Camping Trip: KY to AK and back


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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NKYWinger
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Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby NKYWinger » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:40 pm



Here's the deal: my GWRRA Chapter is planning a summer camping trip from here to Alaska and back - 4/6 weeks in length. I'm mulling over going.

but....almost all the guys ride 1800's and have Lees-ure Lite trailers, whereas lil ol' me has a 30 year old 1100 with a HF trailer and a tent. Am I being delusional thinking this is a good idea? I think it would an absolute blast - a trip of a lifetime...

anyone done something like this before? (long trip using a tent)

gimme some words of wisdom as I mull this over, please......... :)


--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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maestro319
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby maestro319 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:24 pm

I would LOVE to take a trip like that, but, like you, I have an "older" '86 and have some reservations about the wisdom of such a long trip on an older bike. So, I will be anxiously waiting for the advice from the more experienced riders here.

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mtn_boy1
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby mtn_boy1 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:14 am

Someday I'm gonna have a chance to do this kind of trip. You know your bike. Do you spend a lot of time having to work on it to ride? I put 30,000 miles on my '83 in 5 years. Only thing I had to do to it was replace the starter once, along with normal maint. ie, tires, oil, brake pads, etc. There is always a chance for something to break, even on 'new' bikes. My thought would be, it will probably be harder on you than on the bike. I don't know how far you normally ride. I did 4 day trips on the '83, camping along the way, by myself. Was glad to be home but, loved every minute of it. GWs are renowned for their long distance abilities. As long as I was prepared physically, mentally, and financially, I wouldn't let the age of my bike stop me.
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby themainviking » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:57 am

If you are totally confident in the condition of your bike - go for it. The tent part is not a consideration. So, it takes you a few minutes longer to set up and break down. They will wait, or have another cup of joe while you are getting it together. If you wish to go badly, the mental aspects are already taken care of. Do you have the money to be able to fix your bike while on the trip? If so, then the financial aspects are settled. Go man, or you will wish you had.

I have been motorcycle camping with a tent for 49 years, and only just purchased a tent trailer last year, not sure why. It is heavier than my cargo type trailer, and does not stop as well. I used to only take what I could bungie on my bike, but have taken to wanting breakfast in my old age, :lol:
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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NKYWinger
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby NKYWinger » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:26 am

Last winter I restored the bike; I rebuilt all rebuildable systems and put on new tires. I think the bike is as reliable as it's going to get (42K miles on it)... I have a Platinum card to cover major disasters... besides, most of the guys I'll be riding with are in their 70's and 80's! If I can't keep up with THEM, I need to hang my head in shame...LOL :lol: :lol: :lol:
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby cbx4evr » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:33 am

Like the other's have said. If you have maintained your bike and it is in great condition when you leave there is no reason why it shouldn't make it. You may want to bring an extra set of tires along or at least start out with fresh rubber.

As to the tent. Lots of people do that and I will tell you that you will save a lot of money over staying in buildings along the way. Distances between accommodation can be great and prices reflect that. Our GWRRA chapter went to Alaska this past summer for our Region Rally. Accommodation was as much as $200/night if I recall. Not bad if there are 4 in the room but still pricey.

If your group plans on passing through Edmonton, Alberta drop me a note. I'll try to arrange an escort for you from our Chapter. When do you plan on making this trip??
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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NKYWinger
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby NKYWinger » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:56 am

cbx - no dates yet; we're looking at late summer 2014.
Others have mentioned tires; even though I put new ones on it 4K miles ago, it might be wise to do it again before we take off....don't wanna take tires with me...
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby maestro319 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:12 am

Thanks for the encouragement guys. Looks like I'll be planning a trip through Wisconsin next summer.

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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby cbx4evr » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:44 am

NKYWinger wrote:Others have mentioned tires; even though I put new ones on it 4K miles ago, it might be wise to do it again before we take off....don't wanna take tires with me...



The reason I mentioned tires is because the further north you go the more they cost. I have spoken to some US riders returning from Alaska and a common complaint was the price of tires here and beyond. Ya they are expensive but our country is big & population small compared to the USA so our buying power is less thus the high prices. Same can be said for just about everything including food, accommodation and fuel. Why do you think I take my vacations in the USA?? It's a lot cheaper for me.

