A lot of our friends thought we were crazy, but......
  ...not all of them. Some were encouraging and some were envious. Some of our rider friends wanted to go with us, but couldn't arrange to take the time off. One couple would have gone except that the economy messed up their plans with a layoff. We would have very much preferred to have at least one other bike along because some of the travel was through some pretty remote areas and if something happened, it could be a long time waiting for help, but we decided to go even if it was just the two of us.

Joyce and I started riding our motorcycle to the far corners of the United States several years ago and had only one more state, Alaska, that we could physically ride the motorcycle to and back to Illinois from. Coincidently, this 49th United State is the 49th state on our list of states and despite the very long distances and horror stories of bad weather and terrible roads, we decided to go for it. We read reports of other people's travels there, read travel guides like the Milepost (highly recommended reading for anyone driving to Alaska) and attended a Honda club meeting to listen to and ask questions of a small group who rode there a few years earlier.

We hope to complete our goal of riding in all 50 states sometime in the near future, but plan to rent a motorcycle in Hawaii. That would then be the only state that we did not physically ride all the way to and back home from by motorcycle.

  A big part of the decision whether we should try to ride so far was based on our previous experiences. The ride mapped out to be about 8500 miles. We rode just over 8000 miles on our trip to California a few years ago and had a great time. Our motorcycle is a 2004 BMW R1150 RT and while we have ridden it for over 50,000 miles, it has been a very reliable machine. Also, should something devastating happen along the way, it seemed a bit easier to swallow the thought of losing a five-year-old bike with more than 50,000 miles on it than a brand new one. And, the older it got, the less confidant we might be riding it to Alaska. Also, we were both able to arrange to take enough vacation from work to be off for the three weeks we planned for the trip. So it seemed the stars where in alignment for us to ride to Alaska this year.
Our trusty steed




Follow the links below for more pictures and narrative of our trip

Berwyn to the Alcan Highway

The Alcan Highway to Alaska

Fairbanks and the Arctic Circle


Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula

Homeward Bound

Route Map

Ride Planner's Notes


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