Los Angeles to the Arctic Circle and back

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Intended Plan

  Since I first got a motorcycle I've really wanted to head up to Alaska.  I don't really have much of a mission statement other than that.  I don't really feel like its that crazy; pretty much just get on the bike and go north.

 People over and over are saying its too far, boring, cold, or dangerous. I don't know? Guess I'll find out.

 I really like going on long trips more than just putting around town.  LA/Orange County traffic freaks me out more than desolate two lane highways.  So far the following have been my longer motorcycle trips; North Carolina to NYC on the Emerica Wild Ride, as well as trips back and forth from LA to Vancouver, Cabo San Lucas, Austin TX, Portland, and South Dakota. Plus a ton to San Francisco, Big Sur, Lake Arrowhead etc.  This one will be 3x's the distance of any of those though.

I talked to Ky about doing this awhile ago. He's come on pretty much all of the above trips. He'll ride anywhere, any distance, any weather and not complain about it.

 He actually wanted to plan a trip India, but money and logistics got in the way, so I convinced him to do this trip. Its a lot easier.

 Another person I had to convince was my wife-to-be Katie. We're getting married August 2nd, so this also serves as a bachelor party of sorts. Hence the name of this blog. She doesn't want me to go just yet, life insurance policies don't take effect till after the wedding date; but she says after that I can do whatever I want.  Unfortunately the window of summer weather for the Arctic Circle is short.  I am very grateful that I've met someone so understanding.  Katie will actually be doing the first few days of the trip with me. We're going camping a few nights on the way to the Redwoods, then she'll be turning around in her car, and I'll keep going.

  I'm supposed to meet Arto somewhere before Canada, maybe Portland. I think Arto might even have a documentary crew following him. And then we meet the Canadians, Ky, Harvey and Brennan in Vancouver June 10th and leave from there the next day.

This is roughly the route:


 Ky wants to take the Alcan Highway cause he's worked on it every winter, either on an oil rig, or counting trees for the forest service (I'll have to get more details). I would prefer the Cassiar cause I read its more scenic and has more wildlife, but the Alcan I read has more history. So I really don't care which way we go that much, I don't know what to expect at all really. After Fairbanks we will take the Dalton Highway, AKA the Haul Road to the Arctic Circle.  The sun will never go down at that point.

 Harley's aren't ideal for roads like the Dalton, its a gravel road known for destroying bikes and cars, we'll see how it goes, if its mellow we can try for Deadhorse and the Arctic Ocean, but if our bikes start falling apart, we'll turn around.  I think I have a good machine though.  I've read some accounts online that make it sound impossible, but then I see pictures of all kinds of motorcycles and weird stuff up there. So we'll see, I'll be happy if we make it anywhere up there, this isn't about a final 'goal.'  I have ridden gravel and sand in Mexico for pretty good distances and it was kind of a bummer but we made it.

After that, we're gonna ride to one of the port towns and try to catch a ferry back to the US.

Throughout the trip I'm gonna have the map at the top of the page live tracking our route, so you can see where we are at any given point in real time.  I'll also try and upload pictures daily as well, just so I don't clog the instagram feed.  After the trip is over I'm sure Ky will have a ton of amazing pictures and Arto will have a documentary somewhere, probably Netflix.