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Author Topic: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!  (Read 9338 times)

SaltyAdventurer

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Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« on: November 28, 2012, 08:04:08 PM »
Marsha, you've made it possible for me to do extensive planning for our 3-month trip to Alaska (from the Denver area) next summer...along with all the info from Sarge's travel posts. And I do love the planning! I love to read every book I can find, including novels, about the places I'm going to. It's great having names of good (and bad) restaurants and cafes along the way. Makes everything more fun.  I've already read the non-fiction story, "Tisha" a very good read...also short...about a teacher who volunteered to go to the Alaskan wilderness and teach school in the 1920s or so. Very good. And really interesting history. My DH and I are both reading Michener's "Alaska". Also wonderful reading. Another short paperback is "Two Old Women" based on native lore...I think Athabascan. Also very good reading. We just found a rousing tale of the Gold Rush days at a used book store..."The Klondike Fever" by Pierre Berton. Non-fiction. Reads like a novel. 

I've already made all of our ferry reservations. What we're going to do, having spoken with friends who took their RV to Alaska in 2010, and after reading all of your wonderful posts, is this: We'll drive all the way up, thru the Yukon etc., and go to Valdez along the way out towards Anchorage, Hope, Talkeetna, Kenai, etc. Definitely want to go across the Denali Hwy from Paxson to Cantwell. We're undecided about whether to go to Denali and take the painfully long bus ride in/out. Adds an awful lot of distance and time...and we really want extra days in Anchorage and down on the Kenai peninsula, especially at Homer.

After getting to and being in the southwest of Alaska, we figure we might be getting a bit tired of so much driving. So, we're going to drive to Whittier, and take the long ferry trip (almost 2 days) across to Juneau. Then we'll ferry-hop to Haines and Skagway and spend some days in each place, as well as fly from Juneau to Gustavus for a couple of days (sans RV) at the Gustavus Inn for our 44th wedding anniversary.  After we get back to Juneau, we'll ferry to Sitka for 3 nights. Then ferry to Wrangell for a couple of days. Then ferry to Ketchikan for a couple of days. Then ferry from Ketchikan to Prince Rupert BC. Don't need much time there, so the next day we'll ferry again to Port Hardy at the northern end of Vancouver Island, and spend a week driving south on the island to Victoria, where we'll ferry for the last time to Port Angeles WA.

We're getting incredibly excited. As I say, I just adore doing the planning part of trips, and putting together my "notebook" on each place we're planning to go through, and to stay.  We're really trying to plan for at least 3-5 days of down-time in 1 place every 5-7 days or so of travel, so that we don't miss things or get too exhausted just from driving. And once we start the ferry trips, each time we arrive at a destination, we'll have the Rollin Home to use for exploring...each town for at least 2 nights and usually 3 nights.

Anybody have any thoughts?  Suggestions? I'm going to post this as a "new thread" also, in this same section of trip reports, journals and logs...throughout our trip starting next May 28, I'll do daily posts about how things are going.

Susan (SaltyAdventurer)
2013 Itasca Reyo 25T
Greenwood Village CO (near Denver)
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

SaltyAdventurer

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 08:37:23 PM »
Oh, two more things I forgot to to tell y'all...we're planning to be gone a total of 108 days, beginning to end. A bit of that time will be spent at the end of the Alaska Adventure meeting up with family n Oregon, cruising down the coast a bit and staying for a few days in Brookings, Or, before heading home to Colorado. But the lion's share of our time will be ALASKA!  That's a total of 68 days in Alaska. 

Secondly, it would add to the fun and adventure if DH and I (he is oldedit on this forum) could meet up with any of you who might be planning to visit or revisit Alaska next summer...send me a message and we'll see if we can sync our itineraries and meet up for a vino and a meal at some point.

Susan (SaltyAdventurer)
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

SaltyAdventurer

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 11:30:49 PM »
As I said earlier, we've decided to do Alaska next summer (2013) by driving the whole thing from Denver, going to Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, Valdez, Seward, Hope, Talkeetna, Kenai, Homer et al after doing the long haul up through Alberta, then BC, then the Yukon Territory into Alaska via Tok. Once we're explored every inch of Central and Southwest Alaska between early June and the end of July, we figured we'd be getting pretty road-weary. After doing a LOT of reading, particularly RVforum logs of folks who'd gone to Alaska in their motorhomes, I was groaning at the thought of wasting precious time and spending a lot of energy and money to drive back over the same exact territory we had covered getting to Anchorage etc. What could we do to avoid this "repeat" in order to get back to the eastern part of Alaska? I wondered. 

My solution was to avoid the doubly-long trip back to the east towards Haines Junction, and Skagway by using the Alaskan Marine Highway, about which we've herd marvelous things. Efficient, cost-effective (even with an RV), and very enjoyable. The other alternative would men days and days of highways and hundreds of miles...none of them at high speeds. So we're going to end our sojourn in the Southwest at Whittier, where we'll take the long ferry trip (with our 2013 Itasca Reyo 25T) for almost 2 days to Juneau, across the Gulf of Alaska.

If you have an RV over 20' in length, you can't make your reservations online with the AMH. You have to call and do things by phone, which I have to say has been a most pleasant experience. The agents are extremely friendly, helpful and efficient. They're full of additional information, too. (Like whether the long ferry trip from Whittier to Juneau would be calm or rough...generally, the summer weather in late July when we'll be taking that trip is mild and not very windy, so the waters are quite calm, I was told by an Alaska native who has taken the trip many times!)

I reserved a 4-person cabin for us...a double cabin is awkward, we learned from friends who RVed in Alaska in 2010, because that type of cabin has a top and bottom bunk...with no bathroom en suite. Shared bathroom down the hall. The 4-person cabin, however, has 2 convenient lower bunks, so you have plenty of room to throw your luggage up top, along with jackets etc. Private bathroom. Not much additional cost for extra space and lots more convenience...I'll be 68 next summer and DH will be 72. I suspect neither of us really wants to have to climb up top for a snooze.

I made all but 1 ferry reservation several weeks ago, to be sure of availability for our Rollin Home on the exact dates I wanted. I went online and checked all the sailing schedules of ferries on the Alaskan Marine Highway, printed out a few pages, and worked out our entire schedule for the second half of our trip. Once we get to Juneau from Whittier, we will "ferry hop" our way throughout Southeast Alaska. In Juneau, we'll have to find someplace to safely park our RV for a couple of days while we fly to Gustavus for a couple of nights at the Gustavus Inn, where we'll celebrate our anniversary with a cruise into Glacier Bay. The owner of the Gustavus Inn, Dave Lesh, was absolutely wonderful about arranging the flights for us to and from Gustavus. We've heard from friends that the Gustavus Inn is very very special, with excellent food.

Back in Juneau, we'll take the ferry (with our RV) to Haines, then to Skagway....a couple of days in each place so see the sights, do some walking/hiking, and delve into the history of those towns. Then back to Juneau. All told, we'll have 4 nights in Juneau. Then we ferry to Sitka...4 nights there. Ferry again to Petersburg...3 nights there. Ferry again to Wrangell...3 nights there. Ferry again to Ketchikan...3 nights there. Then, a ferry trip to Prince Rupert, BC....about 10-11 hours.

When I made all the Alaskan ferry reservations, the only one I was unable to complete was the BC Ferries trip to Port Hardy, at the very northern tip of Vancouver Island, from Prince Rupert BC, a final long leg that lasts 15 or more hours. In early November, BC Ferries didn't yet have its June-December 2013 schedule posted. I was told to call back in early December and it would be up, so I could make my reservation. Just today, I called and finalized that last reservation...BC Ferries from Prince Rupert BC to Port Hardy BC, at the northern tip of Vancouver Island. I wanted the trip to take place Aug 12, but learned I'd have to settle for Aug 13 instead, and that on the 13th the ferry would be making one extra stop so we'd arrive at Port Hardy BC at 11:30 at night. Sure hope there's parking at the ferry docks for the night, or an RV park close by!

