As I continue to do my route planning, and research of exactly where and what I want to see, I continue to discover points of interest that jump out at me.

My route has evolved from what seemed like simple jaunts between major points of interest, usually little towns along the way, to even more little points of interest of natural and man made wonders.

I sat down one night, and first tried to define what I wanted out of this trip, and where I wanted to go. I do not have the time to do both Inuvik and Prudhoe Bay without giving up some down time to actually enjoy the sites and locations we are passing through, and so a decision had to be made.

It was here that I discovered why I wanted to do this in the first place. I wanted to go out, explore and see new cultures, and to experience them. It was with this epiphany that I realized that Inuvik was the better of the two destinations I had previously picked.

Inuvik would give me the chance to discover a new culture, to see it for myself, and experience it.

So my decision was made, and the trip now had a destination

But what about the route?

The route was originally plugged into Google maps. Seattle to Inuvik and back to Seattle. I looked at the route, and started to ponder exactly what I was missing, what I could change, and how much it would effect the overall mileage that would be involved in such a trek. Time will be a factor, I cannot be gone for more than 21 days. This means, with an average traveling distance of 300 miles a day, which is 10 hours of riding at 30mph, that the trip could be completed in 18 days. This is exactly what I wanted. I needed to make sure that we not only had enough time to experience this trip during the travels, but to be able to stop and soak in the sites and local cultures of the towns and villages we pass through, but above all else I needed to make sure that we had a few extra cushion days in the event of the unknown.

So with my trip plugged into google maps, I started to inspect the trip, mile by mile.

I wanted to find alternate routes, I wanted to find points of interest, I wanted to find the adventure I had been dreaming of doing for the last several years I wanted the route to minimize travel over the same path. I knew that once I reached a certain point, that it would be impossible, such as the trip from Inuvik back to Dawson City. But that didn’t mean that I had to take the whole Klondike Highway back.

So starting in reverse, I zoomed in and found the alternate route that I had wanted. It also satisfied my desire to travel to Alaska.

Dawson City is a stones throw away from Alaska, and under further investigation I discovered a road from Dawson City, to Tok, AK. Tok is right on the Alaskan Highway, so this now gave us a new way back into Canada, without the miles upon miles of back tracking.

I also discovered a town by the name of Chicken. It was upon this discovery that the return route was officially changed. I mean, come on, who would pass up the chance to go to a town named chicken? Regardless of how podunk it is.

So with my route back from Inuvik back into British Columbia decided, it was time to put British Columbia under the microscope to see what routes I could pick.

I soon discovered the Cassiar Highway through British Columbia. I had, before years ago when I originally planned on making this trip, remember looking at this long stretch of townless highway. In fact, it is the main reason I strayed away from taking it.

At 537 miles from Watson Lake to Smithers, it was well beyond the range that either of us could travel on our loaded bikes.

But, like all things, it was worth investigating. And I’m glad I did. What I found,was that this road did in fact have services along the way. From lodges that provided food, camp, shower, and gas, to little villages of the natives. Evenly spaced, it seemed this last stretch of trip was finally going to be made, and at last, the final route came to me, and what was at once unknown, came into focus, and the following route was created for my trip.

Arctic Expedition: Seattle to the Arctic Circle and Beyond
The Route

Day 1: A long day to get the trip started. This will be the a straight slab ride to Golden, British Columbia, taking us over the Mountain Loop Highway in Washington State before a quick service stop in Winthrop and crossing the border into Canada.
Departure: Seattle, Washington

  • Winthrop, Wa. – 200 Miles
  • Kelowna, BC – 170 Miles
  • Golden, BC – 215 Miles
    Total – 585 Miles

Day 2: Departing from Golden, British Columbia, this will be a short day to relax, and enjoy the Columbia Ice Fields outside of Jasper, Alberta.
Departure: Golden, BC

  • Jasper, AB – 195 Miles
    Total – 195 Miles

Day 3: Departing from Jasper, Alberta, this 330 mile trip will take us through Grande Cache, Alberta and settle us in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Departure: Jasper, AB

