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Thread: Little GS, Big Adventure - F650GS to Alaska from Philly leaving 5/21

  1. #16
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    Good luck on your trip Jack, I'll be following along.
    Terence
    Current rides R75/5 R100RS R1150RT
    Past rides K100RS R1100S
    My Smugmug

  2. #17
    On the Road
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    Talking Prudhoe

    I went Prudhoe bay in 2004 on a R1150GS, I think your bike is much better.
    You will really like Coldfoot, food and bar is great.

  3. #18
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Thanks Terence and St Paul for the good wishes. Not much left now but to get on the bike and do it. Tomorrow (Wed 5/20) will be pretty busy. I'm gonna take off from home and ride the 80+ miles (in the WRONG direction!) to the New Jersey shore accompanied by long time riding buddy and partner in crime, Don Verdiani. There I'll briefly dip my toe in the Atlantic Ocean (55 degrees they tell me ....brrrrrrr) and photo document same. This will validate the claim that this ride is truly "coast to coast." Then I'll turn around (ok, maybe a brief stop for salt water taffy)and come back to Philadelphia for a 1:30 PM get together at RevZilla Motorsports. Friends, supporters and interested parties are all invited to the store to chat about the ride, the bike, long distance travel, the charity that my ride supports - The Austin Hatcher Foundation, and to check out the absolutely blazin' hot ride gear in the RevZilla showroom. The RevZilla store is at 38 Jackson St., Philadelphia, 19148.I sure hope some friends, new and old, can make it. Looks like a perfect day to ride! By 3:00 I'll be headed out for real, this time headed in the proper direction - North and West. The short ride back to my home in Suburban Philly will end what I'd calling Day 0. Thursday the real mileage thrash begins with the 600 mile leg to Michigan! I'm excited. The long awaited trip is really here!!!
    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  4. #19
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 0 - New Jersey Shore & back!

    Day 0 - Wednesday May 20
    Start: Ocean City , NJ
    End Malvern, PA
    Trip Miles Today: 93
    Total Trip Miles: 93

    We're off! Quick trip to the Jersey Shore to claim "Coast to Coast" then back to Philly for a little get together at RevZilla Motorsports RevZilla was kind enough to make a donation to The Austin Hatcher Foundation. A video guy from the CBS TV outlet in Philly was there to capture it, and the ride was the subject of a short segment on CBS3 news at 6:00PM tonight!. Back home now going through the throes of hysterical, mad, packing! Off to Detroit tomorrow for the start of the "real" miles (600 miles-all highway). Hope that nice weather you see in the pics holds! More tomorrow.





    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  5. #20
    Rally Rat HFD190's Avatar
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    Good luck, have a safe trip!

    In your first post you stated that you were planning on re-entry back into the US in Seattle. I would highly recommend that you consider taking the ferry from Victoria BC to Port Angeles, WA instead. Olympic National Park is there, its one of those ǣoff the beaten path locations thats absolutely beautiful. Hurricane Ridge is just outside of town and depending on time you could travel 101 west out of Port Angeles and then follow the Pacific coast south until you get back to the Olympia area.

  6. #21
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 1 - 500+ miler PA to Michigan!

    Day 1 Thursday May 21, 2009
    Start: Malvern, PA
    End: Novi, MI
    Trip Miles Today: 555
    Total Trip Miles: 648.5


    It's pretty hard to make an adventure of a 550 mile ride on Toll Roads! Suffice to say the day was without drama. Bike and gear performed flawlessly in perfect weather. The F650GS is getting about 55mpg at a steady 70-75 mpg even with those big bags hanging out there. Hardly the optimum aero package!

    I will stand down in Michigan Friday to visit with friends, then head out bound for Wisconsin Saturday AM. Hope the nice weather holds! Enjoy the pics and ride safe, Jack.





    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  7. #22
    Jack,
    Best wishes for a great safe ride! Went to Alaska from Chicago in 1984 on a 1980 R100RT. It was a trip I wanted to do all my life. I've gone lots of places after that too. I've had some serious health issues in the last year and I don't think I'll be doing any long distance riding again but it's great to read about yours!
    Former bikes, Ahhhhh who cares!!

  8. #23
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 2 - Down Day in Michiagn to Visit Friends

    Day 2 – Friday May 22, 2009
    Start: Novi, MI
    End: Novi, MI
    Trip Miles Today: 146
    Total Trip Miles: 792

    Not much to report today. Friday was always planned to be a down day in Michigan to visit with old friends. Rode a surprising amount just hopping around from place to place and to peoples homes. Now the serious business of riding hundreds of miles each day on the way up to Anchorage begins. I'm off to Wisconsin today in (amazingly) another good weather day. Yahoo!
    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  9. #24
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 3 - Novi, MI to Edgerton, WI

    Day 3 Saturday May 23, 2009
    Start: Novi, MI
    End: Edgerton, WI
    Trip Miles Today: 427
    Total Trip Miles: 1218

    After a 400+ mile day I'm in Wisconsin and rapidly moving NW. The weather is cooperating amazingly well with nary a sign of rain yet. If the weather channel is to believed I will be good for another day or two before I stand a chance of getting wet. Visited an old country airport in Brodhead, WI and then spent some time with a friend nearby. At least I finally got off the interstates and on to some interesting roads. On Sunday, on the recommendation of a friend who knows the area well, I plan to ride the Wisconsin backroads from where I am now in the general direction of Lacross WI and the Mississippi valley. Reputed to be the best riding roads in the state. To Minnesota and (hopefully) beyond on Sunday!!



    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  10. #25
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Hey, you're in the neighborhood . . . . sorta.
    Great adventure, may the Gods of travel smile on you.
    Maybe you will run into Bryan (Beemer01) along the way. Have ridden with him, good guy.
    Enjoy your journey!

