Dream Trip To Yukon and Alaska By Road, To Anywhere Else By Any Means At All

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Lessons Learned -- (Dream Travel Trip Anywhere; Yukon-Alaska Road Trip)

Alaska and Back: Did The Guides Work?

Lessons learned on the Yukon-Alaska trip...

Lessons learned? There’s only one main road for driving into Alaska from the lower 48, namely the Alaska Highway.

As breathtaking as it is, it is
very hard to drive even in the best of weather.

If you are going to tackle it, buy the
Milepost guide book (try Borders, B&N or Amazon) to find out what’s in store.

Read it carefully, and then re-read what you’ve read before you go. Otherwise, the trip will fail.

Nor should you even think of trying to work with downloaded maps, Milepost’s maps alone, or GPS units.

Since there aren’t that many roads up there to start with, and even fewer turns to make, GPS units don’t count for much. Instead, buy the best detailed maps you can find. And
study them!

When planning your itinerary, take it seriously wherever it’s shown that it will take one hour to do 30 miles, ‘cause it will.

If it’s not because of the road surface, then it’s the wildlife, big and small.

While only a few species seem to fixate on brunching in the middle of the road, practically
all of the North’s four-legged beasts (some two-legged ones, too!) just love taking roadway promenades in the grey dawn or grey dusk, often spiced with mist and rain, when it’s near-impossible to see.

Night-driving? Fuhgedabbouddit!

Because a lot of other free spirits make this splendid overland trek, make advance reservations for each night’s stop along
any highway in the Yukon or Alaska, where motels are few and far between.

And, fill the gas tank ASAP after the needle reaches half-full, be ready to take whatever octane you can get (usually 89), and keep your sense of humor.

Have food, blankets, a CB radio with good antenna, duct tape, and basic emergency

gear easily accessible at all times, not buried in the trunk somewhere.

If you wish, you
can bury the three one-gallon jugs of antifreeze back there, along with spare belts and bulbs. For a car of my BMW’s vintage and mileage, a replacement expansion tank and spare water pump also made sense.

But wherever you stow them, don’t leave home without them.

And don’t do a trip like this on run-flats.

There are places along your inevitable route where a repair shop
possibly able to repair a run-flat is more than 300 miles of dirt-and-gravel-road away, plus the 300 or more paved miles you’d still then have to cover.

The same can be said for many western states like Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, the Dakotas, and more.

With no cell phone service in many of these places, guess what creek you’re up if your run flat goes flat.

Above all, watch carefully for those crimson flags alongside the side of the road in the Yukon and Alaska.

Each time you see one, thank the unnamed hero who put it there, and
slow down fast.

If you don’t, the pothole or frost heave you hit at any speed over 25 mph may be your car’s last.

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....................................Copyright 2007-8, Clifford L. Brody

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