I too like RVparky.com and have their iPhone app as well one of my favorite things about RVparky is that the comments made by campers are not censored/edited by the site owners as one of the bigger sites does. Guess it keeps their advertisers happy and buying ads.
Woodalls book is good but very bulky. A few years back they put out a CD of their campground guide. I still have that one but don't know if they still sell it or not.
Warmer weather in Alaska will lead to more snow fall and hence, more spring flooding when that extra snow melts. If it warms up in the Interior and coastal Mountain ranges, they too will get more snow fall. The ole adage of it can get too cold to snow is basically true as the super cold air can't contain much water vapor. Warm that air up a bit and it can hold a lot more water vapor to lead to snow. More snow in the Coastal Mountain ranges will lead to more glacier formation and more glacier movement. Some scientists think this is what happened about 10,000 years ago when the last Ice Age occurred and sent glaciers as far south as Kansas. If that happened again, that would be one large urban renewal project for any cities north of Kansas. LOL But if we are on a 10,000 to 20,000 year cycle with Arctic temperatures, probably not much for those of us currently here to worry about. What caused it to warm up in the Arctic 10,000 years ago, who knows? This is a strange planet we live on at times that we don't understand, IMHO.
Keep in mind when we are talking warming, it may be from the -70 below zero we had in the mid 1970s to the -40 belows of this past winter in the Interior of Fairbanks and Tok areas. Both still colder than a well diggers arse in Siberia or to remove the appendages off a brass monkey.
While Petersburh is a nice SE town, it is one of the least tourist oriented. It is a commercial fishing community. Petersburg and Wrangell are not normally thought of as sports fishing areas. Sure there is some but not to the scale you will find in places like Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Homer, Valdez, Seward, etc. check on line to see if Petersburg has a Chamber of Commerce page, or just google sports halibut fishing in Petersburg, Alaska.
Boat tours are something that we seldom hear of any bad reviews from tourists. Another highly recommended tour in Valdez is the Lu Lu Belle run by Capt Fred. But with that said, I have never been on it, but have talked to Capt Fred face to face several times. Real nice guy and very knowledgeable about the area. Now he, like many of the other summer business owners in Alaska, doesn't live in Alaska in the winter time. They are there to work the tourist season and they head back out to the lower 48 to their homes. His boat is his home in the winter in Washington, so he runs back and forth from there to Alaska.
I have been on the Stan Stephens long tour several times, so need to give Capt Fred a try one of these trips to Valdez.
As far as I know, the Stephens family does live in Alaska in the winter. But it is a much larger operation with multiple tour boats. Not sure if Stan, himself still runs any of them but if not it would probably be some family member. The food they serve on the Meares Glacier, 2 Glacier tour, is really very good, comfortable boat, etc.
If the weather is rainy, foggy, just plain nasty, getting a few miles out of new Valdez and it may clear up and have a beautiful day. Not sure what causes this, but where they relocated Valdez after the Good Friday Earthquake, traps bad weather it seems.
It is the least touristy of any of the coastal towns that are on the road system, Far enough away from Anchorage that you don't have the weekend crowds from there as you do on the Kenai.
Real bummer on the ferry cuts. Read that they pulled the Taku off the schedule entirely. The bottom line is that Alaska is broke and instead of slowly starting to cut back on spending years back, they kept spending like a bunch of drunken sailors right up to the cliff edge. Last year the state earned more revenues off the interest of the budget emergency fund than they received from their oil sales out of the pipeline. Now they are talking about taking 4 billion dollars out of the emergency fund to fund the current budget. So there will be less interest earned off the budget surplus fund in the future. Glad I am not still working as a consultant up in the north country this year.
Don't know how much the cuts in runs out of Prince Rupert will hurt the local economy there, as most of the economy appears to be based upon shipping large volumes of coal and grain to the Asia, via large cargo ships. The last time we were in PR, the cargo ships were lined up, one behind another, waiting their turn to load. Must have been close to a dozen of them in line or at the loading docks. PR is our favorite departure port for the Alaska Ferry system, headed north.
