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Discussion Starter #1
We're off to Alaska from Maryland in May this year, travelling across to Montana and then up to Alaska, coming back via Canada to the North of the Lakes then back to Maryland. Any tips ?

Specifically, do we NEED to book accommodation and what's the cell phone coverage like, or would our Tri-band UK phone work ?

Thanks
 

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Dont know anything about your tri ban phone but we didnt have any problems with ATT except no reception on the Alcan. Pickup reception again at Tok Alaska.

Make sure you go the Ice Field Parkway sounds like you are, man what a great trip we came back through Chicken and Dawson City YK awesome rode. When I do it again I want to go the Ice Field Parkway and return down into Washington State. Not much except farm land to see coming back into the US through the Great Lakes.

We went up the last of May no problems with accommodations or gas. You are early into the tourist season some places not open yet but no problem with motels or gas just dont go by a gas station with out filling up.
 

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Do a search for Galute's ride report of his epic adventure to the land of Palin.
 

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We're off to Alaska from Maryland in May this year, travelling across to Montana and then up to Alaska, coming back via Canada to the North of the Lakes then back to Maryland. Any tips ?

Specifically, do we NEED to book accommodation and what's the cell phone coverage like, or would our Tri-band UK phone work ?

Thanks
Should be a very exciting trip for you.

I would lay out the trip and then consider making reservations a day or two in advance based on where you will be; based on the miles you make or plan to make; rolling reservations if you will.

Based on what I know about the Tri-Band phones, they should work. Look at coverage charts to see where cell service is available. It gets better all the time but there will be places where you will not have service but it is not a desolate highway either so help is always close; small towns or many other travelers.
 

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AK Trip

WOW. Thanks to Bob's post, I see that it's 40 degrees warmer in Palmer, AK than it is in Detroit, MI this morning.

A friend made the trip with his brother and two others in 08. They had reservations for the whole trip (5-600 miles per day). After a couple of days, they had to start changing reservations because one rider got sick and they only traveled 75 miles. Once they got to AK, they cancelled all return reservations.

His recommendation was to make reservations just one day ahead. They made the trip in June and July and had no problems finding a place as long as they begin looking before evening. They usually did that as part of their evening plans - ck weather, set distance goal, and then arrange lodging for the next night before going to bed. I'm going with a group in June-July 09 and we have a route planned, but no daily destination. We'll pick that by lunch time. We don't want to be forced to ride or not ride based on reservations we made too soon.

Another recommendation I have heard many times is to 'allow more time for side trips and doing things.' We are breaking up our trip into 400 mile segments so each rider can become an expert on a few sections - see what's available and take lead for that section. Until Bob's post, I hadn't even seen Palmer on the map - then I discovered it near Sutton - which is my wife's maiden name. I'll have to get a picture near a street sign there and maybe even a gift since she's the one that encouraged me to head 'North to Alaska' in '09 which is Alaska's 50th anniversary.
 

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I don't recommend using your cell, as it costs a fortune. When we did it we purchased the low cost pre-paid phone cards and used that. If I remember correctly there was a $1 connection cost along with .40 a minute on our cells in 2006.

If you would like to read about my trip go here: http://gwtailc.org/pages/waldo.htm

burt
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We only use our UK Cell if it's an emergency, and if it's an emergency we don't care what it costs, otherwise we have a US Cell and a Pre-paid calling card.
 

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I have read where some people mentioned using satellite phones. I do not yet know anything about them so hope someone might post with more info.

If you are traveling to AK you might want to consider purchasing the Milepost Alaska Travel Planner. I bought one a couple of months ago and hope it "is" the latest version. Mine is 2008. I paid about $27 or $28 for it on Amazon.

I would like to do the ride to Alaska in 2009, but must find someone(s) with whom to make the trip, and ensure I can financially afford it. I bought a new 08 GL1800 in Jun 08 and now have just over 2200 miles on it. I am attempting to research what will be needed to successfully complete the trip (e.g. servicing the Wing while on the trip, getting new tires if needed, etc).

Thanks to those that posted the links to the trips of a couple others.
I will review those threads.

