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 > Your search for posts made by 'joe b.' found 24 matches.

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  Subject Author Date Posted Forum
RE: Best Mid July Fishing

There are a few no crowd bank fishing spots in Alaska that I have fished in the past, and probably PA12 has also fished them. The Kobuk river east of Kotzebue is good for many species, including shee fish. The Unalakleet River just upstream from the village can be excellent. My favorite spot is the Karluk River on the back side of Kodiak Island. Some of the villagers provided a sort of B & B experience as tent camping with all the bears never appealed to me. LOL anywhere on the road system will most likely be crowded, but can still be fun if you can keep your sense of humor and consider it to be a social event.
joe b. 08/10/17 09:47am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska propane

It seems that many more vehicles in Canada use propane as their main fuel than in the US. So there is often a propane pump either located in the row with the gasoline and diesel pumps or over by the side at stations and roadhouses. Either way they seem to be self serve on propane. Have watched several Canadian drivers pull up to the propane pump, attach the nozzle to their propane tank and fill it, then go in to pay. Don't remember if any of the propane pumps were credit card friendly or not. Road propane was much cheaper than gasoline.
joe b. 08/10/17 09:11am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Road Conditions Alaska and Yukon

I too enjoy the Cassiar drive, more that the southern sections of the Alaska Hwy. For the most part when they paved the Cassiar, the kept the hills and curves following the original roadbed, . The Alaska Hwy was straightened, hills cut down, miles of it were re-routed and just made a bit too civilized. LOL So the Alcan is now about 30 miles shorter that it was originally. Parts of the Cassiar were in place early on, but all the sections weren't connected until the early 70s, about the same time period as the Parks Hwy in Alaska was finished. You will still hear some Canadians refer to the southern part of the Cassiar as the Dease Lake Hwy, and a couple of other names. In the past I have seen Murray refer to it by a name other than the Cassiar. He used to work as a miner in the large Grand Duc mine out of Stewart. You go out the road through Hyder and the road goes back into BC, where the Grand Duc is located. During the building of the Alaska Hwy, which was constructed in sections, all at the same time, the section near Watson's Lake received their supplies and equipment via ocean barges, then river boats up the Stkine River to Telegraph Creek, trucked to Dease Lake and then lake boats to the north end of the lake near Watsons Lake. The road to Stewart-Hyder went in first, then later the road was extended from Junction 37 to Dease Lake. The northern section was built to haul asbestos ore from the Cassiar mining district north to be shipped out of Skagway. The last section built was between Dease Lake and the Cassiar mining district to be able to ship ore out of the Stewart area. The completion of the Cassiar Hwy effectively ended the building of the railroad which was being built a few miles to the east of the current highway running from Kitwanga Junction north to Dease Lake. When construction was stopped by a change of governments in Ottawa, most of the roadbed was finished and a few bridges were in place. One summer I worked as a ferry pilot flying aircraft from the lower 48 to Alaska. For planes I picked up on the west coast, I often would follow the railroad bed to about Dease Lake, then head on north to Atlin in northern BC, then to Whitehorse and on to Alaska. This may be more history than some are interested in reading. LOL
joe b. 06/15/17 02:35pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Road Conditions Alaska and Yukon

A couple of years back, the US announced it was not renewing the SHAKWAK (sp) agreement with Canada. No idea what the acronym stands for. When the agreement was first signed, it was determined that the vast majority of vehicles running from Haines to Alaska were US owned and operated, much of it freight. So the Canadian government, agreed to do the actual maintenance of the Alaska Highway ifrom Haines north and the US agreed to pay for most of the maintenance. Keep in mind that very few Canadians actually use the Alaska Hwy, even today. Yukon only has a population of close to 50,000 people and most of those live in Whitehorse. So that is many miles/Ks of road for such a small population to pay for and , IMHO, Ottawa is about as interested in this part of Canada as D.C. Is interested in the roads of Alaska. Time to put my soapbox back in the closet. Perhaps Sue or Murray has some info on whether or not the agreement was renewed
joe b. 06/12/17 03:28pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Denali Highway.