You have a 4000 mile trip one way. Some of those roads wear rubber fast. Once you get to the far north a single tire will cost you as much as a set back home not counting installation and possible freight.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby mtn_boy1 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:16 pm

Maestro,

I have a brother in Wis. I'm probably gonna make the run from NC to his house this coming summer. My real desire is to head north, go west, come south thru CA, then home by way of I 10 to AL and home to NC. I figure about 2 weeks will do it. 8-)
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby maestro319 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:39 pm

Sounds like a neat trip. One of my goals is to bike (in my case "trike") around Lake Michigan: up through Wisconsin, through Minnesota, down the UP of Michigan then the lower part of MI, then back around the Lake to the Chicago area. Although camping at the Sate Parks throughout Wisconsin would be a nice summer trip also. My wife and I camped at several state parks in WI for our honeymoon 37 years ago. What a great time!!

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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:58 pm

Absolutely do it! Make sure your bike is in tip-top shape, perhaps bring along a few spares (spark plugs, oil, filters, fuses, light bulbs, some wire and electrical repair stuff) and some tools and you should have a great time. I'm so jealous!!

If you have any reservations at all, take half a day and read through this guy's blog: http://iridefar.blogspot.com/

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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby brianinpa » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:56 pm

Tent camping can be quicker than camper camping. I can have my tent (Eureka Tetragon 9) up or down in 5 minutes time, which is probalby equal to most campers. It takes me longer to unpack the tent from the bike than it does to set it up, but now with a HF trailer, that shouldn't take any time at all.

Give the bike a thorough inspection and fix any minor problem before going, then sit back and enjoy the ride.
Brian

If you aren't having fun doing it, find something else to do.

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NKYWinger
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby NKYWinger » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:44 am

I just talked to our Ride Coordinator for our Chapter - He made this same trip in 2010: 6 weeks and 10,000 miles! :o :o :o Yikes! Guess I better decide if I'm up for an epic trip....
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby brianinpa » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:36 am

You only live once. That is less than 240 miles per day...go for it!
Brian

If you aren't having fun doing it, find something else to do.

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cal3san
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby cal3san » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:26 pm

Should be do-able. Might consider packing a 25 ft electrical cord, inflatable Coleman mattress, and one of those electric throws (half electric blanket). A 15 to 30 amp converter plug is a must for those campgrounds that have only 30 or 50 amp service. Assuming you're taking a least a cellphone and maybe a tablet - I'd have backup chargers. There's no store in the middle of nowhere. Ditto extra batteries and fuel cells BEFORE you cross the border.

Enjoy your trip. A visit to the Red Dog in Juneau is a must.

Cal
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby seabeechief » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:44 pm

Here is your "out of the blue" question. You are going to be camping in tents/trailers in Alaska. Protection from the native animals must be a concern. How are you going to get your firearm protection from U.S., through Canada, into Alaska?

Chief
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NKYWinger
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby NKYWinger » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:21 pm

Chief-
The guys I'm going to be travelling with have made this trip 2 times before; I'll have to ask them about that!

btw - nice to meet another member of the 'goat locker' ....
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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NKYWinger
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby NKYWinger » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:33 pm

cal-
I'd planned on an inflatable mattress and an extension cord - most of the guys I travel with pull Lees-ure Lite trailers, so we stop in places with electrical hook ups. I have a 12V power outlet in my fairing, but you have good point. I think I might need to run a 12V outlet inside the trunk to keep my cell phone and laptop charged, as well as my Nikon.
--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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seabeechief
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby seabeechief » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:46 pm

NKYWinger wrote:Chief-
The guys I'm going to be travelling with have made this trip 2 times before; I'll have to ask them about that!

btw - nice to meet another member of the 'goat locker' ....


The pleasure is all mine Senior Chief. You "bubbleheads" are better men than I'll ever be. Ride safe!

Chief
Combat Vets Association - San Antonio
Patriot Guard Riders - San Antonio & Austin
Darkside #1609

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WingAdmin
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:46 pm

seabeechief wrote:Here is your "out of the blue" question. You are going to be camping in tents/trailers in Alaska. Protection from the native animals must be a concern. How are you going to get your firearm protection from U.S., through Canada, into Alaska?

