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post #1 of 11 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 11:47 am Thread Starter
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Alaska Trip

I am starting to plan for a trip to Kenai, Alaska, (the Peninsula south of Anchorage) this summer. If anyone has any experience in the route up through Canada on the west coast and to Alaska....I am all ears and would be grateful for any information.

How much gravel do you normally run into while they are fixing the frost heaves from the winter and such? Thanks

I want to die young...at a ripe old age.

Several Triumphs (which I still love)
one Beezer 441
Harley Sportster (which I still hate and was ecstatic to see go)
2003 LT- traded for 2005
2005 LT- traded for deer (dead after the introduction to the LT- both totaled)
2005 LT- sold for a 2008 Gold Wing GL1800
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post #2 of 11 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 2:20 pm
 
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Re: Alaska Trip

Marc,

Only one road! Unless you want dirt. I did it two up on a 2000 LT in 2003. Get the mile post book. It has the different roads with descriptions. They are always improving the road. When you do reach some construction with one way traffic, motorcycles go to the front, so not so much dust, plus at the end, you are in front of the motorhomes and trailers.
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post #3 of 11 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 5:10 pm
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Re: Alaska Trip

Did it last June, 2007. You will be fine. Just except a lot of gravel roads. It is hard to tell how much because it depends how much was tore up in the winter. The construction crew are cool and let the motorcycle up front. LT does fine in the gravel and do not worry about it, just enjoy.

John
Florida
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post #4 of 11 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 8:27 pm
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Re: Alaska Trip

I lived in Alaska for 21 years and did the trip from Seward, AK to the lower 48 via motorcycle several times. I'd probably take the Cassiar Highway rather than the Alaska Highway just because I think it's a more picturesque trip, if that is possible.



Cautions? A few...

1. As stated in earlier posts, get the Mile Post. It is VERY helpful. Don't necessarily believe all that is written about a campsite or hotel. Photographs can also be deceiving.

2. Know how to plug a tire. Practice before hand. If you know how to do it, you probably wonít need to!

3. Road construction is to be expected.

4. Be cautious of LARGE animals. They can run from the trees and brush right into your path. Guaranteed it will hurt you and your bike if you hit one. Been there, done that, donít wanna do it again!

5. Be aware of your speed. The RCMP will issue ďPerformance AwardsĒ if you get too enthusiastic.

6. Having said that, the RCMP Iíve dealt with has been absolutely wonderful. No kidding, they were extremely nice. Iíll remember the officer that helped me after my accident (See #3 above) to the day I die because of his helpfulness and going WAY beyond what was expected.

7. Bring quality rain gear. Itís not IF itís going to rain, itís how often and how long the showers are going to last.

8. Donít forget to get a passport. Itís required.

9. You can also get a Interprovince Insurance card from your insurance company. Makes life easier.

10. Another option is doing the trip from Washington to Skagway via the Alaska State Ferry System. Removes a couple thousand miles from the trip yet is still incredibly beautiful.



Enjoy the trip! Iím looking at doing another trip in 2009 just because itís so much fun.

Darrell

'00 BMWK1200LT
'05 Triumph Tiger
IBA #16091
BMW-MOA #125320
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post #5 of 11 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 12:09 am
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Re: Alaska Trip

I've gone to Prince George then West to Prince Rupert (terrific road!) Thence the ferry to Alaska - I'd do that again in a heartbeat, rather than ride the gravel... Just my $0.02 (probably $0.009 today...)
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post #6 of 11 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 8:46 pm
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Re: Alaska Trip

I rode my 2001 LT from Cleveland up to the Arctic Circle and back last summer. Photos and notes are available at: www.gingerich.net

I would have liked to go all the way to Prudhoe Bay, but descriptions of the road near the top (soft and muddy) disuaded me. The LT is not good in the slippery mud - it would be one thing to go down, but quite another to get it back up with no footing. The large rocks on the Dalton where they were building up the roadbed were the most treacherous part - I felt lucky to keep the right side up during that stretch.

Other than that, and a stretch on the Denali Highway (gravel) where I had to turn round because of slippery mud, the LT worked out just fine. Enjoy the ride!

