Thursday, March 1, 2012

Trip Announcement: Everyday for 7 Weeks

Everyday for Seven Weeks

Everyday for 7 Weeks – San Diego by way of Alaska.

Where: Minneapolis to Idaho to Fairbanks to Seattle to San Diego and back to Minneapolis. I estimate it will be about 12,000 miles. (see map below)

When: April 28, 2012 to June 17, 2012. 50 days over 7 weeks.

Bike: My 2001 SV650.

Who: Me (and all the cool people I hope to meet along the way).

Blog: I plan to have a SPOT tracker so you can follow my progress, and I plan blogging throughout the trip (when I have Internet).

 

This trip has been in the works for several months and it feels great to finally post about it. It has taken many unexpected turns along the way. I didn’t originally set out to ride to Alaska, but that is now the plan. It is a bit early in the season to ride to Alaska. I may not make it, but will give it a best effort. I have several motorcycle safety courses I am teaching the rest of the summer, so it is now is the time.

The original idea was to ride out to Seattle, WA where my wife would be meeting me. Then we’d ride together two-up down the Pacific Coast rode to San Diego where she would fly home. She won’t have the vacation time away from work to be with me the entire trip.

As I was making plans on the route to ride west, I started talking to people and was easily persuaded to add Banff to the list. Then Alaska seemed to be reasonably close, so I looked at going to Hyder, AK, then the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks and Anchorage. With seeds planted last year from Gary France and others to not let little things like lack of vacation time get in the way, the trip was born.

The current plan as mentioned above is to ride west to Idaho and then up to Calgary. Then ride to and on the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks and then Anchorage. From AK back down to Vancouver where I will cross back to Seattle. I will meet my wife in Seattle and then we will ride the coast rode down to San Diego where she will fly home. I’ll ride home through Colorado.

I don’t have enough vacation time to cover the entire trip, so I’m taking an unpaid leave for roughly half the trip. I have enough saved up for the coast road part; we’ll see about the rest. I have a feeling I will need to sell my R1150GS to pay for the trip. I plan on camping and staying with friends as much as possible to keep costs down. If you are near the route, I would love to meet up for at least a cup of coffee. Contact me and let me know!

Lastly, I’d like to thank Liz from lilred’s riding blog. She works at RevUp Creative Media and created the fabulous “Everyday for 7 Weeks” above. Thanks Liz! I’ve incorporated the new graphic into a new blog header which will remain until the trip is over.

I am extremely excited about this trip; I don’t expect it to be easy. I’m busy preparing the SV, my gear, and myself for the trip. Stay tuned!


A rough guess of my route:


View Larger Map

YouTube: Everyday for 7 Weeks – San Diego by way of Alaska.

36 comments:

  1. It looks like a great trip! May is a bit early but the roads should be pretty clear by then. Looking forward to meeting you!

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    1. looking forward to meeting you as well!

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  2. Chris:

    what a great trip you have planned, perhaps a month or so too early. The Kananaskis probably won't be open yet. It is the highest maintained road in the "rockies" only open a few months a year, this is HWY 40. From Waterton you go north to Pincher Creek then north Hwy22 to Longview, and come out at Canmore, a beautiful little town.

    Your map misses Banff, then you should go north through Jasper tne Yellowhead Hwy 16 to Prince George. I have travelled all these roads so if you need to fine tune let me know. Of course, Sonja used to live in AB so she should have some suggestions.

    on the way back, you are missing out on some great MC roads, roads should be clear, but watch out for sand and bears. South on Hwy 97 just north of Clinton take Hwy 99 and head to Lillooet, then through Whistler using Duffy Lake road. You will ride through beautiful canyons.

    wouldn't the GS be a better choice for "bad" roads ? Look forward to meeting you too

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    1. Bob, it isn't too early. This is when i can go. My teaching schedule precludes me from going later in the year. If i don't go now, i don't know when the opportunity will come again. I will see what I can see.

      The "map" below is mainly for illustration purposes. I don't have a hard route in a GPS somewhere or even on a paper map. The only firm things are the alcan highway and the PCH. I will be making the rest up as I go. Thanks for the suggestions. I will keep them in mind.

      taking a bike i don't like for a 50 day ride is never a good choice.

      looking forward to meeting you as well.

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  3. Since you are going south on the Cassiar Hwy, I've been told that the short detour into Stewart- Hyder was worth the trip especially if you want to see black bears. The short sections of the Cassiar and construction on the Alaska Hwy are about the "bad" roads you'll run into.

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    1. I'm very temped by Hyder. Another MSF instructor raves about Hyder, so I might pop in for a day if the schedule allows.

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  4. Chris, that looks like an awesome ride. I rode a part of the west coast last year. I want to go back. If you have the time, check out the Avenue of the Giants, CA-254. It parallels 101 a ways south of Fortuna, CA. You'll ride right next to giant redwood trees.

    I'll be following your blog.
    Ride Safe,
    Erik.

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    1. Thanks for the support and suggestion Erik. I will keep that road in mind. We are planning to see the redwoods again. They are so beautifully massive.

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  5. Chris, what an awesome trip, and kudos to Liz for the great themed header design. Unfortunately you'll be a bit too early for HWY 40 through Kananaskis as it opens only after June 15. Also a lot of smaller roads I used to ride in summer will likely still be barred by snow.

    Really spectacular is the Icefields Parkway from Banff passing Lake Louise (don't forget to stop by Moraine Lake) up to Jasper. If you are inclined to make a detour into central Alberta, I strongly recommend the Dinosaur Provincial Park, which has a wonderful campsite at the river in the midst of the badlands.

