Friday May 27- Finished up some loose ends with the bikes, but they're ready to go (I hope). Still only half packed, but Priscilla is ready. Still need to load the bikes :-( It's late (about midnight) so I'm hitting the sack. We'll get up early and try to get out of here as soon as we can. Route is ball-parked and we'll have to make a decision in Fargo, ND about a southern US or a northern CDN route. Need to make another decision in Alberta somewhere. Any way we go we figure 12 days at 400 miles a day is the slowest we'll do so that should give us at least 6 days with Adrian in Fairbanks. Here's the rough route layout. About 4300-4800 miles one way. 30 days should do it.
Southern (US) Route:
Northern (CDN) Route (one possibility):
Saturday May 28- 1:40 pm!!!! Just now ready to leave. Bikes are still in the garage.... but they're finally packed!! We really need to make Ohio or something today to be on track. We'll see.
Starting milage - BMW 37,545 HD 25,261
Saturday May 28 - 3:15 pm And they're finally off! (Home Base Reporting)
Saturday May 28 - 9:51 pm (EST) Got word that they had eaten and made it to a motel in Washington, PA at the junction of Rt 70 and 79. What should have been a 4 hour ride took them 6 hrs, after stopping under a bridge to wait for rain to pass and finding a motel. (-Home Base)
Sunday May 29 - 12:45 pm (EST) Heard they were taking a break at a rest area outside of Toledo, OH and expected to be in Chicago around nightfall. (Have fun with your friend. -Home Base)
Made it to Jay's in Chicago! We're on target for the 400 miles a day minimum, even after our late start. Jay and Kathy got us a real Chicago "pie" (pizza for you easterners).. deep dish..Priscilla loved it.
Jay & Kathy rock. Here we are (minus me) around the backyard fire . The scooters are happy in Jay's garage.
Below is a photo of Kathy and her Bi**ch. He doesn't deserve her and she knows it. Anyway... super hospitality... good time...am going to hate to leave here, but we need to make another 400 + miles tomorrow. Tried to talk Jay & Kathy into going to Fairbanks with us, but she thinks she needs to master their neighborhood first.... when in reality she needs to get Jay to buy her a Harley and just get on the thing & ride!!
Hate to leave. Not sure where we will stay tomorrow, but likely MN or ND.
Monday May 30 - 10:00 pm (EST) Got a call from Dad while Mom was in Target buying herself a digital camera. They were in Wisconsin about 100 miles from Milwaukee where they planned to stop the next morning and buy new rear brake pads to have on hand for the BMW. Dad said they were leaning towards taking the US route so that they could make up some time/miles in the Dakotas, but were not too disappointed with they’re progress so far (averaging about 345 miles a day.)
After a nice breakfast and a quick stop at the REI in Chicago they were on the road by 10 am. Sounds like they had a great time with Jay and his wife in Chicago and were so spoiled they had to stay at a hotel another night. Perhaps they’d camp on Tuesday. (-Home Base)
Made good time today. Passed through the Wisconsin Dells. Very pretty area. Most of Wisconsin seemed to be here for the weekend and there was about a 15 mile traffic backup (going the other direction thankfully!!). We watched as we drove by.
Tuesday May 31- Eau Claire, WI to Jamestown, ND
A large (native?) bird. We have the full story on a photo of the sign in this little park. This is a 9000 lb concrete replica...not the real thing! (duh!)
World's Largest Buffalo- Again... concrete & not the real deal. But it continues our new tradition of photographing the bikes in front of concrete roadside statues. This was in Frontier Village, Jamestown, N.Dakota. (Rain since Fargo. -HB)
Wednesday, June 1
Painted Canyon, Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Way more beautiful than this tiny picture shows. We had just ridden out of rain and approaching thunderstorms out of the south when the sky cleared and this vista came up. We'll enlarge and re-post it when we get back. No time to stop
:-( because we haven't made very good time today. We were visiting motorcycle shops. Nothing serious but will explain later.
Will likely stay in Glendive, Montana tonight. We're in MT now at a visitor center using their computer. Kewl! The U.S. is getting progressive!! Well, at least the state of Montana. We should be in Canada tomorrow. Will likely take U.S. Rt 2 from Glendive (via a connector) then catch I15 north into Canada.
