Our heroes returned with a four and a half day saga across Alaska and Canada marked by long days, isolated roads, primitive campsites, new friends, and more long days. They rode over 2,500 miles on tough, remote roads averaging more than 525 miles a day, camping every night but one. They are nuts! Seems Jesse wanted to get back home and hearth and who can blame him?
Frank here was on his 50th day of a trip from Montreal to Prudho Bay and was in no hurry to get home. He rides a BMW F800GS, Jesse’s dream bike for this trip. Our heroes rode a total of 8,200 miles from Florence, Montana, to Deadhorse/Prudho Bay, then all around Alaska, and finally back down through Canada returning to Florence (near Missoula).
Malte from Munich, Germany, was headed to Vancouver from Anchorage to meet his girlfriend for a ride to Los Angeles. He bought his V-Strom from a rental place in Alaska and will sell it to a Suzuki dealer in L.A. Malte has made many extended trips including Australia and Africa. He joined Rudi and Jesse for two days of riding through the Yukon, the Cassier Highway, and left them north of Prince George for his own trail. He was a mellow companion and always a welcome one.
The mighty KLR650 began having a problem on the isolated Cassier Highway that runs due south from near Watkins Lake, Yukon, for 450 miles to Kitwanga, a beautiful piece of road and now mostly paved. The drive chain on the KLR was reaching the end of its life and Jesse had to constantly adjust it to keep it running. Removing a link would have helped, but that is an expensive tool and a heavy one, so it was not in the tool kit.
Day four found the boys entering the Jasper/Banff National Parks corridor heading southeast toward Missoula. They needed a campsite, but the sun was setting on the 150 miles or so of spectacular peaks and glaciers, so a stop was out of the question. With no campsites available they were forced to seek shelter in Lake Louise at a price-gouging motel (they wouldn’t say the room rate out loud, only write it down and point to it!). Best shower of the trip, however, and the sights of the Rockies were worth the price.
The final day of the trip finished up with a sunrise run through Banff, then over the mountains to Radium Hot Springs and on to Kalispell in Montana, where Jesse’s chain fell off the bike! With Big Bertha following with flashers flashing periodically the boys limped the final 100 miles home with several stops to put the chain back on the sprockets. Not a glorious ending, but a welcome one for the tired, rump-sprung duo.
Rudi has now spent three days recovering from all the fun, while Jesse doesn’t seem to be fazed in the slightest. Here he is seen climbing with some buddies yesterday in a scenic canyon close to home. Rudi took the picture while lying in the shade with an umbrella drink in his hand.
Big Bertha, Rudi’s R1150GS, received lots of attention during the layover with a new rear tire leading the way. She also has fresh engine oil and filter, and fresh transmission and final drive oil.
Rudi leaves today for the first leg of the return journey to Atlanta. Fire up those SPOT trackers, folks, but be prepared for a northern leg at the start.
Go to this URL for SPOT tracking of the trip. Use “hybrid” view for best results.
Celeste and her mother, Scottie, are on Amtrack to Glacier Park and will arrive there tonight, Rudi is heading that way too for four days of fun with the girls. Rudi’s no fool after all! Does Fate agree with Rudi? Stay tuned.
Please join Rudi & Jesse to help the environment by reading the message below, and taking action on it.
This trip, and this blog, are raising money for our favorite environmental non-profit, Georgia River Network. GRN advocates for, and protects, all rivers in Georgia. We produce videos for them to help raise awareness and money for their projects. If you are enjoying our trip blog, please join us in giving whatever tax deductible amount you can by going to our fund raising site at:
The site is safe and secure and the folks at Georgia River Network make sure your donation has an impact.
Rudi G & Jesse