That gives us 1 less day to drive the full length of Vancouver Island, but it's OK I think. We'll still have 4 1/2 days on Vancouver Island (4 mights not including the first night in Port Hardy). The distance down to Victoria is only about 310-350 miles, so we'll still have plenty of meandering time. At the end of a humongous trip like this, I don't want to have to hurry, but I'm sure this is plenty of time. The roads are quite good, from everything I've read so far. We ferry from Victoria BC to Port Angeles WA on Aug 18 at 3 pm.

Now I have to get to work on making a list of the RV Parks I need to reserve in advance, and a couple of Must-See excursions that friends have told us are absolute necessities....one of these being the half-day excursion to the Anan Wildlife Observatory outside of Wrangell, requiring a 1-hour boat ride and a mile-long walk to view dozens of bears feeding on the salmon run. Only 6 people per group, with 2 guides (each with a rifle). Bear viewing is from platforms with railings...the bears are very close. I've been told one does not even go to the outhouse for relief without an armed guide alongside. My friend said she spent 4 hours watching the bears, and it seemed as if that time went by in 20 minutes, it was so fantastic.

More later. I'll dive into more research and make more lists of TO DOs...but now that the ferry reservations are completed I don't have to feel any time pressure, really. Ahhh, relax.... DH is just finishing Michener's "Alaska" and I'm just starting to read it. A wonderful book!  Beautifully written, chock-full of information.
Susan (Salty Adventurer)
2013 Itasca Reyo 25T
Greenwood Village, CO
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

Oldedit

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 11:41:12 PM »
Well, now I really know what we're in for. :) We talk Alaska almost every day. Great fun.
2013 Itasca Reyo T 2012-
2006 Roadtrek Adventurous Mercedes (Freightliner)
Colorado 2009-2012
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SargeW

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 12:17:28 AM »
Great job Susan! You have given yourself an excellent start!
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Mavarick

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 12:25:19 AM »
Guys, I know you will have a blast as you are preparing correctly and spending some time. This last July/August we did app 7k miles in just under 7 weeks. Wa state to Yukon Hwy mile 1, to AK and back around again. I will consolidate my highlights and get back with you for some other things to consider.
Don't write of Denali, go to the Toklat river (app 50 miles) if you don't want to go all the way in. Take the shuttle, not the tour bus, much cheaper for about the same thing. I would drop the highway to the sun before Denali. You can do either in a day comfortably.
Also you have to stop at the fish Creek Wildlife Site at Tongrass. Go on the weekend a it is too noisy during the week. We went 4 times and saw bears 3 out of 4. It is the closest you will ever want to get to a grizzly! We just got back 3 mo ago and talking about it makes me want to go again! One of the most worthwhile trips I have ever taken. I'll get back with you.
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Lorna

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 01:07:14 PM »
When you go to Valdez be sure to go out to the airport to a museum that is located there.  It is not an air museum but a very pleasant surprise indeed.  It sounds like you have your trip well planned out and will have a great time.
Lorna
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Rvliberty

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 04:40:41 PM »
We are planning a similar trip in June/July next year. How bad were the ferry costs?  I love your planning and may use it as a baseline.

Alan H
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Alan Howell
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 08:40:16 PM »

Anybody have any thoughts?  Suggestions? I'm going to post this as a "new thread" also, in this same section of trip reports, journals and logs...throughout our trip starting next May 28, I'll do daily posts about how things are going.

Susan (SaltyAdventurer)
2013 Itasca Reyo 25T
Greenwood Village CO (near Denver)

Hi, Susan!  I'm so glad you posted this.  I sent you a PM reply to your December note (I just saw it!), and I would like to co-ordinate when we're up there if we can do it a few days or weeks before we get to a specific spot.  We have an itinerary, but no dates yet, and when we do put on dates, we don't stick to them.  We stay as long as we're having fun, and we leave when we aren't.  But, Denali is the #1 reason we're going back.  We loved it there and wished we could spend more time there, so we are going there first when it is cooler and more animals are still in the valleys as vs. up the mountain.  We will go on that long bus trip at least twice; it's as comfortable as they can make it, and there are sufficient restroom breaks at good bathrooms.  And, those drivers can spot animals so quickly and they give a wealth of information.  We saw a lot of wildlife last time in Denali, even though it was later in the summer and warmer.   We don't go all the way to the end--we like the bus trip that ends just one stop before that.
Dean and Linda Stock
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SaltyAdventurer

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2013, 06:12:47 PM »
Hello All!  The planning is progressing....I'm posting our entire ITINERARY here, for your information...I've now added a possible visit to the Fish Creek sanctuary by the Tongass Natl Forest near Hyder in Southeast Alaska to our plans, for when we are in Wrangell or Petersburg, whichever turns out to be closer to the bear-visiting place....thanks for the suggestions, one and all!  I know some of you have said not to write off Fairbanks, but other friends of ours said Fairbanks was "just another city, and not a very interesting one at that"...so I do think we are going to eliminate the time and distance of driving there and going into Denali. For those of you who don't live in some of the world's most gorgeous mountains, going into Denali NP is surely something very special...but we live in one of the world's most beautiful places and are in/near many 14'ers all the time.  So....   

One of you asked what the $$ damages are for all of our ferrying with the RV from Whittier back across to Juneau, and then Ferry-hopping with the RV throughout Southeast Alaska....total cost $3,634.  On only one of those trips (from Whittier to Juneau---nearly 2 days) did I reserve a cabin...I got us a 4-person cabin so we would have extra beds on which to poe cases & clothes, plus an in-cabin bathroom (per advice from friends who RV'ed to Alaska in summer, 2011).  There's one additional ferry cost that I don't have at my fingertips right now...that is from Prince Rupert BC to Port Hardy BC....will give that to you later on. It's very reasonable, however....and I didn't get us a cabin for that rip of 15 hrs....the BC Ferries agent suggested a first-class lounge seat, instead...less expensive, more comfortable than economy class, and lots of cabin-like conveniences without the cost of a cabin.  So that's what I did for that leg.

All told, considering the enormous amount of driving time, miles on the road, and fuel cost savings, I think the ferry is very cost effective for us! Would be much less so, of course, if we had a coach of 30-36 feet or more.  But that's really the joy of having our 25 footer-er. Easy in lots of ways.

Here's our itinerary so far:

ALASKA ITINERARY:

May 29   RAWLINS WY (2 hrs/125 mi)
      --RV World CG (no cable tv, okay, clean,  but road noise) 307-328-1091
      --Rawlins KOA CG (unfriendly, it’s okay, but not great) 307-328-2021

May 30   LANDER WY 2.75 hrs/ 160 mi)
--Sleeping Bear RV Park (best of anything available, immaculate facilities, great showers, very quiet!) 307-332-5159

May 31   JACKSON WY…2 nts (2.25 hrs/95 mi)
June 1   --Virginian Lodge RV Park (best available but not fabulous, expensive, has tv and wifi, clean) 800-262-4999

June 2      YELLOWSTONE NP…3 nts (2.25 hrs/95 mi)
June 3      --Yellowstone Park KOA, West Yellowstone MT 406-646-7606, 6 mi fr
June 4      west park entrance; $60/nt x 3 = 180

June 5      BUTTE MT (3.5 hrs/193 mi)
--there’s a crummy KOA in Butte, best place is Fairmont RV Park & CG, Fairmont MT, 15 mi west of Butte  406-797-3505

June 6      MISSOULA MT (2 hrs/120mi)
--definitely stay at Jim & Mary’s RV Park!! Abso the best around! Has TV. Very clean. Great facilities. Get spot farthest from train noise. 406-549-4416

June 7   GLACIER NP…4 nts  (Whitefish 2.5 hrs/136 mi, Glacier is another .75 hr/126 mi)
   --In Whitefish, MT, Stock up on some frozen veggies & frozen fruit for  Canada travel…eggs? Milk? (NO WINE, FRESH FRUIT OR VEGGIES!)
--stay at North American RV Park & Yurt Village, Located only 5 miles west of Glacier National Park's West entrance between Mile Markers 147 & 148 (rec’d by rvforum buddy) Coram MT Good Sam. full hooks $35/nt 800-704-4266
--OR if going to the east side of the park, stay at Johnson’s CG & RV Park in Browning MT. 406-732-4207. Excellent place. $42/nt. Good Sam. Fabulous views.
June 8
June 9
June 10

