A 2014 biker said our slogan for this trip should be "Motorcycling to Alaska .. What's In Your Memory?" This 2015 (and 2020) trip will be a long one! We will leave July 4, 2015 and take the Alaska Highway up to Tok (then Fairbanks and/or Anchorage) where you will have all the time you want to do your own independent sight seeing.
From this point on, you can plan your route home solo or with a group. Some of us may take the Cassiar Highway down to Hyder en route home, while others may want to take the ferry to Washington State or go back via Top of the World Highway. Go for it!!!
There will be a Northwest Territory segment where we can ride 85 miles up to Northwest Territory (just so say we've been there). I was thinking of driving from Fort St. Johns then highway 77 to NW Territory, turn around, and stop at Northern Rockies Lodge (a truly magnificent structure). See photo below.
Of course, as in all other trips, you are encouraged to customize the trip ... for example, when you arrive in Fairbanks and/or Anchorage, you might want to stay longer and return home at a later date by yourself or with a like-minded group. In 2014, one biker didn't get home until September! What a trip!
Some of us plan to have our spouses/families fly into Fairbanks or Anchorage and rent a motor home for sightseeing.
Route is the most direct route (through North Dakota). Your return trip home could be through Glacier National Park or US 2 or over Lake Superior or down I-5 and west coast. It's a 4,600-mile one way to Fairbanks and your return route home is completely up to your imagination!
One high point of the Alaska Highway is the Northern Rockies Lodge! Last time I checked, you can get a cabin for $144 or stay in the main lodge for that price. I saw a larger suite for $204 so it would only be $102 for each room-mate. I am going to plan the route so we can get there late in the afternoon, relax and have a late start in the morning. The blue Gold Wing in the picture is mine!
I am listing suggested morning and afternoon fuel stops and also lunch stops. The rationale is to reduce fuel anxiety and to give us breaks at least every two hours. At the risk of being called a torture master instead of tour master, fuel breaks are limited to 15 minutes and lunch one hour. This is to ensure we arrive at our daily destination in a timely manner.
There will also be a suggested evening restaurant and also a suggested kickstands up time every morning.
Again, these are all just suggestions ...
Saturday, July 4, 2015 -- St. Augustine, Florida to Nashville, Tennessee -- 639 miles in 10 and a half hours driving time
This will be a long first day drive so we will have kickstands up at 5:30 a.m. from Village Inn on US 1 in St. Augustine. This means you need to arrive there around 4:45 a.m. so you can finish registration, go through a video shoot, have breakfast, etc. It is a long drive to Nashville so we need to be on the road no later than 5:30 a.m.!
A biker has invited us to stay in his home just outside Nashville where we will have breakfast there and then be on the road! More details via group emails.
Suggested mid-morning fuel stop -- Adel, Georgia (186 miles) -- Adel Truck Plaza .. 1503 W FOURTH ST .. exit 39, north on Georgia 37 two blocks.
Suggested lunch stop -- Byron, Georgia (112 miles) -- Pilot Travel Center --2965 HIGHWAY 247, Byron Georgia -- exit 146, West about half a mile. Truck centers usually have plenty of gas pumps and food!
Suggested mid-afternoon fuel stop -- Emerson, Georgia (125 miles) -- Love's Travel Stop, 150 Old Allatoona Rd SE, Emerson, GA -- exit 283
Suggested late afternoon stop -- Monteagle, Tennessee (118 miles) Exit 134 -- Mapco Mart, 521 W. Main Street.
We will have dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Smyrna which is off exit 66 on I-24 and meet Don McCain and follow him to his home. All bikers were notified by group email of his hospitality and are responsible to request a room. If not, you can stay at Sleep Inn & Suites, 2689 Highwood Blvd (615) 220-2260 which is just a block away from Cracker Barrel.
Sunday, July 5, 2015 -- Nashville, Tennessee to Normal, Illinois -- 385 miles in seven hours.
Suggested kickstands up from McCain's home is 8 a.m.
Though there are three possibilities, I decided to take the Edward Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway. I-24 west, then Pennyrile, then north on US 41 then I-64 west then Illinois 130 then west on US 36 then north on I-57 thenwest on I-74
Suggested morning fuel stop – intersection of US 41 and I-64 .. 157 miles .. just North of I-64 let's stop at Flying J Travel Plaza.
