Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Days 16-26 Exploring Alaska !
Day 16-26 Friday, June 5 thru Monday Jun 15, 2009
Start: Anchorage, Alaska
End: Anchorage, Alaska
Trip Miles These days: 262
Total Trip Miles: 5585
Following my 5300 mile motorcycle ride to Anchorage, I was joined there by my wife Lisa, who flew in, and friends Don and Sandy Verdiani, who arrived via a cruise ship out of Vancouver. As a group, we spent the next 10 days touring – mostly by car.
The simple outline of our travels is that we spent our first day in Anchorage touring southward near Girdwood and Mt. Alyeska. Then we rode the Alaska Railroad to Denali National Park for a 2 day layover. Spent a day inside Denali Park and I must say it’s incredible. The highlights there were that we got to see Mt. McKinley on a beautiful clear day which, locals say, is very unusual. Also got to see a wolf up close from the tour bus! Two days in Denali were followed by a further 2 days exploring the Fairbanks and Chena Hot Springs area. We had lots of moose sightings on the road to Chena! A day later it was back to the Anchorage area by car and an overnight stay at the Hatcher Pas Lodge near Palmer. Incredibly rustic, beautiful views, but no running water in the cabins! On Saturday, the 13th we spent one last day touring together. Then, on Sunday, we parted company – Don and Sandy off on their own in the car, and Lisa and I doing the obvious tourist thing – riding motorcycles! We rented Lisa a Yamaha XT 225 from Alaska Rider (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – Nicole, Ariel, and the staff at Alaska Rider do a great job with arrangements, the bikes are in top condition and – if you’re extremely lucky as we we were - the weather even cooperates!), fetched my F650 GS from the BMW Dealer in Anchorage and went motorcycle exploring ourselves on both Sunday and Monday! The first day we went south onto the Kenai Peninsula and second northward to the Wasilla/Palmer/Hatcher Pass area. There are great nearby riding areas that are accessible without traveling vast distances. If you are ever in Alaska, rent a bike from AK Rider and check it out yourself!
All that excitement having been packed into just over a week, I managed to pack everyone away onto airplanes bound homeward in the past 24 hours. All that’s left for me is the trip back to Pennsylvania, but that’s going to be well over 5000 miles, and probably more like 6000. There are not many routing options for the first couple of days – jump on the Alaska Highway and head southeast into Canada. The real options will start in a couple of days when I get the chance to pick a different return route, southward and back into the US near Seattle. And all that starts again tomorrow, Tuesday, June 16th. I’m hoping you’ll stick with me for this next portion of the 2009 Ride to Alaska for The Austin Hatcher Foundation.
There are always more pics at http://jackb1.smugmug.com !
The 2009 Ride to Alaska for The Austin Hatcher Foundation is supported by RevZilla.com , Philly's Premier Destination Motorcycle Gear and Apparel store and by Hermy's Cycles of Port Clinton, PA.