June 11   BROWNING MT (1 hr/68 mi)/ ST. MARY MT (0.5 hr/29 mi)/ WATERTON PROVINCIAL PARK AB CANADA (0.75 hr/41 mi)
--FILL UP WITH GAS in Browning…30-40 cents cheaper!
--EAT for sure at the Park Place Café in Browning…everything homemade. Out of this world.
--FUEL UP in Browning or St. Mary, ABSO before crossing into Canada!!! (Gas is cheapest in Browning!)
      --Get $250 Canadian cash right after we cross into Canada.
      --Buy a Canadian USB Modem Card (TELUS?? Card) right away ….
--Townsite CG (Parks Canada) in the town of Waterton has full hookups, nice place according to reviews. 403-859-5133

June 12   CARDSTON AB CANADA (0.5 hr/28 mi)/ BANFF AB CANADA (3.75 hrs/226 mi)
--stay in Cardston overnight if necessary, at a city park rt downtown called Cardston Lee Creek CG (city park, very nice according to rvforum guy)
--Banff has Tunnel Mtn CG (a public park) with Full HUs, only a mile from downtown Banff, $38.20/nt  403-762-1550
--a private RV park close to Banff is Spring Creek RV CG in Canmore, 14 mi from Banff $37-$40  403-678-5111

June 13   LAKE LOUISE AB CANADA (1 hr/36 mi) / JASPER AB CANADA (3.5 hrs/145 mi)
   --Just West of Lake Louise, off Hwy 1/93, beyond the turnoff of Hwy 1 to the west, is Yoho Natl Park, home of the famous Burgess Shale, the finest paleontological deposit of soft invertebrates in North America…would be well worth going to!!
   --Hinton/Jasper KOA, 1.5 mi west of Hinton 780-865-5061 $36.65

June 14   PRINCE GEORGE BC CANADA (4.5 hrs/233 mi)
      --Bee Lazee RV Park & CG, $28 for full HUs, 250-963-7263
--stop in Prince George for a COUPON BOOK! Good visitor center..in old part of town. Interesting city…
--stay in Southland RV Park (South Park RV Park??) south of Prince George on Hwy 97…nice place…Sarge

June 15   CHETWYND BC CANADA  (3.5 hrs/190 mi) / FORT ST. JOHN BC CANADA (2.25 hours/108 mi)
   --Our LONGEST DAY—5.75 hrs!!
   --Ross H Maclean Rotary RV Park, at Charlie Lake just north of Fort St. John. Good Sam park. $33-38 for full HU. 250-785-1700
   --IF we go to Dawson Creek (interesting town, nice place…), sty at Northern Lights CG, has good restrooms! Says Sarge…does he mean Dawson City???
   --June 9-10 in Chetwynd is the Intl Chainsaw Championship!

June 16   FORT NELSON BC CANADA (4.5 hrs/237 mi)
--Bluebell Inn & RV Park, old, mud & puddles, behind a gas station and motel w a convenience store; $27 for full HU. 250-774-6961  a dump!
--OR Triple G Hideaway, $37 full HUs. Best available. 250-774-2340
--Sarge says none of the RV parks in Ft Nelson is very good…he stayed at Triple G Hideaway CG, 130 sites.
--FUEL UP ABSO in Fort Nelson, before leaving!!!
--FILL UP WITH WATER FOR MUNCHO LAKE!!!

June 17   MUNCHO LAKE BC CANADA (3.5 hrs/150 mi)…2 nts
--Muncho Lake PP / Macdonalds CG NO hookups but gorgeous fabulous dry-camping!! Everybody loves this place! 250-776-7000 $16
--Northern rockies Lodge RV Park, private CG, at Mile 462 on Alaska Hwy, $42-50/nt    800-663-5269
June 18   --Sarge says to definitely FILL UP on gas in Contact Creek, on the way to Watson Lake!!

June 19   WATSON LAKE YT CANADA (3.25 hrs/170 mi)
--Baby Nugget RV Park, abt 15 mi west of Watson Lake just before the Cassiar Hwy turnoff. Fairly decent…best available. $36 for full HU. Has an RV wash. Restaurant is expensive/overpriced, but some ppl liked it.
--Sarge says all the RV parks in/near Watson Lake are icky…he stayed in Downtown RV Park
--Is KLUNE LAKE somewhere nearby?? Cottonwood RV Park…rec’d by rvforum guy…best of the worst.

June 20   WHITEHORSE YT CANADA --Summer Solstice!!! (5 hrs/272 mi)
--Hi Country RV Park $35 for full HU. Lots of shade trees, best available park. Clean facilities and good laundry room. Has tv. 867-667-7445
--Sarge says OK to stay at Pioneer RV Park…he stayed there.
--Caribou RV Park is OK, 30 amp + water, nice laundry & bathrooms! (rvforum)
--Sarge says to definitely go to The Frantic Follies in Whitehorse…hilarious! In the Westmont Hotel in downtown Whitehorse…really fun! (doesn’t perform on Mondays…this is a Thurs!)
--Sarge says there’s a fabulous restaurant in Whitehorse, “BarbBQ and Salmon” is the name, also good is the Klondike Rib & Salmon restaurant.
--visit the Beringia Museim in Whitehorse…fun, & the café there is good!
--the 2-hour boat ride on the Yukon River is really a good trip!!
--Guffeys loved Whitehorse…a really neat place!!
--Guffeys say to SKIP Destruction Bay…BUT that it’s well worth considering driving north & west from Whitehorse to Dawson City, then to Chicken, THEN to TOK….that’s really the best route!!!

June 21   DESTRUCTION BAY YT CANADA (4 hrs/162 mi)
--Sarge says Destruction Bay is the pits…a yucky place…no good RV Parks there! HOWEVER, halfway betyween Tok and Whitehorse is White River…White River RV Park is a nice place with excellent views!! Better to drive on to White River, he says!
--Cottonwood RV Park, fabulous views! Unparalleled! Only 15 amp power tho, from a generator. No tv. $32 for full HU. 867-841-4066
--Destruction Bay Lodge & RV Park, no tv, $33 for full HU  867-841-5332
--about halfway between Destruction Bay and Tok is Deadman’s Lake Campground. Free…boondocking, no hookups. 1.2 mi off the Alaska Hwy.

June 22   TOK AK / CHICKEN AK (4.75 hrs/225 mi)…2 nts
--Stay at Sourdough Campground in Tok!! RESERVE AHEAD if you want full HUs!!!
--Three Bears RV Park & Campground is ok…rvforum guy…$26/nt for full HUs, wanted to stay at Sourdough but there were no full HUs available. Sourdough is the preferred spot!
--Sarge says Tok RV Village is nice, $45/nt full HUs, has shade with pine trees.
--Gary & Eileen Guffy loved Chicken…a 75-mi drive away, but I think it’s a gravel road…town is related to the book Tisha…interesting place. Sarge liked it too…Sarge says the drive on Taylor Hwy up to Eagle is just gorgeous.

June 23   ?? Moveable day!! Extra day in Tok to drive to Chicken?? or go on to Glennallen??
--From Tok, drive south to Paxson, then go west on Denali Hwy (gravel) across to Cantwell, then south toward Anchorage…fabulous views, great wildflowers, very little traffic (almost no oncoming traffic!), outstanding wildlife!
--If we go to Gakona, the Gakona RV Park on the Copper River is really nice, says Sarge. $28/nt

June 24   GLENNALLEN AK (3 hrs/179 mi)
--Possibly stay 1-2 nights at Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge at Glennallen??
--rvforum guy said Northern Lights campground is fine…$38 CASH for E+W…LOTS of mosquitoes!!!
--Between Glennallen and Palmer, the Glacier View RV Park is just beautiful!!! It’s 60 mi from Anchorage.  (Be SURE to go to Palmer…Guffeys just loved it. The musk ox farm in Palmer was so great, they spent a whole day there!!)

June 25   PAXSON to CANTWELL VIA DENALI HIGHWAY (1.25 hrs/74 mi)
--stay at the CG along the Denali Hwy!!...Sarge says the McLaren River Lodge is the GREAT place to stop along the Denali Hwy!! Do they have RV sites??
      --Frommers says Denali Hwy drive is one of the best in the state!

