Lock up the farm animals Goat is on a trip. Plus commentary

Planning a trip in the UK or overseas? Whether you are planning on touring in Europe or the UK use this section to ask about places to visit, stay and general advice.
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Lock up the farm animals Goat is on a trip. Plus commentary

#1 Post by goat » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:36 pm

Imagethought I'd start a rambling thread for a trip myself and my better half are planning next year. Will be our first big bike trip.
Have got three months paid off work (I say paid but on my salary its borderline an insult) so our vague plan is ride from Florida Keys to Prudhoe bay in Alaska. Neither of us have been to North America and obviously a lot we want to see. Work has only recently ok'ed the leave so planning in early stages. Happy for any advice, info, polite suggestions etc. Here is my list of stuff to do which I'll add to as things progress.

Dates are early June to early Sept. No flexibility in this as have had to fit in with work and the like - Leave approved
Esta applied for - approved
Flights to book (watching prices on Kayak and ready to book when happy) - flights now booked
Kit - (will do a full kit list in time for review and critique). We plan to camp a lot and I have a lot of camping stuff some of which will be upgraded as my better half won't suffer the same level of discomfort that I'll put up with and rightly so. Will have to get some bike kit but hopefully not too much and will likely just get some stuff whilst there as we go.
Bike - I've said it before but I'm not struck on the Bandit and its not comfortable for my pillion so a new bike is in order. I like adventure style and we would like to do some trails so hunt had become, as per my wanted ad I've got a thing for a BMW r1150gsa or Guzzi Stelvio. I'd like to get one here so we can get some saddle time and get familiar with the bike. Not yet decided whether to ship the bike there or buy one there and sell at the end? shipping a bike. shipping booked. bike droped off for shipping
International driving licence - need to apply for this (or do I?) sorted
Route - Going to list all the places we want to see and then plan a route. I'll update this as well for suggestions of nice roads, trails and the like.

So there it is very little progress made as you can see and lots to sort but already rather childishly excited.
Last edited by goat on Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:09 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#2 Post by Bender » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:16 pm

Sounds bloody great, be good to see the progress and the pics from it.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#3 Post by MR_W » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:39 am

The Bonneville salt flats are amazing but you will want to refuel at the last big service stop on the highway. You then have an hour or so of nothing but pretty much untouched land till you get there.

Be warned it is windy as hell out there though.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#4 Post by goat » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:38 am

MR_W wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:39 am
The Bonneville salt flats are amazing but you will want to refuel at the last big service stop on the highway. You then have an hour or so of nothing but pretty much untouched land till you get there.

Be warned it is windy as hell out there though.
salt flats are on my list of things to see so thanks for the tip.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#5 Post by MR_W » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:06 pm

As you'd be going to Utah there is a great drive up burger bar in Roy called Burger Barn just above Salt Lake city. It features on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.

The joys of having a partner from that area means I also have valid locals knowledge. I also know a good Mexican place up that way.

I can also recommend Mariposa if you go to Yosemite (stay there, had a good Mexican there too and a couple of good bars) and if you visit San Francisco, pat's café does a great breakfast.

Also hoover dam and grand canyon have to be on any list. My mind was blown by both, the grand canyon actually left me speechless.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#6 Post by bonio » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:00 pm

Wow. What an amazing opportunity!
Here's my tuppence worth: once you're up out of the Florida panhandle - or soonish after- then turn left and go west, young man. Don't give up too much time to crossing the prairie - the vast space to the east of the Rockies. Broadly speaking, from the Rockies to the Pacific is where it's at in terms scenery.
June is a great time to go; the mountain passes should all be open before the end of the month and summer will just be beginning. And by September, Alaska will be in the full throes of Autumn.
Camping: know about what to do to avoid encounters with bears, and what to do if you bump into one.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#7 Post by goat » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:13 am

MR_W wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:06 pm
As you'd be going to Utah there is a great drive up burger bar in Roy called Burger Barn just above Salt Lake city. It features on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.

The joys of having a partner from that area means I also have valid locals knowledge. I also know a good Mexican place up that way.

I can also recommend Mariposa if you go to Yosemite (stay there, had a good Mexican there too and a couple of good bars) and if you visit San Francisco, pat's café does a great breakfast.

Also hoover dam and grand canyon have to be on any list. My mind was blown by both, the grand canyon actually left me speechless.
we're both love our food and are fans of diners drive ins so will certainly look that up. grand canyon is on the list but forgot about hoover dam so that's now been added as well. thanks again for the info.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#8 Post by goat » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:17 am

bonio wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:00 pm
Wow. What an amazing opportunity!
Here's my tuppence worth: once you're up out of the Florida panhandle - or soonish after- then turn left and go west, young man. Don't give up too much time to crossing the prairie - the vast space to the east of the Rockies. Broadly speaking, from the Rockies to the Pacific is where it's at in terms scenery.
June is a great time to go; the mountain passes should all be open before the end of the month and summer will just be beginning. And by September, Alaska will be in the full throes of Autumn.
Camping: know about what to do to avoid encounters with bears, and what to do if you bump into one.
that's pretty much our extremely vague early stage plan. Up from florida, head west to new Orleans, carry on west through texas up to Colorado, west to Utah and then down a bit to las vegas and across to California then up. Giant redwoods are definitely on the list as I'm a committed tree hugger.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#9 Post by bonio » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:04 pm

goat wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:17 am
that's pretty much our extremely vague early stage plan. Up from florida, head west to new Orleans, carry on west through texas up to Colorado, west to Utah and then down a bit to las vegas and across to California then up. Giant redwoods are definitely on the list as I'm a committed tree hugger.
That sounds awesome :thumb:
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#10 Post by goat » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:22 pm

