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June 29, 2010


Where to Go and What to Do?


Open a map and put one finger in Texas and another in Alaska.  Oh wait, maybe you need a different map.  There’s a good chance that Alaska has its own little insert and not even where it belongs.  In my atlas, Alaska and its 570,000 square miles loses 1/3 of its lone page to Arizona cities.  While the only state before it, Alabama at 1/10 the size of Alaska gets two pages.

View 2010 Road Trip in a larger map

Bottom line is that there is a lot of space between those two points.  So how have I decided where to go?  Well I always knew Big Bend was the first stop as it sat in the corner of the state taunting me during my time in Texas while I chose to travel elsewhere on vacation.  Chaco I read about in a BootsnAll article that added it to the list before I left.  Antelope Canyon I discovered through an Amateur Traveler podcast and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon was a natural progression from Page.

I knew there was plenty to do in Utah and I wanted to stick to the dessert for a while knowing I’d be in the mountains for months afterwards while I followed the Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff, and Jasper trail.  Weeks 2 and 3 in New Mexico were a combination of waking up and looking at a map, suggestions from friends, and finding oddities.  These wanderings led to the most unexpected rewards of the trip and put my mind back in the long term travel mindest quickly.

Most of the remainder of the miles have simply been looking for green spots on the map between where I was and my next landmark (Echo Canyon, Absaroka National Forest).  The landmarks are quickly running out though as I approach Jasper.  With Alaska starting to loom nearby I can no longer consider the whole state a landmark and need to start figuring out actual spots to head to.  I haven’t done any reasarch on what to do or where to go past Jasper.  Essentially, I knew that Alaska was somewhere I wanted to go and that other motorcycles travel the route every year which was good enough for me to hit the road.

Lonely Road


Lonely Road


In other words, I’m asking for suggestions.  If you’ve been this way before or have dreamed about somewhere you’ve heard of let me know.  The good news, for me, is that I think it’s tough to go wrong on the path ahead.  It’s all going to be good.  Here’s are a couple things to keep in mind for any recommendations:

  • In rough numbers I’m thinking 1 week from Jasper to Anchorage or Fairbanks, whichever I go to first, 3 weeks in Alaska, and 1 week to Naksup BC for a Horizons Unlimited meetup.
  • I’ve had to limit my hikes to less than 6 miles as my knee is still giving me problems after tweaking it in the Grand Tetons.
  • Cheap ideas are appreciated, but I’m willing to open my wallet once or twice for an experience I may not get a chance to have again.  Even cheap is getting a new definition as I head north anyway…
  • I plan on going to Dawson, but don’t have the Dalton Highway and Prudoe Bay on my list at this time so I can maximize my explorations in other areas.  Is this good?  Also should I finish off the tires I have now going to Dawson or wait till I have new ones?

I know I’ve got a few readers who used to live in Alaska, others that have been there before on their bikes, and some for vacation.  You’ve seen the places I’ve gone already and know that I love the outdoors and natural beauty.  So help me out, what’s up north that I don’t want to miss?

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jun 29 2010

    I enjoyed thoroughly your presentation on SSU tonight. I rode to Alaska last year in conjunction with attending HYDERSEEK. Based on my trip, here are some recommendations:

    1. Watson Lake – Be sure to visit the SignPost Forest (free). There’s a campground behind the gas station next to the RV park that’s west of the Cassiar Highway junction.
    2. Whitehorse – Visit the Klondike river boat – We arrived when they were closing and we got the full tour for free. It’s worth paying to see the boat.
    3. MILE 0- Definitely a photo opportunity
    4. Ride the Haines Highway. In my 130k miles of riding, it’s the prettiest highway I’ve been on. 150 miles of sheer grandeur.
    5. Ride the Cassiar Highway south from Watson Lake
    6. Camp at the Mezadian Junction
    7. Visit HYDER, AK – Eat at the bus. Visit the bear viewing area. Enjoy BEAR Glacier.
    8. In BC, you have two routing choices (BC99 or 1) BC99 takes you on a ride along a nice fjord and by Whistler where the Olympics were held. Visit Cypress Provincial Park and the BC Mining Museum. On CA 1, stop at HellsGate Tram and ride it down into the Frazier River Canyon
    9. Visit the Alexandra Bridge just south of HellsGate.

    That’s all for now. If you want recommendations for WA state and Oregon, PM me.


    • Jun 30 2010

      Awesome, thanks for all the info Tim! Just what I was looking for.


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