Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 17 of 17
  1. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    In lots of ways, I was very fortunate. I did not have many to turn to and ask, and those I did, especially family thought I'd lost my marbles. I headed out! And when the asphalt ended, and the rest of the road I was on was gravel, well, I just continued - albeit a bit slower. You will be driving much slower anyway, as the speed limits in CA are slower and enforced.

    If you are going to stick to the asphalt, you're going to miss a lot. There's nothing like going down a side road/track, usually gravel, and because most think like you, they miss out on so much. What is wrong with the occasional pothole. Drive so you can see it way up ahead and stop before you get there, and then make sure if you want to continue, or turn back and take an alternative. I've had to make those choices ever so many times.

    But the key is to drive slowly!!! There is no line of traffic behind you to harass you. Remember you are NOT driving in the U.S,

    And yes, there is absolutely no reason why you should not do it in a corvette. I know a gentleman from Australia who did it in a righthand drive Lotus which he had shipped across the Pacific Did most of the trip with the top down. He went all the way to the Arctic Circle - not sure if he made it to Prudhoe Bay. My only thought at the time was, being so low down in the car with the roof down he would be vulnerable to wildlife. I always treated wildlife with great respect. They can be most unpredictable, especially when they have young. You will no doubt also come accross travellers going to AK on motorbikes, and believe it or not, on bicycles. On one of my trips I met a family of five on bicycles, and another time there was a brave soul doing it by Shanks's Pony.... i.e. on foot!

    [After Alaska he took the Lotus all the way to the tip of Argentina. I know he chronicled the whole trip on a Lotus owners' website. If I still knew the site I would link it here, but I have long since lost contact with him.]

    Contrary to popular believe, it can get quite hot in Alaska and northern Canada. You will be surprised how many roofs have solar panels and solar hotwater.

    The season is from May to September, July and August are the hottest months. If you are going for 2 or three months, go from later in May. If only for a couple of weeks, depart in June. It also coinsides with the Bears, Moose and Byson coming out with their young - a sight to behold! (Another reason to drive SLOWLY!) Mid May and around mid September there are a LOT of motorhomes on the roads. These are all being driven from the lower 48 to AK for the locals to use during their holiday season.

    But Hey!! Get the Milepost first. Read it and go by that. Take things as you find them. You can make all the plans in the world, but when you get stuck behind a pilot car at roadworks - some which went for miles and hours, or when the road is blocked with a bushfire up ahead, there's not much you can do. You just take a deep breath. Always have something to eat/drink in the car, get out, go for a walk, get to know the folk in the car behind you and in front of you. Amazing at a time like that how much information other travellers can give you. Heck, I have even seen people get out a small camp stove and make tea/coffee for all around, even firemen and road workers.

    Just pack your things, take the car you like and go enjoy yourself. If I could I'd be up there again in a flash. But alas! those days are over. So glad I went four times while I could.

    Lifey
    Thank you for the encouragement. I have a Corvette with just 20,000 miles on it and in excellent condition that I can drive in. I will purchase the milepost in March as you suggest.

    Perhaps I should enter Canada somewhere in western USA (say Seattle) as I can drive there faster even if it’s longer. Not sure where to do so. I am also thinking about a 30 day trip (give or take 5 days). When to start…don’t want to run into snowy roads…is May 20th too early?

    I am also not going to camp, need a room. In the USA, I never pre-book or plan ahead, leaving me to decide when I want to stop for the night. Motels are easy in the USA. Taking a route thru Canada, and in Alaska, is it even possible to travel and find places at the last minute?

    Thank you!

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    While Canada does have multi-lane, controlled-access highways in and around its major population centers, it does not have a nation-wide system of such highways. Indeed it has only one transcontinental road, the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH), although it has two branches west of Lake Superior. And if you plan to go to Alaska, your choices are even more limited in that there is one and only one highway connecting Alaska to the rest of North America, the Alaska Highway (ALCAN). I have driven most of the TCH between the upper Midwest and the Rockies. I found it intriguing because it was new to me, as a road, as an experience meeting new and friendly people, and as an introduction to another part of our continent and a different pace and way of life. On separate trips I have driven through a good deal of the Canadian Rockies and the Pacific Coast areas. I have not driven the ALCAN.

