Thursday, April 26, 2012

Alaska Here We Come

Nope not this year for us.

In 2011 twelve people departed as friends and twelve people returned as better friends. We didn’t get in the way of each others adventures.DSC_0015

  If you are one of the ones going up this year I would like to suggest several things for your to consider.  The Milepost book is the 1st thing you should have and probably do.  It’s published every year and I believe it comes out in March.  The second book you want to consider is called Alaskan Camping by the Church’s.  It’s a down to earth campground guide that gives you a true perspective of what to expect in the campgrounds and even includes free ones.  The other thing you might want to look at is a coupon book called Tour Saver.  I know you don’t want to mess with coupons and all that.  We’ve been up there four times and wouldn’t go up without it now.  It WILL save you money unless your your a stick in the mud and don’t do any tourist stuff up there.  It can been seen at

Top Of The World Highway. DSC_0079

If you go this route I would suggest doing it on the way up north and not waiting for your return trip.  The reasoning is that later in the seasoning the dirt road can get very rough from all the traffic.  If it has rained a few days earlier don’t go on it and if it’s calling for any kind of rain when you are planning to go, cancel.  It just ain’t worth it.  No views and roads become treacherous and I use that word sparingly.

Getting diesel or gas, dumping tanks, getting fresh water is no problem.  Prepare to dry camp (no hook ups) and you will be fine.  Don’t be in a friggin hurry.  It will get you in trouble.  I would say keep it under 200 miles a day to be comfortable. 

Early morning starts and you will see more animals.  What’s early?  Maybe between 7 and 8 AM.  Not everyday of course but some days. 

No need to make reservations.  I suggest you don’t because then you HAVE TO BE somewhere at a certain time.  We never made reservations for campgrounds and NEVER had a problem.  MAYBE a week from Denali Nat Pk call and make reservations might be the only exception.

Check with your credit card company and see if they charge you any type of a fee for using your card in Canada.  That could cost you more than you think. If they don’t charge you any fees then use it of course.

Please NO WEAPONS into Canada.  It’s a big major problem if caught and they probably will catch you sooner or later.

Food in the grocery stores run about 30% more I would guess.  In restaurants probably about the same.  We carry a lot of canned goods and frozen meat.  Meat if you cook it a little and freeze it you are better off.  Canadians inspectors don’t like the not prepared meat.  Check and see before hand of course.

I would suggest turning left in Tok, AK and heading south rather than Fairbanks.  The rainy season down south is July and August so you want to try and make that in June if possible.  If you don’t, the rain isn't really that much just more of it.

Liard Hot Springs is a must stop for a couple of days if you are into natural hot springs.  It’s pretty nice.SDC11379

Pull off areas are neat places to spend a night.  No big trucks because they can make it where ever they need to be in a day in Alaska.

Anchorage is just about like any big city.  If you need any kind of maintenance that’s the place to have it done. Campgrounds are scarce and expensive there.

Be willing to explore new and unusual places that you wouldn’t normally stop at.  Eat at those Ma Pa type places.  Go into those little roadside places.  Take your time is a bigee.  Stop and smell the dung (po).  I couldn’t resist saying that.

If you are bored before you go read our blog from last year about our trip up.  Here is where it starts

So, good luck and see you up there in 2014 if you decide to stay.

Been there done that and will again….

See ya..