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flyingfinn 07-13-2017 01:59 AM

North to Alaska
 
Last summer we traveled to Alaska from San Luis Obispo, CA. Since I had only 3 weeks, we knew that the destination was the trip. It took us 6 1/2 days to get to Homer, Alaska and we covered exactly 4,000 miles We then spent a week on Kenai Peninsula fishing some of the rivers there. Then we started back and rolled home after driving 8,000 miles.
We pull our 28' Safari with a 2008 diesel Chevy Silverado and burned 668 gallons averaging 11.9 mpg.
There are 2 ways to go, over the Cassiar Highway or the Alaska Highway. I prefer the Cassiar and we took it going North and returned via the Alaska Highway. Except for a few stretches under repair, the roads are either asphalt or hard surfaced. It wasn't that way on my first drive from NY in 1965, when 1,000 miles were gravel. Several rigs had signs saying "I survived the Alaska Highway", which is simply childish. The trip is long but absolutely beautiful. The worst part is over some stretches, usually on Alaska side, which have frost heaves. They slow you down. Otherwise we drove the limit.
Anchorage does not permit any overnight camping in store parking lots. The only place permitting it is the Cabela store in Anchorage. I gladly spent a fair amount of cash there getting prepared for the fishing.
Virtually all of our nights were on road side areas and rest areas, We did stay on the Homer spit, at Centennial Park in Soldotna, Alaska, for fishing on the Kenai River and at a very comfortable downtown full hook-up Bear Paw RV Park in Valdez, the Switzerland of Alaska.
We were there for the 4 of July. There were no fireworks because it is too light at night to see them.
The only issue we had was the plastic water shut off valve located in the wheel well in between the axles. It broke from being hit with gravel. We fixed it by cutting off a small branch and whittling it to size to fit the small tube. That has held for a year now. Another Airstream we met in Alaska had the same thing happen.
Our first Airstream trip to Alaska was in 1979 over the very dusty Cassiar. The inside of our trailer was totally covered and filled with dust - even in our drawers. We spent hours cleaning and sealing our rig, only to be faced with the same problem at our next stop. That was discouraging. Another trailer traveler peeked inside our rig and told us to open the front roof vent. While driving, that forced the air in and created positive pressure which kept the dust out. We still use that trick to keep our Airstream clean and dust free.
Everyone can and should make the trip. America the beautiful, graced by God!

GettinAway 07-17-2017 09:06 AM

We are planning on making the Alaska trek, once we make it to retirement. (2 years). I did the trip a few years ago on a motorcycle, but only had two weeks. (10,000 miles).
I agree 100% about Cassiar and AK Highway. We will go both ways on the Cassiar. I want to catch icefield parkway on the way up. See Hyder on the way back, and stay west. Instead of 2 weeks, we will spend two months.

Cyclist 07-17-2017 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Finmatt (Post 1976856)


The only issue we had was the plastic water shut off valve located in the wheel well in between the axles. It broke from being hit with gravel. We fixed it by cutting off a small branch and whittling it to size to fit the small tube. That has held for a year now. Another Airstream we met in Alaska had the same thing happen.

The same thing happened to us, a piece of stone from freshly chip sealed Cassiar Highway.

wasafari 07-17-2017 11:17 AM

Funny, the same rock wiped out my fresh water drain in 2003 on the AlCan. Couple years later i was at an RV show and pointed out to 2 Airstream (Factory) reps that the drain needed to have some form of guard to prevent this. Apparently message never got back to JC......

StrmyWeather 07-19-2017 05:51 AM

Sounds like a great trip. I can't wait to make it up there. Thanks for posting!
Richard

polarlyse 07-19-2017 03:12 PM

Boy you made a whirlwind trip. We did the same thing but much, much slower. I met a guy while getting fuel in Fairbanks. He told me he's made the trip many times and he's found it to be 44 hrs. driving time from Fairbanks to the Montana border. So you can do it quickly or spread it out but that's his estimate of the driving time. No matter how you do it it's the trip of a lifetime. I'd do it again but the wifee says "No Way".


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