When bad things in life happen we, as emotional people, tend to run to our rooms, cover up with a blanket and hide from the world around us. It is natural to want to shy away from life and protect yourself. This is probably the last thing we should be doing though when we are faced with adversity. Life can be tough, but it is tough for everyone. When you feel like your back is against the wall you shouldn’t cower down and be afraid. You need to grab life by the horns and take it on in full force. What better way to take control of life than to take it head on. We are sometimes so consumed by our day-to-day that we forget the rest of the world even exists. There is so much out there to experience and explore however, it is very hard to find the time with our jobs, spouses and the daily routine that we are faced with. One man was down and out. He had just got a divorce from his wife and almost immediately after lost his job. He thought it couldn’t get any worse but that wasn’t going to stop him from doing something out of the box. Something that he had wanted to do for sometime but never had the means. After losing his job and his wife he figured that there was no better time to go on the adventure of a lifetime. An adventure that people would kill to have the opportunity to do. He got ahold of his best friend and proposed an idea to ride their motorcycles as far north as they possibly could. He wanted to ride until there were no more roads. He wanted to follow the paths less traveled and take in the beauty of this world surrounding him. His friend was an adventurous spirit so when he heard the proposition he was immediately on board. They were in San Francisco, California when they departed on an 11,000 mile journey north. They wanted to be encompassed by the beauty of the land around them and enjoy an experience that would be envied by everyone. Take a look at their incredible journey.
With some heavily loaded motorcycles the two friends departed San Francisco on what would prove to be an epic journey north.
The spent their last night in Northern California camping on the beach with their friends.
They shortly arrived in Oregon after they left California.
They took the roads less traveled and came across Crater Lake, Oregon. He described it as “mind-blowing”.
It’s easy to see why.
They also saw the lesser known parts of Oregon. You don’t see lush green areas and snowy peaks when you climb to the top of Smith Rock.
They then ventured on to see Portland, Oregon.
After spending all their money on gear and fuel, they resorted to their friends for a place to sleep. A good friend gave them a place to stay while in Portland. Other than that they relied on friends and free land to camp in.
They didn’t spend too much time in the cities they traveled through because they were far more interested in being immersed by nature.
Once in Washington they had to take a ferry across the water. Being motorcycle riders, they were the lucky enough to be the first people on and the first to depart the boats. They also had a chance to meet with other riders and share stories.
Olympic National Park in Washington State.
They met a lot of the local wildlife here.
It looks breathtaking there.
They wanted to see the diversity in the landscapes, so they took time to venture on many hikes. From this point they could see Canada. Next stop, Vancouver!
On their way north they rode along side with many other motorcycle riders. A few of which seemed to be stuntmen who would ride wheelies for miles on end.
It was their first time in Canada and they really enjoyed Vancouver.
They met many friends. Here they were invited to join in a massive illegal bicycle rave. They said despite the risk that it was a blast.
This was the last real taste of civilization they encountered before entering the vast wilderness.
They left in the morning after the rave and headed north into the wilderness.
They followed old dirt roads into fields and old untraveled places to set up camps at night. They would light a fire and sit in their tents while enjoying some awe-inspiring views around them.
After passing through some enormous mountains, they ended up riding through the prairies of British Columbia.
The further north they traveled, the longer the days became. This meant they could travel much further in a day. Here they set up camp at roughly 10:00 pm and it is still very light outside.
The roads of Alaska were incredibly long and at times quite boring. This meant relaxing with their feet up and their heads leaning back.
Many of the places that they camped were quite odd. This was a huge cow pasture and shortly after taking this picture they were chased off by a herd of cattle and one giant bull.
Thankful for fences they didn’t have to run far and were able to set up camp on a side of the fence that was safe from the angry cows.
Just south of the Yukon, they encountered their first actual glacier. This is absolutely incredible!
Along their joinery they met many other riders. This guy was from Bolivia and traveling from the top of America down to the bottom.
Here in the Boreal forests they were traveling during a late sunset. This was the last forest they would see before entering the tundra.
Along the famous Alaskan Highway they were surprised at how decent the pavement was. They were amazed by the scenery and the scale of the landscape surrounding them.
The bikes did awesome along their journey but they did have to stop at a Wal-Mart for minor maintenance. After an oil change and some adjustments, they were ready to hit the road again.
They then arrived in a small Alaskan town called Skagway. The views here were breathtaking. This town contains the White Pass which is very famous from the old Alaskan gold rush days.
