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 > Your search for posts made by 'joe b.' found 295 matches.

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RE: Fishing Question

There was a book out called the Alaska Highway Angler, that is really quite good. Yes you need a license for each state, province or territory but I never thought any of the were trying to gouge me. I often had an Alaska license from living there, the got aYT, BC and Alberta ones. Then depending on where in the lower 48 I would buy the needed states. In my RV I carry a pair of fishing rigs, a cheap fly rod/reel and a spinning rod/reel. They just lay in the back for instant access whenever we stop by any fishy looking water. My good rods/reels travel in metal rod cases, put away. I keep a small plastic box of lures to throw with the spinning rig in the back seat also. Many times just walking a quarter mile away from the road will put you on some fish, dollies, trout, pike, grayling, white fish, etc. like the OP said, catching is nice but but just being out there is also. I throw small Mepps, gold spoons, Pixies, Dardevils, red and white mainly, and catch a few fish here an there. LOL I have also talked to some very knowledgeable Fred Meyer staff at the Soldotna store in the sporting goods dept. The hardware store on the west side of the highway just north of the Kenai River bridge can't be beat.
joe b. 03/25/15 01:44pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Inside Passage Small Ship Recommendation

Murray, I remember at one time you were working on the cruise ships as a docent or some other job title, that involves you speaking to, BSing, the passengers. Are you still working for the cruise lines?
joe b. 03/25/15 08:32am RVing in Canada and Alaska

For us it depends on if we're planning to go to Dawson Town or not. Suspect we have been there six or more times by RV. If we have a time frame as to when we need to be in Alaska by, we often will bypass Dawson on the way up. Whitehorse and Dawson are two northern towns we dearly love to visit. I can made it to Fairbanks from Whitehorse via the Alaska Hwy in three days drive. If we go through Dawson to get to Fairbanks, I might as well figure on a week or more. Only possible difference might be crossing the Yukon River at Dawson on the ferry. Most of the caravans seem to go from Dawson across, sometimes causing a multi hour wait in line to board. Coming into Dawson from Alaska there is seldom any waiting that I have ever seen. The Customs station on the border is not 24 hrs so check their open times as that might effect your travel schedule. Shouldn't be any unusual problems with a rig your size, just drive at a speed appropriate to road conditions . In rainy weather watch for soft shoulders as you would with any gravel road, some travelers like to stay in Dawson or Tok or thereabouts for a day or two to let the road dry out a bit. I have done it both ways. A beautiful trip, great scenery, etc We don't go to Dawson every trip north, alternating Dawson, Skagway and Atlin, and sometimes a visit to Haines, keeps each of them special and like seeing then again for the first time. Dawson is a living history book of the gold rush era of the Klondike. The great Canadian poet, Robert Service, did much of his writing here while working at the bank. I have his complete works downloaded on my tablet, so enjoy going up by his cabin , reading some of his works, letting him take me back to the days of the gold stampede.
joe b. 03/22/15 07:05pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: removing the bunks

Check to see if the RV builder put any major items under the bottom bunk. We have had a couple of bunk rigs, one we looked at one time we liked, turned out to have the main electrical panel built in to the side of the bunk, a deal killer on that one. Lifted the bottom mattress and plywood and there were wires going everywhere . Our current fifth wheel, by Rockwood, has a slide out bunk room where the bottom bunk is a thick mattress that sits on the floor and the top bunk is hinged to the back on the outside wall. It tilts up to about 45 degrees and locks in place. We bought it with the idea of some day putting a desk in there for an office, if and when out two young grandsons tire of camping with us. LOL
joe b. 03/22/15 02:49pm General RVing Issues
RE: Can't believe folks connecting up sewer without gloves