June 26   TALKEETNA AK (2 hrs/127 mi)
--Gary & Eileen Guffy: Be sure to go to Talkeetna…took a flightseeing tour from Talkeetna to Mt McKinley / Denali…that’s definitely the BEST way to see the mountain and the area around it!
--Sarge says he had the BEST sourdough pancakes for lunch he’d ever eaten, in Talkeetna

****ARE WE GOING TO VISIT VALDEZ??? 2 ppl on rvforum said Valdez was one of their favorite 3 places in all of Alaska…Marge & Tim adored Valdez. Bear Paw II RV Park. LuLuBelle cruise was great. Eat at Totem Inn in Valdez…wonderful. Sea Otter Campground is also OK. Best prices for salmon & halibut in all Alaska are across street from Sea Otter CG at the cannery…go upstairs!****

June 27   ANCHORAGE AK (2 hrs/112 mi)…4 nts
--RESERVE at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood AK for 1-2 nights??? (3/4 hr/38 mi fr Anchorage)
--Sarge says the Golden Nugget RV Park in Anchorage is OK, not great…MUST RESERVE AHEAD!!!
--or at the Hotel Alyeska in Anchorage?
      --Another place that’s interesting is Hotel Captain Cook!!
      --Guffys loved Anchorage, especially the MUSEUM there…
--might want to take a flightseeing trip to Denali from here??…best way to see the park & mtn
      --Check out the Anchorage Theater & music scene while we’re there…
--Sarge & wife liked the Snow Goose restaurant, and the Sleeping Lady Brewery in Anchorage
--the drive from Anchorage to Seward is absolutely gorgeous, but a real WHITE-KNUCKLE DRIVE!
--Be SURE to drive to Palmer, near Anchorage…go to the Musk Ox Farm at Palmer…Guffeys just loved the musk ox farm! Spent a whole day there!

June 28   
June 29
June 30   

July 1      HOPE AK (1.5 hrs/88 mi)
--Guffys: Be SURE to go to HOPE AK, just off the road that leads to Whittier…Hope is a really interesting town.   

July 2      SOLDOTNA AK
--The road between Soldotna & Anchorage is really crowded abt July 15 when the red salmon run starts…
--There’s a big Fred Meyer store in Soldotna!

July 3      KENAI AK (2 hrs/104 mi from Hope)…4 nts
      --***RESERVE RV PARK ABSO!!!!
-- MOOSE PASS AK??
NIKISKI AK??
ANCHOR POINT AK??
SELDOVIA AK??
YAKUTAT AK??
--Guffeys: Be SURE to go to the WILDLIFE REHABILITATION CENTER near Kenai…off the Seward Hwy…lots of great wildlife there, a fascinating place!!
--The fishing trips for salmon & Halibut from Kenai are great
July 4
July 5
July 6      

July 7      HOMER AK (1.5 hrs/82 mi)   …4 nts
--RESERVE at Heritage RV Park, way out on Homer Spit!! Site #82 is fabulous! $60/nt: Sarge
--Also really nice is the Oceanview RV Park in Homer, on the bluff..full hookups, really great: Sarge
--If you want to boondock on the Homer Spit, go to City Park Beach and park for 2 days!! Sarge
Guffeys: Very very scenic place, several great little towns along the way. This is the place to get a boat tour if you want one.
--Eat at the Broadway Inn on the Homer Spit..great fish & chips! Sarge
July 8
July 9
July 10

July 11   SEWARD AK (3.5 hrs/168 mi)…3 nts
--Waterfront (City) Park (RV Park), good hookups! says Sarge
--Guffys: Seward is really worth going to, for the scenery and the history
-- Try to stay in Seward 2-3 days at least, and drive the Scenic Glenn Hwy to Valdez…along the way, stop & hike the Exit Glacier at Kenai Fjords Natl Park
--Frommers P 7 says Exit Glacier is one of the best in Alaska…short gravel path (chapt 7)
--SEWARD HWY between Anchorage and Seward, through the Chugach Mtns, is the most beautiful drive in Alaska, says Frommers (pg 7)      
July 12
July 13

July 14   WHITTIER AK (2 hrs/88 mi)
      --Stay in Whittier only 1 afternoon, not much to see there.
--Gary Guffy…Whittier is a really neat city, very unique.

July 15      WHITTIER AK…Ferry to Juneau, departs 11:45 pm
--Be there be 8:45 pm ABSO!!  PICK UP ALL TICKETS AT OFFICE FOR ALL FERRY TRIPS!!
      --Ferry trip is 1 day/13 hr/ 15min
--we have a 4-berth cabin!!!
--CORDOVA AK….does Whittier ferry stop here?? If so, what time? We would enjoy seeing Cordova, I think!!

July 16      all day on FERRY to Juneau!

June 17   JUNEAU AK…arrives 1 pm in Juneau (terminal is at Auke Bay!)
--Can we park near or at the ferry dock when we arrive, to catch the ferry the next morning…have to be at the ferry by 6 am??? (terminal # is 907-789-0066)
--RESERVE ahead at Auke Village CG, only 1.75 mi north of the ferry dock…vault toilets and running water only!! Only 11 sites tho! $10/nt.
--terminal is 14 mi from downtown Juneau…
--Shuttles operate from the ferry dock to downtown Juneau, but times are changeable. Ask at ferry dock, or call visitor center 888-581-2201
--Eat at Hot Bite, located at the Auke Bay boat harbor…a locals’ secret…fabulous halibut burgers & shakes!!
--DEFINITELY eat at the Red Dog Saloon, at 278 South Franklin St…rec’d by Jim Strain!! Really famous, lots of great memorabilia from the heyday of the old mining days!  Good fish, salmon wraps, burgers!
--
Tracy's King Crab Shack
 
265 Reviews
Juneau, AK
 
Sandpiper Cafe
 
84 Reviews
Juneau, AK
 
 
Sand Bar and Grill
 
27 Reviews
Juneau, AK
 
The Rookery Cafe
 
22 Reviews
Juneau, AK


July 18      FERRY to SKAGWAY AK...3 nts  (Ferry departs 8 AM-be there by 7A)
--RESERVE AHEAD!!! Pullen Creek RV Park www.pullencreekrv.com  907-983-2768  is near the small boat harbor, right on the water’s edge, coin-op showers, sites have E & W $38/nt. (HINT: Park facing the docks!)
--Get a Skagway Trail Map at the visitor center…town has good hikes…(Frommers Pg 207)   
      --eat at Skagway Fish Co…good fresh fish and beer.
--eat at The Stowaway Café..in a right blue bldg. overlooking the boat harbor…best rest in town.
--with a population of only 900, there’s not much here! The Canadian border is 14 mi north at the top of the pass…one of the MOST spectacular drives anywhere in Alaska! Do it in clear weather only…in cloudy weather, you’ll see nothing.
--Skagway is a great place to walk everywhere, or to bike…Sockeye Cycle, 5th Ave off Broadway.
--Go see the Days of ’98 Show…$22/person, good show abt the history of the town. Has been running since 1927.
--SMART bus is $2/ride, around town or also out to the Klondike Gold Dredge…$5 all-day pass.
--The Whitehorse Yukon train trip is really fun, one person said.
--Drive to Dyea, find the Chilkoot Trail that the miners took, and hike part of it! A hoot!
July 19
July 20

