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Old 11-13-2010, 11:49 AM   #29
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As we are also going to Alaska in 2011 I thank all of you for your ideas. Keep them coming. Leaving So Cal early May but not on a schedule other than to have fun.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:41 PM   #30
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We're going in 2011 also. Planning on leaving San Antonio TX Mid April and staying just behind the snow going up and just ahead of the snow coming back. Plan on crossing the border at Coutts taking the Alaskan Hwy up and the Casier back. I making notes of all your suggestions so keep them coming. I'll look forward to meeting some of you that are going while were on the trip
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:29 PM   #31
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We made the trip this past summer. Left from Santa Clarita, CA on May 7th, arrived in Eagle River AK on May 20. Had great weather all the way there. Took the Cassier Highway up and the Alaskan Highway back. Next trip will be in 2012 and we will reverse the routes and take the Alaskan Highway up and the Cassier back. On this trip back to the lower 48, we left Fairbanks on September 15th and arrived back in Santa Clarita, CA on October 1st. While up in Alaska, we spent 2 months with my oldest son and family in Eagle River, then spent the last 2 months with my youngest son and family in Fairbanks. Took lots of side trips to sight see, fish, camping, Denali, shopping, farmer's markets, tour's, etc. On our trip back to the lower 48, we ran into some falling snow that had accumulated at the higher elevations in places through the Yukon and BC, however, it wasn't sticking to the roads. If it had been, then we would have pulled over at a safe resting area to hunker down until the roads had cleared. My wife had never seen snow falling so she got a real kick out of it. Just a word of caution, always drive according to road conditions. Doesn't matter whether there are frost heaves, road construction or bad weather conditions, SLOW DOWN, and keep your rig ALWAYS in control. We also saw a salt/sander truck that had past us going the other direction. When you see those, drive very cautiously as the wildlife come out to the roads to lick up the salt. We came across both caribou and sheep grazing in the middle of the freshly salted road. After passing them REAL slow, they proceeded to go back to their grazing on the salt.

There are so MANY things to do and places to visit that it is hard to list them all, so I will list only a few in particular that we really liked on the way up or back from Alaska. You will get many recommendations form other people who have been there and done that WRT Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia.

You must stop at Liard Hot Springs on the Alaskan Highway either on the way up or back to spend at least a day and night there. There is a provincial campground there but if you can't get in, then there is a pull-off directly across from the entrance that you can probably hole-up for one night. Be aware of wild Buffalo in that area and probably for 50 miles in either direction. There will be plenty of signs warning you of this fact. Also, the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, YK is definitely a stop over. There is another hot springs outside of Fairbanks called Chena Hot Springs, that's a must stop also.

Once you are soaking in the Hot Springs, trust me, you won't want to leave. We were there around the 19th of September and it was cool, rainy, but the Hot Springs were awesome.

The most important thing is to drive slow, enjoy the trip, spend the time in places that you like, you won't be able to see everything because there is so MUCH to see and do, you just have to go back again and again. Since my kids and grandchildren live there, I plan to go back every two years to spend the entire summer there. this was the very first time I was able to spend more than a week or two and all the other times I had flown there, not driven. the driving trip through BC & YK are just as exciting as being in Alaska.

Some photos attached.

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:52 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by SOD View Post
We're going in 2011 also. Planning on leaving San Antonio TX Mid April and staying just behind the snow going up and just ahead of the snow coming back. Plan on crossing the border at Coutts taking the Alaskan Hwy up and the Casier back. I making notes of all your suggestions so keep them coming. I'll look forward to meeting some of you that are going while were on the trip
This is roughly the same "schedule" we hope to run. We are going to a 4 day music festival in AZ early April. Then mid April began to slowly meander north west.

I too am already enjoying the anticipation provided by the veterans on this trip. Hope you all keep them coming.

And, Dr4 Film--great tips and great pics! Thanks.

For those of you going, there is a new edition of the Church book coming out this year. We have pre-ordered it and the release date was to be Nov 1. Apparently, it didn't quite make the publishing date, as I checked and its still on order. A new milepost comes out every year, usually in March.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:56 AM   #33
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We continue to plan. Our schedule right now is to leave Bakersfield CA on May 30 and cross into Canada from Washington state on June 6. We are planing to travel north on the Alaska Hwy and get to Fairbanks around June 25. We will then move south to Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula finally starting our trip back to the lower 48 around August 1st via the Cassier Hwy. We plan to cross back into the US and arrive at Sandpoint ID around September 1st. We have to be able to be in Bakersfield CA by Sept 15th to celebrate our Grandson's first birthday.

For Bigmichael you got me confused on Church's book. You and others have stated that the new book comes out in March yet you mention a 1 November release date?

As things get closer I plan to have a web site that will show my route, schedule and places we plan to see. I will share the address when things get closer. I also intend to list all of the advise that everyone here has provided for my planning is part of the fun.

Thanks for all the great tips please keep them coming.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:00 PM   #34
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For Bigmichael you got me confused on Church's book. You and others have stated that the new book comes out in March yet you mention a 1 November release date?
Sorry about that. The Church book (authors Mike and Terri Church) is different than the Milepost. Milepost comes out each year in March. The Church book -"The travelers guide to Alaskan camping" has not been published yearly. This will be the 4th edition I believe.

