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Old 12-25-2018, 08:03 AM   #1
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Lucy is Finally Going to Alaska

We have wanted to take Lucy to Alaska for a number of years, but life got in the way. We have decided that 2019 is the year. We have just preordered the 2019 Milepost. It will be released during the first week of February.

Now we are asking our AirForums friends to inundate us with guidance and suggestions on a wide range of related topics.

As many of you know, Lucy has been on a number of epic journeys of 100+ days. Accordingly, we know that we can handle an extensive period of Airstream camping.

What we would like to hear about is tips on how this trip will differ from others. Lucy's tow vehicle, Lillian, is a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado Duramax with crew cab and standard bed. She is equipped with a roof high aluminum topper. We have a Honda 3000 Generator. We do not have any pets.

Some of the topics that we are most interested in are:

- When is it best to make the trip and why?

- Is there any other special equipment that we need?

- What should we see?

- Are there some places that we shoild not bring Lucy?

- What are the best routes to take from Banff?

- What is the lastest time in the year that we could stay up there, and still not have any weather issues coming back?

- We have heard that the mosquitos in Alaska can be treacherous. Is there any particular repellant that you would recommend?

- What are the best wildlife viewing areas not involving a major hike.

- Is there anything else that we need to know?

Thank you in advance for all of your help.

SuEllyn and Brian
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Old 12-25-2018, 09:29 AM   #2
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Epic! Good luck.

I'd add to watch for rules at the border. Foods you can and can't bring. Both in and out. They do change from time to time.
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Old 12-25-2018, 10:30 AM   #3
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Check out YouTube for Long Long Honeymoon channel, they have a great video series on their trip to Alaska and what they learned from their trip. Good mud flaps to protect the AS front skin, Tires and gas were other topics as well, also some points on where to visit....
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:04 AM   #4
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We have done the trip twice. First time up the Alcan and back the Cassair with a side trip to Hyder to see the bears at Fish creek.

I would plan for either the trip up or down on the ferry. My preference is to spend at least 6 weeks on the ferry between Haines and Prince Rupert, staying at each of the ferry stops for about a week to explore. It costs no more to get off and stay than to go straight through. Each community has its own personality. Staying allows you to experience times with out the herds from the cruse ships and meet some of the locals. Contact the local visitor center before you arrive which can lead to some unique experiences.

A visit to Denali should include a stay at Techlaniqua(sp) campground. This facility is 30 miles into the park and has a 3 day minimum stay. There are no hookups, but it does offer water and flush restrooms in a central location. With a one day bus pass you can ride the buss as much as you like during you stay. Definitely a highlight for us.

Top of the world highway is also on our must do list. Just wait for a clear day. It runs along the ridge line with spectacular views.

The drive to Valdez is also spectacular.

Don't miss out on fishing some time during your trip.

Feel free to contact me if you would like more details.

Have a great trip.

ps. We are trying to do this again in 2020.
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:10 AM   #5
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There is a member here who covered the front of his trailer with bubble insulation for road protection on his Alaska trip.
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:17 AM   #6
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This is why
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:24 AM   #7
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We were on the WB Airstream Alaska Caravan this year. It was a trip of a lifetime. Take a look at the facebook page for more details https://www.facebook.com/groups/ak2018/
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Old 12-25-2018, 11:55 AM   #8
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I went in June and got to Tuktoyaktuk on June 22nd. Hardly any bugs, and campgrounds weren't busy on the way up....school wasn't out yet. Lots of spring flowers and green grass made it very scenic. Temps in Alaska were 19C - 24C during the day and hardly any rain and pre forest fires kept the skies clear. I rode the Dempster all the way to Tuk., but I wouldn't recommend you take your Airstream there. It would be a good 3-4 day side trip though, in the truck. Denali NP and Denali Hwy were the highlights for me in Alaska. Hyder AK to the Salmon Glacier was right up there too. Wildlife and scenic views pretty much anywhere you go. My trip was seven weeks on a motorcycle and I still need to go back a few times see it all.
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Old 12-25-2018, 01:41 PM   #9
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We too were planing the trip in the summer of '19 but will be delaying a year or so. Looking forward to going with you in '19!!!
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Old 12-25-2018, 04:59 PM   #10
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I had an Alaska thread in 2010 and maybe you can find it.

There was no highway to Tuk' when we were there in 2006, but I had heard a deal was made with oil companies to build a road over the muskeg. We know someone there and occasionally exchange messages, so I'll have to contact him to see how it is going. Tuk' is an Inuit town at the mouth of the MacKenzie R. and the Arctic Ocean. The people there were wonderful. We flew from Inovik.

Mosquitos: Days go by without any, then they can come in swarms. The little ones are the worst. Citronella candles are a waste of time except you feel like you are doing something. I don't like to put insect stuff on my skin, so I wear long sleeves and hats. Cover up, run fast, hide and have flyswatters. Some can get through the screens and you might as well get two moonsuits. Our battles with north country mosquitos were intense at times, but really it wasn't too bad. One of the worst places was Manley Hot Springs and I had to run from a swarm about 150-200' at the Arctic Circle marker on the Dalton Hwy. and just made it to the truck before they got me. Camped in the Brooks Range, they came out in two days of rain and drove us crazy. Most of the time, not a problem.

