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Alaska 2017


Jemstone

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We are plannng to travel the Alaskan Highway this year, spending some time along the highway to enjoy the incredible beauty of the Yukon and Alaska. We would welcome one or two other HDT couples to join us on the trip. The object of the trip is not to quickly get to Alaska, but to enjoy the journey. We tend to camp in parks rather than boon docking and will stay for a while in a camp with good wildlife viewing (watching beavers work their tails off is a big attraction to us). We are in our early 70s and this will be our 2nd trip to Alaska, though I lived in Anchorage many years ago. We will stay a few days in Whitehorse, a great town on the Yukon River and in Fairbanks, another great little city.

 

About the only place we don't want to spend much time is in Kulane National Park. Highest concentration of grizzly bears, at least in Canada, probably the world. We camped in the Park and found tracks near our rig that were beyond huge and which helped motivate us to move on.

 

We'll be leaving in May, getting to Canada in mid-May.

 

Interested?

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Right now we too are planning the Alaska trip. If you search this forum, you will see a start of a thread a while back about some HDT'rs, including yourself that related to an interest in the trip, as well. I would be interested in knowing the whereabouts of some of the others on the trip for possible get togethers or support. I doubt that I would want to be tied to others the entire trip. I'm pretty sure that my schedule would not always be in line with others.

We expect to be on the way from Wisconsin as soon as late April and chase the weather northward. We expect to stay until the weather tells us it's time to head south again.

 

Todd & Beth

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That is exactly what this trip is about. We loved the Yukon/BC border area, especially near Watson Lake. We spent several days camped at a lake with moose grazing and swimming in the lake. The creators and guardians of the lake were a couple of beavers who were not shy in any way. We watched them for hours as they worked on their dam. We may end the Alaska portion of the trip in Denali NP, as south of the Alaskan Range will be drizzle for the most part. Plus, Anchorage is a sprawling city and the Kenai Peninsula has much of the Anchorage population engaged in combat fishing. The Yukon, except for Kulane National Park, is an incredibly beautiful land.

 

Kulane NP is a stark mountainous terrain with Kulane Lake in the center. This area features the highest concentration of grizzly bears in Canada, which probably means "in the world". We camped one night in the Park and, while walking the dog the next morning, we found a pretty fresh bear track that was enormous and very near the trailer. As a former Alaskan resident and fisherman I have zero curiosity about encountering a grizzly in the wild, other than on a tour of Denali NP, from the bus or from our vehicle.

 

We spent about a week in Whitehorse during our 2010 trip and may do the same. The lure of Klondike gold may take us up to Dawson, depending on the roads. We may also visit Skagway. It's an interesting side trip through some of the most incredible geology we've seen. There was another town before Skagway got the railroad. This town offered a different route to the interior of Alaska via the Chilcot Pass. The town died after the White Pass RR went into operation, but its site is only about 11 miles from Skagway. I mention this old town site due to a quiet stream that runs through it. This is a pink salmon (humpy) spawning ground and it has a lot of salmon during the spawn. There is often a bear fishing in the stream. They can be viewed from your car, though these bears are pretty fixed on the fish. The young brown bear we watched had not figured out salmon fishing and was trying to get one by leaping high in the air and pouncing on it. I have a series of photos of the bear rolling around on the bank playing with the fish it finally got and some shots of his pouncing behavior.

 

I'll be also getting the Volvo in top condition for the trip. A tow to the nearest Volvo truck dealer on this road would be wildly expensive and would probably not actually be to a Volvo dealer, so prevention is important. Any diagnostic tests that you would recommend that would turn up potential maintenance or repair issues would be of great interest to me. My wife is suspicious of the Volvo due to a series of unfortunate events, usually involving a tow truck and I want to do whatever is possible to provide a tow truck free journey.

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Anyone passing through Grande Prairie enroute is more than welcome to get in touch with us. We have access to parts, shops to trust, and general knowledge of local tourist things. We also have access to great 4x4 trails, from gravel roads to more hard-core trails. Farm tours can also be arranged, for those interested in equipment.

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Raymond and I are planning Alaska 2017, with extended time in Canada. Currently we are in Congress (North Ranch), AZ and will leave here around 1 April. Stops along the way North are not planned yet, but leaning toward travel on SR 93 with stops along the way. We toured AK in 2014 and spent weeks in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Seward, Chicken. This time we will concentrate on Palmer, Kenai Peninsula, Whittier, and all of the places we didn't see the first trip. Hope to exit AK at Chicken again, but this time in September and cross into Dawson, Yukon. We'll be staging from Flathead Lake, MT. Hope to see other HDTers along the way.

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We will leave about the first of May from Glendale, Arizona. Our plan, as far as there is one, is to head north. I would like to take Darryl & Rita up on their invitation to learn more about Grand Prarrie. Our memory of the area is of a vast, flat territory with wheat being the major crop. We have a fair share of Alberta farmers visit our deserts during the winter where they enjoy the warm days while their farms are experiencing arctic temperatures and lousy weather. The Albertans currently in Arizona are getting their money's worth, as our weather couldn't be better.

 

We will have with us a 4Runner that is set up for off road use, so trail riding is a good possibility and sounds like fun. As we have no schedule, a stop in Grand Prarrie fits right in.

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I recommend a visit w/ Darryl and Rita. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them, short as it was.

 

I also recommend getting there by going up the Ice Fields Parkway, then hang a left just past Jasper and taking 40 up through Grande Cache. We saw a lot of wildlife through there.

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  • 3 months later...

We traveled to AK last summer and I blogged about it - did summaries of the drive up and out with lots of good info - plus spent the whole summer - mostly on the Kenai.  Check out summaries (and more if you want) here:

Getting to AK

Recap AK

we enjoyed an awesome summer - wishing you all a great trip!  It is truly something hubby and I will never forget!

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