A Message From Tom Gamble

Hello friends!
After years of dreaming about a motorcycle ride to Alaska it is about to come true.

Why? Good question! Many of you know that I attended high school at Dimond High School in Anchorage, AK and spent two years at Fort Wainwright (Fairbanks), AK. I have nothing but great memories of my times in Alaska. Carol and I have vacationed in Alaska twice over the years (1999 & 2006) and have renewed friendships with school mates and a US Army buddy. Looking for any excuse to visit Alaska I have always thought about doing an epic adventure of riding my motorcycle and really taking the time to see the sights along the Alaska Highway. During my high school years our family would make the long drive from Anchorage, AK to southern California to visit family and friends each summer. I have a total of five trips on the Alcan Hwy, as it was known at the time. Only problem was that my father was never one to stop and see the sights. He would drive from sunrise to sunset only stopping for fuel and meals. At that time the Alcan was nearly all dirt. Today the road surface is nearly all paved and this makes for a relatively nice ride north. The rain and mosquitoes are of a major concern and I will keep you informed how well we deal with it. Wayne and I will be working hard to see everything that Canada and Alaska has to offer. This should be a ride of a life time!!!


A Message from Wayne Mason

I can remember being completely drawn to motorcycles at a very young age. My brother and I would look for motorcycles around us as we drove through town with my dad, trying to figure out how they worked. Where is the clutch ? How do you shift gears ? Where’s the gas ? We partnered to buy our first “bike” by selling flower seeds door to door. We shared that mini bike, my brother and I, and were happy to do it … I think I was all of 10.

So, here I am in my 50’s and my mother still asks jokingly (but seriously too), “When are you going to outgrow that motorcycle phase ?” Sorry Mom, it’s not a phase. It’s a passion.

Why a motorcycle trip to Alaska ? Many reasons. First, I’ve dreamed of driving the Alcan Highway (now called the Alaska Highway) since reading about it in junior high. Back then, traveling the highway was quite a bit more challenging than it is today. And, I think it’s the challenge, that adventure mystique and Alaska as a last frontier that is so interesting and that calls to me.

Another reason, is my traveling partner, Tom Gamble. We had recently re-connected after having lost touch about 27 years ago. Since that time, about a year and a half ago, we’ve been out almost weekly terrorizing the San Diego county’s back roads with Archie (well,

Over the years, I have been thinking and planning for such a ride and approximately 1.5 years ago I renewed a friendship with Wayne Mason. While working for EDD in Escondido his wife, Anita, was hired and worked with us for a short time. Wayne and I had the motorcycling thing in common and we rode a few times together in the early 1980’s. To make a long story short…Anita moved on and I lost contact with Wayne and Anita until one day while having lunch at Roc & Jenny’s Deli I realized that Wayne and Anita were having lunch also. I walked over and re-introduced myself and our friendship was renewed. Approximately 27 years had passed us by and they have two grown children. Wayne is also retired with plenty of time to play. He rides a Yamaha FJR1300 and has also dreamed of a ride to Alaska.

The planning begins! Over various lunches during our weekly rides the decision to ride to Alaska was made. Wayne and I started talking, making a list of things to do and looking at various routes to take north. The logistics of preparing for such a ride was overwhelming but all came together. Both of us wanted to travel as light as possible but to be prepared for all the riding conditions: heat, cold and rain made it difficult with the packing of the bikes. But with time and using our backpacking knowledge we were able to secure all our gear on the bikes. See the pictures attached. Yes, looks very heavy but I only have 95 lbs of gear attached. This includes a tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, clothes and misc. items to be prepared for bike problems…and don’t forget the folding chair!

As you all know, I have a lower back problem and this is a major concern for me. Wayne and I have decided to take it easy and keep the daily mileage within reason. If I have a problem I will take a few days off and hope things will settle down enough to continue. Being nearly 59 years old I thought this would be my only opportunity to do such a ride. Kaiser doctors have informed me that a fusion of my lumbar spine area will be required in the near future. I have teased Carol about this being on my Bucket List. I am very grateful she is understanding about this ride and is in full support of this adventure.

On May 25, 2010, Wayne and I will meet early morning and start our adventure of a ride to Alaska. One way mileage to Anchorage is approximately 3600 miles. We have five (5) weeks to complete the trip and look forward to seeing my friends along the way. I know my visits will be short so I will have to start planning another visit soon to the beautiful state of Alaska.

We have Ben Martin to thank for starting and maintaining this blog. As WIFI permits we will be downloading updates and pictures of our trip. Please drop a note or two and let me know what you think.

All I ask is that you wish us well on this adventure. Upon our return I know a BBQ will be in order to celebrate an end to an EPIC ride!!


We both share a passion for motorcycle riding and Tom knows a thing or two about Alaska ! I’m finding that we are both very detail –oriented but not so much that we can’t enjoy the uncertainty and “seat-of-the-pants” decision making required of a trip of this magnitude. We’ve really been enjoying the planning part of this trip.

I’ve been on many medium distance motorcycle trips with a host of friends and almost always with my brother. New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Northern California. We usually take 3-7 days depending on vacation time and spousal approval. I’ve learned much on the road and enjoyed it all. It seems as though all those trips have prepared me for this one.

There is nothing like traveling on a motorcycle. The smells, the temperature changes, the wind, the speed, the satisfaction of a long day’s ride. And when you stop along the road, it’s completely different from traveling in a car. People approach you, people are friendly … where are you going ? Where are you from ? I had this old BSA a while back, loved that bike ! It’s a brotherhood, a fraternity, it’s a state of mind.

In addition, Tom and I are both … um, shall we say, retired, semi-retired, unemployed, post-employed. However you want to look at it. We have the time. This will not be a two week mad dash there and back, 500 to 600 miles a day. No, we will be enjoying every mile, stopping frequently, exploring roads, parks, scenery, greasy-spoon cafes and friendly, neighborhood bars. If we need a couple of extra days here or there, no problem. That sense of real freedom is something we’re eager to experience.

And finally, I have the total support of my beautiful wife of 30 years, Anita. Her help and encouragement have been invaluable, there’s no way I could do this without her.

We’ll be reporting from the road as often as we can with editorial and photos. A special thanks to Ben for “blogging” this for us. Hope you enjoy following along.