Happy New Year Readers!
As it is a new year, full of new possibilities, I think it is a great time to announce my “big trip” plans for 2022.
The REVER map leaves a little bit to be desired and I’ll break the trip down in future posts, but my grand idea is that I want to cross the Arctic Circle in both the United States and Canada, ending at Dead Horse and Tuktoyaktuk, respectively.
So to answer the obvious question first…Why? The first “why” is actually easy, why not? I LOVE long motorcycle rides and seeing new places. The second part of the “why” is a bit more complicated.
During the initial lock down i.e. x number of days to flatten the curve, I binge watched the reality-documentary “Ice Pilots: NWT”. The premise of the show follows a privately held airline (Buffalo Airways) in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. The series follows the highs, lows, and struggles of their day-to-day operations. In addition, Buffalo flies World War II era “piston pounder” airplanes including the Curtis Commando (C46) and the Douglas DC3 and DC4. If you’re a fan of that type of show or just a vintage aircraft geek, I highly recommend finding a way to watch it. Unfortunately, Amazon have removed it from their Prime Video library (which is how I watched it). Prior to watching, I had no idea where Yellowknife was. After watching it, I have become obsessed with going, and going via motorcycle is the only option. I have had that portion of the trip (see #2 in the map) planned for nearly the last 2 years. As I was drooling over a map a few months ago, I realized that being that far north, I needed to go further. Crossing the Arctic Circle is not difficult in North America, but I’m not doing it for the difficulty rating. If there is a way to go “all the way” north, why not go? I also decided that if I was going to be on the same latitude as Alaska, I needed to knock that off of my list as well.
The second obvious question is probably a combination of when and how long? For the “when”, I am continuing to watch the global situation, like everyone else. I have my necessary border crossing requirements (read that however you like) and I’m excited that Canada (and specifically the Northwest Territories) is open for those that are compliant. Assuming that is still the case in July, the 2nd will be my departure date. As for the “how long”, my plan is the month of July. I suffer from the American limitation of Vacation/Paid Time Off (PTO), but my employer has generously provided 4 weeks this year and along with being able to carry 40 hours over (a normal work week), a month is totally doable. Like many, I am not in a position to take unpaid leave, but more importantly, I love my job and I don’t want to be gone any longer at this point in my career.
Final obvious question is my favorite…what bike? First, it will most certainly not be the Indian. The Indian is a great motorcycle, but it is not for me. I have fallen out of love with it. That makes my choice either the Kawasaki Versys 1000 or a “player to be named later”. While I am working on the latter part of that statement, if I end up on the Kawasaki, that will be just fine.
As a final thought, I decided to add a “personal difficulty” to this adventure by introducing a camping element. I’ll be honest, my idea of camping for the majority of my life (I did not grow up camping, I’ve been maybe twice), has been staying in a sketchy motel. I am planning on moto-camping during portions of this trip and I am honestly exciting to learn some new skills and, no doubt, face some new challenges.
There will be more to come during the next weeks and months. Keep reading and I’ll do my best to keep you updated!
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