In Skagway, an old port town from the Klondike gold rush, they met some cool girls who showed them around.
They returned the favor by giving them rides around on their motorcycles.
One of the amazing views on their route to the Klondike.
One of the furry locals they made friends with.
They met some less furry friends and ended up camping with them for a night before venturing toward the great Arctic Circle.
A photo that was taken to send back home before they arrived in the Yukon. You can tell by their smiles how much this trip is impacting their view on life.
Some of the dirt roads they followed to find a camping spot were impassable. Mostly because of fallen trees but an occasional moose kept them away every now and again.
They then arrived at the Yukon River. The ferry that crosses the river runs 24/7 and is the only way to cross into Alaska on their route.
After the ferry they ended up on a long dirt road called the ‘Top Of The World Highway’.
After the long route they finally ended up in Alaska. They stated that the people at the border were more than friendly and happy to welcome them.
Once in Alaska the roads started to become rougher and router. They were covered with ruts and mud everywhere, making them hard to navigate.
The scenery started to turn bleaker and bleaker.
“There is an inescapable beauty and vastness about the lower Alaskan landscape. It makes you feel small.”
With no Wal-Mart in sight they had to perform some roadside maintenance.
They arrived at Denali National Park and decided to do some hiking. This view was at 1:00 am. That’s not a typo, 1:00 in the morning!
Here’s an old railroad bridge that they came across. It was too beautiful to ignore the opportunity for a photo.
They had to make a pit stop in Fairbanks, Alaska to change tires. This would be the last town they would see with a population over 50 people.
At 2:30 in the morning it was still plenty light outside to ride. They set off towards the Arctic on the worlds most dangerous road: The Dalton Highway.
This road is quite famous from the reality TV show, “Ice Road Truckers”. The road claims many lives each year due to the remoteness, bad road conditions and limited access. There is only one place to stop for gas in 500+ miles.
They had made it to the Arctic Circle! They weren’t done yet though. They wanted to ride until the road ran out.
Along their trip they were very proud of the journey they were completing. They thought they were pretty tough until they came across this man who was actually WALKING north!
“The foothills of the Brooks Range showed us the last mountain ridge we’d see until the Arctic Ocean (and if you’d kept going, the North Pole). The Brooks range separates the forested landmass from the inhospitable Arctic North Slope.”
Sure enough, as soon as they hit the top of the mountain pass the trees vanished. It was still incredibly beautiful.
In fact all vegetation vanished except for some bog moss. They were the only ones on the road other than speeding trucks that would flip rocks and dust up.
long the highway they encountered many reminders of the dangers of the road. They also passed many memorials of people who have died on the treacherous highway.
They had finally made it! Ahead of them is the last place of civilization before running into the Arctic Ocean. It is called the Deadhorse Outpost.
Deadhorse had a strange quality about it. Something about being the last piece of civilization.
It is the biggest oil field in the United States. They felt slightly awkward being there as it is only workers and machinery. The sun never sets in Deadhorse.
They finally started to head south, back towards home.
The conditions were tough but, with a huge rainstorm at their heels, they kept moving.
Across roads that were barely even roads.
As soon as they came to the pass, they immediately were reminded why they took this epic journey.
“The most beautiful place on Earth I have ever been.”
Look at those cloud formations and the eerie light cascading through them.
After 300 miles they finally started to see what started to look like trees again. They were missed.
They were very excited to see trees again.
As well as the epic views.
The storm eventually caught up with them but nothing would stop them from making it home. After all they had just conquered one epic journey.
In total they rode about 11,000 miles from home in San Francisco to the furthest North point they could find and back home again. “It was unforgettable”.
They were very happy to see the Golden Gate Bridge once again. They knew they accomplished something incredible and it had to come to an end providing a new outlook on life.
What these two friends did was nothing short of amazing. I can’t imagine having the gusto to just pack up my things and ride until there was nowhere else to go. They conquered adversity and nature on an 11,000 mile journey that is surely unforgettable. Their friendship grew stronger into an unbreakable bond and they have an incredible story to share for the rest of their lives. I admire their passion for adventure. When he was dealt a rough hand he decided to pull up his boot straps and take on the world. I am incredibly inspired by this post and am very glad I was able to live vicariously through their journey because of their photos. If you’d like to see more of their epic journey check out www.ridenorth.net.