Friday June 3 - 7:30 pm (EST) They did stay in Glendive and then made it to Great Falls last night. Ate diner and swapped stories with some BMW riders they met in Glendive. The other riders said that Yellowstone got two inches of snow and some on the roads! Sounds like they are meeting a lot of neat people. They spent two hours waiting out a rain storm and talking with a owner of a harley store and museum and got a recommendation on a really beautiful road that locals told them was a nice short cut up to Great Falls (saved 100 miles-too bad it was in the rain).
They've ridden through allot of rain, which people say is pretty rare for this time of year. Heard/seen thunderstorms but only had to ride through downpours. They got to Great Falls at 6 or 7 last night but were freezing and wet (46 degrees) for the most part their weather gear is doing the trick though. They turned on the heater in the hotel and got the room and the bathroom heated to almost 80 degrees and then had to turn on the A/C to cool the room down but their gear dried in the bathroom. Did laundry and ran around Great Falls today checking out motorcycle shops and got new cold weather waterproof gloves. (Moms are neoprene hunting gloves) I hope they don't need to use them too much more. So at 5:30 their time they were only 76 miles miles from Great Falls ("yeah, yeah, that's it" dad responded when Noah thought he miss heard me repeat him.) 60 miles to the Canadian border and they hoped to get in a few more miles in today. (Love the road side attraction photos. -H.B.)
Sunday, June 5 - We've been visiting in New York, so I haven't talked to Mom and Dad since Friday but I hear through Grandma, who talked with them on Saturday that they made it to Calgary, Canada. I'm a little surprised that they haven't found a way to post, because they are waiting while a recommended BMW guy is checks out mom's bike. They got the brake pads put on a few days ago but something didn't sound right when it was started and idling, perhaps because of all of the rain? Hope they can get it figured out with out too much trouble. (-HB)
BMW repair at Anderwerks
The front office.
More useful items in a smaller area than most of the other shops we visited!
Monday, June 6 - 6 pm (um, their time) They made it to the Alaskan Highway! Dave Anderson of www.anderwerks.com in Calgary came in on Sunday and gave the BMW a great tuneup. The cylinder head needed to be retorqued and the valves were too tight, but now it is running great. Dave even knew Bob from Bob's BMW in Maryland from way way back when. They were able to leave Calgary at 11:30 am on Sunday and made it to White Court, Alberta (or was it Dawsons Creek?) Today they made it into British Columbia and thought they could ride about 90 more miles today. (It getting dark around 10'ish.) (-HB)
Beaver Creek's Beaver
Entering British Columbia!
Wednesday, June 8 - We were out playing on our motorcycles when dad left a message saying they were still alive (we didn't hear from them yesterday, although again we were out on our bikes anyways) and in Whitehorse, Yukon but then the machine cut out. They sounded fine.
Guess it would be smart to look at my cell phone every once in a while. Dad had called there and left a longer message. It was about 5pm in Whitehorse and 500 miles from Fairbanks! They planed to ride a bit more that night and didn’t know when they would get cell service again (2/3 of all the people who live in the Yukon live in Whitehorse and they were surprised they had service there) but they should be in Fairbanks Thursday or Friday and would call then.(-HB)
Cautions of the Alaska Highway
... Loose Gravel
... and road construction
This was one of the better stretches of construction. It wasn't slippery-wet, and the gravel was less than one inch deep! Almost a super-highway!!
And the delays aren't bad when you have some company.
Thursday, June 9 - Talking to Mom as I type! (well I took notes, got to go get a pizza pie then I'll finish updating) But they're in ALASKA! and 230 miles from Adrian.
