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Detroit to Alaska Adventure!
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truckersmike
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manfred58sc wrote:
Having been rejected by BP a few time I would recommend crossing at Glacier Park, the park is about 20% in Canada and there are many people that just request a "day trip" to see the rest of the park. They tore my Bus apart but let me in. Its worth the trip in its own right.I've had my after shave and 1/2 pack of Pall Malls confiscated by BP...I don't get their paranoia . If you are really shut down at the border there is an outlaw lake barge in Libby Montana that will get you across for $50, just ask in town at the garage.


Ha! That's where I got rejected. They pulled everything out of my bus but surprisingly put it all back with care. After two hours, they sent me back where I got inspected again by the USBP. Due to lack of cell coverage, I used a calling card (another handy thing to have) to call my landlord who faxed over a lease agreement then I pulled a bank statement proving that I had money. After about 4 hours, I got in and fortunately did not have to go through that much trouble again.
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williamM
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad So whats a pass port worth at the border- and has any one actually got a Canada visa to get thru?
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mandraks
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

truckersmike wrote:
Manfred58sc wrote:
Having been rejected by BP a few time I would recommend crossing at Glacier Park, the park is about 20% in Canada and there are many people that just request a "day trip" to see the rest of the park. They tore my Bus apart but let me in. Its worth the trip in its own right.I've had my after shave and 1/2 pack of Pall Malls confiscated by BP...I don't get their paranoia . If you are really shut down at the border there is an outlaw lake barge in Libby Montana that will get you across for $50, just ask in town at the garage.


Ha! That's where I got rejected. They pulled everything out of my bus but surprisingly put it all back with care. After two hours, they sent me back where I got inspected again by the USBP. Due to lack of cell coverage, I used a calling card (another handy thing to have) to call my landlord who faxed over a lease agreement then I pulled a bank statement proving that I had money. After about 4 hours, I got in and fortunately did not have to go through that much trouble again.


all we non-US natives salute you, we got fingerprinted when we entered the country....
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klcarrie
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couts/Sweetgrass (I 15)is the 24h crossing in Montana. If you want to go via Glacier/Waterton National Park, or Chief Mountain, do so in the daytime. Logan's Pass from East to West Glacier is chockablock full of RV's, not a great drive in my opinion. Better views are on the Cheif Mountain Hwy (Montana 17) north of Baab MT on Hwy 89.

If you're passing through Great Falls MT, I recommend a stay at the O'Haire Motor Inn (17 7th St S Great Falls, Mt, United States +1 406-454-2141), and a stop in at the Sip 'N Dip Bar on Friday or Saturday night. Best Tiki Bar in America. Or, stay at the hot springs in White Sulphur Springs MT at the crossing of Hwy's 12 and 89 (Motel and Clinic @ 202 W Main St, White Sulphur Springs, Mt 59645, United States +1 406-547-3366): A great, inexpensive stay and the best way I know to soak away the ache's of long distance bus driving.

I go down there about twice a year and recommend the above drives and stays outright.

Now for the 'bad' news:

We in Canada live under 'Constitutional Monarchy'. Our Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II. We have the second largest hydrocarbon reserve after Saudi Arabia and the world's largest accumulation of fresh water. We have less than 2.4 persons per square km but are one of the most highly urbanised populations on the planet. As part of the Commonwealth, Mum and servants (Canada Border Services Agency, Royal Canadian Mounted Police) like to minimize non-taxed nefarious activities, and as such are diligent about ensuring non-citizens do not enter with the intent to disappear into our vast 'potential'.

Canada Border Services Agency treats all entrants with equal scrutiny. I have countless stories of being searched and questioned upon re-entry into Canada, not the least of which being my first cross-continental trip (Southern Ontario via Detroit, through the American northern states to Alberta). Just like many of the US posters here, I too have been searched and my bus scrutinized. I was threatened with the dismantlement of my 65 van when crossing in 1997. I've been detained for secondary questioning accused of transporting heroin when returning in 2000 from MSc field work with cave sediment samples. Its all very normal to be 'scrutinized at the border, and yes the CBSA are effective in grinding down the patience of those who are more akin to 'freedom' in their activities.

Remember, though you will be in a foreign country, you too will be a foreigner in our country. The laws, customs and practices may look familiar but are based on fundamental differences grown from our parallel political histories.

Do as suggested by previous posters: Have your books in order; Ensure that you can prove a reason to return to the USA, eg. gainful employment and or real estate holdings.

