Alaska 6 - Tellico Plains, Tennessee

This is our sixth "Alaska" trip.

There are always questions about the title of the trip. This is copied from the Alaska 1 website.: Back in (I think) the late 70's, Carl suggested a motorcycle trip to Alaska. The basic plan was for us to buy new motorcycles, ride together across Canada on the Trans-Canada highway, then up to Alaska on the Alaskan Highway. We were looking at new BMW RTs. Somehow, we didn't do it. In the mid 80s we talked about it again. This time we would buy new Kawasaki 750 4-stroke twins from Al Arbor, trailer them to Phoenix where Dick would join us, and the three of us ride up the Alaskan highway. We didn't do it. The trip was mentioned in passing over the next 20 years, but it wasn't seriously contemplated. During Winter Vacation in Phoenix this year (Feb 2006), Carl said that it was time! If we didn't do it now, we never would (I'm 64). He suggested chopping the itinerary to Northern Arizona, a couple of hundred miles a day, for a week or so. Dick was intrigued! About 17 years ago, Dick brought his 1969 BMW R60 in for its annual emissions test, and it failed. This was normal, and there was a procedure he had to go through to get it to pass for the year. This time, however, his company offered him an early retirement package, which consumed all his time for the next several months as he and Shirley studied their finances to decide whether or not they should take it. There were also other family commitments that kept him away from getting the motorcycle inspected. Then Shirley had her stroke, and he was fully committed to her care. So the BMW just sat idle for about 13 years. Four years ago (2002), during Winter Vacation, Bob, Rick and I pressured Dick into getting the BMW back on the road so that we could ride it. He did, and it worked remarkably well considering it's long layoff. So for the next three years Dick would always have the BMW ready to go for winter vacation. He also rode it some during the year, but mostly out to the cemetery from time to time to visit Shirley, a trip of some 5 miles each way on 40MPH roads. So when Carl suggested the trip this fall, Dick and the BMW had both been in graceful motorcycle retirement for 21 years. Dick immediately determined to go into training, with the bike, to see if either would be up to it. And he tentatively agreed to the trip in the fall, should his testing and training go well. Well, it did, and the Great Alaska Motorcycle Trip is now history. We went for 7 days, about 1500 miles. We had a blast!

The series of trips so far:

Alaska 1 Sept, 2006 Northern Arizona, Southern Utah Carl, Dick, Bill
Alaska 2 Sept, 2007 Ohio Carol, Joane, Carl, Dick, Bill
Alaska 3 Sept, 2008 California Carol, Carl, Anker. Dick, Bill
Alaska 4 Sept, 2009 Eastern Arizona Brenda, Bob, Dick, Bill
Alaska 5 Sept, 2010 Northern New England Carol, Dick, Bill
Alaska 6 Sept, 2011 Tennessee Carol, Brenda, Bob, Margaret, Roger, Joane, Bill

As you can see, there has been some variation in the crew through the years. Life often makes it difficult to take two or three weeks for a trip with your friends and family every year. This year, Carl is still experiencing health problems that make it impossible for him to travel. Dick has decided that he will no longer ride his motorcycle on these trips, although he intends to continue in his car. Unfortunately he has been involved in major home maintenance which prevented him from participating even with the car this year.

Alaska 6 will be breaking new ground, in that we will stay in one place for the entire week, and take daily trips into the surrounding area, always returning to GHQ at the end of the day.

Our home base is the Lodge at Tellico Plains. Cally stayed there in 2009 with here church motorcycle gang, the Holy Rollers, and she loved both the lodge and the area. She is our Fearless Leader for this trip!

Alaska 6 starts for me on Thursday, Sept 15. I left home at 5:30 AM with the Moto Guzzi in the van. This year I took the southern route: I90 west to NY state, Taconic Parkway to PA, then I 80 west. I stopped at Bill's Old Bike Barn for a visit. I've been by a couple of times before, but the timing was bever right for a visit. This time I planned ahead, and got there at 11:30AM. Bill was there to let me in, and what a fantastic place! Old bike's doesn't begin to describe what's there. I took a bunch of pictures, I'll try to get a slide show done. Made it to Youngstown for the night (625 miles) stayed at the Super 8.

Friday Sept 15: Got to Cally's about 4:00 PM. Roger and Margaret arrived shortly after. Got my bike out of the van, hitched up the trailer, and loaded both bikes onto it. Cally made a great stew for supper, and we had a great visit getting reacquainted with the Marshes. Great people!

Saturday Sept 16: Spent most of the day at the creation museum south of Cincinnati. We all loved the museum, they do a great job of telling the creation story.



The apostle Paul

Paul and Carol

This dinosaur was animated and looked and sounded VERY realistic!

Noah's Ark under construction.

So that the pages don't take too long to load, I've given each day a separate page. Click on the links to see eack day's activities. I'll also note the last update for each page, because I'm planning to go back to add content and clean up the pages when I have time.


Sunday - Fields in the Wood


Monday Three major rides, loop
Cherohala Skyway
Deals Gap/ Tail of the Dragon
Foothills Parkway

Tuesday Ocoee Scenic Byway

Wednesday Lost Sea (rain day)

Thursday Georgia - Blueridge Georgia, Blairsville, GA

Friday Cherohala Skyway

Train ride 9:30 -1:00. Short ride in afternoon.