If a person enjoys people watching it can be fun to be in some of the SE Alaska towns when the cruise ships arrive. They are just there for the day and by dinner time, all the visitors have returned to the ships and the towns go back to sleep. LOL Of course most of the businesses do as well. Every so often I enjoy Skagway and the chaos of the place. The cruise folks don't stay in the campgrounds so no problem there, but you may have to have lunch at your rig to find a place to sit.
It is fun to walk the shops and see all the "rustic" names being used. Real gold rush sounding for the most part, lots of high priced, quality jewelry stores, etc. I was talking to a clerk in one of them and asked her who owned the shop. Said she didn't know but her paycheck had "Tiffney of NY" across the top. Not too many of the shops are owned by Skagweigans, at least full year residents, but lots of summer work available there if anyone is interested.
When we get tired of the chaos of Skagway, we will either head back up the hill to Carcross or to Atlin, or Whitehorse. Sometimes we will leave the RV in Skagway and take the fast passenger ferry over to Haines for the day. So laid back over there. Last time we stopped there, 2009, I believe they were down to only one cruise ship a week and the shop owners were not happy about it.
Skagway is one of the places I will call to get a campground reservation, usually a day or two ahead. We stayed in Garden City CG the last couple of visits, all of the campgrounds in town tend to be packed. Have reservations for the scenic railroad if you plan to ride it and it doesn't matter, to me, if the town is crowded for the day. Skagway for breakfast is a sleepy little place, population of 600 to 800, I would guess and by noon it is over 15,000 people there trying to get someone to take their money. I can take roughly 3 days of Skagway and then I am done and have to get out of there. I have also been there in the winter time and it is really sleepy then, ghost town almost.
While at many of the SE ports, the larger of the cruise ships have to anchor out, in Skagway they have deep water right at the docks. The docks were originally built for the ore ships to transport concentrate to mills around the world. Skagway has docking for at least 5 of the large vessels, such as these two.
Four cruise ships docked at Skagway this day. Nice runway in the foreground.
Fishing gear. I find the same gear that is useable for bass fishing here in Florida works well for Alaska and Canada. If a person is going to target halibut, the of course you need heavier gear but most visitors will go out on charters where they furnish all the gear needed, the same with most king salmon charters.
I like to fly fish so have some heavy weight, 9-10 weight rods, lines and appropriate reels. My fly rods all get to ride in metal cases for protection from the trip but I keep a couple of set ups on the back of the rear seat, one a casting rod and reel and a spinning rod and reel. 20 lb power pro Kevlar type synthetic line on both. I like Ugly Stick rods and Shimano reels on both. Nice quality gear but not nice enough to cry over if I slam a door on one or drop it in the water and watch it disappear. If I ever broke one of my custom made fly rods, I would probably have to seek therapy to get over it. LOL
Alaska has some of the most complicated regs of anywhere I have ever fished, so get a copy of them, available at any sporting goods place, and read up on the area where you want to fish. Good info is available at www.alaskaoutdoorjournal.com for fish runs, etc. Most sporting goods shops can give good local information as to lures, flies, gear, etc.
Alaska and Yukon have a reciprocity agreement for residents of both, in that if you have a license from one, you are allowed to buy a resident license in the other. All Canadian provinces have their individual licenses, the same as the different states. When we were living in Alaska and traveling out of there in the summers, I would often have besides my Alaska license, one from Yukon, BC, Alberta and perhaps a few lower 48 states.
Many of the attractive spots along the highway have been over fished, IMHO, so often it is necessary to walk a 1/4 mile up or down stream. Now if a salmon run is in progress, you find a spot and wait for the fish to swim to you.
On edit: here is a thread where a bunch of us were lying, I mean talking about fishing in Alaska, back a few months. LOL Might be something worthwhile in some of the comments.
They do have a digital version of the Milepost which is just a "copy" of the guide. I have downloaded it a time or two, but only use it like I do the paper copy, as it doesn't do anything more than the paper copy does. I like having it on my laptop computer and in the evenings when stopped, to run through the next days travel plans. From that point on, I tend to make notes on stickies and put them in my shirt pocket, for the next day, listing mileposts of places I want to stop at, sights I want to take photos, get fuel, do any shopping needed, etc.
