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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My wife and I have orders to Eielson AFB, AK and we will be starting our journey on August 1, 2009!

We are looking for good places to go eat, see, experience, etc. because we want to make this a Grand Adventure!

We'll be starting out in Las Vegas, NV and I'll probably make my wife let us stop at In-n-Out before we leave to get some Double Doubles and Fries (YUM!).

Our first stop will be in Salt Lake City, UT in the afternoon on August 1, 2009.

Next stop is Butte, Montana on August 2, my wife's mother grew up in what is now the city library in a local small town, we're going to see it!

After that is the Canadian Border and Calgary, AB on August 3, I know there is a theme park or w/e there, so we'll be enjoying that as well!

Fourth stop is Grande Prairie, AB on the 4th of August.

Fifth stop is Watson Lake, BC on August 5th!

Sixth stop is Destruction Bay, Yukon Territory! Sounds Fun!

And Finally Eielson AFB, AK, and Fairbanks is ~20mi away!
 

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Too cool...I'm jealous on the trip and the destination.

You are required to post several thousand pics now that you've posted this. Make sure plenty include the E...cuz we're weird that way.
 

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Whitehorse to Tok may be the slowest stretch.

Besides Mileposts, I'd suggest looking at the Canada/Alaska section on RV.net There constant questions and reports about conditions on the way to Alaska. There was, for example, a period this summer when the BC section of the Alaska highway was closed due to forest fires.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/listings/forum/65.cfm
 

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Should I put in a plug for Tim Hortons when you are in Canada?

Time probably dictates that you travel straight north from Calgary. If you had time, though, it would be a shame miss the drive through Banff and Jasper Nat. Park. In fact you could bypass Calgary, and take 22, 541 and 40 through Kananaskis Country - a set of provincial parks as beautiful as the adjacent national ones.

For that matter some claim that the Cassiar, 37, in NW BC is a more interesting route to Watson Lake than the Alaska Hwy through Dawson Ck and Fort Nelson.

Is there a particular reason for choosing Destruction Bay as a stop? Whitehorse, a 150 miles earlier would be more natural stop - depending of course on the length of the drive that day. On a more leisurely trip years ago (averaging 250 miles/day), we spent a full day in the Whitehorse area, picking up mail, doing some shopping, seeing sights. We camped at a commercial hot springs north of town (Takhini).
 

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Quite right, paulj! If you're in Canada "double double" can ONLY mean Tim Hortons!

:)

I agree that Hwy 22 in Alberta, up the foothills of the Rockies, is a spectacular drive and the Stewart-Cassiar in north western B.C is a particular favourite of mine as well.

Lots of good choices for the OP, have a great trip!
 

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a few suggested stops

My wife and I have orders to Eielson AFB, AK and we will be starting our journey on August 1, 2009!

We are looking for good places to go eat, see, experience, etc. because we want to make this a Grand Adventure!

We'll be starting out in Las Vegas, NV and I'll probably make my wife let us stop at In-n-Out before we leave to get some Double Doubles and Fries (YUM!).

Our first stop will be in Salt Lake City, UT in the afternoon on August 1, 2009.

Next stop is Butte, Montana on August 2, my wife's mother grew up in what is now the city library in a local small town, we're going to see it!

After that is the Canadian Border and Calgary, AB on August 3, I know there is a theme park or w/e there, so we'll be enjoying that as well!

Fourth stop is Grande Prairie, AB on the 4th of August.

Fifth stop is somewhere, don't rightly remember! I'll update it later...

Sixth stop is Destruction Bay, Yukon Territory! Sounds Fun!

And Finally Eielson AFB, AK, and Fairbanks is ~20mi away!


05elefent - Welcome from the Greatland (one of the names for Alaska)

My first home here in 1967 was Eielson AFB when my Dad was stationed there. Great place to live, some of my best memories from childhood were there. I been in Anchorage for the last 35 years, with the exception of 3 years in Barrow and 3 1/2 years in the USMC.

We've driven the Alcan 3 times, the last time in 2007 when my son and I drove from Anchorage to Tucson, also in August.

