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HOPE YOU ENJOY THE RIDE TO ALASKA
Author's note. I'm writing in the past tense as I'm updating this introduction in April 2001. The actual text in the journals was written as we traveled in 1999, and so is in the present tense. The real meat of this web site is the "journals" and I hope you take time to read them. This is just an overview.
WHY RIDE TO THE ARCTIC OCEAN?
As with climbing mountains, I guess because it's there and needs to be done. In fact, I have a better question. Why not ride to the Arctic Ocean? The secondary reason is that I turned 50 in 1999, and for years I had promised myself that I would ride a motorcycle from the Arctic Ocean to the Panama Canal. Time was a wastin' and I needed to get on with it.
For just over four weeks, beginning in mid-July, 1999, three friends, my wife and I traveled by motorcycle, starting from Seattle, WA, up the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks, AK, then up the Dalton Highway (the Haul Road) to Prudhoe Bay; to the shores of the Arctic Ocean
On Hondas, Nortons, Kawasakis, Suzukis and now Moto Guzzis I've ridden extensively in Alaska, Western Canada, the American West, and from my current base in Seattle; particularly the Pacific Northwest. For many years now I've dreamed of riding a motorcycle from the shores of the Arctic Ocean to the Panama Canal, but like other dreams, day-to-day life got in the way. There's never enough time off and never enough money. There were kids to raise and mortgages to pay. In short, it's easy to slide into middle age with many of our dreams getting moved further and further toward the back burner. So, in 1978 I started making plans to turn this particular dream into a reality. I wanted to get going on this trip before I get to the age that sitting on a bike for 8 or 10 hours a day just isn't too appealing any more. I hope you enjoy the trip with my friends and me as we ride from Seattle, WA to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, on the edge of the Arctic Ocean.
Following is a short bio of each of the five of us who made this trip.
- Eric Buckland. Eric is a hospital administrator in Page, AZ. We worked together in Alaska and have been friends for over 20 years. Several years ago I rode my Suzuki 850 to the Oregon Coast to see Eric and after one ride he was hooked. I believe he purchased a Yahama 650 by the end of that week. Eric has motorcycled extensively throughout the western US and Canada, and he rode a 1200cc Triumph Trophy on the Alaska trip.
- Julia Buckland. Eric's wife, a realtor for many years, and an avid bike rider has ridden extensively throughout the Western United States and Canada. Julia rode a new 900cc Triumph Trophy on this trip.
- Randy Hanson. Randy, a small business owner, is a friend and business associate who lives in Denver, CO. Over the years, Randy has ridden various bikes throughout the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains areas. Randy rode Kawasaki KLR650 for this trip
- Jan Hunter. Jan is my wife of 18 years, a small business owner, a frequent motorcycle rider and passenger throughout her adult life, and a very willing participant in the Alaska adventure. Jan rode a 1000cc BMW with a Sputnik sidecar. The sidecar combination provided stability over a two-wheeler and also provided some extra carrying capacity.
- Tom Hunter. The author and the organizer of this trip. I'm a small business owner in the Seattle area, and have motorcycled extensively in Alaska, the western United States, and western Canada. I rode a 1987 Suzuki Cavalcade on this Alaska trip.
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