Destination Alaska - The Trip

Discussion in 'Destinations' started by akjimny, May 3, 2012.

  1. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Thanks for the warning Len. We’ve had good roads up to here so far. Not exactly smooth and level - but at least it’s all been paved. Here’s the daily recap:

    Day Eleven - Ft. St. John, BC to Ft. Nelson, BC. Up the hill, down the hill, repeat as necessary. Other than the hills, it was an easy day today. Staying at the Triple G Campground (used to be the Westend Campground) in Ft. Nelson. Have pretty good wi-fi and cable tv, so the Boss Lady is happy. Got in early enough to get some rest, catch up on the facebook and e-mail and my trip blog. Burned a bunch of gas today, but I had to fill up prior to leaving Ft. St. John, and did fill up when we got here, so it looks like I used more than I usually do. But I’ll burn it off tomorrow going up the Canadian Rockies.

    Trip log for Day Eleven: 244 miles 51.06 gallons of gas Gas cost $322.00 Campground fee $37.00
  2. quietstorm366

    quietstorm366 Junior Member

    Jim, just started reading your thread, what kind of coach are you traveling in? My wife and I are picking up our coach 2003 CC Allure the first part of June. We've talked about a trip to Alaska. We both love to flyfish, and I know Alaska is God's Country. Have a safe trip. Thanks, John
  3. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Hi John and welcome to the RVUSA Forum. We have a 2007 31 foot Sunseeker Class C motorhome, built on the Ford E450 chassis with the V10 gas hog engine. We bought it used in 2009 and now have over 70,000 miles on it. This is our third (and final) trip up the Alcan in the motorhome as we are moving back to Anchorage to be with family. My gas mileage is kinda sucky because I'm towing a 16 foot cargo trailer with all our household goods.

    I too enjoy flyfishing - I just wish I could do more catching. At least now as an Alaskan resident, I won't have to spend $140.00 for a non-resident fishing license. If you and your wife ever make it up to Alaska, drop me a line here on the forum and we'll get together when you get here.:):)
  4. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Jim is the gas by the liter or gallon? I just did the math, that = $6.30 a gallon.... that is 322 / $51.06 = $6.30 . If this correct, I don't think I will ever drive my MH up into Alaska.
  5. dfedora

    dfedora Member

    Great blog . I'm really enjoying all your info your posting. GREAT JOB
  6. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    You just have to keep the fuel in perspective. We spent two months on the Alaska trip last year, total cost was $6000. $3000 was fuel for the toad and the MH. That includes Campgrounds activities and food. We drove most of the paved Hiways and some not, did fishing and tours. Now we could have stayed another month for an additional $1200 I figure. So for an adventure of this type the fuel is up there but we put on about the same number of miles every winter. Boiled down the xtra $500-$1000(at the highend) over the cost of the same amount of miles in the lower 48 for fuel would not keep me from going. That is less than $100 a day for total costs food, gas, lodging, adventure tours and entertainment. Run the cost on lower 48 1-2 week trip, and see the cost I would bet it's more per day. HHHHHHMMMMMM maybe next year again.

  7. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Hollis - the $6.30 per gallon price is correct. They sell it by the liter and I have been doing the conversion for my reports. I budgeted this trip at $1.00 per mile for the 5,000 mile trip just to be on the safe side. So far we are under budget, but behind schedule. Here's the story so far:

    Day Twelve: Fort Nelson, BC to Watson Lake, YT. This was a weather and wildlife day. Started out nice and sunny, ended up cold and snowy. Had some freezing rain in between. As for wildlife, we saw 1 beaver, 2 moose, 3 caribou, a dozen or so dall sheep, couple of dozen bison and 5 black bears. The bears looked kinda small from the road, but I didn't get out with my tape measure to check any of them. We stopped at the Downtown RV Park and had cable TV but no wi-fi. There was supposed to be wi-fi available but we were stuck on millionaire's row with a bunch of BIG Class A's and they effectively blocked the signal. To top it all off, Boss Lady had a bad night , health-wise, and my 26pound kitten spent the night running up and down the motorhome squalling his head off until about 4:00 AM. So I didn't get much sleep.