There are a number of SD and Micro SD topo chips available that fit in my portable Garmin. I have a couple that run the Colorado area of the mountain west and another for farther north. The topo map additions blend in with the regular maps and just give much more detail to the surrounding terrain in my location. I would love to have a chip from the Milepost that would give me the same type of info, on showing my location, to roadhouses, scenic points of interest which are mentioned in the paper copy, etc. Every so often I will make one leg of the round trip to/from Alaska solo, as my wife will fly home or fly to meet me somewhere along the way. Navigation can get interesting at times when solo traveling, if good pre-planning hasn't been done.
There are a number of good topo maps of the western Canadian provinces as well. I know Sue T. has some of these set up in their truck GPS, so she can track locations where she take photos, locations of campgrounds, etc. Other Canadian forum members have also talked about having the same chips.
While the Milepost digital copy is nice and a good start, I would like to see it be developed into an interactive one, that would work in conjunction to my Garmin GPS. But so far I haven't read of any plans of their's to do such, or of anyone else planning such a GPS chip.
Anyone know of any such?
Silver Gulch? Is that the old Fox Roadhouse out on old Steese? Last time I was out to the Howling Dog Saloon, I noticed a new sign on the old Roadhouse but didn't remember what it said. For some real authentic atmosphere consider some of the finer watering holes down on 2 Street such as the Mecca or the Hide Away. Pike's is nice as well as the Turtle Club, also out on the old Steese Highway, north of Fairbanks proper.
You guys are making me envious, in case you haven't noticed. LOL
I think there are several problems with such a plan. One is, very few of us know each other personally and whether or not, the other person's judgment can be trusted? One of the criteria I use here, on opinions stated by TCers, is are they qualified to have the opinions they have. I know it is hard to believe that we have some BSers here, but I think we just might. LOL
For an example, a long way off one. If I was looking for a particular brand and model of a TC and found one on Craigslist in Fairbanks Alaska and called my friend Chuck Johnson, another forum member that I have known for years. If he agreed to go and check out the TC for me and came back saying it was just as advertised, I would be willing to commit to buying the rig over the phone. Because I know that Chuck is qualified to have the opinions about TCs that he has, great skills as a craftsman, honest, intelligent and just a nice guy. Would I be willing to buy the same rig over the phone, on the advice from someone I don't know that is on some sticky here on the forum, no way. I would much rather shell out the bucks and fly up to take a look at the TC myself. Plus it would be a great excuse to head up to Alaska for awhile. LOL
Then we have the die hard brand loyalists. All they can talk about is XYZ brand, which they own, is by far the best and the rest are just junk. Now most of us know that isn't true, many manufacturers have built some very nice TCs and still do if they are still in business. But most of us are not real experts, especially on brands and models we haven't owned in the past. We have TC forum members that are excellent craftsmen and do all their own high quality work, others that I refer to as chainsaw carpenters. Then we have those that are not interested or know which end of a screwdriver to grab. They hire everything done. So before I would trust someone to give me advice on a TC a far distance for me, I need to know more about them.
Then the person asked to look at a TC for someone else may want to watch the issue of liability. You, for instance, ask me to look at a TC here in Florida, which I do, looks good to me, you buy it, come down and pick it up and six months later the ceiling starts falling down and you aren't the least bit happy, with the seller, with me and everyone involved except yourself. Not a good situation, IMHO.
Around this part of Florida, we have had several campgrounds close in the last 10 years or so. I read a couple of years back, in the Orlando newspaper that something like 17 campgrounds within a 75 mile radius of Orlando had closed.
The main predator of both private RV campgrounds and marinas, are developers. Up until about a couple of years back, Florida law allowed cities and counties to set property taxes on the "potential" use, not what it was actually being used for. This was putting small marinas out of business as they were being taxed as though there were large condo developments on them instead. One was just north of here in Fort Pierce, where a big money developer from south of here bought a private family owned and run marina. Then he closed the marina to the public and built several high rise condo apartment buildings, with starting prices at $750,000 but you did get to rent one of the slips in the marina if you wanted. LOL The same thing has happened to campgrounds, just not as much since most were not in the most desirable locations, on the water, as were the marinas.
