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Old 07-15-2015, 11:04 PM   #1
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Alaska 2015

Alaska 2015: Post 1; Fuel and Route

Total kilometers/miles: 9291/5773 by road; Haines to Prince Rupert by Alaska Ferries

Fuel used: 1430 liters/378 US gal. towing 19' Escape with canopy and kayak on Ford Ranger

Mileage: 15.38 l per 100 kilometers; 15.27 US mpg

The route in somewhat of stream of consciousness.

Vancouver to Osoyoss Rally, Wells Grey Park, Prince George and Dawson Creek, the official start of the Alaska Hwy.

Fort Nelson, Liard Hot Springs, nicely done and a fantastic stop. Watson Lake to Carcross.

Left trailer in Carcross and made a day trip down to Skagway. Even though it looks like Skagway and Haines are close to each other, and they are only miles apart, there is no land connection.

If you'd have asked me at this point how the Alaska Hwy. was I'd have said "piece of cake, highway speeds and clear sailing"

On up the Klondike Hwy. to Dawson City. The most direct route to reach Fairbanks is to take the Taylor Hwy., better known as the "Top of the World Hwy." (1) Heard some mixed comments. First part to Alaska border, pretty good. After entering Alaska, beautiful new pavement, then the sharpest nastiest road I'd ever seen. We got a puncture, others had tires destroyed. Unless you drive this road don't offer an opinion on whether a person should carry two spares.

On through Chicken, bought tire repair kit, and then onto rejoin the Alaska Hwy. and Delta Junction, the official end of the Alaska Hwy.

Up to Fairbanks, sunset after midnight and rose a couple of hours later, it never got dark, took some getting used to. Down to Denali and on down to Anchorage. Then down the Kenai Peninsula to Whittier.

Back up to Anchorage and East on the Tok cut-off to re-join the Alaska Hwy down to Haines and the ferry. Many, many miles were under construction. (2) So many that some areas had reverted to a disaster area. One car hit a deep dip so hard they damaged their radiator.

Alaska Ferry: Haines, Juneau, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan and Prince Rupert.

Prince Rupert inland to Prince George and home. 42 days.

Ron
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:15 PM   #2
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Thanks for your report Ron. A trip to Alaska is the number one thing on the bucket list. And since I plan on ordering a second spare for the trailer, I won't feel so stupid. Loren
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Alaska 2015: Post 1; Fuel and Route

Total kilometers/miles: 9291/5773 by road; Haines to Prince Rupert by Alaska Ferries

Fuel used: 1430 liters/378 US gal. towing 19' Escape with canopy and kayak on Ford Ranger

Mileage: 15.38 l per 100 kilometers; 15.27 US mpg

The route in somewhat of stream of consciousness.

Vancouver to Osoyoss Rally, Wells Grey Park, Prince George and Dawson Creek, the official start of the Alaska Hwy.

Fort Nelson, Liard Hot Springs, nicely done and a fantastic stop. Watson Lake to Carcross.

Left trailer in Carcross and made a day trip down to Skagway. Even though it looks like Skagway and Haines are close to each other, and they are only miles apart, there is no land connection.

If you'd have asked me at this point how the Alaska Hwy. was I'd have said "piece of cake, highway speeds and clear sailing"

On up the Klondike Hwy. to Dawson City. The most direct route to reach Fairbanks is to take the Taylor Hwy., better known as the "Top of the World Hwy." (1) Heard some mixed comments. First part to Alaska border, pretty good. After entering Alaska, beautiful new pavement, then the sharpest nastiest road I'd ever seen. We got a puncture, others had tires destroyed. Unless you drive this road don't offer an opinion on whether a person should carry two spares.

On through Chicken, bought tire repair kit, and then onto rejoin the Alaska Hwy. and Delta Junction, the official end of the Alaska Hwy.

Up to Fairbanks, sunset after midnight and rose a couple of hours later, it never got dark, took some getting used to. Down to Denali and on down to Anchorage. Then down the Kenai Peninsula to Whittier.

Back up to Anchorage and East on the Tok cut-off to re-join the Alaska Hwy down to Haines and the ferry. Many, many miles were under construction. (2) So many that some areas had reverted to a disaster area. One car hit a deep dip so hard they damaged their radiator.

Alaska Ferry: Haines, Juneau, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan and Prince Rupert.

Prince Rupert inland to Prince George and home. 42 days.

Ron
What a trip ! Pat
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:02 AM   #4
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I saw you guys on the way up there - don't recall where, but I remember seeing your blue pickup and rig. I was camping w/o a trailer and not feeling very envious of trying to pull a rig across some of those big potholes. It was really bad around Destruction Bay as well as the Tok Cutoff. I saw big Class As going 5 mph and still bouncing around. One of the few times I was glad I didn't have a trailer. At one point, I saw a couple of cars almost airborne from going too fast. I was carrying a compressor and tire repair kit but fortunately didn't need them.

