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In the process of planning my second Ride of a Lifetime to Alaska. Did my first one in July, 2012 and fell in love with Canada, Alaska, Iron Butt rides and all points in between. I'm on a Goldwing and plan on doing the Haul Road up to Prudhoe Bay. As I prepared for my last trip, I always solicit your input, comments, advice and words of wisdom from those who have been there, done that. I'm reading everything I can find on the Dalton Highway. Especially blogs and reports from any previous trips that way. So if you're in a sharing mood, let me know.
 

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Ucc

Couple of questions: What time in August are you looking at for your ride? What tires are you planning on using on the Haul Road?

While I haven't taken my Wing beyond Wiseman on the Haul Road, I have over a dozen trips to Prudhoe Bay under my belt, so may be able to give you some pointers or answer some questions. Last month I started a thread on riding the Haul Road on ADVrider - Haul Road Primer - that may interest you. In my signature are links to some of my ride reports as well as a thread with quite a few photos from many riders - The Lure of the Dalton

My home is in a location still awaiting phone lines, so only sporadic internet access. However, I will try to keep tabs on this thread to catch your reply.

Have fun planning!

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ride to Prudhoe Bay

Couple of questions: What time in August are you looking at for your ride? What tires are you planning on using on the Haul Road?

While I haven't taken my Wing beyond Wiseman on the Haul Road, I have over a dozen trips to Prudhoe Bay under my belt, so may be able to give you some pointers or answer some questions. Last month I started a thread on riding the Haul Road on ADVrider - Haul Road Primer - that may interest you. In my signature are links to some of my ride reports as well as a thread with quite a few photos from many riders - The Lure of the Dalton

My home is in a location still awaiting phone lines, so only sporadic internet access. However, I will try to keep tabs on this thread to catch your reply.

Have fun planning!

Jack
Hey Jack,

You're just the man I've been looking for. Looks like you're gonna be my new best friend. As you can tell by my signature, I'm a Double Darksider and will be running Bridgestones front and rear. I was looking at departing Key West on the 1st of August, next year. I try and have my entire trip mentally planned a year out. I'll go to your thread on the ADV Rider website since I'm an inmate there as well. I checked the map and you're not too far from Glenallen. I passed through there in 2012 on my first trip. Magnificent view from there to Anchorage. I have one riding buddy who will be with me and we plan on being in Prudhoe Bay within 10 days at a leisurely pace. Thanks, Gean
 

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Hey Jack,

You're just the man I've been looking for. Looks like you're gonna be my new best friend. As you can tell by my signature, I'm a Double Darksider and will be running Bridgestones front and rear. I was looking at departing Key West on the 1st of August, next year. I try and have my entire trip mentally planned a year out. I'll go to your thread on the ADV Rider website since I'm an inmate there as well. I checked the map and you're not too far from Glenallen. I passed through there in 2012 on my first trip. Magnificent view from there to Anchorage. I have one riding buddy who will be with me and we plan on being in Prudhoe Bay within 10 days at a leisurely pace. Thanks, Gean
Too bad I didn't know about this last June. Spent the night of June 1st with friends near Kennesaw as I was riding from Key West back home. Didn't go on to Prudhoe Bay as I had originally planned. Too many things to get caught up on when I got back home, and the Concours needed new tires at both ends. Anyway, I'd done Key West to Prudhoe back in '04 (didn't bother submitting the paperwork for a UCC, it just seemed too easy a ride) so didn't feel the need to do it again.

As a matter of fact, I'm sitting in Glennallen right now. I've been keeping an apartment here for nigh onto 19 years, so when I'm here I can get on the internet. At home, we've only had electricity for about 8 years, and we're just starting to put pressure on the phone company to run fiber optics into the community so we will have DSL. That will make keeping in touch much simpler. Noticed your post on the IBA forum as well, but figured you'd get in touch through this one. BTW - Rick's video certainly gives a good look at what the trip might entail, doesn't it?

As you are making your plans, one thing to be aware of: DOT on the Haul Road cuts back on maintenance and construction on holiday weekends, especially July 4th, but also Labor Day and Memorial Day. Labor Day would probably be too late for you (and often includes snow over Atigun Pass) but if you could move your schedule up a month or so July 4th would be an opportunity worth considering. The reason this is noteworthy is that road maintenance can often be the biggest hazard of the entire trip over the Dalton Hwy. In order to soften the surface so graders can rearrange the bumps, thousands of gallons of water are spread over the surface for days, even if it's raining. Then the graders turn it into a gooey muck which can have you clenching the seat covering very tightly. Regardless, unless it is snowing hard, or a blinding blizzard up north, I've always found the road passable. Had to ride at 25 mph or under late one night coming south from Prudhoe when I hit dense, pea soup fog around Mile 360 that lasted until around 265. Took me over three hours for that stretch, but got a great photo at 1:30 AM as I topped out of the fog near Galbraith Lake, so it wasn't all bad.

I'll do my best to answer an questions or concerns you might have. Since I didn't make a run to Deadhorse this past summer, I'm due to make at least one in 2014. In the past, I've made as many as 4 trips in one year, but this summer I have some other places calling my name, including Inuvik in the Northwest Territory. So many places to go, so little time. :cry:

Stay in touch.

Jack
 

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Best Month for thei ride.

So what would you say is the best month to do this ride in? July is out. We have inservice training during that month.
 

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So what would you say is the best month to do this ride in? July is out. We have inservice training during that month.
Of course nothing is guaranteed, but generally late May-early June is driest. Several times I have taken advantage of the Memorial Day weekend and gone up to Deadhorse. This past spring was an exception. Looking at the weather forecasts, I decided it wasn't looking all that favorable. Turned out to be a good call, as Atigun Pass was closed by several avalanches and there were deep snowdrifts north of the pass. It would have been impassable on a bike. But the first couple of weeks in June have been pretty consistent in having decent weather.

That said, and weather being so unpredictable, just about any time during our short summer you could hit beautiful weather... or it could be the most miserable ride you could imagine. A friend and I did the inaugural Haul Road 1000 on a Labor Day weekend and, had it not been for having to spend almost three hours making fuel line repairs in Deadhorse, would have made the round trip from North Pole to Deadhorse and back to North Pole in under 20 hours. While we look at mid-June being the onset of the "monsoon season" up north, the July 4th holidays have provided me with some perfect weather up and back more than once, and I've had great trips in August as well.

All-in-all it's a toss of the dice. You just have to be ready for anything, as there is a good chance you'll get to experience it all - mud, snow, dust, heat, cold, rain. That's what makes it an adventure. :shock:
 
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