You will hear lots of scare stuff about rocks on the road. The Alaska and Cassiar Highways are paved. There are some dirt roads to more remote places and worrying about your windshield after driving 5,000 miles to see things you may only have one chance to see is silly to me. We got dinged on each of three trips north, part of the experience. Happened every year when we lived near Denver too. We did not put anything on the rock guards—they are there to guard from rocks. Bubble wrap is actually a simple idea (if it will stay on). We've seen giant cages on cars and complicated stuff on the front of the trailer. Not usually necessary.

The CG at Denali 30 miles in (I can't spell it either) is by far the best one—not as crowded and the bus deal is far, far better than any other way. If I were to do it again, I'd stay more than 3 nights. We got reservations at that CG about 2 weeks before we were there. Maybe we were lucky.

One trip we came back from southeast Alaska in early October. No problems, but winter can come fast or slow and it can rain a lot along the coasts. The ferry is great, but you'll have to back in or back out and possibly turn the trailer around inside. The state ferry loads on the side, not the ends like most car ferries. I'd consider leaving the trailer in Haines or Skagway and taking the truck on the ferry to Juneau, Petersburg and a few other towns. Make sure your brakes are wonderful (good idea always anyway)—the grade down into Skagway scares people. Barb drove down it without problems, but grown men were talking about it at the CG as if their lives had changed. When I told them my wife drive down, they got really quiet. It was great.

Is this the only trip north? Three, four, five months? We did it in 10 weeks with then trailer, but we are a well over a thousand miles closer. We didn't go to some places we had been to before, like Dawson City, Inuvik, Top of the World Hwy, etc. You may run into winter in May (you certainly can in Colorado) and even June. We had snow on the way to Calgary and during that night in June—not a lot, but makes you wonder what is up ahead. From Banff, go west to the Icefields Pkwy and then north to Jasper (RV parking downtown across the tracks), then west to Pr. George—north to the Alaska Hwy, or, west to the Cassiar and Pr. Rupert. The loop using the Cassiar back down is very popular. It was paved in the past 10 years or so and was good highway with very few services. The last time we went that way was 8 years ago, so it may be more civilized.

Think about a super telephoto if you don't have one. Lots of wildlife, often running away. The one I have has image stabilization and I can hold it freehand. Not the Canon $12,000 version, a very good copy for about $700.

There's a lot more and many Alaska threads. Also, get some Alaska and NW Canada books for travelers—always info you might not have known. Don't forget Yukon—and NW Territories. I heard the last 20 or 30 miles of road into Yellowknife have broken up, so I don't know if you can get there. We saw the Aurora in Yellowknife and way up the Dempster in mid-September. Plan to be around there then and then go home before you have to winter in the north.

I'll think of more as time goes on. Most of our most favorite places were seen on our trips north. Have a great time, I'm jealous.

Also, you will be told about bad dirt roads with nails from old railroads, railroad ties surfacing, blah, blah. We had no problems although the road to McCarthy is not all that great. Also from the Top of the World Hwy to Eagle is best done without trailer—some really narrow parts and a gazillion blind curves. Bring a tire repair kit. I had to use it once when I was 100 miles from a garage. Bring a lot of tools—you are very experienced, you know what you need.

Time for dinner....
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Old 12-25-2018, 06:52 PM   #11
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Hi moosetags, it's been a while. Alaska! That is a long ways from Florida. I followed azflycaster's thread last summer. He's been there, done that. You folks will have a wonderful time I'm sure.

I think you are on the hunt for moose sightings. Should be plenty of opportunities in Alaska. I finally saw my first moose in the wild last summer. A bull, a cow, and two calves. A family unit I suspect. I didn't get a chance to put a tag on any of them. Shoot.

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Old 12-26-2018, 01:27 AM   #12
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Hi, Moosetags; Our Alaska trip was done in 2011. It is all documented on "Bob, Lee, and Dusty's Random Trips" Starting on page #26 and post #362. And ending on page #41 and post #574.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, Moosetags; Our Alaska trip was done in 2011. It is all documented on "Bob, Lee, and Dusty's Random Trips" Starting on page #26 and post #362. And ending on page #41 and post #574.
Thanks Bob. We will take a look at that.

Brian
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:22 AM   #14
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Glad you are going. I will be following along on line. We are planning on going one of these years, but I don’t retire until this coming August. Hopefully 2020, or 2021 will work out for us. Looking forward to your trip already. I’ve been up on a motorcycle and second the Top of the World Highway recommendation. It’s beautiful. I hope to make it up to TUK on a motorcycle one of these days, but from what I’ve read about it, I wouldn’t pull my AS up there.
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