Traveling to Anchorage - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 4:24 pm Thread Starter
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Smile Traveling to Anchorage

Anybody made the trip to Alaska? My daughter and husband are being transferred to Anchorage and we are giving serious thought to biking up next summer. Has anybody made the trip? We are triked so not worried about gravel, etc., but what of fuel, motels, moose, or whatever from Washington to Anchorage? What about a cut off from the Dakotas or Montano through the wilds of western Canado - anybody done that? We will be coming from Louisiana? Will probadly ship the bike back and fly or take cruise on return.
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post #2 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 5:17 pm
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Have yet to make the trip, tho we are gathering reasons to. Option for your return - take the ferry or Alaska Marine Hiway. Fantastic option for return. Bikes go on first, come off first, so you can stop along the way if you wish. Almost as good as the cruise ships (minus the midnite snack).

Just my $.02

Jim Taylor
Minneapolis
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post #3 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 5:25 pm
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and get a copy of MILEPOST.
It's the official guide for riding to Alaska

Allan..Illinois, Oregon, Arkansas, and tomorrow the Universe
2003 K1200LT trike - Starfighter
2004 R1150RTP - Combat Touring
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post #4 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 5:32 pm
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Thumbs up Get the Milepost!

First, before almost anything else...go to Milepost.com and order their newest edition travel guide to Alaska.

Study it for awhile and many options will avail themselves and your questions will have a sharper focus.

BTW, I'm looking too!

J. Averill Townsend
Bloomfield Hills, MI


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post #5 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 5:54 pm
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Finally, someone popped the question!

Man, I thought I was the only one in the lower 48 so passionate about riding to Alaska! I've done the homework and am hoping to go next year (after I get the hitch, trailer, and the S.O. to come along).

This is a good article to start with:
http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/rid...riding_alaska/
of course, that was 1999, so things may have changed quite a bit.

I had never heard of Milepost.com before this thread, but I will certainly be on that site quite often now that I do.

It would be really nice to rent a bike there and ride from Juneau to Anchorage (part of the way by ferry), then through Denali, and end at Fairbanks. The only bikes I could find for rent are the F650's, and I DON'T want to do that sort of mileage with any bike besides my LT, especially those Enduros, and especially with a passenger. If you find a good transfer company that can truck your bike there for you to ride home, let me know as I'm interested in that idea too.

The one thing I recall as the most challenging parts are the weather (if you get in a storm, which is very likely), the road condition (part gravel, part construction, all not-motorcycle-friendly), and the animals... how dare those Moose and Bears not yield to us humans on bikes! With a trailer, iPod, rain gear, all our belongings, and most importantly my LT, I think it would be the best ride in the world.

But no, I haven't done it, I can only forward the info I've found. Hopefully someone on here can tell us what it's really like.

Ryan - Motorradmitfahrer Maximus & Forumus Noobus sometimes
2003 K12LTC dressed in Black - "StratoCruiser"
Madison, WI
"where are the controls for the air conditioner on that bike?"

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post #6 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 6:22 pm
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It's a beautiful ride. The roads are actually pretty good with gravel and mud primarily located at road repair construction sites of which there can be many (the mud is often a slippery clay material). The road surface itself is something called hardpack, sort of a tarry, glass like material. It looks like asphalt but really shortens tire life. You'll also encounter wood and expanded steel mesh bridges that can create a bit of suction between your fanny and seat if you haven't experienced them before. Gas and other supplies are available all the way but can be 60 to 80 miles between stops in some areas. Just pay attention and think twice about passing any service stations while you're in the wilderness. Don't expect many 3 or 4 star hotels. You're more likely to encounter small cabins or mobile homes divided into 'rooms'. It's a ride you will never forget. Good luck.
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post #7 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 6:23 pm
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I went there summer 2005. You can check it here:
http://www.viajareua.com/alaskaCanada.html

was a great vacation and we are going again in 2008.

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

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post #8 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 6:35 pm
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Drop a note on this forum

http://forums.delphiforums.com/ridealaska/start

Some of the folks I know on this forum are very experienced riders that live in Alaska and are also very well know in the LD riding world!!

Prakash Krishnamurthy

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post #9 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 7:00 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allen
Anybody made the trip to Alaska? My daughter and husband are being transferred to Anchorage and we are giving serious thought to biking up next summer. Has anybody made the trip? We are triked so not worried about gravel, etc., but what of fuel, motels, moose, or whatever from Washington to Anchorage? What about a cut off from the Dakotas or Montano through the wilds of western Canado - anybody done that? We will be coming from Louisiana? Will probadly ship the bike back and fly or take cruise on return.
Don't worry, go ride. I rode my LT in June 2004 from Arizona up the Alaska Highway then did the circle to Fairbanks, Anchorage and down the Kenai before heading to Haines and the ferry to BC. I never had any problem with gas, lodging, etc. Even on the sparsest sections there was gas every 75 miles or so. Gas up early and often was my motto to avoid riding 300 miles and finding that gas station closed or whatever. Motels which are pricy to start with get really expensive the closer you get to big towns and tourist haunts.

Be prepared for rain and cold.

In 2005 I went back to AK with my GS up the Cassiar, and returned to AZ by traveling across Canada to Ontario. Again no problems, although I did visit every BMW dealer from Fairbanks to Colorado to find a speedo drive for the '97 GS.

