2010 West Trip

 

Our travels are on two wheels, the motorcycle kind.
My wife and I both ride our own bike. 20+ years ago when I decided to take up riding again, she said if you are going to ride I am too! So here we are today with several two wheel trips under our belt!
I use the winter months to preplan our trips. I first search points of interest in the general direction of our travels, then off the beaten path routes. Most all of my planning takes place on the computer using BaseCamp as my working tool.

Starting with my 2010 trip. (Note that the attached photo link has details of the photos in the comments section).

We live in South Florida, so pretty much anywhere we go in the USA we have a bit of a ride.
In 2010, I started off on my own heading northwest into South Dakota, Wyoming and Western Canada. I grew up watching the TV series "Then Came Bronson" that aired on NBC in the late 60's for just a short while. The show would open with Bronson (Michael Parks) riding the Pacific Coast Highway. So this trip was to experience that childhood dream of riding the PCH. So the next leg of the trip was down the PCH to San Francisco.
Just east of San Fran I caught up with a buddy (also from Florida) in Merced, CA.
We traveled east into Yosemite, Death Valley and Grand Canyon National Parks, to name a few.
My wife and I are active in the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association (MSTA) so we met up on my easterly leg of the trip in Taos, NM for the national rally, "STAR."
After several days riding the roads near Taos and enjoying the rally we headed east taking in parts of the historic route 66 (again another dream ride).

We have many more travels that I plan on sharing if there is interest.
Enjoy. -JEP-

2010 West Trip photo link:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ridemyst/sets/7215762372883290...

--
So Many Roads..... https://www.flickr.com/photos/ridemyst/collections/72157600062628609/

sponsored links

2010 West Trip

How far to you rice before you stop for a break and fill up?

--
3790LMT; 2595LMT; 3590LMT, 60LMTHD

My wife's bike has a range

My wife's bike has a range around 200 miles and mine quite a bit more. However we usually take a break and gas every 150 miles or so.

--
So Many Roads..... https://www.flickr.com/photos/ridemyst/collections/72157600062628609/

Alaska trip

Great to hear of your motorcycling adventures. We rode from Maine to Alaska and back (most of the way; had a fatal bike breakdown and had to truck them a small part to get back to the U.S. to buy a new bike) in 2012. Here is a link to our blog about the trip:

riskitravels.wordpress.com/2012/05/

Motorcycling is a wonderful way to travel!

--
Riskibusiness

Great Pics

I've been to many of the locations but it was in a car.
What a memorable trip it was and thanks for sharing.

--
Nuvi 660 2460LMT Sold My 765T

Great Western trip

I recall when my wife and I went on a trip out west. It was so fun. I would definitely do it again.

Alaska

Alaska is on my bucket list. I have traveled the lower 48 but have concerns about available hotel accommodations in Alaska as I am not a camper. -JEP-

--
So Many Roads..... https://www.flickr.com/photos/ridemyst/collections/72157600062628609/

We actually stayed in motels

We actually stayed in motels much of the time. When we were going to stay in an area for more than 1 night, we would camp, e.g., in Haines we were waiting for the ferry south to WA for 3 days and found a great campground, but there were always motels in driving range. So GO FOR IT!

--
Riskibusiness

Accommodations along the Alcan and in Alaska

We made that trip in 2016 with an RV and usually stopped about every 100 miles to top up on gas as on some stretches, that is the distance between services. We often saw someone on a bike stopping for gas and a cinnamon bun, so many make that trip on 2 wheels. Many of the fuel stops had a small motel or some cabins and a cafe as part of the facility. Some of the commercial campgrounds did also.

I recommend obtaining a copy of The MilePost as it really is the bible of the road. It lists everything by mile/kilometer markers; not just the Alcan but also other significant routes both in Alaska and those that connect to the Alcan in far NW Canada. Each year a new one is published so the data is current. The book is bulky, but the purchase includes access to download a PDF copy which is do-able with a tablet or smartphone if traveling with limited space.

