a motorcycle journey 2up

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Plan:

On May 31st 2010 we will depart from Mckinney, Texas and head towards Alaska on our motorcycle. The route there looks roughly like this:
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On the return trip (because we are planning on returning),we will take a cross gulf ferry from Whittier, AK to Prince Rubert, Canada.

From there, the route back looks a bit like this:

View Larger Map

We will camp 4 out of 5 nights, and grab a motel on the 5th for a shower. Of course, this all goes out the window after a 12 hour day of riding in the rain, in which case we would be staying in any structure that was warm and dry. The trip should take around 30 days. We are hoping to drag a netbook along so we can update this blog and upload some pics of what you all (y'all) are missing.

Large points of interest that we will encounter:

Mt. Rushmore Nat'l Monument

Yellowstone National Park

Glacier National Park

Ice Fields Parkways from Banff to Jasper (in Canada)

Mile "0" of the Alaska Highway

Alaska Pipline

The Arctic Circile


Pacific Coast Highway


Crater Lake National Park


Monday, April 26, 2010


Ever since I can remember, I have been in love with motorcycles and the idea of traveling to Alaska. Err, umm…. That’s not exactly true. As a matter of fact I was persistent in trying to dissuade Nikki from the idea she had to commute on a scooter. I assured her that she would be killed, or at the very least, eaten by the tire of a mega SUV. That is to say that I had very little interest in motorcycles and motorcycle travel. So I was not at all expecting to be bitten by the bug when (for whatever reason) we stopped at a Honda motorcycle dealer to have a look around. I think we were there to look at a 4 wheeler for Justin, but we got around to looking at the motorcycles. Maybe it was Nikki telling me I looked like a bad-ass, or maybe it was Justin saying, “Buy one, I’ll by one too.” But it was less than two weeks later when I bought my first motorcycle. That was about a year and a half ago.

I slowly developed a sort-of Romanticism about motorcycling and what I felt it represented. I would have this recurring day-dream in my head: A shot of the road up ahead, from my line of vision. The camera slowly pans out to reveal Nikki and I on our motorcycle, riding off and dissolving into the unfolding, vast expanses that lie ahead - I am sure there is a “born to run” theme song or something playing over the top of it. Anyhow, that scene seemed to be a metaphor for the freedom that traveling offers, which is even greater when exposed to it on a motorcycle. It is raw; you are in the scenery and experiencing it rather than just passing through it - the smells, textures and temperatures. Pair that with camping, and you have a fairly inexpensive way to cover (and experience) some ground.

This is getting long winded… Flash forward a bit, to about 8 months ago. So, Nikki and I have a few moto trips under our belts, and I bounce off the idea of going to Alaska. “Eh? What do you say?” I was initially met with a bit of skepticism about the current state of my mental health. With the economy in full compression mode at the time, I was doing a lot of “work from home”, and I did have a bit of cabin fever, so I understand where she could have come up with that conclusion. After a bit of soaking in, she came around to the idea. I don’t know if she realized what she was agreeing to (or even still has), but she will by the time we get there.

So, all that was left was to buy the “proper” bike. After much researching, and opinion seeking, I discovered that the best motorcycle for the trip is (follow me here) which ever motorcycle that the guy who is giving you his opinion about the best bike owns. BMW guys love beemers. KTM guys like orange bikes. Suzuki guys apparently sleep with their V-stroms. Etc… So, it seemed evident to me that all these bikes in the Adventure-Touring Genre’ were pretty comparable to each other. Naturally, I decided to pick the cheapest one that would be able to carry us. That bike would be the Suzuki DL-650 V-Strom. I am not sure what the hell a Strom is, let alone one that would require a prefix of “V”.

The Bike:

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To sum it all up, we are traveling 2up (two people on one motorcycle) to Alaska from our home in Texas, and back to our humble abode in the Lone-Star State. We are riding a 650cc motorcycle with everything we need for the next month strapped to the back, on the sides, and to gas tank. A bit of a departure from where we come from, where a Suburban Mother requires (ironically enough) a huge Suburban to tote her two kids to and from soccer practice.

So… we will be posting up some info on our preparations made to the bike and general trip planning.


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