    As you can gather from the above description and Donna's comments, services are few and far between on the more remote sections of these roads, so keep that in mind. Also by going through Canada you will be spending more time on the wide-open Great Plains. The basic trip you've laid out, Midwest to Alaska, is a very long haul. St. Louis to Fairbanks is over 3,600 miles, so this is not a trip to be taken lightly. It would most certainly be an adventure

    AZBuck
    Thank you so very much. Given that I am departing from St. Louis, where do you suggest I enter Canada? One thought is to get to the shortest drive in Canada and that might be through Seattle area. I could drive faster and get there earlier and in more comfort than driving a long way in Canada. On the other hand, if the drive thru Canada is also scenic, I should consider it. However, if it’s barren and just plains….

    I have 3 sections to work out….route to Canada….route once I enter Canada…and then the Alaskan portion. I am starting to plan on the first two…figure out later what I want to do when I get into Canada…

    Then, finally, a broad idea of budget assuming no emergencies (car breakdowns, health issues, etc). Within the USA, I budget $175 per day (motels, fuel, meals) to about $200 a day. I am assuming a 30 day trip and a $6k budget might be possible. My car will average about 25 mpg.

    Any thoughts, suggestions are appreciated.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,265

    Default

    If you are going via the Alcan the whole way, cross on US-52 at Portal ND then go through Regina, Saskatoon, and Edmonton to Dawson Creek, which is the official beginning of the Alcan. If you prefer to go via Seattle, cross at Sumas and go through Abbotsford to Prince George to Kitwanqa then up the Cassiar. This joins the Alcan at Watson Lake. This is 10 hours and 600 miles longer. I'd suggest you could take one way up and the other way back.

    Here is a link to the 2023 edition of The Milepost, available for preorder, shipping after March 15:

    https://shop.themilepost.com/collect...-milepost-2023

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,215

    Default Some point to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    Thank you for the encouragement. I have a Corvette with just 20,000 miles on it and in excellent condition that I can drive in. I will purchase the milepost in March as you suggest.
    Just be prepared to get some paint chip damage on it. The best way to avoid most is to stay well behind the car in front, hence the slower speeds. Though you can't avoid stones from oncoming traffic, It's inevitable, and a great souvenir of your adventure. When back home, and someone remarks on it, it's a good time to tell them all about your adventure - use it to your advantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    Perhaps I should enter Canada somewhere in western USA (say Seattle) as I can drive there faster even if it’s longer. Not sure where to do so. I am also thinking about a 30 day trip (give or take 5 days). When to start…don’t want to run into snowy roads…is May 20th too early?
    For your first trip, I would definitely take the main crossing into Vancouver, and maybe stay there for the night. You may even have time to get their tourist information, and suggestions for accommodation along the ALCAN. From there the highway will take you directly to Cache Creek through the lovely little towns of Whistler and Lillooett. Both definitely worth a stop. Some miles north of the latter there is a beautiful stop. I think it is signposted. East of the highway there are three glacial lakes - not visible from the road, You can walk all the way around them. The lakes are sort of above each other - the top lake drains into the middle one and that drains into the lower one. I recall spending quite some time there, but that was in 2004, and not only has my memory dimmed some, but things may have been changed since then as well. Worth checking out. As for snowy roads.... neither you or I can forecast that. I have never seen a snowy road up that way, though I have driven through light snow falling in May. But if you are going for around a month, I suggest you leave in early June, with a long distant aim of being as far north as you want to go (Fairbanks?) at the time of the equinox - 24 hours of sunlight..... you can read the paper at midnight without lights. In 2009 I was on my way with a small touring company, coming back from the Arctic Ocean.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    I am also not going to camp, need a room. In the USA, I never pre-book or plan ahead, leaving me to decide when I want to stop for the night. Motels are easy in the USA. Taking a route thru Canada, and in Alaska, is it even possible to travel and find places at the last minute?
    At times I have met folk at every place we stopped... folk who were not camping, and who checked out day to day for a possible next stop. The trip along the Alcan from Dawson Creek onwards, the accommodation is basically a day's drive apart. So you can check from one day to the next. However, I would still make a list, so that you have several options. And should you get stuck, check out any hostels there are, most have private rooms available. I have never heard anyone complain about not being able to get a room. Don't book ahead too much you may end up missing something .... or be held up by roadworks, or some other attraction. The only time I have seen everything booked out, including campgrounds, was in Yellowknife.

