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Author Topic: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"  (Read 53146 times)

SargeW

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ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« on: June 22, 2012, 11:31:02 PM »
Well we just crossed the border today. My blog is going to be a little different than most, as I coin a familiar line from Jack Webb in the old Dragnet series. Instead of a lot of the sight seeing stuff (the DW is taking care  of that in her web blog at the link at the bottom of my signature) mine will be more nuts and bolts stuff that I have to do to make the trip work. :P

I will start with the border crossing, as some like us, have never had to do it before in the RV. We started by getting a camp ground close to the Sumas border crossing. We chose Sumas as this was recommended to us because it is a lot less busy than Blaine into Vancouver or Linden. This info was right on. We crossed twice and never had more than 1 or 2 vehicles in front of us in line.  A quick note about the RV park I picked in Sumas. I picked it because it was close to the border for easy access, about 1/4 mile straight shot. Big mistake. The Sumas RV park is in decent shape grounds wise, but the large contingent of dilapidated trailers, white trash residents, and pit bull dogs make it not a place to stay.  A  few fist fights broke out in the two days we were there, and the barefoot pregnant cigarette smoking teenagers thrown in for effect just completed the package. ::)  Oh yeah, and to top it off the constant smell of cow manure from all of the cow lots around us was the cherry on the cake.

We crossed the first time in the toad to get some currency changed and buy a Canadian carrier air card. More on that in a bit. The currency exchange was easy and we used the Royal Bank of Canada in Abbotsford, BC for the transaction. We changed $200 American for Canadian. We were charged $3 for the transaction fee, a bank charge I imagine. The exchange rate was nearly one for one. So one US dollar netted $1.04 Canadian.  Interestingly, the first campground we stopped at, Gold Trail RV, asked for US currency for the RV spot. More on that in a minute as well. 

Then I had previously decided to buy a Canadian air card for internet access on the road (the DW and I are both heavy internet users).  The carrier I selected was Telus communications. When I first chose them it was due to the fact that they are the main carrier in Western Canada, and equipment standard was CDMA, the same as my US carrier, Verizon uses. I located several Telus stores close to the border and picked one that was easy access.  The store I went to was Clearwest Solutions, on Clearbrook Rd, in Abbotsford BC. The first thing I learned is that Telus is no longer using the CDMA band. They now use the HSPA standard, as they say it is much faster.  In order not to be a contract customer I bought the air card (USB modem) out right and and became a month to month customer.  At first the rep, a very nice girl, Sarah didn't know if we could be customers since we were out of the country residents. A call to the Telus home office informed us that as  long as we had two forms of ID, a drivers license and credit card, and they ran a credit check on us, it would be no problem. We purchased a HUAWEI Mobile Internet Card (USB modem) Model E182, for $129. After taxes and fees it came out to just over $150.

The data plan I chose is called the Data Flex 35 plan. Basically I get 1 gig of data for $35, and it bumps up to as much as 9 gig of data for $90. We won't use that much, but it's nice to know that I won't go broke paying for internet use. In comparison, Verizon's only plan was for $25 for 100 MEG  of data, and each additional meg was $25.  A little quick math showed me that with 1024 meg in a gig of data, ONE gig of Verizon data was going to run over $2000!  And for us to burn 5 gig a month between the two of us is easy.

The surprise came when I got to our campground in Clinton, BC and plugged it the new air card. I plugged it into my existing MBR 95 router and Wilson amp and exterior antenna. This is supposed to be a 3G max air card, but the test on the Speed Test site showed a download of 9.5 mbps!! ;D   I tested a few more times and never got lower than 3.2 mbps. I was floored to say the least.  I am sure that I won't get those speeds everywhere, but I didn't expect that speed anywhere.  I don't know if it's the carrier, or the HSPA standard, but it's pretty amazing. 

On the way across the border the first time we also parked (directed) and went into the Border Patrol office. We asked questions about what we could and couldn't bring across with us the next day. Some of the directions were, no fruits with a core (apples ect) no potatoes, two bottles of wine per person, 1 liter of hard alcohol, and no more that 24 beers. We also informed them that we would be bringing a shotgun along with us (for wild animal protection). We were told that that was no problem as long as it was not a "prohibited" weapon, and was carried appropriately.  Interestingly, the young agent at the kiosk when we first pulled up was pretty curt, rude, and slightly sarcastic. The agent inside, also a younger guy was much more helpful and personable. Most of the questions asked were centered around where do you live, where are you going, how long will you be in Canada, and do you have any handguns with you (a prohibited weapon in most cases).  He also suggested that we come back the earlier in the day the better, since we have to do the paperwork for the shotgun.

