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Alaska Caravan?


111 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Mr Firewood

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 07:05 AM

Rich, we are doing Alaska summer of 2016, maybe our paths will cross next year if you don't go this year.  We're looking at roughly a 6,500 mile trip in 2016 plus any additional side trips we decide to make.  Thinking a 2 month adventure.  I've done it in 3 weeks but you end up traveling every day to cover the parts of AK we want to see.  Plus those trips didn't include the travel through BC and the majority of the Yukon Territory since I lived in SE AK at the time and just took the ferry to either Haines or Skagway to access the interior of AK. road system from land locked SE AK.   A 6-8 hour ferry trip on the day we depart JNU.  

 

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#2 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 10:32 AM

I don't know what all the hype is about Alaska. But we also have plans to go but like 3 years off from now. Wish I could go to the rally darn post office.


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#3 OFFLINE   Mr Firewood

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 11:35 AM

Well, looking at your map below your post I'd say don't get lost when you set sail off the coast of northern CA and can't find AK. to the west.  :-)   Looks like HI is closer to the western US then AK.   Don't laugh but I spent 25 years in AK and you'd be surprised how many folks don't have a clue where AK even is. 

 

Better go to AK sooner then later before Putin decides he wants it back plus oil and mineral royalties w/interest.   :happy0045:

 

Personally I go there for the scenery, wildlife and the Reindeer breakfast sausage. 

 

George

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#4 OFFLINE   Bedlam

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 12:15 PM

Sausage - Yum. Give me a Comet with side of Blitzen. It would be the lightest meal I've ever eaten.


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#5 OFFLINE   Mr Firewood

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 01:12 PM

LOL


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#6 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 04:12 AM

Here is an Idea its off topic but have a caravan up and around Alaska for the spring-summer of 2019?


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#7 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 06:31 AM

Start a separate thread about Alaska to gauge interest. This would likely require quite a bit of advanced planning, even for a small group. We can certainly tap into Paul's expertise of caravanning in Mexico for an Alaskan adventure.


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#8 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 08:12 AM

Here is an Idea its off topic but have a caravan up and around Alaska for the spring-summer of 2019?

I would be game for that. May even volunteer my services as wagon master, since that is what I do every year in Mexico. There are lots of expensive commercial caravans to Alaska, I have never figured out why people pay big bucks for that. Mexico I can understand. This one would have to be free to paid members, like the one I led in the Pacific NW in 2005.


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#9 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 10:06 AM

Who is interested in a NATCOA Caravan to Alaska?

 

  1. When would you like to go?
  2. What places are a "must-see" for you?
  3. How many weeks could you set aside for a caravan?

What other things are important to you for a caravan?


Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

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The interstate system of highways is fine for getting where you need to be in a hurry, but it's the road less traveled that is more enjoyable. Take in the scenery before life passes you by in a blur.


#10 OFFLINE   Mr Firewood

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 12:25 PM

Paul:

 

I would be happy to offer my assistance organizing such an event to assist you as lead of the event.  After living in Alaska for 25 years and traveling the Alaska Hwy many times and organizing a group tour of the interior of AK and back down the Hwy to the Lower 48 for a group of 7 friends on motorcycles it takes an enormous amount of advance planning by the event organizers.  For me I planned out each nights stops, lodging and in some instances where we ate that evening as I knew of a great place to get grub for the group.  All the riders had to do is show up and off we went.  Riders from around the US caught the AK Marine Hwy Ferry in Bellingham and rode to JNU where I jumped on for our final ferry leg to Haines, AK.    One close friend from Whitehorse Y.T. met us in Haines Jct.  Another from NV had a daughter getting married in SEA so he caught a ferry a day later out of Prince Rupert and sailed to Skagway and then rode most of the night to join us in Haines Jct. at around 0300 hrs.  We were up early the next day and headed north back up into AK later that day.

