|In 2001 Neil F. and I rode out
to OR for the BMWMOA rally. At a dinner with Dr. David Allen we mentioned
we were planning a trip to AK. The next day David asked if he could join
us. This was a problem as we had not seriously planned such a trip. But we
agreed that the following year we would do it. With work schedules we'd
have to squeeze it into a bit over three weeks. But first Neil and I
needed to get a couple of appropriate bikes. He found a KLR and I bought
this F650 from a local club member. I did some prep on it; it had been
lowered, I returned it to standard, replaced the brake lines, installed
new tires, and tuned it up. I bought a set of Ortlieb dry bags and a big
canoe bag for the camping gear. That was it.
The trip began with me trucking the F650 from FL to NJ to meet Neil and load up his KLR and gear. Next day he got out of work and 30 minutes later wqe were on the road to Marysville, WA. In a bit over two days we were in WA, met up with David and a couple of hours later were boarding the AK ferry in Bellingham. We debarked at Haines, YU three days later. The next couple of weeks we rode all over the far north, to the Kenai peninsula, Denali, Fairbanks, Taylor Highway to Chicken, Top of the World to Dawson City, then up the Dempster to the Arctic Circle and back. Then we followed the Alaska Highway south to BC and continued south to WA, back to Marysville where we loaded up the truck and hustled back east.
The F650 ran flawlessly with only a thrown chain marring a trouble free 4,700 miles including close to 1,000 dirt miles. But in truth I never bonded with it, it was a perfectly functional appliance, so upon return to FL I sold it for darn near what I originally paid.
|Shots from the AK trip; joining the Alaska Highway at Haines Junction, entering Alaska from the Yukon, post office in Chicken, AK.|
More pictures; border crossing at Poker Creek, at the Arctic Circle on Dempster Highway (Yukon Territory), Sign Post Forest, Watson Lake, BC)