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Discussion Starter #1
New to this web. Riding to Alaska in June of 2007 looking for others to ride with.
 

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alaska 2007

You may need to provide more info like starting location, possible route, potential duration of trip, camping vs motel lodging, sport riding style or cruiser riding style.

I am also planning a late May 2007 return to Alaska, with spouse, (went in July 2006 - too hot) starting in Florida, and going on to Anchorage via the scenic California coast. I use motels, and enjoy the sport riding style of travel.
 

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My wife and I are also planning an Alaska ride in summer of 2007. No set dates yet.

Will probably ride both ways and not take the ferry.

No set routes yet, but will also visit Jasper and Banff.

We too use Motels. Travel often and far. Only 23,000 on out GW, but 240,000 on our Harley. Usually ride about 30,000 - 50,000 per year.

Would be interested in ridding with others.

Irene and Bob
 

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I am also new at this forum, and also planning to ride round trip to Alaska from Houston with a buddy. We are also interested in riding through the scenic California coast. As far as dates, a fellow from Alaska mentioned July is the time to be there, but open to suggestions. Both our bikes are 05 GW. We both rode to Sturgis this year and had a lot of fun. I guess we got the bug for the long trips.

zorrin
 

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Jeff in Ferndale WA said:
there's some riders from Alaska that run a board.
They are pretty helpful.

http://www.gl1800riders.com/forums/view ... highlight=
Hey, Jeff - didn't see you up here this fall, and haven't heard how your trip went. Did you get to do the tour you were planning? Still ready to give you the custom Valdez tour if you want it. :D
 

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Zorrin said:
I am also new at this forum, and also planning to ride round trip to Alaska from Houston with a buddy. We are also interested in riding through the scenic California coast. As far as dates, a fellow from Alaska mentioned July is the time to be there, but open to suggestions.
zorrin
If you're looking for the potentially warmest time of year to visit up here, late June - early July is probably it. But we often see our wettest time of year start in July. Due to the length of days shortly before and after summer solstice, our summer more or less begins around the end of May and with the first day of summer we are counting down to the beginning of winter, as the weather will soon start to grow cooler.
I've ridden the Alcan from the first week of April (no, you don't want to even think of doing it that early!) to the middle of September and early - before construction really gets underway - or late, after they've picked up their shovels and gone home, is when traveling that road is easiest.
In Alaska, the main tourist season begins pretty regularly around June 15th, and lasts 'til just after Labor Day. Outside of those dates there may be some attractions closed, but things aren't so crowded either. Prior to that, most services are operating in Canada, and facilities over in Whitehorse are filled by the end of May.
In late May and early June you can still run into some pretty cool weather (maybe even snowfall) in northern B.C., but once you get closer to Whitehorse the temperature can be up in the 70's or even 80's.
Get yourself a copy of the Milepost and spend the winter looking it over. While it is about 2/3 advertising, it contains just about all the information you could ever need to navigate around the north country.
One suggestion: Learn the names of the highways up here. Sure, they have numbers, but few of us remember what they are. We know them all by name, and if you have to ask directions of a local we'll tell you that way, and not by number. Lived here myself since before any of our roads even had numbers, and I still can only remember a couple. :lol:
 

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AKLDRIDER said:
Jeff in Ferndale WA said:
there's some riders from Alaska that run a board.
They are pretty helpful.

http://www.gl1800riders.com/forums/view ... highlight=
Hey, Jeff - didn't see you up here this fall, and haven't heard how your trip went. Did you get to do the tour you were planning? Still ready to give you the custom Valdez tour if you want it. :D
Note that I edited the link to the AK Riders forum above.....

Hi Jack,
Unfortunately,I've got an ongoing problem with my neck that forced me to cancel the Alaska trip.
It's really reduced my riding.I've barely got 5000 miles under my belt this year :(
The good news is that I don't need surgery,and some recent acupuncture treatments are making a difference.

But,my work schedule has changed again,and I have to be to work May 1.That may be a bit early to try to ride to Anchorage
 

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Jeff,
You could probably make it up to Anchorage by the 1st of May, but you would undoubtedly hit some fresh snowfall along the way, and would find yourself holed up somewhere for a couple of days. Even coming up in the middle of May I've been in snowstorms that have had me wondering what the heck I was doing there. :lol:
Too bad that "w" word interferes with so much enjoyment. :wink:
Glad to hear your neck problem was temporary. Maybe we'll get to take that Valdez tour yet one of these days.
 

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Hi Jack:

I enjoyed the pictures in your website.

There is some beautiful scenery there!

I have also heard before your advise about July being so wet and with crowded roads of tourists on their travel trailers.

