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Old 03-12-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
rvr6000
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Default Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

Kind of a slow night at work tonight so I was tracing the Alaskan Highway on Google Earth. Just amazes me how they built that road during WWII considering the equipment and environmental conditions they had to endure. Seems like big cool projects like that are just a thing of the past now. I guess the light rail lines they are building in the Twin Cities don't impress me much.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

Drove down it in 78 and in 81. Took the ferry up from Prince Rupert to Haynes both times. The road wasn't bad then and I've heard its gotten better since then. Now I want to ride the motorcycle up one day... bucket list thing!
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

I drove from Los Angeles to Prudhoe Bay in 2008, camped at the arctic circle, was already 0 degrees at night in mid september. The Dalton was not bad to me, had no issues. When the big rigs come at you need to move way over and watch for flying rocks from there tires. It was a interesting drive. When you get pretty far north, the terrain just tuns into rock mixed with tight dirt, not much grows way up there. The arctic was nothing special to look at, but when else do you get a chance to drive there. I would recommend the dalton to anyone, it was a fun drive, and not too many people out there. Do it in a well maintained and stocked truck.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

rode a motorcycle. It is not bad, but it can be pretty wild weather coming down.

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Old 03-13-2012, 12:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

In 1990 drove from Seattle up the Cassiar Highway to Whitehorse to Dawson City to Eagle to Fairbanks to Denali and then to Anchorage. Put the car on a barge back to Seattle. Wonderful trip. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

When I worked for Northwest Airlines a coworker drove his Goldwing up there then loaded it on a pallet and flew with it back for Chicago on one of our 747 freighters. Just a quick 7 hours from Chicago to Minneapolis then. I think he went up there in late August and said it was starting to get pretty chilly riding in places
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

Cassiar highway The drive threw British columbia is beautiful
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

I drove from Georgia to Alaska and back July/August of 2009. I had a freakin' blast. Alberta (Banff N.P./Jasper N.P.) and Yukon (along the alcan highway) were the best parts.

I think next trip (yes, there will be a next time) I might take the Alaska Marine Highway System at least one way between Bellingham, WA and Whittier, AK then spend more time actually in Alaska (previous trip was more about the trip, less about the destination).
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

Is the highway all paved now? Thought I had heard that it was. Maybe that is just the portion through Canada? Is August the best time to make the trip?

I want to drive the whole way from lower 48 up to Alaska and back in one of my hot rods someday. Probably be one of those after retirement trips.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

Yes Sir, I drove from Fort Bragg, NC to Anchorage AK in 1993. Then I drove back from Anchorage to Fort Bragg in 1997. My wife, son and I camped out the whole way both times. It was a blast.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

I grew up in that part of the world. Learned to drive on the Alaska Hwy back in the early '70's when it was gravel and dust in summer, potholes and mud when it rained and in the spring and early fall, and ice in the winter. The hwy still had most of the original curvy sections back then, and at the bottom of most hills would be a big wooden box full of sand in case you spun out going up the hill. You never, ever saw a windshield which hadn't been peppered with cracks. It's all paved now, has been for quite a while, to help you boys from the South in the big Winnebago's stay on the road.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
Is the highway all paved now? Thought I had heard that it was. Maybe that is just the portion through Canada? Is August the best time to make the trip?

I want to drive the whole way from lower 48 up to Alaska and back in one of my hot rods someday. Probably be one of those after retirement trips.
Yes it is (theoretically) paved all the way, but expect large sections where they've chipped the surface in preparation for repaving, or areas where you get detoured around a construction zone onto dirt. Watch for little red/orange flags on the roadside. These apparently indicate rough spots. A large group of them means slow down! Keep your eyes open for frost heaves too (humps in the road caused by the freeze/thaw cycle). Hit a big one going a bit too fast and you might catch air and/or break something.

Don't take a vehicle if you don't mind having some glass/paint work done. I got thoroughly peppered by a bobtail truck coming fast the other way that slid through some gravel on the shoulder. Fortunately, the windshield damage was just a chip and a glass place back home fixed it and insurance covered it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

My father in law has done it three times. One flat tire. I give him crap that is the fastest way to depreciate a vehicle there is, 10k miles in a month!
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

Did it on a bike a few years back from Dallas. Was a trip of I will never forget, goal was to do it before I turned 40, did it with two years to spare! Great ride once we got of Texas. Not sure if I would do it again...that is some serious mileage per day, even on the decked out 1800 Goldwing I had.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

Our family drove the Alcan when we went from my dad's post in Fairbanks to Ft Devens in 1966. Mostly dirt road and we took enough to handle problems ourselves along the way.

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Old 03-13-2012, 11:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

My girlfriend has done it 3 times. She grew up in AK.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

I would like to do this drive again.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:10 AM   #18
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
Is the highway all paved now? Thought I had heard that it was. Maybe that is just the portion through Canada? Is August the best time to make the trip?

I want to drive the whole way from lower 48 up to Alaska and back in one of my hot rods someday. Probably be one of those after retirement trips.
Nope, once you hit canada its all igloos and ice roads.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev442 View Post
My father in law has done it three times. One flat tire. I give him crap that is the fastest way to depreciate a vehicle there is, 10k miles in a month!
Agreed!!! Dont drive your car, itll be worth less when you want to sell!!!
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:29 AM   #20
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Default Re: Anyone ever drive to/from Alaska to lower 48?

I drove from Florida to Fairbanks back in May. It was a great drive the whole way. I was almost sad when we pulled into Eielson AFB. My wife had a camera full of animal and landscape pics.
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