North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

Discussion in 'Talkback' started by akjimny, May 6, 2010.

  1. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Wednesday, May 19 - Went from Shelby to a little West of Calgary, 228 miles. Found a campground listed in Woodalls. $27.00 for full hook-ups but the site was all gravel and dirt, not level, and so short the toad stuck out the back in the road. Had wi-fi if you wanted to pay $2.00 and sit in the office lobby.
    Thursday, May 20 - Made it 295 miles to Whitecourt. Stayed in a nice, wooded campground with full hook-ups for $30.00. Unfortunately is also was gravel and some of the stickiest, gooiest mud I have ever run across. And no wi-fi. Went to bed with the rain, woke up with the snow.
    Friday, May 21 - Here we are in Ft. St. John, 301 miles from Whitecourt. Drove thru mixed snow and rain all day, up to two inches in some spots. Not fun, especially when being passed by speeding semi-trucks. Found a nice campground with full hook-ups and wi-fi for $30.00. See comments above about mud, gravel and unlevel.
    On a material note - the "new vinyl hose" taste comes and goes. I suspect it may be the camp's plumbing rather than my hose. I don't have a filter yet, but will for the trip back home. The generator only looses oil when running, and not at the oil filter. I'm thinking it is probably the crankshaft seal. I'll pull the gen when we get to Anchorage and have the engine re-built.
    Grim Humor (or just my luck) - Part One - Met a big truck today - went whizzing past me and Bing - got me a nice rock chip in the windshield.
    Grim Humor (or just my luck) - Part Two - Went over some whoop-de-doos in the highway today and heard a scraping noise from the toad. Didn't worry too much as sometimes either the ramps on the dolly or the trailer hitch on the toad will contact the pavement. Stopped for a potty break and did my usual walk-around to check everything and - lo and behold - the whole rear bumper was missing off the toad. Hope nobody was tailgating me when that happened.
    This may be my last post for a while. Don't know if there is much wi-fi available on the rest of the Alcan. I'll keep a log and will post as often as I can.
     
  2. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins





    Yes keep us posted. I read everyone. Thanks. :cool:

    :8ball:
     
  3. dfedora

    dfedora Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    GREAT POSTS
    I have been following you also. I 'm planning to head up there after my Dr"s visits last week of June if all checks out OK????
    I'm really intrested in the border crossing How long and how through did they go thru your rv? I too am a fisherman love those trout & salmon but don't like the BEARS. In 2008 I flew into Fairbanks and rented a rv for 3 weeks Had a great time I hoping to drive from Ma. this year.

    2005 28' sunseeker v-10
     
  4. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    I should re-title this "The Adventure Ends - Finally." Yes, we finally pulled in to Anchorage around 2000 Alaska time on Wednesday, May 26. As Paul Harvey used to say, "Here's the rest of the story."
    I was right - darned little wi-fi available outside the bigger cities. It was there, kinda, but awful spotty. I wrote this up twice one evening and lost the connection before I could post it. Wa, wa, wa!!
    Saturday, May 22 - Woke up in Ft. St. John to more snow. Now when we pulled in to the campground the previous night the tow dolly scraped on the gravel driveway. No big deal, I thought. The ramps will scrape occasionally on rough terrain. When we pulled out in the morning, the ramps scraped some more on the campground road, and again I wasn't too worried. However, when we pulled out on the highway and they scraped, I knew something wasn't right. So I stopped and checked and sure enough, the pin that keeps the tow dolly halves together was missing. Don't know when it went missing but it was gone. So I had to wait for the hardware store to open and bought two pins and a pack of zip ties to hold everything together, and off we went to Ft. Nelson.
    Sunday, May 23 - Went from Ft. Nelson to Watson Lake. Pretty much uneventful leg of the trip other than gas prices keep going up. I've finally quit obsessing about gas prices and gas mileage. Gotta buy it to have it - gotta have it to burn it - gotta burn it to get there - and according to the boss lady - Gotta get there to see the Grandbaby. So There!!
    Monday, May 24 - Made it to Haines Junction. Saw lots of wildlife on this leg - moose, caribou, fox, coyote, and a bunch of bears. They were all out feeding on the fresh green grass along the highway. Campground was a flat (Thank goodness) gravel pit with full hookups for $27.00 (no WI-fi.) Office was closed when we got there at 1800, but was open when we left in the morning.
    Tuesday, May 25 - Went from Haines Junction to Tok, AK - back in the USA at last. Canada does not want you to level in a hurry. The last stretch of road was absolutely horrible. Lots of whoop-de-dos and broken pavement. I hit one pothole hard enough to knock my front end out of alignment. My steering wheel started shaking my driver's side front tire started wearing unevenly. When we made it to the US border it wasn't much better. Road construction for the first five miles or so. But after that everything was okay into Tok. Spent the night in really nice campground with full hookups, cable tv and wi-fi (sorta).
    Wednesday, May 26 - Tok to Anchorage. Ahh, familiar scenery and good roads (in places). Stopped for a potty break just outside of Glennallen, and after taking care of business, took a walk around the RV to check how things were doing. Pin still in the tow dolly, lights still on the toad, hold down straps tight, no flats on the duals, but when I got to the front, my driver side front tire was worn down to the cord. So I went limping in to Glennallen and went shopping for a tire. Three different shops and nobody had one to fit. So had to crawl under the MH and dismount the spare, jack up the MH and put on the spare, and proceed into Anchorage.
    So here I am, back in Anchorage at the in-laws with a semi-broken RV in the driveway. Have appointments to get the front end realigned, the generator rebuilt, buy two new tires for the front end and a fishing license, and hopefully, be down on the Kenai peninsula fishing for trout and salmon sometime soon.
    As for the border crossings, there were no problems. The Canadian folks were super friendly and courteous. I brought my 12 gauge pump along and had the paperwork filled out before I arrived at the border. They xeroxed copies for me and sent me on my way. Some friends who were not carrying weapons only had to show their passports at the border "toll booth" window. No inspection at all. Same thing at the US border. Just questions at the window - no inspection.
    That's about all for now, as if this wasn't long enough already. Happy vacations to all!! :)
     
  5. try2findus

    try2findus Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Sounds like you are having quite an experience, but most sounds good. We have heard lots of horror stories about the Alaskan voyage but nothing can stop us from finding out for ourselves...just wish it could be sooner rather than later.

    Thank you for your updates and I look forward to your future posts! :cool:
     
  6. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Well Jim you have brought back the memories. I moved the wife and kids up to Anchorage in 1974, Drove every mile. In 1976 I worked for Stephen and Sons. We paved from Tok thru Glennallen to Valdez. Even worked on the bridge to Chitina. One night when I was driving my dump truck back to Anchorage, a rock busted the bleed valve on the air tank at Talkeetna. Got to spend the whole night there.
    My daughter was born when I was working on the Safeway project on the corner of Diamond and Old Seward Hwy.
    Left there in 1979. I bet it does not look the same. Do you know if Stephen and Sons is still in business?
     
  7. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Couldn't find Stephen and Sons listed in the Anchorage phone book - sorry. We left in 1998 to move to Florida to be near to my folks. I can't believe how much it has grown up here. Some things never change; tire ruts and potholes, rocks, and the never-ending dust. Haven't been out fishing yet - have to get the MH fixed first. Hope it isn't as crowded down on the river as it is in town. But, I'm retired now. So when everyone else has to go back to town on Sunday night to be up and at work on Monday - well, I'll have the river mostly to myself :laugh:
     
  8. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    What direction will be going to fishing? Towards Eagle River or Moose pass? I can't even remember the names of the river's anymore. I use to live about half up Huffman road. Bet that has change a lot. Potholes? No one really knows what potholes are till they have lived up there. Hey, if you see Sarah give her a big hug for me. ;) :eek:
     
  9. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Will be going fishing down on the Kenai peninsula - Russian River for red salmon and Seward deep sea fishing for rock bass, ling cod, halibut and maybe silver salmon. Also plan on taking a trip over to Whittier, either on the train or drive the MH, if it will fit thru the tunnels. Just came back from a recon mission, locating the repair shops I'll be going to next week. There are now houses and apartments and strip malls all over the place where there was nothing but forest when we left here. And, of course, roads under construction/repair all over the place. But traffic wasn't too bad. We may just see Sarah at the state fair in August. I'll tell her you said "Hi!!"
     