Make sure you only frequent bars that have seat belts on their bar stools. Some of those stools are really high for an older fellow to safely use late at night. LOL. Very considerate of you to fall off your roof during a slow time on this forum. Gave all of us a chance to live vicariously through your experience. Somewhat like our old boy scout prayer, we said on camping trips in Oklahoma. It went, Dear God, don't let any of us get bit by a rattle snake, but if they do, don't let it be me. Amen
When you get to Alaska, you will find the roads referred to by name, not a number. Names such as, the Glenn Hwy, the Parks, the Richardson, the Seward, the Denali, should be called the Denali dirt road, the Tok Cut Off, still part of the Glenn, etc.
Colorado DOT has announced the closure of Hwy 550 for the month of June 2015 for rock stabilization work. It will be open for one hour only, daily. Check with the DOT web site for any changes as both Ouray and Silverton are protesting this closure during peak tourist season.
Apparently they have updated their web site on the times of closure. The last I saw was in my latest copy of the Ouray newspaper, the Plaindealer.
Colorado DOT has announced the closure of Hwy 555 south of Ouray for the month of June with a daily opening of one hour, for a major road/rock slide abatement project. Both Ouray and Silverton have sent protest to the DOT, about their time selection for the project. So check on the DOT web site for any changes in the month of June being the chosen closure time.
Sometimes you are the windshield and sometimes the bug. Hard to guess which you will be on any given crossing. I like the busier crossings over the more remote ones, where the officer may not have talked to anyone in the last half hour and are lonely. LOL
You can get rid of all the pesky questions about food, alcohol, tobacco by just one time taking a firearm and or ammunition across the border. Do it all legal and it still gets entered into the computer system which is shared by both sides. Take a hand gun across with a special permit multiple times as I have, an that is the only subject they want to talk about. Have a work history of law enforcement, private security and the red flags pop up on the computer system big time. I would love to know how they are aware of how many handguns I own, but they do. About half of mine have been registered with different law enforcement agencies, but where they got the rest of them I don't have a clue but it doesn't bother me that they do.
On our last trip north, we got the full treatment at the US Border crossing with the swat team surrounding our rig until someone inside gave them the stand down order over their head sets. The the Canadians gave us a full, sort of, vehicle search at the Beaver creek Station on the south bound leg. It is always fun to watch real professionals at work. That search may have been because I am a friend of Sue T.'s. Have to watch the people you associate with at times, LOL.
I am sure I have crossed border well over 100 times in my lifetime and most crossing are as the OP said. But if the computer flags you, for whatever reason, your state of residence, your VW Micro bus with the beautiful flowers painted all over it, or your past crossings, just grin and go with the flow, just part of the price of admission to a most grand trip of a lifetime.
Drive on the top half of your tank and you shouldn't have any problems. If you are down close to a half tank and see an open station, stop and buy some fuel. The farthermost the stations are apart is about 100 miles, with most closer than that. Be flexible, if you need fuel before your planned stop, then stop at the next station. Planning ahead has lots going for it, most of the time.
Canadian package stores don't seem to carry the low end booze we see in U.S. Liquor store. Not sure what a Canadian alcoholic drinks in Canada. Beer is more in Canada but it is real beer, in taste and alcohol contest. Not the sissy watered down stuff the mega breweries sell here. If a person enjoys great beer, try some of the Canadian micro breweries, especially the Yukon Brewery in Whitehorse. I like the Yukon Red and my wife selects the Yukon Gold label. It produces the best beer I have ever tasted anywhere. My goal in life is to buy enough Red to make it home with some remaining, so far I haven't made it out of Canada with any. LOL
Hauling liquor,wine or beer to Canada , to me, would be like hauling coal to Pittsburgh. Why? As Bob mentioned, even if it costs more to buy in Canads, I doubt I spend more than $20 or $40 more on the round trip, for a much higher quality produce. Our northern neighbors produce some excellent wines in Ontario and British Columbia. Any booze imported from a Canadian Commomwealth member country is often cheaper in Canada ,than here in Florida, Goshling's Black Seal rum is one such product ..
You can buy the tour saver booklet in Alaska at Safeway, or some of the stores may still be signed as Carr-Safeway. A number of years back, Safeway bought out the largest independent grocery group in Alaska, Carr-Gottstein.
Nenana had an ice bridge for crossing the Tanana River in the winter and a ferry for summer crossing before the current Veterans
Bridge was built. The railroad bridge went in before the highway bridge. Don't remember seeing any photos or hearing of a wooden bridge in the 13 years we lived in Nenana.