Campgrounds, in many cases, are like farms. If you don't inherit one, then it is very difficult to make enough profit to make the land payment each year and have anything remaining to live on. Campgrounds face the double whammy of having to compete with other private campgrounds as well as with the tax payer supported ones run by the government. The ones in the Florida Keys have this problem. The state campgrounds are in some of the best locations, well staffed and run, and only charge about 1/2 or less of what a private campground has to charge to stay in business and make a go of it.
Campground ownership has to be tough at best.
The full width ones that are solid are not good. Many are so close to the ground that when the Moho suspension goes up and down over bumps, they will drag the ground and add to the road debris being thrown back at the toad. The brush types seem to work better. Flaps mounted , just behind the individual rear duals also seem to work well. Many that use the curtains that are horizontal and fill the space between the Moho and the toad probably gets the best reviews from those using that type.
Some like the verticle shields mounted just in front of the toad, many I have seen are made of a clear poly plastic. Be careful of putting a bra on the toad as dust will get under it and act like sandpaper to the toad's paint.
A few have reported good success taping bubble wrap over the windshield to protect the glass, the same with headlight covers. The covers on some toads are plastic to start with so probably nothing needed. I have busted a couple of headlights over the years, but this was back before the Alaska Hwy was paved.
If I was towing my Jeep, which I don't take a toad with our truck camper, I would probably look into getting one of the horizontal curtains and keek as much debris as possible going under my toad. Of course, it isn't just junk kicked up by your vehicle that can cause damage, but traffic you are meeting that is going way to fast for road conditions. About all you can do then is to stay as far right as you can and slow down or even stop if you have time and can safely do so.
It mostly depends on the driver. The road is not moving, just your vehicle. Drive at a speed appropriate to road conditions and all should be fine with new or used. Slow down and then slow down some more, remembering you are on vacation. Many of the horror stories you will hear are just exagerations from some that like to make themselves seem more adventuresome. Just telling someone you drove all the way to Alaska and didn't break anything, isn't much of a story..
The bigger rigs seem to have more issues, especially some of the large diesel pushers, that isolate the driver from much of the road sounds. Now the very experienced DP drivers don't have many problems with road damage, because they have developed a good feel for their RV and know when they need to back off and slow down.
Over the years I have done just as much damage to my rigs driving in the lower 48 as I have on the Alaska Highway. Colorado roads have caused me more cracked glass than Alaska. Last trip, 2011, some unseen road debris kicked up and bent one of my truck camper tie downs, in southern Alberta, on a nice highway. Stopped at a shop in Montana and bought a new tie down.
As mentioned above, just plan on normal maintenance as it is a long trip for most of us. I plan on about 3 oil and filter changes with a lube, plan on wearing about 1/3 or 1/4 of the tread off a new set of tires, may change the air filter once, because of bugs, tree fuzz, etc. I put 1/4 inch hardware cloth behind the grill to help keep the radiator clean, sometime a screen on the outside of the grill if I can get by without over heating the engine. Doing this currently on my Chevy truck instead of the hardware cloth.
A mid sized Class C is a nice rig to take on the trip. Over the years we have made 5 or 6 round trips with a 24/25 ft C. The last four round trips have been in a truck camper. We just take whatever we own and with just my wife and me, it works fine. However we are considering taking our 5 the wheel next time, whenever that might be.
I find I can make a great trip to Alaska with only two months, from here in south Florida. Two weeks up and the same back gives us a month in Alaska. Plenty of time to see friends, hit a few of our favorite tourist attractions, catch a few fish, take a few thousand photos and breath a lot of good clean air, plus swat a few mosquitos. LOL
I figure about 10 days driving time from here in Florida to Fairbanks and have done it numerous times in that time frame. That is 20 of my 28 days I allow for travel. So we will spend two or three days in Whitehorse, usually a day at Liard River Hot Springs, There are three favorite places of our we like to visit, just not every trip, Skagway, Dawson Town and Atlin BC. So one of those places will get a day or two, every third trip. I just realized I am setting here smiling like a possum eating corn or something, just thinking about the north country.