I too enjoy the Denali Hwy. the 13 years we lived in Nenana Alaska, an extended family camping trip was usually our last trip of the fall before winterizing the RV. My wife's two sisters and their families would join us for a week or so. Normally we stayed in or close to the Tangle Lakes campground, near the eastern end of the road The third Tangle Lake south of the highway has some of the best grayling fishing availing that you can find on the road system. Paxson Lake, not too far away is excellent fishing for Lake trout, in the spring time, just as the ice was melting. The Denali Highway is obviously not for everyone, but for many/most it is a very special trip across. On my first round trip to Alaska in 1962, I wanted to see Mount McKinley National Park so I drove over the Denali o get there. The Parks Hwy wasn't finished for another 11 years. Yes, the Denali Hwy is a gravel road, no better the last time we drove it in 2011 than it was the first time. The Denali Hwy is very representative of the way the Alaska Hwy was in the early days. I drove the Alaska Hwy 9 round trips before it was paved so I just take the Denali Hwy the way it is. I have probably been over the Denali Hwy at least 50 times or more, a number of those trips pulling a boat on a trailer. It is basically a 10 mph road at times. I suspect Trackrig, (Bill) has been over it as many times as I have as he grew up in Anderson, just south of Nenana and is a Nenana High School graduate. He now lives in Anchorage, when he and his wife aren't in the Lower 48 running around in their diesel pusher. They spend about half their time outside and the other half in Alaska.
joe b. 06/07/17 09:02pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Fuel Range

The OP can take a look at the sticky at the top of the opening page of this Alaska-Canada section. In talking to recent travelers over the different northern roads, the information appears to be fairly accurate. But changes do seem to happen from time to time. For the most part, 100 to 125 miles is about the most distance between fueling locations. Talk to the locals , especially those running roadhouses, where the next services are available as you refuel with them, or have a meal, etc. plus you will meet some very interesting people. One of my solo trips I stopped at a roadhouse for breakfast, the woman behind the counter asked me if I wanted breakfast? Giving an affirmative reply, she pointed to the coffee pot in the corner and went into the back. I kept waiting for her to bring me a menu, but after about 15 minutes of drinking coffee, she returned, set a plate of eggs, bacon and toast in front of me. She told me that was what she was cooking that day for breakfast. It was very good. I paid and was on my way up the highway. After the meal.
joe b. 05/27/17 12:02pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Fuel at the Talkeetna turnoff, Glennallen & Palmer

Bill, so true about the Hub Station being expensive. But at times I find it difficult to avoid getting fuel there. A lot depends on what type/length of RV you are driving. Our last four round trips to/from Alaska we were running a Dodge diesel with a truck camper, which got about 12 to 15 mpg. I could run from Anchorage to Valdez on a single tank of fuel if need be, but if I was turning north on the Richardson or continuing on the Glenn Hwy (Tok Cut Off) I generally would top off in Glennallen, often at the Hub. One trip we didn't top off, headed up the Richardson toward Delta, planning on getting fuel at the Paxson Roadhouse. When we got there, their fuel pumps weren't working, no fuel available. Made it into Delta running on fumes. Over the years I have found I am much better at giving advice, than following it myself. I try to drive on the top half of my fuel tank, but sometimes I am guilty of not doing it. LOL
joe b. 05/26/17 06:33am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Cell and internet in Canada

Sue t., on FB posted this information on Plans to expand the internet access in all of Canada. http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1172599#shr-pg0
joe b. 05/20/17 06:44am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Cell and internet in Canada