It would be interesting to know where the, gloves vs no gloves grew up and their ages. I would guess the, yes gloves group are mainly city born and raised, whereas the no gloves group probably born and raised in the rural areas of the country. I grew up on a cow/calf ranch in southern Oklahoma, where we raised most of our feed and hay. At the end of a work day on the ranch, if I wasn't half covered with some sort of animal feces, I probably hadn't done much that day. I have been in many milking stalls and I don't remember ever seeing a pair of gloves. We always drank raw milk at home with no problems but mom did strain through a cheese cloth. LOL Some jobs just are dirty, there is no way to stay clean all the time. The 15 years I put in as a cardiac medic in the back of ambulances was one and the 5 years I was a deputy coroner in Colorado. Sure OSHA requires the wearing of gloves, but I don't remember ever having a pair last through a bad car accident. By the time the passengers were extricated and IV lines started on the living, the gloves were in shreds. Recently my primary care physician and I were talking and she told me she believed if all her parents of young children would get rid of all the Clorox wipes and other such products, their kids wouldn't get half as sick. She would also like to see their use banned in schools, soap and water cleaning only.
joe b. 03/22/15 10:00am Fifth-Wheels
RE: Remdies for Bugs & Bears

Bear spray is available at any of the leading Canadian or Alaska sporting goods shops. The size seems to be the issue, has too be a size too large to be easily concealed. It also needs a bear photo on the can and labeled as bear spray. Most are approx the size of a Coke can. Places that sell bear spray will most often have the belt holsters to carry it where you can access it. You don't want it in your backpack or in your fishing tackle bag or box. All reports that I have read claim the bear spray is the best protection against bears that get too close but leave the area after using it as the residual smell remaining seems to attract bears. Bugs, after living in rural Alaska for 25+ years, for me, nothing beats high concentration DEET sprays or lotions. The brand isn't to important, just find one you can stand the smell of after a few days. Be careful around fishing gear or hunting gear as high DEET will damage stuff like lines, gun finishes, sunglasses etc. I tried a pair of the Thermacell devices and didn't care for them. Too expensive to operate and only worked in absolute calm air. I was sitting at a campground at Tetsa River Regional a few years back, the same year I bought the Thermacell units. I had it running on the table where I was, when I noticed a mosquito land on it to check it out. Off also makes a similar device but is cheaper and heats using battery power instead of the fuel cells used by Thermacell. My SIL had one of the Off devices that same trip and liked it but she is not a bug magnet like I am. LOL both of these devices work by heating a replaceable chemically treated small mat causing it to give off repellent fumes. Every few hours you replace the mat and heating source. For young kids we liked Off brand wet wipes. I usually have some Cutters, Ben's and when available Army surplus Jungle Juice. Bugs are dependent on location. Stay at the more urban campgrounds and seldom will you have a problem. We stayed at Rivers Edge in Fairbanks for a week last trip and I believe I saw two mosquitoes. I always carry a head net, cotton gloves, long sleeve shirts and duck tape sometimes to be able to sleep at night in a tent or leanto when in the bugs are thick.
joe b. 03/21/15 06:50am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: More Colorado route questions

The Colorado state DOT recently, within the last few weeks had Hwy 550 closed a few miles south of Ouray for two days. They were doing a vehicle and body recovery operation. They got the largest wrecker on the West Slope from Grand Junction and in combination with a large wheeled crane, were able to retrieve both car and deceased driver. Exact cause of the accident has not been released, but self inflicted is a possibility. The years I worked for Ouray County as a road deputy for the Sheriff's Dept, and as a deputy Coroner, that road held a special fascination to some people not enjoying good mental health. You don't want to get in their way as you could go with them. I have a lot of respect for Hwy south of Ouray and how it often gives travelers only one "oops". The OP has said he has no intention of trying to pull his trailer over, Hwy 550, Durango to Ouray, as he has seen it, sounds like a smart man to me.
joe b. 03/16/15 02:00pm Roads and Routes
RE: Beware of older motorhomes with low mileage!

While I agree with the basic post title, I would use the term, be very careful, instead of beware. Our all time favorite RV was a low milage class C bunk house model that was 8 or 10 years old when we purchased it. We were living in Alaska at the time and the RV was brought up from Arizona by a snow bird. He said he brought one up every summer to resale and recoup part of his travel costs. In the first two years of us owning it, we put over $7,000 into the rig. Apparently the reason it was low mileage was that someone had lived in it in Arizona and it seldom was moved. every seal in it had to be replaced, transmission rebuilt, AC unit replaced, fridge replaced, dash AC compressor replaced and the engine assessories all replaced, all cushions, curtains replaced from sun damage and the engine heads replaced twice. I am so thankful that the family loved that rig and we eventually got it over the 100K mileage figure. Think we ended up making 6 round trips to/from Alaska with it. The Generac 4 KW in it only had 21 hours on it when we purchased, I soon figured out why as I was never able to keep it running either, LOL. It was in a generator shop at least once or more every summer. I just mark it down to a learning experience, being young and making a good salary eased the pain greatly. No telling how many hundreds of hours I spent working on it. Working on it almost became a hobby and I met some really nice people in repair shops between Alaska and Florida, where my wife's parents lived. LOL
joe b. 03/15/15 10:21am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Fall in Alaska & Canada

