After last year's trip to Nova Scotia, I started thinking about a longer trip. After scrolling around on Google Maps for a while, I noticed a tiny road heading north through Alaska. Following it, I finally ended up looking at a little town called Deadhorse on the northern coast of Alaska, inside the Arctic Circle. Something about this really interested me, and I thought about making it the destination for my next big ride.
As spring rolled around in 2010, I started thinking seriously about making the trip to Deadhorse. The '95 VFR750 I bought at the end of 2009 had really grown on me, and despite wanting to keep it nice and pristine, I decided I would take it on the trip instead of the Katana, knowing it would probably be a little rough (rougher than I had imagined, as it turned out). I bought some hard cases and made some custom racks to mount them to my VFR750. I had a pair of Pelican 1520s mounted on the sides, and a Storm iM2750 mounted as a rear case. All three cases were removable via locks. This was alright, but I think if I had to do it again I'd use a hard case with a removable liner (inner bag), because the cases got pretty dirty and weren't great for bringing inside my tent. I'd also try to eliminate carrying such a large and heavy top case.
The afternoon of July 20, 2010, I left Wichita, KS and started what ended up being an 11,000 mile roundtrip to Deadhorse, AK and back. Despite a few setbacks, the bike performed admirably and brought me home three weeks later on August 10. I don't know if I'd ride the Dalton Highway again on a street bike, given how much it rains up there. It was tougher than I anticipated, but I'm proud to have done it.
Some lessons learned and/or reinforced...
7/20 - The first day
7/31 - Alaska back to the Yukon
Mileage and fuel log
Twitter feed for the trip
Copyright (c) 2010 Paul Miner <$firstname.lastname@example.org>