    With all the information you have been collecting, I am sure this trip is going to be the highlight of your life. Can't wait to read the trip report.

    Lifey

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,873

    Default

    When my husband and I traveled up there, we crossed at Sumas, which was very easy (at the time; pre-9/11/01). We drove to Dawson Creek, then ALCAN the rest of the way to Delta Junction. There, we headed for Fairbanks.

    Yes, you'll have rock chips. Yes, you will probably have windshield damage. Make sure you have your insurance card from the US and that you check with them about Canadian coverage. As was mentioned, though, those chips are a souvenir of sorts.

    The Milepost is published in March and is worth the money!!!!!

    Dawson Creek has a museum about the Alaska Highway, and is worth going to (IMO). There are also a few other places around the city that are worth eyeing for yourself.

    So much to see and do along the way -- highlights for me? The gorgeous scenery, of COURSE. Viewing bears and other wildlife in their habitat. Manmade? The Signpost Forest, for its history and that we contributed a sign for it. Toad River Lodge -- at the time, they had a ball cap collection that was amazing. We contributed one to that, too. Back to scenery -- the lakes and the mountains. The Culture change in rural Canada.

    Since this is a round-trip, consider entering Canada at one spot, and leaving it to go into CONUS (i.e. Lower 48) at another spot.

    It's a trip of a lifetime. I'm glad we did it when we did (2000).


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 01-10-2023 at 07:49 AM. Reason: added info

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    When my husband and I traveled up there, we crossed at Sumas, which was very easy (at the time; pre-9/11/01). We drove to Dawson Creek, then ALCAN the rest of the way to Delta Junction. There, we headed for Fairbanks.

    Yes, you'll have rock chips. Yes, you will probably have windshield damage. Make sure you have your insurance card from the US and that you check with them about Canadian coverage. As was mentioned, though, those chips are a souvenir of sorts.

    The Milepost is published in March and is worth the money!!!!!

    Dawson Creek has a museum about the Alaska Highway, and is worth going to (IMO). There are also a few other places around the city that are worth eyeing for yourself.

    So much to see and do along the way -- highlights for me? The gorgeous scenery, of COURSE. Viewing bears and other wildlife in their habitat. Manmade? The Signpost Forest, for its history and that we contributed a sign for it. Toad River Lodge -- at the time, they had a ball cap collection that was amazing. We contributed one to that, too. Back to scenery -- the lakes and the mountains. The Culture change in rural Canada.

    Since this is a round-trip, consider entering Canada at one spot, and leaving it to go into CONUS (i.e. Lower 48) at another spot.

    It's a trip of a lifetime. I'm glad we did it when we did (2000).


    Donna
    Thank you all. Just when people get to convincing me not to go by myself and in a Corvette, I read your comments and feel even more determined to do it..

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,265

    Default

    Just be prepared to repair stone damage when you get back.

Similar Threads

  1. Camping On the Alaska Hwy and in Alaska
    By DonnaR57 in forum Camping RoadTrips
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 08-25-2019, 12:27 PM
  2. Through the Midwest
    By AZBuck in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-04-2007, 10:22 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •