Alaskan Motorbike Adventure: Part 1
This Monday Justin and his dad launched off on a 7,000+ motorbike trip from California/Washington up to the Arctic Circle in Alaska and back again. This trip has been a long time in the making. Justin and his dad love to ride and have been planning on doing an epic motorbike trip together for years. When they first started talking about it his parents were living in Africa and so they were going to ride Cape Town to Cairo. When they moved back to the US a few years ago, Justin and his dad decided to ride to Alaska instead due to logistics. Originally, I was supposed to do the entire trip with them (even back when the plan was Cape Town to Cairo) but as the trip became a reality I decided I didn't relish the thought of sitting behind Justin on a motorbike enough to commit to six weeks of riding (and I'm an ER nurse so I'm not terribly stoked about motorcycles in the first place) so I decided to stay behind and work until they reached Fairbanks and then fly up and join them for the jaunt up to the Arctic Circle + the trip back. Justin's mom is going to join us in Anchorage. How did I luck out with such awesome in-laws?!
Preparing for this trip took quite a lot of time and effort and involved researching routes and places of interest, researching and purchasing head to toe riding gear, planning out light packable meals and shopping for food, figuring out how to keep camera batteries and other technology charged, purchasing a motorbike, working on that motorbike to get it ready for a long trip, and test packing everything.
Since Justin just finished residency and we'll be moving/in between jobs, we were lucky to be able to take off six weeks for this trip which means we can complete it in a pretty leisurely fashion. As such, we'll be stopping at a lot of national parks and other places of interest and are taking a different route back that will take us through Jasper, Banff, and Yoho.
Justin's dad started the trip from Sacramento and met Justin in Washington at the beginning of this week. We spent Sunday evening finishing last minute tasks and got the motorbikes about halfway packed. From the get-go, we planned to camp the entire trip which obviously means taking more gear than if we were to stay at hotels. As such, they both added hitch mount racks to their motorbikes, especially since there will be two of us on each bike. Could we have gotten by without? Definitely, but one such a long trip it's sure going to be nice to have those little extras like camp chairs. Everything packed up pretty nicely and there's an empty rack waiting for me to strap my dry bag to when I arrive. We continued packing Monday morning and got a little frantic for a couple of hours when we couldn't find some of our camping gear. Come to find out, we'd stashed it in our riding gear bin in the back of the van and had promptly forgotten about it. All is well that ends well. Finally, just before noon, they hit the road and made it passed the border well before nightfall, but not before riding through a hailstorm. We've all decided that if nothing else, this trip is going to be an epic adventure and all epic adventures include a little misery, right?