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View Full Version : Ideas for a trip to Alaska....



TXBobcat
03-03-2009, 11:52 PM
I have seen a number of threads about those making a trip to Alaska.

I was thinking that it might be interesting to start a thread that discussed places to stay, eat, go see and such. Where to start the trip from the US. What to take and what not to take. What do you do for Internet, phone calls, and satellite. I was wanting this to be an on going discussion until maybe sometime around February or March of next year.

Then we could start another thread that we could plot a trip that anyone could take. Some people might like to travel 150 miles while others may want to go 400 or more. Some may want to stay one night others a week. If we could plot a route, places to stay, things to do and not do. Then anyone that wanted to take the trip could follow the route and see the things they wanted to enjoy.

Another thing that would be fun would be that each person taking the journey would log in and say where they were staying, where they were going and how long they would be there. That way a lot of us could make the trip and maybe find friends to meet with on the way. And we could advise others along the way. This would be another good tool for the HOP…

If we could make this type of plans, how many would be interested in making the trip. This is not a Convoy where everyone has to travel in a group. Each would go at their own pace and enjoy the trip while having the possibility of meeting friends along the way.

It would be cool if there were a big line of Heartland Products making the trip. Pull into a park and see a dozen Heartland RV’s. Have a campfire and others wanting to join.. that would be a kick..

Anyone interested…??

TXBobcat
03-05-2009, 09:40 AM
Well I guess no one is going to try to go to Alaska..

Travel Safe
BC

jayc
03-06-2009, 10:34 PM
Bob,
I'm sure that there are those out there that might be interested in this thread, as I am because I may want to make this trip one day. It would be interesting to see what those that went on before did experienced, places they stayed, etc. There are probably some on here now that have made the trip and would be willing to share their memories and experiences.

nhunter
03-06-2009, 10:43 PM
I asked Momma bnut she is worried about loading up 3 kids 4 and under for a long drive. SUre would love to do the trip though.

TXBobcat
03-07-2009, 11:02 PM
You don't have to make the trip..
But you can contribute to the information. I was thinking of finding places to go, things to do and making a list of them. Talking over ideas of how to do things.

I was wanting to put together a trip that anyone could use and maybe some of us could use it next year or other years afterward.

I don't know how a lot of people plan trips, but many times I know where I am going and try to plan where I want to stop, and figure out what I need to make the trip.

I am still interested in this project but it would not be any fun doing it alone. I would like ideas of others that want to go or those that have already been.

BC

leftyf
03-08-2009, 12:26 AM
You don't have to make the trip..
But you can contribute to the information. I was thinking of finding places to go, things to do and making a list of them. Talking over ideas of how to do things.

I was wanting to put together a trip that anyone could use and maybe some of us could use it next year or other years afterward.

I don't know how a lot of people plan trips, but many times I know where I am going and try to plan where I want to stop, and figure out what I need to make the trip.

I am still interested in this project but it would not be any fun doing it alone. I would like ideas of others that want to go or those that have already been.

BC

I lived in Alaska for eight years. I've driven the Alcan 4 times. Two times in the dead of winter and two times in the summer/late summer.

I've lived in Fairbanks and Seward.

Ask away.

Anyone that has a chance to go...and doesn't is missing the trip of a life time. My first trip was in 1974...when the current highway was not even a pipe dream. The road has gotten a lot easier...but, so much of the flavor is gone.

For anyone that goes...while there are other ways of getting there will find that the Alcan provides as much adventure as a normal person can handle.

SmokeyBare
03-08-2009, 01:28 PM
It was an Adventure for sure Lefty... We made our trip in 2005. We took a month of July going through Canada... enjoying July 1 Holiday at Dawson... driving the Top of the World Hwy and then spending July 4 at Tok Alaska. The next month was spent traveling about Alaska. We didn't have our BigHorn at that time... we parked our "SOB" in Ohio... and used a 9 1/2 foot slide in Truck Camper... which really gave us the freedom to park anywhere... and go nearly anyplace...

