My second trip to Alaska, which I took four years after the first, turned out to be a struggle for survival. It was a tough trip from beginning to end. Almost every day of the trip I rode in rain, sleet, snow, or hail; and on some of the days, I rode in all four on the same day – and sometimes all day. During the trip, I became stranded for four days in a blizzard 12 miles from the Arctic circle, 231 miles up a closed road almost a week before it was due to open for the season. I slipped into hypothermia in my tent as the storm raged outside. On my return trip home, about a week later, I rode from Anchorage all the way to Eureka, Montana, a distance of more than 2,400 miles on mostly wet, slippery dirt roads in some of the worst weather imaginable, without ever seeing a bed, a shower or the inside of a building for four days.
The full story of the trip is described in my book, "Motorcycling Stories – Adventure Touring from the Northwest Territories to the Yucatan Peninsula.” I traveled nearly 2,000 miles on dirt and gravel roads during the trip in all kinds of weather.I originally had the film developed into slides. A combination of the conversion to JPEG computer files 30 years later and the rain that I rode through almost every day of the trip made some of the photos very dark. Posted below is the best of the almost 200 photos I took during the trip.
Along the Canadian border, near International Falls, MN.
Somewhere in northern Minnesota
The Alaska Highway was still 95% gravel in 1981
Service complex along the Alaska Highway
Signpost Park in Watson Lake, YT
View of an original section of the highway when it was known as the Alcan Highway
Sheep licking the calcium chloride, used to keep the dust down.
My camp site at Eagle Plains, 12 miles from the Arctic Circle
North of the Arctic Circle on the Dempster Highway
A mountain pass north of the Arctic Circle
At Elmendorf AFB with my daughter Donna and granddaughter, Asia