When Mom called they were eating lunch in Tok, Alaska and had 230 more miles to Fairbanks. They were going to do some more riding Thursday but I’m not sure if they would make it all the way to Adrian. Mom said they had gorgeous weather ever since Calgary and have been averaging at least 425 miles a day. Once they even rode 468 miles. There have been rough and gravely roads especially in Northern Yukon and Alaska (sometimes two inches of gravel, and when its wet it’s slick and gooey) but they are doing all right. Wednesday night they stayed in Destruction Bay and just barely got a hotel room at 11:30 at night (They had to stop because the sun was starting to set and shining in their eyes.) The hotel only had one room open and someone had already put a credit card down on it, but seeing that it was so late the clerk called his boss and the boss said to give it to mom and dad. The sun was still out when they fell asleep at 12:30 and Adrian says it starts to rise again at 3:00.
The Signpost Forest
End of the Alaska Highway- Delta Junction, AK
They expect to rest most of the day on Friday at Adrian’s and hopefully they will post pictures. Mom says she’s been taking a ton. They’re thinking about taking the 2-3 day ferry from Homer, AK on the way home, it wouldn’t save them much time but at least they’ll get a rest from riding. They hear it’s a really beautiful ride from Anchorage to Homer. We can’t wait to see pictures! (-HB)
Mileage on arrival in Fairbanks- 29942 = 4681 miles
It's been restful, but busy. Good to see Adrian & Jaedon. We've been running around Fairbanks... the zipper on Priscilla's jacket broke so we found a seamstress to fix it, the rear tire on the BMW quickly went bald, so we got it replaced and an oil change, got oil and a filter for the Harley and changed it here at Adrian's, Priscilla checked out the ferry schedules and booked us on a ferry to Prince Ruppert, we visited Jiggley's tent-home in the woods (he lives there all year long!), and have had a lot of meals with them. Whew.
Now we're getting ready to leave for Anchorage in the morning (Sunday) to visit Jaedon's parents. It's 350 miles so we need to get up early. Only problem is that it's 11 pm right now! This place is deceptive- today's sunset is at 12:34 am and tomorrow's sunrise is 3:06 am! 2 1/2 hours of darkness.
The Alaska range from along the Parks Highway.
We will need to leave Anchorage on Monday to drive to Haines (736 miles) to catch the ferry Wednesday at 7 pm. We plan to take the 1 day 10 hour ferry ride to Prince Rupert B.C. and then pick up Canada route 16 (the Yellowhead route of the Trans-Canada Hwy) to head for home. The ferry costs us an extra day with Adrian, but it saves us a day back-tracking on teh Alaska Highway.
We haven't had much time to post, but we'll try to make up for that when we get back. We've got around 600 photos so far (!) and lots of stories to tell. Just wish we had more time for posting to the site, and for the whole trip!
I'll try to post some more of the pics as soon as we get some free time in front of the PC... sorry!
Saturday, June 17 - Sorry I’ve been bad about updating for Mom and Dad. I talked with mom for quite a while this morning. The visit with Adrian, Jaedon and his family in Anchorage sounded nice. They had a BBQ with delicious food, got a tour of the Anchorage sites, and stood on a bridge and watched fishermen in the river try to catch salmon. They left Anchorage around 5 pm on Tuesday (I think it was tuesday) and Adrian and Jaedon followed them part of the way back towards Tok. Rather late they found a bed and breakfast to stay at and the keeper sent them to a suite above the garage without even asking them for their names and said they could pay in the morning at the café.
They parted from Adrian and Jaedon after a few hours of driving the next day and got on the ferry from Haines Wednesday evening. They had a nice ride on the ferry with beautiful scenery but didn’t see any wildlife. Got off the ferry in Price Rupert, BC at 6 am on Friday and at a dealership at 10 am got Dad a new battery (Mom had been giving him jump starts for a day or two) and had Mom’s fairing welded.
Made it to Prince Georges, BC (440 miles) Friday night with a little bit of drama. Halfway there something messed up with the BMW’s electrical system! Maybe because of the jumpstarts or the welding. At a rest area a small engine mechanic ask if he could help, he had cables that plugged into his truck and charged mom’s battery. Luckily the charge got them all the way to Prince Georges as planed. Sat morning as I was talking to Mom Dad was trying to figure out what was wrong, he had an idea and would call the BMW guy in Calgary. They spoke with someone out of a BMW guide book that said there wasn’t anyone who would be able to help them in Price Georges. Hopefully they can fix it until they can get to Calgary to have the Mr. Anderson check it out. If they have to they would rent a Uhaul truck to get them to Calgary.