I'd love to one day do the trip again... and we probably will... but with the BigHorn... with far more comforts than the truck camper offered.

leftyf
03-08-2009, 04:45 PM
It was an Adventure for sure Lefty... We made our trip in 2005. We took a month of July going through Canada... enjoying July 1 Holiday at Dawson... driving the Top of the World Hwy and then spending July 4 at Tok Alaska. The next month was spent traveling about Alaska. We didn't have our Big Horn at that time... we parked our "SOB" in Ohio... and used a 9 1/2 foot slide in Truck Camper... which really gave us the freedom to park anywhere... and go nearly anyplace...

I'd love to one day do the trip again... and we probably will... but with the BigHorn... with far more comforts than the truck camper offered.

The camper was a fine idea. I wouldn't take anything that I value highly up the highway, no matter who says what. Most RV's are never the same after the trip.

TOK....I remember when it was just a couple of buildings at the juncture of the two highways. A lot of the places I used to stop at no longer exist. Some of the finest people I have ever met..always giving and never asking anything in return.

Now HARP is there...and people glow in the dark. But, the food is good and the beer was still cold.

There is no decent grayling fishing for 100 miles...over fished when Fairbanks blew up.

But, the salmon are still in the Salcha....and no matter what AFW says...reds do show up in the Chena.

TXBobcat
03-08-2009, 07:49 PM
When you guys went up to Alaska what are some of the attractions that make it worth the time to go see. I know someone can travel a highway and miss all the sites and things of interest that are only a short distance or change in direction.

I want to make a list of interesting places..

Thanks for your posts..
BC

SmokeyBare
03-08-2009, 08:49 PM
Sort of a Readers Digest selection of interesting sites... huh

I feel it's more an Adventure and not exactly points on a map. There are many books written on Alaska. We took along the "Milepost" as well as "Alaskan Camping" by Terri Church. I found Church's book worked well for us. There were too many sites to memorize them before we started the trip... the books served us well for selecting those sites as we traveled along the Hwy to Alaska.

It was an Adventure... seeing the black bear Cubs along the edge of the hwy in Banff Provincial park eating dandilions... the ever present moose with the velvet still on their antlers... the Sheep along the hwy... licking minerals off the guard rail posts...

It was staying an extra day or two at Laird River Hot Springs... soaking the road weary miles out of our body... Driving north on Dempster Hwy... Hoping to reach the North West Territory... having a tire failure just past the Artic Circle... and spending far more time there.... praying for a passing vehicle I could borrow a jack to finish mounting the spare tire on the truck...

It was the side trips to gold mining towns... Seeing a Huge dredge parked along a stream bed... the last place that machine searched for Gold... It was Driving back down the Dempster... through ever growing thick smoke and ash... as the ever present fires crept closer to the road.

Eating dinner and having a beer in Beautiful Down Town Chicken... watching the morel mushroom pickers sell their days harvest to the mushroom buyer... Cooking some fresh Morels with some fine Canadian beef steak we had to sneak across the border...

The Ferry ride across the Yukon River... the Salmon dinner cooked over an open wood fire inside the restaurant at Muck-a-Luck Annies... free camping & evening boat ride for everyone who ate there....

Salmon Fishing behind the boat dock in Valdez at the Sea Otter Campground... Camping on the beach of Homer Spit...Watching the Bald Eagles fighting off a Sea Gull for the fish he had just caught... The Boat ride on the kenai peninsula... whales... seals... eagles... sea birds...

Camping inside Denali National Park.... Riding a school bus for over 70 miles deep inside the park... seeing over a dozen grizzly bears... Bull Moose... Cow Moose and her calf... Watching three Caribou being chased down a river bed by two wolf... Mother Grizz moving off the tundra her two cubs in tow.... investigating what all the commotion was about... a real National Geographic moment !!

OK... I've rambled long enough... Not so easy a task to cover the trip... and my rambling was way way out of order... just memories flowing back as I pecked away on the keyboard....

