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Alaskan Road Trip!
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Stuartzickefoose
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:38 pm    Post subject: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Hey yíall! Iím looking into taking my 80 westy to Alaska just for fun. No dates, no timeline, mid to late August of 2018, maybe early September with no destinations planned ...YET!

Goals:
Inuvik, Canada
Drive the Stuart cassian highway
Drive the dalton highway
Drive the Alacan highway
Survive
Take a bunch of scenic pictures
Meet as many VW owners as I can along the way!

Small chance I may have 4-5 other VW people interested in caravanning, and Iím all for anyone who wants to join me.

For van details, see the link in my signature for the 1980 westy, itís got a fresh lift, and about 7 spare tires and wheels, a fresh top end (this month I hope...been busy) will have new rear brakes, and 4 new soft lines, and I am looking to add a 52Ē light bar up top, truck mirrors, and somehow store 30+ gallons of fuel, and at least 2, maybe 4 spare tires as well.

Stay tuned for updates and a confirmation of dates Iíll be leaving, as well as the best part...pictures and video!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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AndyBees
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:32 am    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Subscribed...

We may see you along the way...

Currently we have July 22 or 23 as our departure date with the latest date of August 15th.

The is a guy leaving out from Toronto on July 18th heading for Inuvik and on up the new road to Tuktoyaktuk ... driving an 01 VW Jetta.
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Stuartzickefoose
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:33 am    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

AndyBees wrote:
Subscribed...

We may see you along the way...

Currently we have July 22 or 23 as our departure date with the latest date of August 15th.

The is a guy leaving out from Toronto on July 18th heading for Inuvik and on up the new road to Tuktoyaktuk ... driving an 01 VW Jetta.


Did that road get done? If so then for SURE I am doing it.
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Last edited by Stuartzickefoose on Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:14 am    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

That sounds awesome. You will have a blast!

Subscribed. Very Happy
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alaskadan
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Should be a fun trip. I like not having a plan on a trip like that, my wife on the other hand Rolling Eyes . The highways up here aren't as bad as they used to be and distances between amenities aren't as far. On my last trip up from PNW I did it with one spare and no gas can. Did run out of gas once but was only half a mile from the next gas station arg. It was a calculated risk as I passed the previous station thinking I'd make it.
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2dogs1van
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:19 am    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

We did a similar trip to Alaska from Seattle 2 summers ago. We drove over 7,000 miles. It was an incredible trip.
I highly recommend you take the Cassiar either to or from Alaska. It's more remote than the Alcan. The Dempster highway was closed the year we went because of flooding. The chain ferry and parts of the road had washed out. you can check in Dawson City.
If you get a chance, drive the "Top of the World" highway. It's the most spectacular road I've ever driven (but it will drop you into Chicken, Alaska which is a pit)
The Dalton highway ("Haul road") is sprayed with calcium chloride to keep dust down. It's basically salt and will eat through your van if not washed off well. And when added to the mud on the road it hardens like concrete on your van. I spent 2 hours in Anchorage at a car wash getting most, but not all, of it off. Report from a friend in Fairbanks is the road is in worse shape this year so you might want to take 2 spare tires.
And I found "Alaska Milepost" an incredible help. It has all the gas stations, campgrounds, restaurants, sights on all Alaska highways listed by milepost. It's updated every year too. Get a copy.
Have a great time and post lots of pics.

p.s. If you take the Cassiar, detour into Hyder, Alaska. it's a dead end road to Hyder. but you'll likely see grizzlies fishing for salmon in the river early in the morning.


Last edited by 2dogs1van on Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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AndyBees
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Yes, the road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk was opened for public travel in November, 2017.

We went up to the Arctic Circle in 2016 it was rainy and the road had a lot of pot holes here and there. Of course, considering it spans about 475 miles, several valleys, mountain ranges, etc., you can expect weather changes! In the summer of 2014 we cancelled plans to drive up the Dempster due to so much rain. But, those bad weather patterns sure did allow us a good view of the Salmon Glacier at the Stewart/Hyder area on the coast. All previous trips there and it was fogged in.

Yes, the Cassiar is awesome except for the upper 1/4 to 1/3 which is pretty beat up chip and seal.

I read a guys blog who drove to Purdhoe Bay up the Dalton back in 2010 in his Westy. He departed the area at the end of August with good weather.