Once you have enjoyed Keith's hospitality in Calgary feel free to drop by in Edmonton, if you are traveling north. If need be, I have a tow dolly for your extraction if you break down around Edmonton. Gas in Alberta is about $1.25 per litre, and that's cheap in Canada.

BTW the tolerated Blood Alcohol Level in much of Canada is effectively 0.05 percent, so don't chance it once you've enjoyed a brew. Park the van and make sure the keys are on the OUTSIDE of the vehicle, out of reach during your overnight stays.

Have a great trip,

Kevin in Edmonton, AB
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Manfred58sc
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure passports are mandatory now (just to get back IN to the US, if for no other reason). the Glacier crossing still took some convincing that I was day tripper only. Of course I stayed 2 months after I got in....I showed $160 cash and a credit card, as well as library cards and paystub from work. I really think a part of the BP problem was the Bus itself. I also had a girlfriend with me and I'm sure they were worried about "pregnancy tourism". I wonder is a social media blog/thread could be presented to establish a traveller's intention of returning to The U.S???
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally and I mean finally - I finally made it on the road late last night. I dont know if was nerves, fear, or uncertainty, but I sorta dragged my feet the whole day....I think I spend nearly the whole day doing things that could have been done in a few hours. In any case
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I finally made it out of my driveway about 7:30pm. I made a few stops on the way including a stop at the giant abandoned steer head on mack near alter.

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Then I stopped and saw this fine group of friends. They're like my surrogate family. They always invite me over for dinner and holiday functions and what not. I love them to death. Always good times with this crew.
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cdennisg
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of the bullshit listed above is one big reason I have not been back to Canada in over a decade. Never had a problem getting into CA, but getting back into the US just isn't worth the hassle anymore.
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69vwcarl
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome doing something most of us dream to do. Good luck on the trip man. Love your Bus
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cdennisg wrote:
All of the bullshit listed above is one big reason I have not been back to Canada in over a decade. Never had a problem getting into CA, but getting back into the US just isn't worth the hassle anymore.

I too dread an encounter with USBPS, sometimes it's smooth and painless and sometimes you are a dangerous suspect until proven innocent through interrogation, thier hiring selection/screening process apparently has a few gaps, most of thier officers are really nice but now and then you'll encounter one with big a chip on thier shoulder. The Canadian guys are usually pretty good but thier BS detectors are finely tuned so try to pull a fast one on them and you'll likely be going in for a talk, tell the truth and have the paperwork to back it up and 9 times out of 10 it's "have a nice trip, bye".

Good luck on the trip Pete, better hurry as solstice is coming soon. Wink
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A family friend has a little deer hunting property that I stayed at the first night. Soooo many mosquitoes! The first night was tough - it's going to take a little while to get everything including frankie dog adjusted!

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Here's the pic from Monday morning - a little impromptu campsite.

I'm having trouble uploading photos... is there a photo site anyone can recommend? Plus I have some non-VW photos to show you all, and I'm not sure if I should upload them to thesamba??

I know I have a lot of comments to make and I appreciate everyone's inputs.


I'm in Mauston, WI right now and I want to make it to Jamestown ND today. From there I can decide if I should hightail it to Alaska, or hit Glacier. I am running out of time if I'm going to hit he Solstice. ....Fairbanks on the 18th......

See you in Jamestown!


Last edited by Wheelie Pete on Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:51 am; edited 2 times in total
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patban82
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give photo bucket a try
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truckersmike
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glacier is by far one of my favorite national parks and one of the highlights of my Alaska trip so if you don't make it on the way up, catch it on the way down.

Something to think about. On average, I drove a maximum of 500 miles a day from 10am-10pm (stops included) at a speed of 52mph. This may help with figuring out a time frame.
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Jung Restoration
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome thread.

You also may want to check out the Air Cooled Rescue Squad site, I would assume it's still around. They are vw enthusiast dotted around the country, if you need assistance with your bus.
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cdennisg
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm assuming you mean Mauston, Wisconsin? You got some nice scenery ahead of you on the trip through MN tomorrow. There are some Samba members in the Fargo ND area if you need a hand with anything.

Upload all of your VW pics to the samba gallery on here. Non-VW pics cannot be hosted here, but photobucket seems to work well.
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3000 miles left! I landed in Jamestown, ND and after a chat with some locals, I decided to head west in the a.m. on 94 to 2 to Glacier National Park.

