I should have it converted to Canadian dollars at the first bank. I am getting anxious to get on the road but am not looking forward to the hit getting out west. I wear an Aerostitch jacket and Revit pants with a liner in case of rain. I am prepared for the rain but am not looking forward to it. Thanks again
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post #14 of 17 Old Aug 11th, 2014, 9:39 am
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Sounds like a successful trip Kelly, 27 days from Nfdld is a bit of a dash. You may remember I'm in Thunder Bay and had planned on the trip on an RT also. I ended up buying a used Vstrom specifically for the trip and delayed things until next summer. I'll also be camping and it sounds like it worked well for you, I was wondering how many sites would be available. I'm a strong believer in the Aerostich gear and have an antique Roadcrafter that's making the trip.
Kudo's on an epic ride.

Ron

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post #15 of 17 Old Aug 11th, 2014, 10:54 am
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Looks like Alaska is the destination of choice this year. Just finished a 13,412 mile trip from Charlotte, NC to the Artic Circle on the Dawson Hwy. We went many of the same places.

Memories.

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post #16 of 17 Old Aug 12th, 2014, 8:23 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

Hey Ron,
Lots of campsites up through the Yukon and Alaska. As mentioned, most due the "honour system" where you fill out a form and put your $10-$15 in an envelope and deposit to a metal box. The milepost is a great book to have but doesn't list all campgrounds.... there seemed to be more. I downloaded it to my Ipad so I didn't have to take the book. You don't need internet to view the book on the Ipad unless you want to click on a link.
With the Vstrom, you should be ready for the gravel. I know the RT can do it fine if dry but dicey when wet.
I travelled the upper peninsula of Michigan going and coming to avoid the slow driving of cars pulling trailers in northern Ontario.

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Travelled to Ashville, NC last summer. It was a great ride as I circled up through Knoxville, east of Lexington, WV and wiggled back home. I would love to ride every road in WV. It is such a great MC riding state! As for the Tail of The Dragon, it was great but there are tons of roads in that area that compare.

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post #17 of 17 Old Aug 13th, 2014, 11:59 am
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Re: Newfoundland-Alaska ride

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Hey Ron,

I travelled the upper peninsula of Michigan going and coming to avoid the slow driving of cars pulling trailers in northern Ontario.
I went out west last summer, went out travelling the UP and came back through northern Ontario. I think both routes are enjoyable and worth riding, there are no pasties in Northern Ontario though.

The Bad Lands near the North Dakota/Montana border where worth seeing even though I had not actually thought about them when planning the route.

Once you are in North Dakota and west the police seem to be pretty tolerant of speeding. When coming back I saw speeders pulled over on the Trans Canada and thought my number had come up when a RCMP cruiser made a U-turn across the median, I slowed down to 10 over the speed limit by the time he was next to me and he just gave me a good look and went on his way without chatting to me.

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