    Trip log for Day Twelve: 318 miles 52.1 gallons of gas Gas cost $290.00 Campground fee $35.50

    Day Thirteen: Watson Lake, YT to Whitehorse, YT, spending the night at the Hi Country RV park. We were supposed to go all the way to Haines Junction today, another 130 miles or so, but due to my lack of sleep and some other health problems, we only made it to Whitehorse. Roads so far have been pretty good - no major construction or other problems. I have been told there will be problems tomorrrow with the stretch from Haines Junction to Tok, AK. We'll see and report later.

    Trip log for Day Thirteen: 293 miles ??? gallons of gas (got receipt with price but no quanity) Gas cost $228.81 Campground fee $36.00
  8. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Great to hear all is well on the trip Jim. Hope the boss lady gets better. Know she will be glad when the trip to family is there. Keep the reports coming.
  9. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Thanks Nash. She seems to be doing better today. We both do. And---Whooppee!!!!! - Canada is now behind us. And once again, as I have posted previously, Canada does not seem to want you to leave quickly. The absolute worst roads were the last 200 miles to the border. Don't know what the problem is, but I don't think I'll ever have to drive over them again. Here's the recap for Day Fourteen:

    Day Fourteeen - Whitehorse, YT to Tok, AK. As I said above, we had miserable roads for the last stretch in Canada. I hit one unannounced whoop-de-do just after Kluane Lake that took the front tires off the ground. Needless to say, I slowed down considerably after that. A word of warning for anyone travelling the Alcan - when you see a orange flag stuck in the shoulder of the road in Canada - SLOW DOWN. And some of the hazzards aren't marked, so beware. We are now camped at the Tok RV Village. Made it thru the US border crossing with no problems other than they confiscated the Boss Lady's oranges that we had brought all the way from Florida. I feel kinda bad about what I did at the last gas stop in Canada. When we stopped for lunch I counted up all the Canadian change I had accumulated and it came to $45.51 all in coins. So when I stopped, I pumped in $45.00 worth and presented the cashier with a zip-loc baggie full of coins. He took them, but his wife wasn't too happy. But I had no use for Canadian money in Alaska and it seemed like a good deal to buy gas and get rid of it. So I did!!

    Trip log for Day Fourteen: 387 miles 54.06 gallons of gas Gas cost $273.00 Campground fee $37.00

    Tomorrow, God willing, we will be at the sister-in-law's house in Anchorage. Good thing I know where I'm going because I think some of those fine Canadian road scrambled Suzie's (my GPS) brain, because she can't figure out where she is all the time now. Hopefully she'll be all better tomorrow.
  10. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Sure bringing back great memories of our trip Jim. We also camped there. Great to hear boss lady is better and your trip is nearing your destination. Take care and enjoy. We will miss your yearly trek to Alaska. Keep the news from Alaska coming.
  11. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Day Fifteeen - Finally in Anchorage. Made the trip from Tok to Anchorage and got in around 4:00 PM. Had another miserable night with the squalling kittten and got up about 5:00. Figured if I couldn't sleep - might as well drive - so we hit the road a little earlier than usual. Boss Lady stayed back on the sleeper sofa and napped until lunch. Had pretty good road out of Tok for about a hundred miles, then we hit a 24 mile stretch of repair work. Washboard gravel!!! First stretch I hit shook the motorhome so bad I though it was coming apart. The rest of them I went thru at 15 MPH with my four-way flashers on. It always amazes me how some parts of the road are smooth and well tended as any you would find in the Lower 48 and others are as bad as any third world country. But we made it and now we are all done with the road - until fishing season cranks up.

    Trip log for Day Fifteen: 313 miles 49.9 gallons of gas Gas cost $230.45 Campground fee $42.00

    We are staying with my sister-in-law but the motorhome is in a campground because of the cats. My s-i-l is allergic, so the cats can't come in the house. But I can get a shower and sleep in a bed without a squalling cat keeping me up all night. Monday we start looking for a new sticks-and-bricks here in Anchorage. Gonna cost way more than what I got for the house in Florida. Anyone on the forum who makes it up to Alaska - drop me a line or give me a call and we'll get together for coffee or dinner or something.