You can still have reasonable weather in both the Anchorage bowl region, AKA, the Banana Belt, but to drive out, you have to go through the Interior of Alaska and Northern Canada. The years we lived in Nenana Alaska, we anticipate the first sticking snow of winter about October 5, a family members birthday is how I remember. Wouldn't be unexpected to run into tempertures close to 0F at night in the Interior. But the good thing is you don't tend to get heavy snows in the Interior. Most of it is basically a northern desert due to the limited moisture received. But with the colder winter temperatures and the underlying permanent frost, the snow and rain received goes a long ways. I would generally recommend leaving Alaska the third week of September for most visitors. While living in rural Alaska for 25+ years, that was about when we parked the summer toys, got the winter ones ready to go, put the skiis on the airplanes and waited for winter. But if a person wants to stay longer,just make sure your RV is ready to handle and cold weather or snow storms you might hit. Just don't get in too big a hurry, if you need to spend a couple of days at a town or roadhouse waiting for the road crews to clear the roads, then do so.
joe b. 03/13/15 03:08pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Pullin Creek Skagway

In the past we have stayed in Garden City for several nights prior to catching the ferry south. But with it gone, not going to be a lot of choices. We have stayed at Carcross at Montana Services and found it to be satisfactory and day tripped out of there some. Skagway and Haines are so different. Most of the shops in Skagway are owned by companies from the Lower 48, very few Mom and Pop owned businesses remaining that I know of in Skagway. It is, as mentioned, a town built around the cruise ship schedules. Like a zoo when the ships are docked, up to 5 at a time, and when they pull out in the evening, almost a ghost town atmosphere. I have been to Skagway in the winter and again the ghost town routine, very little open. The staff you will deal with in Skagway, will most likely not be Skagweigans, but summer workers from the Lower 48, some of which may have arrived the day before you got there. So take what they say with a grain of salt. Amazing how some of the summer workers can become Alaska experts faster than some of our first time RV visitors to the state.LOL Most Alaska or Northern Canadian full time residents can't afford to give up their year round jobs to do summer tourists work. Some can, such as the tour guides that have other ways to support themselves in the winter. As I said Skagway can be a zoo, but one i love for short periods of time, some much history, etc. Haines, on the other hand reminds me of walking into a senior citizen retirement home after everyone has finished their lunches. Sound asleep for the most part. We stop by Haines every so often and prefer to stay at the Ocean View RV Park. Typical gravel parking lot, right on the waters edge, easy to walk around town and the boat harbor, but the campground is a bit packed in at times. It all depends on what a person is looking for, I guess. The fast passenger between Skagway and Haines makes for a nice day trip, whether you are staying in Skagway or Haines. If you want to use the Alaska Ferry to move between the two towns, check the schedule as it sometimes gets a bit strange to me. But if the city pulls the lease of Garden City RV park, staying in Haines may be a more viable option for many.
joe b. 03/13/15 09:55am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: buying campground

On any closed or open campground being considered, make sure to visit the local Zoning and Building department to see if the campground will still meet current codes after a change of ownership. What out for Grandfather Rights, the campground may currently be operating under, that may disappear with a sale. I have watched several campground prospective dreams go up in smoke when they find out all renovations have to be done to current codes. Like finding out that sewer and electrical work has to be done by, or at least signed off by licensed professionals. Just do your home work and make the best decision for yourself that you can.
joe b. 03/12/15 08:12am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: No lights when head lights on

Not sure what year Chevy went to different circuits for the lights the OP mentioned. My 2011 Silverado, diesel has the running lights and tail lights on a different fuse, located in the fuse box under the hood. My truck has the added factory camper wiring package. But I don't remember the fuse number but look to see if any are blown and replace.
joe b. 03/11/15 07:57pm Fifth-Wheels
RE: Roll Call Alaska 2015

Bill, it won't let you in either way. As Terrax explained it is only for use in the Yukon, not set up for planning outside the local area.
joe b. 03/11/15 07:26pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Roll Call Alaska 2015

Terra's, what is with the message I keep getting telling me I am too far from the Yukon. Duh? Of course I am as I am in Florida. The app won't let me in to view what it has to offer. Did you get the map problems fixed that were in it last year?
joe b. 03/11/15 05:16pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: How bad can the T.O.W road be?

