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(Anchorage - Denali - Fairbanks)

[June 20, 2004] Finally, my journey starts, I had waited long to begin the trip.

We shipped the bike via FedEx in a solid box, it should arrive undamaged.

And it did!

So after a too long flight and a very stupid immigration procedure coming into the US (they basically want to know everything) I arrived in my B&B in Anchorage. And the sun never stopped shining… I got a real family treatment from Irene , a super Mom…

The incredible nature, the high mountains along the coastline, the wilderness just after the city boarder - incredible scenery.

Customs for the bike was easy (nice people), I had to get a few things for my equipment, and then I started in pouring rain.

The rain finally stopped at Mount McKinley, the endless sight never…

It seems to be hard to get a camping space here in the summer time. In these few warmer months Alaska Tourists bring their big motorhomes including a towed car and flood the countryside. So I decided to go for a lake or small stream to do some fishing. But I was not sure wheather I hunted or was the prey myself for the moskitos! Absolutely killers!

Now I arrived in Fairbanks to fill up my water tanks, check the bike after the first 1000 KM. Tomorrow I will head north to the Artic circle to experience the midsummernight and the 24 hours of sunshine.

At the top of the world
(Fairbanks - Polarkreis - Prudhoe Bay - Fairbanks)

[June 30, 2004] The sun now never sets. And wherever I stop I do meet nice people. It seems like the people move closer as further north we get. And everybody helps everybody, whether its gas or parts or food…

On the way North I meet 2 other German guys on their bikes, Volker and Heiko. They have also quit their jobs and are now on their travels on the Panam. I decide to ride with them for a couple of days and we all head North. The roads are getting worse. The guys are an excellent team, I like to camp with them and every evening is special… Later Susan, a teacher out of Homer / Alaska, joins the club. She then invites us to her home for the Salmon fishing… I will be there!

The original plan to drive to northern Canada, Inuvik, has changed now as the bushfires grow in that region. So now I am heading North.
First the moskitos are getting worse, then as the temperature drops to 32 F even they are gone. What a good treat.

Prudhoe Bay and Deadhorse are exactly what the name promises: dead towns only for the oilworkers. So we drive up to the artic ocean and are sure that from now on the way only goes South! A real good thought at 32 F…
In the evening we camp out in the middle of a herd of Cariboo. They have to be thousands…

On the way back the fires are getting worse, the smoke is terrible and the sun stops shining it seems.

One of the roads we want to take is already closed, we head for Fairbanks where we now can check the bikes. The KTM has done the job on 1200 miles dirt road extremely well so far…

And now South to the salmon fishing.

The fishing adventure
(Fairbanks - Homer - Valdez - Chicken)

[July 20, 2004] Now its time for fishing. I have dreamt to do so for a long time and experience the fight with the legendary Alaska salmon. But it turned out to be harder than expected…

First I spend a day in Seward and had a great 4th of July party with the local students on the base of Exit Glacier.

What a spectacular view! And party as well…

Then I continued towards Kenai, again fantastic scenery, but also very crowed with motorhomes.

Susan had already made our fishing arrangements and got all necessary infos.

So we started hot! And finally 9 hours later, hungry and tired,

we were down to reality. The f… fish did not want to do as we had planned it.

Heiko saved us by catching a nice sized Silver Salmon, which tasted great and was kind of revenge for the night. And I did not catch anything but fed the little fish with my bait… And this shouldn't change until the end.

Well, still hope remained on the Halibut fishing. And there it was, success and luck in big steps. And they tasted great.

After little maintenance work on the KTM and a long hike through the woods of Homer I got ready to leave. Thanks for a great holiday, Susan. And for good company, guys.

I continued to go via Whittier with the ferry to Valdez in the rain. There I met folks from New Hampshire, the Clausens. What a great coincidence and a nice evening to talk about old times. Greetings to all I have to say.

I continued North, the rain stopped and the fire came… And it was brutal as you can imagine. 1 million acres are burned by now and only the winter can stop it, the firemen say.

It did not get too dangerous for me, although the fire was always visible. And the smoke does the rest. But a cold beer can do good and cure you.

The only real advantage of that situation really was that all bikers that I've meet stopped and we exchanged infos about the route and the travels. So you meet interesting folks and get the latest news in areas where you don't have an internet access.

And now I am on my way into Canada crossing the top-of-the-world highway. And finally to go after the salmon again!