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Old 07-08-2016, 08:57 PM   #1
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Trip to Alaska - Lessons Learned

Just returned from a trip to Alaska in our 2015 Sunseeker 3010DS. We were there the last 2 weeks of June and the 1st week of July.

1. The Alaskan summer nights are awesome, it never even comes close to getting dark. There is still sunshine at midnight, the sun goes down to a dusk level around 1 AM but there is still plenty of light out and then rises to full sunshine again by about 4 AM. People are outside enjoying the sunny evenings until very late.

2. The best wildlife viewing while traveling was along the Alaskan highway going through the Yukon in Canada. We kept a log for each day of everything we saw while driving which included black bears, brown bears, moose, caribou, deer, wolves, porcupines, billy goats, sheep and many large herds of bison that would walk along the shoulder of the road and sometimes right on the road.

3. I was impressed with the Ford V10 engine which got us up the steepest mountain grades without straining too much. Traveling to Alaska requires going up and down mountain ranges day after day so you need to feel comfortable driving through mountains.

4. Some of the narrowest stretches of road were on the GlenAllen highway which goes from Anchorage to Tok Alaska. You travel up some very steep mountains on very narrow lanes of road with no shoulders or guard rails. This also allows some of the most awesome views but can be intimidating trying to drive up those grades on such narrow roads.

5. The 1500 mile Alaskan highway was in worse condition than I expected. Before I left I had heard that there would be the occasional mile of gravel road during road construction along the highway but I encountered over 150 miles of gravel roads in several 20 or 30 mile stretches of gravel road. In some cases the old road surface had been removed but gravel had not been laid down yet which resulted in large potholes every few feet and kept speeds down to 5 to 10 mph for extended periods. I also ended up with a damaged windshield from all the gravel.

6. There is little or no cell phone coverage along the 1500 mile Alaskan highway. Many campsites along that highway advertise that they have free wi-fi available for campers. However, in reality most of the campsites had no wi-fi at all even though they advertised it or had wi-fi available for 30 minutes and was so slow it was totally unusable for anything at all. Don't count on wi-fi being available at campsites along the Alaskan highway.

7. Gas is sold by the liter in Canada rather than by the gallon like in the U.S. Prices for gas in Canada varies widely and ranges from about $1 per liter ($4 per gallon) on the low end up to almost $7 per gallon on the high end. As soon as you cross the border into Alaska, gas prices drop down to about $2.70 per gallon.

8. Canada does not have freeways similar to the U.S. The trans Canada highways 1 and 16 still end up going through heavy city traffic and many stoplights as you go through major cities such as Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon etc.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:18 PM   #2
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That is absolutely fascinating information! Thanks for posting. That trip is on my bucket list one day, but right now we're doing good to make it out of the southeast.

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Old 07-08-2016, 09:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, we are considering this trip in the future
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:53 PM   #4
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RE: #5....

When we traveled the ALCAN, it was ALL gravel. Of course, that was in 1962. Can't wait to make the trip with my DW some day.

Thanks for the info. Very useful information!
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky55616 View Post
Just returned from a trip to Alaska in our 2015 Sunseeker 3010DS. We were there the last 2 weeks of June and the 1st week of July
8. Canada does not have freeways similar to the U.S. The trans Canada highways 1 and 16 still end up going through heavy city traffic and many stoplights as you go through major cities such as Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon etc.
Actually most large Canadian cities have ring roads to bypass them without going through the city, although there might be a traffic light or two. They are definitely not like your interstates. Safe travels.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:58 PM   #6
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Great trip report. We want to go up the Alcan Highway so bad, but I'm on the fence about going without a rifle or pistol. I'm not worried about the Canadian part of the trip, it's in Alaska that I'd like to be armed. I think when the time comes, we'll bite the bullet and go ahead anyway.
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:22 PM   #7
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I am still in Alaska, been here since June 7th. Right now I am staying with an old friend and hooked up in his yard and making day trips around the Kenai peninsula. Probably won't head back south until sometime in August.
Went out on a charter boat out of Seward yesterday. I caught the second largest Halibut plus two rockfish. Let one small Halibut go hoping for another big one. You are allowed two per day. That's me 3rd from the right half in the shadow.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:14 AM   #8
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Man, you got your priorities right! Halibut and rockfish- the best fish there is. You can keep your salmon. I'll take the other any day of the week!
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Old 07-09-2016, 02:56 AM   #9
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A friend and I rode our dual sport Yamaha Teneres up the Alcan last June from Phoenix. We also saw Muskox near Deadhorse. Rode back to Tok, up to Dawson City and down the Cassiar on the way back. Had cell phone coverage every night except for when we stayed at Coldfoot and Hyder AK. Best road trip I have ever been on. My wife retires next May and we are planning a road trip with the MH pulling one of my bikes.
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:37 AM   #10
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Thanks for the report! We will be leading a Caravan to Alaska in 2018
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