Alaska book reading in the tropical sand

While working on absorbing as many sun rays as I could while laying on the beautiful clean sands of the Dominican Republic, I had brought along a few books to read while I found nirvana in eighty-five degree heat.  At home, life constantly gets in the way…family, work, and about six other major things I am working on to secure a decent retirement.  The life interruptions just constantly prevent me from sitting down and reading a book cover to cover.  To me , that is bliss…quiet enjoyment expanding my knowledge while life goes on without me for a few hours.

One of the books I read (twice!), while listening to the waves crashing onto the shore repeatedly as the best background noise in the world, was The Adventurous Motorcyclist’s Guide to Alaska, by Lee Klancher and Phil Freeman.  I had heard a number of good things about this book, which appears to be true since it’s nearly impossible to find it on the secondary used market.  I expended the required Jackson note plus an additional Lincoln to get it sent to me to take on this beach adventure, threw it in my backpack for the plane ride south, and forced myself to wait until the second day on the beach when all I wanted to do was read, sleep, and try out the local fruity beverages.

There’s some great reviews of the book out there in the world already and no sense in my wasting time repeating tons of information that can already be easily found online from other readers.  What I would like to add to those reviews is my agreement that it is a much recommended book for not only those interested in riding a motorcycle to Alaska, but for anybody making the journey by other means.

Not only does the authors detail information about each of the major highways in Alaska as well as NW Canada, they cover some great recommendations of local diners to eat at, places to camp and motel, and sites to see.  They even give specific information on finding the correct turns off the main roads to get to some of the glaciers as well as other hidden sites to see.  My bike will be fully packed for the trip to Alaska in June but I’ll be sure to find a digital copy of this book to take along with the digital copy of The Milepost, the bible of going to Alaska.  I had a notebook full of notes before reading this…even with all I already knew, I added a couple more pages filled up with reminders of places I should check out whenever I get up there.

I even reached out to Lee Klancher when I got back from vacation since I enjoyed this easy reading literature.  I think it is important to let authors know when you appreciate their work, and Lee was very receptive to my thoughts.  From our discussions, he ascertained that I had wanted his newest version of the book but was unable to get it delivered in time for my departure.  Lee took my address and in a week I had the latest version in my mailbox!  The newest version is nearly identical…there’s a little book association emblem on the cover and inside Lee and Phil updated the content to bring it from 2012 info to a September 2014 update of what things have changed since the original publication.

So, even if you already have this book, grab the latest version.  Especially, if like me, you find yourself headed to the Last Frontier this year.  This book was very interesting to read and I didn’t put it down once I started it.  It’s easy to hold in one hand when you are slamming down pina coladas too.

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