We were back the next day at a little after 7 AM, and he was right, the border was nearly empty. We were directed to park and go inside after talking to the agent at the kiosk.  A female, older, not much personality either, just the same questions. Upon going inside we were the only ones there. We approached the agent at the counter, and for joy, for joy, it was the same agent as the previous day at the kiosk.  It started out much the same way as yesterday, so I looked him straight in the eye and answered each question without hesitation, and made no extra conversation. After a few minutes he loosened up some, and it was more of a conversational tone. I had the required form filled out in triplicate with all of the proper blanks filled in. He wanted to go the RV to measure the barrel length of the shotgun (anything under 18'' is illegal and a felony to possess). I had marked on the form that the barrel was 18 1/8" long, which it was. I walked him to the RV, opened the slides as necessary then went outside while he investigated. After a few minutes he came back out and told me I could close it back up and come inside.  He also complemented me on my locking system I installed to hold the gun (I was shocked).  A few minutes back inside to sign the document, he made me a copy of the stamped document (that constitutes a 60 firearms license) and went to the cashier and paid my $25.

The whole process took about a half hour. Pretty quick actually, and not near as difficult as I was expecting. We pulled out and headed for Clinton, BC.

Taking highway 1 north is just like taking any well maintained highway in the states (and much better than some that I have been on lately.)  The major difference I noted is that Canada does not spend a lot of money on signage. Signs like downhill recommended speed, recommended speed on corners, and upcoming available turnouts are lacking.  The rest areas are marked, but if you want to hit a turnout for any reason you need to keep a sharp eye out to avoid flying by at 100 KPH (62 MPH).

We arrived early at our campground since we left so early in the morning. And good thing, because all though we were on mostly smooth new roads all the way from the border, I still managed to collect another new "star" chip in my windshield >:(  So I broke out the WalMart windshield repair kit and patched up chip #5 in the MH windshield. Oh well, at least I didn't by a new one before we decided on the Alaska trip.....

Marty--
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Betty Brewer

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 11:44:22 PM »
Marty,
I am going to enjoy following your facts.  Glad you made it across the border.
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 09:14:59 AM »
Good start, SargeW, and we enjoyed reading your reports. Keep 'em coming!
Gary
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 08:37:06 PM »
Thanks guys! It's nice to know that someone is reading it!  A few items left over from the preparation phase.  I had originally planned to update my Verizon calling plan at home to a plan Verizon offers called "Nationwide and Canada" plan. It would have given me 700 minutes of shared voice calling, and unlimited texting anywhere in Canada for $80 a month. Then I learned that if I switched my plan for the Canada trip (about 3 months) that I would not be able to get back my old plan when I returned. This would cause me to lose my grandfathered in unlimited data plan on my Verizon 3G modem. My whole plan would have to be changed to the new shared data plan. It would cost me about $50 more a month than I pay now. So I am stuck with my current plan for the trip and will pay .69 cents a minute for any calls I make.  I can get free calls however if I use Skype over my Telus Wifi card.   

Also a little more on our "wine" problem at the border.  When we checked the day before the Border Agent told us we were limited to (2) 750ml bottles of wine per person (4 total). Well since we just came up through California wine country, we had about 10 bottles in stock, along with a few of our misc half empty adult beverages.  We were let to believe that anything over that amount would be forfeited. Diane was crushed, some of the wine we had bought was here favorite, along with 2 bottles of Champagne. Not wanting to give up the booty, we opted to get a box and mail all the excess to a friend of ours that lives in Washington State.  It cost about $20 to send him the box, and we will pick it up on the way out of Canada. Later we learned that we may have been able to keep the extra wine if we paid the "duty" on it.  We were not informed of that, but I would have been interested to know what the total taxes may have been. 

We picked "Golden Trail" RV park to make our first stop in BC. The choice has been a good one. The sites are mostly pull through and the pads are hard packed gravel, as are the roads. Our other choice was a park down the road a bit in the village of Clinton named Brookside RV park.  We drove by there today and took a look at the park. It looked nice enough, but the roads and pads are mostly dirt. It has been raining pretty good today so the whole place was pretty muddy.