The TOP runs from Dawson Town, YT, to Tetlin Junction. Actually the Top connects to the Taylor Hwy at Wage Junction in Alaska. Tetlin Junction is just east of Tok Alaska a few miles. Very scenic drive, one the driver needs to pay attention while driving, especially in wet weather. The driver also needs to know their vehicle, how wide it is, how do the rear wheels track, etc. Beautiful drive but probably not for everyone to try. I had a flat the last time I drove it in 2011. A rock punctured my truck tire. Only problem I have had in a half dozen or more trips across there. Great ferry ride, free, as you leave Dawson, headed west. Crossing the mighty Yukon River. Just get to the ferry landing early in the morning, prior to the caravans showing up, or you may have a three hour wait. Dawson is a great place to spend a few days, so much history still remains to view and experience. Probably close to 100 per cent of the accidents on the T O W hwy can be placed under driver error. The road doesn't jump out from under you, or at least I have never seen it do that. It is so scenic, that I suspect too many drivers, forget where they are driving and just drive off the road. The one that ran off last summer was part of a caravan, had disconnected his toad, which his wife was following in, they were west bound and somehow the driver got distracted enough to leave his lane, cross over the east bound land and drive off the edge of the road into some spruce trees down the slope. Didn't even run off on his own side of the road. Driver error in my opinion. Just poor driving skills, cause most all the accidents, true everywhere I would guess. With that said, I got stuck on the shoulder of Hwy 16 between Burns Lakes and Houston, BC. Saw in my driver's sde mirror, that my propane compartment door was flapping up and down so I pulled off on the shoulder to latch it. Wasn't aware of how much rain they had received in that area prior to the time. Bogged the passenger side tires down to the axle, thought the truck and camper were going to go over. Had lots of Canadians stop to offer help, one called the RCMP in Burns Lake where there got there. (we were in a no cell service area for some reason) RCMP called a tow truck and sent an officer out to check on us. Just one of those days when I must have started the engine a few minutes, before I started my brain. They do happen. LOL But pay attention driving on the top and plan to make it a day or two crossing. Don't get in a hurry, stop and let folks get around if needed, slow way down to meet others. Highly recommended trip for most experienced drivers and most are experienced by the time they get this far north. LOL Or wait in Tok or Dawson for a day or two for dryer weather. Road dries out somewhat quickly and the US side is normally the bad part as they drop down off the ridges and follow the creeks, etc. Most of the horror stories will be from people that have never driven the road, just repeating second or third hand stories and of course they need to embellish them some to, to make them even better. There may be some forum members that have actually witnessed an accident on the T O W Hwy, but I never have in any of my trips. I know there was a US Customs agent killed a few years back, while west bound. Ran off the road and into a flooded creek and died. That same day, over 100 people died in Florida car accidents.
joe b. 03/08/15 02:46pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Limited MH one way rentals to and from Alaska

The one way south rigs are being sent outside to be sold. Some of the larger Anchorage rental agencies are also new RV dealer and will bring up new units to add to their rental fleet. Last year, as I remember, GAH, sent 150 new class c rigs north on a one way rental. Several forum members took part in the program. Seems to be a win-win situation for the renter and the company. The used RV market in Alaska, can't handle the used rigs being replaced in the rental fleet, so some appear to be rail barged to the lower 48 and some in the fall are rented one way south to some of the many seasonal summer workers headed outside. I understand the don't promote the south bound trip like they do the north bound spring trip. The south bound rigs end up at several lower 48 cities to be sold on their used market.
joe b. 03/07/15 02:57pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Disney Fort Wilderness vacation Discount

