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Thread: Trip of a lifetime - ALCAN Highway

  1. #1
    Senior Member HarryWilliams's Avatar
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    Default Trip of a lifetime - ALCAN Highway

    For me that is. Considering driving up the west route to Alaska in the summer of 2014. Has anyone made this trip? Any places to train retrievers on the way. Probably only drive 8 hours a day cause I'd like to do some fishing. I got a copy of The Milepost which has good info.

    Does anyone have any suggestions to consider while planning this adventure? Please post up or pm me. Thanks a bunch. Harry

    BTW The NAHRA Invitational is being hosted by the Midnight Sun Gun Dog Association.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Erin Lynes's Avatar
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    I lived in Fort Nelson for a while. You should be able to find somewhere to train around mile 0 (Dawson Creek, BC area) but between Fort Nelson and the Yukon it is all mountains and nowhere to train that I can think of (some good spots to swim the dogs though). But, you will have a glorious time as the scenery is tremendous, LOTS of wildlife to view/photograph including cariboo, deer, moose, bison, elk, tons of bears, stone sheep, etc... I haven't been north of the yukon border (yet) so can't advise beyond that but that first stretch is the 'safari of the north' and just awesome to visit.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Have fun, I hear it's much better now, but I drove it four times, June 1974, December 1974, September 1975 and Winter 1976. Back then it was a real adventure, basically 1,200 miles of gravel road with some paved portions here and there.

    My first trip was planned for our canoe paddle down the Yukon River from Whitehorse Canada to the Bearing Sea near Alakanuk Alaska. There were six of us in three canoes, I had a 69 VW Van and we talked one of the other guys into driving his 71 VW Van up there. Lucky for us he wasn't the inquisitive type and we sort of forgot to tell him about the AlCan Hwy. His first clue was when we stopped in Dawson Creek, the official start of the Alcan, to read alarming road reports, and buy plactic protectors for our headlights, windshield, ect. Mike was pretty upset we never told him this, but he was committed so off we went. I believe the first 90 miles was paved, then we hit the gravel washboard and slowed down to 25 mph, after driving a few miles at 25 we realized it would take weeks at that speed, so we speeded up. Somewhere over 50 the washboard smoothed out, so we drove around 60. The only problem was coming on deep pot holes without warning and going too fast to slow down just about ripped our undercarriage off, or so it felt. The other issue was it was either dry, bumpy and extremely dusty, or wet, muddy and very slippery.

    My two winter trips were much smoother, driving on packed down snow, but kind of scary cruising in the dark on a remote lonely road at -35 degree weather. My buddies tell me the whole thing is paved now, so it will be a bit less adventurous and a lot more comfortable. Have fun.

    John

  4. #4
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    I take it that you are referring to The Alaska Highway.
    We made a trip to the area in 2009 driving from Toronto to Dawson Creek, up the Alaska Hwy, Top of The World Hwy, Dempster Hwy, visited Skagway and various other Cities and towns and Yellowknife NWT, Dawson City yukon.
    Great trip and we'll never forget it.
    Check out the yearly publication "The Milepost" it gives you play by play info on all the roads up there. Great resource.

    http://milepost.com/

  5. #5
    Senior Member uplandbird's Avatar
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    One of the greatest trips ever. Went in 1989 right after graduating HHS. Super nice people all the way up who liked dogs. It was a rough rode at times but so much adventure!
    Do it if you can!

  6. #6
    Senior Member grnhd's Avatar
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    8 hours of driving a day sounds like punishment. Sounds just horrible. I have no doubt it would be a beautiful drive though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grnhd View Post
    8 hours of driving a day sounds like punishment. Sounds just horrible. I have no doubt it would be a beautiful drive though.
    Yikes, you should live in Montana, it's a nine hour drive to some of our better pheasant hunting, though we have pretty good right here in the valley. When I drive down to train in Texas I drive 14 or 15 hours a day, I get a good book on CD and get in the zone. Re the Al-Can, I can't remember how many hours a day we did, but I was in my 20s then, so I bet it was a lot. I actually did up and back three times, up the Fall of 77 back the Fall of 79 was my third trip.
    John

  8. #8
    Senior Member RJW's Avatar
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    I drove it in 1995. Gorgeous scenery and the majority of it was still gravel road. Drove it in July and still hit a snowstorm. Due to some circumstances I had to be out of Canada within 7 days so we were driving 10-12 hour days and not much time was left to spare to fool around and sightsee for us. As for dog training, I don't recollect a whole lot, but I have no doubt there are some places to just pull off the road and lots of lakes as well.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bridget Bodine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJW View Post
    I drove it in 1995. Gorgeous scenery and the majority of it was still gravel road. Drove it in July and still hit a snowstorm. Due to some circumstances I had to be out of Canada within 7 days so we were driving 10-12 hour days and not much time was left to spare to fool around and sightsee for us. As for dog training, I don't recollect a whole lot, but I have no doubt there are some places to just pull off the road and lots of lakes as well.
    Sounds like a fun trip!
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  10. #10
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    Great thread - Marty and I plan the trip up the Alcan in 2014 also.
    Taking the dogs and plan to have a good time Keep the notes coming
    Dk

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