Monday, August 19, 2013

Blaine, Washington August 19, 2013

Some reflections on our Alaska trip.

When we left Utah the first of May, we had fairly good weather, And except for a very few days of overnight showers, we couldn't have asked for better weather. We did get rained on a few times as we traveled, but in Alaska they were reporting record highs for the summer. I guess the weather knew we were coming and wanted to make the journey as pleasant as possible.

We traveled about 10,000 miles, which cost almost $4,000.00 dollars for fuel. We did do a lot of driving without the 5er which saved on fuel. Cindy had budgeted a lot more for campgrounds than we actually spent. We did boon-dock a lot, but the sun co-operated enough that our solar did very well. We probably didn't have to run our generator more than 6 hours in 3 months, which wasn't too bad.

We belong to Coast- to-Coast, so when we can use it we don't have to pay anything or very little for RV Parks. The only down side to this membership is you have to make reservations in advance. We also belong to Passport America, so when we could use it, we paid half price.

Cindy planed well enough in advance, that we didn't have to buy much food, so that helped a lot. While she was down, I had to cook more than I ever have, but I guess that was good for me.

We saw a lot (a very lot) of the most beautiful scenery anyone could imagine. We drove most of the major highways in Alaska, (the good and bad) and also made it to the Arctic Circle.

The only downside to the trip was Cindy hurting her back and having to lay around in Soldotna for a month. It was hard on her. She is still not fully recovered, but is able to get around a lot better. Originally we had planed on staying in Soldotna for a least 2 weeks, while the salmon run was on, but that got extended. As it was, I got to go fishing almost every day and filled the freezer with salmon fillets, and don't forget the Halibut Charter. Cindy had signed up for a quilt block class that she was unable to attend. She also was going to take some sewing classes on the embroidery machine that she also had to cancel.

As most of our readers know, we went over the Top of the World Highway. We did it the day after it was opened, and the Canadian side was freshly graded and except for a few muddy spots, the road was in excellent condition. The US portion, however was another story. The first 14 miles was under construction, and the last 10 miles was among the worst we had been on up to that time. The middle 14 or 15 miles was somewhat better, but still wasn't nearly as good as the Canadian side, but would I do it again? A most emphatic, Yes! I wouldn't miss the experience for anything. I did complain about the road from Tok to into The Yukon, and it probably was the worst road on the whole trip, but if you slow down and take your time, you can make it with no problems.

We met some really nice people, and like I said before, I am glad we went on this trip. We probably would have stayed a little longer if Cindy had been feeling better, but we both are glad to get back to the lower 48.

The only mechanical problems we had were: We broke the same cable on our slide that I had to fix before we left. I have the new kit with me, and will replace it this week before we move on. We had a brake problem on the trailer, and I finally isolated it to one wheel. I'm not sure where or when I will get it fixed. The last problem was one of our small shelves in the book case fell out because there were not enough staples in it, and I'm sure because of all the rough roads. I'm going to have to get something to take the road tar off the fiver and truck, but that's not a big thing.

The Alaska Tour Saver book is a must, as all the tours in it are two for one. There are also some free things in it. We didn't use the Church's Alaska Campground Book, but we did use the Milepost book everywhere we went.

Cindy is finally admitting that it was a good idea to retire early so we could do some of the traveling we have only dreamed about in the past.

In closing, I would advise anyone who is contemplating going to Alaska to do it before they are unable to travel, because you never know what lies in the future. Thanks for visiting.


  1. I'm happy to read that you so enjoyed the trip over all. It is a magnificent place.

  2. Great summation of your trip and it's great to know you'd do it again.

  3. Thanks for taking us along! We are thinking about making the trip next year and the info you provided was a big help.