You will need to make reservations no later than July 3, 2019 for places such as Deals Gap and stops on the Alaska Highway and Hyder. May I suggest you reserve rooms with two beds and offer to share with other bikers who may join up too late in 2020 to make reservations? A novel idea I have --- suppose we hit really bad weather or you have a breakdown costing you at least one or two days of delay. At this point of time, making new reservations may be impossible! Possible solution -- If you are well organized, you can make multiple cancellable reservations at some stops. For example, suppose we have reservations in Lloydminster, Aberta for, say, July 8, you can add July 9 and 10 and then cancel that if not needed. I have had excellent results with booking.com as I can make cancellable reservations which allows you to cancel at up to 6 p.m. of the arrival date. This suggestion is only for peace of mind ...
Day 1 -- July 4, 2020 St. Augustine, Florida to Lake Murray of Richland, South Carolina -- 342 miles Kickstands up from Georgies Diner in St. Augustine at 9 a.m. I keep struggling with myself --- I was going to do a 600 mile day to get to Deals Gap quickly but that's an exhausting start for the trip. So, we will take I-95 then I-26. This is a delightful 342-mile start with a pleasant destination. Year after year I've seen our bikers get separated because of traffic lights, delays, etc. So to reduce anxiety, I am listing suggested fuel stops. This way, any bikers can meet us at these fuel stops or new riders can join us there. 1st Suggested fuel stop: Pilot Travel Center in Port Wentworth GA -- exit 109 I-95 2nd Suggested fuel stop: Flying J St. George SC -- exit 77 I-95 Suggested lodging -- Hyatt Place in Irmo, SC -- off Exit 102 I-26. Rationale -- 4.2 stars out of 5 and reasonable price. You can go to Lake Murray for watersports. Suggested 7 p.m. meeting for dinner: Maurice BBQ (this can be changed via group consensus and is only listed as a starting point for discussion. New bikers can meet up with us here)
Day 2 -- July 5, 2020 Richland, South Carolina to Deals Gap, North Carolina -- 260 miles Kickstands up at 9 a.m from Hyatt Place. Via US 74 West then 129 -- a leisurely 260 mile day with more than half of the route pleasant twisties. 1st Suggested fuel stop: Pilot Travel Center in Campobello SC, exit 5 -- 102 miles 2nd suggested fuel stop: Mountain outdoor BP in Bryson City NC -- 108 miles Deals Gap Motel only has around 40 beds so please reserve no later than July 5, 2019. Check in time is 3 p.m. Suggested lodging ... Deals Gap Motel Suggested dinner at restaurant 6 p.m.
Day 3 -- July 7, 2020 Deals Gap, North Carolina to Columbus, Ohio -- 424 miles Kickstands up at 9 a.m. from motel. (Breakfast served at 8 a.m.) Route: I-75 north then US 62 East (bypasses Cincinnati) 1st suggested fuel stop: Pilot Travel Center, Pioneer TN, exit 141 I-75 -- 110 miles (more to be listed --- come back later!) Attraction in Columbus is a huge motorcycle shop called Iron Pony -- the size of a super Wal-Mart! The bike place suggested Hilton Columbus at Easton at 3900 Chagrin Drive Day 4 -- July 7, 2020 Columbus, Ohio to Grayling, Michigan -- 400 miles Kickstands up at 9 a.m. from Hilton Columbus Via 127 N -- 400 miles At Lansing, we would take a motorcycleroads
suggested route -- Called Central Michigan Excursion -- Grand Ledge to N
Higgins Lake -- 140 miles in length. Suggested lodging is Ramada Grayling -- just off Interstate 75
Day 5 -- July 8, 2020 Grayling, Michigan to Marathon, Ontario -- 409 miles Kickstands up at 9 a.m. at Ramada. Suggested lodging in Marathon is Villa Bianca Inn -- this is the only lodging in this area so book early! Ontario has the lowest speed limits of Canada's provinces ... for good reason ... plenty of moose! I have also encountered really dense fog in Ontario due to the temperature contrast with the lake and land. Day 6 -- July 9, 2020 Marathon, Ontario to Dryden, Ontario -- 396 miles Suggested lodging in Dryden is Best Western Plus right on Highway 17. Seems to be the second best hotel and most reasonable price. Kickstands up at Villa Blanca Inn at 8 a.m. In about 4 hours, we will stop at Thunder Bay, Ontario to view a waterfall. Its the Kakabeka Falls and is known as the "Niagara of the North". Make sure you have some loonies to pay to park there! Dryden will be such a pleasant stop! Suspension bridge, canoeing and kayaking. Day 7 -- July 10, 2020 Dryden, Ontario to Neepawa, Manitoba -- 341 miles Kickstands up at Best Western Plus at 9 a.m. I thought it'd be cool to stay at a small town -- rather funky. Suggested lodging is Neepawa Motel - 71 Main Street. Seems to have free breakfast and also the rooms have cooking facilities. Last time I checked the prices it was only $56 Canadian. From this point on -- our mileage per day will pick up to around 450 or so. This page will be revised and tweaked during 2018 with more lodging added.
In all past trips, we would already have been in Alaska -- but so fatigued! Relax and feel free everyday to stop at mom and pop shops, do detours to visit historic sites, etc. Why not google each stop on this trip and share with group emails what you find that you like and perhaps we will do detours with you!
Day 8 -- July 11, 2020 Neepawa, Manitoba to North Battleford, Saskatchewan -- 456 miles TBA
Day 9 -- July 12, 2020 North Battleford, SK to Edmonton, AB -- 243 miles A visit to one of the largest indoors mall in the world. It has 800+ stores and services. I figure out we all would enjoy a break and rest before hitting the Alaska Highway! TBA Day 10 -- July 13, 2020 Edmonton, AB to Fort St. John BC -- 412 miles (photo op in Dawson Creek en route) TBA
Day 11 -- July 14, 2020 Fort St. John BC to Toad River BC -- 356 miles TBA Day 12 -- July 15, 2020 Toad River BC to White Horse, Yukon Territory -- 475 miles TBA
Day 13 -- July 16, 2020 Whitehorse YT to Tok, Alaska -- 388 miles Based on my past experience half of you will go to Anchorage (319 miles) and the other half to Fairbanks (210 miles). I can imagine by now y'all won't want to stop in Tok! As for me, I'm heading for Fairbanks and take the 3-day drive/fly to Prudhoe Bay/Barrow and then go to Anchorage and view Sitka, Valdez, Homer, etc. Suggested lodging would be summer housing at the University of Alaska in both Fairbanks and Anchorage ... If you want to do Prudhoe Bay -- it may be wise to rent a dirt ready bike in Fairbanks. By June 2020, the estimated 50 bikers will have already emailed back and forth and create their own bucket list route home in several smaller groups.