  11. #26
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 4 - Sunday May 24, 2009
    Start: Edgerton, WI
    End: St. Cloud, MN
    Trip Miles Today: 454
    Total Trip Miles: 1672

    Finally, today I spent all morning on the wonderful Wisconsin secondary roads. NW from the Janesville area to the Frank Lloyd Wright home , Taliesin, near Madison. Then West to the Mississippi River and North to Lacrosse where I , once again got on the Interstate. Neat stop this afternoon in Austin Minnesota at the Spam Museum (the Hormel food product, not email trash!). It's a cute little museum just off I90 and worth the stop! Then more miles to my overnight at St Cloud , MN. North Dakota and beyond tomorrow. Looks like I may get wet for the first time this trip. Still planning on Dawson Creek and mile "0" of the Alaska Highway by Friday.





    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  12. #27
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 5 Monday May 25, 2009
    Start: St. Cloud, MN
    End: Dickinson, ND
    Trip Miles Today: 453
    Total Trip Miles: 2125


    Day 6 Tuesday May 26, 2009
    Start: Dickinson, ND
    End: Shelby, MT
    Trip Miles Today: 501
    Total Trip Miles: 2626


    Days 5 & 6 were, in truth mostly about getting in position to start the part of the ride that I'm really excited about - Canada and the North! I managed to cover nearly a thousand miles in two days but it's hard to get jazzed about describing hundreds of miles on I-94 across North Dakota and Montana. It wasn't all tedium however. I did, however, make time to see "Sue - The World's Largest Holstein Cow" in New Salem, ND. My carefully crafted strategy was to do "big" miles the first 5-6 days of the trip so that I can take smaller bites and stop more often for photo ops and interesting sights and events once I got to Canada. That "better" part starts tomorrow. I will "highway" it up to Calgary tomorrow, then the plan is to do the Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper loop on the Icefields Parkway Thursday, and hopefully the Bighorn up to Grand Prairie and beyond on Friday. Will decide on a day to day basis based on weather but it looks pretty good. Bike is running great and I am surprised to say that even the stock seat is tolerable - at least up to a point!


    Isn't Sue a beauty!


    Eastern and Central Montana - nary a twisty to be found!
    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  13. #28
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Days 7 & 8 - Into Alberta and exploring the Canadian Rockies

    Day 7 – Wednesday May 27, 2009
    Start: Shelby, MT
    End: Banff, Alberta, Canada
    Trip Miles Today: 323
    Total Trip Miles: 2949

    Day 8 – Thursday May 28, 2009
    Start: Banff, Alberta, Canada
    End: Jasper, Alberta, Canada
    Trip Miles Today: 179
    Total Trip Miles: 3128

    You can read more about yesterday and today (as well as the entire story of my trip) on my blog at www.2wheels2alaska.com but the past two days have been almost entirely the antithesis of the days immediately before. I've arrived at some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. Pictures just don't do it justice! For anyone who is ever touring in this part of the world I have to give my highest, unqualified recommendation to the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper. 130+ miles of unrelenting beauty. Just make sure you pick a nice day as I did! Tomorrow further North to the area around Grand Prairie, AB or perhaps over to Dawson Creek, BC, the site of "Mile 0" of the Alaska Highway. The F650GS just keeps pounding along with no issues!!!

    Below are just a sampling of the many more pictures from my trip, posted (mostly) daily, at http://jackb1.smugmug.com/









    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

  14. #29
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhbfly View Post
    Day 8 Thursday May 28, 2009
    Start: Banff, Alberta, Canada
    End: Jasper, Alberta, Canada
    Trip Miles Today: 179
    but the past two days have been almost entirely the antithesis of the days immediately before. I've arrived at some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. Pictures just don't do it justice! For anyone who is ever touring in this part of the world I have to give my highest, unqualified recommendation to the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper. 130+ miles of unrelenting beauty.
    Yes, I sometimes forget how beautiful our backyard is here... sorry I missed this thread - I certainly would have come out to see you through. If you every need help I am in the 'Anonymous'.
    Ken Dittrick
    2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blau)


    Excuses are the rocks upon which our dreams are crushed - Tim Fargo

  15. #30
    Registered User jhbfly's Avatar
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    Day 9 - To Dawson Creek, BC and Mile "0" of the Alaska Highway

    Day 9 – Friday, May 29, 2009
    Start: Jasper, Alberta, Canada
    End: Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada
    Trip Miles Today: 326
    Total Trip Miles: 3454

    Got an early start on a cold morning out of Jasper, AB. I saw more wildlife in the first half hour than I did over the rest of the day. Go figure! Elk as well as Bighorn sheep blocking the highway (a truck coming the other way scared them off before I could squeeze off a couple of pics!) Took the Bighorn Highway North from Hinton, AB to Grand Prairie, AB. Not nearly so scenic as the Icefields Parkway yesterday (what could be?) but pleasant enough nonetheless. Sure better than going through Edmonton. After Grand Prairie west West into British Columbia and on to Dawson Creek and the Official start of the Alaska Highway - "Mile 0". Plan over the next three days is to go to Fort Nelson tomorrow, Watson Lake Sunday, then on to Whitehorse Monday. Each day's ride is about 300 miles. Sounds like I could get wet over the next 36 hours or so. I should get out of Dawson Creek in the morning while still dry but then get into rain shortly afterward. Forecast seems to indicate I could be in rain (showers at least ) until sometime Sunday then it should be good for a few days. Can't complain - I've had it pretty good!









    To see many more pictures of my trip go to http://jackb1.smugmug.com/
    '09 F650GS

    Read about my 2009 Alaska trip at:
    http://www.2wheels2alaska.com

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