July 21      FERRY to HAINES AK…3 nts (Ferry departs 3 PM…be there @ 2 PM)
      --Go the Haines Visitor Center!!
      --Oceanside RV Park is rec’d by rvforum folks
--there’s a campground in Haines ¼ mi from the center of town, with GREAT views!...Guffeys stayed at the RV Park in Haines that’s right ON the bay close to the ferry dock…it’s just GREAT, Gary said! Overlooks the water, u can watch all the ships and ferries coming & going.
--The Lighthouse restaurant right near the campground is great!
--Guffys: We went to Resurrection Bay from Haines, where we watched dozens of grizzlies feeding on salmon during the run. We were on a walkway, and safe, but were actually very close to the bears. It was the experience of a lifetime…I’d go back there in the blink of an eye!
--Frommers see Pg 189 etc.
--Fort Wm Seward is here, and Alaska Indian Arts Native Cultural Center.
--Eagles are everywhere in Haines!!
--Along Haines Hwy is the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Viewing esp good from Miles 18-21!! Spectacular alpine terrain!
--visit the American Bald Eagle Foundation site…rvforum folks said it is wonderful!
--rvforum folks LOVED watching the salmon and the eagles at the FISH LADDER in town!
--Worth driving to Klokwan from Haines??
--Take the train from Haines to the Klondike Gold Rush Historic Park…quite fun!
--Might be a good place to bike…Sockeye Cycle, $35 for 8 hrs, just uphill fr Port Chilkoot Dock at 24 Portage St in the Ft Wm Seward area  877-292-4154
--Haines is a good place to hike, too…Battery Pt Trail is 2 mi along a beach, starts at the end of Beach Rd.  Seduction Pt Trail 7 mi long, starts at Chilkat State Park at the end of Mud Bay Rd, south of town…goes thru forest and along beaches to end of Chilkat Peninsula…great views of Rainbow Glacier. Check the tides!!!
--Eat at The Bamboo Room…famous for its halibut fish & chips!
July 22
July 23

July 24      Ferry to JUNEAU…2 nts…Ferry departs 5 PM (Be there @ 4 PM)
      --trip is 4 hr 30 min
----RESERVED RV CG AHEAD!! DONE!!  Spruce Meadow RV Park, 10200 Mendenhall Loop Rd 907-789-1990 is best..$37 for full HU. Wooded and open sites in forested area near the glacier. Cable TV and wifi. Also on the city bus line!! Don’t take the RV into the city of Juneau…it’s tight!  www.juneaurv.com  SENT RESERVATION FORM IN 11/16/12…talked to owner twice, all arranged!!! We can leave the RV there, with electric for a partial fee, while we go to Gustavus!! We can get a taxi from there to the airport on the 26th…
--((ALTERNATIVE place wd be Auke Village CG, only 1.75 mi north of the ferry dock…vault toilets and running water only!! Only 11 sites tho! $10/nt. ))
--Only abt 1 mi from the ferry docks, the Auke Village Recr Area, northwest of the city on Glacier Hwy, is great for picnics and beach walks…only about 1 mile from the ferry docks.
--24 miles out the Glacier Hwy (rd turns to gravel) past Auke Bay is Pt Bridget State Pk, which has a beautiful 3.5 mi flat path thru forest, meadow and marsh to the shore…sea lions, humpback whales, eagles.
--Eat at Hot Bite, located at the Auke Bay boat harbor…a locals’ secret…fabulous halibut burgers & shakes.
July 25

July 26      Fly to GUSTAVUS AK …2 nts Air Excursions flight @ 11:30 AM
--RESERVED/CONFIRMED at Gustavus Inn for 2 nights, all meals included, incl lunch the day we leave. (See Frommers Pg 188)
--Do we want to take the all-day boat tour from Gustavus to see Glacier Bay Natl Park?  Frommers says the Grand Pacific Glacier is the most beautiful in Alaska (Chapt 5)  YES!!! I arranged this already with
Dave Lesh at the Gustavus Inn!!!  Jim Strain said the glacier is by far the most amazing, beautiful in all of Alaska..no other even compares to it.
July 27

July 28      Fly to JUNEAU AK…3 nts     Air Excursions flight @ 2:25 PM
--RESERVE RV CG AHEAD!!! DONE!!!  Spruce Meadow RV Park, 10200 Mendenhall Loop Rd 907-789-1990 is best..$37 for full HU. Wooded and open sites in forested area near the glacier. Cable TV and wifi. Also on the city bus line!! Don’t take the RV into the city of Juneau…it’s tight!  www.juneaurv.com  SENT RESERVATION FORM IN 11/16/12…talked to owner twice, all arranged!!! We can leave the RV there, with electric for a partial fee, while we go to Gustavus!!
--Otherwise, Mendenhall Glacier CG, public but very good, 9 full HUs, +9 partials with E & W. $28    907-586-8800  Frommers calls this place the best public CG in the entire state of Alaska!!!
--Check out POSSIBLE HIGH WINDS in Juneau…esp at RV park close to harbor…winds often go to 100 mph! Is RV safe while we’re gone??
--Go to Angoon and Pack Creek from Juneau…they’re neat places! Pack Creek is fabulous for bear viewing, but it’s on Admiralty Island and costs $600/person to get there in a 5.5 hr tour by plane…reserve ahead if we want it. 907-790-2120
--Excellent bear viewing at the edge of the parking lot at Mendenhall Glacier, which is Juneau’s best attraction. Drive north out of Juneau to the head of the valley…good trail leads to the edge of Mendenhall Lake…bears are within a few yards of the viewing platforms near the visitor center. Try the East Glacier Loop Trail, 3.5 mi RT with a few steep parts, but relatively easy…thru a forest to a waterfall high above, the glacier’s face is quite close.
--The Auke Village Recr Area, northwest of the city on Glacier Hwy, is great for picnics and beach walks…only about 1 mile from the ferry docks.
--24 miles out the Glacier Hwy (rd turns to gravel) past Auke Bay is Pt Bridget State Pk, which has a beautiful 3.5 mi flat path thru forest, meadow and marsh to the shore…sea lions, humpback whales, eagles.
--Bald eagles are everywhere in Juneau! Most common on the shorelines…esp at the hatchery.
--Perseverance Trail goes up the valley behind Juneau (city) into the old mining district…4 mi of easy walking on the mtnside above Gold Creek. Trailhead is 1.5 mi from town on Basin Rd.
--Whale watching is reliable from Juneau…many small boats are available for tours
--Tracy Arm is as gorgeous as Glacier Bay and easier / cheaper to get to…$150/person for Harv & Marv’s Outback Alaska Tours…long, narrow twisting passageway into the coastal mtns with mile-high peaks rising straight out of the water, big waterfalls, and several big glaciers at its head. Whales and other wildlife along the way. Jim Strain did this trip and said it’s OK but not nearly as good as Glacier Bay cruise!
      --Alaska State Museum at 395 Whittier St. is good…
--Eat at Hot Bite, located at the Auke Bay boat harbor…a locals’ secret…fabulous halibut burgers & shakes.
--IF a clear day, take the Mt Roberts Tramway at 490 S Franklin St., 6 min ride to 1760 ft high…can hike the 2.5 mi back to town. $27/person RT
July 29
July 30   --Late afternoon of the 30th, should we drive to the ferry docks and park there to sleep? We have to be at the ferry docks at 3:15 AM!!   NO NEED TO, says the owner of the Spruce Meadow RV Park…only about a 15 minute drive to the ferry!

July 31      Ferry to SITKA AK…3 nts Ferry departs 8:30 AM (Be there @ 7:30AM)
      --Ferry trip is 9 hr 30 min
--Sitka Sportsman’s Assoc RV Park, adjacent to the ferry dock 7 mi from town, has E & W HUs…907-747-4712…under $22..heated bathrooms, showers  RESERVE AHEAD!!
--Alternate RV Park is Sealing Cove RV Park, abt ½ mi walk to town, adjacent to marina. E & W only. Under $25. 907-747-3439
--Take a boat tour to Punchbowl Cove in Misty Fjords, south of Ketchikan…fabulously high cliffs, gorgeous!  Allen Marine 877-686-8100 $159 each for 4.5 hr trip…boats are fast, quiet (Frommers p 110)
--St Lazaria Island  off the coast of Sitka sounds really interesting, too!!
--Sitka is great for hiking…a dozen good trails from town
--Eat at Ludvig’s Bistro (Meditteranean) first-rate food, 256 Katlian St….Margi and kent Klute just loved this place…ate there 3 times in 3 days.
Aug 1
Aug 2