Then the owner of the park we are in (a real character by the way) recommend as scenic drive near the park. It was quite a big loop that went through forest, farm land, and paralleled the Fraser river for quite a ways. The whole loop was about 60 miles and was on mostly smooth graded dirt and gravel roads.  A 4X4 isn't mandatory but was nice to have. On the road down to the river, about 16 miles, the road has a 23% grade in spots with some tight switch backs. But the trip was worth it as the scenery was beautiful. 

On the way back to the RV park we hit asphalt and were headed back in a really heavy thunder storm when we passed a pretty major traffic collision on highway 97. Several vehicles were involved with car parts all over the road. I didn't know if there were injuries, but it looked like someone lost control in the rain and took out a few other cars. The RCMP was already at scene, and getting pretty wet to boot.  See, it's not just Californian's that can't drive in the rain.....
Marty--
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boatbuilder

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 09:55:53 PM »
Great report. I like hearing about other peoples experiences at the border. My family has a summer place just north of the Thousand Islands and I have crossed many times. I have had everything from just about waved thru to a total donkey. Hope your trip is smooth and enjoyable.
Charlie

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 09:00:05 AM »
We too were concerned about alcohol limits, since we had some open bottles of liquor and cordials, plus both beer and wine. We found that the Canadian border agents did not seem to care how much wine/beer/liquor we had for our personal consumption. At every crossing they ignored the amounts we stated, always in excess of the legal limit for duty free.  Obviously you can't 100% rely on their magnanimity, but we never had a problem or paid a duty.
Gary
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carson

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2012, 12:09:13 PM »
How times have changed... speaking about 1961.

  Towed a small Shasta trailer from Vancouver BC to California and back.

  When crossing back into Canada I had one can of beer left in the trailer. Being an honest guy I declared it.

Wham....no go, not allowed. Had to go inside their office and pay my import duty fee.

  I am still laughing about that since then. They wouldn't even accept the can as a gift.

I think the fee was less then one dollar.

 Go figure.... ;D
Carson, 
 West Central Florida
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RoyM

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2012, 01:35:03 PM »
That was close to an hour's wages. ;D
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jim and di

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2012, 01:56:22 PM »
Sarge,
Fun read, keep it up.
Jim
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ArdraF

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2012, 05:07:03 PM »
Sarge, keep writing your facts.  Very interesting.  Re the alcohol.  Many years ago we had a friend who drank a lot of liquor.  When they went to Alaska he had boxes of booze in his truck bed.  At the border, he was told he couldn't bring in all that alcohol.  He finally convinced them it was all for his personal consumption and besides he was just "driving through Canada" with his destination be Alaska.  They allowed him to pass without paying duty.  Don't know what they would do today.

ArdraF
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2012, 08:35:51 PM »
     Welcome to Canada, see we told you that we didn't bite when you come for a visit and that you were just being paranoid.  As for the wine, BC has a lot of high quality wineries that I'm sure you would enjoy.  All that you'll really miss is the desert conditions as most of BC and Alaska will be lush green.  If you get the chance coming or going, head to Banff and Jasper National Parks,  The mountains, lakes, scenery and wildlife were spectacular.  We stayed at the National Park in Lake Louise, which has 30 AMP service, but water & dump are central only.  The Icefields were awsome, and well worth the trip out to see them.
    Have a great trip,
Donna and Ed
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2012, 01:33:10 AM »
Thanks all, I appreciate the comments! Ed, I knew you guys didn't bite, at least not too hard.  That was until I went into a McDonalds today! I am still adjusting to the prices in BC, some things are a bit of a shock. We left Clinton today and headed towards Prince George.  The roads are still in excellent shape, even where there is construction going on.

As we approached the town of Quesnel, BC it was getting to be lunch time, and we happened upon our first WalMart where we needed to pick up a few things. We pulled into the parking lot and joined about 6 other RV's already there. There was a McDonalds there so we decided to kill two birds and just grab a bite there. Two chicken sandwich meals were over $17.00 !! 

After leaving WalMart I was going to try to get into a gas station right across the street. I saw it on the way in and diesel was selling for $1.21 a Liter ($4.57 US gal).  I didn't think that price was too bad, since the Flying J we passed entering Canada at the Sumas border was $1.29 a liter ($4.88 US gal).   But I soon figured out that there was no way I was going to get into the pumps with all the other cars there and a few tight turns to maneuver.

So we went on down the road where I passed several stations that I couldn't fit in, until I came upon a "Husky" brand station that had the pumps parallel with the road so I could pull in and out easily. I was a little worried at first as the Unleaded gas was selling for $1.30 a liter, and the diesel prices were not displayed.  I was pleased to see that the diesel price was the same as it was at the station by WalMart. So we filled and I took on 170 liters (44.9 US gal). A little quick math showed that I got 9.1 MPG on that tank.  I was pretty happy with that, but I'm sure it has to the maximum speed we have encountered in BC so far has been 100 kph (62 mph).

The last two times I have filled up, once just outside of Sumas, Wa, and here in BC I have had what I call a "super fill". That is when the pad that you park on is tilted away and backwards a bit from the pumps.  That causes the fuel in your tank to create the most room available for the new fuel, so I wind up getting a maximum amount of fuel at that fill up.  That kind of skewers your MPG on that tank when you do the math, but it always evens out on the next tank when the RV is level.

We picked a RV park here in Prince George called Southpark RV park. I believe it's the same park Marsha stayed in when she came through here a week or so ago. I backed it up by checking the reviews on rvparkreviews.com. It's a good thing too, as there are lots of RV parks here in town and on the way into town. Some are not rated so well or have serious issues. One park on the edge of town was dinged for having many low areas in the park that were holding a lot of standing water. The mosquitoes were horrible.  We paid $32 a night here for full hookups. Upon check in the guy at the desk said it was a good thing that we were in today and only staying two nights. On the day we leave, Tuesday, a caravan of 30 RV's is coming in and taking nearly the  whole park.  We intend to stay in front of them if possible!

When I went out to wash the front windows, a task I usually do as part of my set up at a new RV site, I noted that one of my clearance light lenses was popped out and hanging on to the light holder by a thread.  How the heck does a clearance light way up there get knocked loose? I have hit no trees limbs there are no marks to indicate that anything else hit the RV.  I tell you,  it's a mystery how this thing goes down the road and stays in one piece.  And we aren't even in Alaska yet.  Fortunately I carry a folding 7' ladder so I could get up there and put it back on.

And while setting up I had to break out the portable Satellite dish to be able to get signal here in the park. There are a few tall trees at the park boundary that would not have been an issue in the lower 48. But this far north the dish reflector is already almost straight up. I expect that this will get much more challenging as we get farther north. I also had to update the maps on my Garmin nuvi tonight. Since we have been in Canada the maps and tracking has been awful. Fortunately a year ago I caved in and bought lifetime maps for it. I was able to download updated maps for all of North America, Canada and Alaska. It took a few hours to complete but now it is working great again.

Also a note on the Telus air card. We normally leave the Wifi on so Diane can check random things while we motor down the road. We had internet signal all day, save for a few momentary drop outs due to obstructions. So far it has been money well spent. 
Marty--
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Marsha/CA

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2012, 11:47:56 AM »
Marty, glad Southpark RV worked for you.  When we were there the area had been hit with heavy rain and it was still raining hard on and off when we were there.  Most of the other parks had standing water everywhere.  We liked the fact that the park was a bit uphill.  Since we are using only campground wifi, we parked in site #1, closest to the signal.  It worked very well.  The cable TV however was a hoot.  The campground owners would switch stations right in the middle of what we were watching.  Not sure how they had it set up; but it was funny.

Where are you headed from Prince George?

We are now in Whitehorse for a few days.  So far the roads have not been bad at all.  The last stretch heading north on #37 (Cassiar) was rock and roll and we drove around 45mph.  On the Alaskan Highway from #37 Junction heading toward Whitehorse, it was better than we expected.  There were several sections of gravel but they are only a couple of car lengths long.  I finally broke down and put my window cover that I made on the tow car.  The Teslin bridge washout is passable.

We also found the price of eating out was much higher than we remember the last time we were in Canada.  The last 2 dinners out we paid close to $50.00 per meal and Tim referred to them as the "blue light" specials to give you an idea of quality. 

Someone in the campground here last night was complaining that coming up through Kamloops area he paid $1.90 per liter for diesel!!!  Our highest has been $1.42 in Dease Lake on #37.  We had also heard that BC has just voted to change their tax laws effective June 1st, which was making things much more costly.

Marsha~
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2012, 12:24:15 PM »
Our next stop is Dawson Creek, and I was just about to check out the reviews on rvparkreviews site. Did you stay in Dawson Creek?  Thanks for the heads up about the roads, I always like knowing what to expect.  We are going to take a look around Prince George this morning, then do a little shopping.