No matter how you cut across Canada you shouldn't have any problems as the prairie is pretty similar to the Dakotas. Lots of wheat and small towns.

Moose, bears, goats, etc. are like wildlife anywhere--keep alert. Hope you see'em that's part of the ride.

In my estimation "Milepost", which is the size of a good phone book, is not worth the expense or space it takes up. It bills itself as the essential guide but IMO is a just a platform for advertisements. There are plenty of free maps and area guides available through local tourist bureaus, AAA, internet, etc.

If you have the time I'd encourage you to ride back by a different route. Maybe ferry to Price Rupert and take the Yellowhead across BC to Jasper and then across Canada.

Motor On ,/'


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post #10 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 9:33 pm
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Done it and would do it again in a heart-beat. This is probably one of the most notable rides you will take in North America !!
Someone posted earlier about "not-motorcycle friendly" roads-------what a bunch of crap. Same as the stickers that you can still purchase saying "I drove the Alaska Highway and Survived". I truly had to search for a bad road and the worst I could find was the "Chicken Run" from Tok to Dawson City. Even at that I was only reduced down to about 45 mph. Construction zones are well marked and not nearly as frequent as you "hear" about. If it rains on clay any-where it's going to be as slippery as ___--so park for a couple of hours and enjoy the scenery.
As stated in a previous post, service stations are no more than 70 miles apart but there aren't a "group" of them every 70 miles, so top up frequently just in case one or two are closed.
Wild-life yes, but they are easy to spot. It's where all the motor-homes are parked, and there are a LOT of motor-homes on the Alaska Hwy----all driven by OLD people who are used to nothing larger than their Buick. I would suggest that we should worry far more about them on the roads than the wild-life.
Ride up and take the Ferry or Cruise-ship back (the Ferry was $650 for myself and the bike back to Washington on my last trip).
And don't forget to buy one of those stickers-----we can't let the myth die.

Roy Jorawsky
Deputy Chief - SFD
2002 K1200LT - "BackDraft" - Deceased
2008 HD Ultra Screaming Eagle

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post #11 of 15 Old Oct 2nd, 2006, 10:14 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorawro
Someone posted earlier about "not-motorcycle friendly" roads-------what a bunch of crap.
I meant that extremely sarcastic and funny, but I guess the message was lost. I wouldn't let weather and roads stop me. I can't WAIT until next summer when I make the trek -- and from the feedback here, I like the sound of the ferry back.

Ryan - Motorradmitfahrer Maximus & Forumus Noobus sometimes
2003 K12LTC dressed in Black - "StratoCruiser"
Madison, WI
"where are the controls for the air conditioner on that bike?"

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post #12 of 15 Old Oct 3rd, 2006, 2:14 pm Thread Starter
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Question Tanks to all for the good info - what is the best time to go?

You guys now have us more anxious then ever. One more question - what is the "window" of the best time to go?
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post #13 of 15 Old Oct 3rd, 2006, 6:00 pm
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This will vary as much as opinions about the roads. I've gone in early June both times partly because it supposed to be the 'dry' season. May be but it's rained on me every day on both trips up and until I started back. Maybe later June in drier. I've also heard July is best from a highway flagger, and August because the frost has killed the mosquitos. Take your pick and enjoy.

jorawro has it right, the road from Chicken is the worst, not due to the crummy dirt/clay/dust road, but the line of RV's poking along taking up the middle of the road and throwing out an unbelievable amount of dust.

Motor On ,/'


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post #14 of 15 Old Oct 3rd, 2006, 10:34 pm
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Can't help you much regarding the road to get here but I can answer any questions you might have about Alaska once your here. I've lived Fairbanks for 32 years and have ridden pretty much every road from Prudhoe Bay to Homer. My first tip to anyone would be to bring quality rain gear and electric heated clothing. This past July, riding the LT through the Isabel Pass through the Alaska Mountain Range, the temp was 40 degree with a hard cold down pour. Actually, that was one of our better days this past summer. I'm still waiting anxiously for the results of global warming but all I'm getting is false hopes and frost bite! The summer of 2006 in Alaska really sucked for motorcycles. I hope 2007 is better!

Randy Smith
Fairbanks, Alaska
2001 BMW K1200LTC "Champagne"
1976 BMW 90/6
1996 Moto Guzzi California 1100i
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post #15 of 15 Old Oct 5th, 2006, 12:58 am
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I lived in Seward, Ak for 21 years and rode every road in the state ... but that isn't saying much. I also made the trip out and back several times via motorcycle (Yamaha, BMW, and Triumph) and agree with what has been said on the post. A most beautiful ride that you'll remember forever and crave to do again.
I used my Milepost but mostly in the planning stages. Don't trust the pictures of the campgrounds; the difference between what you see and what you get can be significant.
Buy good raingear, you'll use it often.
Do be cautious regarding the wildlife! They're big and stupid. Assume that they WILL run in front of you, whether you see them in the bushes or not. One ran from the brush right into the road in front of me and my beloved Triumph Tiger. Milliseconds later ... one dead caribou and one dead Triumph Tiger. Can't say enough good things about the RCMP in Fort Nelson, BC. Wonderful people there too.
Given my druthers, I'd make the trip in mid June. I've been snowed on in late August.
Having retired from the 49th state, I seem to be working overtime to justify a reason to do "the ride" again.
Enjoy!!

Darrell

'00 BMWK1200LT
'05 Triumph Tiger
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