The larger communities/towns/cities usually have private companies providing Internet for a fee. But I never have had any problem finding a free open connection. In the smaller communities, especially as you get farther away from the US-Canada border headed north, I have yet to find anyplace that doesn't have a free connection somewhere in the village. In the village of Kitwanga, BC, the parking lot at the town office is a good internet spot. Sometimes I have to go inside the libraries or other public buildings. As others have mentioned, many businesses offer internet service through Canada. In Alaska , many public facilities, such as hotels, schools, churches have useable service from their parking lots. I figure if the don't want me using it in the evening, then keep the signal out of my vehicle. LOL A number of years back, Alaska put in a rural TV service known as RATNET, ( Rural Alaska TV Network). They used state owned satellites to broadcast a signal to a central dish in the village where it was re-broadcast throughout the community. Then a few years back, one of the private companies, operating in Alaska, was allowed to piggyback on the state system , to provide cell and internet service to most all small villages, no matter how remote. They were hopeful that in Bethel Alaska that they would get 60 people to sign up for cell service the first year. In reality, they had over 600 people sign up the first month. There was also a fiber optic cable run along side the Alaska Hwy, but I think it is privately owned and expensive to use. In places as you drive the highway, you can see this cable suspended over creeks, rivers, etc.
joe b. 05/19/17 09:03pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Cell and internet in Canada

Free Internet service is available in most Canadian communities. Several years back, the Canadian Federal government made sure all communities , no matter how small or remote, had Access to the Internet. In the small villages the hot spot may be the city office or library. Alaska has done much the same in recent years following the Canadian lead of providing needed services to their residents. Somewhat of a unique thought, eh? On our last round trip to the north country, I believe, two days was the longest we went without Internet and that was because we were boondocking some nights. We tell friends and family to contact us by email if they wish. If they, especially the daughters, need to talk to us, they request a call. We buy some prepaid cards that allow us to use pay phones in Canada. Lots of pay phones up there, most don't take coins, so as long as they are working, the phone companies don't have to go to them to empty the coins. Works well for us as we love to turn our cell phones off as we cross into Canada. The peace and quiet of no cell phone is nice. We have AT&T service also and haven't found they have a practical plan that works for us. About a dollar a minute for a call to the lower 48 is about the best I have found. Very few of my conversations are worth that to me that I can't handle with an email for free.
joe b. 05/18/17 10:41am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: The FORM

Didn't miss the point at all. I and I am sure others would like to hear from travelers that have successfully taken handgun into/through Canada using this form you have provided. I would like to hear some first hand experience from people that have actually done this. For a certified law enforcement officer to take a handgun and ammunition into Canada for a sanctioned shooting match, by Canadian Law Officials, is about a two to three month paper shuffle. I am highly suspicious that a private US citizen is going to be able to fill out the form, pay the required fee at the border and be on their way with their handgun with "no problem." Still would like to ask anyone that uses this form for a handgun, to get back with a post about their experience. Long guns have never been a problem, but then Canadians can own long guns for sporting purposes. Yukon requires all guns to be registered with the government. Last I heard there were 14 long guns registered by Yukon citizens. Must do lots of sharing, I guess
joe b. 05/09/17 07:47pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: The FORM

It seems that most years, about this time, someone will post information such as the OP, Tom/Barb, about how to transfer guns through Canada. Each year, someone like myself, will ask them to report back to this group how the border crossing with a firearm went for them, after they have made their trip. So far no one has made a fall time post after taking a handgun through Canada, that I am aware of reading. Yes I have taken handguns into/through Canada, but not in the last 20 years. But all that information is all on my computer screen and that is the only subject agents want to talk to me about at border crossings. Never get any food questions, so I guess that is good LOL. Form or no form, I wouldn't attempt to take any handgun into Canada these days. Individual agents, on both sides of the border, have great discretion on who they allow to cross the border. Probably the main question you will be asked and you need a good answer, is "why do you need a handgun in Canada?" Generally, for self protection isn't a satisfactory answer. I don't take handguns or long guns into Canada as I don't feel the need. Yes, traveling in the Lower 48 states, i normally have access to a firearm, part of my working as a law enforcement officer for a number of years. There are exceptions, but most apply to very few people. Such as federal employees, that have been issued a government owned handgun and are passing through Canada on official orders, such as military pilots changing duty stations to/from Alaska. Having a good lock box for guns and one for ammunition seems very important. Anyway it would be nice if someone would report back to this forum, after their experience of taking a handgun into Canada.
joe b. 05/09/17 05:15pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: How Many Miles