Marv

leftyf
03-08-2009, 09:15 PM
When you guys went up to Alaska what are some of the attractions that make it worth the time to go see. I know someone can travel a highway and miss all the sites and things of interest that are only a short distance or change in direction.

I want to make a list of interesting places..

Thanks for your posts..
BC

Chilkoot Charlies Anchorage
The Malemute Saloon Ester City Alaska
The Howling Dog Saloon Fox Alaska
The water place in Fox
The Tailings all over Fox
Panning for gold at the Tailings
Dinner at "The Dredge".
Lunch at Cripple creek
A Cheeseburger McDonalds...when it was a novelty.
The Aqueduct that used to bring water into Fairbanks for hydro-mining
Alaskal-and
The fish-wheels on the Yukon
The camping spot on Moss Creek
Sam's place - $3.00 ham&cheese - $3.50 Cheese&ham Sandwiches
The Sunset Strip Home of the Friday Night Fights!
KIAK Radio -- pulling copy at 5 am
The 4th of July Pararde in Fairbanks
4th of July Creek in Seward
Exit Glacier
My Scout Troop
The Small Boat Harbour Seward
Mt Marathon Run on the 4th of July.
Coffee at the Seward Bakery
Silver Salmon Derby Seward
Hunting buffalo at Big Delta
Fishing the Chatanika
Kenia Fiords
The kids riding skateboards down the center of Main Street in Seward at 3 am.
Riding 3 wheelers chasing each other around
Riding 3 wheelers getting chased around by on p*ssed off Grizzly
Deer Hunting on Montague Island - no limit on deer
Learning that the brown bear on Montague equate a gunshot with the sound of a dinner bell.
Being a day cook on a shrimper out of Seward
Operation Jack Frost - Ft Wainwright
Catching MONSTER grayling on the Bombing and Gunnery Range
4 wheeling everywhere a wheel would roll
Learning where NOT to 4 wheel
Caribou hunting when the limit was 10 per day
Hamburgers at Bubba's...so greasy my pitbull wouldn't eat them.
Watching the sleds head out for the Iditarod
Eating hamburgers in the cab of the truck, watching otters swim around, in what Alaska considers a storm...hah!
Hearing thunder...for the first time in 7 years.
The northern lights...driving down the Alcan with the lights off...with only the northern lights to lite the road.

365 X 8 days of complete happiness and contentment.

What more can I say?

TXBobcat
03-09-2009, 12:32 AM
Hay Guys.. Thanks for the posts.. It was intresting to read it all.

I am also looking into how I can get satellite tv, cell phone and internet access while I am traveling through Canada. I a Sprint Air Card for internet now. When I was in Canada last year I purchased an international calling card which worked well. Just couldn't call the wife.

I use to live in Wyoming and have seen a lot of bear, deer, elk and such before they moved a lot of the bear further from the populated areas. I look forward to taking potos of the wildlife in Canada..

Thanks
BC

leftyf
03-09-2009, 08:02 AM
I am also looking into how I can get satellite tv, cell phone and internet access while I am traveling through Canada. I a Sprint Air Card for internet now. When I was in Canada last year I purchased an international calling card which worked well. Just couldn't call the wife.
BC

Now that's a good question. My motosat internet is supposed to work all the way to Prudhoe Bay...I wouldn't want to base my life on it.

Cell phone service is all over mostly from a company called GCI. Verizon and AT&T was up there...whether it still is or not I dunno.GCI pretty much put Alascom out of business.

Last I heard, CB was still the king on the Alcan.

SmokeyBare
03-09-2009, 08:40 AM
As we traveled through Canada, we would stop at the many visitor centers where most always there was a INTERNET connection for traveler's use.

Those days we used our Verizon Cell phone connected by cable to the laptop for our INTERNET connection. We never found a Verizon only connection in Canada or Alaska... we could get the phone to work for calls... but because Verizon was using other companies equipment... the phone never worked as a modem.

Dish service is very difficult to get... when you see them attached to a business or home, they are nearly pointed toward the ground to get them sighted to the Satellite. We didn't have a TV with us on that trip... so I don't have first hand experince. We used the laptop for out entertainment... we had a few DVD's with us... We did spend a good bit of time reading... was neat to be sitting outside at 11:30 PM... reading a book... it was as bright then as it was at 11:30 AM.

