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Hey all,
I am thinking hard about doing an Alaska trip next summer. To my surprise, my wife wants to go as well (she has a sherpa.) Anyway, are there any good books about the trip, planning, etc., that would help us in our preparation? Thanks in advance

Jamie & Kim
 

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The Sherpa might be underpowered for the trip, but it's all up to her.

Every year, another edition of The Milepost is published. It is an up-to-date catalog of everything along the Alaska roadways, mile by mile. Good reference source, but it's heavy. Don't know if it's available online.
 

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Thanks Searg...
I just ordered one and an Alaska gazateer to boot!

Jamie

Edit: Do you think the Sherpa is underpowered as far as top speed? I weigh a bit over 200 and have had it to 70mph w/o difficulty. She's.....well.......she may read this.......um.........A LOT lighter than me. By about 65 lbs.
I will probably handle the bulk of the supplies on the 650, but I'm just curious what your though is on that. I don't want to lead her into the wilds on a shetland!
 

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Jaime, it's best to let those with the Sherpa chime in. I would expect the Sherpa to be too little a bike for that kind of trip and have the comfort and performance you would want. That said, there have been folks who have done it on smaller bikes. Can't say what their comfort was...

If you are traveling slow and easy, with a light load (rider and gear), then it might be okay. My wife decided to pass on the Sherpa and got a KLR650, just so she wouldn't be disappointed when we head for Alaska in a couple years.
 

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I don't know, I weigh about 180 and took an 87 KLR 250 from Edmonton to Dawson City Yukon and back without issue this summer, it's got 55K mi on the odometer, the riding partner with me rode my "restored" 1977 Can-Am T'nT 250 2 stroke and other than a broken chain which we were packing a spare for it was a relaxed trip, we only did an average of about 350/375 mi/day and I took the tent and most of the extras. Fuel management was the biggest challenge with 2 "small tank" machines, The T'nT actually got pretty good mileage, almost = to the KLR for part of the trip. I don't think we pushed either machine more than 65MPH anywhere and took lots of time to fish and site seeing, which was the reason for the trip. Other than fuel, the Sherpa / KLR250 will do fine if you don't push 70MPH all the way and the rider is 165 or less (+ a max of 30lbs of gear). I'm not certain where you would need alot more power unless you are doing slab for long periods of time. I had to pack 2 2.5 gallon cans of fuel which really added to the balance of the machine in a negative manner, but it handled the load for power within reason without any serious issue


She won the smiles per mile/ alot of people were very interested in the T'nT smoker and the extended run it was on, alot fewer people even looked at the little "killer" who weren't riders
 

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Alaska is HUGE. It's hard to grasp that you'll only get a taste of parts of it. Southern Alaska has temperate rain forests, middle Alaska is considered cold desert, and the rest of Alaska has every imaginable climate. Most of the time there are no roads into areas, no hotels, no stores, no bathrooms, no running water, no rest stops, no electricity. The guys who go into the back country are loaded up like outfitters. The only other option is to fly and that's why half of all private pilots live in AK. It takes hours or days to travel from one location to the next so you only get to glimpse Alaska. I lived there for four years and saw very little of it.

When visiting, you'll be on a time budget. You have to decide what you want to see because it's too stinking big to see more than a tiny piece of it. Looking at the map above, imagine how much of the states covered by Alaska you could see in the time you have to visit. Prioritize the things you want to see most.

Good reading... Mitchner's "Alaska" and " The thousand mile war" by Brian Garfield because so much of Alaska was impacted by the events of WWII.

Webcams: http://www.akmining.com/webcams.htm

I'd use Google Earth or World Wind to previsit areas.

Keith
 
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