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Thread: Alaska

  1. #16
    Ambassador at Large JIMSHAW's Avatar
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    Some thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by womanridge View Post
    Some questions I have for some of the veteran Alaska visitors;
    I've been told not to try more than 400 mile days in B.C., Yukon Terr. and Alaska, even though I'm no stranger to 600+ mile days. Any thoughts on that?
    I'll post more specific stops for each night in the next few weeks.
    I think the 400 mile maximum day is correct, more or less in Northern BC, Yukon and AK. I would spend less time in the cities, unless there is a reason. For example, Homer is much more interesting than Anchorage. Also, there is always the issue of road construction. The Canadians and Alaskans will irregularly tear up and rebuild up to 30 mile segments (more likely 10 miles pieces) of road, leaving you with a wide variety of surfaces to navigate. I have run into blasting work, that has closed roads for an hour.

    There is a saying among AK travelers that is very, very true: "Never believe any advice on road conditions that comes from travelers who haven't been over the road in the past 24 hours." It's true. Things happen that fast. Be alert for any change in color or texture of the road ahead. Slow down for them. They could be unrepaired frost heaves that can throw you off your bike. They can be the beginning of construction zones, where there's NO PAVEMENT. Hit one of those at touring speed, and you're going home on an airplane. If it has just rained, unpaved segments can be treacherous. After a day or two of dry weather, they might be good, plain fun.

    Don't underestimate the scenic beauty of Yukon and BC. I think many riders find these roads just as good as (or even better than) the Alaskan roads. Study your Milepost carefully. There are lakes to camp on and hot springs to soak in that are real high points of the journey. The BC road 37A, which tees off from the Cassiar to Hyder, is one of the most beautiful roads I've even been on, bar none.

    Haines is a nice visit, especially the Eagle refuge, where you will see more Bald Eagles in five minutes than in the rest of your lifetime. You can take your bike from Whittier to Valdez on a wonderful ferry ride past a calving glacier. From Skagway, the train ride is well worth the time.

    I think those who have been to AK can close their eyes, and be right back there. It's a pretty nice ride.

    Jim


  2. #17
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    Thanks again Kevin and thank you as well, Jim. Great info.
    Karen Jacobs
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  3. #18
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    I think that ferry ride has to be a must on the trip.

  4. #19
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    The ferry ride lets one see parts of Alaska that are difficult to see in any other way. The scenery as you steam through the passages along the southeastern part of Alaska is spectacular. The Bellingham ferry makes short stops at Petersburg, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Skagway, Haines and Juneau. At each of the stops, except Juneau, there is enough time to make a quick recon of the town. You can camp on the deck if you want to save money or get a berth for a bit more comfort.
    Last edited by AKBeemer; 01-16-2010 at 12:48 AM.
    Kevin Huddy
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  5. #20
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    A ride to Whittier is a must do. Not only is it a neat place with some nice history and a beautiful harbour but the ride through the tunnel to get into Whittier is certainly different. You can also cach the ferry there onto other places. Some of the places the ferries take you to aren't reachable by any other means.
    Mo Shaffer
    Maggie valley NC,
    St. George, BM

  6. #21
    Soleman bmwchromehead's Avatar
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    Just keep in mind that there are very large critters in Alaska.
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    In the end, you will regret much more those things you didn't do, than those which you did.

  7. #22
    Soleman bmwchromehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwchromehead View Post
    Just keep in mind that there are very large critters in Alaska.
    Gives you a sense of his size. 9 1/2 " paws.
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    In the end, you will regret much more those things you didn't do, than those which you did.

  8. #23
    Toroweap
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    Vancouver, WA to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory

    I am planning a trip from Vancouver, Washington to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory and back. Leaving around May 22 and planning to take two weeks to make the 3900 mile trip. Will also visit Hyder, Alaska, Jasper, Banff, Waterton Lake, and Glacier NP.

    Looking for a traveling partner (not two up, of course).

    I am 56, married, two kids in college, employed. Mostly a backpacker and photographer, but got to give up one of those hobbies for this big swing through B.C.

    If anyone is interested, please get in touch via the forum or by e-mail.

    Thanks!

    John Harris
    harris8407@comcast.net

  9. #24
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    Well here I am, in Ft Nelson BC, 2/3 of the way from Milwaukee to Homer AK.
    The wilderness has yet to begin, from what I've been told. Did see my first moose, although dead on the side of the rode.
    Met a bunch of guys tonight from Kentucy riding Japenese bikes, back from their journey to AK.
    There's a bunch of guys on Harleys staying at the Super 8 here that have a car and trailer with their gear, running as their pilot car. Go figure.
    Looking out my 4th floor window, I see a snow blower on the roof of the building next door. This is "up-nort", for sure.
    I think the most breathtaking views of the trip so far have been Banff, the Icefields & glaciers, and the fun roads. Memories of a lifetime.
    I was going to upload a pic or two. Can you believe it, I left my camera usb cord at home. Well, I'll have to wait until I get home.
    Karen Jacobs
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  10. #25
    Registered User clowry's Avatar
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    Look for a 'Source' store - may be in the local hardware store. You should be able to find another cable fairly easily. (Then you can just leave one in your gear bag.) We're not leaving for another week. I'd LOVE to see some pictures from your trip!

    Hope we cross paths in Redmond! I'll be on my silver CL, camping with Sherpa Ted.

    Safe travels!

    Cheryl

  11. #26
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    Thanks Cheryl. Haven't seem a Source store yet, but keeping my eyes peeled. Haven't taken many pics lately. Raining constantly. Getting discouraged. Arrived in Anchorage today for an oil change and to do laundry. Tomorrow, Homer and hopefully, sunshine!!!
    I don't want to get into how depressing the last 100 miles of the Canadian Alcan and the first 40 miles of the Alaska Alcan was. Rain and the worst road surfaces this side of the moon craters. But hey, I made it to Alaska, solo. Now few days rest.
    Karen Jacobs
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    MOA-133005, RA32109, IBA #37923

  12. #27
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Cool

    Karen,

    When you get to Fairbanks you'll have nothing but clear blue skies and gentle warm breezes... guaranteed... I hope.
    Kevin Huddy
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  13. #28
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    Thanks Kevin, I'm counting on that.
    Here's one Clowry!
    Riding along Alaska Highway #1 on the Kenai.
    DSCN1497.jpg
    Actually had two days of partly sunny and no rain. Could this be a sign of things to come?
    Karen Jacobs
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    2012 R 1200 RT
    MOA-133005, RA32109, IBA #37923

  14. #29
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Go Karen!

  15. #30
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    How's this for a cabin, Wezul? I'm in Homer. (not Simpson) AK. A very nice town. Have a piece of Sockeye Salmon to put on the grill tonight and a bottle of white wine. Not a bad way to spend a summer evening.
    DSCN1523.jpg
    Karen Jacobs
    Moderator
    2012 R 1200 RT
    MOA-133005, RA32109, IBA #37923

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