It would be my guess.... that a typical TV Dish would be too small to get the signal for it to work. If you happen to notice the dish systems the Canadians bring south with them... they are much larger diameter than the ones we have in the states. The dish has to be high enough to find the signal above the trees... then aim for the satellites.... which is nearly over the equator.

Today it may be quite easy to connect via a AirCard... I don't know... I use the HugheNet system for our Internet. Do some research... :)

CGibson
03-28-2009, 01:26 AM
We are heading the opposite direction this summer. We leave Anchorage on Memorial day weekend and hope to make it to Missouri by June 2nd. We have been up here for almost 8 years. It has been fun but being from Texas and Missouri, we are tired of the winters.

We do have ATT cell service up here as well as a few other local companies.

Some of the things not to miss up here on a trip:

the town of Seward and the Northwest Glacier Cruise
Denali National Park

Homer Alaska
Alaska State Fair
June 21st (the longest day of the year)
Talkeetna
Exit Glacier in Seward
Moose's Tooth Pizza in Anchorage
Ulu Factory in Anchorage
City Market on weekends in Anchorage
4th of July in Seward
Museum at University of Alaska Fairbanks
Gwennies Alaska Restuarant in Anchorage
Christo's Palace Restaurant in Seward
Bakery at the Harbor biscuits and gravy in Seward
Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward (Can you tell what my favorite place to visit up here is?)
If you like to bike, Tony Knowles Coastal trail in Anchorage


Good Campgrounds to stay at:
Teklanika or Riley Creek at Denali Nat'l Park
Homestead RV park in Palmer
Seward City Waterfront Campground
Portage Valley (Williwaw USFS Campground)
Hope Alaska (Porcupine USFS Campground)
USFS Campground Granite Creek near Kenai Lake
Stoney Creek RV Park Seward Alaska
Town and Country RV Park Palmer
Sourdough RV Park Tok, AK

If you are military, Black Spruce Campground Ft. Richardson near Anchorage
Elmendorf Famcamp Elmendorf AFB near Anchorage

I will post more as I think them up.

Larryheadhunter
03-28-2009, 08:19 AM
There is a large article in one of Coast to Coast's recently published monthly magazines, about ideas for an Alaska RV trip. Call them and get that back issue for free. Has some interesting infor in it u might fine useful. More options, more choices.

TXBobcat
03-28-2009, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the response. That is some good information.

DW & I have AT&T for cell phone service. When we went to the Maritimes in Canada we included a package that would let us use the cell phones in Canada. Instead of costing us $2 per minute it cost us 56˘ per minute.

While up there we could see Rogers Wireless everywhere we went. It would be great if we could use our cell phone just as we do in the US. I was thinking of contacting the main cell phone company and see if I could get a Sim card for my Motorola Cell and purchase say 6mo of service.

They talked about setting up WiFi through out Nova Scotia.

Thanks for the campgrounds and places not to miss.

I have been told the best way to go north is to start out from Montana. Road is good and the country is unbelievable.

leftyf
03-28-2009, 09:31 PM
Thanks for the response. That is some good information.

DW & I have AT&T for cell phone service. When we went to the Maritimes in Canada we included a package that would let us use the cell phones in Canada. Instead of costing us $2 per minute it cost us 56˘ per minute.

While up there we could see Rogers Wireless everywhere we went. It would be great if we could use our cell phone just as we do in the US. I was thinking of contacting the main cell phone company and see if I could get a Sim card for my Motorola Cell and purchase say 6mo of service.

They talked about setting up WiFi through out Nova Scotia.

Thanks for the campgrounds and places not to miss.

I have been told the best way to go north is to start out from Montana. Road is good and the country is unbelievable.

You need and "unlocked" phone..available on the internet...and for a additional fee...they can unlock your current phone...usually while you are talking to them on it.

Ya gotta love technology.