Our route is going to take us down the Cassiar on the way back from Alaska. We are going to be going up the Alaskan highway to Top of the world highway.  Quite the adventure!
Marty--
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Steve & Linda

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2012, 02:45:45 PM »
SargeW

Keep posting...we're eating it up...excited as we plan our own rv trip to Alaska 2013. Right now I'm just trying to absorb everything you and others are posting so we aren't caught with any 'surprises.' My biggest concern is my husband is wheelchair bound so if you have the opportunity to observe and report on 'accessibility' for disabled folks I'd really appreciate it.
Steve & Linda
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2012, 03:49:57 PM »
observe and report on 'accessibility' for disabled folks I'd really appreciate it.

That's a great idea, thanks for bringing it up!  I have noticed a handicapped accessible blue parking spots in the bigger towns, like Prince George where we are now. But they have not been as many or as plainly marked as they are in the states. The campground we are in does not have any handicapped spots marked and they all look the same. This park would not be too dificult to navigate in dry weather, the sites are flat and graveled, but there is not a paved pad next to any of the sites to make rolling around easier. I will check the restrooms before we leave.

I did note that the RV that was next to us when we pulled in had a blue placard in the tow vehicle.
Marty--
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Luca1369

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2012, 03:53:52 PM »
Please post photos if you take any, the ones you already posted are great!
Steve
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Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2012, 03:59:01 PM »
I will do that. The DW is also taking several photos as we go along. Her blog is listed at the bottom of my signature. The current trip is the one with Alaska in the subject line. She is preparing another post as we speak.
Marty--
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2012, 08:16:13 PM »
This is a follow up on handicap accessibility at our current park, Southpark RV. I checked out the bathrooms and they are definitely NOT handicap accessible. The bathrooms and laundry are in a stand alone 2 story building. The restrooms are are down 5 concrete steps, actually below ground level. They are older, but clean and in good shape. The Laundry room is up 9 stairs and is in great shape. There are two washers and four dryers. There is one top load washer, at $3 a load, and a bigger front load washer at $5 a load. The dryers cost $3 a load (thank goodness for our on board washer/dryer!) 

It is a beautiful day today, light fluffy clouds and bright blue sky. But if you are going to spend much time outside, use your Deet because there are some mosquitoes out here and they are hungry. 

It was so nice outside today, I did a "bottom wash" on the RV. That is when I wash below the floor line of the RV. It seems to get the dirtiest from road grime and mud below the floor level, and is much faster to wash and dry just the bottom part.  I also did the Alcoa's and they sure are pretty when they are all shined up........

The Jeep also got washed since it got totally covered in mud on our last Fraiser River off road trail.  All clean and ready for more dirt.   
Marty--
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RoyM

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2012, 09:49:28 PM »
Marsha, I think some clarification re our tax laws is due here. Fuel prices are going up (so what else is new) due to a carbon tax to supposedly fund 'green initiatives'. Yeah right but I digress. The vote was to abolish the hated Harmonized Sales Tax. We pay both provincial and federal sales tax on most goods and services but a number of items that were previously pst exempt like groceries and hair cuts were rolled in. Simplified book keeping for business but most of us figured if the gubermint said it was good for us it probably wasn't.
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2012, 09:56:59 PM »
the gubermint said it was good for us it probably wasn't.

Wow, imagine that!
Marty--
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Marsha/CA

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2012, 11:46:19 PM »
Hi Roy, thanks for the explanation.  We knew it had something to do with getting rid of the "harmonized" tax, but we didn't know what that meant exactly.  Now I have some idea.

No matter how the taxes are figured, you still have a beautiful Province and the further northwest you go, the more beautiful.

Marsha~
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2012, 08:14:50 PM »
We pulled into Dawson Creek and found the town to be quite a bit more interesting than Prince George.  The RV parks are all built along the same lines. Gravel and dirt roads, sparse grass, and not a lot of room between rigs. Not awful, just not up to the standards we might expect in the states for the price. We picked Northern Lights campground for this stop on the trail. We based it on reviews from rvparksreviews.com.  An interesting observation by Diane while using the "Mile Post" as we traveled along. If a campground is not an advertiser in the book and have it's own ad, it may not be listed in the book. Therefore you will need a secondary reference for reviewing campgrounds, Good Sam, Woodalls, rvparkreviews, ect. 

