The following day we got more rain and chilly weather. We came to a junction and the road signs said the next town was over 100 miles away. We didn't have that much gas, so we went 40 miles out of our way to Stewart to get gas. We later found there was a service station 60 miles down the road from that junction, which we could have made it to. Live and learn.
On the way to Stewart we stopped to see Bear Glacier. It was slowly cutting its way through a couple mountains, making its way down to a small lake. Those things are really impressive to see up close. We finally made it to Stewart, which was a very small town just east of the Alaskan border. I can't imagine what it's like to be there during the winter. We got gas and a bite to eat and then rode the 40 miles back to where we'd started. We were on the Cassiar Highway by this point, which goes through central and northwestern British Columbia. It's not as popular of a road as the Alaskan Highway, so the road was in pretty bad shape at some points. Lots of potholes and gravel sections that can get really rough, which slowed us down a lot.
As we rode along, we went over a small bridge that had a concrete barrier on each side. I was riding on the right side of the lane, and directly on the other side of the barrier was a black bear that was eating something. I didn't even notice it until after I'd passed it. It could have stood up, reached over the barrier and pulled me off the bike if it had wanted too. That was the first bear we'd seen, so we turned around to get another look as it ran back into the woods. I saw two more black bears on the sides of the road that day, and Cyrus caught glimpses of another two. No bears the whole trip and we see 5 in one afternoon. We just kept riding, not thinking about the time since it was still so light out. When we finally stopped at a campground it turned out to be 11pm. There was a beautiful lake there with water like glass. Everyone else was asleep in their campers and tents when we started a fire and cooked dinner.
June 14th was a slow day due some very bad roads. There were lots of sections where the pavement was severely damaged by the repeated freezing and thawing of the ground beneath it, leaving huge dips, ruts and bumps in the road. Instead of trying to repair the road, they just put a small flag next to the road where the problem is, so we had to keep an eye out for those. It was cloudy all day, which made it harder to appreciate the scenery.
Finally made it to the Yukon that day. The Alaskan Highway starts right after the border, near Watson Lake. We rode into town to get groceries and stopped at the Signpost Forest, which is a sight to behold. In 1942, a GI from Danville, Illinois repaired a road sign and added a sign of his own that pointed to his hometown. People have been adding their own ever since, and it now takes up two acres and holds over 50,000 signs. There are license plates, folk art, anything you can imagine. Even a 6' x 10' sign from the German autobahn. You could spend weeks walking through this place.
We stopped at a campsite a little ways out of town. It was about 8pm, but we had 5 hours of daylight left. We played frisbee for a while, then sat around the campfire, drinking, joking and laughing. It was a good night.
"If I could sleep with a beautiful woman or ride my bike a hundred miles, I'd ride a hundred miles... cause you don't have to sit and talk to your bike afterwards."
Awesome article!!! Very inspiring and sounds like one helluva good time.
Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 11:26 AM
June-July 2010 I started on US-50 in Ocean City Maryland. Put my rear tire in the Atlantic Ocean and rode US-50 all the way to San Francisco where I put my front tire in the Pacific Ocean.
Then up the coast into Canada; back into Washington State; and home on US-2 along our northern border.
60 days, camping and cooking, just over 12,000 miles.
Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM
Great story telling. It is an adventure you will remember your entire lifetime. My husband and I are both retired Army and from one vet to another, thank you for your service. Not many are willing to risk all as you did. Well done and welcome home. Keep those wheels turning!
Fri Dec 9, 2011 at 9:13 PM
Awesome story bro. I enjoyed reading about your adventure. That's my kinda riding. Great trip and pictures.
Fri Aug 26, 2011 at 11:34 PM
Great trip...Great story!!! I'm leaving Afghanistan in June, will start my trip in Aug...I plan on taking
about two months also, but I'm going all the way up to Prudhoe Bay, and down to Anchorage, threw Fairbanks, and maby a ferry one way there, and drive the other way...THEN, I'm doing the 4 Corners Tour, with the Great American Motorcycle Adventure together, and plan on hitting all 49 states before I'm finished.
Starting at Fort Hood Tx, and Ending in San Diego, Ca. But probably have to go it alone. Should still be fun!
Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 5:35 AM
Great read - I've ridden from Alabama to Utah via South Dakota and Yellowstone, and need another long trip. You have inspired me. I've been chained to my desk for too many years.
