Kelly's 2011 Alaska Journey

Launched: 06/20/2011      Updated: 08/16/2011

Welcome to the blog of my Alaska motorcycle trip!

This is a rebuilt and expanded version of my original blog from my Alaska trip in May and June, 2011.
The original blog is hosted by MotoQuest, the tour company I used for the trip between Anchorage, AK to the Arctic Sea.
I built this web page in addition to using MotoQuest's blog utility for a few reasons:

  • I prefer to host my own pages on my site. I have more control over the longevity of the content.
  • The blog can be broken up into a page per travel day, and each can be cross-linked to each other (and the index) for easy location of a particular day without having to keep track of dozens of web URLs
  • It's much easier to make the photos the size I wish to share, and I needn't upload them to a third-party site.
  • Pages can have clickable thumbnails, so the reader can see large photos without them interfering with the readability of the text.
  • I have a lot more control over how the web pages work, and can provide more functionality than is provided by others' sites.

You may find it interesting to go through this rebuilt blog even if you've already read the original. Even if you don't completely re-read it, you'll find many more photos, and are able to enlarge them. There are areas where I've expanded the text. In fact, where there are more photos that you haven't seen, the text too has also likely been enhanced.

Note that the text for each of the days hasn't been changed for tense now that I'm back (other than this preamble). This means that there will be all sorts of instances when the tense will seem awkward. Occasionally I looked forward to what would happen the next day. I've chosen to leave it that way, to keep the flavor of my impressions at the time, despite the fact that it's all now in the past.

So enjoy, whether this is your first time seeing the blog, or if you had seen the original.

Welcome to the blog of my 2011 Alaska Motorcycle Journey!

I've had bike trips of more mileage, but never one this long or demanding. I headed to the Great White North- Inside the Arctic Circle, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, on the Arctic Sea. The trip took me four weeks, riding over 7000 mi / 11265 km, of which almost 1000 mi / 1609 km were on dirt roads. The reason it's only 7000 miles is that I was on two ferry boats, which sailed a total of 1700 mi / 2735 km. This saved 2540 mi / 4088 km of riding and quite a few days worth of time, while providing a nice relaxing time with views I couldn't have seen any other way.

I added to the blog daily- usually towards the end of each day, adding some photos as well. On those days when there was no Internet connectivity, I saved up the text and uploaded it as soon as I could. Most often my phone couldn't have been used as an internet connection for the laptop- even when there was signal, it was generally not 3G, thus no data access in Canada nor Alaska. I was in hotels (or on a boat) each night, and not all had Internet. Now that I'm home, there's no waiting to see whether or not posting would be possible, but there were days when people couldn't see real-time what was happening on the trip.

Speaking of my "being fine," I know that some of you think I'm a maniac for even attempting such a journey by myself. Don't worry. I've got lots of experience with long-distance motorcycle touring, and have tried to think of everything that can go wrong, and planned for how to handle the issues. I rode through all different types of climates, and many temperatures. Up at Prudhoe Bay it had a high of 30 degrees Fahrenheit / -1 Celcius.

Something about this this trip that's different from my other trips is that my daily mileage was generally less than I'm used to riding. No thousand-mile days on this one: My longest daily ride was 650 mi / 1046 km, and most were 200-400 mi / 321-642 km. For my metric-speaking friends, I apologize for not taking the time to convert SAE to metric while I was on the road, but now that this blog is history (so to speak), I'll add the conversions.

One other thing that's new is that I took a guided tour by the good people at MotoQuest (the host of the original blog). Not only did I have others with me on the most demanding part of this journey, there was a truck carrying spare parts, tools, and fuel. When anyone had problems, they were there to assist.


Daily Blog Entries:
Trip Preparation Day 01 - To Salem, OR Day 02 - To Bellingham, WA
Day 03 - To Quesnel, BC Day 04 - To Dawson Creek, BC Day 05 - To Fort Nelson, BC
Day 06 - To Liard River, BC Day 07 - To Whitehorse, BC Day 08 - To Skagway, AK
Day 09 - To Tok, AK Day 10 - To Valdez, AK Day 11 - In Valdez, AK
Day 12 - To Anchorage, AK Day 13 - In Anchorage, AK Day 14 - In Anchorage, AK
Day 15 - To Fairbanks, AK Day 16 - To Coldfoot, AK Day 17 - To Deadhorse, AK
Day 18 - To Coldfoot, AK Day 19 - To Chatanika, AK Day 20 - To Paxton, AK
Day 21 - To Cantwell, AK Day 22 - To Anchorage, AK Day 23 - To Whittier, AK
Day 24 - In Whittier, AK Day 25 - Boat to Bellingham, WA Day 26 - Boat to Bellingham, WA
Day 27 - Boat to Bellingham, WA Day 28 - Boat to Bellingham, WA Day 29 - To Eugene, Or
Day 30 - To Home Trip Wrap-Up

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