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Alaska highway 1989


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Feb 7, 2022
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Klay, that's pretty cool. Somewhere on this trip you thought to yourself:
[UWSL]"When I retire, I'm going to grow the best tomatoes in all the land", right?[/UWSL]
I hardly had a thought in my head when I was 29. I guess there was one thought..."I can't believe how big British Columbia is." I didn't tell anyone where I was going until I called a girlfriend from Anchorage.
I didn't see another motorcycle on the Alaska highway in 1989. It took a couple more decades for me to find you people.
The local dealerships & Cycle News were how we kept up back then.

The interwebs sure changed out all.
I started in Minnesota. I rode west, eventually across the highline, Highway 2 across Montana. Then over the Going-to-the-Sun Highway through Glacier and turned north and rode through Banff and Jasper. I rode through rain between Banff and Jasper and the snowline was just a couple hundred feet above the road.

It took a few days to ride north through Alberta and British Columbia. I hardly saw any other motorcycles. I camped in gravel pits and sometimes pushed the bike into the forest by the highway and pitched my tent.

Finally I made it to Tok and stayed in a campground there. I rode down to Anchorage and then down the Kenai Peninsula.


I rode back up to Anchorage and stayed there and then up to Fairbanks. The haul road wasn't open then, so I didn't think about that. I'd like to see the Brooks Range, but beyond that, miles of flat tundra and mud and bugs and biting flies doesn't interest me.

After Fairbanks, I rode back down to Tok and camped again.


After Tok Junction, I rode down to Haines and got on a ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway.



Another ferry was leaving Haines behind the ferry I was on.

I rode on the ferry for three nights camping on my thermarest under the stars on the deck up on the bow. No rain. It was an incredible experience to be down at sea level while catching a glimpse of 16,000 foot mountains from time to time.

I got off at Prince Rupert and rode over the Rockies again in the early morning fog and rain.


Then I turned south and rode through eastern Washington and Oregon. I camped in a field in eastern Oregon.


I rode over Lolo Pass on the way southeast.


I made my way east and passed through Yellowstone National Park. After that I went over Beartooth Pass.


...and then I made my way back to southern Minnesota.

For me, really, riding to Alaska is really the experience of British Columbia. It's big. Really big. It went on forever. Here's the Yukon River and other places on the Alaska Highway.


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More Alaska Highway in British Columbia:







The St Elias Range.


Fifteen days and around 7500 miles. I don't know why I was in such a hell of a hurry, but I was 29 years old and was hot for the open road. Hold the throttle open until you get there. Also, too young and dumb to notice fatigue and discomfort. (I was a long distance runner) I did manage to meet a few cute chicks on the ride.



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My first motorcycle trip was from Minnesota to Los Angeles and then up to the coast highway to Vancouver, BC. Then across the Canadian Rockies and Saskatchewan back to Minnesota. Fun memories.
The Alaska Highway wasn't fully paved back then and I remember riding through a few hundred miles of mud in the rain on the northern portions in Canada.

Aviso: She was French-Canadian. If you've never ridden through Quebec, rectify that condition. The girls...the girls...
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