Harley Davidson Forums banner
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Introduction.

My name is Jeff and for years I have had the desire to ride my Harley Davidson to Alaska. This is a bucket list trip as well as being necessary to complete my goal of riding in all 50 States. Two years ago, I decided to join a trip to Alaska with some amazing friends from my local HOG Chapter. Covid prevented us from getting through the Canada Boarder, so we had to change our destination. As a result, the group decided to do a trip to the 4 corners of the United States instead. We rode from Key West, FL to Madawaska, MN to Blaine, WA to San Ysidro, CA and back. That was an amazing 11,000 mile trip which I completed in 17 days. I purchased my 2016 Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra just before the trip because 4 months prior, I had a major motorcycle accident which totaled my 2008 Street Glide. One of our own, on a trike, ran through the group instead of stopping for the light. It was a miracle that I was able to walk, let alone ride again after being airlifted away from the scene. That made this adventure even more of a challenge.

Last year I completed my lower 48 and the 10 Rides for 2021 HOG Challenge. In addition, I decide to undertake as many of the 50 Rides, One Nation challenge as possible. I completed 28 of the rides. The first trip was up the east coast along the coastline from the Georgia to Rhode Island. I also took my Harley on it’s first ferry ride, one of 3, along the Outer Banks of NC and then traveling mostly back roads the entire way. For my second trip, I went to Sturgis, for the first time, and then did the Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon to Los Angeles before going down to Death Valley and then heading to Colorado for the Million Dollar Highway. Additionally, later that year I also lead a ride to the “Riding the Ozarks” HOG Rally. We rode some amazing rides throughout the area on our way back home.

Being from South Florida, the only way to start a ride to Alaska is to go to Key West first. That way it a complete trip, tip to tip. So this year I will try again, but not with a group. My plan is to ride alone, eventually joining up with my brother, who leaves before me in a truck pulling a small camper. He had been to Alaska previously and knows the area from his last adventure. We will hopefully meet up at the beginning of the Alcan in Dawson Springs.

This week, I dropped my bike off to my mechanic to do a full service before my trip. Fluids, flush and some new plugs along with the installation of metal valves for the TPMS system. Now, I will go on some test rides to make sure all is well before the journey to Alaska.

This is the first post and I will try to update as I am able for anyone to follow. I will leave on June 18, heading to Key West and back home. I will continue on to Alaska on the 20th. This is the beginning of my 2022 Alaskan adventure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
478 Posts
Introduction.

My name is Jeff and for years I have had the desire to ride my Harley Davidson to Alaska. This is a bucket list trip as well as being necessary to complete my goal of riding in all 50 States. Two years ago, I decided to join a trip to Alaska with some amazing friends from my local HOG Chapter. Covid prevented us from getting through the Canada Boarder, so we had to change our destination. As a result, the group decided to do a trip to the 4 corners of the United States instead. We rode from Key West, FL to Madawaska, MN to Blaine, WA to San Ysidro, CA and back. That was an amazing 11,000 mile trip which I completed in 17 days. I purchased my 2016 Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra just before the trip because 4 months prior, I had a major motorcycle accident which totaled my 2008 Street Glide. One of our own, on a trike, ran through the group instead of stopping for the light. It was a miracle that I was able to walk, let alone ride again after being airlifted away from the scene. That made this adventure even more of a challenge.

Last year I completed my lower 48 and the 10 Rides for 2021 HOG Challenge. In addition, I decide to undertake as many of the 50 Rides, One Nation challenge as possible. I completed 28 of the rides. The first trip was up the east coast along the coastline from the Georgia to Rhode Island. I also took my Harley on it’s first ferry ride, one of 3, along the Outer Banks of NC and then traveling mostly back roads the entire way. For my second trip, I went to Sturgis, for the first time, and then did the Pacific Coast Highway from Oregon to Los Angeles before going down to Death Valley and then heading to Colorado for the Million Dollar Highway. Additionally, later that year I also lead a ride to the “Riding the Ozarks” HOG Rally. We rode some amazing rides throughout the area on our way back home.

Being from South Florida, the only way to start a ride to Alaska is to go to Key West first. That way it a complete trip, tip to tip. So this year I will try again, but not with a group. My plan is to ride alone, eventually joining up with my brother, who leaves before me in a truck pulling a small camper. He had been to Alaska previously and knows the area from his last adventure. We will hopefully meet up at the beginning of the Alcan in Dawson Springs.

