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Thread: Tennessee to Anchorage

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    Default Tennessee to Anchorage

    Hey Guys
    This May I will be making the journey from Tn to Anchorage Alaska. I recently got a job up there and I want to spend the summer there. I will be driving a 98 ford ranger. Plan on camping most of the way to avoid paying for motels. Can anybody give me route advice, ways to avoid tolls. Tips for the journey, ideas, different routes. Any advice is helpful.
    Thanks

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Start with a copy of the milepost. Do an on-line search to get a used copy even it's a few years old its still worth having.
    Next, do a search on this forum....there has been plenty of discussions over the past few years.

    Congrats on the new job, where and what are you doing for employment?
    BK

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirandrew View Post
    Hey Guys
    This May I will be making the journey from Tn to Anchorage Alaska. I recently got a job up there and I want to spend the summer there. I will be driving a 98 ford ranger. Plan on camping most of the way to avoid paying for motels. Can anybody give me route advice, ways to avoid tolls. Tips for the journey, ideas, different routes. Any advice is helpful.
    Thanks
    WOuld you mind keeping a journal? I'm doing the trip in July and we will possibly be taking almost the same route since I'll be coming up from GA.
    Are you traveling by yourself?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirandrew View Post
    Hey Guys
    This May I will be making the journey from Tn to Anchorage Alaska. I recently got a job up there and I want to spend the summer there. I will be driving a 98 ford ranger. Plan on camping most of the way to avoid paying for motels. Can anybody give me route advice, ways to avoid tolls. Tips for the journey, ideas, different routes. Any advice is helpful.
    Thanks
    We carry the Alaska Milepost in our store here on the site. Give Icebear a call at 1 (907) 895-4919 to order one. We are just getting the new ones stocked. This book will give you almost everything you need to know about traveling the Alcan Highway to Alaska.

    Take care,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    You might be able to get it through your local library for FREE depending on how long you plan to be gone....you could just check it out.

    I think E-bay or Amazon would be a better option also, save some $ and pick up a used copy.
    BK

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirandrew View Post
    Hey Guys
    This May I will be making the journey from Tn to Anchorage Alaska. I recently got a job up there and I want to spend the summer there. I will be driving a 98 ford ranger. Plan on camping most of the way to avoid paying for motels. Can anybody give me route advice, ways to avoid tolls. Tips for the journey, ideas, different routes. Any advice is helpful.
    Thanks
    The last milepost I used listed a lot of campgrounds, fuel points, points of interest, etc. It will answer just about any question you can think up. Read it each night, plan the next days travels, pit stops, fuel stops, food stops...!!!

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    We just flew down to Mineapolis and drove down to Bristol Tennesee to watch the Nascar race. Drove it in one long day, stuck to the freeways and made real good time. Really like driving through Kentucky and Tennesee. Left there and drove to Oklahoma to do a litlle hog hunting then back to Minneapolis. Once you get past the Chicago area it's clear sailing all the way up here to Ak. I did the drive from northern Wis to Moose Pass once in a little over 3 days not much fun though. Go slow, see the sights, enjoy the trip, it's awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirandrew View Post
    Hey Guys
    This May I will be making the journey from Tn to Anchorage Alaska. I recently got a job up there and I want to spend the summer there. I will be driving a 98 ford ranger. Plan on camping most of the way to avoid paying for motels. Can anybody give me route advice, ways to avoid tolls. Tips for the journey, ideas, different routes. Any advice is helpful.
    Thanks
    I've driven from just south of you (Florida), to Anchorage three times now, and from Anchorage to Florida twice now. Like you, I prefer to camp along the way, however, I've found camping in the US to be difficult. Your best bet is to national park hop from part to park. Otherwise, you're stuck with trying to find campgrounds. (I guess if you have an RV it might be easy, but with a tent, it was rally not practical.) Be aware that many states in the Midwest prohibit overnight parking at rest areas. Local police kept making me move so I never got a good night's sleep on my last trip this past summer.

    For the lower 48 part of your trip, you've basically got 3 routes, only two of which are practical.

    West. Drive straight west to the Rockies or over them and then go north. That gives you access to parks like Sequoia/King's Canyon, Yosemite, and Redwoods National Forest. Drive up the pacific Coast Hwy into Seattle and cross the border, then up through British Columbia to the Al-Can.

    Midwest. drive to just before the Continental Divide, then go north. This puts you in the vicinity of Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, north through Montana to Glacier Peace Park. cross the border just north of Kalispell, MT. Drive through Saskatechewan north and west to BC to the Al-Can. A variation on this is through the Dakotas, go through grand Praire and visit Mt. Rushmore, the. Drive straight north on back country roads and cross into Canada from N. Dakota.