You likely to see lots of wildlife along the way when you get into BC, the Yukon and Alaska. Caribou, moose, mountain sheep, and bison. Get a 2 or 3 day fishing license in BC to stop and fish one of the many streams along the highway - you can catch grayling and dolly varden. In Northern BC you'll drive by Liard Hot Springs - stop and take a long soak. Your posterior with thank you. Take the detour from the highway in the Yukon and see Whitehorse, its the largest city along the Yukon River. Near the Border between the Yukon and Alaska the highway will be under construction - it is always under construction - our neighbors in the Yukon say it will be perfect when they finish. when you cross the border into Alaska, go to Tok and eat at Fast Eddy's - you will not be disappointed. From Tok, you are about 5 hours from Fairbanks. You likely see moose and maybe some bears. You'll also see the transalaska pipeline on your way to Fairbanks. There's a nice hot springs in Fairbanks - Chena Hot Springs that you should also go to. Great places to eat - the Turtle Club in Fox (north of FBKS) and the Two Rivers Roadhouse just outside of Fairbanks.

Bring a filled 5 gallon gas can along as a reserve - the gas station spacing along the highway can be spotty and I used the reserve can more than once. Cheapest gas will be in Alberta and Alaska - most expensive will be in Northern BC and the Yukon. In August it will be cold at night in the Yukon and Alaska so have a warm Fall coat out to wear. Before October, get a headbolt heater install on your E - you will not be able to start your car in the winter in Fairbanks without it.

Let me know by PM if you need more info. Have a great adventure! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
:D
Bowzer said:
Too cool...I'm jealous on the trip and the destination.

You are required to post several thousand pics now that you've posted this. Make sure plenty include the E...cuz we're weird that way.
Oh yeah, don't worry, we're bringing (2) digital P&S cameras, (1) 35mm P&S, (2) SLRs, and (1) Polaroid!

GrayS said:
If you are taking the Alaskan Highway you need this book.
Yeah, that's the only one we don't have, may be ordering it this coming payday.

paulj said:
Whitehorse to Tok may be the slowest stretch.

Besides Mileposts, I'd suggest looking at the Canada/Alaska section on RV.net There constant questions and reports about conditions on the way to Alaska. There was, for example, a period this summer when the BC section of the Alaska highway was closed due to forest fires.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...s/forum/65.cfm

Should I put in a plug for Tim Hortons when you are in Canada?

Time probably dictates that you travel straight north from Calgary. If you had time, though, it would be a shame miss the drive through Banff and Jasper Nat. Park. In fact you could bypass Calgary, and take 22, 541 and 40 through Kananaskis Country - a set of provincial parks as beautiful as the adjacent national ones.

For that matter some claim that the Cassiar, 37, in NW BC is a more interesting route to Watson Lake than the Alaska Hwy through Dawson Ck and Fort Nelson.

Is there a particular reason for choosing Destruction Bay as a stop? Whitehorse, a 150 miles earlier would be more natural stop - depending of course on the length of the drive that day. On a more leisurely trip years ago (averaging 250 miles/day), we spent a full day in the Whitehorse area, picking up mail, doing some shopping, seeing sights. We camped at a commercial hot springs north of town (Takhini).
Advise taken! We're kinda going to play it by ear now (because my wife is navigating...lol. ) and we bought an Atlas from REI that has all the National Parks in it, so we're going to at least drive through almost everyone of them on the way!

hiker chick said:
Epic!!!!

Am looking forward to your pics. So, so exciting for you!
I know I can't wait! The Fates have kept us in Las Vegas for a year, so we could move to Alaska! We hate it here so much!

NV_05_AWD said:
Too bad you're not going through Reno / Sparks... The last out-post for a Double Double !!!
I tired to get the wife to let me, but vegas seems like it'll be the end for me...

PVR said:
Quite right, paulj! If you're in Canada "double double" can ONLY mean Tim Hortons!

I agree that Hwy 22 in Alberta, up the foothills of the Rockies, is a spectacular drive and the Stewart-Cassiar in north western B.C is a particular favourite of mine as well.

Lots of good choices for the OP, have a great trip!
I think we're taking the Alaskan Highway the whole way through Canada, Which road is the Cassiar?

wjdunham said:
05elefent - Welcome from the Greatland (one of the names for Alaska)

My first home here in 1967 was Eielson AFB when my Dad was stationed there. Great place to live, some of my best memories from childhood were there. I been in Anchorage for the last 35 years, with the exception of 3 years in Barrow and 3 1/2 years in the USMC.