One caveat: Some of us Americans are unfamiliar with international roaming charges and traveling through Canada with a phone on an American plan is "international". Calls and data usage may not be included in the plan and simply having a phone turned on in Canada may incur additional daily charges. Check with your provider ahead of time. Cell coverage is very sparse except in the significant population centers so while a GPS works fine if it has the North American maps, phones or tablets will need the map sets stored into them if planning on using one for mapping. We simply turned the cellular off in settings until we were well on the American side of the borders and our nüvi with some of the great POI files from here did the job. Some places advertise WiFI but don't expect much. In some of the remote locations along the Alcan, electricity is provided by an onsite generator that is shut off at night. Find a way to charge your electronics while traveling.

The West is ready made for road trips and we look forward to this time each year when we can plan our next one.

--
"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

Alaska Info

Thanks for the information!
Glad to hear that hotels are available.
Also I have an old copy of the Mile Post but will get a current copy just prior to my trip. I have set up routes that are color coded for road surfaces (gravel/pavement) and have gas stop waypoints set along the way....did this several years ago so it also needs a update!
As to cell phone charges, we encountered that last year in Nova Scotia. We had made arrangements with our provider (ATT) prior to leaving but it was done incorrectly as we found out AFTER we crossed the border. It took a couple of attempts to get it straightened out but we were successful. -JEP-
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ridemyst/sets/7215766828099070...

--
So Many Roads..... https://www.flickr.com/photos/ridemyst/collections/72157600062628609/

Makes me want to travel

RIDEMYST wrote:

Thanks for the information!
Glad to hear that hotels are available.
Also I have an old copy of the Mile Post but will get a current copy just prior to my trip. I have set up routes that are color coded for road surfaces (gravel/pavement) and have gas stop waypoints set along the way....did this several years ago so it also needs a update!
As to cell phone charges, we encountered that last year in Nova Scotia. We had made arrangements with our provider (ATT) prior to leaving but it was done incorrectly as we found out AFTER we crossed the border. It took a couple of attempts to get it straightened out but we were successful. -JEP-
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ridemyst/sets/7215766828099070...

I love your trip photos. This one would be a great one to take.
I have a sister in South Carolina and we drove a little way on the Blue Ridge Parkway when we visited her a couple of years ago. It is a beautiful drive.

--
Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

Alaska and western Canada

RIDEMYST wrote:

Thanks for the information!
Glad to hear that hotels are available.
Also I have an old copy of the Mile Post but will get a current copy just prior to my trip...

Yes, with a little advance thought and a fairly recent MilePost, you can find lodging, gas and food driving to Alaska through western Canada and Alaska's Interior.

If motoring both ways, I suggest taking the Alaska Hwy heading north and look to alternates on the way back. My two favorite alternates are the Top of the World and Klondike Hwys (essentially a detour from Tok AK to Whitehorse YT which takes you to Dawson [not to be confused with Dawson Creek BC] which is worth visiting for several days and even a potential spur drive up the Dempster Hwy a while) and the Cassiar Hwy (from north of Watson Lake YT on the Alaska Hwy to the Yellowhead Hwy) on the return. If not using a ferry for a significant portion of the trip, you can get a taste of ferry travel between Skagway and Haines or a longer trip between Seward and Valdez. Even these short ferry trips require a reservation if taking a car or anything larger. Bicycle and maybe motorcycle folks, plus vehicle-less folks can pretty much get on a ferry as long as they don't require a room; i.e., if traveling overnight, sleep in a lounge chair.

I once experimented with how a Garmin nuvi would handle a long trip with no turns: I simulated a route starting at Mile 0 of the Alaska Hwy in Dawson Creek and set the destination as Whitehorse. As the route started, Karen (my nuvi voice) stated "In 870 miles, turn right onto Robert Service Way." Trying that route from Dawson Creek to Haines Junction or Tok would likely result in even a long distance to the 'first turn.'

I've driven back and forth to AK from AZ four times and I always planned to alter my route enough to offer some new highways and experiences on each commute.

