Left June 23rd after a year of planning and get-readiness. Riding my 2009 BMW R100GS Adventure. Had bike service in Concord at what was "Diablo BMW". They have a nice facility over there now just behind Guitar Center, across from Sun Valley Mall. First night was in Salem, Oregon. Crossed the border the next day and did a little sightseeing around Chilliwack. I worked up there for a few years back in 09-10'. Next night was in Prince George. Next night in Bell II. Bell II is a heli-skiing destination for the rich and famous. $ 18,600/PP for one week of heli-skiing. Next day into and out of the Yukon and then back into the Yukon Territory. That night was spent in Haines Junction. A very nice remote location. Next day it was back into the USA at the Alcan border and then on to Fairbanks. I actually stayed at the North Pole, AK. Tourist trap for souvenirs. I decided to stay in the saddle for the 512 miles up the Dalton Highway. Stopped at the Dalton Highway sign for a photo and the Artic Circle sign for a photo. Got run away from there by the skeeters. Most of the maintenance on the Dalton happens this time of year. Those were the only treacherous stretches of highway. Sloppy, wet gravel and mud for 5 mile stretches. Never went down but had some close calls. Usually behind pilot cars that make you go slow. Atigun Pass is a sight to behold. I had seen so many pictures that once I was actually there, it brought tears to my eyes. Across the North Slope I saw caribou and musk-ox. Made it into Prudhoe in a 30 mph headwind, with 100' visibility due to fog and 30 degrees. Prudhoe is a giant oil field town. All the big boys are up there and lots of service companies too. I spent the night in he Aurora Hotel on the frozen shore of lake Colleen. A workers camp. Very nice. camp runs on it's stomach and the food was well stocked. All you could eat. On the way up, I heard that the road back South would be closed from 6AM to 6PM so I slept in a little.

Was back on the road around 11:00 and got hung up at the roadblock for 3 hours, just North of Coldfoot. The road was surprisingly good even after 24 hours. Windy and lots of daylight will dry out a road in no time. Sun never really sets this time of year up there. 512 miles back to North Pole. I spent $20 at the car wash when I arrived and even saw a rainbow at midnight. Never see that again. Showers all around. The mud on the bike was more like concrete slurry. Woke up in North Pole and spent another $5.00 at the car wash. Headed south. Met a fine Alaska State trooper that informed me I was doing 68 in a 55 just outside of Delta Junction. He said "Have a good day" after i told him where I had been the day before. Made it into Haines Junction that night after several encounters with bears, moose and various other creatures. Actually raced a bear on the south side of Destruction Bay. Could have kicked him in the head as he ran across the road. from Haines I thought about making it to Bell II again, but when i arrived all the rooms were taken, so I ended up in New Hazelton, BC. I rode the entire Cassair Highway that day. Ended the day at 865 miles. My longest day. Next night was in Cache Creek. following night in Eugene, Oregon and the next day ---- HOME. 7 up and 6 back. A little over 7,000 miles.

You learn what works really fast on a trip like this. The bike get between 330-350 miles on a tank, so fuel was never an issue. The best pieces of gear were my Low Forma boots (feel like slippers)and my Frogg Togg rain gear. Very under-rated stuff but very lightweight, windproof, breathable, and dry. I came thru some real turd floaters. I have some really expensive Klim gear and that stayed in the dry bag most of the time in favor of the $40 top and bottom Frogg Togg. I usually wore a tee shirt, fleece jacket and my frogg toggs. Amazing journey of a lifetime. More of a challenge than a vacation, but I got to see some beautiful country. One thing I recommend - Spend the $150 for a Kaoka cruise control. My hands are toast. Still tingly and sore. Miss the Cal 24 and the great folks that put it all together. Peace!

Ken Hudson (kudukenny)