Alaska 2006 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 8 Old Oct 12th, 2005, 12:23 pm Thread Starter
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Location: Bonita, CA, USA
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Alaska 2006

I'm planning a 2up, K1200LT trip to Alaska next summer. ALCAN up, boat back. I know it can be done via ferry. Has anyone done it? I'd like to hear experiences.

I would much prefer a cruise ship back. There is no problem booking Seward to Vancouver (or visa versa), but I the cruise ships won't haul the bike and I haven't found a way to ship the bike to Vancouver so we can then ride home to San Diego.

Anyone else interested in a trip like this? You'd go the other way and we trade the bike for the cruise ship in Steward and then meet back in Vancouver. The details would be tricky, but what a trip!

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post #2 of 8 Old Oct 12th, 2005, 12:42 pm
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I did exactly that a few years ago. I loved it. The highway was in fairly good shape with the usual construction areas to repair the winters damage. The only problems were some gravel and and watered down clay dirt associated with the construction. It was a little slippery but passable. Some of the expanded steel deck and wood bridges also had a slight pucker factor. The road passes through some beautiful scenery and the ferry ride was fantastic as well. You well never forget seeing trees with eagles sitting on almost every branch. I'd love to do it again some day.
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post #3 of 8 Old Oct 12th, 2005, 1:05 pm
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We did the trip a few years ago to Anchorage on the main hi-way, and then shipped the bike back on a container ship to Seattle. The hi-way is always being fixed, so ya, it can open your nostrils once in a while. Be sure to ship it back in a container/box, even if you have to make it yourself, or it WILL get damaged. It’s a beautiful trip though with plenty of wildlife to keep you entertained along the way. Do yourself a favor and pick up the latest “Alaska Hi-way” book and get to know it before to take off. It’ll give you a lot of updated info on road condition and where you can get fuel. Speaking of fuel….Be careful, a lot of it isn’t stored in weather tight tanks or filtered at the pump, so be ready for water. Keep your eyes open for Moose, and have a great trip!
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post #4 of 8 Old Oct 12th, 2005, 1:16 pm
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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.

Tim Frederick
Woodbury, MN
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post #5 of 8 Old Oct 12th, 2005, 2:06 pm
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How long were you gone? Several of us are going to do this trip from MN in either in '06 or '07.


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post #6 of 8 Old Oct 12th, 2005, 2:18 pm
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Dave, we left on July 2nd and returned July 26. We planned 8 days to get there including 2 maintenance/down days. We flew our wifes up on the 10th and did the tourist stuff for a week. We road the bikes to Haines and got on the ferry. The girls flew to Juneau (the next southern ferry stop) and got on there. Got to Seattle on the 22nd and left there on the 24th and got home on the 26th.

Tim Frederick
Woodbury, MN
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post #7 of 8 Old Oct 12th, 2005, 3:32 pm
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Thumbs up here is a good link

This is a good link they did everything you want to do and there are alot of good photos. There is a section of very good photos of the bikes tied down on the ferry

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post #8 of 8 Old Oct 12th, 2005, 4:05 pm
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I just did my first Alaska trip last July. I rode up and down, so no ferry experience, but I put together a lot of information on my web site if you will:

We also are planning do it again, now with your ferry option, in 2007 or 2008, so would be great if you can share with us your experience at the end of this awesome trip.

Elton 'StrsOut' Marks '02 Silver-Member #337 (or 287?)

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