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Thread: Texas To Wasilla (April 2012)

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    Default Texas To Wasilla (April 2012)

    A friend and I are headed up to Alaska next April. Even though all the preparation can be a bit overwhelming, I'm completely stoked about the move. First off, I'm 20, no guns, no rods, and drive an '02 Ford Focus. I want to get into Hunting/Fishing, but have read and heard quite a bit about no luck with the border and getting them through easily. So, first question is... Wait or not to wait? Suggestions?

    I also realize I need a 4x4 truck. What kind would be best? I'm not trying to go all out with a F350 big 'ole diesel. I've been told get a engine warmer(?) and a snow plow that attaches to the front(?). That has been told to me by Texans. I trust people who have been there/live there rather than people who think they know, so they don't help me much.

    Our planned way to get there is Abilene to Durango, Durango to Boise, Boise to Abbotsford, CA, Abbotsford to Burns Lake, Burns Lake to Watson Lake, Watson Lake to Tok, AK, and finally Tok to Wasilla. I plan on taking a U-Haul 6x12 trailer with the truck. And she's got a 2011 Honda Accord. Expected traveling costs are about 3k right now. Is that a good estimate if the trailer would cost $500? We also plan to take another 3k for rent and such.

    Any tips and advice is more than welcome!
    -Caleb

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    First off for your travel it will probably cost more than that to get you here depending on the fuel prices. Driving two veh and a trailer and expenses along the way will be more than that I would guess.
    3k might get you in an apt with the deposits and everything and hoping you find something as soon as you get there.

    Not sure what the first question was???? Do you carry guns up or just buy them when you get here? Either way
    It does not sound like you have a job lined up and waiting on you when you arrive. That means that you will have to have more money to carry you along the way while you find a job.

    Truck is great and 4x4 is better but again the less you have going out on bills until you get on your feet here the better you are.

    Route is what you want it to be, if you want to do that route then do it. Is that the most direct route? No IMO but if that is the way you want to go then do it.

    I guess the bottom line is have enough money to carry you until you can get a job and a place to live. The trip is a great trip and you will enjoy it but have your ducks in a row before you start it. Fuel stops will be long and few between once in Canada

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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    I'm not sure I'd want to be 20 YO again long on dreams and short on cash! What kind of skills do you have to find work? Better practice "can I supersize that for you."

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    R Walter, haha! I can do that!
    Sweepint, I've got a job here that can be transferred to Wasilla. But, it can't be confirmed until three months before arrival date. I'm pretty sure that it will be transferred with no problem. That way, there is some sort of income once up there. Our goal is to save as much as possible just to be safe. As for the gas few and far between once in Canada, Would a full tank get you from one to the other? Or is a gas can needed as well? Probably both just to be on the safe side. We aren't looking for anything big for living arrangements. A 2bdrm 2bth with a small yard is preferable. I've been looking into some and the cheapest I've found is about $1,000 a month. We plan on having enough for a deposit and 2 mos. rent up front. I know that the more we have the better.

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    Carry extra gas for the trip. I would carry about 25gal extra on most trips and then don't pass up a station with less than a half a tank of fuel in the car. Itís not as bad during the summer as compared as winter but you don't want to take any chances. Its does not affect me like the rest as I carry an extra tank in the bed of the truck so I will get about 600 to 1000 mile before I have to refill the tanks.
    Having a job waiting is half the battle, and a good line on a place to live is the other half. You can go thru a lot of money in a hurry in a motel waiting on a apt to open up.
    You need to have the means to pay for a break down or tires and a motel while traveling. It never fails but you will blow up a tire or two on the road or burn up a bearing and if you don't have the means to fix it or be able to wait for parts at a hotel that may take a day or two.
    You can camp along the way that will save some money and itís not bad if you do that every other day along the way.

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    Carry extra gas for the trip. I would carry about 25gal extra on most trips and then don't pass up a station with less than a half a tank of fuel in the car. Itís not as bad during the summer as compared as winter but you don't want to take any chances. Its does not affect me like the rest as I carry an extra tank in the bed of the truck so I will get about 600 to 1000 mile before I have to refill the tanks.
    Having a job waiting is half the battle, and a good line on a place to live is the other half. You can go thru a lot of money in a hurry in a motel waiting on a apt to open up.
    You need to have the means to pay for a break down or tires and a motel while traveling. It never fails but you will blow up a tire or two on the road or burn up a bearing and if you don't have the means to fix it or be able to wait for parts at a hotel that may take a day or two.
    You can camp along the way that will save some money and itís not bad if you do that every other day along the way.
    I hadn't thought about that! Haha. I'm glad you told me about breakdowns and such. I guess the average person just assumes that won't happen. Either that, or somewhere in the mess of things, just forgets about it.