I will stand by what I said. The cruise ships are fueled and provisioned at their home port in the lower 48, the buses are owned by the cruise companies, driven by out of state seasonal drivers, for the most part. They stay at company owned hotels when on land, eat at company owned restaurants, and the money paid for the trip by the tourists stayed with the company outside. Just curious, what your background is to be such an expert on Alaska? I have lived in rural Alaska for over 25 years, have made 13 RV round trips to/from Alaska and the lower 48, have made another half dozen or more round trips by car or truck, made 8 or 10 flying trips, with me as the pilot, following the Alaska Highway or the Cassiar between the lower 48 and Alaska, I have personally run river boats from the Fairbanks area to the mouth on the Yukon River and back, plus I have accumulated over 3,000 hours of bush flying, as a pilot . Did my best to wear out four different airplanes and a half dozen RVs, the years we lived there. Most of the Alaska tourist industry is only operating during the short summers. When many of the private businesses close for the winter, the owners head outside to live till the following summer. The Alaska economy has always been based upon extractive industry. Such as mining, timber, fishing, petroleum, etc. Tourism is much the same. Full time, tell us about your Alaska experiences, if you would please.
joe b. 04/30/17 02:27pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: How Many Miles

From the Bellingham Washington area to the Fairbanks area is roughly 50 hours driving time. You, as the driver gets to decide how many days to spread that over. The RV segment of the Alaska tourist industry is actually quite small. Most visitors arrive by ship or commercial air travel. Very few of the summer workers are Alaska residents, but are up from the Lower 48 to work for the summer, and then return home. (Most are full of advice, some of which is correct, LOL) the tourist market have a much smaller impact on Alaska, than many think. The cruise ships and Airlines headquarter in places like Seattle, Portland or Vancouver, etc. very little of that money ever makes it to Alaska. Many of the outside tour companies own hotels in Alaska, staffed but out of state employees. Most Alaska residents can't afford to quit their full year job to take a seasonal job that probably is paying minimum wages.
joe b. 04/30/17 10:43am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Some Odd questions from Canadian Customs

Some of my crossings have been more interesting than others. I have received the same firearms questions as the OP mentioned. Normally the first questions you are asked, are to establish a base line for the agent. They are determine if the person talks slow or fast, do they pause before answering, do they make eye contact while answering, etc. once the simple, easy to answer questions have been asked, then come the important ones based on your computer screen, past work history, state of residence, type of vehicle, etc. From the changes in the responders answers, the agent is accessing the likelihood that the person is lying to them. Keep in mind, having a good sense of humor is not a requirement to work the border crossings for either country. Both the US and Canada share computer information with each other. The last full search we received was by the Canadian agents at Beaver Creek, possibly because I am known to communicate with Sue T. At times. Or it may have just been my turn in the barrel. I get the same gun questions, do I have one with me? Do I own one? More than one? How many handguns do I own? The correct answer is 9, the Customs agent checked his screen and said that agreed with their information. Then asked why I didn't have one with me. My standard, truthful answer is I am not working this trip and it is against Canadian law for me to have one . In the olden days I have brought handguns with me into Canada on several occasions, and their computers never forget that. Probably till into the 70s, pilots of small aircraft, flying through Canada, to/from Alaska could have a firearm in their survival gear with no problem. The best thing to do in crossing is to relax, be honest, don't elaborate your answers and enjoy the experience.
joe b. 03/20/17 08:46am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Latest in Hot Spot devices?

For a number of years when traveling in the mountain west, we had both a Verizon MiFi and used the hot spots on our AT&T iPhones. What really helped with both was when I installed an external antennae and a Wilson Sleek rig inside our RV. Business may it a requirement I felt to be able to stay in touch with clients. There were time in the west that neither carrier had a local signal that we could find, a couple of times both had a voice signal but no data signal was showing up. The external antennae solved most of my connection problems if there was a usable signal. A couple of weeks back we were camped in one of the more remote Florida State Parks, where I saw a man sitting on his roof, laptop and hot spot running. He commented too, that an external antennae might be the way for him to go. LOL
joe b. 01/25/17 09:26am Technology Corner
RE: Disney fort wilderness