 

There will be a couple major decisions to be made by those who opt to travel to Alaska.  It's a very long drive one way to access the interior of AK to begin your adventure of the 49th state.   Southeast AK is very different from the interior of AK.  So driving both ways is cheaper then taking the ferry but taking the ferry permits you to see the inside passage one city and town at a time. People don't realize how long it takes to drive to AK at a relaxed and reasonable pace.  A 300 mile day is a LONG DAY on the roads up there.  Taking fuel costs in Canada and Alaska into account vs. ferry fare for vehicle, driver, passenger and a cabin for the 3.5 day trip if you don't disembark along the way to visit communities along the inside passage adds up fast. 

 

Just to toss some numbers out our truck and Lance 1190 camper with NO TRAILER would cost $3,894.00 one way from Skagway to Bellingham, plus meals on board.   The only time you can access your vehicle is while in port.  So pets are a bit of a pain, especially dogs who don't take to a litter box very well.   Pets are not allowed off the car deck of the ships. 

 

I just picked up a copy of the 2015 Alaska Milepost and Travelers Guide to Alaskan Camping 6th edition for us to use to plan our trip summer of 2016.

 

Since Sally and I are going next summer we can keep in mind a caravan and take notes on good places along the way to boondock along the Alaska Hwy.  We will plan to spend a couple days with friends in Whitehorse Y.T. visit Valdez, Seward, Homer, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Dawson City (depending on road conditions up over the Top of the World Hwy)  We can stop in Tok on the way through and check with the AST Detachment there to get a road report on what to expect on the way south once we circle the interior of AK and head back down into the Yukon.  I've done it in a truck and seen people shred a tire on shot rock road base and done it on a MC and it was slicker then snot with slimy mud.  Dawson City is fun as they have a casino with cancan girls and I always enjoy checking out the old abandoned Gold Dredges from back in the day south of town.  Plus the Govt. run ferry across the Yukon River is FREE.  

 

For our 2016 trip next summer I'm thinking we may leave the 5th wheel at a friends place in Whitehorse, drive down to Skagway, check it out, take the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway up to the pass where the miners trekked during the gold rush and then charter a float plane and fly to JNU where I lived for 21 years.   Get a motel room, rent a car and spend a couple days seeing the sights.  Then fly back to Skagway and drive back up to WH and fetch the 5'er.  

 

Also need to stop at the Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park and spend a night there and visit the hot springs.  Another cool place I enjoy staying at is just north of Whitehorse at the Takhini Hot Springs & campground.  

 

Oh well, time to publish this book.

 

George

 

PS:  Most of you probably know this but a passport is required to exit and re-enter the US to Canada and I highly recommend you obtain a credit card that does not charge a fee for foreign transactions as you will be buying fuel and supplies in Canada and the charges do add up. 


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#11 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:50 PM

I have three years to plan hope its anoff time. Be really taking our time fig two weeks getting to Seattle just in driving and stopping along the way for a few days here and there along the route. Fig we start in Feb there a lot to see between here and Seattle. We were always in a rush to get here or there. This time we can stop and see the hub cap man or the Paul bunyen wagon or the ghost town of the north. Be in Seattle by end of March. When the soonest one should embark up to Alaska if driving and towing a trailer. FIg Feb down here snow we haven't gotten in 30 years or so. Seattle should be ok by end of March (cold) maybe.


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#12 OFFLINE   Mr Firewood

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:56 PM

Earliest you want to head to AK is late May.  Or you will run into lots of closed camp grounds and the Park at Denali which opens like mid June. Got this ice and snow thing up north.  :sign0068:

 

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#13 OFFLINE   RichConley

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 04:30 AM

Earliest you want to head to AK is late May.  Or you will run into lots of closed camp grounds and the Park at Denali which opens like mid June. Got this ice and snow thing up north.  :sign0068:

 

George

This is very true.  Even in the lower 48.  Knighteagle will have a problem finding open campsites during the time that he proposes.