And, most importantly, THANK YOU for your service to our country! We have the freedom to be able to ride because of you and all of those like you. An Air Force vet.
Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM
I was at a point where i was debating getting out of the service. ive loved every minute of it but am ready for a change. reading this article was a great influence. to be able to go out whenever without having to take leave. awesomely inspireing. thank you for serving.
*indiana born and raised
Wed May 19, 2010 at 9:47 AM
Really great travel log Trevor - truly inspiring. Thank you.
Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 10:45 AM
Thanks for all the comments guys, I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Check out the video at: www.trevstravelblog.com
I'm riding the Dragon in TN next week, and might be heading to Mexico this summer; best of luck to everyone taking on their own adventure.
Tue Mar 9, 2010 at 9:38 PM
Awsome, reminds me of Redline America
check it out if you haven't yet. Definately worth it.
Sat Feb 13, 2010 at 10:53 PM
Excellent, excellent, excellent!'
I'm riding from Key West Florida to Homer Alaska this June and I vicariously already made the trip thanks to your great article.
Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 7:21 PM
I had many such adventures thirty+ years ago. Well told on your part, live large. I'm thinkin perhaps I have one more left in me. Don't get chained to the wants of life, it will destroy your best. Ride, Ride, Ride!!
Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM
Im glad you got the opportunity to pull off an epic ride like that. I try to do that every couple of years. And now you have fired me up for my next ride! Very well written, I could relate with the different aspects of your ride as I am sure others can too. I often felt as if I were on the road with you guys. Im old Army and want to thank you, from one soldier to another, for your service. It seems vets really can appreciate the freedom of an epic ride for what it REALLY is, a chance to enjoy the freedom that we fought for and our buddies died for. Ride safe, ride long and always remember to ride for those who can't.God's speed brother.
Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 9:08 PM
Again, a great story. As I wait here in Georgia to get thru one of the coldest winters on record, I dream about getting on my new Yamaha vstar 1300 and doing something like this. I am glad you were able to do this after serving time in Iraq. Welcome home!
Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 9:42 AM
A buddy of mine and I are in the planning stages of an approx. 6-week trip from Charleston, SC to Denali park in AK and back, with lots of off-road routes through the wild wild West.
Great story - thanks for the insight on good stops through Canada, it gives us food for thought before we head out later this summer. Keep on with the Roads Less Traveled, they're definitely WORTH it!
*BTW, we are leaving my Honda VT800 and his HD Road King at home for this long ride - we're guessing about 10k+ miles roundtrip - and taking our new BMW dual sports bikes instead...F800GS & F1200GSA, respectively. Don't think our road cruisers would handle the trip as well as the Beemers. Also hope to post a good story & pics like yours when we make it back.
Thu Jan 7, 2010 at 6:50 AM
Just wanted to say what a great read. I've ridden further in one day but the riding conditions were about as perfect as could be. P.S. I hate being cold and wet!
Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 9:14 PM
Nice job, dudes.
Sat Nov 28, 2009 at 3:13 AM
Thanks for the ride friend. Felt like I was with you.
Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 4:53 PM
Sounds like the trip of a lifetime. It's been on my list of trips I want to take but will have to wait until retirement for the time needed but your story rekindled the fire.Great story and pictures, Thanx
Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 7:22 AM
Absolutely fantastic journey! Memories for your later years. Keep riding and ride safe!
Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 6:02 AM
Dude, thank you so much for the temporary escape from my desk. I am an Army vet and a native Montanian so I didnt have a very hard time relating.
Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 5:28 PM
Ride on Marine and great story! Semper Fi!
Mon May 25, 2009 at 8:01 AM
Looks like fun. Reminds me of what I have been cooking up in my twisted head for after I get out of the Navy in a year....
Sat May 23, 2009 at 4:07 PM
Outfrickin'standing!!! great journey, people, scenery, pictures, a brother to do it with and I'm sure lessons learned for the next ride!
Wed Apr 8, 2009 at 11:16 AM
Great story, Great trip. That makes me want to pack!!!
The pictures were awesome. Hope to read some more of your adventures.
Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 6:20 PM
I'm inspired - well done
Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 5:32 PM
I hope to get the chance to do a ride similar to this one day, after reading this it might be sooner than I planned! :) Loved the article.
Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 5:43 AM