We've driven the Alcan 3 times, the last time in 2007 when my son and I drove from Anchorage to Tucson, also in August.

You likely to see lots of wildlife along the way when you get into BC, the Yukon and Alaska. Caribou, moose, mountain sheep, and bison. Get a 2 or 3 day fishing license in BC to stop and fish one of the many streams along the highway - you can catch grayling and dolly varden. In Northern BC you'll drive by Liard Hot Springs - stop and take a long soak. Your posterior with thank you. Take the detour from the highway in the Yukon and see Whitehorse, its the largest city along the Yukon River. Near the Border between the Yukon and Alaska the highway will be under construction - it is always under construction - our neighbors in the Yukon say it will be perfect when they finish. when you cross the border into Alaska, go to Tok and eat at Fast Eddy's - you will not be disappointed. From Tok, you are about 5 hours from Fairbanks. You likely see moose and maybe some bears. You'll also see the transalaska pipeline on your way to Fairbanks. There's a nice hot springs in Fairbanks - Chena Hot Springs that you should also go to. Great places to eat - the Turtle Club in Fox (north of FBKS) and the Two Rivers Roadhouse just outside of Fairbanks.

Bring a filled 5 gallon gas can along as a reserve - the gas station spacing along the highway can be spotty and I used the reserve can more than once. Cheapest gas will be in Alberta and Alaska - most expensive will be in Northern BC and the Yukon. In August it will be cold at night in the Yukon and Alaska so have a warm Fall coat out to wear. Before October, get a headbolt heater install on your E - you will not be able to start your car in the winter in Fairbanks without it.

Let me know by PM if you need more info. Have a great adventure!

while in Canada, ask for gravy on your french fries.
We're definitely going that route from Calgary now, and will probably stop in Liard, too. We have a 6gal gas can, and anything we'll need to survive for over a week, so we're good...

Oh, and we're southern, we put gravy on everything :D
 

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:D...I think we're taking the Alaskan Highway the whole way through Canada, Which road is the Cassiar?...
The Cassiar is marked on the left of the map (Hwy 37), the Alcan is on the right. If you stay on the Alcan you will meet up with the Cassiar at Watson Lake YT.
 

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You should be aware the Cassiar has a long unpaved stretch, and carries a lot of ore trucks. I found it quite enjoyable, though.
Which is actually less than 80 miles now, depending on how rough last winter was on the road......

IMHO it's not as scenic as the ALCAN (short for the AK-Canadian Hwy). Been through it four times now (retired military), and it still brings a smile to the face......

Plan ahead and bring extra gas and road snacks, etc. as there are long stretches of, um, nothing.....(but, you already knew that, eh?).

I pray for your safe travel and let us Alaskans know when you get up here. The more we have up here, the better a chance of building a great group of E owners.......

Again, Godspeed and safe journey.
Cheers,
A_T
 

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I question the need for extra gas.

When I drove to Alaska and back a couple of decades ago in an S10 pickup, I only filled extra cans (on the roof rack) for the Dempster (north from Dawson City), and didn't need them. The longest distance between gas stations on that route was 230 miles, and since it was mileage optimal 50mph good gravel, I had plenty of fuel to cover that distance. Later, when taking the ferry, the now empty gas cans had to be stored in the ship's paint locker.

If you make a practice of filling up when you can and hitting a long stretch with a full tank you should be fine. Carrying gas cans inside the Element is not a good idea. The best option I've been able to think of is a couple of smaller cans, strapped together, and stored in a roof top box. I did that on a trip in the Oregon outback, but never filled them.
 

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I have driven the Al-Can round trip twice back in 1988 and 1989. Done in a 1970 Malibu :D You shouldn't need extra gas cans, but as GaryS noted the Milepost is essential to keep you aware of what's next! Did it without a cell phone too that now sounds like a stupid idea today!