Suggested mid-day lunch/fuel stop .. Arcola, IL .. 143 miles .. Jumpin Jimmys at 630 E. Springfield Rd. Exit 203, go west. There’s a Subway there for lunch.
Only 90 miles to Normal, Illinois!
Since lodging in Canada and Alaska isn't cheap, let's economize while we can sosuggested lodging is Motel 6, 1600 N. Main St. Normal, IL (309) 452-0422,*-55 exit 165.
Suggested evening rendezvous .. 7 p.m. at Pizza Hut, 1501 N Main St. (Ilike to pick places within walking distance).
Monday, July 6, 2015 -- Normal, Illinois to St. Cloud, Minnesota -- 534miles in nine hours
There are three route options .. I-90W, I-35 N and I-74 W. I decided to take I-74 W for a lesscongested route through Iowa. I-74, thenI-80 then US 63 north, US 52 north, US 10 west.
Suggested kick stands up at 7 a.m. leaving from Motel 6 parking lot -- nearbyplaces for breakfast includes Uncle Tom Pancake House and Steak ' Shake.
Suggested mid morning stop .. 170 miles to Atalissa, IA – Pilot TravelCenter – exit 265
Suggested early afternoon fuel/food stop – Mason City, IA – 165 miles – US 18west, then North I-35, exit 194 – Pilot Travel Center.Just 200 more miles to St. Cloud!
Suggested lodging – Motel 6 on I-94, exit 164, north on 15, west on 23,right on 10th Ave S, right on 1st St South– 815 1stStreet South, (320) 253-7070.
A 4 ½ starrestaurant (Yelp) is the Asian House, 731 2nd St. South. Let’s meet there for dinner at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 -- St Cloud, MN to Regina, SK -- 690 miles in 15 hours. (I know this is a LONG day but finally we are in Canada!!! and the miles per day go down the next several days!)
NEWS FLASH -- CHANGE OF SCHEDULE ... since one biker has a fuel range of just 120 miles, we probably are not following the fuel stops listed. Also, due to size of group, travel time is longer. So, we will NOT BE ABLE TO HAVE DINNER tonight as scheduled below AS WE PROBABY WON'T ARRIVE UNTIL 9 P.M. Instead, we will eat dinner en route.
Kickstands up at McDonalds, 2120 Division St. (that’s highway 75 west abouta mile from Motel 6) at 6:30 a.m.
Continue 75 west onto I-94 west.
Midmorning break .. 168 miles to Fargo, ND – Petro Travel Center, 4510 19thAve. S. – take exit 348.Fuel/food stop – 142 miles to Carrington, ND .. gas at Cenex ConvenienceStore, 77 4th Ave. S. This ison US 281/Us52 coming into town. Subway on488 8th St. N.as we turn west on US 52?
Mid afternoon fuel break – 179 miles to Kenmare, ND (near Canada border) –Cenex Convenience store .. 49211 US 52 North.
Late afternoon fuel break – Weyburn, SK – 121 miles – Weyburn Esso, 148 SimsAve More St. This is on Canadian 39 justpast the middle of town.
Only 72 miles left to Regina, SK
Suggested lodging .. Motel 6, 2050 Victoria Avenue East (306) 565-2251Suggested dinner 7 p.m. at Coliseum Family Restaurant, 2223 E. Victoria Avenue. CANCELED
Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -- Regina, SK to Edmonton, AB -- 487 miles in 8 hours.
Kickstands up at 8 a.m. at Tim Horton’s at 2105 Victoria Avenue East.
Mid morning fuel stop – Saskatoon, SK – 155 miles – Grasswood Esso, Hwy 11.. that’s before we get into town.
Fuel stop and lunch at The Battleford, SK – 100 miles – go West on 16 anthere will be Silver Dollar Truck Stop at 430 3rd Avenue in ChaplinkSK. There’s also a Tim Horton andMcDonalds on Railway Avenue just a block northeast.
Afternoon fuel stop – Lloydminster, Alberta – 90 miles. After you pass town, on your left, will be aWal-Mart .. a great time to get things you wish you’d brought and forgot! There’s a Canadian Tire Gas Bar across the streetfrom Wal-Mart.
156 miles to Edmonton!
WARNING! Construction, congested traffic!