  • Grande Cache, AB – 130 Miles
  • Dawson Creek, BC – 200 Miles
    Total – 330 Miles

Day 4: Departing westward on the Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, towards Fort Nelson, British Columbia, this days ride will have a single service stop in Sikanni Chief, British Columbia.
Departure: Dawson Creek, British Columbia

  • Sikanni Chief, BC – 160 Miles
  • Fort Nelson, BC – 125 Miles
    Total – 285 Miles

Day 5: Traveling Northwestward, we will cross into the Yukon Territories of Canada and make our way to the Sign Post Forest of Watson Lake, Yukon Territory.
Departure: Fort Nelson, British Columbia

  • Toad River, BC – 120 Miles
  • Watson Lake, YT – 200 Miles
    Total – 320 Miles

Day 6: We continue traveling Northwestward towards the town of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.
Departure: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory

  • Teslin Post 13, YT – 165 Miles
  • Whitehorse, YT – 110 Miles
    Total – 275 Miles

Day 7: Day 7 we point our bearings northward on the Klondike Highway towards Dawson City, Yukon Territory.
Departure: Whitehorse, YT

  • Carmacks, YT – 110 Miles
  • Dawson City, YT – 220 Miles
    Total – 330 Miles

Day 8: Welcome to Dawson City, Yukon Territory! Today may be scheduled as a “rest” day with the Dust to Dawson 2010 get together. Depending on the departure date. If we instead to depart at a later date that prevents us from attending this get together, we will head north on the Dempster Highway towards Eagle Plains, Yukon Territory.
Departure: Dawson City, Yukon Territory

  • Eagle Plains, YT – 255 Miles
    Total – 255 Miles

Day 9: Today is the last push to Inuvik, Northwest Territory. Today will mark the end of a journey before heading back home, the long way of course 😉
Departure: Eagle Plains, Yukon Territory

  • Inuvik, NWT – 225 Miles
    Total – 225 Miles

Day 10: Today is “Rest Day” to experiance the culture of Inuvik, Northwest Territory. My journey is complete.

Day 11: Packed up and head out back towards Dawson City. We will once again make a stop in Eagle Plains.
Departure: Inuvik, Northwest Territory

  • Eagle Plains, YT – 225 Miles
    Total – 225 Miles

Day 12: Note: Depending on Riding Conditions, we may decide to combine Day 11 and 12 into a single day of 480 miles. It is a lot of riding on an unimproved roadway to make, and this decision should not be taken lightly. However with the continuous daylight, we may decide to make this trek. If not, Day 11 will be spent from Eagle Plains to Dawson City.
Departure: Eagle Plains, Yukon Territory

  • Dawson City, YT – 255 Miles
    Total – 255 Miles

Day 13: Why backtrack all the way back to Seattle when you can experience the Top of the World Highway and a town named Chicken located in Alaska?
Departure: Dawson City, Yukon Territory

  • Chicken, AK – 110 Miles
  • Tok, AK – 80 Miles
    Total – 190 Miles

Day 14: I’m sure Alaska is a beautiful state, in fact I’ve seen plenty of pictures to know it is. However I won’t have time to explore it more on this trip. Maybe next year! We either stay in Hains Junction, or continue on to Whitehorse. Either way, we need to be in Watson Lake in 2 days.
Departure: Tok, Alaska

  • Beaver Creek, YT – 110 Miles
  • Hains Junction , YT – 180 Miles
  • Whitehorse, YT – 95 Miles
    Total – 385 Miles

Day 15: We make our way to Watson Lake!
Departure: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

  • Teslin, YT – 110 Miles
  • Watson Lake, YT – 165 Miles
    Total – 275 Miles

Day 16: Today we head down the Cassiar Highway through the heart of British Columbia with a stop in Tatogga for a Tatogga Burger!
Departure: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory

  • Tagogga, BC – 220 Miles
  • Bell II Lodge, BC – 90 Miles
    Total – 310 Miles

Day 17: We make our way to Burns Lake, BC through Smithers.
Departure: Bell II Lodge, British Columbia