The key to doing this is to get on the road early and put in a full days drive. Several of the first or second timers to Alaska have stated they only drive 200 or 250 miles a day, so it does take them a lot longer to get to Alaska. If I did that I would have to take roughly a month to get there and the same to get back home and still only have a month in Alaska. Some, because of age, poor health can't do anymore than a couple of hundred miles a day, and I can understand that as I am sure at some point I will have to deal with that as I turn 72 this month. But I am an early riser, up by 5 AM, have coffee, get the rig ready to roll, get my wife to turn loose of her pillow and get dressed. (she can nap in the truck I figure) Then about 11 AM we will stop for an hour to eat, get out and walk around, cast a lure or two and head back out on the road. Most days we stop by 5 PM, be it at a campground or a boondock spot along side a lake or stream. Build a campfire, eat dinner and sit outside most evenings if the weather and bugs will allow.
So many people fly up to Anchorage which is real close to Alaska, LOL, and rent a motorhome, then spend a couple of weeks touring the state and fly back home. They have a great time, or at least most report they did. Many of these people will be back in the future to spend more time in certain locations. We all have to use the amount of time and money we have available to make any RV trip.
I have never heard anyone say they are sure glad they waited till old age to make the trip of a lifetime to Alaska. No, most younger people, in good health will tell you how glad they are they went, even though they would have liked to have had more money, more time, while their kids were young enough to go with them and have those experiences for the rest of their lives to think about. It is all very personal. In the 52 years I have been driving the Alaska Highway, I have made trips when I had the full cost of the vacation in the bank and used cash and my debit card for the trip. Earlier in life, before I got married, there were trips I made to Alaska, when I ran out of money for gas, food and lodging along the way and had to stop and get day jobs along the way. A couple of times I didn't have enough money to enter Canada and had to get a job in Montana and other border states. Back then you had to have $300 to show to the border officer.
Lucky for me, I grew up on a ranch in southern Oklahoma and there are lots of things I can do marginally enough to get hired for a few days. LOL The entire point of all this verbiage is no matter what the situation on time or money, I don't regret a single one of those trips. Some of those trips where I was in a hurry and broke, are the ones I smile about when they pop into my memory.
If a person has waited till they are 75 or older to make their first trip, then they will want to stay longer as this may well be their only trip to the north country due to age. But for a younger person, just go and spend what time you have, consider a fly and rent or a fly and tour. Lots of ways to still enjoy the north country without driving your own RV there.
Joel, I am still confused with my situation. I did the review, not my first one by any means, and sent it in. Soon I got back a message that it was received and would be reviewed, then in a day or so I go an email saying my review had been approved and was now posted. Then a few days later, a second administrator, could have been you or perhaps not you, decided to delete my review.
Strikes as odd that the first administrator thought my post was fine and posted it, then another comes by and deletes it. Sounds to me as though the different administrator at RVparkreviews.com don't agree on what the criteria needs to be to post on the site.
Do different administrators have more authority than others? Can any administrator delete what another administrator has already approved? It would appear to me that the site needs to get their administrators on the same page, too many cooks trying to stir the same pot of soup, it sounds like to me. If my review was unacceptable, then the first administrator should have rejected it, not approved and posted it.
But you have given all of us good information in that RVParkreviews.com is a private business, which you are a representative of that company, as an administrator and which you promote on this forum. Plus now everyone that has been following this now knows, that when they are reading the reviews, they are getting a filtered view of what the actual campers said or not getting to see the reviews at all.
This is/was a good subject and I for one have a much better understanding of this private business that sells advertisements on their site.
The state park, Denali State park, just south of the National Park calls the mountain "Denali" but the National Park calls it McKinley as do most of the people I know in Alaska do. Denali is the Athabascan word for the mountain, according to some, but none of my Athabascan speaking friends in Alaska, ever called it that until the name of the national park was changed from McKinley National Park to Denali NP, but the name of the mountain wasn't changed. I will totally disagree with Murray on this one.
Docj, thanks for looking into why my review was deleted after being approved. I received an email saying it was ok. Then three days, give or take, it was removed by someone. As far as I am concerned, the matter is finished, as I no longer plan to waste my time giving an honest review of a run down campground. If my review had not been accepted when it was first sent in by an email to me from rvparksreview, I would feel better about the matter. No I never received anything other than the original email which is a moot point now.
Thanks again for you time on this.
