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Old 11-24-2005, 03:07 PM   #1
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Can anyone tell us about driving to Alaska? We have been offered a summer job there in the Denali State Park area. Would be driving there from Nebraska in early May and work until the middle of Sept. Any info would be helpful as everyone tells us they love it there. I wonder about groceries, doctor/dentist service, etc.

Thank you.
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Old 11-24-2005, 03:07 PM   #2
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Can anyone tell us about driving to Alaska? We have been offered a summer job there in the Denali State Park area. Would be driving there from Nebraska in early May and work until the middle of Sept. Any info would be helpful as everyone tells us they love it there. I wonder about groceries, doctor/dentist service, etc.

Thank you.
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Old 11-25-2005, 12:18 AM   #3
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By chance do you mean Denali National Park? ...then again, maybe Alaska has a state park of the same name but I doubt that to be the case. If you have a job offer on paper, then wouldn't it explain what the job is all about and other details of your question? Another thing I'm wondering about is that Denali National Park starts closing down for visitors sometime about mid September or shortly after ...the weather will change quite abruptly during that period before the hard snow and believe me, there will be lots of that white stuff to come down.

If you feel it necessary, I will locate some phone numbers that might answer your questions directly, however, those phone numbers will be the National (not state) Park Offices in Anchorage ...none of their offices in Denali are manned from mid fall to late spring.

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Our RV trip to Alaska
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Old 11-25-2005, 02:49 AM   #4
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My mistake as it is the national park. We have the info on the park, services, etc. but I am wondering about the best drive from NE there. Plus they tell you things but not in great detail and I want more experience type detail. All my friends that have been to Alaska were service or on cruises. Might be an experience I can put out here. I have been in every state but Alaska so I want to go.
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Old 11-25-2005, 02:53 AM   #5
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Forgot to mention that the job is from the first of May to the first of September or the middle of May to the middle of September. There are two positions open both for couples that do workamping. When we leave there we will be going to Oregon so not as long a trip as getting there. We have a 37' Southwind (04) and tow a Honda Civic.
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Old 11-25-2005, 04:10 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I am wondering about the best drive from NE there. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You might want to pick up a current copy of "The Milepost". It's an Alaska trip planner and travel guide to the highways, roads, ferries, and lodging along the Alaska Highway to and within Alaska. It also includes Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and the Yukon.
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Old 11-25-2005, 09:47 PM   #7
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Will look into this publication as it sounds like something I need. Everyone says go so hope we get the opportunity. Have an interview this week for the job. Thank you.
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Old 11-26-2005, 06:01 AM   #8
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North of central BC, services are available but widely spaced out. 100 miles apart is fairly typical, so don't run the fuel tank too low. Also, since you will be traveling early & late in the tourist season, you will find that some places aren't yet open on the way up and are already closed on the way back. That includes some of the fuel stops.

You aren't going to find big supermarkets or streets full of doctor and dentist offices like in the lower 48. Anchorage and Fairbanks are about the only places with anything close to that sort of thing. You are in no danger of starving, but you will likely find your favorite brands are not available.

Fresh baked good come only from small, local bake shops. The loaves of bread in the grocery stores were shipped north in bulk, frozen, and a few loaves are thawed out each day to put on the shelf.

Denali is way out in the boondocks, so plan on making periodic expeditions to Anchorage or Fairbanks for supplies and a dose of civilization.
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Old 11-26-2005, 10:53 AM   #9
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Very helpful information, thanks. We hope to get the experience. Right now we are 45 minutes to an hour from town so I try to only go in once a week. We worked for a few months at Salt Springs before coming down to Lake Marian Paradise and sure liked that area, of course we like most places we have been. One time we were 23 miles from the Canadian border in North Dakota and there was very little in that area as well. It was summer and we had the heat on in August.
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Old 11-26-2005, 11:26 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RV Roamer:

&lt;snip&gt; ....You aren't going to find big supermarkets or streets full of doctor and dentist offices like in the lower 48. Anchorage and Fairbanks are about the only places with anything close to that sort of thing. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
...and not to forget Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, as those services and more can be found there. Whitehorse has a population of about 21,000, is a very unique city with many things to attract the visitor and you should enjoy a couple of days stay there if you can fit it into your schedule.

Rich
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:23 PM   #11
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Having lived in AK from 2000-2005 and driven the ALCAN in a motorhome several times I can tell you a couple of things-

1) Buy a copy of the Milepost. It's the only atlas/roadmap you'll need for the whole state.

2) Go to Camping World and buy a couple of those electric mosquito killers that look like small tennis rackets. The mosquitos are horrible in AK in summer and while everyone thinks about DEET and mosquito nets for when they're outside (which is great) you'll want the tennis rackets at night for killing the dozen or so that get into your RV every day. Otherwise they'll keep you up all night buzzing in your ears, not to mention they'll dessicate you after a night or two.

3) Beware the frost heaves on the ALCAN. They are usually marked with orange paint or red flags along the side of the road. Hit one too fast and you'll break parts- guaranteed.

4) Say goodbye to your nice, tight, quiet rig. Between frost heaves, muddy washboarded gravel roads stretching anywhere from 100 yards to 20 miles, potholes, broken pavement, etc. your rig will have all manner of rattles, buzzes, and squeaks after the trip. I had a new 2004 Allegro Bay gasser I drove up there and back and it sounded like Jed Clampett's truck when we were done. Won't make the same mistake with my new rig- next time we go up we'll take the ferry from WA to AK and bypass the ALCAN altogether.

Good luck and enjoy the trip.
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Old 11-27-2005, 07:42 AM   #12
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My goodness this sounds like a trip from ****. Is the ferry expensive? I had heard about the mosquitos from others and glad to know about the rackets, will check into getting those. This is all very valuable information. Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2005, 12:35 PM   #13
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To bypass the ALCAN altogether you'll board the ferry in Bellingham, WA and take it to Juneau, AK. From there you take the Cross-Gulf ferry to Whittier, AK, and from there you can drive to anywhere in AK on pretty good roads. The drive from Whittier to Anchorage is nice, but the drive from Seward to Anchorage is probably one of the most beautiful drives in Alaska.

Don't know how expensive it'll be for you as I don't know what kind of rig you'll be in, but you can find out all the details at:
http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/index.html

Reservation for the Cross-Gulf will likely need to be made ASAP as they book up months in advance.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-27-2005, 05:57 PM   #14
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I have only seen Alaska from a cruise ship, but have a friend who drove his MH towing a small PU from Portland OR to AK on a six week vacation. He had no major problems, but did not enjoy the week getting to AK or the week getting back. Once in AK he had a great time. Said if he were to do it again he would look at using the ferry - Alaska Marine Hy. You can board in Bellingham WA or further up at Prince Rupert BC and go north to Juneau then on to Skagway or Haines and then drive through Whitehorse and on up to Fairbanks. The other passage would take you to Seward where you would drive to Anchorage then to Denalli. The AMHy option is expensive as you need to book passage for the MH and toad along with a room for you and unlike a cruise the food is also extra.

Good luck with your job
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