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Hi Alaska VTX'ers,

My new friend (another VTXOA member) and I are in the planning stage of a ride from New York to Deadhorse. We plan to leave from Americade and arrive in Fairbanks sometime around June 18th. We would certainly enjoy riding with other VTX owners if you have time.

We're planning to ride to Deadhorse and then south to Anchorage, and hope to cover all interesting sights in between. What do you recommend as "must-see's", and what should we forget about or avoid?

He's got an 1800 retro and I have a 1300 retro with a Uni-Go trailer.

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated!

Scott
 

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Get the milepost magazine. pm akjason he lives in fairbanks. Fishing, hotsprings and glaciers would be on my list. Let me know when you are coming and maybe we can go for a ride or have a salmon and moose bbq .
 

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Thanks AlaskaRider. Got the Milepost. It sure does have a lot of good details in it. Will try to let you know a few days before we arrive in Anchorage to see if you can ride with us.

Scott
 

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Y'all come on up now, hear?

Come on up and check out the state, love to have ya! Hopefully I'll have time to ride with you guys. No promises, I'm starting a new high stress job in two weeks and I don't know how things will be going by then. Definately stay in touch as your trip comes together.

From Fairbanks to Deadhorse the mileage is about 500 miles. I think about 400 miles is unpaved, and it's an a$$ kicking road. I'm sure I could get from Fairbanks to Deadhorse on my VTX, but I would not want to. It's an R1200GS or KLR-650 kind of road, if you know what I mean. At the very least you'll want to fill your trailer with gas cans because the stretches between available gas are very large.

That highway is the only link up to the oilfields, there is no railroad up there. Thus a huge portion of the traffic on the gravel highway is 18 wheelers, and I can tell you from personal experience that they go FAST on that road. I definately recommend that you read the introduction to that highway in the Milepost again, and be sure you're up for the challenge. I can guarantee you will damage your bikes on the highway, most likely from gravel flying at you from oncoming traffic. (Not that an excuse to buy new chrome is a bad thing.)

I've been up there twice, and I can say that it is very beautiful. Barren, but pretty interesting. At least as far as north of the Brooks Range - I haven't done the drive from there to Deadhorse. It's all flat for that last portion.

I do know understand the desire to go that last distance. If you're comitted to going, then you ought to plan on stopping by my place to outfit your bike with some temporary guards for the highway. It's a common thing for folks to do on their motorhomes when they head up that way. We could cover your headlight with a piece of plexiglass, and probably find some functional but unattractive padding to protect some of the front end pieces with to minimize the damage. And I have a bunch of gas cans you can pick from for the trip. I'd be happy to store anything displaced by the gas while you make the last leg of your trip. If you wanted to mail any special gear up here in advance I don't mind picking that up and storing it for you until you get here. (Snow in June is not uncommon north of the Brooks Range. The soil only manages to thaw about 12" down during the "summer" up there.)

It's a little hit or miss, if you manage to avoid the rain then the road might be in good shape. I don't want to discourage you too much, I just don't want you to get hurt if you were unprepared.

Back when I worked on campus about 6 years ago, some students I knew rented a car and decided to drive up to Deadhorse on a lark. They did not realize that it takes about 16 hours to get there. They also didn't read the fine print (actually it's rather large print) that says you can't take a rental car on that highway. When they got to Deadhorse they were disappointed to find out that the last couple of miles to the ocean were on oil field property, and they were not allowed to drive on it. Then there was no gas station (I think it was closed when they got there later than they planned) so they had to beg some gas off somebody in town. On the drive back they lost control on a corner with stutter bumps and rolled their Taurus. They were all fine, but the car was totalled. And the car rental company insurance did not pay for the car, because they specifically exclude a couple of gravel highways up here. That's the experience I'd like you not to have.

With some Red Green engineering and advance planning I think you could potentially enjoy the ride. If you PM me your email address, I will send you some pictures taken along the highway so you can see a little bit of what it's like.
 

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Re: Y'all come on up now, hear?

AKJason said:
I do know understand the desire to go that last distance.
Whoops - I mean to say I do understand. My brain is distracted by my impending job change. And the zillions of phone calls I'm getting this morning asking why I'm leaving.
 