It might be a good idea to move up the trip to the middle of June.

As far as booking motels months in advance, what is your advise?

If you had to make a MUST VISIT list while in Alaska, what would you recomend the most?


Your advise is so more valuable since you actually live in Alaska, have traveled up and down the Alkan several times and are an avid LD Rider.



Thanks,
 

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Zorrin said:
As far as booking motels months in advance, what is your advise?
If you expect to be stopping at some of the more popular tourist spots, it's a good idea to book well in advance. For instance, at the one hotel here in Glennallen, most of the rooms are already reserved for the summer of 2007, and this isn't even a tourist destination (but we serve as the hub for some great day trips). The hotels, motels, cabins, and B&B's near the entrance to Denali are some of the first to go, so reservations need to be made early if you intend to go there. In the bigger cities - Anchorage and Fairbanks - while they house thousands of tourists every summer - have enough facilities that you can usually get a room without a reservation, although it might not be something you'd choose if you had another option.
My advice is to make only the reservations you feel you absolutely must, as reservations mean you're tied to a schedule. Once you get farther north - into the Yukon and Alaska - you will probably discover that you enjoy not having a schedule to keep, since it is impossible to imagine what attractions will draw you until you have started to see what Alaska has to offer. Believe me, your first trip up here will only serve as an introduction, and will just whet your appetite for another, longer, trip.

Zorrin said:
If you had to make a MUST VISIT list while in Alaska, what would you recomend the most?
Hmmm, that's not easy, since you won't have time to see everything the first time around. But something I'll point out - if you're after "typical" Alaskan scenery, don't bother going to Fairbanks. You'll find the best photo opportunities along the coast or in the coastal range of mountains, and in the Alaska Range. Fairbanks should be reserved for any extra time you have.
If I were a first time visitor to Alaska I think I'd want to see Denali (the mountain definitely, the park maybe) and one of the most likely spots from which to see it is the quaint little town of Talkeetna. Then maybe a ride on north on the Parks Hwy through Broad Pass.
A ride down the Richardson Hwy to Valdez is also one of the most popular with folks who have done it, and one of my favorites is the ride south of Anchorage down onto the Kenai Peninsula and Seward and/or Homer. The latter is especially pretty in mid-summer and later.
If you do find time to go to Fairbanks, the ride on the Riverboat Discovery is well worth the fare. After hearing friends rave about it, I finally took the ride myself last August, and in spite of a chilly rain in the afternoon, had a great time.
If you have an extra day or two, one or two boat tours would really round out your vacation. From Seward, there is the Kenai Fjords trip, and out of Valdez, the glacier cruises with Stan Stevens. Take lots of film/memory for either of those.
As you travel, and get an idea of how many miles you can take in in a day's ride, you will be better able to judge where you will be in a few days, and can make reservations one or two days in advance. Another thing I suggest is to stop early in the afternoon in order to have a better chance at finding a room, and then get up and start traveling early, before the rest of the world is moving. You will see a lot more wildlife that way, and with the sun coming up very early in the north, you'll have some great photo opportunities.
 

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Akldrider.....

What can you tell us about "Chicken, Ak". I've seen several pictures posted on this board, but little text. All our plans for Ak have been postponed, at least for a little while. Had to make room for WingnutZZ's Colorado adventure.

I have been recieving a lot of information from the state of Ak. Your Dept of Tourism is OUTSTANDING! Before I die, I WILL see Alaska.
 

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davidmc said:
Akldrider.....

What can you tell us about "Chicken, Ak". I've seen several pictures posted on this board, but little text. All our plans for Ak have been postponed, at least for a little while. Had to make room for WingnutZZ's Colorado adventure.

I have been recieving a lot of information from the state of Ak. Your Dept of Tourism is OUTSTANDING! Before I die, I WILL see Alaska.
Chicken, eh?
Well... similar to Talkeetna, it could also be called a "quaint" little town, but that would be stretching the term more than a little. :lol: It's a pretty isolated little collection of characters, most of them somewhat colorful, that enjoys its reputation and its isolation. If it were located along a stretch of beautiful highway you probably wouldn't be tempted to stop there. But being, as it is, situated on the Top of the World Highway, and that alone giving its visitors bragging rights, the town has become something of a tourist favorite for those willing to put up with a few miles of gravel - that isn't always in the best of shape.
If you visit Dawson City - of Gold Rush fame - it is just natural to do it either coming in to Alaska or on the way out via the T.O.T.W. Hwy, and that means going by Chicken.
In the rain, that stretch of gravel can become pretty slick, and one local truck driver told me of hitting his brakes with a pair of loaded tank trailers behind him and simply locking up his front tires as though he was on ice. Bikers aren't any happier with it in the rain.
But when the sun it out it is a beautiful trip, with the road on top of ridges for a long way, and even south of Chicken the road goes up and down a lot, with a long descent just before getting back to the Alaska Hwy. near Tok. If you have the time, and the weather is right, it's almost a must do for a visitor who doesn't mind riding on some gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
AKLDRIDER

Thanks for the info. on Alaska. I watch the travel channel alot to gather info. one question are the mosquitoes bad ?