I was planning a trip for end of April from Arizona through Colorado and north to Washington.  Everything (campgrounds) was closed until the end of May. I canceled out that plan.

 

Any place at altitude is snow.  Roads may be open, but they don't clear the campgrounds.   

We went to Crater Lake in June once - campgrounds were still restricted and only partially open due to six feet piles of snow.

One has to be very careful when planning an off-season trip as most campgrounds are closed.



#14 OFFLINE   stuwu4s

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 07:29 AM

we had planned to go this year, but if the proposed caravan would go when and where we planned to, we would be very interested in 2016.

our plans did not include any boat trips up or back. We took the boat from Haines, AK to Bellingham, WA on our 2004 trip, so I am

not interested in doing again. As for the dates no sooner than mid June. Reason - road conditions and wx and CG's. Later in the season the road are much better. Time - 2 to 2 1/2 months.

As for commercial caravans. the best and most expensive vacation we ever had was our 2004 trip to Alaska and it was with a paid caravan. we did more and saw more than anyone would on their own. We drove 12K miles and spend about the same.

we will keep an eye on this topic. our plans were to go up the Alaska hwy and back the Cassiar.

hope it works out.


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#15 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 10:32 AM

That's why I plan on moving slowly northward let that white stuff go away a little. Yep I was at Crater lake July 2 2012 and camped at the ground on the west side of the crater bottom of it. If you been there think you know where I mean. The East side was closed due to that white stuff all over the place just like this pile in front of the truck to the right front fender think is what your talking about right?

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  :sign0007: I got it fixed!

 

2012 Ram 3500HD DRW. RideRite 5000 Air Bags. Hellwig sway Bar rear. Curt hitch 17000/2550. Engine: 6.7-Liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic 68RFE. 2017 Adventure Alp 116DS 5153+ lb. Reg Cab. Torklift Frame mounts. Ranch Hand Front Bumber, Duel hitch and 4' extension . C.B channel 19 most times. Towing a 16 ft storage trailer with a jon boat inside.

 

ALP116DS2017
ALP116DS10.JPG

 


#16 OFFLINE   stuwu4s

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 12:52 PM

I know I am here in the  'least coast', but I will assist in any way possible for a 2016 trip.


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#17 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 01:39 PM

Paul:

 

I would be happy to offer my assistance organizing such an event to assist you as lead of the event.  After living in Alaska for 25 years and traveling the Alaska Hwy many times and organizing a group tour of the interior of AK and back down the Hwy to the Lower 48 for a group of 7 friends on motorcycles it takes an enormous amount of advance planning by the event organizers.  For me I planned out each nights stops, lodging and in some instances where we ate that evening as I knew of a great place to get grub for the group.  All the riders had to do is show up and off we went.  Riders from around the US caught the AK Marine Hwy Ferry in Bellingham and rode to JNU where I jumped on for our final ferry leg to Haines, AK.    One close friend from Whitehorse Y.T. met us in Haines Jct.  Another from NV had a daughter getting married in SEA so he caught a ferry a day later out of Prince Rupert and sailed to Skagway and then rode most of the night to join us in Haines Jct. at around 0300 hrs.  We were up early the next day and headed north back up into AK later that day.

 

There will be a couple major decisions to be made by those who opt to travel to Alaska.  It's a very long drive one way to access the interior of AK to begin your adventure of the 49th state.   Southeast AK is very different from the interior of AK.  So driving both ways is cheaper then taking the ferry but taking the ferry permits you to see the inside passage one city and town at a time. People don't realize how long it takes to drive to AK at a relaxed and reasonable pace.  A 300 mile day is a LONG DAY on the roads up there.  Taking fuel costs in Canada and Alaska into account vs. ferry fare for vehicle, driver, passenger and a cabin for the 3.5 day trip if you don't disembark along the way to visit communities along the inside passage adds up fast. 

