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2012 route -- A MODERATE DISTANCE ROUTE!  Less miles per day than in 2011

To register, click this link.

Lodging Arrangements, click this link -- Bikers are responsible for making their own lodging arrangements.  Most bikers are emailing back and forth setting up rooming arrangements.

This will be a moderate trip (around 400 miles per day with an occassional high-mile day balanced out by less-mile days for laundry and rest) for those of us who have a limited amount of vacation time and want to check off BIKE TO ALASKA on their bucket list.

This trip will be a mimimum 7670 miles in 132 driving hours up to 10,000 miles (for those continuing further into Alaska via Cassiar Highway) ... around 18 or so days days on the road, 2 days in Hyder or an extra ten days going into interior Alaska.  Many bikers on this trip, based on past history, will form groups either before the trip via emails or enroute and plan separate trips to Fairbanks or other points North.   .

 Many days the mileage will be approximately 400 miles (most of the bikers in the 2011 trip said they would have liked 400-mile days much better).  An extra day is added to Hyder, Alaska -- in 2011 one full day there simply wasn't enough to enjoy the place. 

HOG and GWRRA chapters are encouraged to involve us in their activities.  Email Mike Tuccelli.       


Day 1 -- July 28, 2012 -- Florida to Montgomery, Alabama -- 400-600 miles -- via US 231  (rationale:  Avoid Atlanta!)

Day 2 -- July 29, 2012 -- Madisonville, Kentucky -- 386 miles -- via I-65 North  Mike Tuccelli will be joining this group here, coming from St. Lous, Missouri.  Victor and Mark will be riding up from Texas.  Mark and Annette are joining us here.  Click this for lodging setup.

Suggested Lodging:  Days Inn Madisonville, Kentucky 1900 Lantaff Blvd
Madisonville, Kentucky 42431   $57.96 including tax for 2 beds.
(270)821-8620    

Suggested meeting place Sunday, July 29 at 6 p.m. at The Oasis Southwest Grill, 540 Powell Drive -- I picked places within walking distance of our lodging most nights.

Day 3 -- July 30, 2012 -- Madisonville, Kentucky to Rockford, Illinois -- 431 miles -- via I-39 North  -- Marion and Neville Joffe from Toronto will join us here!  Ken and Cindy Stafford are also joining us here.  Click this for lodging setup.

Suggested kickstands up (meaning ready to go!) at 8 a.m.  I suggest gassing up the night before, especially in Canada/Alaska as gas stations may not be open in the morning.

Suggested Lodging:  Days Inn Rockford, Illinois  220 S. Lyford Rd, Rockford, IL 61106   (815) 332-4843    $57.27 including tax for 2 beds 

Suggested meeting place Monday, July 30 at 6 p.m. at Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery,  7801 E State St

Day 4 -- July 31, 2012 -- Rockford, Illinois to St. Cloud, Minnesota -- 415 miles -- via I-94 West

Suggested kickstands up (meaning ready to go!) at 8 a.m. I suggest gassing up the night before, especially in Canada/Alaska as gas stations may not be open in the morning.

Suggested Lodging:  Days Inn St. Cloud  70 South 37th Avenue (I-94 Exit 167B) St. Cloud, MN  56301   (320) 253-4444   $49.24 plus tax for 2 beds Click this for lodging setup.

Suggested meeting place Tuesday, July 31 at 6 p.m. at Legends Bar and Grill,   75 37th Ave S

Day 5 -- August 1, 2012 -- St. Cloud, Minnesota to Minot, North Dakota -- 429 miles -- I-94 West, US 52 West, US 2 West

Suggested kickstands up (meaning ready to go!) at 8 a.m. I suggest gassing up the night before, especially in Canada/Alaska as gas stations may not be open in the morning.

Suggested Lodging: Holiday Inn 2200 Burdick Expressway East,
Minot, North Dakota  58701    Total is $153 including tax   Click this for lodging setup.

Suggested meeting place Wednesday, August 1 at 6 p.m. at Ground Round Grill and Bar,  2110 Burdick Expy E


Day 6 -- August 2, 2012 -- Minot, North Dakota to Medicine Hat, Alberta -- 511 miles -- Trans Canadian Highway -- I know this is a 500-mile day but the Trans Canadian Highway will take us across quickly across flat prairies (and simply, there aren't many places to choose from).   We might want to take US 2 West and then cut North across farmlands to the Trans Canadian highway instead.  Medicine Hat is the "gasoline capital" and looks and smells like it!  After this point on, the air becomes pristine ... NORTH TO ALASKA WITH ENTHUSIASM!

Suggested kickstands up (meaning ready to go!) at 7 a.m. I suggest gassing up the night before, especially in Canada/Alaska as gas stations may not be open in the morning.

Suggested Lodging:  Medicine Hat Ramada  773 8th Street SW Exit H off Hwy 1 and Hwy 3   Medicine Hat , AB T1A 4M5 CA Phone: 1-403-5265955    $88.94 including tax Canadian  Click this for lodging setup.