    And your signature says that you are from Wasilla when not overseas? How is it? Any pointers on living there? Getting around? Positives and Negatives?

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    Let me just say that as for having to have a snow plow on the front of your truck that sounds like something a Texan would tell you. I can tell you in 30 years I've never needed a snowplow on my truck. If that is the work you want in the winter fine but no its not needed. Lots of ways to move up here and many different ideas. When I came this way 30 years ago I drove a pickup and towed a small travel trailer. Camped along the way and had about a years worth of food so no matter what I figured I could make it a year. Having the camper was great when I got here as rent was to high I thought so I camped here and there while I worked and saved money. After the first summer I had a down payment on a raw 5 acres.much smaller land payment than rental payment and I Build slowly from pocket. Got into a cabin before that first winter and its been great. Not the easy way to go maybe but if you really want to be here, living simple and as cheap as you can at first is the way to go. Rentals are in high demand and costly for what you get. Which is nothing in the end.
    Your cost guess now for 1 year from now is hard to say. As gas could be 2 times what it is now and never forget Canada is very high gas. Your $3,000 guess for today for driving 2 rigs is pretty close to what you will spend on your gas alone today. With todays cost of every thing you may think about just drive up the car together. A truck really isn't needed as the road is all paved and easy drive. Forget about moving house hold crap as all that stuff is here and can be had cheap with craigslist. Every day there is great furniture for cheap as people are always moving out of here. You look under the free part of craigs and you can find almost every thing one could need for nothing. The money you would save not driving a pickup could buy you a used one once your here if you think you need a pickup. Plus nice to enjoy the ride together with your gal by your side. Its good to have a dream to hold onto. Good luck! O ya whats Wasilla like? Bumper to Bumper traffic and not at all what you might think.

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    Power drifter is right, what prices are today could be twice next year. I came up with a big trailer but already new where i was going to live. Was about to close on a house that the wife had already came up to see and signed off on for us. We still camped along the way and it was in Jan, hotel one night sleep in the truck the next. Had plenty of money in my pocket for the move and no worries on the what if's in life.
    That was us i cannot speak for others out there but i am not twenty either. I could of done it much cheaper if i was still twenty and did not have a wife at the time. The wife was and still is a great parter on this still adventure in AK.

    How do i like Wasilla, well i do very much so i am off of the beaten path form the city and do not have to rely on the city for a living. The commute would be tough if I did have to do that every day. My wives did and finally decide to break away from that and get a job closer to the house because of fuel cost. We decided that it was more important to us to spend money on gas for the boat then make five more dollars an hr and put most of that into the car to get to work.
    Wasilla is nice, it is growing a lot faster than i would like to see but is still nice to be close to.

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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    (The commute would be tough if I did have to do that every day. My wives did and finally decide to break away from that and get a job closer to the house because of fuel cost.)

    So Sweepint are you Mormon? I find 1 some days more than enough!

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    Calagon75
    first thing you want to do before you leave Texas is order the MILEPOST.. It clearly gives you a mile by mile description of the facilities that are available.. Many businesses on the Alcan close up and go south from Sept to April or May... We drove the Alcan the first time in '72 when it was mostly gravel all the way... top speed that trip, for the most part was 35mph... The wife went "outside" one year to pick up a new vehicle, it broke down on her in some small village in the Yukon Ter... No Hotel in the village.. The Mechanic rented her a bedroom in his house.. she was there a week waiting for new parts to be flown in to the Mechanic....

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    Power Drifter
    You are right again one wife is more than enough, i guess i did not hit the grammar button.