EDIT: here is a link to the guys Thread at the TDI Club that's planning a trip up the Dempster in his 01 Jetta. http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=490428
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Nice looking air-cooled man Smile

Aloha!

Alika
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Laird hot springs was a really welcome stop for us in '80, '88, and '89. Alaska Highway. Take your time. Mom and I drove back down in '92, but really didn't take enough time at the springs that time. Made it in 3 days 14 hours. Anchorage to home ~4000 miles.

First went to Chena Hot springs (North East of Fairbanks) in 1980, again in '92. Was a good day trip from Fairbanks.

Mt Denali was great on multiple trips, saw it EVERY time, but that is way way not usual. Nearly everyone that goes all the way to Mirror Lake have a big let down if that's why they went. It CAN be done (park tour bus) in a single day (very long) if you get to the gate of the park for first bus out, and then you might have an hour up at the lake. Better to pack in a tent for an overnighter. Things are super strict up there tho, so bring ACTUAL survival stuff, and expect trouble if you have even a peanut in your tent (like a bear attack). Some get lucky and win a lottery to drive their own vehicle some way into the park, but that's a real crap-shoot (and maybe a thing of the past). Just plan to drive into the parking lot well into the wee hours and rest inconspicuously until about 90 minutes before park gate hours, get in line early.

Univ. of Fairbanks had a pretty interesting permafrost cave. Not sure if they still do, or if it was something I got to see as the kid of a visiting Prof, but if possible it would be a once in a lifetime kind of thing, now that permafrost is likely going away. Stunk in there tho, like dog shit. Even at 28 deg F. All that rotting crap, you know.

One year we loaded up on a train in Haines and got loaded on a Ferry, took us back down to Prince Rupert. Not cost effective. Interesting to see the actual capital of AK tho.

Sure bringing back some good times. My kids are really pushing for a trip like that. Hope to do it in the next few years.

Definite 2nd on Milepost, almost a must, certainly worth the $'s

-bobby
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Not everyone's cup of tea... but if you're only going this way once you may want to consider a stay at the North Face Lodge.

Truly a memorable place.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

did the alaska hwy, the klondike hwy and the cassiar-steward hwy last summer. it was an awesome trip and can't wait to get up there again. as stated previously the liard hot springs were the best commercial springs i've ever visited. Whitehorse is a great town and Dawson city is a town seeped in history. we took 3 weeks up there but easily could have stayed for more. must have seen 25 bears on the hwys and buffalo, moose, eagles and deer are everywhere. have a great trip.
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Xerox
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

You might want to rethink those plans...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/evacuation-alert-robert-campbell-highway-1.4740393
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

The fire is north of Watson Lake on the Robert Campbell Highway. The Cassiar Highway junctions the Alaska Highway about 10 miles west of Watson Lake ...

I've never been up there that a wild fire was going on somewhere along the way..

But, thanks for the info! Maybe it will be over by the time the OP gets to that neck of the woods!
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blackglasspirate
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:39 am    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Sounds like a great trip! An Alaskan trip has been a dream of mine for a while. We are considering doing it next year when we get back from South America if time/money allows, but we'll see.

Looking forward to some pictures.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Got my lift done....getting new heads an pistons and cylinders on Tuesday for the fresh top end....keep an eye on the thread in my signature for build updates and fixes...but heres a pic of the lift so far: (going to bring the nose up another 1.5-2")


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

What are you running for CV's? That lift looks like it may be at the limit of stock CV's.... Confused
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Stuartzickefoose
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

dobryan wrote:
What are you running for CV's? That lift looks like it may be at the limit of stock CV's.... Confused


It is. Stock right now, but itís unloaded. With my tools and gear it will sit a bit lower.
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Yoyota
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

I live in Whitehorse, Yukon. Look me up when you hit town.
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Stuartzickefoose
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

Yoyota wrote:
I live in Whitehorse, Yukon. Look me up when you hit town.


will do! thanks!
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Alaskan Road Trip! Reply with quote

X2 on the calcium chloride rusting your van. We were up there last year and drove through a forest fire with escorts on the way up the Demster and on the way back it rained so hard the fire was out but we had 1/4" of mud and calcium chloride all over our truck. Actually I was glad I didn't have my van along.

Enjoy your trip!
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