This week, I dropped my bike off to my mechanic to do a full service before my trip. Fluids, flush and some new plugs along with the installation of metal valves for the TPMS system. Now, I will go on some test rides to make sure all is well before the journey to Alaska.

This is the first post and I will try to update as I am able for anyone to follow. I will leave on June 18, heading to Key West and back home. I will continue on to Alaska on the 20th. This is the beginning of my 2022 Alaskan adventure.
Best of luck. Ride safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
DAY 1

Today was the day I rode down to Key West and back. It is really the only way to start a trip to Alaska. It is a 175 mile ride each way and can take anywhere from 3-5 hrs. I decided to leave early to try to miss traffic and maybe some heat. Getting stuck in traffic on a Harley with no shade is very hot, but I will speak to that in a minute. The way down was 3 hrs. It was an easy ride all the way down with just a bit of traffic. When I got down to the southern most point, there was no line and no traffic. Usually there are throngs of people. I actually was able to get a picture with the bike at the monument. I stopped for gas on the way out of town and got the Key West receipt, marked my mileage again, just in case I go tip to tip in 30 days or ride to Homer in 14 for the Iron Butt. A few more pictures and I am on my way.

That brings me to the way back. That took longer because some idiot tried to do a u-turn on the Overseas Highway. They did not make it, but blocked the two lane highway after the wreck. A truck in the mangroves and the car blocking traffic. This is where I go back to how hot it is. Well in stopped traffic, I was turning off the engine. It was getting pretty hot, when on the shoulder comes a street glide. He is followed by a BMW. The BMW behind me falls in line. I could not resist, and I know better. So 4 of us are on the shoulder when we approach the accident scene and are spotted by the Sheriff doing traffic control. He stops all 4 of us and asks for our licenses. He walks back to his car, and we all walk closer to his car so he does not have to walk back so far. He came back and we were asked what makes us think we are so special, I apologised profusely and said the heat coming off the bike was pretty bad, he acknowledged that and said but you know you are not allowed to ride on the shoulder. We said yes and apologised again and we were let go with a warning. If you travel to the keys, don’t go around traffic on the shoulder or over the double line, they will stop you and most of the time you will get a ticket. Fair warning.

Moving forward again, the roads were much more congested, so it took a bit longer. Saturday boat traffic and I was reminded, it is a holiday weekend.

When I got back home, I put Key West into maps and it said 4.5 hrs. That was the same 3 hr trip I took earlier. I think I will leave early on Monday to beat some traffic and heat. My goal is to get to Alabama.

Tomorrow is Fathers Day and my spouse’s birthday, so I will be taking a day off for family, then back to the adventure.


Tire Sky Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm jealous.
Sounds like an amazing journey.
Did you experience any breakdowns or repairs on these adventures?
I will let you know on this one. On my last trip, I had two rear tire replacements. One on me, the other was a nail. Other than that, touch wood, only water pump, heating issues that I think we have finally solved and that was on 4 corners. Made me have to stop and repair in CA because of the heat.
 

·
Try'n to behave
Joined
·
6,575 Posts
This is an Iron Butt Challange. Keep your fuel receipts. You have to do it the whole way on the same bike and I believe you have 30 days to go from Key West to Prudhoe Bay which is the northern most port; above the arctic circle. Will be epic!

Great Luck!

Ultimate Coast to Coast

And if you ride back to Key West you get the Ultimate Coast to Coast Insanity!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chief191 and JTJ

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is an Iron Butt Challange. Keep your fuel receipts. You have to do it the whole way on the same bike and I believe you have 30 days to go from Key West to Prudhoe Bay which is the northern most port; above the arctic circle. Will be epic!

Great Luck!

Ultimate Coast to Coast

And if you ride back to Key West you get the Ultimate Coast to Coast Insanity!
I will never do it both ways and I am not sure if I will get to Prudhoe Bay. I am collecting receipts and pictures for that purpose just in case. Homer from Key West is a 14 days trip.

I am an Iron Butt member and have looked into this as well. Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
DAY 2/3

Yesterday was Father’s Day and a special Birthday for my spouse. So, I took the day to spend with my dad and wife. Then I went to bed early so I could get an early start.

I left just after 5am which got me through West Palm without traffic. As a matter of fact today’s ride was pretty much traffic free. The ride started out with someone running a red light to turn in front of me to get on the on ramp. Too bad for them, an officer next to me at the light saw this and cut in front of me after turning on his lights and pulled the driver over. Bad way to start the day for them.