We too have Florida resident annual passes to WDW. Most years we spend between 35 and 40 nights at the Fort. That works out to 8 or 10 trips a year with the RV. The last three trips, I haven't gone to any of the parks. My wife and young grandsons go to one of the parks about every day. If the boys parents are with us, they too will hit the parks. I find the peace and quiet of the campground to be enjoyable. We usually have our granddog, Rookie beagle dog, with us so he too enjoys the walks around the campground. Some days the boys will spend half a day at the swimming pool at the campground and the other half at one of the parks. While the Fort is a bit pricey, it isn't all that much more than many of the other Florida campgrounds, especially in south Florida and the Keys. The Fort is what we use to compair all other campgrounds with as we travel. The Fort is the best run, maintained and clean CG where we have ever stayed. When we had a 5th wheel we found the 100, 200 and 300 loops to be very tight, not always the sites but the roads were way too narrow to be able to back in to some.
joe b. 01/25/17 09:11am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Best Sat Tv Service in Alaska and Canada

There are basically 3 sets of TV satellites that hang out over North America. The first of these was the Canadian Avik 1, then Anvik II was launched, followed by the US And Mexican Morelos satellites. The Us satellites are the farthest south, over the equator, generally speaking. Most of the 13 years I lived in Nenana Alaska, I watched TV received using a 6.1 meter dish, about 20 ft. At that time none of the satellite signals were scrambled so we tuned in directly. After the scrambled the signals, I bought service for a dealer in Tennessee and used his address as the satellite TC companies wouldn't sell me service in Alaska as they claimed I couldn't receive their signal. Duh? So my family watched US programming, Canadian TV, loved the Red Green show, Vinyl Cafe with McClain and the Mexican shows. If I had an interest in watching TV in Canada, I would figure out a way through Shaw Direct or Bell TV , etc to buy one of their larger dishes, a receiver and the level of programming I wanted. Probably have to create a Canadian address to make this idea work. Sure there would be many Shaw dealers happy to have you business. Not going to be cheap but very workable. Last summer we were camped next to a Canadian couple in western Colorado that were able to watch their local Canadian news shows over their satellite. Their roof mounted dish was close to twice the diameter of most US ones we have had in the past. It was remotely controlled from inside their RV and auto locked on to the Canadian satellite.
joe b. 01/22/17 10:59am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Dawson Town, a great stop for a few days

Thanks for the photos. One thing I have noticed in the last few visits to Dawson Town, is that more and more of the visitors are Canadian. Years ago, finding an out of Province/Territory car tag in the far north was quite rare. My first trip to Dawson was 53 years ago, not bad for an Okie (Ozark American to be PC) ranch kid to get that far away from home. I grew up fascinated by the writings of Robert Service, as he lived in both Whitehore and Dawson, working in the banks of both towns. He refered to the town as Dawson Town, so I figure that is good enough for me as well. LOL I have the complete works of Service on my ipad so when I am in either town I love to sit on the river banks, reading his works, letting him take me back in history. Just wish he had found time to make it to Alaska, for a visit. "To Dawson Town came Percy Brown from London on the Thames" from the Ballad of the Ice Worm Cocktail by Robert Service. Haven't been posting of late, as we have been trying to get more camping trips accomplished. After spewing forth verbiage for 15 years on this forum, I decided to give everyone a reprieve. LOL
joe b. 01/22/17 09:38am RVing in Canada and Alaska
Dawson Town, a great stop for a few days

The Milepost has put together a lot of good information about this Jewel of the North, Dawson. http://dawsoncity.ca Dawson has always been a favorite stop for us as it is like stepping back into history. A nice selection of campgrounds in and around town and lots to do just walking around. During the years we lived in rural Alaska, we enjoyed taking mini vacations over to Whitehorse and up to Dawson Town and back home. Some trips by RV but most by small aircraft, sometimes mine and other trips took my wife's. Both Whitehorse and Dawson are super fun and educational so it is easy to spend a full week or more, hitting both towns. From our home in rural Alaska it was about a 3 hour flight into Fairbanks, then 3 hours more to Northway, and then 3 more into Whitehorse or Dawson, which ever we went to first. Whitehorse had great shopping. My wife had a love affair going with the Hudson Bay store there, as they had everything.
joe b. 01/21/17 08:08am RVing in Canada and Alaska
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