Everyone gets the Milepost, but people who have used them say you really should use both. The Church's actually travel the routes and check them out personally. Apparently the Milepost is heavily supported by advertising, which may affect some of what gets in, etc. Its very hard to find anyone who has used the Church book to say anything but good about the info and the tips. So we'll see.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:01 PM   #35
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My bad, I got confused between Milepost (which comes out in march) and Church's book. Thanks for letting me know that there is a new Church's book due out. I plan to have both, I am using an old Milepost now and will get the new one in March. I guess I need to put in my order for the Church's book.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:26 PM   #36
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On our Alaska trip this past summer, we crossed into Canada on 5/25. I would suggest about 3 weeks to cross through BC and YT. We did it in about 12 days and felt rushed. The critters were along the road daily from the time we were in central BC on. Dragon Lake, just south of Quesnel is great for Rainbows, fly fishing is the way to go. Most of the folks we saw there had some type of floation. Roberts Roost is a fine RV park and right on the lake. Muncho Lake is great fishing too and your best bet is to have a boat or be friends with someone that has a boat. There are two provincial parks on Muncho Lake, they are both dry camping, but much less expensive than the Resort.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:14 PM   #37
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Maybe we can have an irv2 rally along the way.

We will cross into Canada around June 1 and reach Tok before July 1. We hope to hang out in Denali and Homer. Back down the Cassiar. Still don't know if I will do the Top of the World highway with the motor home. Hope to go to Inuvik to get above the artic circle. On our return we hope to hit Edmondton and then angle south east toward Saskatoon. We love our northern neighbor.

In 2004 with our pop up Haines was great with eagles nearby. Seward parking lot camping was fun. Seemed nothing but critter sighting all the way up. I personally thought the seaside scenery was the best.

Gotta go again!!
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:56 PM   #38
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This past travel season, the Top of The World highway was a disaster. Most of the season it was either closed or very long pilot car convoys through a very narrow stretch of twisty hazardous driving conditions. There was one death of a Forest Service personal that was swept off the highway due to the rains and landslides. They managed to find him days later when they were able to get to him, dead unfortunately. While I was in Fairbanks this past summer, I read almost everday in the Fairbanks Miner Newspaper about the Taylor Highway problems.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Taylor Highway open between Chicken Canada border as damage assessment continues

I would never think about taking my motor coach over that stretch of highway and I know that any rentals are not allowed on that highway amongst many other non-paved roads. A toad may be okay but will need to be well cleaned with a high pressure water system after returning.

Dr4film ----- Richard.
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:46 PM   #39
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We went in '09, and here is a piece from our trip report back home....

June 5th.
Ninilchik, AK, Deep Creek State Rec Area:
We pulled into this State Recreation Area about 9pm. Oh, did I tell you that we went to bed last night at midnight and it was still light out? Not bright light, but you could walk all around without a flashlight!
So anyway, this campground is a little better than most State Camps we’ve seen (which were narrow parking slots that you paid $10 for), we have the Cook Inlet on one side, a small river and meadow on the opposite side, a tall bluff with someone’s house made to look like a Lighthouse on the end, very picturesque! Looking out over Cook Inlet we can see Mount Redoubt Volcano with a steam plume going on. We were able to camp at the end, near the river and bluff towering over us. In the river, meadow, and soaring above the bluff are at least a dozen Eagles (I counted 12, but may be more). Sandy was in heaven, ran the batteries down on both cameras! These were adults and juvy’s, again dog-fighting, soaring, diving, bathing in the river, perched on stumps, looking all majestic. Our fishing guide said he has watched these guys, and to him they are pretty clumsy, and not much better than Vultures, and they hang out at garbage dumps. I can see where he gets this opinion. The juvy’s are all molted browns and do look like a Vulture. These guys in the meadow next to us look fat, like turkeys, and I hear they eat scraps from the fish cannery in town. These guys look well fed, and so far all I’ve seen them do is play!
Sandy dragged me outside for a walk on the beach. I can see my breath! The weather has turned in just an hour. It looks like a stormy night on the water……. The Eagles are down on the beach, near the water line as the tide is coming in, the Seagulls are harassing one but leaves the pack alone.
It’s 11pm and it looks like 7pm in Dallas, Eagles still soaring, bathing in the river… Don’t they have a nest to go to? All in all, a good day. I think Sandy is going to sleep with the Eagles tonight…….
It’s midnight and we are getting ready for bed, although it’s still light out. The parking lot is starting to fill up and guys are walking towards the river like Zombies, all dressed in green. What the hell is going on? So, we got dressed and followed them, must be some Alaskan Clan meeting……. They are lining up along the river, some are in it; the green dress are waders. Then the tide comes in and the water in the river reverses and flows up, and these guys are all working rods like fly fishing, but not, they are using Salmon eggs and casting up to let it drift down, the repeating. OK, mystery solved, time for bed. The next morning the midnight crew had left but a new day shift showed up. I talked with a few guys and it was determined that the Kings have not arrived in force yet.
A very good time! Buy the book called “The Milepost”. You can use last years copy, it doesn’t change that much. It gives sights, mile by mile along each of the Alaska highways, things to do, where to camp for free, history of each area. A must have for RVing!

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Old 12-31-2010, 03:05 PM   #40
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Sorry about that. The Church book (authors Mike and Terri Church) is different than the Milepost. Milepost comes out each year in March. The Church book -"The travelers guide to Alaskan camping" has not been published yearly. This will be the 4th edition I believe.

Everyone gets the Milepost, but people who have used them say you really should use both. The Church's actually travel the routes and check them out personally. Apparently the Milepost is heavily supported by advertising, which may affect some of what gets in, etc. Its very hard to find anyone who has used the Church book to say anything but good about the info and the tips. So we'll see.
Just received the 5th edition of the Church book from Amazon. Couldn't put it down. Can't wait to get on the road this May.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:47 PM   #41
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Thanks

All the post are great. Becuse I still am working I rely on cruising to Alaska. Will be going again first of June and then on to Denali. I know I only see so little. I will be retiring in the next year or two and this will be a trip we are planning soon thereafter. I love to read all the post and information they provide.

I can hardly wait!
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:31 PM   #42
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There is a same thread on escapees.com seeking information on driving to AK. Many links and blogs there already.
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