Chief


It's tough. You can go through the bureaucratic process to temporarily import (most) rifles into Canada, but it's not easy or cheap. You can forget about handguns, carbines, short-barreled rifles or shotguns of any kind - you can't bring them into Canada for any reason. Best you can do is to ship them to a FFL (i.e. gun shop) in Alaska for "repairs", then pick them up in person there when you arrive. Then do the same thing to ship them back home.

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cal3san
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1982 GL 1100 Interstate
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2003 GL-1800 with 2113 Champion Trike Kit
2007 Aspen Sentry Camper (sold 5/12)
2012 Mini-Mate Kompac Kamper
2014 TO Slipstream Camper

Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby cal3san » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:50 pm

Senior,

I did the NC-San Diego-NC trip in 2011 on my 2009 Honda Shadow Aero 750 trike pulling a 12 CF Kompac Kamp Lil' Clipper trailer. (2 weeks, 6311 milles) Packed a 4-man tent as it allowed room to use the Coleman queen-size inflatible mattress and plenty of room to move around for those days that it rained too hard to get underway first thing - and there were a couple of those. (Smart move on my part). Found that two changes of shirts and dungarees were one too many but 5-days worth of scivvies, and soxes were ideal along with two heavy duty bath and a couple of quick drying towels. Even though it was summer I'm glad I packed both heavy and light riding jackets.

If you're over 62 you can save a bundle on your trip by using a Senior Pass at federal campgrounds. Cost $10 LIFETIME at local Forest Service Ranger Station.

FYI: The NAPA Store in Blaine, Washington is run by a trio of Harley riding brothers. Met them in a TN I-40 Rest Stop on a 2010 trip to Texas and back. Said if I was up that way they'd sell me oil, filters etc. and provide a place to for me to perform the service. One of those nice to know things.

I was planning on doing a run to the PNW this summer but GF has me convinced to do a run over in your neck of the woods instead around Memorial Weekend. Guess we'll do Lexington, Somerset (Retired CDR friend is a dentist there), Hopkinsville (YN2 friend from RVN days) and maybe down to Nashville and back into Eastern NC. Will be towing a Kompac Kamper with my 96 1500 GW trike.

May you have fair winds and following seas as you trail down the road.

Cal
YNCM-USN Retired (64-90)
YNCM-USN Retired (1964-1990)
RVN Veteran (MCB-53 1968)
PGR

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NKYWinger
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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby NKYWinger » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:46 am

Master Chief-
I'd thought about getting the 'old fogey' pass; guess I better :) We will be doing a number of trips this year as well as the GWRRA Blast and regional events...
Admin-
I know gun laws are very restrictive north of the border, so I hadn't even considered taking one...


--John--

FTCS(SS) USN Ret.
'83 GL1100 Aspy (SOLD)
'03 GL1800
'08 Lees-ure Lite
GWRRA 339547 KY - 'G'
DS# 1547

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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby mtn_boy1 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:23 pm

Man, just reading y'alls posts has got me itching. I found a little pull behind for $400.00 on CL. Now I want to buy it and start planning. LOL Yesterday I read a travelogue by a rider and his wife who made a circuit of 49 states after he retired from the Navy. What a great read. If you want to read it http://www.sundaymorningrides.com/, look under long distance, 'retirement ride' on page 3. Gonna be mid 60s here tomorrow, I'm feeling a little sick. Might have to take a day off and see if I can find something to make me feel better. I LOVE THIS SITE!!!
'Soldier HARD'
Patriot Guard Riders, North Carolina/Virginia
"From the day I was born they have had my back..til the day I die I will have theirs."

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Re: Camping Trip: KY to AK and back

Postby GRAPEAPE94 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:03 pm

Planning my trip for this comming summer. From S.W. Fl. along the Gulf coast, across Tx., Carlsbad Caverns, Painted desert, Petrified Forest, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, 3-4 days in Vegas, North to Tahoe, Yosemity, Yellowstone, Road to the Sun, Mt Rushmore for the 4th, then to Akron to visit the grand kids and finally back to Fl.

With the visit in Ohio I figure I will be gone about 1/12-2 months. The joys of retirement.




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