    East. Backtrack through New England or go through MI to cross into Canada either in Quebec or Ontario. It's out of your way, but both Canadian provinces are awesome to visit. I spent two weeks in Quebec on my southbound trip in 2009. (I spent 23 days on the road driving across Canada on that trip.)

    Once you're in BC and on the Al-Can, the trip is pretty much the same for everyone.

    Do some research on border crossing and make sure you have your ducks in a row. if you are traveling with pets, make sure and certain you go to the vet prior and get all of the required shots etc and have proof and paperwork for same, If you are traveling with firearms, be certain you declare them at the border crossing and get the required temporary Canadian permits. In the past year or so, the Canadian government has really cracked down on folks carrying undeclared guns into Canada. Guns aren't a problem (well, hunting guns aren't a problem, handguns and assault weapons are a BIG problem) but you have to declare what you have. One parting caution on firearms in Canada: personal defense "pepper spray" is totally illegal I Canada and they treat it the same as carry a handgun, so just don't bring any. Buy new canisters when you get here.

    I've never ever ever had any issues at all crossing into or out of Canada (except when my girlfriend forgot to sign her passport; they politely handled it back to her and asked her to sign it.), but the experience is much faster at the small town crossings, as in Kalispell and in North Dakota. it's like going through the drive through at Tim Horton's.

    Another cautionary tale. Hear me when I say carry a lot of Canadian cash. YOUR AMERICAN CREDIT CARD WILL NOT WORK IN CANADA, unless it has that chip on the one end and you put the whole card into the reader. (Like the use in Europe) The magnetic swipe strip won't work. I discovered this in 2009, so last year, I called my bank ahead of time and they swore on a stack of bibles that my debit and credit cards would work. When I got to Edmonton to buy gas, guess what, no works credit card. I had to start using my ATM to get cash to buy gas, only my truck was burning more fuel tha. I could get money to buy in a day. At one point, I was seriously looking for a way to steal gas. The only card that worked was Bank of America and it would not buy fuel at the pump, I had to prepay. In Whitehorse, they wouldn't let. E prepay, and their card reader was broken. They almost called the police on me. I BARELY had enough Canadian money left to pay, but after that, I had to be real careful with how I bought gas. I no longer travel in Canada without enough cash to buy all my fuel + 10%.

    PS: the Mountain Dew in Canada is caffeine free. (Bunch of communists.)

    Oh I forgot to add: y can no longer drive into Canada with just a US driver license and/or birth certificate; you must have either a passport or passport card. (Card is cheaper). If you are traveling with children, either both parents must be present at the crossing, or you must have a copy of the court ordered custodial agreement and/or a letter from the other parent. They don't mess around with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    WOuld you mind keeping a journal? I'm doing the trip in July and we will possibly be taking almost the same route since I'll be coming up from GA.
    Are you traveling by yourself?
    You don't need a log. You need me. LOL!

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    I've made that trip...coming from Kingsport to Anchorage. 4800miles.

    1. Buy a Milepost. Well worth the investment...you'll even use it in AK driving around.
    2. I went through N. Dakota and Montana... stopping at Mt. Rushmore and farting around in the Black Hills.
    3. Carry Canadian currency. Exchange rates at the border are not favorable and sometimes ATM and Credit Cards can be an issue.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  11. #11

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    Just did the trip in February from Idaho, seven years ago from Missouri, I have not carried a penny of Canadian cash. Set up with your cedit card companies ahead of time, stay out of Canada as long as you can. I suggest going up through Montana or Idaho. Once in BC you will have to go through Jasper National Park which is beautiful, there will be a park toll in the Summer though. Take the shortcut on the Cassier Highway, beautiful and lots of places to camp. Prepare for six dollar an imperial gallon or more in Canada for fuel. I really do enjoy the drive.

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I will keep you guys updated on this thread about how it goes. I'm picking up a copy of the milepost this week. It's gonna be an adventure for sure but a fun one at that. Hopefully everything will go well.

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    Leaving tomorrow morning, the adventure begins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirandrew View Post
    Leaving tomorrow morning, the adventure begins.

    Best wishes. Drive safe.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Have a great trip, and take lots of pics! Be sure to get up early in the AM (3 or so) if you want to see the northern lights! We had a real show a couple of nights ago.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Another cautionary tale. Hear me when I say carry a lot of Canadian cash. YOUR AMERICAN CREDIT CARD WILL NOT WORK IN CANADA, unless it has that chip on the one end and you put the whole card into the reader. (Like the use in Europe) The magnetic swipe strip won't work.
    Hmmm....My old school Visa credit/debit card works just fine, every time I transit through (?). (Visa does charge an international exchange transaction fee these days though, so it's worth carrying cash to avoid that).

    As for the camping: BC has scads of great campgrounds along the way....
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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