While the sites at this park are not real handicapped accessible (no paved pads or the like) the new modern restroom is.  It has a long gently sloped ramp that leads up to the restrooms and laundry area and wide entrance doors. 

The next stop is Fort Nelson, BC and the pickins are slim as far at campgrounds go. I foresee some bookdocking or provincial campgrounds in our future. This was where the rvparkreviews web site was useful. Many of the reviews written by campers told a much different story than the advertisement in Mile Post. One reviewer described that the electric that he paid for at $55 a night, as a 15 amp plug, powered by a large generator that was in front of the sites that was turned off at 9 PM. The sewer was not available because the septic tank caved in and there were no plans to fix it.  Boy, talk about buyer beware!  And another campground a camper reported that after checking in and paying his money he was advised that he had to boil the water before he could use it. 

We are fully self contained so that isn't a real issue, it's just nice to know where not to throw your money away at. Our Telus air card worked well in Prince George, and is working well in Dawson Creek, but not much in between here and there. We were glad we had the air card here in this park when the Caravan rolled in this afternoon. The campground bandwidth was loaded!

Before we left Dawson Creek we had to make the obligatory trip to the official Mile Zero highway marker.  Now it's official!
 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 09:51:32 PM by SargeW »
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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2012, 08:29:33 PM »
Hi Marty!

Now that you have the official Mile 0 photo of the Alaskan Highway you have to go to the eastern end of the country and find the Mile 0 sign of Highway 1 near St. John's so you can have your picture taken there.

Campgrounds are very rustic up there.  I suspect the really short camping season makes it's difficult getting a campground to pay for itself.  Many are nothing more than a log rail with electric plugs at intervals and maybe a water hookup.  Keep your fresh water tank full so you can boondock for several days at a time if necessary.

I'm enjoying your Alaskan log along with the others.  We found that every town had a little museum and they weren't as repetitious as we expected.  Most were pretty unique and specialized in one area.  One was on the gold rush and had a particularly interesting diary of one of the Gold Rushers.  We really enjoyed the Beringia Museum at Whitehorse.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2012, 09:05:48 PM »
    Ardra, US1 runs north - south from Key West FL to Presque'Ile ME, with mile Zero being in Florida.  What you are thinking of is the Trans Canada Highway that runs from St John's to Vancouver Island.  It has various route numbers across the country, but does use the designation of Trans Canada and connects the Atlantic to the Pacific.  Mile Zero is in St John's next to their downtown hockey arena.

Ed

Ed
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tonyandkaren

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2012, 09:22:01 PM »
SargeW

Keep posting...we're eating it up...excited as we plan our own rv trip to Alaska 2013. Right now I'm just trying to absorb everything you and others are posting so we aren't caught with any 'surprises.' My biggest concern is my husband is wheelchair bound so if you have the opportunity to observe and report on 'accessibility' for disabled folks I'd really appreciate it.

 Icbrady - I use a wheelchair too. We went to Alaska last summer and I posted about accessibility on my blog. Here's the link for the Alaska section. When you get to the bottom of the page click on "older posts" to see more of the Alaska posts - http://rollinginarv-wheelchairtraveling.blogspot.com/search/label/ALASKA

 There are also sections on Canada too. Neither Canada or Alaska is as wheelchair friendly as most parts of the lower 48  but there is still plenty to see and do. You'll enjoy your trip!

Jeff

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2012, 09:44:10 PM »
    Ardra, US1 runs north - south from Key West FL to Presque'Ile ME, with mile Zero being in Florida.  .
Ed

Ed

Ed:

US 1 actually continues north to Van Buren, ME where the highway crosses into NB at St Leonard. ;)

(Had to say something as I grew up on a farm south of Caribou on US 1.)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 09:46:16 PM by Jeff »

ArdraF

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2012, 10:00:37 PM »
Ed, you're right.  I was thinking about the TCH in Canada, not the U.S. route 1.  Thanks for catching that!

ArdraF
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SargeW

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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2012, 10:34:49 PM »
Yeah Ardra, I thought you were talking about route 1 down in Key West as well. I been there already!
Marty--
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Re: ALASKA- "Just the facts, Ma'am"
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2012, 12:29:38 AM »
I'm eatin' up every word Marty... reading Diane's blog too. Can't wait to do it myself. I love the details and pictures you've been using to describe things - especially the shot of you with your "I'm gonna rip your face off" look in front of the milepost 0 marker. Keep 'em coming!

Kev
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Lakeside, California

 

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