Yesterday, after leaving the campsite, I decided to visit the Gilmore Auto Museum over by Kalamazoo Mi. I dont know if you've ever been there, but if you haven't, put it on your list. It's a must see! They have cars from every era, but they definitely specialize in the pre WWII cars, such as Auburns, and Dusenburgs, and other makes from that time. They also have an extensive model T display, a Franklin display, a hot rod display, and a 50's display. I probably took 50 pics, but I'm only posting the most interesting ones.

Here's the museum when you first walk in -
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A little further down and you come to this gorgeous Rolls Royce
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It seems that at the start of WWII, the owner parked it in his underground garage in Dresden. Then he bricked it up, and covered the whole thing with flowers to hide it. Supposedly it stayed there for 60 years and only recently was it removed and restored. It looks like brand new!

Next was the only VW in the museum. Hah!
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And the worlds first car - engineered by some guy name Benz (grin)
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Next was an AC cobra - one of the kings of the 60's muscle car era. 0-60 in 4.2 seconds! Still fast by today's standards.
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Next one of the last Packards! Hard to believe this car rolled out of the old packard plant from a few pages back.
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Then a Franklin 12 cylinder horizontally opposed air cooled plane motor! It bears some resemblance to our favorite motor!

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The same guy designed a whole air cooled car line. Here's an air cooled inline 6 with a giant HVAC fan attached to the front.
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I never really knew about Franklins but here's the Wiki link if you're interested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_%28automobile%29

They had a huge display of them there!

A nice hot rod
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A Tucker,
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And a Desoto station wagon and trailer that was identical to the wagon that was in Happy Days!
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I kept driving and found this neat sign nearby

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After that it was a cannonball run to Mauston, Wisconsin where I spent the night in parking lot of a roadside restaurant!


Last edited by Wheelie Pete on Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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snow_roach
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in Fairbanks, when you get closer shoot me a PM and maybe I can get a few VW guys to go to dinner somewhere in town and talk VW's! When you get here make sure to go to http://www.fountainheadmuseum.com/, they have some super rare cars there. Oh I almost forgot... Bring bug spray, we are famous for nasty mosquito swarms!
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SurfCityRacing wrote:
Wheelie Pete, Awesome adventure! We're leaving for Alaska from CA in late July with two split bus teams.

Maybe we can connect? We'll be heading all the way to Inuvik, NWT, CA, and have a full itinerary. Here's our Alaska Bus Trip FB page.


I'll try, but I hoping to be towards Bonneville by the beginning of August!
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AlteWagen wrote:
Engine specs?


86x86

86 crank, 86 pistons, FK-65 cam 1.4:1 rockers, and ported heads

Here's the build thread

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=526747&highlight=86x86
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:11 am    Post subject: Q Reply with quote

Good morning! I'm in Jamestown right now, and hope to get in at least 500 miles today! Hopefully Glacier tomorrow - If anyone wants to meet up, just PM me, I think that's easiest!

Yesterday was a great day - I cannonballed it from Mauston to St. Paul, and lunch with Laurel. Hah! Usually we see each other once every few years, but this time it was twice in a week!

Next, I continued to town a hundred miles west (I'm drawing a blank) and decided to get my 1st 1000 mile oil change at Walmarts! Now I was a bit nervous at first, but soon after my arrival the technician Phil, stated that he owned several VW's. I knew I was in good hands after that!

First of all, after talking to Phil he changed my oil, greased my suspension, checked the condition of my batteries, washed my front windows, and vacummed! I thought I was getting the friend "extra" deal at Walmarts! Not the case - they do that for all customers when they get an oil change. Filter and 5 quarts and all the extras for $24! I will sure return to Walmarts!

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Thanks Phil!!!

When I was leaving I showed Phil the inside of the VW and he told me about his friend - the Samba legend that makes custom aluminum vw roadster /speedster bodies out of aluminum. He only lived a few miles away and offered to introduce him to me. Unfortunately, the man was not home and the opportunity was lost! However, if I ever win the lottery, I think I will buy one!

This motor - which is a brand new - untested motor design. Is running quite well! It pushes the bus all day at 70Mph with no problems! I even had it up to 90 with more pedal left!

I have a few issues with it. One is the alt stand. I have oil gushing out the top. Two quarts in the first 1000 miles. Some goes into the engine compartment. The rest goes down the road draft tube. I have to fix this. Any ideas?? The baffle is installed and installed correctly. There is no vent tube to the air cleaner installed yet.


Last edited by Wheelie Pete on Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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cdennisg
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like excessive crankcase pressure. You need to vent the valve covers into a breather box, or some other form of crankcase vent.

Trip is looking like fun so far. Yesterday you cruised through the area where I grew up.
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