1990 Alaska Motorcycle Odyssey

Revised 03-21-2007

In the summer of 1990 I rode a motorcycle from my home near Atlanta to Alaska and back. I had previously taken motorcycle camping trips of up to a couple of weeks in length, but never before a trip of this magnitude and duration. This particular year things fell into place at work such that I could take six continuous weeks off, so I hit the road.

The report presented here includes many photos taken on that trip. Although it can be viewed in one rushed sitting, it will be more enjoyable if absorbed at a relaxed pace.

This is the overall route taken.
Overall Trip Map

Trip Theme Photo taken in Alaska. Mt. McKinley can be clearly seen in the background.
Theme Photo

Trip Highlights

Dates: July 28 - August 29, 1990.

Duration: 33 days, 32 nights.

Lodging: Tent camping except for one night in a lodge on the Alaska Highway.

Food: Split between eating out and camp cooking. Always carried enough provisions for four days in isolation.

Transportation: 10,119 miles via motorcycle (solo except for 100 miles); 400 miles via ferry.

Road Conditions: Ranged from the very best super-highways to terrible mud/gravel roads.

Mechanical: No major problems. Replaced rear brake shoes in Kansas (one hour service), headlight low beam burned out in British Columbia (rode rest of trip on high beam aimed down), changed oil in Alaska and Montana, tachometer cable broke in Georgia (almost home).

Weather: Clear, sunny, overcast, rain, thunderstorms, hail, calm, breezy, high winds, hot, warm, cold (saw it all).

Temperature Extremes: 38 degrees F in Yukon Territory, 110 degrees F in Oklahoma.

People Problems: None. Everyone was extremely friendly and supportive.

Activities: Motorcycle touring, camping, sightseeing, hiking, making friends along the way, relaxing, meditating.

Wildlife Seen: Moose, grizzly bear, fox, caribou, mountain sheep, antelope, arctic squirrel.

Motorcycle: 1982 Honda GL500I Silverwing Interstate, approximately 30K miles on bike at start of trip.

Camera: Canon Sure Shot AF35M point-and-shoot 35mm.

Alaska is now a very popular destination for motorcyclists, but not so much so in 1990. I saw very few riders the entire time I was in northern British Columbia, the Yukon Territory, and Alaska.

Trip Details

Day 1: Home to Lake Murphysboro State Park, Illinois
Day 2: To Knob Knoster State Park, Missouri
Day 3: To Union County State Park, South Dakota
Day 4: To Little Yellowstone State Park, North Dakota
Day 5: To Regina, Saskatchewan
Day 6: To Vermillion Provincial Park, Alberta
Day 7: To Williamson Provincial Park, Alberta
Day 8: To Wonowon, British Columbia
Day 9: To Summit Pass Campground, British Columbia
Day 10: To Toad River, British Columbia
Day 11: To Watson Lake, Yukon Territory
Day 12: To Haines Junction, Yukon Territory
Day 13: To Tok, Alaska
Day 14: To North Pole, Alaska
Day 15: To Healy, Alaska
Day 16: Denali National Park, Alaska
Day 17: To Eklutna, Alaska
Day 18: To Valdez, Alaska
Day 19: To Tok, Alaska
Day 20: To Haines, Alaska
Day 21: To Ketchikan, Alaska
Day 22: To Fraser Lake, British Columbia
Day 23: To Jasper National Park, Alberta
Day 24: To Wasa, British Columbia
Day 25: To Turah, Montana
Day 26: To West Yellowstone, Montana
Day 27: To Lander, Wyoming
Day 28: To Loveland, Colorado
Day 29: To Garden City, Kansas
Day 30: To Flat Rock Recreation Area, Oklahoma
Day 31: To Withrow Springs State Park, Arkansas
Day 32: To Chickasaw State Park, Tennessee
Day 33: To Lawrenceville, Georgia (Home)

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