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Old 11-29-2009, 11:14 AM   #15
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We drove up and back summer of '08 and loved it. We plan to go again summer '10, but take the West coast route and the Cassier Highway.

The roads have some gravel, some construction, and we had some problems with frost heaves North of Haines Junction going up that caused us to travel slow. We did get a couple of windshield chips, some rock dings on the trailer, but that was the most of it.

We looked into the ferry system and wanted to take it from Valdez to Whittier, mainly to save mileage, time, and sight see, but because we had a puppy with us, decided not to. While in Seward we did take a day cruise on a sight seeing boat, and consider that the highlight of the trip.

There are some rough roads in Alaska...even some areas of rough on the established black-top highways, and you do have to travel slow at times. But overall, the roads are a lot better than I expected. Can't wait to go again.

Oh, and don't overlook fuel costs....much higher, but the scenery and experience is really worth it.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:31 PM   #16
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Steve, we plan to go "backwards" in 2010 also—take the Cassiar north when we are coming home, the Alaska Hwy south.

This was Barb's idea and a good one to see things from the other side. The first time we went to Alaska we had to go to Dawson Creek first to be at the beginning of the Alaska Hwy. That was a thrill since this was a lifelong desire of mine to see the Alaska Hwy and you just have to start a Mile 0 (there are 2 places in Dawson Creek marked as "Mile"). I was ready to recreate the thrill of the first time until Barb suggested we go backwards and I realized there's no repeating a first time thrill no matter what it is.

The paved roads are generally good. Long gone are the days when gravel destroyed the front of vehicles. In two trips we have seen a few vehicles with their front ends encased in cages to prevent gravel damage. This is no longer necessary and is expensive. Even the dirt and gravel roads are well maintained, though the ones in Canada are better than in Alaska. Frost heaves, well marked for the most part, and road reconstruction are the worst problems. Because of the permafrost, roads have a shorter life span and they use chip seal to build roads. It's easier to repair and cost effective because roads don't last long, so why use high quality asphalt?

Brian, have you decided whether you are going next year? It is the trip of a lifetime, but hopefully to be repeated in the same lifetime. After you come back, you'll be thinking of places you want to go back and see again, or didn't have time to see. If you go later in the season, you may be able to see the Aurora—we saw it twice in September in northern Canada.

I'll probably start researching Alaska after New Year's and probably start a new thread about 2010 road trips.

Gene
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:38 AM   #17
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So, if you were headed there from OH, what month would you start? We have dear friends who live on an island up in AK. They get there by ferry or bush plane. We would love to go and spend time seeing the sights and then park the trailer and ship off to their home in Tenakee Springs. Sounds like a BIG adventure!
Loudrff .... I would look at June, July and August. It will be interestingn to see what others think.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:09 AM   #18
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Loudrff .... I would look at June, July and August. It will be interestingn to see what others think.
Personally, if I could, I'd go July, August, and September. There will be fewer mosquitoes, and the later you go, the better shape the roads will be in.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:38 AM   #19
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But mosquitos are followed by no-see-ums. I'll take mosquitos.

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Old 03-12-2010, 06:25 PM   #20
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We did the drive in 2007 with the Airstream

Sue and I had a great trip in 2007. We were gone for over 3 months. Our blog for the trip is still online at Personal Trip Journal - Alaska 2007

We want to do it again in probably 2011 but this time we want to take the inside passage. Our plan would be to spend a minimum of 3 days at most of the stops the ferry makes.

I know you will have a great time.

PS. Don't worry about the roads just take it slow and all will be fine.
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