Thinking back, I think it was somewhere after Summit Lake or Pink Mtn. I was driving a silver FJ Cruiser with a carrier on top covered with stickers and was parked by the road letting my dogs out when you went by - I have Utah plates. I may also have passed you later.
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
On up the Klondike Hwy. to Dawson City. The most direct route to reach Fairbanks is to take the Taylor Hwy., better known as the "Top of the World Hwy." (1) Heard some mixed comments. First part to Alaska border, pretty good. After entering Alaska, beautiful new pavement, then the sharpest nastiest road I'd ever seen. We got a puncture, others had tires destroyed. Unless you drive this road don't offer an opinion on whether a person should carry two spares.
Holy Cow! Was it the truck or trailer tire(s)? Holy Cow!

How on earth can anyone afford to drive that all the time, what with fixing and/or replacing tires? What caused the road to be so bad?

More photos! Esp of the crappy road. Holy cow!


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Old 07-16-2015, 12:07 PM   #6
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I saw you guys on the way up there - don't recall where, but I remember seeing your blue pickup and rig. It was really bad around Destruction Bay as well as the Tok Cutoff.
Too bad we weren't stopped and didn't have a chance to say hello. Yes, the Tok cut-off would have been #3 on my bad list. How they made a previously paved surface into that mess is beyond me. To add insult to injury, two spots had what it looks like a 5 gal. drums worth of liquid tar on them. Ended up with tar splatters even on the back window. It's all cleaned up now, glad I double waxed before we left. Made cleaning easier I think.

Ron
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:33 PM   #7
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Fortunately I didn't get into any oil. The Tok cutoff was pretty much half destroyed in the earthquake of 64 and hasn't been the same since.
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:38 PM   #8
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Post 2: Travel Guide, Campgrounds and Boondocking

Travel Guide: Easy, Milepost, Milepost, Milepost We were amazed at how useful and accurate it was. If I had to choose between taking my GPS or it I'd take the Milepost.

Campgrounds:

#1, has to be the Yukon. Inexpensive, free firewood and distinctive outhouses which always seemed to be reliably clean. It's almost as if they send their camp host to school to train them to always do a good job of cleaning etc. The firewood is dry, and already chopped into smaller pieces. They spray it randomly with orange paint. I guess that's to stop some character with a big truck from going into the firewood business.

#2, Alaska. Still less expensive than BC and decent facilities. But Sarah Pallin was a maverick and it seems like most Alaskan campers are mavericks also. Several times we arrived in the middle of the afternoon and had to take a crappy campsite. One time my wife noticed an RV go by and said, "They were in that site right by the water". Sure enough we rushed over, the site was empty and we scored a prime site. The concept of vacating a site by 11:00 am is not well established here

#3, BC. What can I say, I think BC campsites are overpriced and I regard the $6 per night reservation fee to be a rip-off.


Boondocking:

#1, Alaska. A dream come true, almost anywhere, any time. Be it rest stops, gravel pits or anywhere safely off the road. Makes travelling so much easier when you know it won't be difficult to find a place to spend the night.

In the cities there may be some restrictions but then Fred Meyer etc. are available for a quick overnight. We didn't have reservations for Denali and all the campsites were full, no surprise there. No worries, you can go there, park all day, take the 8 or 12 hour bus ride deep into the park, return and drive down the road a bit and stay in a nice rest area. Actually they've turned that rest area into a defacto campsite. They charge $10 to overnight. It has restrooms and as it turned out, the best view of mountain.

So Alaska

#2 BC. While it's more restrictive and unless you have a 4 wheel drive, harder to find a spot to boondock adjacent to the highway, it's still possible.

#3 Yukon. They are the most restrictive of all about pullover boondocking. Everything, including gravel pits etc. is posted. But then, with inexpensive nice campsites, who cares .

Ron
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:40 PM   #9
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Prince Rupert to Prince George and you didn't even stop in Terrace we we could buy you a coffee ?!?

Doug
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:51 PM   #10
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"Actually they've turned that rest area into a defacto campsite. They charge $10 to overnight. It has restrooms and as it turned out, the best view of mountain."

Was that the North Denali rest area in the state park? If so, I stayed there for free one night. The camp host site was empty so I volunteered to be camp host for a free night. Of course, the state wasn't in on it, but I'm sure they would've been happy to have that volunteer position filled for the night. But there were too many mosquitoes to really enjoy it. When I left, I noticed a small pond right exactly behind it with a huge bull moose in it. Glad he didn't see my dogs.
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