    I am curious how your plans and route will unfold, and will gladly follow you along. Hope to see you around when you are in my backyard.

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    1. Thanks! I am exited about it as well. I will ride what is open. I am planning on Lake Lousie/Banff area, but we'll see what happens. :) Thanks for the tips.

      Looking forward to meet you as well.

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  6. Chris...when you hit Colorado....plan on a visit and stay at my place! I'll show you around if the timing's right, at the very least a place to sleep on your way to the left coast! Damn, I wish had the time for such a ride.

    dom


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

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    1. Thank you Dom! I am excited to meet you and family. I appreciate the generous offer, and will gladly take you up on it. I should be around Denver area 2nd week of June.

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  7. Oh yes, forgot to add you have a place to stay when you arrive in Fairbanks. Thank you, Dom, for the reminder!

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    1. Thanks! I appreciate the offer, and will be taking you up on it!

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  8. Wow.. Chris.. this sounds epic! You are going to have a great time, put some more aggressive tires on that SV when you get out west and see the real backcountry :)

    Good luck my friend, let the excitement begin!

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    1. Thanks! I am putting some aggressive tires on, some aggressive street tires (Q2s).

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  9. Your covered in the Omaha Council Bluffs area!! Will be Great to see you!!

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    1. Thanks Tom. Looking forward to seeing you again!

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  10. You lucky, lucky dog! Yeah, I'm envious, sure. But you still have a place to stay (or dinner/drinks) when you're in San Diego.

    be safe, let us know how you're doing along the way.

    Sheesh...why can't I be on that ride?

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    1. Thanks Dan! A meetup sounds great! Send me an email at the contact link above, so we can work out the details.

      You COULD be on a similar ride. Just walk into your boss's office and ask for 7 weeks off :) :)

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  11. Well that sounds like two tons of fun.

    If you are planning on riding down Highway 101 through Oregon let us know. Troubadour and I are in Corvallis which is about 60 miles East of Newport. We can share a meal and direct you to some pretty roads.

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    1. That is a detour we are happy to make! I look forward to meeting you both and eating some tasty food. Send me a email, so we can work out the details.

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  12. Wow, Chris, great trip. I haven't announced mine but will soon. I won't leave until end of June but I'm planning on hitting Deadhorse, Alaska in July. I will be looking to camp too, anyone one out there with a little space for me to set my tent will be greatly appreciated.

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    1. I'm slow on comments, so it looks like you have announced. Awesome trip! You're welcome in Minneapolis anytime :)

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  13. Sounds exciting - I've not been to Alaska but have been over some of the roads that Bob mentioned. The thought of Pincer Creek Alberta brought on a chill, wicked winds (you will recognize it by the sea of windmills) and camping was a bit (okay, a lot) chilly as I recall near Drumheller (in July). I've never seen such a beautiful blue as I did in the glacial rivers/streams in BC - Can't wait to read your posts ... just wish I could make up my mind and pick a direction for my summer 2012 - suggestions?

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    1. Thanks for the support! The colder camping has me slightly concerned. I do have a 0F bag now, so it should be fine.

      Suggestions on where do go? Any direction in the US is awesome. I don't have as much experience in CA yet. Pick a direction and just see where the road ends. It's one of my favorite techniques.

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  14. Dear Chris:

    What a fantastic moto odyssey! I am so jealous. This should be a great epic run that generates a hundred stories. I guess you are counting the days.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack/reep
    Twisted Roads

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    1. Thanks Jack, yes counting the days. Getting antsy for sure.

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  15. If the Cassier is all paved now, it should be a pretty easy ride. When I passed through that route in 2007, there was a long section of clay that was the slickest mess I've ever ridden. Couldn't stand in the middle of the road securely, let alone ride it. There were vans, delivery trucks, and cages in the ditch for at least 50 miles.

    You're probably going to be in a hurry to get home after you leave Denver, but you are missing out on some great roads between Denver and Minnesota. The Nebraska Sand Hills (Hwy 2) and points east (on Hwy 20) are worth your time and they are way more fun than I80 (which is brutal and boring). I can't take much more than 50 miles of I80 in NE without wanting to cut cross country.

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    1. Cassiar should be mostly paved. I guess we'll find out. LOL.

      Yea, this silly thing called work. They want me back, and then the future motorcyclists in my MSF classes need an instructor too. I hope not to rush too much that last 10 days, but fear i might.

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  16. Dear Chris:

    I am green with envy... What a fantastic run. Ride like hell and go like the wind. I will be following your ride from the edge of my seat.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack/reep

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    1. Thanks Jack. Don't sit too close to the edge, wouldn't want you to fall off and hurt yourself. :)

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  17. Wow Chris! I am catching up with reading of my favorite blogs and it is obvious I missed something pretty special here! This trip sounds fantastic and will cover warm to cold to hot in dramatic fashion. What I like is your approach, in not having a firm plan and hoping to catch up with many people along the way.

    I will certainly be following your adventure and I am glad I managed to unknowingly plant a seed for the trip!

    Have fun - I am sure it will be a blast!

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    1. Thanks Gary! I look forward to your comments along the way. You did plant the seed.

      PS: your comment ended up in spam and blogger never notified. guh. just found it now along with a bunch of others.

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  18. That sounds like an awesome trip! I'm soooo jealous. If you come through the San Francisco Bay Area (South Bay to be precise) and need some company - let me know!

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    1. It has been great so far. I'm sorry I didn't see your comment sooner. google put it into the spam box and I just found it :(

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