For me, the day started out at 80 degrees and I saw 97 before parking the bike for the night after dinner and a fill up of water and petrol. I made it to Albertville, AL. I am staying at a brand new Fairfield Inn that I booked for 10k points. I will probably stay in hotels until I get further up north and get out of the excessive heat. Today was a total of about 760 miles and took about 12 hours. I did not stop for anything other than fuel. I drank 3 litres of water and ate a Kind Bar. That was until I found dinner at a local steak house in Albertville. I had a great bar tender / waitress who had a suggestion for my trip back in Montana, “check out Swan Lake.” So I will try and go through there on my way home if possible. Thanks Tia!

There is not much to tell about todays ride. It was all about putting some miles behind me. I have a similar day planned for tomorrow as well. Then I will slow down to smell the roses so to speak. I started out on the Turnpike and then to I75. Knowing I did not want to go anywhere near Atlanta, I jumped off on the 133 outside of Valdosta and rode multiple state county roads to get up here via Fort Benning and Columbus. I needed some twisties and hills rather than the interstate. It takes a bit longer, but no interstate thru Atlanta is well worth it. I surely did not want to get caught in an Atlanta traffic jam, again. I’ve done that too many times. I also drove through a nice town to checkout later called Wedowee. Great Lakes and views! Looks like a good hang spot for the future.

Tomorrow, I am heading to Missouri and do one of the 50 rides on my way. I will pass the Bagnell Dam Loop, so I should get that one done as well as some others along this trip.

That is it for tonight, off to bed, so I am ready for another long day of riding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
DAY 4

I was a little late leaving this morning, when I went out to the bike it was soaked from the dew. After drying most of it off, I was able to load it up. I have two bags plus my tent and sleeping bag. I also carry 2 helmets. I mostly ride with my 3/4, but I have the full face for rain, cold or when I feel like I want it. The full does not fit anywhere. My left side is tools, air compressor, rapid start brick, my cover and some misc stuff. Why didn’t I use the cover? Good question, Lazy?, I am using it tonight. Why else am I carrying it?

My right bag has my rain suit, and all of my heated gear along with my spare jacket. I have my Aerostitch, but I find it too hot in 100 degree weather, so I also have a mesh Harley jacket for protection. So all my bags are exterior, on on the tourpack and one in the back seat. The tent, bag and helmet are strapped on top.

Today was another long day of riding. About 700 miles in about 13 hrs. Once again, I stopped for fuel and this time I found a fresh rib sandwich for lunch from a market within the gas station. It wasn’t bad. The usual 3 litres of water. Gas and go, have to get some miles down. I started out on all back roads, but the lights and the traffic made me go to some interstates to make up time. The 431 was great, but riding through St Louis on I-70 is not my favorite thing to do. Just as a note is was 66 degrees in Alabama when I left and it hit 100 riding through St Louis at 2pm. It was a pretty hot day for no most of the journey.

After St Louis, I went to the Bagnell Dam and the loop. It is one of the 50 rides from the HOG Ride 365 program. The dam was interesting, no way to view it like Hoover Dam, but I took some pictures and embarked on the loop. It was a good ride except for the (2) Orange road construction signs repeated along the route. The first said “No Center Line”. The second one said “Oil and Loose Gravel. I may have taken it a bit slower than I wanted to, that is until I got on down the road. It was good to be amongst the farms on the winding, rolling, hilly roads. I love them because in Florida we I don’t have them. It is always a straight road to wherever.

The hotel has a decent steak house next door, so I had a pork Chop and wedge salad. A good catchup with family, including a talk with my brother who crossed into Canada and was warning me about some bad roads around Saskatchewan. I may change my route a bit. We will cross that bridge in a couple of days. On to tomorrow and another of the 50 rides. It looks like I have another 700 mile day planned and I have no idea where I am staying yet. That is not unusual, when I need a place, I get online and find one close by, or I could just camp it. We will see tomorrow. Time to get some sleep.
Sky Tire Automotive tire Plant Wheel
Sky Plant Land lot Tree Natural landscape

Plant Sky Natural landscape Tree Billboard

The Kentucky sign was taken because I had to come to a complete stop on the highway right at the sign.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
DAY 5

Today was a nice long day. I left Sedalia, MO at 6a and arrived in Grand Rapids, MN around 9pm, 860 miles. That included a run to the Split Rock Lighthouse via the North Shore Scenic Drive, which runs along Lake Superior. One big notice was the temperature change along the lake. It got colder by about 10 degrees. The view is amazing and the ride was quite nice. Traffic is the only possible issue. Another knocked off the 50 Rides. That makes 30.

