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Thread: Relocating from Illinois

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    Default Relocating from Illinois

    Hello! I am new to the forum and thought I would start out by getting some advice on moving. Recently, I received a job offer in the Kenai area. I am definitely going to move but I was hoping for some tips. The job starts in October so that is when I would be heading north. I am hoping to drive up there as well and would love some insight into the trip on the Alcan. Any info would be helpful!

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    There are some really good threads on the alcan trip. Even from folks that made updates along the way.

    In October there will be fewer gas stations open after tourist season, so fill up every chance you get.

    Kenai is a pretty nice place to be headed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HannahJean View Post
    Hello! I am new to the forum and thought I would start out by getting some advice on moving. Recently, I received a job offer in the Kenai area. I am definitely going to move but I was hoping for some tips. The job starts in October so that is when I would be heading north. I am hoping to drive up there as well and would love some insight into the trip on the Alcan. Any info would be helpful!
    -Dress for winter.
    -If your vehicle is mechanically iffy or rear-wheel drive sell it now and get something FWD, AWD or 4WD. Otherwise service your vehicle before you depart.
    -Get new tires if you need them and carry a good spare tire--not a donut, and know how to change one (if you don't already)
    -Consider getting a set of cheap coveralls in the event you do have a vehicle problem. Better to take the time to put them on that to get filthy.
    -Pick up a copy of the Mile Post. It's a guide book for this drive and updated annually. Be aware that many gas stations through Canada are summer season only and close around late Sept after the tourists migrate south for the winter.
    -Carry $500 cash on top of whatever you budget for the trip.
    -Keep a camera handy and don't be in such a hurry you don't stop and take pictures. It's a marvelous drive especially your first time.
    -Bring a swimsuit and plan to stop at Liard River Hot Springs.
    -Carry a hand held squeegee and a pail. If it's wet and your side windows get coated in mud DO NOT ROLL YOUR WINDOWS DOWN!!! Find some water and squeegee them otherwise you'll have mud inside your window seal forever (ask me how I know)
    -Carry a spare air filter. If it's dry it will be dusty.
    -If you do have a problem in Canada don't be afraid to ask for help. Canadians are generally friendly and helpful.

    Enjoy the trip!
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Thanks!! I currently have a newer Buick LeSabre. It is FWD but I had been concerned about how it would do in snow (it doesn't snow in southern Illinois so I haven't tested it out). But, it should be fine? I have heard nice things about Kenai so far. Does anyone have housing suggestions? I would like to have something rented before getting up there. Bad idea?

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    You need to inspect any rental before laying out cash or signing a lease.

    A fwd car with studs is fine. Just might have to work through some deep snow days.

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    getting up here in October there should be plenty of rental property available. Make sure you have good water. City water is ok . Look up peninsula clarion on line and also craigslist.

    I drove up here in 81 from Bloomington Il. and never went back.

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    I grew up not too far from Bloomington! Nice to hear another central Illinoisian is enjoying the area!

    Another question…I am also considering a job offer in Juneau. However, when searching for housing it has seemed impossible to find rentals in the area. Anyone know of any rentals in the Juneau/Douglas area?

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    Juneau is tight since it is the state capital and they all fly in for the session that ends in May. then the tourist workers show up and replace them till the fall. Its a hard place to get into during the spring and summer. Fall might get you better options, but they might kick you out in January when the politicians and their staffers show back up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    -Dress for winter.
    -If your vehicle is mechanically iffy or rear-wheel drive sell it now and get something FWD, AWD or 4WD. Otherwise service your vehicle before you depart.
    -Get new tires if you need them and carry a good spare tire--not a donut, and know how to change one (if you don't already)
    -Consider getting a set of cheap coveralls in the event you do have a vehicle problem. Better to take the time to put them on that to get filthy.
    -Pick up a copy of the Mile Post. It's a guide book for this drive and updated annually. Be aware that many gas stations through Canada are summer season only and close around late Sept after the tourists migrate south for the winter.
    -Carry $500 cash on top of whatever you budget for the trip.
    -Keep a camera handy and don't be in such a hurry you don't stop and take pictures. It's a marvelous drive especially your first time.
    -Bring a swimsuit and plan to stop at Liard River Hot Springs.
    -Carry a hand held squeegee and a pail. If it's wet and your side windows get coated in mud DO NOT ROLL YOUR WINDOWS DOWN!!! Find some water and squeegee them otherwise you'll have mud inside your window seal forever (ask me how I know)
    -Carry a spare air filter. If it's dry it will be dusty.
    -If you do have a problem in Canada don't be afraid to ask for help. Canadians are generally friendly and helpful.

    Enjoy the trip!
    Great reply, I couldn't have said it better myself; I am a former Canadian living in AK and have driven that stretch more times than I can count, in all seasons. A Buick Lesabre is a fine choice - great highway mileage and there won't be much snow at that point. They do have a traction control feature on the newer models. I had an 05 Lesabre for a while. I very strongly second the suggestion of stopping at Liard Hotsprings, especially in October when the tourists have gone home but it's not bone chilling yet. It's right after the bridge over the Liard River about 200 miles beyond Fort Nelson. There's lots of signage and it requires an easy walk in on about 1,500 feet of boardwalk through swampy spruce forest.

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    Oh and WATCH FOR WILDLIFE; especially in the mountain sections between Fort Nelson and Watson Lake; animals are everywhere especially if you choose to drive through the night.

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    I traveled through Canada last Jan and would caution driving at night or dusk / dawn hours. I hit a deer early in the morning just north of Alberta which set me back more than a week and thousands in expenses. The roads leading to Watson Lake had Bison and Sheep in the roads too. I managed to avoid hitting them. October should be alot warmer too, when I went through Watson Lake it was -54 F which also caused some mechanical problems. I never had trouble getting gas even with most towns pretty far apart. I carried 5 Gal of gas all the way and never needed it. I did the trip alone from NY (about 4200 miles), I don't recommend that either.
    Good luck and have a safe trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HannahJean View Post
    I grew up not too far from Bloomington! Nice to hear another central Illinoisian is enjoying the area!

    Another question…I am also considering a job offer in Juneau. However, when searching for housing it has seemed impossible to find rentals in the area. Anyone know of any rentals in the Juneau/Douglas area?
    Former Southern Ill, resident here as well (just had a buddy visit from Salem, Il)......I am now in Juneau, you will find housing a serious pain in the butt unless you are making seroius coin. This is a tough place for a single income.....unless it's 55-70k.....then you should find somehting quaint for about 1200 a month. Utilities are cheap. Also, while no place in the state is a picnic.....juneau and douglas and all of southeast is very wet, very cool, and not exactly cheap......Kenai may be a better start......lots of midwesterners up here period, but especially in the Kenai area.

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    Thanks! This information has all been super helpful. I have decided to take the job in Juneau. It gives me the opportunity to pursue my master's degree. Housing definitely is proving to be annoying. But, the place I took a job at offers that we can live there for a month or two if we can't find something. If anyone hear of good rentals though, let me know!

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    Another fact I probably should have stated is that I have previously lived in Alaska. So, the climate/ culture shock aspects are not necessarily a big deal to me. I spent time living in King Salmon, AK. I am guessing Juneau will be significantly less of a culture shock that Bristol Bay

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    Quote Originally Posted by HannahJean View Post
    I am guessing Juneau will be significantly less of a culture shock that Bristol Bay.
    Fewer black flys and more rain.....and more "culture".

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