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Author Topic: Alaska roadmeet ever?  (Read 34254 times)

Rothman

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #175 on: October 16, 2016, 08:35:05 PM »

I'd count train clinches, but boat clinches seem iffy to me.  No "Welcome to Ketchikan Gateway" sign in the middle of the water. :D
Can't tell you how many county lines I've crossed without seeing a sign.

To me, it's like flying over counties -- is there a real means of making sure you actually are in whichever county when you're on a long boat trip, especially when the boat may be travelling parallel to such?

Use a GPS.

Are the county lines over ocean reliable in the vector sets used by GPS services?
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vdeane

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #176 on: October 18, 2016, 07:41:31 PM »

I've been thinking more about this.  It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity (since, absent a roadgeek carpool/meet, the chances of me getting to Alaska prior to retirement are slim; I don't fly), but it would be expensive (and next year is already going to be interesting since that's when I buy out my car lease, which I was hoping to do in full to avoid a loan, but even without Alaska, it's not a sure thing) and use a very large chunk of my accrued vacation time (which would make things tight for other trips, such as the trips I take to Rochester for family gatherings).  It would certainly have been more convenient to have it later to have more time to accrue time and not have it be right on top of when I buy out my car lease (also, the upcoming realignment of the Dalton Highway will cause clinching weirdness for everyone on the meet, so I personally would have made a trip after that was done; there's also the proposed connection between the Glenn and Seward freeways for those who go to Anchorage too, but who knows if that will ever get built).  But, the meet is next year, for better or worse, and I would be a bad roadgeek if I didn't at least think about it.

So, I came up with a potential trip.  This assumes a carpool, as most legs are 10 hour days, some closer to 15.  This would require me to take 15 days off work, but assumes there is no day staying in one place (such as Fairbanks); probably not a safe assumption.  It DOES include a clinch of all of Alaska's interstates, as well as AK 1 and the westernmost point of North America's continuous highway system.

Day 1: Albany - Rochester
Day 2: Rochester - Joliet
Day 3: Joliet - Grand Forks
Day 4: Grand Forks - Saskatoon Lloydminster
Day 5: Saskatoon Lloydminster - Fort Nelson
Day 6: Fort Nelson - Whiteshorse
Day 7: Whitehorse - Fairbanks
Day 8: Fairbanks Meet Day
Day 9: Fairbanks - Deadhorse
Day 10: Deadhorse - Fairbanks
Day 11: Fairbanks - Homer
Day 12: Homer - Beaver Creek
Day 13: Beaver Creek - Watson Lake
Day 14: Watson Lake - Dawson Creek
Day 15: Dawson Creek - Vancouver
Day 16: Vancouver - Butte
Day 17: Butte - Sioux Falls
Day 18: Sioux Falls - Joliet
Day 19: Joliet - Port Huron Sarnia
Day 20: Port Huron Sarnia - Albany
Days 21-22: Rest/Recharge

The lodging estimate here would be $2080, but that's a VERY rough estimate based on some searches on Hotels.com just a couple hours ago (assumptions: used 2 people, since that's easier to estimate than 3 or 4, and all were using a night of 7/14-7/15 for simplicity); many places are reasonable, but some places (Fairbanks, Homer, and Vancouver*, and Port Huron**) are notably more expensive, and some couldn't be estimated.  It's worth noting that lodging for some dates is filling up FAST; many hotels only have 2-3 rooms, even this far out.

*Neighboring Bellingham is significantly less expensive.  Did not think to investigate the suburbs individually and am too lazy too now.
**Sarnia is much less expensive and includes the advantage that customs would have no idea how many roads I tried to clinch in Ontario based on entry/exit time data. (also, a clinch of ON 401 between ON 402 and ON 137 would appear to be feasible)

Another possibility to investigate is the Alaska Marine Ferry.  I have no idea what its rates are or how long it takes to get from Homer to Washington, but it would eliminate deadheading down the Alaska Highway (but also a clinch of AK 1 and Alaska's interstate system).
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 01:30:59 PM by vdeane »
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oscar

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #177 on: October 18, 2016, 09:14:47 PM »

Valerie, a few notes:

The Alaska Marine Highway System summer 2017 schedule is still out for public comment (ending next week). See http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/share/schedule/considerations.pdf One upshot is that only one vessel, the M/V Kennicott, goes between Bellingham WA and Homer (or other south central Alaska ports) via the Gulf of Alaska, and it does the round trip only about once every two weeks in the summer. With that frequency of service, it might not fit into your schedule. A second vessel, the M/V Columbia, goes between the southeast panhandle and Bellingham, with once-a-week service in the summer, which would give you additional options at the expense of having to backtrack through Canada to get to Haines or Skagway.