Today had awesome weather all day. It started in the high 60’s and ended about the same. In the heat of the day, we were 81, but most of the day it was beautiful and in the 70’s, great riding weather.

More about the weather. I sure talk about it a lot after reading these back. I try to take a look at the radar at least a couple of times a day, morning and evening. Last night when I looked I saw a huge storm coming. In the morning it was just west of where I was, in KC. Both Waze and Google told me to go west for the interstate, quicker. I decided to go straight north and see if I could stay ahead of it. I got a few sprinkles, but that was it. I stayed dry because I was able to get north of the front line. It was where I was going originally and a part of the plan to stay as much as possible off the highways. The morning ride was an amazing glide through the farms of northern Missouri and Iowa. Lots of corn!

Since the weather has been so nice, there are so many bikes out, especially in Minnesota. My two fingers are tired from waving at passing Harleys, jk. It so good to see so many out and riding. I am told a friend knows some people on the same kind of adventure I am on, except they started in Maine. I wonder if I will see them.

My brother arrived in Dawson City, I’ll be there eventually. I will cross the boarder on Friday AM and get as far as I am able. Once in Dawson City, we will start the Alcan, at a much slower place.

Oh, I forgot to mention when I have a maintenance issue. On the 2016 FLTRGU, it has buttons that latch the vents open in the faring. They removed them in a later year. Well I had replaced them previously, and the right one won’t stay latched again, meaning the vent is closed. That is fine in the cold, but it is not good in heat. Half the airflow is gone. I have tried to duct tape it, but it hasn’t held. It could be a lot worse, so I will deal until I get home. After thinking about it, every trip I have taken, something has had to be repaired upon my return or on the road. These trips beat the bike up a bit. Long miles and rough roads. It already needs a bath. I had added ceramic coating two years ago and renewed again the before the trip. We will see go how much it helps. I am told Alaska is impossible to get off a bike. We will see.

That’s about it for tonight. A bit of an easier day tomorrow. Will start by checking and raising the pressure in my tires. They are lower starting in colder weather. Good Night!
Water Sky Lighthouse Plant Building

Sky Cloud Plant Ecoregion Natural landscape

Water Sky Natural landscape Plant Horizon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
DAY 6

The day started in a National Forest and ended in another. There was quite a difference in temperatures and scenery. The start was beautiful curvy road of Minnesota through the forest at 67 degrees, North Dakota brought the National Grasslands and amazing rock formations at 95, both beautiful in their own ways. The middle brought the interstate 94. It was a 600 mile, 10.5hr hot day. Tomorrow I cross into Canada. I am about 100 miles from my entry point.

When someone asks, why would you do that? Why a motorcycle, you could be in an car or RV? The typical answer is the wind in the face, blah blah. That is true but I realized today that the sense of smell is something you truly only experience while riding. The reason I say this is the amazing amount of road kill out there either visible or not. There are sure a lot of raccoon and deer road kill on the roads.

Then there is the reason of solitude. I ride alone because, I ride. I don’t stop other than fuel and I eat on the run. I once was told by another veteran long distance rider, who told in me not to take my helmet off, it takes too long to put it back on. Add it up, at each stop, the amount of time is crazy. To this day, I rarely take my helmet off.
When riding some of these back roads, there is a bit of loud meditation. The drone of the bike’s engine, on a vacant road, can be rather soothing. You get to think without distraction.

Something that really stood out from the day, was the grasslands that the sprouted some oil fields. Then the amazing rock formations and back to the grass lands. Through the grass lands were amazing flows of water. Theodore Roosevelt National Park was a nice drive though these lovely rock formations. Reminded me of Badlands in South Dakota. The roads were not good. That was another on of the 50 Rides. The next one of those will be in Alaska!

Then I needed fuel, so I ended up in Watford City. This is a town of Oil Companies and support services like rental RV, cottages and other services. Williston also has a lot of oil services companies as well. I’ve seen more pickups than any other vehicle. Ford and Ram are the favourite with Chevy after that. But that’s only what I saw. Everyone has one!
That’s about it from America, see you soon! Game on!
Cloud Sky Plant Plant community Natural landscape

Tire Sky Cloud Land vehicle Vehicle

Sky Plant Cloud Daytime Ecoregion

Tire Sky Car Wheel Vehicle

Sky Sculpture Plant Scarecrow Statue

Sky Cloud Ecoregion Plant Natural landscape
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top