Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Woodbury, MN, USA
Richard, I did this exact trip this past July. Myself, a Gold Wing, an Electra Glide and a Kawasaki Voyager left Minneapolis on 2 July and drove to Anchorage. We split up for a week then rejoined and drove to Haines, AK and got on the Alaskan Marine Intercoastal Highway (ferry) and took it to Bellingham, WA. Here are some things that come to mind.
1. Whatever milage you get out of your tires normally plan on getting half that on the Alcan. There are sections ( I think we hit 5 major ones) of about 10 miles each that are torn up for reconstruction. This is not resurfacing but ripping up the entire roadway down to the dirt and rocks. We were fortunate going up as we had dry weather so the construction wasn't too bad, just very dusty. On the way to Haines it was raining and this proved a more challenging ride. Just take your time in these areas and you will be fine. The Alcan road construction south of Whitehorse tore up my rear ME880 and I had to wait 2 days for a new one to be flown in from Vancouver.
2. I was amazed at the absence of bugs. I always thought they had giant mosquitoes up there. If so they weren't where we were.
3. Canada and Alaskan scenery is breathtaking.
4. It stays light almost 24 hours. There was little traffic on the road after 8 or 9 pm.
5. The further north you get the harder it is to find 24 hr credit card gas pumps so you need to gas up the night prior if you plan on leaving early AM(prior to 7 or 8 am). Same for food.
6. The ferry was a lot nicer than I thought. Book early if you want a cabin.
There were 15-20 bikes on when we went. The boat crewmen were of little help in getting the bikes tied down. They came out with ropes for tie downs so highly recommend you bring your own. All the bikers helped each other. I know there was a thread last summer on tieing down the bikes on the ferry. I have pics and can provide more info if needed.
7. The further north you go the more expensive it gets.
8. If you plan on going up the haul road from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay only attempt if weather is good (dry).
9. AAA maps are not up to date. We found a number of gas stops on their maps that were closed. Stop at any of the Tourist information stops (in all major towns along the Alcan) for a current list of gas/food/lodging stops. We wouls ride til early afternoon, stop at one of the Tourist Info places, figure how much further we were going that night and ask them to call ahead for reservations or get us a number to call. This worked out great and we never had trouble getting a place to stay.
That's all that comes to mind quickly. Have a good time. I'd be glad to answer any questions.