Going to make this my kit list post which I'll update as it progresses and as I remember things I've inevitably forgotten, feel free to make suggestions or rubbish what I have. This is really for my planning benefit but thought others might be interested to see it. Will take pics at some point if it interests folks:

Camping
- Tent - Golite hex 3. good tent, light, one pole, packs small, inner nest can be used on its own, fairly roomy, never let me down in wind or rain. Central pole in the way for two people wanting to get close :wink:, no porch
- Sleeping bags - Alpkit Skyehigh 700 down bags and airlock 35 dry bags. Not used yet but looking forward to down bags as always find the synthetic bags uncomfortable and bulky
- Sleep mat - Alpkit dirtbag self inflating mats. Don't pack the smallest. My old mats have both died so needed upgrading
- Dry bags - Exped in different sizes and colours. used these for years with no issues, having different colours allows me to stay organised.
- Stove - Alpkit brukit, looking to get something else to allow better cooking for two but this stove is great, all packs in neatly, brilliant for boil in the bag.
- Headtorch - old alpkit one I've had for years, will get another for the good lady and a small fenix or similar (definitely something that uses AA or AAA batteries).
- Water - Sawyer mini, puritabs
- Lighter - normally have a cheap bic and some matches in a waterproof case
- Compass - Silva (thinks its a ranger or something)
- lifeventure 9l collapsible bowl/ bucket for washing


Bike kit and tools
- Motopressor tyre pump
- tyre plugger kit
- Lomo dry bags to strap on top of panniers
- second hand garmin satnav just got to sort us maps. US maps now sorted
- Tankbag all wired up for charging things
- Not using a topbox strapping a rolltop drybag on instead.
- lots of rok straps and a couple of lockable cut proof straps for securing things or locking helmets to bike if we mooch off.

Other kit
- Camera - have got a micro 4/3rds Panasonic with a couple of lenses but not sure if I want to take that or something more compact. Now got a small super zoom compact
- Maps - Michelin road atlas

Bike Clothing
- I've got a set of Revit Neptune textiles I'll probably use. Need something for the lady. Decided to go with a mesh vented jacket as likely to be hot for much of the trip. have got a goretex jacket and I can put on over if cold or raining. Bike jeans which I can wear on and off the bike and textile bike trousers. Good lady is taking a revit mesh jacket, bike jeans and Kevlar motogirl leggings and a leather jacket.

Kit still to get/ considering getting
- travel towels
- torch
- cheap reliable unlocked phone we can put a sim in in the US
- Few bits of bike clothing for me and the lady
- better stove
- 2nd head torch
- straps
- cable ties
- duct tape
- Tank bag
- Ziplock bags (great for storing odds and sods and keeping them dry
- helmet cam? would have to be cheap
Last edited by goat on Sun May 27, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#11 Post by goat » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:03 pm

Reserving this as my route planning post. Again all comments welcome, will be reviewed and updated as I go. Mainly to help me but might be of interest to peeps.

Early June fly into orlando. Early September fly out of Anchorage via Dallas. Flights booked.
Air bnb bookedin orlando for a few days.
Pick up bike from customs on 13th June in orlando, take back to airbnb.
14th ride off with possible tentspace stay near miami (pompano beach area)
15th ride down to homestead near everglades, tentspace stay.
16th day drip to key west and back
17th leave homestead and head north to port charlotte area (possible tentspace stay)
18th continue northish and stay somewhere.
19th head west to pensacola area (possible tentspace stay)
20th head in to new orleans (airbnb)
22nd leave new orleans
23rd to late July explore Utah, colorado, arizona, california etc. We are keeping this fairly open at the moment

July

August
Early August will be ride up through Canada and into Alaska. There is a nice chap on another forum running a trip in the opposite direction and we will likely follow roughly his route in reverse
20th Fairbanks (need to sort accommodation)
21st Wiseman (Boreal lodge booked)
22nd head back to Wiseman or possibly consider continuing to Prudhoe.
23rd onwards, explore Alaska

September
3rd drop bike off for shipping by boat to Germany
4th fly out of Alaska

starting to take shapeish
Last edited by goat on Sun May 27, 2018 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#12 Post by bonio » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:07 pm

Worth keeping in mind that the US is the great land of consumer shopping. If you choose to pack light, you won't be short of opportunities on the way to pick up stuff you find you need.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#13 Post by goat » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:11 pm

bonio wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:07 pm
Worth keeping in mind that the US is the great land of consumer shopping. If you choose to pack light, you won't be short of opportunities on the way to pick up stuff you find you need.
definitely keeping that in mind, was wondering about shipping stuff back home as well.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#14 Post by bonio » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:01 pm

IIRC, shipping - like with USPS - isn't that cheap, and there's no avoiding the import duties. Better to stash stuff away in your suitcases and get the duty-free allowance. The luggage allowance on the flights is often absurdly large, and you'll be able to buy Texas-sized suitcases in Anchorage if you need.
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Re: Lock up the farm animals Goat is planning a trip.

#15 Post by goat » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:54 am

Starting to get somewhere with this now so updated my route section for those who might be interested. Lots left to plan. We are trying to keep the main part of the trip fairly open as we don't want a rigid itinerary where we have to be places each day. Hoping to make good use of tentspace and camp in people gardens and wotnot. We're not sure about the dalton highway section. Have booked one nights accommodation in the arctic circle. All depends on weather. If the going is good we might press on a bit but well aware that if its wet the mud road can be a nightmare and it might not be possible for us to practically do. we're shipping a bike and that's mainly booked in now, just got to sort US insurance. Couple of bits of kit left to sort but that's largely there as well.
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