I'm currently living/working in Taji (Camp Cooke) Iraq. Taji is 20 miles north of the city of Baghdad. I've been here since late 2007 working on an IT contract.
I first got the idea for a ride to Alaska last year while scanning different motorcycle forums; ADVRider in particular. I had anticipated coming back to the US in early to mid-summer 2010 so I was trying to find something out of the ordinary to take part in. I looked at hiking the Appalachian Trail northbound but because of my time constraints it wouldn’t be feasible for 2010. Besides, I really wanted to do something that allowed me to get out and do a lot of miles on the road.
So I turned to motorcycling to Alaska. Many years ago I lived in Big Lake, which is north of Anchorage. I have been back a few times but each time it has been in January or February so I'm looking forward to the warmer weather. And I love mosquitoes.
My original intent was to ride from Key West up the East coast and enter Canada at the northernmost point that vehicles can cross from Maine; Estcourt Station. Then cross the St. Lawrence River at Rivière-du-Loup and head out across Canada by the straightest path to Alaska. I hadn't put too much thought into the route. I was just going to head west until I eventually ran into Alaska.
In my search for online information I came across the AlaskaBikeRun website. I read a few of the posts and descriptions of previous trips and the plans for the 2010 ride. The pace for 2010 seemed ideal for my first long distance motorcycle trip. None of my friends ride so finding a fellow rider might have proven difficult.
I'm living or will be living in the Tampa, Florida area at the time of the trip. So I will be starting in Key West and then ride up to meet the group leaving from St. Augustine.
From Hyder, I plan on continuing north. Initially my sights were set on the goal of getting to Prudhoe Bay but I'm now toying with the idea of Inuvik AND Prudhoe Bay for this trip. The time of the year the ride is taking place is right for attempting this. It was 41 in Inuvik and 21 in Prudhoe today. Spring has sprung above the Arctic Circle!
I'm pretty much open to anything so I'll re-evaluate the situation on arrival in Hyder and make a decision as to which route to take. Overly optimistic and ambitious? Absolutely.
I do know that I definitely will not be returning with the original group as I want to see some of the interior of Alaska. Did I mention I like mosquitoes?
From there I'll head to Vancouver. It’s my understanding they had some huge sporting event there a few months back. I’m not too sure what it was as I haven’t been able to watch that much TV recently. Then I’ll head down through Washington, Wyoming, Utah/Colorado and New Mexico before heading back east to Tampa. But all this is subject to change.