I often wonder how many businesses in the US are also governmental units. While there are some other Improvement Districts in Florida, from what I understand, none of them even come close to what WDW has done with the Reedy Creek one. They can and do tax themselves to cover the cost of roads, water and sewer, power generation, etc, which must be a tax deduction for them. They also, as mentioned in the two links, have the right to condem and take property outside the Improvement District which they used once for land needed to build one of their many canals. They also have the authority to issue tax free bonds for needed improvement. A source of contention with some other government units in the state. Seems like every couple of weeks I get an email from them offering a discount on one of the hotel properties but never on the Fort Campground. On our last stay at the Fort, ten days, I ended up paying 4 different nightly rates, bach in December. I sometimes think they used the same software to set their site prices that the airlines use for ticket prices. LOL last year, with lodging taxes added, we paid from a low of about $65 for a night to a high of about $125 a night for the same class of camp site. Of course, most were closer to the upper end. But we can pay about the same rates in the Keys.
joe b. 03/01/15 05:07pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Disney Fort Wilderness vacation Discount

Discounts at FW are pretty much a thing of the past. Building new loops???? highly unlikely due to land restrictions. There are plans for a Disney Vacation Club timeshare by the old River Country section utilizing the shore and into the water. Don't recall seeing any RV sites. Remember, the cheap prices are for smaller tent/pop-up site loops-1500 and 2000 with only water, electric and cable. Disney has no land restrictions in Florida. When WDW bought the land, they had the state legislature set up a special district for them. They have all the same rights as a town or county. They can operate their own school system, police department, waste disposal, water treatment plants, fire departments, EMS ambulances and electrical power stations. Their Improvement District also allows them to operate a nuclear power plant which they have never shown any interest in applying to build. However they contract with the near by sheriff's department for police services, even though they have a security force of over 3,000 personnel that work for WDW. There is a saying in Florida, that what the Mouse wants, the mouse gets. With a daily payroll of over 70,000 employees at WDW, they are the largest single site employer in the state. All the land, etc, is owned in the name of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The land was originally purchased under the name of the Reedy Creek Ranch, to keep prices under control. It was only later the land sellers found out they had sold to Disney. You may have seen their trucks running around the Fort campground, if you have been there. The Improvement Dist. has a board of directors that hold monthly meetings open to the public, just like county commishners would do. To be on the board, you have to own land within the Improvement District. There are only 5 parcels of land available and all are owned by the operating officers of WDW, so they are the Board of Directors. WDW's Improvement Board has also chosen to let the two Florida counties where the are located to assess and collect property taxes. Last year, the two counties received approx $125,000,000 from WDW in property taxes. Both counties fall all over themselves to do what the Mouse wants, like the state does. If WDW decides to increase the size of Fort Wilderness campground, no one is going to say no to them, not the state, not the two counties and certainly not the Improvement District, which probably has the legal authority to approve it. Zoning and building codes also come under the Improvement Districts areas of control http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reedy_Creek_Improvement_District This is from the Reedy Creek web site http://rcid.org/About.aspx
joe b. 03/01/15 09:13am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Roll Call Alaska 2015

Just because the station is closed, doesn't mean there won't be a Canadin Customs patrol officer or RCMP officer parked out front. Unlike us, Canada takes entering the country illegally, very seriously. Going from the Canadian side to the U.S. side never required a stop anyways. Why would it be any different if the station is closed? Leaving a country is seldom a problem. We all only stop when entering, not leaving.
joe b. 02/28/15 02:14pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Border closing 12-8am

Hyder Alaska is also the only area of Alaska that does not use the 907 area code. They use the 250 of BC. Up until a few years back, the state of Alaska did not run a school in Hyder, so BC bused the Hyder kids to Stewart for school every day. There are some Hyderites that went all 12 years to school in Stewart BC. As far as I know, BC never charged the out of country, Alaska kids to attend. The Alaska kids just learned to sing, God save the Queen, like every one else. But on a much more serious note, with alchohol being so much cheaper in the US, due to the different tax structures, many from Stewart would drive over to Hyder to the bar to drink in the evenings. Now they have to be back into Canada by midnight or spend the night in Hyder Alaska. Major problem for some of those folks as well as the bar owners in Hyder. Not sure the closing of the Canadian station would have any effect on leaving Canada for Hyder. We never have had to stop on the way over to Hyder, just on the way back to Stewart. Don't see how that would change any.
joe b. 02/28/15 12:22pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
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