Simple tips for your Alaskan road trip…
After driving for more than 14 straight hours it was time for a real break longer than just to fill up the tank and my coffee cup. This time of year the roads driving down through Canada had plenty of wildlife but were uncrowded, unlike the summer months when hundreds of tourists and vacationers clog the one main road down from Alaska through Canada..the Alaskan highway or Alcan.
An 8,400 mile road trip is not something decided on at the spur of the moment. And for someone who has for 48 years never ventured far from a big city on the East coast the drive to Alaska would be a daunting adventure by itself. However when you add in the fact that I was going to live and work there for four months it indeed was becoming a monumental undertaking. That was 1995 now nineteen years later, and understanding what is involved in that adventure, is it any wonder that I relish reading the blogs posted by others driving to Alaska from all across our country.
Between 1995 and 2001 I ended up making 5 trips between Philadelphia, PA and Fairbanks, Alaska covering more than 40,000 miles, so for you who are planning your first road trip welcome to my world. Of course the first trip is always the most intimidating one because of the many unknowns facing you. However with a little common sense and planning you can remove the anxiety from your drive and focus on enjoying the adventure awaiting you.
I in no way want to minimize the complexity of such an undertaking but the drive itself requires no more than the use of common sense to all its aspects. Of course you will have a vehicle in good shape with tires and breaks in excellent condition. You will have ensured that your health is such that an occasional flat tire will not also require medical assistance. Also you will have spent a good number of hours going over maps selecting the most efficient path to your destination. Then lastly you have repeatedly gone over your check list on what you are packing and what needs to be done at home before you depart.
Having accomplished these basic ‘common sense’ necessities you can put your mind at rest and enjoy the road trip. I am serious if you take these basic steps to heart and insure they are done, baring weather problems, road construction, traffic and maybe an occasional flat tire you are ready for the adventure of a lifetime. That said I have only two additional suggestions for those driving to Alaska. Remember you can always purchase along the way any ‘forgotten’ items you need and forgot so don’t over pack and lastly purchase a copy of the ‘Milepost‘. It is the one book that has every mile of every road in Western Canada and Alaska in it. You will find that besides every gas station and small store it literally writes about every thing there is to see and do on every mile of each road.
That first trip to Alaska may have been 19 years in the past
and though the pictures may have faded you will
remember that adventure for the rest of your life.
*This posting is intended as a simple overview of travel to Alaska. For those wanting more specific information should feel free to email me with any questions. A search of posting in the Alaska catagory will list a two part travel around the state from July 1st and 3rd 2010.
*For those planning a drive up the Dalton Highway to Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay there is a detailed two part posting listed under the category ‘Alaska’ . The name of the postings are The Dalton Pt #1 and Pt #2 from July 4th, 2011