Trio makes motorcycle trip to Alaska

Published 2:37 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On June 16, 2011, Bill Blalack, Gary Jackson and Don Johnson headed to Alaska by motorcycle.

Johnson and Blalack had been talking about the adventure for a few years. Jackson heard about the plans and was welcomed to the group.

Over the past few years both Johnson and Blalack have toured by motorcycle some of the most beautiful mountains and national parks in the United States.

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The trip to Alaska included more mountains in the western states and also took them through the Canadian Rockies, which hold their own when it comes to awesome scenery, the trio said.

As with trips past, the bikers made several stops along the way to visit national parks.

On the 12th day of the trip the group arrived in Haines Junction in the Yukon Territory of Canada.

There the bikers followed the Alaskan Highway for several miles with tall mountains on the left and Lake Kluane on the right.

“As we traveled along this beautiful, but fairly uninhabited land, we encountered strong gusts of wind, which caused our bikes to shift close to the edge of the road,” Johnson said.

Blalack’s camper wheel fell into the soft dirt on the shoulder causing his bike and trailer to overturn. He was tossed over the boulders lining the lake. Blalack’s motorcycle was a total loss and he had to be air-lifted to Anchorage, Alaska, Johnson explained.

Johnson and Jackson continued on the road to meet Blalack. It took them over a day and a half on some of the “worst roads” they had ever traveled to get to Anchorage, said Johnson.

“Bill’s family made arrangements to fly him home after his release from the hospital,” Johnson explained.

Johnson and Jackson continued on their trip to see Denali National Park and Mt. McKinley, which were top destination priorities for the trip.

The pair headed back the way they came and back to Haines Junction where Blalack’s motorcycle had been taken. They retrieved some personal items of Blalack’s and headed back toward Mississippi.

“After nearly a month on the road and over 10,000 miles on our bikes, we were glad to get back to the Homeseekers Paradise,” Johnson said.