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Alaska Roadtrip, Keeping It Basic


Today I was thinking about how much fun we had last summer on our roadtrip to Alaska and it dawned on me I was busy planning that trip last year at this time. Really, any trip involving many days and miles requires a planning timetable of several months instead of weeks. I read blogs, books set in the north, travel books, Alaska tourist information and maps. Definitely helpful and so exciting.

With the thought that starting early is important, I decided to post the last entry of my Alaska 2011 blog from our trip. Some of the information there might be of interest to those thinking of planning a similar trip this summer. Feel free to visit the link for additional information and pictures.

“We left on July 6th  driving a 2001 Ford ¾ ton diesel pickup with 182,099 miles on the speedometer. On the back of the pickup we carried a 2005 850SC NorthStar popup pickup camper. Obviously, we saw no need to have new equipment.

We returned on August 17th after 39 days. The ending mileage was 192,102. Here is the summary.  We drove 10,002 miles, used 666.725 gallons of fuel, averaging 15.001 miles per gallon and $4.522 per gallon for diesel, for a total of $3015.00. (I converted all of Canada's metric figures to keep it equal.) I guess the reason I found these figures interesting is because I saved $3,000 for the trip but with higher fuel prices, I figured that amount would probably only pay for the fuel. Right on there! 

We decided to convert $1,500 to Canadian money just to have the cash available. The rate was $1.06 American for each $1 Canadian. That amount of money paid for all fuel, camping fees and Canadian groceries except for two credit card charged fuel fills. At the border, coming home, we had enough change to buy a bottle of Crown Royal at the duty free shop. (It was a small bottle:) 

I did not keep accurate records on other expenditures. However, we roughly figured how many nights we paid for camp spots, restaurant meals and misc expenses and $1,000 would almost cover it. (I don't count groceries because we have to eat at home). 

So, bottom line, in this (last) summer's economy, it took close to $4,000 for the trip. 

Another expense I am not counting toward the total is the cost of shipping our salmon home. It cost about $10.50 per pound. It is our salmon, the fish we actually caught. So many companies put the fish in bulk processing. I appreciate knowing how they were handled. Frozen wild-caught sockeye salmon in stores cost $6 to $7 a pound so it isn't too bad”


blindrabbit 6 years, 3 months ago

Enjoyed your trip; we did the same thing in 2006. Gone 27 days from Lawrence, Ford 250 Diesel, 10623 total miles.

Nailed Jayhawk license plate at Watson Lake, Yukon sign display; several other KUs already there! Drove the entire Alaska Highway! Saw plenty of moose, caribou, dall sheep, wolves, black and grizzly bears, woodland bison, musk ox and 1 lynx. Drove to some really remote towns in Yukon: Mayo, Faro, Keno, Dawson City! Camped 19 nights, in high top camper shell, no soft-sided tents need apply! Toured Denali but too cloudy to see Mt. McKinley! Drove up the Dalton Highway following the pipeline to above the Arctic Circle! Ran into 3 guys from Kansas in remote Yukon who were bicycling all the way to Alaska! Topped off tanks in Watson Lake, no service for next 293 km on Yukon Highway 4. Fished in Homer for salmon and halibut, 2 haibut over 100 lbs! (just babies)., Shipped back! Got the honorary cracked windshield! Took several washings to get the fine mud off the truck! Thankfully, did not see Sarah in Wasilla! Liked both Fairbanks and Anchorage!

Would do it again, but maybe ferry the truck up from Vancouver or Prince Rupert to Skagway, stopping off in Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka and Glacier Bay!

Linda Hanney 6 years, 3 months ago

blindrabbit, great summation of your trip. We feel we should have spent a little more time north as you did. Actually think we'll do it again in a year or so and ferry the truck as well.

cigard 6 years, 3 months ago

My son and I did the same thing in 2009. We left 07/06 and returned 08/17, Didn't drive as many miles as you guys but your adventure brought back a lot of memories. The best thing I did was create a daily blog of our trip - check it out:


You'll see a lot of similar things - Homer, Soldotna, Seward, the Alskan highway. We also went on up to Denali and rafted. I had the best time a dad could have. My family has lived in Alska since 1973 and I never get tired of going up there on visits. I've been there in all the seasons - go in the summer, lots of light and fun thihgs to do.

Alaska is pretty indescribably, thank you for posting your trip. Crc

Linda Hanney 6 years, 3 months ago

cigard, looking forward to reading your journal. Thank you for the link!

cigard 6 years, 3 months ago

I use to do a lot of motorcycle tent camping. My freinds and I motored all through Arkansas, Missouri and little in Kansas. We use to sneer and make fun of all those Rv'ers. After this trip I'll never sleep in a tent again. RVing is a great way to travel. Your blog brought back a lot of cherished memories, thanks again.

Linda Hanney 6 years, 3 months ago

cigard, I just have to come back again to your comment. We actually have a Kwik Kamp that we pull behind our Corolla to do some low cost, surrounding state roadtrips. I'll share a little about that another time. It sounds like you could have some input there as well.

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