Aug 3   Ferry to PETERSBURG AK…2 nts Ferry departs 7:45AM, be there @ 6:45 AM
   --Ferry trip is 12 hr 45 min
   --We have a 4-berth cabin on this trip
   --Trip from Petersburg to Wrangell is one of the MOST beautiful in all of Alaska!!
   --Ferry terminal has a big lawn, & is really nice! About a mile from the town center. Petersburg is on Mitkof Island
   --For fresh take-out fish, go to the counter at Coastal Cold Storage…fried halibut & chowders!
   --RESERVE AHEAD!! Twin Creek RV Park is 7.5 mi out of town on Mitkof Hwy, $30/nt for full HUs. Has a laundry and showers. 907-772-3244
   --Definitely go to Fish Creek, next to Tongass Natl Forest, near Hyder…. Fish creek is located in near Hyder, Alaska, the only mainland accessible town along Alaska’s southern portion of the panhandle. It is a tiny place and accessed from the Cassiar Highway in British Columbia, Canada. Fish creek is a popular destination for bears who come in search of the salmon that lay in its clear waters. The Tongass National Forest borders the area and it was in classical form during my short visit, which was misty, rain filled clouds that would come and go through the mountains. –highly rec’d by RVforum folks!!
Aug 4   

Aug 5   Ferry to WRANGELL AK…4 nts Ferry departs 3:15 PM, be there @ 1:15 PM
   --Ferry trip is 3 hr 15 min
   --Ferry terminal in Wrangell is downtown.
   --STAY AT Shoemaker Bay Recreation Area, ABSO!!! Has 16 RV sites w electric HUs, no water. 5 mi south of town by the road overlooking the boat harbor. Just pick any spot, hook up, and pay at the office or put check in the little box!!! $25/nt, fee includes use of the town swimming pool (indoor) and its showers. No advance reservations, hardly EVER full! Swimming pool is ½ mi south of the ferry docks/harbor…Operated by Wrangell Rec & Parks Dept 907-874-2444
   (**DO NOT STAY at Alaska Waters RV Park…reviews say it’s a dump!)
--Eat at Alaskan Sourdough Lodge family style, no menu (reservations required for non-guests), great food. 907-874-3613
--Great halibut & chips at the Stikine Inn at 107 Stikine Ave.
--Diamond C Café is good, incl fresh halibut, as is Zak’s Café, with lots of fresh fish! Both on Front St.

Aug 6

Aug 7   4 PM ABSO!!! Call Alaska Vistas at 907-874-3006 to get a pickup tomorrow morning at 8:30 for the Wildlife Observatory trip!!! Sylvia is the owner with her husband John…she’s Great!!
      
Aug 8   --Alaska Vistas trip 9 AM to Anan Wildlife Observatory!!!  9am to 4-4:30 pm…RESERVED and confirmed!   $251.45/person. 907-874-3006  Located @ 106 Front St, at City Dock.  Reservation includes 50% deposit, pay rest when at office. Cancel 30 days before to get full refund of deposit!
--Anan Wildlife Observatory is great for bear-viewing…peak of salmon run is July 15-Aug 20…Alaska Waters & Alaska Vistas offers boat tours, $210 to $265/person for 1-hr ride out and a few hrs with the bears. (Frommers Pg 122)  --A MUST-SEE near Wrangell, according to Margi Klute, is the Anan Wildlife Observatory…MUST RESERVE FAR AHEAD!!!!...take abt a 1-hr boat ride, 6 people at a time only, then go with 2 guides (each armed with a rifle) along viewing platforms that re only a few yards away from the bears feeding on spawning fish…incredible!!! She said they were there for 4 hrs and it felt as if the time passed in 20 minutes, it was so fantastic!!

Aug 9   Ferry to KETCHIKAN AK…2 nts Ferry departs 10:00 AM, be there at 8: 00 AM
   --Ferry trip is 5 hr 45 min…arrival at 4 pm
   --RESERVE AHEAD!!! at Clover Pass Resort & RV Park…get TourSaver coupon, 1 FREE night!!! This is the only full svc RV Park in the area, 15 mi north of Ketchikan, 35 sites, full HUs incl tv, $34/nt. Laundry. Has a shuttle to town!! (see email from owner!)
--Take a boat or ferry to visit METLAKATLA AK on Annette Island south of Ketchikan for a day??? Guffys said it is fabulous! It is the ONLY Indian reservation in the state of Alaska…Tsimshian Tribe, but with lots of other tribes represented as well.
--Can we drive to Hyder AK from Ketchikan? The bear viewing there, near Stewart BC, is incredible, says Sarge

Aug 10

Aug 11   Ferry to PRINCE RUPERT BC CANADA…Ferry departs 7:30 AM, be there at 6:30 AM ABSO!!!!
   --Ferry trip is 7 hr 30 min
   --Kinnikinnick RV Park is a 5-min walk from Port Edward in Prince Rupert…only has 15 amp power tho…do NOT do laundry here!!
   --visit the Northern Pacific Cannery Historic Park…10 minutes outside of Port Edward…has a great little café with fabulous seafood chowder! Nearby is a great hiking trail that goes down to the rapids…abt 6 mi RT.
   --I checked with the AMHS abt a ferry on the 12th instead of the 11th, but there isn’t one!

Aug 12   

Aug 13   Ferry to PORT HARDY BC CANADA…BC Ferry departs 7:30 AM, be there @ 5:30 AM ABSO!!
   --Ferry trip is 16+ hrs…arrival Port Hardy is 11:30 PM
   --We have reserved seats (recliners) in the 1st Class Aurora Lounge for that trip (take books, extra jackets, overshirts, small blankets!)
   --RESERVE AHEAD!!...stay at Port Hardy RV Resort, 8080 Goodspeed Road, Port Hardy…250-949-8111…1.2 mile N of Bear Cove Junction where the ferry docks are located…Resort is just off Hwy 19
   
Aug 14   drive south on Vancouver Island… 50 minutes, 33 mi to Telegraph Cove
--Take ferry to ALERT BAY BC CANADA to see Christine?? Alert Bay has the tallest totem poles in the world!
   --Stay at Alder Bay Resort…Telegraph Cove BC 250-956-4117 reserved/confirmed for 1 night, Space #39, Full HU, 30 amp, pull thru, $32 + tax    no TV   30-day cancellation policy. (Near Port McNeill BC)
--from Alder Bay Resort, be sure to drive into nearby Telegraph Cove, a rustic place where with really interesting history and a great little restaurant!
   
Aug 15   drive south on Vancouver Island…2 hrs 13 min, 109 mi to Browns Bay Resort
--Stay at Browns Bay Resort/Ripple Rock RV Resort, 12 mi N of Campbell River, BC. Emailed on 12/6/12 requesting 1 nt, $35-40/nt for Full HU. 250-286-3135

Aug 16   drive south on Vancouver Island—1 hr 32 min, 76 mi to Resort
--RESERVED for 2 NIGHTS at Qualicum Bay Resort, 1 hr N of Naniamo/2 hrs N of Victoria…Conf # 1-201300297, RV full HU w TV $34/nt; 250-757-2003; from Hwy 19 headed south, exit 75, to Hwy 19A, turn left go 0.6 mi to resort, just beyond Big Qualicum River bridge.

Aug 17      @ Qualicum Bay Resort

Aug 18   Lv 7 am to arrive in VICTORIA BC CANADA by 9 or so… 2 hrs 14 min, 83 miles…requires FERRY SERVICE!!!  (Going directly to the Ferry Dock  in downtown Victoria from Qualicum Resort is 2 hrs 14 min, 101 miles…no ferry)
--go to Butchart Gardens in Victoria @ 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay BC…to ferry docks fr Burchart is 15 mi, 40 min
Ferry to PORT ANGELES WA…Black Ball Ferry departs @ 3PM, be there @ 1PM
   --Ferry trip is 90 min

Aug 19   PORT ANGELES WA…go immediately to the Port Angeles Visitor Center for trail maps in Olympic Natl Park…there’s a great trail 25 mi west of the visitor center…get its location!
   --Where is Hyder BC?? Close to Stewart WA?? Great bear viewing there, supposedly

Aug 20      OLYMPIC NP…3 nts...camping with Al & Susan
Aug 21
Aug 22

Aug 23      Astoria WA

Aug 24-26   drive down OR coast    RESERVE RV PARKS???
                        --Canyonville OR, Seven Feathers RV Resort, really great…rec’d by RVforum person
                        --Yachats OR Sea Perch RV Park…rt on the ocean..rec’d by Sarge…terraced, so don’t pay highest price for oceanfront!
                        --Stay in Bandon 1 night?