 

Just to toss some numbers out our truck and Lance 1190 camper with NO TRAILER would cost $3,894.00 one way from Skagway to Bellingham, plus meals on board.   The only time you can access your vehicle is while in port.  So pets are a bit of a pain, especially dogs who don't take to a litter box very well.   Pets are not allowed off the car deck of the ships. 

 

I just picked up a copy of the 2015 Alaska Milepost and Travelers Guide to Alaskan Camping 6th edition for us to use to plan our trip summer of 2016.

 

Since Sally and I are going next summer we can keep in mind a caravan and take notes on good places along the way to boondock along the Alaska Hwy.  We will plan to spend a couple days with friends in Whitehorse Y.T. visit Valdez, Seward, Homer, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Dawson City (depending on road conditions up over the Top of the World Hwy)  We can stop in Tok on the way through and check with the AST Detachment there to get a road report on what to expect on the way south once we circle the interior of AK and head back down into the Yukon.  I've done it in a truck and seen people shred a tire on shot rock road base and done it on a MC and it was slicker then snot with slimy mud.  Dawson City is fun as they have a casino with cancan girls and I always enjoy checking out the old abandoned Gold Dredges from back in the day south of town.  Plus the Govt. run ferry across the Yukon River is FREE.  

 

For our 2016 trip next summer I'm thinking we may leave the 5th wheel at a friends place in Whitehorse, drive down to Skagway, check it out, take the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway up to the pass where the miners trekked during the gold rush and then charter a float plane and fly to JNU where I lived for 21 years.   Get a motel room, rent a car and spend a couple days seeing the sights.  Then fly back to Skagway and drive back up to WH and fetch the 5'er.  

 

Also need to stop at the Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park and spend a night there and visit the hot springs.  Another cool place I enjoy staying at is just north of Whitehorse at the Takhini Hot Springs & campground.  

 

Oh well, time to publish this book.

 

George

 

PS:  Most of you probably know this but a passport is required to exit and re-enter the US to Canada and I highly recommend you obtain a credit card that does not charge a fee for foreign transactions as you will be buying fuel and supplies in Canada and the charges do add up. 

That sounds good. my wife cannot enter the US until at least summer 2017 once she has been 6 months cancer free. BTW i worked on the original surveys for the Cassiar hwy in the early 70's.


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#18 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 02:46 PM

Between Paul, George and Stu...looks like we have people willing to help with this. :-)

 

I think a small caravan would be fun.

 

Now...who's got the baton?!!!!!???


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Camper_Avatar_200x200.jpg

 

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#19 OFFLINE   Mr Firewood

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  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Twisp, WA
  • Camper Brand:2017 Grand Design Solitude 39' 5th wheel
  • Truck Make & Model:2006 Ford F-550 CC 4X4 6.0L, 2017 Ford F-450 CC, 6.7L
  • Name (Public):George Brown

Posted 20 May 2015 - 03:12 PM

I vote Sally!

 

-G


Retirement: "Every Day's a Holiday & Every Meal's a Banquet"

#20 OFFLINE   Mr Firewood

Mr Firewood

    Grand Potentate

  • NATCOA Members
  • 464 posts
  • Local time: 02:31 AM
  • State/Province or Region:WA
  • Country:USA
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Twisp, WA
  • Camper Brand:2017 Grand Design Solitude 39' 5th wheel
  • Truck Make & Model:2006 Ford F-550 CC 4X4 6.0L, 2017 Ford F-450 CC, 6.7L
  • Name (Public):George Brown

Posted 20 May 2015 - 03:23 PM

Paul:

 

I've done the Cassiar Hwy once going north.  IT SUCKED, rough as hell.  Muddy.  Don't think it had been maintained since the 70's. :happy0045:  But the drive out to Stewart and Hyder was very nice and scenic driving past the glacier. 

 

George


Retirement: "Every Day's a Holiday & Every Meal's a Banquet"




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