  10. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Here's an update if anybody's interested - Got the motorhome from the last repair appointment yesterday. Breakdown is as follows:

    Generator repair to fix oil leak: $480.00. Turns out it was leaking at the fitting the oil filter screws onto. The shop ran it for 20 minutes or so and saw no further leaks. I'll be spending the night running it and will know in the morning if they were right or not. As a sidebar, this was a HEAVY equipment shop, but the only Generac dealer/repair shop in Anchorage. My MH looked like a toy in there next to all the big yellow equipment. Bet they had to break out a special tool box to work on it. Great bunch of folks, though - friendly, courteous and helpful.

    Front end alignment:$1,508.00. It was a little more than just an alignment - had to have the upper and lower ball joints replaced, some other bushings replaced, and they mounted and balanced the two new front tires. Which brings me to - -

    Two new tires to replace the ones I wore out in four days - $402.00. And - - -

    New bumper mount spare tire carrier: $54.00 - because I don't ever want to have to crawl under the MH and drop the spare tire down on my chest and crawl out with it again. Not Ever!!

    But everything is (supposedly) fixed now and we can begin camping and fishing. Weather's been great - 50's at night and 60's during the day (Sorry Rod - not your kind of weather). Anchorage has really grown since we left, but what hasn't. Gonna clean up the MH, do the laundry and re-pack and we should be set to go.
     
  11. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Keep the updates coming Jim. Sure wish we could be there with you. I would go again in the MH in a minute if we could. we were lucky and had no problem at all with the MH going or coming. Toad did come loose coming back through Calgary but thanks to having a braking system on the toad no damage.
     
  12. vanole

    vanole Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    akjimmy,

    Glad to see you got the Coach fixed. Give us a fishing report when you have time.

    V/R
    Jeff

    "Oil Spews, OBAMA Parties, & Americans Pay"
     
  13. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Just heard the fishing report on TV - my favorite fishing hole, the Russian River, is opening tomorrow. I'll let the herd go down this weekend and I'll head out on Monday when they're all back at work. :laugh: :laugh:
     
  14. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    sounds like a good plan Jim, let us know how you did
     
  15. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins



    I remember the Russian River. Seems like Iremember the elbow to elbow on the weekends. I understand why you would wait until Monday. I also recall that most of the Salmon were being caught by their backs or the fins. "SNAG". Alaska in not my home but you sure are making home sick for that place. I got on Google Earth and found the home we had built. Man how that place has change. Where the kids and I used to snowmobile and dirt bike, in our back yard,is onelarge subdivision with a tall water tower on top of the hill we used to go hill climbing.

    I might have to follow Nash on the Alaska highway when he decides to back. :approve::cool:;)

    :8ball:
     
  16. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Eleven years ago it was elbow to elbow combat fishing - but that was when I was a working stiff and could only fish on the weekends. I'll let you know how it is fishing during the week when we get back. Red salmon don't feed once they enter fresh water so you have to irritate them into biting at the fly - and hope you snag them in the mouth instead of in the back. But I've hauled them in both ways, and sideways, to boot. The snagged ones you release, the legal ones you eat. :laugh: :laugh:
     
  17. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Just a quick update. Haven't caught fish one yet. The red salmon are starting to come into the river, Fish and Game says it should be pretty good fishing starting tomorrow. Got the rod, got the flys, got the hip boots, got the MH all repaired and ready to go and..................wait for it................got to take the Boss Lady to two doctor appointments this week plus pick up meds at the Base Hospital on Friday. So I may get to the river on Friday with the rest of the weekend crowd. :( :(
     
  18. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Just got back from the first trip to the Russian River - Score: Fish 1, Jimmy 0. Combat fishing wasn't all that bad as the first run of fish hasn't really gotten to the river yet. I will try again next week.
    On a good news note - the generator fix worked. It ran for more than 48 hours with no oil leaks/loss at all. On a bad news note, I scrunched the generator compartment door while backing out of my sister-in-laws driveway. Minor damage but now I have something else to fix. Seems like there's ALWAYS something else to fix. :( :( :eek:
     
  19. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Well with that "scrunched" you fit in with all of the other Alaskan vehicle's. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :clown:
     
  20. try2findus

    try2findus Senior Member

    Re: North to Alaska - The Adventue Begins

    Sounds like a good trip so far despite the things happening on the journey there. We hope you are having fun visiting your family and friends. Enjoy the weather. Our high today was 100 according to the truck thermometor.

    You are SO right, there is always something else to fix...but it still beats sitting at home with no RV to repair. ;)
     

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