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Old 05-03-2008, 02:02 PM   #1
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Rivet Alaska in the Spring

We just completed a 4000 mile trip to Alaska and are located in Skagway. It occurred to me that I have some experiences to share from the trip..just in case some of you are planning a trip to the " great North" this summer.

The trip really begins when you cross the Canadian Border. Passports are not yet mandatory, but they will ease the path. Read the many dos and dont's of crossing the Canadian Border. If you want to make it easy, just do not bring weapons, spring loaded knives, fresh produce, more than a liter of booze and anything to sell. Those are the questions and if you can honestly answer "no" to all of them, your passage will be much easier and faster.

Fuel prices are in liters. Yes, it is more expensive in Canada. Around Calgary and Edmonton the prices were around 50 cents a gallon higher than in Montana when we came through there. The further that you progress the higher the prices. We paid nearly $6.00 per gallon for Diesel in Ft. Nelson, BC. Fuel is available all along the Alaska highway, but it is advisable to never let your tank get below half full. We installed an auxiliary fuel tank and were glad that we had it. It allows you to buy your fuel in places where the prices are a bit more reasonable and available. Prices in Alaska are cheaper than Canada. I paid $4.85 for Diesel in Skagway yesterday.

RV parks are different here. My experience is that they are mostly dirt or cinder parking lots with hookups. If you want to stay in scenic places, plan on the Provençal parks. They have limited services, but they are beautiful and in beautiful locations. Most parks are opening now. Between the 1st of May and the end of May all of the Parks will be opening and traffic will pick up.

The highway between Sweetgrass and Edmonton is excellent. It is a mixture of two and four lane and some is freeway. Beyond Edmonton it is still a very good highway to Dawson Creek. From Dawson Creek to Ft. Nelson is two lane, small shoulders, but good pavement. Ft. Nelson and beyond is two lane. Some of it is very good, some is pretty primitive for towing, but it is very doable.

Things to watch out for,

1. Animals on the highway after Dawson Creek. Lots of them and they will not move. Slow down and try not to travel a dusk or dawn.
2. Frost heaves. Most are marked, some are serious hazards. Wen you see a sign, slow down and watch the pavement.
3. Truck drivers make this trip every day and they are just a bit impatient with those of us that do not. They will pass anywhere..be prepared to get out of the way.
4. The road between Ft. Nelson and Laird river is very narrow, steep, and rough. If I had a choice, I would plan that part of the trip on a Sunday when the traffic (truck) is much lighter.
5. It is still freezing here at night, but frozen pipes and valves should not be much of an issue now.
6. Carry some water in your tanks. Some of the water in the parks is excellent, some I would not use because of the minerals (iron).

We enjoyed the trip up here and will be here for the summer. I encourage anyone that is thinking about the trip to make it. Buy a "Milepost" at the local bookstore or in Dawson Creek and then hit the road. It is truly a magnificent trip and a beautiful part of the world.

Jeanie and I have posted photos of the trip on our web site and Jeanie has kept a blog that will contain some useful information to travelers.

http://www.justkeepbreathing.us
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:54 PM   #2
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Good stuff. Enjoyed the Blog. Our plans are to come your way this summer. Looking forword to more of your travel updates.
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Old 05-03-2008, 04:56 PM   #3
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Cool blog, thanks for sharing it.
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:08 PM   #4
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On July 23-24 the WBCCI’s Alaskan Caravan will be in Skagway at the Mountain View RV Park.
Maybe we’ll see you there and swap stories. I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your photos. Good luck & Keep us posted.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:24 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips. We are leaving on June 1st for a two month road trip to Alaska and back. What a great adventure!
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:13 AM   #6
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We are planning a trip to Alaska next summer. Thanks for all the tips and pictures. It will certainly help us in planning just where we want to go. Enjoy!
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:32 PM   #7
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I am worried about the rocks and stuff hitting the windshield and the AS. What was your experience with them? 20 years ago it was pretty bad.
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:49 PM   #8
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We went up there in 2006 - no windshield probs. The as got some dings and the front ended up looking sanded.

Great trip, but you wll earn your badges of honor.

Pat
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:32 AM   #9
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Windshield

Quote:
Originally Posted by altamont
I am worried about the rocks and stuff hitting the windshield and the AS. What was your experience with them? 20 years ago it was pretty bad.
We had no problems with the windshield. You will however find that the big trucks throw rocks just like they do down south. If I had a choice, I would do the section between Ft. Nelson and Laird on a Sunday to avoid all of the truck traffic and rocks.

As was mentioned above, you will get your badges of honor. I took a good sized rock just above the front window on the AS and it has left a nice one. I will remember this trip every time I look at it.
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