Aug 27      BROOKINGS OR…4 nts
Aug 28
Aug 29
Aug 30

Aug 31      KLAMATH FALLS OR
Sept 1      WINNEMUCCA NV   
Sept 2      SALT LAKE CITY UT
Sept 3      RAWLINS WY
Sept 4      HOME!!!
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

thomasamski

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  • Posts: 435
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2013, 09:51:26 PM »
We did a Florida to Alaska trip in 2011. It's expensive and the Alaska Highway is rough, but it's worth it. It was a memorable trip that we will do again in 2014. Stay at the Village RV park in Tok. It's really a nice place.
2011 Fleetwood Southwind pulling a 2010 Chevrolet HHR

Betty Brewer

  • Forum Staff
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  • Posts: 4586
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 10:39:37 PM »
Salty,

Whew  what a lot of planning you did!  When we went in  2006 we did  0 pre planning and still managed to have a blast.  I did not see Fairbanks on your agenda.  Will you not make it up there?  I am happy to see all of the  unscheduled days on your  agenda as that is the way to make a trip memorable to stay when you are having fun and leave if you are not.

Brewers 2006

Alaska See my blog in  Library
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Derby6

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  • Posts: 669
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 06:06:33 PM »
I could never make and  stick to that detalied of a plan--But since you did, some possible help.:
July 1: Hope is well past Whitter--Probably 50 miles maybe?
July 2-6: Kenai and Soldotna are VERY close together; If you have a toad, I'd just go straight to Kenai and TOAD to Freddy's.
Seldovia ands Anchor Point would be a visit from Homer not Soldotna.
2015 Ford Explorer (Wifes Ride)
2011 Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab/Long Bed/SRW
2011 Honda Civic-- (Beater with a heater)
2007 28' Desert FOX Toy Hauler             
TOYS:
01 Yamaha Kodiak 400
09 Yamaha Grizzly 550
12 Yamaha Grizzly 450
13 Yamaha Rhino 700 (Wifes Ride)
13 & 14  144" & 155" SKI DOO

Wigpro

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  • Posts: 1298
    • Capt Jim Lucas
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2013, 08:16:43 PM »
Good reading, and amazing planning, I thought I was bad at details...I will be leaving Kalispell MT area near the end of April, I need to be in Cantwell AK to start work by May 10th, towing my little 5er up there. I will keep everyone updated here, way earlier than most people for this trip, but I don't have a choice, just hope we have an early spring!

Good Luck on your trip and if you get a chance - say hello in Cantwell, I will be there working all summer! HERE If you want to go on a tour boat ride, check it out....I will be driving the boat!

Enjoy your well planned trip - I did a cut and paste in an email to myself, may just look into some of your hard work!

Jim


Full time traveler, fishing guide and photographer!

Travel Blog: http://captjimtravelblog.blogspot.com

Website: www.captainjimlucas.com

Photo Site: http://captjim.smugmug.com/

SaltyAdventurer

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  • Posts: 142
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2013, 10:49:24 PM »
Jim,  I got such a charge out of your response! Glad you found my "plan" useful...I always plan like this because for me, planning is more than half the fun!  I just love researching anything and everything to death.  I certainly WILL plan to stop by and say hello in Cantwell when we arrive...it would make our trip all the more memorable to take a boat tour and have you as our Skip.  In Denver, spring has already sprung. But here in the mountains west of Denver (Silverthorne, just west of the Eisenhower Tunnel) we had had blizzards on and off all day today...third set of big blizzards in a week and a half. Lord knows we need the moisture badly, so I'm not complaining...but this may signal that you won't get the early spring you're hoping for up in the north-beyond! Good luck with your trip, and have a great summer in AK.
Susan
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

Oldedit

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  • Posts: 423
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2013, 06:56:33 PM »
Well, we've got Milepost 2013 on order. And we're thinking more and more about our great adventure. Thanks for the input.
2013 Itasca Reyo T 2012-
2006 Roadtrek Adventurous Mercedes (Freightliner)
Colorado 2009-2012
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot Stick with Blue Ox
Member Colorado Columbines WIT Chapter

SaltyAdventurer

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  • Posts: 142
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: Derby6's comments!
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2013, 07:04:48 PM »
Hey Derby6! Thanks so much for pointing out the errors of my ways! I checked my plan today against your comments, and I am revising our itinerary to go this way:  When we leave Anchorage, we'll head for Seward first, then go on to Kenai (and nearby Soldotna and the Freddy's for groceries etc.), then to Homer.  Hang out at each place for awhile, and mosey on as we feel like it.  After Homer, we'll head back north to Hope, so that we'll be fairly close to Whittier when we need to go there to catch the ferry for our boat-float to Juneau.  Makes much more sense than the  way I had initially planned. Thanks so much!  This is more logical.  Anchorage to Seward is 125 mi (about 2 1/4 hrs); to Kenai 104 mi (also about 2 1/4 hrs); to Homer 82 mi (about 1 3/4 hrs); back up to Hope 168 mi (3 1/2 hrs). Last leg to Whittier from Hope is only 50 mi (1 hr). I so appreciate your advice!
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

Wigpro

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    • Capt Jim Lucas
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2013, 08:44:59 AM »
Jim,  I got such a charge out of your response! Glad you found my "plan" useful...I always plan like this because for me, planning is more than half the fun!  I just love researching anything and everything to death.  I certainly WILL plan to stop by and say hello in Cantwell when we arrive...it would make our trip all the more memorable to take a boat tour and have you as our Skip.  In Denver, spring has already sprung. But here in the mountains west of Denver (Silverthorne, just west of the Eisenhower Tunnel) we had had blizzards on and off all day today...third set of big blizzards in a week and a half. Lord knows we need the moisture badly, so I'm not complaining...but this may signal that you won't get the early spring you're hoping for up in the north-beyond! Good luck with your trip, and have a great summer in AK.
Susan

Well I will be happy to see you - although i don't see Cantwell on your detailed itinerary! It is just outside of Denali. I will post an update as my early Spring Adventure begins....

Thanks

Jim
Full time traveler, fishing guide and photographer!

Travel Blog: http://captjimtravelblog.blogspot.com

Website: www.captainjimlucas.com

Photo Site: http://captjim.smugmug.com/

Betty Brewer

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: Derby6's comments!
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2013, 01:45:29 PM »
Quote from: SaltyAdventurer link=topic=59422.msg571371#msg571371 date= 
Makes much more sense than the  way I had initially planned. Thanks so much!  This is more logical.  Anchorage to Seward is 125 mi (about 2 1/4 hrs); to Kenai 104 mi (also about 2 1/4 hrs); to Homer 82 mi (about 1 3/4 hrs); back up to Hope 168 mi (3 1/2 hrs). Last leg to Whittier from Hope is only 50 mi (1 hr). I so appreciate your advice!
I think you will be taking more time for mileage you post as often frost heaves will require very slow speeds to avoid becoming a missile.
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Chet18013

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2013, 05:09:56 PM »
I looked at your plans and was overwhelmed. We took of for Alaska with a general idea where we were going and made NO advance reservations or set stops until we got where we were going. We only had trouble finding a space one night on the way south and that was at Banff. We knew where we generally wanted to go and just went. Had a great time.

Be sure and buy an Alaska coupon tour book. It was one of the best purchases we made on the whole trip.  See:   http://www.toursaver.com We saved the cost of the book in the first couple of days in Alaska.

As you go north through Alberta, take a side trip to Drumheller and visit the Royal Museum of Paleontology. This museum has one of the largest collections of reconstructed fossils of the dinosaurs in existence. It takes a whole day to see it, but, boy is it worth it. We ended up spending three days there and at the nearby badlands, where most of the fossils were recovered. It's a once in a lifetime side trip worth taking. Definitely on our list for a revisit in the future.

If you search the forum, Betty Brewer did a very good and detailed journal of their trip to Alaska. Well worth reading all her posts on their trip.