Suggested meeting place Thursday, August 2 at 6 p.m. at Mo's Family Restaurant,   820 Redcliff Dr SW

Day 7 -- August 3, 2012 -- Medicine Hat, Alberta to Banff or Lake Louise, Alberta -- 270 miles A NICE SHORT DRIVE!!! -- Trans Canadian Highway 1 -- Banff will be a bit "pricey" .. you will need to rest well to really enjoy the Icefield Parkway the next day!  (At Lake Louise, rent a canoe and admire the unusual color of the water from the glacier!)

Suggested kickstands up (meaning ready to go!) at 9 a.m. I suggest gassing up the night before, especially in Canada/Alaska as gas stations may not be open in the morning. 

Suggested lodging:  Lake Louise Inn  210 Village Road, Lake Louise, AB, T0L1E0 Canada‎  866-539-0036‎   Cost is $215.63 including tax Canadian  Mark found a nice campgroundClick this for lodging setup.

Suggested meeting place Friday, August 3 at 6 p.m. at Lake Louise Inn's  Timberwolf Pizza and Pasta Café

Day 8 -- August 4, 2012 -- Banff, Alberta or Lake Louise, Alberta to Prince George BC -- 411 miles -- Icefield Parkway.  We will leave at daybreak (5 a.m) and enjoy a leisurely drive.  You will really want to take it easy and enjoy the splendid scenery which will whet your appetite for Hyder's scenery!  

Suggested kickstands up (meaning ready to go!) at 5 a.m. I suggest gassing up the night before, especially in Canada/Alaska as gas stations may not be open in the morning.  We can pull over for breakfast about 8 a.m. or thereabouts, perhaps after we pass Mt. Robson.

I made reservations for Travelodge Prince George, 1458 7th Avenue, Prince George BC  V2L 3P3    Phone 12505630666  Email info@travelodgeprincegeorge.com    Room is about $90 Canadian.  Click this for lodging setup.

Suggested meeting place Saturday, August 4 at 6 p.m. at Cimo Mediterranean Grill, 601 Victoria St  (if this place is lousy, we will walk to a nearby place).

Day 9 -- August 5, 2012 -- Prince George, BC to Hyder, Alaska -- 434 miles -- suggest strongly that we have a group dinner at Bitter Creek Cafe that evening as they may be closed Monday.    King Edward Motel for August 5 6 and 7.  If you want to stay here I suggest you get the motel, not the hotel.  Ask for a 1st floor room.  

Suggested kickstands up (meaning ready to go!) at 8 a.m. I suggest gassing up the night before, especially in Canada/Alaska as gas stations may not be open in the morning.

Suggested lodging:  King Edward Hotel or Ripley Creek Inn  Click this for lodging setup.

Suggested meeting place Sunday, August 5 at 6 p.m. at Bitter Creek Cafe (if it is closed, then King Edward dining room) ... I believe Bitter Creek Cafe is closed on Monday so I want to be sure you can experience this incredible place!

Days 10 and 11 -- August 6 & 7 -- Hyder, Alaska -- you will want to stay at Ripley Creek Inn! Click this for lodging setup.  Glacier Inn in "downtown" Hyder and also The Bus Restaurant were our two favorite places in 2011 to have meals.  The main reason for arriving here in August is that, based on history, the creeks will be full of salmon and the bears will be in a feeding frenzy (Fish Creek about 4 miles outside of Hyder has a magnificent elevated walk for you to safely watch wild grizzly bears).   

Ripley Creek Inn -- a collection of old mining town buildings ... including the Bayview Hotel .. The Historic Bayview Hotel is located above the Bitter Creek Cafe.   We currently have seven rooms which provide our guests with comfortable accommodations, great food and unforgettable scenery.  There is a common area inside on the third floor, with dining table, and couches. 

Most bikers, based on the past several years of experience, may have already made plans (through emails to each other in the months preceding the trip) to go in groups to Alaska via Cassiar Highway (37 North) to Watson Lake, then to Haines Junction, then to Tok, then to Anchorage or Fairbanks and to do tours via bus, train, ship, etc. and return home via Washington State or Montana or Dawson Creek or take the Inside Passage ferry to Washington State.    As of May 3, it seems quite a few are hanging around in Anchorage until August 19.

For bikers planning to go into interior Alaska, here are my suggestions.  In Hyder, I am going to check the 10-day forecast for Fairbanks/Prudhoe Bay.   If there is a time window of a week of good weather, I am very tempted to go to Prudhoe Bay.  If the forecast is lots of rain, then I'm heading back home.   Riding the Haul Highway is extremely dangerous and can be very expen$ive if you have a breakdown.  It's over 400 miles of unpaved road one way, then you need to go back on it.  Each and every SECOND requires your fullest concentration.  The risks are high but the rewards are spectacular!   I've gone up to the Arctic Circle twice and the conditions could be the same, better or worse after that.  

If I do go, I am planning on making a non-stop video segment on this with audio and captioned commentaries and will post this on YouTube.