PS: if traveling north on the AK Hwy heading to Alaska's Interior, be absolutely sure you turn right in Haines Junction YT and not miss the turn. If missed, you'll end up in Haines AK where the border agents will tell you to turn around and backtrack 148 miles to Haines Junction if you were planning to reach Fairbanks or other Interior Alaskan destination. wink

Alaskan Highway

The Alaskan Highway was once known as the Alcan when it was quickly constructed in 1942. Back then it was a trail through the wilderness. In the 60s & 70s it became popular with tourists eager to see Alaska and it rightfully earned the reputation as a tire eating windshield busting road. It has improved a lot. Winter and frost heaves take its toll each year and the entire summer season is devoted to repairs. It's a never ending task. Due to improvements it has shrunk by nearly 40 miles between Dawson Creek BC and Delta Junction AK. For the most part it is a well paved modern 2-lane highway with a 3rd climbing lane for slower vehicles where needed and occasionally a center left turn lane. In 2016, we came across 3 relatively short sections of construction where the pavement was torn up. Each was controlled by a pilot car or a temporary timed stop light allowing only 1-way traffic at a time which greatly reduced the chance of damage from flying rocks. Only the last ~100 miles in Canada leading up to the border crossing was still unpaved. Even that was wide and smooth and absent of washboarding. However, if it is dry, vehicles kick up a fine gray dust that sticks to everything; when wet it forms a sticky mud like substance that is both slippery and sticky. We were fortunate to travel both ways on that section early in the day when it was dry but not terribly dusty. The high pressure car wash in Tok was a welcome sight, especially the free one behind one of the fuel stations. In the spring, road crews identify any road damage after the melt and they are all flagged with orange cones, stakes, tape. The caveat is if you see orange slow down.

--
"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

Alcan

When we went on the Alcan 3 years ago, there was so much rain that the road washed out in several places in northern B.C. and in the Yukon. The biggest washout happened just west of Watson Lake, The Yukon. We grabbed one of the last motel rooms available. All traffic headed for Whitehorse or Alaska was backed up in Watson Lake for 4 full days. The townsfolk opened up their rec center for showers and internet use and many people opened their houses to those of us stranded. It was an interesting experience. The road washout was about 200 feet across and 100 or so deep. So be prepared for anything!

--
Riskibusiness

Alaska ferry

Also, if you have a chance, take the ferry south from Skagway or Haines to WA. We made reservations in January for the trip in July. It was wonderful throwing our sleeping bags out on lounge chairs on the deck under infrared lights to keep us warm, with the sky and breeze in sight. There were about 35 of us scattered around the deck, living there for 3.5 days. It was surprisingly comfortable with the good accomodations on the ferry. They do also have cabins for those desiring more privacy. But you'll miss a good party . . .

--
Riskibusiness

Little off topic but

I can't find the post about watching the space-x rocket launch. Did anyone down there get to see it in person?

--
Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

I went for the Saturday

I went for the Saturday launch, but it was postponed till Sunday. Since I live ~750 miles away, it wasn't feasible for me to stay for another day.

I went really to watch the landing of the used first stag. From the SpaceEx video, it was spectacular and I will arrange to go back for another view.

I know I did post about going, but I can't remember where I posted. Maybe under Widnmill. You can search "phranc", it should show up.

--
Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

Thanks phranc

phranc wrote:

I went for the Saturday launch, but it was postponed till Sunday. Since I live ~750 miles away, it wasn't feasible for me to stay for another day.

I went really to watch the landing of the used first stag. From the SpaceEx video, it was spectacular and I will arrange to go back for another view.

I know I did post about going, but I can't remember where I posted. Maybe under Widnmill. You can search "phranc", it should show up.

We would love to go see a launch and the landing of the used stage would be something to watch also. Never thought about that. It would be our luck of it postponing for a week if we go. smile

--
Mary, Nuvi 2450, Garmin Viago, Honda Navigation, Nuvi 750 (gave to son)

Check this out...

mgarledge wrote:
phranc wrote:

I went for the Saturday launch, but it was postponed till Sunday. Since I live ~750 miles away, it wasn't feasible for me to stay for another day.

I went really to watch the landing of the used first stag. From the SpaceEx video, it was spectacular and I will arrange to go back for another view.

I know I did post about going, but I can't remember where I posted. Maybe under Widnmill. You can search "phranc", it should show up.

We would love to go see a launch and the landing of the used stage would be something to watch also. Never thought about that. It would be our luck of it postponing for a week if we go. smile

Look at this Clip on the Spacex landing...

http://www.flixxy.com/as-seen-from-a-drone-camera-spacex-fal...

--
Bobkz - Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD/2455LMT/C530/C580- "Pain Is Fear Leaving The Body - Semper Fidelis"