Todd
 

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I left Jacksonville Fla with a new set of Dunlop E3 fresh amsoil and made the 13500 mile trip on the same set of tires and oil change. If you need tires then there is a place in Ankorage that you can ship your tires to and they will mount them when you get there.

No other service need on my trip
 

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... I would like to do the ride to Alaska in 2009, but must find someone(s) with whom to make the trip, and ensure I can financially afford it. ...
Todd
Todd - I plan on heading to Alaska from Virginia around May 15,2008. I might be available to keep you company but I sure can't ensure your ability to financially afford it! ;)

You can search on my posts (or PM me) to get some details of my plans.
 

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Here are a few of my recommendations. Buy a "Milepost" if you already have not!

End of the Alaska Highway - stop at Delta Junction


We did an overnight at the "Burnt Paw" Cabins in Tok


On the way into Alaska stop by the North Pole and see old Santa!


Some of the things we did were:

From Fairbanks go south stop by Nenana and buy an Ice Classic ticket at Moocher's Bar, then head on to Talkeetna (south of Denali NP if you go to Denali NP, we did the 11 hour trip out to Wonder Lake on an old school bus - we would not do that again!)

You may get a glimpse of McKinley just north of Talkeetna!





In Talkeetna, we took the K-2 Aviation flight up to the Ruth Glacier - awesome flight!

Friends Tom & Kathy on the Ruth Glacier
Photos around Mt McKinley were worth the entire trip.




Stop by Hartley Honda in Palmer. Tour Anchorage on a Trolley for an overall view.


Head south to Girdwood, Portage Glacier, Moose Pass, Seward, Soldotna, Homer. Try riding through the 2-1/2 mile tunnel to Whittier avoiding the rail road tracks!


There is so much to see - do your research!

A side trip to Skagway was worth the bypass out of Whitehorse! Stop by the Red Onion brothel ---




On the way back home, stop at Watson Lake and put up your home town sign!


Good luck ... and we did not even use out cell phone!
 

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Milepost

If you are traveling to AK you might want to consider purchasing the Milepost Alaska Travel Planner. I bought one a couple of months ago and hope it "is" the latest version. Mine is 2008. I paid about $27 or $28 for it on Amazon.

Todd
I think the print date for the new version is about March 1 each year so you have the most current right now, but there will be a newer one by the time you begin your trip. I have no idea how much difference a year makes.
 

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Internal Conflict Alert

If you would like to read about my trip go here: http://gwtailc.org/pages/waldo.htm

burt
I have been bombarded with warnings since the moment I tried visiting this site. Do you have some '360' security program? It looks like they want me to buy that security or everything I have will be destroyed - except my kitchen sink? :22yikes:
 

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Lowell, Craig, Jim, and Jim, thank you for posting with the info. It will be very helpful. I have sent PM's to you, Craig and Jim M. I look forward to hearing more from you.

Best wishes. :D

Todd
 

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I'm headed from Seattle for HYDERSEEK on 6/3 with 3 others and then the 4 of us are headed for TOK, DAWSON CREEK, and NW Territories. One of our members has done this multiple times and is our official route planner. We're expecting to be gone around 10 days or so.
 

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My wife and I rode from Wyoming to Dead Horse in August 2003 on BWM R80 GSPD's and I did the Wy to Homer ride on my Wing in June, 2006. We had no problem with meals or lodging. The mile post is a good thing to take with. Consider Hyder AK. Neat town and a glacier on the way in. If you feel comfortible on gravel roads think about the Artic circle or Dead horse.

Start with a new set of tires and you should have no problem. Palmer has a great Honda shop. I get 12 to 14 thousand out of a set of ME 880's.

Carl Stark
 

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The roads will be in much better condition than you will read about on the internet. If you can do a 1K mile day in the states, you can do a 1K day on the Alcan. Let me know if I'm right or wrong when you get back.
 

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I'm headed from Seattle for HYDERSEEK on 6/3 with 3 others and then the 4 of us are headed for TOK, DAWSON CREEK, and NW Territories.
Northwest Territories? Curious about that one....where to? Yellowknife?
 

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I am sorry that I missed NW Territory when we were there within only a couple hundred miles or so of it!
 
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