I wrote up a summary of our trip and will see if I can find a copy and will send it to you if I find it.
Chet18013
Full time in a 45' '04 Monaco Signature
towing a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel

Gord Nelson

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2013, 05:42:00 PM »
Hi Salty Adventurer:

>>June 15   CHETWYND BC CANADA  (3.5 hrs/190 mi) / FORT ST. JOHN BC CANADA (2.25 hours/108 mi)
   --Our LONGEST DAY—5.75 hrs!!
   --Ross H Maclean Rotary RV Park, at Charlie Lake just north of Fort St. John. Good Sam park. $33-38 for full HU. 250-785-1700
   --IF we go to Dawson Creek (interesting town, nice place…), sty at Northern Lights CG, has good restrooms! Says Sarge…does he mean Dawson City???
   --June 9-10 in Chetwynd is the Intl Chainsaw Championship!<<

Nope.  Sarge means Dawson Creek, BC.  If you choose to take the slightly shorter route to Ft. St. John, BC from Chetwynd,  you will not be able to say "that you have travelled the entire Alaska Hwy".  The Alaska Hwy begins (Mile 0) at downtown Dawson Creek, BC.  8)

Also I hope you will stop for lunch (or something) at Pine Pass Provincial Park (about half way between Prince George and Chetwynd.  The scenery there is spectacular with a blue/green lake (full of trout) along side a high straight line of granite mountains.  At least, take a picture!

Enjoy your trip.  It sounds wonderful.

Gord

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2013, 12:07:59 AM »
When you go to Valdez be sure to go out to the airport to a museum that is located there.  It is not an air museum but a very pleasant surprise indeed.  It sounds like you have your trip well planned out and will have a great time.

This museum has been moved to the college in town. It's called the Whitney Museum, and it has beautiful displays. The Valdez Museum and its Annex are also both worth visiting.

Roamin Estate

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2013, 12:26:41 AM »
Cordova is a lovely little town!  You can take the ferry from Whittier or Valdez. There's not much to do - Childs Glacier is some 50 miles out of town, but a bridge on the road out of town washed out and hasn't been repaired so you cant get to it. If you enjoy hiking, there are several trails and the scenery is beautiful.

When you're in Anchorage, eat breakfast at Snow City Cafe on 4th and L street. It's DELISH and fun!

Enjoy your trip!

Oldedit

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2013, 02:46:57 PM »
We're getting more and more excited about our Alaska adventure in our Itasca Reyo motorhome.

Yesterday, I ordered a pre-season checkup by the RV tech who works at our winter storage warehouse.

Last night, I took at our 2013 edition of Milepost, which is pretty much like our heavily used 2012 edition. The guide books and maps are piled high in the kitchen.

Today, I started thinking about how I will blog about our trip and what I'll focus on as I write journal entries here. I'm also thinking about how I might post on twitter, Facebook and a new social media site that looks exciting, medium.com.

Next, I need to decide whether to replace my Nikon P90 digital camera and an old Canon movie camera before we leave. And I need to break out my Verizon MIFI card and make sure the connections work.

Equally important, it would help if I could shed some of my winter pounds. It would make driving more comfortable and the clothes I've bought for the trip fit. :)

But first things first. Tomorrow, Susan's going to show about 48 of her wonderful water color landscapes at our HOA club house. A neighbor also is showing her paintings. Hope somebody comes and Susan sells at least one painting. We need to clear our walls. :)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 02:50:23 PM by Oldedit »
2013 Itasca Reyo T 2012-
2006 Roadtrek Adventurous Mercedes (Freightliner)
Colorado 2009-2012
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot Stick with Blue Ox
Member Colorado Columbines WIT Chapter

Marsha/CA

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2013, 07:34:32 PM »
Ya know it's been a year since we took off for Alaska last May.  I can feel your excitement and it brings back so many memories.  I kept a log going for most of the trip and when it had ended, I wrote that if we went again, we would do it a little bit differently.  However, thinking about Alaska, we  had a great time and miss it.  We hope to go again.  Might get through Canada a little quicker and stay a little longer in Alaska on the 2nd trip; and/or do it with a truck camper so we could get way back off the main roads.  We loved it there.

Please..please keep a log for us to follow along with you.

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Wigpro

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    • Capt Jim Lucas
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2013, 08:58:38 PM »
Having just completed the trip from Kalispell, Montana to now tonight in Tok, Alaska...I think I can give you a few pointers before your journey.

Some applies more to people pulling something, be it a 5th wheel or a TT or a Toad.

  • Keep the fridge latch latched!! Holy crap what a mess!
  • Have all of your suspension system reviewed before the trip...check tie-rod ends, ball joints, shocks everything.
  • Tow vehicle - if you are towing a trailer or 5th wheel, have the suspension checked and springs checked and make sure all the shackles are in good shape.
  • Hitch - for you 5th wheelers - check all the king pin bolts and make sure they are tight...check you hitch and make sure it is tight. Buy a new teflon pad for the hitch.
  • TT - make sure your hitch and wiring is in order. Anti-sway bars are in good shape and your safety chains are in perfect shape.
  • Double check all electrical wiring for the trailer / hitch.
I found the roads from Kalispell to Dawson Creek to be fine. Although the bypass around Edmonton even though a new road, had some pretty rough bridge transitions.
From Dawson Creek to Watson lake for the most part was fine. I only hit one hard frost heave and it was being repaired. The main intersection in Watson Lake is terrible...at the turn off to the "Downtown RV park".
I hit bad slick weather and icy roads from Watson Lake to Teslin, after that the road was dry. There were some potholes and a couple small frost heaves but they were well marked and for the most part not a problem.
Now the bad part. From Haines Junction to Destruction bay was not bad. From Destruction bay to the Alaska Border was a challenge. Some of the most spectacular scenery, but the roughest road you will encounter, including at least 3 sections that were gravel only, not long, but washboard rough.
Watch out for the un-marked or repaired sections, they may be smooth but what I would describe as "Whoop Dee Doo's", which can play havoc with your tow and the ride in general, not a bone jarring hit, but rather the bottom of a short roller coaster, watch for the orange flags and warning cones and slow down. If there is a sign warning to slow down...slow WAY down it is bad!
I really recommend you make this 300 mile run in two days, it is tedious and the most beautiful, so enjoy it.
You can read my blog under my signature for more details of my experience.
Good Luck, I am an Alaskan, so welcome to my world.


Jim
Full time traveler, fishing guide and photographer!

Travel Blog: http://captjimtravelblog.blogspot.com

Website: www.captainjimlucas.com

Photo Site: http://captjim.smugmug.com/

Wigpro

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    • Capt Jim Lucas
Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2013, 09:35:26 PM »
OOPs, I forgot an important item.

  • Beware when opening cabinets - a can of Bush's baked beans can be deadly! And i have the knot on my forehead to prove it!

Of course that applies anytime after towing, but after today my stuff go really arranged!


Jim

Full time traveler, fishing guide and photographer!

Travel Blog: http://captjimtravelblog.blogspot.com

Website: www.captainjimlucas.com

Photo Site: http://captjim.smugmug.com/

Gord Nelson

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2013, 09:08:05 AM »
Jim

Glad to hear you made it okay.  Have a good summer.

Gord

Oldedit

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2013, 09:10:49 PM »
Having just completed the trip from Kalispell, Montana to now tonight in Tok, Alaska...I think I can give you a few pointers before your journey.

Thanks for the update, Jim. We'll discuss it over dinner in a few minutes.

Don
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 01:39:17 AM by Tom »
2013 Itasca Reyo T 2012-
2006 Roadtrek Adventurous Mercedes (Freightliner)
Colorado 2009-2012
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot Stick with Blue Ox
Member Colorado Columbines WIT Chapter

Oldedit

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Re: Our Alaska Adventure...summer 2013: The planning is underway!
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2013, 03:34:38 PM »
We're trying to figure out how to get our insurers to let us buy 110 days supply of prescription drugs. Walgreens and Kroger only have stores in Anchorage, which is less than a month into the trip and about 57 days from our return to the USA.
2013 Itasca Reyo T 2012-
2006 Roadtrek Adventurous Mercedes (Freightliner)
Colorado 2009-2012
Toad: 2016 Jeep Patriot Stick with Blue Ox
Member Colorado Columbines WIT Chapter

 

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