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    Let me just say that as for having to have a snow plow on the front of your truck that sounds like something a Texan would tell you. I can tell you in 30 years I've never needed a snowplow on my truck. If that is the work you want in the winter fine but no its not needed. Lots of ways to move up here and many different ideas. When I came this way 30 years ago I drove a pickup and towed a small travel trailer. Camped along the way and had about a years worth of food so no matter what I figured I could make it a year. Having the camper was great when I got here as rent was to high I thought so I camped here and there while I worked and saved money. After the first summer I had a down payment on a raw 5 acres.much smaller land payment than rental payment and I Build slowly from pocket. Got into a cabin before that first winter and its been great. Not the easy way to go maybe but if you really want to be here, living simple and as cheap as you can at first is the way to go. Rentals are in high demand and costly for what you get. Which is nothing in the end.
    Your cost guess now for 1 year from now is hard to say. As gas could be 2 times what it is now and never forget Canada is very high gas. Your $3,000 guess for today for driving 2 rigs is pretty close to what you will spend on your gas alone today. With todays cost of every thing you may think about just drive up the car together. A truck really isn't needed as the road is all paved and easy drive. Forget about moving house hold crap as all that stuff is here and can be had cheap with craigslist. Every day there is great furniture for cheap as people are always moving out of here. You look under the free part of craigs and you can find almost every thing one could need for nothing. The money you would save not driving a pickup could buy you a used one once your here if you think you need a pickup. Plus nice to enjoy the ride together with your gal by your side. Its good to have a dream to hold onto. Good luck! O ya whats Wasilla like? Bumper to Bumper traffic and not at all what you might think.
    One thing I have to bring is my bed. Haha. I'm not gonna get rid of it. Kingsize amazing bed. Hard earned and completely paid off, but the rest can go i suppose. And as for the truck. Would it really be cheaper to buy in Alaska? I know it would save on gas but her car would be able to pull even a small trailer. That's the reason I was going to buy it here. I really like the camping idea and think it wold save money that could be used elsewhere, but she isn't gonna have it. So I guess that is that. I'll keep working on it though.
    Also, as for the city. Sucks that it's bumper to bumper. Ha. I was hoping it would be somewhere off the beaten path but not too far away from civilization.
    What would be your suggestion on living arrangements. You said you bought 5 acres? What'd you do after? Build on it or camp on it? Both? Should I buy land? Buy a house? (at 20 HAHA) Rent?

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    Calagon I understand it's hard to give up some things like your bed. just remember it's just a bed and we got them here to. I don't know if I'd say buying a pickup here is cheaper than there,but I was just looking at alaska list last night and there looked like some good deals. You can check out Alaska List and Craigslist alaska from where you are and have a look around.Also look at the furniture on there. Things here can be very $$$ and some times when people are moving things couldn't be found any where cheaper.So your girl friend won't camp? I'm sorry to say she might not like it much here. Long winters and lots of dark. It does bother a lot of people and women more so.Ive known more than 1 guy loving this place with all his heart was moving back south as the wife/girlfriend just hated it here. Just because your 20 doesn't mean anything as to buying a place or land. I was your age when I was buying land here. It might be smart for you guys to rent something for a year or so just to see if it's really what you want.

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    I'm going to hit everything in order the best I can for your adventure.

    1) Your route is bad. Too much messing around. I have done this trip that you are planning and the shortest route is straight up through Colorado, Wyoming, then Montana, straight up to Calagary, through Edmonton, and west to the Alaska highway. I did this trip 15 years ago towing three mules down from Alaska to Texas and back to Alaska towing a load of car hauler trailers. 5 days each way.

    2) You are young, how much stuff do you need? When I was 18 to 20 I traveled back and forth on the Alaska highway several times in the late 80's driving a four door Mercury Zephyr, all my stuff fit in that car. Your Focus and her Accord will be fine. There is absolutely no need to own a 4X4 truck in Alaska. Sure, it's nice, but it's not needed. My wife has driven front wheel drive cars for the 17 years we have been married and a rear wheeled 2wd before that. She's been stuck maybe twice in all those years. In fact in my dozen plus trips on the Alaska Highway I have only driven it once in a truck. Every other time have been cars and mini-vans.

    3) I've never needed fuel. If you are competent with a calculator, use your Milepost, and plan your fuel stops there is no reason to pack fuel. A full sized spare tire per vehicle is needed and make sure you get the flat one fixed right away if you get a flat. I have had exactly one flat in all those trips on the Alaska Hwy.

    This drive is really no big deal.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    I second that from AKDoug, I first came up in "98" packing camping gear in the back of my PU, wood, food (fuel 15 gals) ect...grant it I drove in Jan, and did experiance -40 degs, but I stay in hotels and never needed anything I carried. The roads were fine (no pot holes) and was able to get to ANC in 5 days. Don't get me wrong preparing for a night in cold temps with heat, food, gear ect is the right thing to do, didn't need it and the only thing I was out was a little time and money for being purdent about safety.

    I also traveled the same road in the summer of 2000 and packed camping gear again, food, heat ect...and camped in the back of my truck with the wife. That trip was fun with no worries (about) what to expect. We had to endure a few potholes, and a whole lot of flying bugs the size of small birds

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    Unless you have a reason to go to boise, you are adding several hundred miles to the trip, and in areas that have higher fuel cost.
    I have been over every route that you can imagine and the route that AKDoug suggest will save you MONEY and time. They don't claim BC stands for bring cash for nothing.

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