It often confuses tourists that Nenana and Tanana are pronounced so differently. Nenana rhymes with banana and that Tanana is Tan A Naw. Both the River and the villages. I have lived in both villages, Tanana for two years and Nenana for the 13. Nenana was established as a barge port, the Native village, Togheteli(sp), was originally across the river on the much higher ground. Tanana, at the mouth where it joins the Yukon River, has been a Native village since people first inhabited the area.
Most of the advice given is fine once you get to the US-Canadian border area, but getting out of Florida and the SE part of the US will be the real heavy traffic of the trip, most of the time. We on a couple of trips, have got up to Tallahassee, north to Montgomery, to Birmingham, west to Memphis to Little Rock, cut north to the Omaha area and then you have numerous choices to cross the border. Getting well west of the Mississippi River, we can usually count on having less traffic on the roads and a faster trip. Even going as far west as Tulsa and cutting up to Salina Kansas to pick up I 70 west to Denver, gets us out of much of the traffic mess down this way.
No matter how we go, it is about a 100 hour driving trip from here in south Florida to Fairbanks. We try to alternate years between spending the summers in western Colorado and Alaska. There are only so many ways to get out of the SE it seems, none terribly scenic so I like the OPs plan to drive 24 hours the fist day and get about 1,200 miles down the road.
The main factor in our route across the central section of the U.S. Is forecast weather. When we get to the Tallahassee area, we stop and get out the computers to check the longer, ten day or so forecast. As my wife and I are both pilots, we make use of some of the aviation weather forecasts. Weather developing in the mid west will determine if we run along the Gulf Coast as long as practical or cut straight across. I grew up on a ranch in southern Oklahoma and have a very healthy respect for the storms that develop in a Tornado Alley. I don't want any part of them. We make sure we have a good weather radio with us no matter which route we take till we reach the high country.
Not sure if it's the fastest or not but we often head up the turnpike from here in south Florida, Stuart, to Wildwood, go west to Crystal River, north on Hwy 19 to Interstate 10, west on 10 to Breaux Bridge LA, take that angled interstate, interstate 49, to Shreveport and west to FT Worth on interstate 20. From there we take Hwy 287 to Amarilo Texas across via Dalhart, etc to Raton, NM. Then north on interstate 25 to hit I 90 over to Butte, Billing area, north to Great Falls and north to cross the border at Coutts-Sweetgrass and on north. I try to avoid both Calgary and Edmonton due to their sizes.
I have driven solo in a car from Anchorage to the Houston Texas area in 6 days but once of that, is plenty for me. Didn't have any choice that trip though.
Hard to say what is going to happen and when. A bit of a side issue in that the legislature is now beyond the statutory law limit of a 90 day session limit passed by the voters of the state, by 5 days. However the Alaska Constitution allows for a 120 day limit. The voters didn't vote on a constitutional change but just a statute change. But technically the legislature is in violation of Alaska statute law. I don't find any info saying they officially adjourned on Sunday night and then reconvened the following day.
Talk on the street is that a part year budget will be passed, requiring only a simple majority of votes and then adjourn. Most likely the governor would call the legislators back for a special session to deal only with the budget. So it may be mid to late May, if then, before the state departments and agencies will know their next years budgets. I am not reading of any great concern being raised over cutting the ferry budget for next year. The Alaska House has 40 members, 28 of them are from the Railbelt areas, Fairbanks down to Anchorage and on to Homer on the Kenai. That leaves 12 members representing the remainder of the state.
The last time we had our RV in Skagway we stayed at Garden City campground. At that time most of the people staying there were out of state, summer workers in the local businesses. Somehow there is going to have to be a campground for these workers. Just a wild guess but I would think that close to 90% of the tourism businesses are out of state owned and the out of state workers would be that high or more.
That trip I was talking to a clerk at one of the high end jewelry stores with a cute Alaska sounding name. I asked her who owned the shop and was told she didn't know. Then I asked her what name was on her paycheck and was told it was Tiffany's of New York. She was a NY college student up working for the summer.
So I suspect the RV business is just a small parts of the town's revenues. If you have ever walked the streets of Skagway after the cruise ships leave, it is like a ghost town, hard to find a place to eat, etc..
I have been to Skagway two or three times in the winter time by air or ferry and don't remember ever seeing snow on the ground. Just a fluke as I know they can get wet heavy snows but don't think they last too long on the ground. Much like much of SE Alaska. Now as you head up the pass toward Carcross, YT, the snow gets measured by the feet or meter as the elevation increases.