I've been talking to two of buddies that I have known since grade school about putting together this exact same trip! Literally the same trip you just described, a two week run up to Deadhorse, hanging around Anchorage to do some fishing (stream fly fishing and/or open water) and then taking the ferry back to B-ham. I love the idea of the ferry back not only because of the scenery, but just because how much I dread out-and-backs... Anyways, I wanted to jump on in here because of one huge unknown for me - I had been considering posting something similar to this to try and round up a few troopers to go with me next summer but after reading docsabre's RR (if you haven't already read, please do so, its definatley worth your time...) I completely changed my mind about hooking up with peronalities that may, but more than likely may not be compatible for such an extended period of time on the road together. So that is when I brought the idea up this big "epic Alaskan adventure" to my two closest friends, and man did they ever jump on this idea! Now for my problem, neither one knows how to ride a motorcycle... Both of these guys are such optimist they assure me they can purchase bikes (for which I am pushing hard for Wee's for both), take their rider safety training and the mounds of other logistical issues don't seem to worry them a bit. I got already got the Vee, 25k miles under my belt, and all the gear and I STILL have reservation about being ready by next summer.
So, ever heard of back-up plan, a "plan B" if you will? Would you consider letting me tag along if my riding buddies fall thru? I can go leave whenever, but concesus seems to favor a mid-July for optimum weather conditions... I'll just keep an eye on this thread, all the while pushing to make sure my buddies are doing everything they need to do to be ready - I have a feeling I will know for sure by march - april whether or not they'll be ready in time. But if you ever find yourself heading west on a ride, we should definately try and hook up for some miles and beer and see we would get along.