Day 12 -- August 8 Hyder, Alaska to Watson Lake --  Go North on Highway 37.  This has always been my most favorite segment because it is so desolate ... one year, I drove one hour and fifteen minutes before seeing another vehicle!   The road is mostly paved but the conditions becomes worse as you continue North.   Absolutely must stop at Deese Lake for lunch.  Actually, that's the only reliable gas station until you get to Watson Lake on the Alaska Highway.  This is a 400-mile stretch.

John Dickie from last year (he's the guy in the picture at the bottom of this page) says Rancheria Lodge west of Watson Lake is very nice and biker friendly.  Mile 710 Alaska Hwy, Watson Lake, Yukon Y0A 1C0  (867) 851-6456  I have confirmed reservations here.   Click this for lodging setup.

By the way, here is a link for campgrounds and cabins on the Alaska Highwayhttp://www.karo-ent.com/akhwy.htm

Day 13 -- August 9 -- Watson Lake to Haines Junction .. it's about 360 miles.  Past experience shows this well maintained and easy riding.   I'm tempted to drive staight through to Tok, AK but that's over 700 miles and the last time I went through Destruction Bay, it had the worst conditions en route (but then two years ago, they were doing a major rebuidling of that area and it may be fine).   I love the Raven Hotel ... they have the wilderness equivalence of a '5-star' restaurant with Chef Bongo.  Unforltunately, Chef Bongo isn't here this season and Raven is full so I'm staying at Stardust Motel.   Click this for lodging setup.

Day 14 -- August 10 -- Haines Junction to Fairbanks, Alaska .. about 491 miles; to Anchorage, about 610 miles.    Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and Conference Center  Click this for lodging setup.

Notice:  Those going to Anchorage are strongly encouraged to stop in Tok, Alaska on August 10.  At this point, I anticipate everyone's schedule will vary .. some will want to explore national parks, take a ferry, explore the peninsula, stay a week more, etc.

Mark and Annette will stop at Tok and continue to Anchorage.  Charles will go with us to at least as far as Wiseman, Alaska and plans to stay in Alaska for two months.  At this point, at least three of us are planning on going to Prudhoe Bay.

Day 15 -- August 11 -- Fairbanks, Alaska to Wiseman, AK  I have confirmed reservations at the Arctic Getaway. This is 266 miles North of Fairbanks.  I reserved the two story "Aurora cabin" which sleeps four and includes two private rooms on the second floor and a common room on the lower level.  It is $190 plus tax.     Click this for lodging setup.

 Even though this is my 11th Alaska trip, I have a shameful confession to make ... I never went up to Prudhoe Bay!  I guess being chicken is helping me to stay alive, well and happy.  I've read horror stories of, say, 30 bikers going up and only two made it without an accident.   A couple of years ago, the former Governor of Alabama had a bad accident.    So, what I am going to do is go north at 30 MPH while all those yahoos on dirt bikes zoon past me at 50 MPH.   After Wiseman, I will leave after a good breakfast and continue North until I either chicken out and turn around or I make it!   If I make it to Prudhoe Bay, I will want to get the obligatory dip in the Arctic Ocean, then turn around and head back to Wiseman.

Day 16 -- August 12 -- Wiseman to Prudhoe Bay and back to Wiseman ... I have reserved reservations at Boreal Lodge -- single bed $70.  Click this for lodging setup.

Day 17 -- August 13 -- Wiseman, Alaska to Haines Junction, Yukon -- kickstand up at 3 a.m.  -- I got reservations at Stardust Motel. Click this for lodging setup.  This is 780 miles but, hey, coffee in this area is serious business.   They have lots of "drive-up" hot chocolate and coffee places.

Day 18 -- August 14 -- Haines Junction to Watson Lake -- I have reservations at Rancheria Lodge  Click this for lodging setup.

Day 19 -- August 15 -- Watson Lake to Hyder, Alaska   Reservations confirmed for King Edwards Motel.  Click this for lodging setup.

Day 20 -- August 16 -- Hyder, Alaska to Quesnel, BC  Click this for lodging setup.

509 miles   awesome highway 97 south from Prince George

Day 21 -- August 17 -- Quesnel BC to Omak, Washington -- 450 miles -- I could take the YellowHead Highway or Highway 97. Reservations at Rodeway Inn and Suites ... 122 North Main St, Omak, WA, US, 98841  Phone: (509) 826-0400  Fax: (509) 826-5635   Only $59 and it has a whirlpool bath!  Click this for lodging setup.

Day 22 -- August 18 -- Omak, Washington to ??   I am going to wing it from this point on.  I might want to go East on US 2 to Minot, ND and then to Madison, WI or south to home via Billings, Montana, Sioux Falls and Memphis TN -- this is a 2800 mile final leg.

if the weather forecast is BAD for Fairbanks.

Day 12 -- August 8 -- Hyder, Alaska to Prince George, BC -- 434 miles  Reservations made for Travelodge Prince George

Day 13 -- August 9 -- Prince George, BC to Spokane, Washington -- 686 miles -- rationale ... take US 2 East via Minot, North Dakota or go to Billings, Montana then Sioux Falls then Kansas City then through Memphis, TN   ,,,,,,   or  ...... down to Houston, Texas to visit my daughter.


This alone is worth the trip!   That's why I am staying two days in Hyder, Alaska!





     






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