What are the most important up grades to make to a Goldwing for the trip that you wrote about ?
I will be traveling to Alaska in Mid June.

Thanks for the info.
Jeff
 

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Big Dreams said:
AKLDRIDER

one question are the mosquitoes bad ?

Jeff
Are the mosquitoes bad?
Hah, you should be asking if the mosquitoes are big? As in "How Big!?"

If you keep your speed above the posted highway speed, you should be okay, except when you hit a BIG one. Then a fullface helmet is mandatory. With the visor down. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
 

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Jeff:

Thanks for the link, these guys are some serious riders! I just wish one day I can ride under those conditions,... but then again I'll probably just settle for seing those amazing pictures.

I suppose you pretty much have to be born an Alaskan to ride like that.
 

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davidmc said:
Akldrider.....

What can you tell us about "Chicken, Ak". I've seen several pictures posted on this board, but little text. All our plans for Ak have been postponed, at least for a little while. Had to make room for WingnutZZ's Colorado adventure.

I have been recieving a lot of information from the state of Ak. Your Dept of Tourism is OUTSTANDING! Before I die, I WILL see Alaska.
I rode the Top of the World this past summer through Chicken to Dawson City. It started pouring down rain about 30 miles out of Chicken and the road was very slick. We were riding Dual-Sport bikes with full blown knobby tires and I can't even imagine how bad it would have been on a Goldwing with street tires. We stayed in Chicken for an hour and waited out the rain. The US/Canadian was about to close for the night, so we had to haul ass to get to there before it closed. At the border the weather was great, but we hadn't gone 3 miles into Canada when the wind kicked up and it started sprinkling rain. We stopped and put the rain suits back on and what happened next I can only describe as "Pure Hell". We're riding across the top of the mountains in a down pouring rain with 50 mph cross winds on a dirt & gravel road. Windshields and face shields were all fogged up, the pot holes in the road are full of water, and the wind is blowing us sideways. It's 65 miles from the border to Dawson City and the only thing we could do was keep riding. As we started down the mountain to the Yukon river the weather changed back to dry and overcast. I'm sure a lot of riders have made this trip on a Wing, but you had better watch the weather, which when your that far North can change without notice. Another thing that would keep me from making this trip on a Wing is that you will more than likely run into section of road where they have put down calcium chloride, and you don't even want to know what that stuff will do to your ride.
 

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Thanks guys for the info.... Chicken sounds better than ever now. Think I had better leave the wife at the motel.

I use thousands of gallons of calcium chloride a month in the manufacture of Type II clinker in cement kilns. In its concentrated form, a Goldwing would have no chance at all.

Tough as things look, I still gotta go to Chicken.

CBXMan, given the chance, would you go back?
 

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Big Dreams said:
AKLDRIDER

Thanks for the info. on Alaska. I watch the travel channel alot to gather info. one question are the mosquitoes bad ?
In some places the mosquitoes can be horrendous, but in others you won't find any mosquitoes. Stopping along a highway in the interior in the cool of the evening you can be swarmed by bugs, but when the sun is high in the sky they seem to retreat into the shade. Along coastal areas you won't find many at all. There are only a few times each summer that I bother to apply repellent, but one night last summer I would have given quite a bit for a headnet, when I ran out of gas around midnight and flies, mosquitoes, and every other manner of flying insect were attracted to me and the heat of the bike.

Big Dreams said:
What are the most important up grades to make to a Goldwing for the trip that you wrote about ?
What trip is that? (Be patient with me, I've been out of town for a week and with my memory, five minutes is a long time. :lol: )
Do you mean just a trip to Alaska? If so, no upgrades are necessary. When I purchased my '03 in Ohio, I just transferred the stuff from my Suzuki onto the Wing and rode it home - the long way around, 6800 miles. :D And that included riding over Steamboat in the snow at 30F.
 

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I am headed to Alaska from Tennessee memorial day weekend 2007. What are the speed limits in Canada? We may take the route from Fargo / Winnipeg/Edmonton / Dawson creek. The return trip hasn't been decided. Any advice on this route.
 
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