    No more Alcan for me ----- Whooopppeee!!!

    Here's the grand total for the whole trip:

    5187 miles Gas cost $3359.26 Campground fees $506.85 (two free nights/one motel for $110.00) Grand Total $3866.11 - not including food, trips to Walmart and lunches and dinners in restaurants.
  12. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Glad you made it Jim. They way I look at it you shouldn't add food,walmart,lunches or dinners. That's a necessity even at home. Some of the gas expense can be deducted because you will even buy some gas when home. Hmmm even got me to thinking. Now if I can just save enough so Canada will let us travel through?
  13. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Keep working at it Nash. You'll come up with justification sooner or later. Look forward to seeing you when you get here.:excitement::excitement:
  14. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Well I do have Kin folks that live up there so maybe I could sponge a few nights on them. Now if SS will just give us a raise!!! LOL or better yet maybe I can talk Hollis into coming that way and we can ride with him to show the way:excitement:
  15. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Just remember that as soon as you hit the Alcan the camping is free and the most beautiful settings. Unless you want or need hookups.

  16. dfedora

    dfedora Member

    Well we are finally ready to hit the road Alaska here we come. Got someone moved into the stick house for the summer. Going to stop and visit some relatives that I haven't seen for quite a while. Will take our time across the midwest if the weather isn't toooo hot or stormy !
    Jim I would like to take you up on the coffee and fishing if you folks are up to it. I planning on hitting the tail end of the Kings Salmon run if possible. I know they started 2-3 weeks late due to the cold water.
    I'll give you a shout a couple of days out if i can. Thanks again for your blog I got a lot of good info from it.
    Hope gas prices continue to drop
  17. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Okay Dick - look forward to seeing you. Just remember - look out for the area around Kluane Lake and the last 200 miles in Canada. There was also a 20 mile stretch on the Alaska side that was in gravel when we came up. Hopefully they've got it paved by now. I'll be finding out in three weeks since I have to fly back to Florida and drive my pickup back to Alaska. Planning 8 or 9 days for that trip so I should be back in Anchorage by June 30th.

    Travel safe.:):)
  18. dfedora

    dfedora Member

    Thanks again for the heads ups. Have a safe journey also. I am planning to stay up in Ak for 2-3 months so we have plenty of time to get the cup of coffee.
  19. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    WOW Jim!!! Are you sure you will be able to find your way back up to Alaska LOL. Have a safe trip
  20. Big Boy w/ Big Toys

    Big Boy w/ Big Toys Junior Member

    Well I am no longer ghosting here....I have got bad news for anyone coming north. The Ak Hwy is closed at Watson Lake to Teslin.....basically the road no longer exsists. It maybe a week before they open the road again. So here we sit in Whitehorse.....I actually like it here alot.

    Here is a link for updates

    We left Anchorage heading south and got stuck in Destruction Bay for water running over the road. Held up 12 hours waiting for the water level to drop and for them to remove debris.

    Up date on road conditions.

    Anchorage to Glennallen good. The best I have seen in a while. Glenallen to Tok also good. A couple of gravel sections and the guys were measuring for pavement, so that means 2 or 3 weeks before they start. Tok to the US border station road is good. If you see a sign that says road damage slow down. If you see fesh black oil slow down.

    Now from Border Station to Border Station that section of road has not changed in the 15 years I have lived in Alaska. I have made 6 round trips on the Alcan and that 20 miles is always the same rough, rough and dirt rough. Slow down 35 mph or less recommended thru that section.

    Border station to Destruction Bay lots of flags marking most of the worst spots. There was a couple that were unmarked. The gravel sections were in pretty good shape, but can change quickly with alot of rain. Once pass the south end of the lake the road improves greatly to Whitehorse. There are a couple of gravels sections but again no big deal.

    and that is where are trip is now in holding status.....

    PS we are not currently RV owners. We were suppose to pick it up in Great Falls on Wednesday??????? So for those who see a F350 pulling a uhaul that would be us. On our return trip we will have a new Raptor 30 FS can wait.Truck sleeping to avoid the bears and hotels are not my idea of fun.

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