Monday, September 12, 2011

The Route : Fairbanks, Alaska -> Grapevine, Texas...

Planning out what roads to take can be one of the greater joys of motorcycle touring, aside from the actual riding of course.  This trip has been unique in that I have a set end destination.  My Latin American journey was much more loosely organized.  My schedule was wide open and other than knowing that I eventually wanted to end up in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, I didn't labor over choosing an exact route.

For this trip, I knew that my time would be very limited.  The date of the BMW Dealer Trade Show is fast approaching.  I needed to wrap a few deals up at the shop before I could get out of town as well.  This has left me with just enough time to prevent having to simply hammer down the interstates to Texas.

So choosing my route is important.  I talked over the British Columbia portion extensively with regular Trail's End BMW client Parrish Moses.  Parrish, an avid motorcyclist and BMW R1200GS owner,  just finished a several week foray through the territory and had great information for me on road conditions and 'not to miss' route choices.  He brought me a map of BC and we highlighted a zigzagging line through western Canada.

My departure has been delayed a day, which is actually giving me some needed time to put some more work in on the blog.  So my plan is changing already.  This is how these trips tend to go, so I'm taking a breath and trying to keep the butterflies of anticipation at bay.

My goal is to get on the road at 12 noon and ride east as far as I can get.  The border crossing at Beaver on the Alaska highway is open 24 hours per day.  My hope for the first day is to make it to Burwash Landing on Kluane Lake in Yukon Territories.  This is 417 miles from Fairbanks and will have me arriving just after dark.

Here is the tentative route plan from there...
September 14:  Burwash Landing, Yukon-> Deese Lake, British Columbia  575 miles
September 15: Deese Lake, British Columbia -> Kitwanga, British Columbia 302 miles
September 16:  Kitwanga, British Columbia ->  Jasper, Alberta  533 miles
September 17:  Jasper, Alberta -> Fernie, British Columbia  360 miles
September 18:  Fernie, British Columbia -> Bozeman, MT 600 miles
September 19th:  Bozeman, MT -> Fossil, WY  385 miles
September 20th:  Fossil, WY -> Moab, UT  383 miles
September 21st:  Moab, UT -> Taos, NM  360 miles
September 22nd: Taos, NM -> Amarillo, TX  298 miles
September 23rd:  Amarillo, TX -> Grapevine, TX  342 miles

I'm due to arrive at the Gaylord Texan Hotel & Resort on Saturday, September 24th.  So that means I have one extra day.  I laugh when I look at this and wonder how I'll ever make it in time.  I have calculated this tight schedule into my plan as well.  If I need to make up time or need to dodge weather, there are several opportunities to jump on an interstate highway and leave my winding mountain route behind.

T-Minus 16 hours until departure...

No comments:

Post a Comment