The next day Dan led Cyrus and I on an ATV ride up a nearby ridge to try and spot some wildlife. Dan gave me a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun to carry. He said it was loaded with a mixture of slugs and buckshot rounds. I asked him if there was one in the chamber. "Always" he replied. It was somehow more comforting than the bear spray I'd been carrying previously. The ride was crazy. We rode up a trail so steep I had to stand up and throw my weight as far forward as possible so I wouldn't tumble backwards. Then we rode through a marsh with huge puddles of water, which the ATVs handled surprisingly well. There was lots of thick brush that made me wish I'd worn gloves. Eventually we got to the top of a big hill and took in some amazing views.
We didn't spot any wildlife besides mosquitoes, but the views were worth the trip. It was so cool to look in every direction for miles and see nothing but wilderness. I know it's nothing compared to what Alexander Supertramp went through, but it was good enough for me.
Our third day Cyrus and I felt like doing something productive so we decided to built a raft and float down the river.
It took us a couple hours to gather logs and lash them all together. It was a quick job, but she looked sea-worthy.
It floated pretty well with no one standing on it.
We took it into a deeper section of the river and I tried to get on, but it sank straight to the bottom. There was no way we could both ride it, so I got a big 8 foot stick and used it to balance my weight so that the raft could move over the river bed. We set up video cameras and got some good footage of me trying to navigate the treacherous waters of the Totalanika. I made it a few hundred feet down river, but when I got into faster flowing water, the raft started coming apart so I bailed and dragged it to shore. We pulled it back to the starting point, but never bothered trying to fix it. A couple days later we were hit with a storm and the river rose quickly, taking our raft somewhere downriver. I think the wood we used wasn't dry enough. Bear Grylls from the Discovery Channel made it look so easy on TV.
We tried our hand at panning for gold one day. It's not easy. They have this big machine called a dredge that digs a hole in the river and they sift through the stuff it pulls out. I found a bit of pyrite, and Cyrus found a few flakes of gold. The guys weren't finding enough to cover the expenses of them working there, so the property owner pulled them out a little while after we left.
The weather was pretty nice while we were there, but the afternoons usually brought quick thunderstorms. One day it hailed pretty badly for at least 15 minutes. And it never quite gets dark up there at this time of year. The sun dips just below the horizon and then comes right back up after a short while.
This is the darkest it gets during the summer.
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