Tap and go sounds like the new Disney Magic bands. They will get you into the park, open your hotel room door, pay for park purchases, get you fast passes,etc. still have to use a PIN number for purchases though. I have a Mobil Oil fast pass button on my key ring that allows me to purchase fuel and it adds it to my credit card on file with Mobil.
Makes a person wonder wher money handling will be in ten years.
I replaced the tumbler on my Lance FIC door lock several months back. It was st most a 5 minute job, then returned the old tumbler to FIC. The instruction that came with the replacement said to check and see if the door key could be removed at any position other than locked or open. My keys would pull out at any position, so the tumblers, both needed to be replaced.
To tag on to the above, what the market will bare has become the world wide economy, not just North America.. We were at the Mouse Land about three weeks back and while waiting for the grandsons to get off a ride, started talking to another guy waiting. He told me he was from Columbia and brought his family up to WDW a couple of times a year, with winter visits ending with going from WDW to Colorado for a week on the ski slopes. He went on to comment as to how great it made his family feel to be somewhere having fun and feeling safe. In Columbia, he and his family never went anywhere without armed bodyguards, for fear of kidnapping, etc. Money didn't appear to be a major concern of his, and I didn't feel I knew him well enough to ask him what line of work he did. LOL
Visitors from other countries are a major part of the crowd on any given day at the Disney parks.
While the prices may keep some from going, the park never seems to lack for visitors. We all have to prioritize how we spend our disposable incomes. I know couples that spend more a year for cigarets than we do for the 5 annual tickets. We all have to decide how to fund our vices, be it RVs, cars, entertainments, booze, smokes, etc.
While I don't like price increases any better than any ony else, it seems to be a fact of life that it is going to happen. In the last 10 years our RV fuel costs for our Alaska trips have gone from just over $2,000 to over $5,000 for the same amount of fuel purchased. So to try and keep the overal costs about the same, we cut back on other costs involved in the trip.
Cost is all relative to what you like to do. We do have annual tickets to WDW so once the pain of that purchase subsides, the fun can begin. Most years we will go up to WDW, three hours away and stay at the Fork, 8 or 10 times. Even if we were buying daily tickets, the costs are not a great deal more than what we spend for a days travel with our RV. Currently I budget $165 a day for travel in either of our RVs and that doesn't cover depreciation of the vehicle or loss of income if I had invested the same amount I spent on the RVs. Our annual tickets went up something like $45 each this year but still a good bang for the entertainment buck for us, especially when we take our grandsons, aged 9 and 10.
Spending a hundred dollars a day is not hard to do these days, it seems, going out to eat at a nice restaurant, playing a round of golf at a gold club and a couple of drinks afterwards, going on a fishing charter, renting a car or boat for the day, going flightseeing, and the lists goes on and on.
Suspect we have all noticed what it cost to fuel our vehicles these days, or how easy it is to spend $100 or more at the grocery store. Seems as though energy costs are raising the prices of everything, except wages and retirement incomes.
Kidoo, from your description, the place may have been the Rocky Mountain Lodge on Muncho Lake. It is sometimes open and other times closed.
Same place but open this trip. Diesel by the garage door and unleaded to the right. Café to the far right door.
On up the highway is the much newer Northern Rockies Lodge. It has a large log main building and while it sell fuel, meals, it mainly caters to European fisherman. The lodge owner has a float plane and remote cabins that they use. It was formerly called the Highland Glen Lodge, or something like that. Expensive fuel here as well.
Northern Rockies Lodge and pumps. Also has a campground.
More of a wider shot of the lodge.
Here is a shot of Muncho looking south from the north end. The buildings in the photo, are probably those of J &H Lodge. You have to pay for this type of scenery, I guess, so high fuel prices. LOL
on farther north is the old Muncho Lake Lodge. The building in this photo has been torn down by the new owners and they removed the fuel pumps as well. They now operate just the campground, with new shower buildings etc. Last trip up I stopped to visit with them and they said the cost to buy, store, buy new pumps, was just more than they could justify to sell fuel.
Just next door to the above is the shut down, about 2008, give or take, J & H Wilderness Lodge. It used to be a favorite with the caravans, for both camping and fuel. Still for sale as far as I know. It was formerly known as Denny's Fish Camp Lodge, or close to that with guides and boats available. Muncho Lake has outstanding fishing available.