Wally

PS. In retrospect I wish I had ordered a set of tires to be delivered to Alaska Leather in Anchorage. Barb is all set up to change them for you (for a reasonable fee), and you will save lots of $$ and time over having the dealer install them.

Wally Gingerich
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post #7 of 11 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 9:12 pm
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Re: Alaska Trip

True, true. AK Leather are fine folks. Great to deal with.

Also true about going up to Prudhoe Bay. I've been up there on a Triumph Tiger (may it rest in peace) and on a R80GS. If it rains the road can be slicker than greased owl snot ... and we ALL know how slick that stuff can be! Doing the Dalton on a LT doesn't get me excited at all, though many have done it and lived to tell the story.

Darrell

'00 BMWK1200LT
'05 Triumph Tiger
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post #8 of 11 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 9:30 pm
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Re: Alaska Trip

I went last summer, end of june thru july. Pegasus laid out some good information. I would add:

1. Get a heated vest or full liner. You will be glad you did.
2. Carry a phone card that is good in Canada and US. Cell service is
spotty.
3. Talk to other riders on the way, construction/gravel sections change by the hour. I did the Cassiar on the way back and it was beautiful. Unlike the Alcan, the trees, alders and shrubs come right up to the shoulder, and you will have little warning of big animals crossing the road.

Travelers on the Alcan and Cassiar were very friendly and helpful. I only had one bad experience where I was on a remote spur road, off the Alcan at about mile 1100. I had turned off the main road to check out some abandoned buildings and drink some water. Out of nowhere two dudes in a beater pick up parked right next to me as I sat on my bike. They were very intent on having me camp at their cabin for the night, offering me free camping and a "hot meal". They didn't want to take "no thanks" as an answer to their offer. I was unarmed and didn't know what they had in their truck.
Lucky for me, some lady in a beater sedan came rolling by, and I took the opportunity to quickly gas it out of there while there was a witness. I had no idea what she was doing on this road, as I had not seen anybody for quite some time. I got back on the Alcan and made tracks!!
That was the only time I felt unsafe the whole trip. I just happend to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The rest of the trip, people were great.

If you are going down to the Kenai. There is a nice hostel in Sterling AK called Jana House. It is huge and run by an elderly gentleman, ex government contractor/engineer who is a bit gruff, but when you get to know him is a great guy. He runs the hostel like a barracks, very clean and quiet. 23 buck a night..can't go wrong.

Have a safe trip and take your time...

Note: I did this trip on an R1100GS, not my LT. Not because I thought the LT couldn't handle it, I just wanted to take the GS.

Last edited by Nordo; Mar 31st, 2008 at 9:43 pm.
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post #9 of 11 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 10:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Alaska Trip

Outstanding information from all of you. I have ridden the beast in gravel before...lots of it ...in the Southwest....and hate it. There is nothing romantic about going down the road at a slide. How long did it take.....on the average...from the lower 48 ...up the Alcan to Anchorage for most of you. I have plenty of time...just need a gage.
I have Kilamanjaro gear.....but have to make it from Missouri to the cooler area with that gear....about mid July....jeeeeeeeeeze. I know that once into the Provinces,,,, it gets more comfortable...but the lower 48 in July/August is a mutha.

I want to die young...at a ripe old age.

Several Triumphs (which I still love)
one Beezer 441
Harley Sportster (which I still hate and was ecstatic to see go)
2003 LT- traded for 2005
2005 LT- traded for deer (dead after the introduction to the LT- both totaled)
2005 LT- sold for a 2008 Gold Wing GL1800
2008 GL1800 Gold Wing
BMWMOA
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post #10 of 11 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 11:40 pm
 
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Re: Alaska Trip

I would suggest you give yourself a minimum of three weeks. This is one trip where you absolutely want to stop and smell the roses.
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post #11 of 11 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 9:42 am
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Re: Alaska Trip

From western Wisconsin to Fairbanks it took me 6.5 days. 3 rainy days, one day was horrible rain and holed up south of Edmonton AB after a short day of 4 hours.

With the added daylight you can make good time, but I suggest taking your time getting to Alaska. Western AB, BC and Yukon Territory are breathtaking. I want to get back to BC and YT again for sure.
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