Texas to Alaska and back in 17 days
Well I finally did it. On July 23rd I loaded up my 2011 RT and headed for Alaska. I had planned and planned long enough and it was time to just ride or simply forget about ever getting there. What I did not realize is how arduous it would be, but oh so rewarding, of an undertaking. There were times that I wanted to just quit and turn around and come home. The unrelenting rain from Stewart BC to the Alcan/Cassiar Highway Junction was one of those times that I just wanted to turn around and say enough, but I had gone so far to just turn back. There were some easier 300 mile days and there were some really rugged 1000 mile days in the saddle, as I longed to get home to my family, but the norm was usually about 500 miles and about 10 hours seat time. I met some really nice people along the way, saw some amazing scenery and wildlife and also came to some realizations about myself and my irrational xenophobia regarding travel to other countries. As much as I loved the time on the road I also realized how much I missed my wife, my children and grandchildren. I had envisioned this trip as a once in a lifetime fulfillment of this romanticized ideal of traveling on my bike, unencumbered.....but the reality is that I had bonds that would not completely release me from my human attachments, commitments and relationships. However, the time I spent traveling with my brother simply reinforced our brotherly relationship and brought back fond memories of the times that as kids we shared everything from a room to clothes to friends.
The prelude to the real trip were the 1000 mile plus runs that my brother and I needed to make on our own to our shared starting point, Boise Idaho. He started from southern California and I started from north Texas. I left on Wednesday, July 23rd, around 10 in the morning after saying goodbye to my wife and granddaughter. I then made my way to Amarillo and then up into Colorado traveling up through the grasslands before catching the IH 70 into Denver. I kept going until reaching Fort Collins where I could not find a hotel room to save my life. By then it was 1am and a young lady at the front desk of one hotel I stopped at allowed me to sleep in the business lounge and provided me with a pillow and blankets. I slept for about three hours before hitting the road to make my way through Wyoming and Utah on into Boise. If it were not for the 80 mph speed limits in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho it would have taken me much longer than it did to get there. I finally rolled into Boise around 6pm about an hour behind my brother who had left southern California at 9pm on the 23rd. We settled into our hotel that evening and plotted our next day's ride......we were not quite sure which border crossing we would head for since we had heard crossing in the Seattle area could take several hours.
I will be back with more as I sort through my receipts and pictures and try to recreate the route and trip.
I can't seem to post any pictures without them coming out upside down. I will try to resolve the issue but have no idea why this is happening. This retrospective ride report is nothing without the pictures. Sorry
A snapshot of the route north and back home....I am having to take a snapshot of the photos I took on my IPad in order to keep them from showing up upside down. This is going to be a along write up if I have to take a picture of a picture just to post it. Sorry for my ineptness.