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someone please tell a tennessee boy a good time to take a trip to alaska between may and september would like to miss the rain season and don't care about being in a blizzard :lol:
 

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familyman said:
someone please tell a tennessee boy a good time to take a trip to alaska between may and september would like to miss the rain season and don't care about being in a blizzard :lol:
Best time to go is when the roads are dry. It is hard to ride a gold wing on wet slick roads. Heck, it's hard to ride any motorcycle on wet slick roads. :(
 

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June is the best month to go up. We are planning a trip up on June 1, 1 week up, one week in Alaska and one week coming back. No schedule time frame to be anywhere.
 

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June is probably your best bet - but remember that it IS a bet.

Summer conditions have varied a bit here recently. '05 was pretty good - lots of sunshine, fairly warm temps.

'06 was cool and wet - Anchorage may have bvroken 70 degrees a few days (but I DO mean "few"), and some rain at least a couple/few days every week - and some weeks, every day.

Be guaranteed that on any Alaskan trip you WILL have rain. You WILL have grey days. You also may have beautiful blue skies, moderate temps - and may even have some hot days.

Fairbanks, surprisingly, gets much warmer than Anchorage in the summer - often has several 100 degree days during the summer, while the all-time record high for Anchorage is something like 85.

So - bring comfortable, durable rain gear. Practice riding on gravel/mud, because you WILL hit song patches of construction. BTW - "construction" up here may mean ripping out the whole road for 6 - 8 miles and rebuilding it from scratch.

There are NO interstate highways here. The paved roads are one lane each way, no dividers, generally no guard rails, mostly no paved shoulder.

And based on my observations, expect your tires to last about 2/3 of what you usually get.

But definitely come visit. It will be a different experience. You may well be lucky and hit a spell where the weather (and views) can't be beat - blue skys all day long, temps in the 70s. But you might also get 7 straight days of drizzle.

Oh yeah, that's the other thing to keep in mind. We do not get "down pours" or "gully washers" here (no matter what the locals may say). What long-time residents call a pouring rain is a medium shower back home in MD. Much more likely to have periods of mist/drizzle than anything else.

Roy
on "temporary duty" in Anc since 7/05
 

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I hate to raise issues, but, having lived in Alaska for 51 years, and 30 years in the Anchorage and Matanuska Valley area, I can assure all that the Glenn Hwy leading north out of Anchorage is a 4-lane divided hwy, just like any other freeway or interstate. Also, the Seward Hwy leading south out of Anchorage is also 4-lane divided, at least for a few miles. Furthermore, the highways up there DO have guardrails and wide, paved shoulders outside the foglines in most places. Very few roads have littel or no shoulders. I know, I was an Alaska State Trooper for 21 years up there. For the most part, the roads are at least reasonable to ride on. Winter is hard on the roads, and it tears up the pavement in the springtime during "breakup."

As for riding to Alaska, Mid-May through June is the best time. That's when the weather is the best and the bugs are the least. In July you get into the beginning of a rainy season and unpredictable weather, requiring good rain gear.

Familyman--if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me and I will do my best to steer you in the right direction including personal contacts up there.
Email me at [email protected]

Going to Alaska, even on a bike, is not the great adventure and exercise in survival techniques that it used to be. The Alcan Hwy is good 85 mph paved road for most of the way, except for those occasional places where they are repairing winter damage to the road surface. Mostly it's just long, but accommodations are plentiful (as is gas, albeit spendy in Canada) along the way. One ought to plan on spending more than a week up there in the state, though. There's lots to see and do.
 

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Didn't mean to ruffle feathers, Greg, or to mislead. Out of all the highway miles in AK, I would say that the few miles of 4-lane divided around Anchorage don't really amount to much.

For anyone from Outside (who is used to interstate-class roads all over the place), I think my original statement is a good approximation of to expect.

Maybe you have a different expectation of what a "paved shoulder" looks like than I do. Two or three feet of pavement outside the fog line is not much - and on MANY of the miles you'll drive in AK, "2 or 3 feet" is being generous.

Yes, roads are better in the Anchorage - MatSu area - but that's a small portion of the state.

No, riding in AK is not a survival game, and yes, it can be great fun to ride here - just don't expect the things you're used to - this is a different place. Pleasantly so, in my experience!

Roy
 

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Traveled from Houston to Anchorage this year; May 27th to June 16th. It rained most the trip, a few clear days in Yukon Territory. Anchorage, the two days we were there, was clear and about 80deg. But, we left to go to Seward and it rained pretty much the rest of the time we were on the Kenai Pennisula. It wasn't the kind of rain we get here in Houston, where someone dumps a bucket on you, it was mostly an annoying drizzle.

Roads were pretty good, but there were some stretches of 8 to 12 miles that were torn up from road construction. Mostly, they will stop you and make you wait for a lead car, but some of the construction is wet and slippery. By the way, motorcycles get to go first in Canada and Alaska, so pull on up to the front when you get to the construction stop. Some folks get really ticked off, had a police officer in Canada go ballistic, started yelling and screaming about those g## [email protected]#*@ motorcycles how they always slow things down, they should be last. But the construction folks were cool, "this is our project not his!", and made sure we got to go first.

When we went, we agreed that we would not stop (unless absolutely necessary) at any chain restaurants. One of the better decisions we made, met a lot of interesting folks.
 

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The road construction people come and get the motorcycles and send them to the front. They told me it is because the motorcycles sometimes have trouble in the deep graveled and wetted, (for dust control) construction areas. They told me that if the bike goes down they want to make sure it doesn't get run over by the other traffic.

Unfortunately, many of those other drives, waiting in the long lines, aren't aware of this, they think the bikers are just pushing their way to the front. This really ticks them off. I had them yell at me and flip the "bird". I even had a couple that ran me off the road, in their trailers and motorhomes, when they caught back up. I guess it's a good thing they don't allow handguns into Canada.
 
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