Pre Trip Planning

The pre-trip planning turned out to be more difficult than we envisioned.  The more we read about the difficult roads in Alaska and Western Canada, the more concerned we became about an aggressive schedule.

However, we have targeted about 300 miles per day with a couple of fishing excursions during the trip.

We had our Harleys serviced at our favoriate Harley dealers (Harley Haven in Columbia SC and Batteley in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  

We contacted Alaska Classic Motion in Anchorage to arrange for shipping the bikes from the lower 48 states to Alaska.  We were advised that the most likely route would be by truck from the east coast to Tacoma, Washington and via boat from Tacoma to Anchorage.

We were also advised that it would be a good idea to crate the bikes. Apparently, the boat ride can cause some damage if the bikes aren't crated.

 Kelly is riding a Road King (Screaming Eagle), Josh is riding a 100th anniversary Dyna Wide Glide and Jared is riding a Softail Trike.  The dealers crated the Road King and the Dyna Wide Glide in standard Harley crates for shipment.  Kelly ended up constructing a crate for the Trike since it was difficult to find someone who we felt understood what needed to be done and could do it at a reasonable cost.  You can see the crate and the bike by clicking on the following link.

We had a significant amount of clothes and electronic gear from our previous trips.  Each of us has a Chatterbox  communication unit that we have wired to our battery to provide constant power.  In addition to the communication, we also have satellite radios and a couple of IPOD's with our favorite music.  Since Kelly is the "old man" he perused the top 100 hits for each year from 1955 through 2008 and selected his favorite 321 songs and down loaded on his IPOD.  Can you believe he listens to Ricky Nelson, ABBA, Chubby Checker, Neil Diamond??  UGH.!!!

With the crating finished, and with most of the clothes and other items needed included in the crates, the bikes were picked up for shipment on July 18 and arrived in Anchorage on August 7, 2008. 

Kelly was scheduled to be in Anchorage on August 11 to uncrate the bikes and ensure things are ready to go when Josh and Jared arrive on August 13.  Since Kelly is retired and the other two are still working, he has more flexibility in his schedule (on both ends of the trip) and can spend time minimizing down time. However, this has been changed and all three are now scheduled to attend Grams Krablean's funeral (see tribute below) on August 13 and travel to Anchorage on August 14th.

At this point, we must pay tribute to Grams Krablean.  On August 6, 2008, she succumbed to lung and liver cancer that was diagnosed earlier in 2008.  She put up an incredibly brave fight.  She was excited about us taking this trip, as she was an adventursome sole herself.  She particularly liked the idea of us ending the trip at her condo in Appleton since she felt it would be quite a "symbol" for her (an 83 year old widow)  to have three Harley's that had just been ridden from Alaska across western Canada parked in her garage.  We are planning on ending the trip at her condo. While we will miss seeing her, we know she will be looking down on us, smiling, and telling us not to mess up her garage.


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