They have been riding through beautiful scenery and logging country. Seeing lots of log cabins for sale and the weather has been gorgeous. Mom had already filled up her camera card and would have to go to a Walmart and have them saved onto a CD before they left Prince George. Mom was especially looking forward to riding through the national parks around Banff and the Canadian Rockies. Maybe they will actually get to spend more time there so that they will end-up in Calgary on Monday, so they don’t have to bother Mr. Anderson on a Sunday again. (-HB)
Monday, June 20 - So the BMW is ready to go! Unfortunately they did have to rent a Uhaul in Prince George to get them back to Calgary and because they truck was too big they couldn't drive through the park and had to go 100 miles extra around it. They did see a moose though! And sleeping in the back of the Uhaul saved them two nights at a hotel. As we spoke at 5:30 EST they were looking for a place to wash some of the bugs off the truck or they would have to pay an extra $50. They said people were still talking about all the rain they got (it kept raining after they left Calgary) and the newspaper said it was the most rain in 200 years! They still hadn't decided if they wanted to keep riding in Canada or try and get back into the States, but at least they are riding. (-HB)
Wednesday, June 22 - My apologies for being so delayed in updating. They are back in the “lower 48” and booking home! I spoke with Mom on Wednesday while they were taking a break and doing some laundry in Montana. She updated me on all the animals they have seen (I’ll keep them a surprise until pictures can be posted.) and said how amazingly beautiful the ride was the last few days. Dad said the east-west road through Glacier NP may very well be the nicest ride they have ever had! But its been windy, Mom had to put on her face shield because her nose hurt in all the wind. I don’t know if that’s because they are driving so fast or not. I would expect to hear from them soon maybe tonight (fri) and I will update sooner than this one, I promise. (HB)
Friday, June 24 - They're in Minn. They called their works to say they wouldn't be able to make it in until tuesday. Dad is trying to convince Mom that they should try an Iron Butt challenge and make it home on Sunday. (I think they would need to ride 1000 miles in 22 hours and get police officers to sign a form saying they were at what location at what time to get the Iron Butt award.) But she's not so excited about that. They have been talking with lots of nice motorcyclest, one was a Cheif of Police who showed them where a Harley dealership was. They stopped in Minot to get a new tire for the Harley, but then later that day had to stop again when the Harley speedometer started to act strange, I don't think I wrote that mom's speedometer and odometer stopped working all together a few days ago. So they stopped in Grand Forks and got a new spedometer sensor for the Harley it only took 1/2 hr of labor to fix it, not bad. So they are on Rt 94 coming home basicly the same way they got out there. (-HB)
Sunday, June 26 - Yea! My family is all safe and sound sleeping in the Willington Woods, while I am downtown working (it's 7:15, Monday morning now) :) Last night at 7:00 Mom called to say that they were in Morgantown, WV (just beyond the MD panhandle) So Noah and I couldn’t take it any longer. We hopped on our bikes and met them at the Waffle House in Hagerstown. Looked at a few pictures when we got home and I think we were all in bed by 1:00am. They have a lot more to update, even about the last two days, but I just wanted to post that they made it. (HB)
Sunday July 3- Been home for a week, still sorting out photos! Between Priscilla and I we have 2143 photos to sort. Crazy. Not all will make the final cut, obviously. Apologies to all that have been waiting for updates but it's taking a while to catch up on sleep, reacclimate to work :-( , and synchronize the time between the two cameras so I can sort out the pics. Hope to be posting the final route, lots more pics, and more comments about the trip very soon.� No, our butts aren't sore.
I'll try to back-post pics this coming week to go with the narrative, while I work on a good web layout with maps, etc.
Ending mileage: 34602 = Trip total of 9341 miles (excluding the ferry mileage from Haines, AK to Prince Rupert, B.C.). We can both honestly say that it's good to be back, but we wish we were still on the road. It wasn't enough time to see and do everything, but it certainly was the trip of all trips so far! I'm already thinking about how we'll do it again. Maybe with a pickup-camper & some dual-sport bikes? ...And two months??