alaskamapWhen I posted a prelude to this trip (which I called Alaska) in the journal, I noted that I might come up with a clever name before I actually hit the road. Now you can see how that went. But, even without a clever name, I’ve completed and posted the journal for the first day of what promises to be the longest, in both time and distance, of any road trip I’ve taken. I’ve little doubt that, somewhere along the way, the route I follow will vary from the one in the map at right but what’s shown is what I intend and what I actually do should be close. The route shown is over 9,000 miles without side trips or missed turns. DeLorme estimates driving time for the shown route at about 200 hours. At the time of posting this I have no schedule but have been calling it a six week trip when asked. Two weeks to Alaska, two weeks there, and two weeks to home seems reasonable but I’ve made no commitments this side of Labor Day and only tentative ones beyond.

The journal for the trip is here. This entry is to let blog subscribers know of the trip and to provide a place for comments.

35 thoughts on “Alaska

  1. I drove the Alcan all the way to Fairbanks in 1975, and part of the way back down in 1978. You should have a lot easier drive than I had. Good travels, Denny.

    • From what I’ve read, there were still unpaved sections then. It’s all paved now plus the bears have to throw back all tourists under a certain weight — not that that will help me any.

      • Most of it was unpaved in 1975, at least the British Columbia and Yukon sections. The only paving was found around the “major” communities of Fort Nelson, Watson Lake and Whitehorse, and a few little “wide spots in the road” that had a gas station and/or a cafe.

  2. Looking forward to reading about this trip Denny…….big Ice Road Truckers fan πŸ˜‰
    As an American, do you need any special paperwork to enter Canada?

    • Although I pretty sure it’s not the same thing, I plan to drive something called the Icefields Parkway. We are not required to have anything like a visa but we do now need a passport. Didn’t even need that until recently.

  3. I drove US 52 from Charleston, WV to Cinci. Now I need to finish the route by driving from Cinci to Portal, ND. I am interested to see if Portal is anything other than an entrance to Canada. The pre-1926 Great Plains Highway also entered Canada at Portal. US 83, though, was routed further east. Safe travels.

  4. I remember Fargo all too well. My brother got stationed in Grand Forks and I rode with him when he moved up there circa 1968. We drove through Fargo during a snow storm with (according to our windshield and a local radio station) visibility at zero. We had to pull over and spend the night in Fargo and the hotel parking lot had electrical outlets so people could plug in their car engine block heaters. What? You probably won’t be needing that on this trip. Enjoy!

    • Nope. No need for an engine heater yet but I’ve no doubt they’re required for a good part of the year. You should give it another chance. It’s quite nice in the summer.

  5. The family spent the night in Destruction Bay the last week of May 1978 on our way out of Alaska to Haines to catch the ferry back to the lower 48. About all I remember about Destruction Bay was endless mud as it was “breakup” time in the Yukon.

  6. None of todays pics will load –

    “The page you are looking for (/alaska16/day18/pic01a.jpg) cannot be found.”

  7. Homer, Alaska is the home of the guy on the Motel 6 radio commercials who said at the end of each announcement, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” Memorable words, even to this day. I’ll never forget whats-his-name.

    • I didn’t know that. For a long time I thought that was the owner of Motel 6 then I learned it was a comedian they hired for his… ah, name recognition.

    • That guy is Tom Bodett and he lives in Vermont now. He is frequently on the NPR Radio Show – Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. He was born in Champaign, IL an raised in Sturgis, MI. He lived in Alaska for 23 years before moving to Dunneston, VT.

  8. Loved the photos from Glacier and Going to the Sun road….I stayed in Glacier many, many years ago and drove that road in both directions more than once.
    There were no red buses then…the road was harrowing but it remains my most favorite scenic drive. SO enjoyed your trip to Alaska! safe trip home.

    • Thanks for your comment and so glad you enjoyed the photos. It sometimes seems that the road I’ve just driven is my favorite but this time I really mean it. πŸ™‚ With Going to the Sun, both the scenery and the drive are top notch.

  9. What would have really been funny would have been if Eval had reached up right at the apex of your jump.

    He’d have gotten some mileage out of that.

    • Apparently I shouldn’t have been surprised to see them in South Dakota. I finally looked at their website where they say Ohio was their latest expansion. Their map shows coverage for most of the western US so I’m guessing that Michigan was just ahead of Ohio.

  10. If you get a chance, check out the Don Q Inn in Dodgeville. Very unique place, but don’t get one of the fantasy suites.

    • I ate dinner right next to it and looked over the big plane parked out front but didn’t go into the motel. Guess I should have taken a peek.

  11. You were in Richmond? Next time give us a holler, you were so close, you had to have passed within a few miles of our home.

    Welcome back home now. You must be exhausted!

  12. Welcome back home. Personally, after 2-3 weeks on the road, I’m ready to go home.

    Hope fully you. Entwined my name to Barb bartending at Donovan’s. We live right down US-12 from Richmond in Spring Grove.

    The big fish and fisherman at Mad Dan’s in Twin Lakes was from a trout ranch in Des Plaines, Illinois.

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