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A few sights

Well I hate to admit it, but Fairbanks is probably on your list of things not worth seeing. If you're into riverboats or gold mining then I can point out a few interesting things here in town. Otherwise I could show you the interesting parts in one 5 hour ride. Then you can keep on truckin' to the more beautiful parts of the state.

The Parks Highway from Fairbanks to Anchorage is a very nice ride. It's a little crowded with traffic in the summertime, but not too bad. Don't expect to make 80 mph on that road though. If you're into that sort of thing, you can stop at the Denali National Park and take a bus into the park. You'll see lots of wild animals, but you'll be herded around like cattle with the rest of the 1,000,000+ tourists who check out the park in the summer. (They don't let private vehicles into the park past a certain point.)

It's definately worth a day or two or three to check out the area southwest of Anchorage. Make your way down to Seward and Homer. It's not my area, you can see more information in other posts in the Alaska Forum. On your way out I highly recommend taking the Glenn across to the Richardson. Then either the Richardson or the Tok Cutoff are very nice drives. Plus you can pop in on Valdez if you have the time. Those are some pretty cool roads, some of the best in the state.

If you're adventurous enough to do the highway up to deadhorse, then the Denali Highway should be a snap for you. It's another gravel road, but it's right down the middle of the Alaska Range. Very pretty territory, though obviously not great riding for street bikes.

Stop in by Fairbanks and I'll give you the nickel tour and we can hit a fine local establishment for eating and/or drinking as you prefer.

Just my opinion, this is a huge state and there's plenty of it I'm not familiar with. Plus tastes vary. If you have the time and money, a fishing charter out of any of the southern coastal towns is time well spent. I had a blast last time I went Halibut fishing.

Oh, and what with all the 1,500,000 tourists invading the state every summer, you should book any hotel stays really early. They rape you on the rates in the summertime, no two ways about it. If you're into camping, there's no problem just picking a flat spot out of town and pitching your tent, no campground required. It's pretty lax up here that way. The traditional campgrounds with services are not so common.

Post some preferences and we can chime in with more specific opinions. One of my favorite campgrounds in the interior is the Upper Chatanika state campground. Very nice spot, especially in the fall.

You'll be here in PRIME mosquito season. I recommend picking up some lead shot to weigh down your bikes or they'll carry them off.
 

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Why not

Okay, I admit it, I had some time to kill...

These are from a trip up to Toolik Lake I took in 1995.

You'll see fox if you're lucky


When I say it's cold, I mean it. This is what real permafrost looks like.


It's beautiful, but barren. Some of the best views are of the pipeline itself. Note the dust - they spread a chemical (I think it's calcium chloride) to surpress the dust, so it's extra tasty to breathe.



It flows right by my house, why isn't it any cheaper????


As you can see, there's a complete lack of trees. They have a sign on the side of the road at the "last tree on the Dalton highway", which is about 350 miles before Deadhorse.
 

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Hi Alaska riders, I'm looking forward to seeing all this, meeting you, doing some rides and more, when we ride up. All the info you offer is greatly appreciated. Can't wait for the barbecued moose and salmon. CTVTX shared all this with me before I checked this out this morning. We'll see how the ride to Deadhorse develops when we're ready to do it. More later. Hilf
 

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Sweet!

Send me a PM when you get closer to leaving and I'll give you my phone and cell numbers in case you need some roadside assistance.

One item I forgot to push - I really like Liard Hot Springs. It's a nice halfway-there stopping point in Canada, you can find it in the Milepost. There's a nice provincial park there and the scenery is pretty cool. The hot soak is a nice break from all the miles on the road.
 

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Let me know when you guys are going to get into Anchorage and we can do some riding, Thats if your not rode out by then. :lol: There is lots of cool places to go around here.
 

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an x chopper in alaska?

Hey alaska x did you buy a seat from me? How does that chopper ride? why don't you make the picture bigger so we can get a better look. it looks like a one of a kind x to me.
Al
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, we are exactly 2 weeks from departure. We're looking forward to the journey north and hope to meet as many of you as we can. Jason, Thanks for all your help and generous offer of assistance. We'll contact you when we leave Montana headed north.

See you all soon!

Scott
 

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Getting closer. Scott and I will be leaving New York June 9 and hope to be in your area about 10-12 days later. Trip fever is mounting by the hour. hilf (Leon)
 
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