  • Smithers, BC – 225 Miles
  • Burns Lake, BC – 90 Miles
    Total – 315 Miles

Day 18: We do a long slab of over 700 miles home to come to a completion of our adventure.
Departure: Burns Lake, British Columbia

  • Prince George, BC – 140 Miles
  • Williams Lake, BC – 150 Miles
  • Cache Creek, BC – 125 Miles
  • Bellingham, WA – 200 Miles
  • Seattle, WA – 95 Miles
    Total – 710 Miles

Total Round Trip – 5465 Miles

Day Start Location Stop Location End Location Miles Between Previous Total
1 Bellevue, Wa
Winthrop, Wa 200
Kelowna, BC 170
Golden, BC 215
585
2 Golden, BC
Jasper, AB 195
195
3 Jasper, AB
Grande Cache, AB 130
Dawson Creek, BC 200
330
4 Dawson Creek, BC
Sikanni Chief, BC 160
Fort Nelson, BC 125
285
5 Fort Nelson, BC
Toad River, BC 120
Watson Lake, YT 200
320
6 Watson Lake, YT
Teslin Post 13, YT 165
Whitehorse, YT 110
275
7 Whitehorse, YT
Carmacks, YT 110
Dawson City, YT 220
330
8 Dawson City, YT
Eagle Plains, YT 255
255
9 Eagle Plains, YT
Inuvik, NWT 225
225
10 REST
11 Inuvik, NWT
Eagle Plains, YT 225
225
12 Eagle Plains, YT
Dawson City, YT 255
255
13 Dason City, YT
Chicken, AK 110
Tok, AK 80
190
14 Tok, AK
Beaver Creek, YT 110
Hains Junction, YT 180
Whitehorse, YT 95
385
15 Whitehorse, YT
Teslin, YT 110
Watson Lake, YT 165
275
16 Watson Lake, YT
Tatogga, BC 220
Bell II Lodge, BC 90
310
17 Bell II Lodge, BC
Smithers, BC
Burns Lake, BC 225
90
315
18 Burns Lake, BC
Prince George, BC 140
Williams Lake, BC 150
Cache Creek, BC 125
Bellingham, WA 200
Bellevue, Wa 95
710
Total Miles 5465
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4 Comments

  1. […] About « Routing to the Unknown […]

  2. December 10, 2009 at 6:41 AM — Reply

    […] Routing to the Unknown […]

  3. January 30, 2010 at 11:40 AM — Reply

    I did an AK trip in June, 2009 and it’s chronicled at http://tbhyder2009.blogspot.com.

    We didn’t do Inuvik but it’s a destination on my radar. The Cassiar (Bear Alley) is terrific as is the highway from Skagway to Teslin. The best road for me, hands down, was the Haines Highway from Haines Junction to Haines, AK. Simply breathtaking.

    Glad to hear you connected with Gus. If you want to ride DS forest service roads some time, contact me. I’m active on ADVRider and the other local dual sport threads. I just gave a slide show at Ride West about riding around the Olympic Peninsula on D/S bikes.

    Timmer

  4. January 30, 2010 at 9:38 PM — Reply

    Type your comment here


    Tim Bowman:

    I did an AK trip in June, 2009 and it’s chronicled at http://tbhyder2009.blogspot.com.

    We didn’t do Inuvik but it’s a destination on my radar. The Cassiar (Bear Alley) is terrific as is the highway from Skagway to Teslin. The best road for me, hands down, was the Haines Highway from Haines Junction to Haines, AK. Simply breathtaking.

    Glad to hear you connected with Gus. If you want to ride DS forest service roads some time, contact me. I’m active on ADVRider and the other local dual sport threads. I just gave a slide show at Ride West about riding around the Olympic Peninsula on D/S bikes.

    Timmer

    Read the whole blog through. Great little adventure you had there! I especially liked the sleeping in the conference room. That is so awesome that the Hotel Owner set that up for you guys!

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