While there those years I made a point to drive as much of the state as I could, you guys are in for a real treat! For me, I tried to stick it out in Alaska back then over the 1989 winter, and the temperatures were not all that different than here in Utah, but the dark of winter really got to me. Sun up at 10 a.m. and down at 2 p.m. was too much for me to take! Still have a lot of friends there, and have flown back a few times. Denali Park, Kenai Fjords, the drive down to Valdez, the Matenuska valley, are all amazing places that might take forever to explore all that they have to offer.

For your drive up there, I suggest skipping Calgary and staying in the mountains following the Rockies north entering at Radium Hot Springs,(big pool there), from the west side in Kootenay, next Banff, then Jasper, and passing Mt. Robson on your way out of the rockies to Prince George. Still has to be, (all of Alaska included), THE most beautiful drive I have done on this continent! Simply head to Missoula Montana and take 93 north to the Roosville border crossing, pretty straight forward from there.

This change is gonna be huge! Vegas to Fairbanks..... Wow!
 

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the Cassiar Hwy

Some say this route is about 100 miles (160 KM) shorter than the Alaska Hwy Route. That's why I took this route on my way back home August 2007. Alaskan Toaster is right there is really very little gravel left on the Cassiar (first time I took the Cassiar was in 1981 and it was all gravel then). The only reason for taking this highway is the beauty of the drive and better places to fish, because it is lacking everything else (very few places to stay and I think there is only one gas station still in business). You can drive to the southern-most point in Alaska accessible by road - Hyder, Alaska on the Cassiar. It would have to be for kicks because there is not a lot there or in Stewart BC which you drive thru to get to Hyder.

You'll miss Liard Hot Springs if you take the Cassiar - I think Liard is worth it.

Oh yeah - there are wooden bridges on the Cassiar along with metal grate bridges. The wooden ones are slippery when it is raining - saw two of four Honda Goldwing bikers take a spill on one. Poor guys were in there 70's and on the bike ride of a lifetime to Alaska and were on their way back to the states when this happened. They were okay, but you would be hard pressed to describe these wooden bridges more colorfully than these two guys did.:lol:

You can leave the gas can behind, but I am not sure I'd take 20 year old advice - I drove it two years ago and needed it. I carried them on top of the E, it is the only place that makes sense unless you have a cargo tray that fit a hitch receiver (see Cabelas). The Milepost is a great resource, but not always up to date - the information about places along the highway is usually a year old when the book is printed and we found several gas stations closed that were listed as open in the current Milepost in 2007.

I am sure you'll have a cell phone with you, but be aware there are spots in Northern BC, the Yukon and Alaska where there is no coverage.

Enjoy - :cool:
 

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I just looked a 'need to take extra gas' thread on rv.net. There was talk of road houses and such closing due the economy, but it was hard to identify the longest distance between stations. But I encountered a nice phrase - drive the top half of your tank.

The longer legs on the Alaska Hwy are -
Ft St John to Ft Nelson is a 230 mile leg
Ft Nelson to Watson Lk - 320miles
Watson Lk to Whitehorse - 270
Haines Junction to Tok - 293

I'd fill up at each of those towns, and take advantage of an opportunity between.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow! I think I might be taking the Cassiar now! That sounds just awesome!

I plan has been somewhat modified with Everyone's advise and the addition of a National Park Atlas from REI

Oh I don't think we'll have a problem with 4hrs of light lol

We are definitely bringing a cas can with us and it'll be strapped to the top iwth all our other crap.
 

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You can leave the gas can behind, but I am not sure I'd take 20 year old advice - I drove it two years ago and needed it. I carried them on top of the E, it is the only place that makes sense unless you have a cargo tray that fit a hitch receiver (see Cabelas). The Milepost is a great resource, but not always up to date - the information about places along the highway is usually a year old when the book is printed and we found several gas stations closed that were listed as open in the current Milepost in 2007.

I am sure you'll have a cell phone with you, but be aware there are spots in Northern BC, the Yukon and Alaska where there is no coverage.

Enjoy - :cool:
I would have expected more fuel stations over the last 20 years to appear, not fewer, and it was not advice, just an experience in a fuel guzzling 8 cylinder chevy tank that did not have the range that the E does, therefore making the E less likely to need more stops. Sorry my "advice" is so old, I suppose my information was not worth posting here according to wjdunham.
 
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