Well Got off the ferry last night, drove to Soldotna, and bought my 19.5 visions and 265-70-19.5 Bridgestones at midnight from an Alaska State Trooper. I wonder what the neighbors thought??? Well, I spent the night at the Local Fred MEyers (Very RV freindly) on the north side of the Freddies parking lot. Then went back to the Troopers house in the AM and installed them at the curb. (Brought my 4 ton floor jack and T-bar) They were a bit spongie. Went to the Gas Station and found they only had 45psi. Aired them up to 85 psi, and WOW what a difference. Drove to Anchorage, had the temporary tires removed from the stock rims, and put the spare stock rims in the camper. Well for the fishermen coming to Alaska, we had a rough (read long and cold and snowy) winter. Record snowfall in much of the state. The Kenai Lake is still iced over. There is still snow around everywhere. I didn't see anything budding or turning green till I got to Anchorage.
Saw 8 moose between Homer and Soldotna. Saw a few more RV's than Moose. Saw many campers, One Okanagan, two Lance, One Palamino pop-up, two Northern Lites, two TT's, 3 Class A's, two Class C's, and two Toyota C's.
I'll post lots of pics when I get home, as the computer I borrowed from my son, wont take the pics from my camera...
Lots more campers boats and RV's between Soldotana and Anchorage. Overcast most of the trip, but rain and wind through the Turnagain Pass as well as some wet snow showers!
Well, I'll try to post more later. Gotta go set up camp for the night at the Family Camp at Elmendorf Airforce base. Hope to be back again sometime tomorrow. Till Then!
Garry (Finally off the ROCK! ie Kodiak)
ps Destination is Fairbanks for a Work Conference this next week. Then back to home on Next Saturday...
pps The roads really got beat up this year from the winter... Don't try to do the speedlimit with a truck and TC, you might launch both into space....
Wife + 4 kids
Retired Military Family.... Alway's on the move....
2002 F350 CCSB 5.4 6spd 4x4 in AK
1966 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
Gary, is this your first driving trip to Fairbanks? Spring arrived early this year in the Interior of the state and in northern Canada. The river ice went out in Nenana and Dawson already, both toward the earliest since they have been keeping records. The drive between Los Anchorage and Fairbanks is a good drive and lots of photo opportunities.
Just out of curiosity, where were you living before you moved to Kodiak? I was in the apartment rental business for about 30 years in Anchorage. Just in the last few years selling off the last of the four plexes we had there, most across the highway from Cal Worthington Ford. We rented to many military personnel and depending on where they rotated to Alaska from, gave them different perspectives on the Banana Belt weather (Anchorage and south central). The troops that came up from the southern states thought the Anchorage weather was so cold and long. Those that came up from places like Minot AF Base, thought they had been sent to the tropics.
One winter when I was living in Galena, 300 miles west of Fairbanks, the military decided to have a joint Air Force and Army winter training session. It was fun to watch. The Army troops were out of the Carolinas and the Air Force was running a bunch of C 130 Herc's. Lots of troops involved, the AF was using something like 20 or 25 different Herc's to fly in the troops and equipment. The fist day of the exercise, the bottom fell out of the thermometer, -40°F and got colder. This was the first serious cold weather, those troops had ever seen, including the pilots of the planes. The routine was for the planes to pick up the troops in North or South Carolina, and haul them to Galena, an all day trip. Then the planes would overnight and head back empty to pick up another load. The first night there were about a dozen Herc's parked on the apron at the airport. The next morning I went over to check my airplane to see how it had survived being around all those heavies and their prop wash. The crew members that were taking care of the Herc's didn't understand how long it took to preheat an engine at those temperature and fired them up too soon. Nine of the planes blew seals on one or more of their engines when they cycled their propellors. There was oil all over the parking ramp and there the planes had to sit, till they could get crews up from Carolina, Anchorage, McCord, and other bases to pull the props and replace the seals. The commanding officer of the "fire drill" was one unhappy guy as they had several thousand troops there and only some of the equipment they needed to care for them. I don't suspect he ever made it to the general ranks of officers. LOL
Have a good trip and keep watching out for the moose as they love to travel down the roads. Much easier walking for them than in the deeper snows you will see in the northern part of the Mat Su valley and Cantwell. The Alaska Railroad sure wipes out a bunch of them each winter as well.
April was very warm in the Interior this year so you should see a lot of new growth everywhere.
Formerly of Colorado and Alaska
Chevy 3500 DRW Dmax CC - Rockwood 8281 SS 5th Whl & 2008 Lance 845 TC www.pajbcooper.com web site
Alaska Trip 2011 posted
Colo-Utah-Ariz 2012 trip posted
"Without challenge, adventure is impossible".
Thanks Joe. Yes this will be the first trip for us north of Palmer-Wasila. I was USN for 23 years so I've been from the west (Bremerton San Diego and Vallejo) to the east (Orlando Fl, Norfolk VA) to Scotland, with Idaho and Great Lakes in between. We moved up from the Bremerton area 5 years ago. So I've seen a few springs from Kodiak, and usually end up around Anchorage sometime in the spring too. Everything seems slow this year on the coastal regions.
We're hoping that the roads to the north are in better shape than the southerly roads...
The roads from Heally north have been a constant problem for the maintenance crews due to the under lying permafrost. They have tried all sorts of "solutions" to fix the problem. One year between Anderson turn off and Nenana, where we lived at the time, they dug down in the road bed about 6 feet, put in about two feet of wood chips, covered the chips with compacted gravel and then paved over it. Lasted about 5 years and then they dug it up again, but this time laid 6 inch Styrofoam down, then covered this with compacted gravel and repaved the road. Lasted about 5 years, the same as just using compacted gravel all the way down. None of the northern countries around the world have figured out a way to keep the sub surface of the road beds from turning into "jello" in the summer time when the frost melts more than normal, due to the natural insulating vegetation being removed, to build the road in the first place.
Summer time it is a nice drive from Anchorage north to Fairbanks up the Parks Hwy. Winter time is something else at times, especially around the Cantwell area and south through Broad Pass. White outs, black ice and blizzards can be a hazard in those areas at times.
I suspect you will enjoy the Fairbanks area, different in many ways, the land of the Gold Rush, the Alaska frontier, just nice. A place I still consider to be my home, as I lived in the interior longer than any other place I have ever lived. Started banking in Fairbanks in the late 60s and still bank there to this day. But if I were to ever move back to Alaska, it would have to be somewhere farther south than the Interior, just too cold for too long in the winter.
Visited Cheena Hotsprings tonight. Reealllllyy Nice! But the first 20 miles of the road is really rough with frost heaves. Once past the first 20 miles, set the cruise on 55 and no problems!
More to follow... Pics coming .... Still light at 11:30pm!
Garry in Fairbanks (for the moment)
Garry did you tour the geothermal generating system???
was the hot springs crowded??
No, we got there late, and only had about an hour and a half to "warm-up", and most of the tour areas were closed for the day, but we did see all the green-houses etc. We hope to go back there this summer with the kids.
Garry (Back in Kodiak)