Atlanta to the Arctic Ocean & back:

69 days & 16,614 miles on a motorcycle

During the summer of 2019 I embarked on a motorcycle road trip from Atlanta, Georgia to the Arctic Ocean and back. My trip spanned 69 days and 16,614 miles, traveling through varying terrain across the United States, Canada, and its territories. I had no firm plans aside from my destination. I had allotted myself the necessary time and adopted no set schedule, which allowed me the opportunity to go anywhere and do anything I wanted along the way.

I packed my bags, loaded up my ’07 BMW f650gs, and hit the road - feeling equal parts excitement and nerves. Over the course of my trip I encountered ever changing landscapes as I rode West across the states. Farm land turned to deserts and eventually into the mountainous California coast. From there it was a climb up into the Pacific North West, eventually ferrying into Canada. I continued on through British Columbia as mountains and forest grew denser, and routes got more remote. I eventually reached the Yukon Territory whose slogan is “Larger Than Life” - which I found to be incredibly accurate.

The pinnacle of my trip was the Dempster Highway. The Dempster is a 550 mile dirt road that runs through the Yukon and Northwest Territories and traverses some of the most remote and challenging, yet beautiful landscapes in existence. During the summer months this region falls under the midnight sun, which allowed for ample riding time and exploration. I found it hard to understand just how vast and expansive these lands were, nothing for hundreds and hundreds of miles in any direction. I really couldn’t comprehend the remoteness.

Nearly halfway along the Dempster Highway, I entered the Arctic Circle and continued on crossing mountain ranges and rivers, passing through First Nations lands, eventually leading to the Arctic Ocean in Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Coincidentally, I arrived on the day of the Summer Solstice, which also happened to be Canada’s National Indigenous Peoples Day. I was met with celebrations and warm welcomes from the locals, allowing for a truly magical experience. Being the Summer Solstice and longest day of the year, I finished out the day on the beach watching the sun circle the sky, never dipping below the horizon. I have a hard time describing what it was like - otherworldly and incredibly serene. My time spent on the Dempster and in the Arctic was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

After reaching my destination it was time to turn around and do it all over again. I rode further West into Alaska, eventually making my way back South through Canada, experiencing twisty roads, towering mountains, and abundant wildlife. With no set schedule and plenty of time, I continued on into the states following the Rocky Mountains through Montana, Wyoming, and into Colorado. Colorado was filled with some of the best adventure riding - experiencing the Alpine Tundra while crossing mountain passes at over 12,000ft in elevation is hard to beat.

My trip continued on as I slowly started making my way back to Atlanta. It was not until the last day of my trip that I ran into a catastrophic failure. Just a few hundred miles from home my water pump gave out, rendering my bike unrideable the remaining distance. After accomplishing and seeing everything that I had over the past couple months, it was hard to be upset with the given situation. I threw my bike in the back of truck and headed for home, ready to start planning my next adventure.

Watch trip highlights here!

A big thanks to Progressive Motorcycle Insurance for featuring my story - sharing my photos and writings across their socials.

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