Suggested lodging Yellowhead Inn (#40 out of 90 hotels) 15004 Yellowhead Trailin Edmonton.(888) 296-7380 or www.yellowheadinn.com Last time I checked, room rates were in thehigh 80s. There are restaurants onsite,including Woody’s BBQ and Subway. Let's eat at Woody's BBQ at 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 9, 2015 -- Edmonton, AB to Fort St. John, BC -- 412miles in 7 hours
Suggested kickstands up at McDonalds, 14220 Yellowhead Trail (8 blocks East)at 8 a.m.
Mid morning fuel stop in 110 miles at Whitecourt, Alberta – after you passthe town, there’s Whitecourt Esso, 5128 Caxton St.
Early lunch stop and fuel at Valleyview, AB – 106 miles at Valleyview Esso,Hwy 43. We could eat at Burger Baron,4609 50th Avenue.
Afternoon fuel stop – Dawson Creek, BC – 151 miles. – Petro-Canada, 1449Alaska Avenue. We can then go toMilepost Zero for pictures (there’s a real Milepost Zero in the middle of anintersection and there’s a photo Milepost Zero at a tourist info center. Let’s do both.
Only 45 miles to Ft. Saint John, BC!
Suggested lodging .. Super 8 Motel, 9500 Alaska Way (250) 785-7588 – 4 ½ starreview
Suggested dinner at Mr. Mike Steakhouse, 9324 Alaska Road
Friday, July 10, 2015 -- Fort St. John, BC to Northern Rockies Lodge inMuncho Lake -- 395 miles in 7 hours ... with an OPTIONAL SIDE TRIP TO Ft.Liard in NW Territories -- this will add around 220 miles to Fort Liard andback to Muncho Lake for a total of 620 miles. We would take BC 77/Liard Highway.
PLEASE FILL UP at Fort St. John! There’s gas at Liard Fuel Centre.
Suggested kickstands up at McDonald’s, 10920 Alaska Road at 7 a.m. This early start, and a short ride, willallow those of you who’d like to go up to NWT and come back to Muncho Lakeplenty of time!Fuel – at Fort Liard … or take the first gas station after you pass BC 77 ifyou decide to forego the NWT adventure.
Gas at Northern Rockies Lodge is EXPENSIVE but lodge guests get a gooddiscount.
Suggested dinner in main dining room at 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 11, 2014 Muncho Lake to Whitehorse, YT (435 miles) – this is slowergoing.
Watch for lots of wildlife and also bison on the highway past Muncho Lake.
I’m not going to list fuel breaks or lunch breaks … I suggest taking thefirst fuel stop after your gas gauge goes below ½ full.
The Milepost (get it on Amazon.com) has everymile on the Alaska highway listed.
By the way, when you pass Watson Lake, you will see highway 37 going Southto Hyder, Alaska. This is the route Iwill take on the way home. Hyder, in myopinion, is so authentic and photogenic with mountains rising 270 degreesaround you.
Suggested lodging – Westmark Whitehorse Hotel at 201 Wood Street (867)393-9700 Suggested dinner meeting at Steele Street Restaurant at 7 p.m. I'm staying at Stratford Motel, 402 Jarvis Street.
Sunday, July 12, 2014 Whitehorse, YT to Tok, Alaska (392 miles)
Suggested kickstands up at Steele Street Restaurant at 8 a.m.
You can stay overnight in Tok but it’s a quick route to Fairbanks (591 milesfrom Whitehorse)
Suggested lodging Bridgewater Hotel (one of the top 1/3 in Fairbanks based on TripAdvisor). I'm staying at the dormitory at University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
If you’re going to Anchorage, it’s 707 miles and I would advise you to stay in Tok. You certainly don’t want to run intowildlife on the highway close to sunset …
BIKERS -- please email me if you see errors or want to make suggestions! This whole schedule is suggested and is intended as a starting point for suggestions, adjustments, etc.
As for me, I will turn around at Fairbanks and head back via:
Whitehorse YT Tuesday July 14 at Stratford Motel, 401 Jarvis St.
Muncho Lakes, BC Wednesday July 15 at Double G Service, Mile 456, Alaska Highway
Grande Prairie, AB Thursday, July 16 at Canadian Motor Inn, 10910 100 Avenue
Saskatoon, SK Friday, July 17 at Wild Rose Bed & Breakfast, 1426 Acadia Drive
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Saturday, July 18 at Motel 6, 4400 Portage Avenue
Anamosa, Iowa at Sleep Inn and Suite Sunday July 19 thru following Saturday for National Deaf Conference where I will present on Friday.