My recollection (from a trip on the Kennicott this summer, from Ketchikan to Juneau) is that the one way trip from Homer to Bellingham or vice versa takes about six days. There are ways to trim that down such as by subbing Whittier for Homer.

The AMHS website will give you some idea of costs, but the current rates quoted on the site reflect a deep winter discount.

The Kennicott, but apparently not the Columbia, will bypass Petersburg and Wrangell to avoid the large-ship-unfriendly Wrangell Narrows.

As for the land portion of your itinerary, day 5 (Saskatoon-Fort Nelson) seems really a stretch. Consider subbing Lloydminster or Edmonton as your day 4 overnight stop.

As schedules firm up, I can suggest some modest but affordable motels in Whitehorse and Delta Junction. Not a good idea to do DJ to Deadhorse in one day, but if the meet will include a day or two puttering around the Fairbanks area, an overnight in DJ instead of Fairbanks becomes an option. The Milepost (2017 edition should be out next March) will give you additional ideas, not all of which might be readily found online.

I would suggest alloting three days for the Dalton. You won't get to see anything doing it in one day in both directions. In 2012, I did the Dalton northbound in one day (from Manley Hot Springs to Deadhorse), but limped into Deadhorse after sunset, and was so exhausted I stayed an extra night in Deadhorse and took two days (overnight in Coldfoot) on the way back to Fairbanks. The one-way van tour I took in 1994 also included an overnight in Coldfoot, with a half-day from Coldfoot to Deadhorse (north of the Atigun Pass area, the most mind-numbingly boring part of the Dalton), with time in the afternoon for the not-to-be-missed dip in the Arctic Ocean before we headed to the airport to fly back to Fairbanks. 

The price of lodgings along the Dalton Highway seem remarkably stable but high. My overnight in Coldfoot in 1994, and three nights in Deadhorse and Coldfoot in 2012, were all $199/night in rooms that will snugly fit two people.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 11:04:22 PM by oscar »
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vdeane

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #178 on: October 19, 2016, 02:12:45 PM »

That explains why Google won't route over the marine ferry.  Looks like it's not the time-saver I would have hoped.  It's too bad the website isn't more clear about these things.

It's hard not to have some long days that far north since everything is so far apart; the only reason I would bother with them at all is because the entire part west of Joliet is intended to be a carpool and is more or less based on the version AJ posted a while back, with modifications based on conversations at the Birmingham meet and a post Steve made here.  Grand Forks - Edmonton is the same big leap (it's via Winnipeg, based on AJ's itinerary and the fact that I've never been to Manitoba), but I wasn't aware of Lloydminster, which seems perfect for evening it out.
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corco

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #179 on: October 19, 2016, 03:01:29 PM »

Have you considered taking the paved Cassiar Highway back south? It's probably more direct to do so that way if you're heading to Vancouver, and is supposed to be more scenic than the Alaska Highway.

On the subject of 2 vs. 3 days of the Dalton- definitely agree that anybody doing it solo should take that long, because 1000 miles of driving alone down a dirt road of dubious quality would be exhausting.

In our case, I'm hoping we'll have 3-4 drivers per car, allowing us to switch off frequently, hopefully minimizing that exhaustion and making it doable in two. Since we're planning on going in the summer, we should able to pull two 17-18 hour days (assuming a 35 MPH average moving speed and a few hours out of the car, which seems like a worst case scenario average driving speed- I'm expecting we'll be averaging closer to 40-42, which would cut off a couple hours of travel and is still slower than the 45-47 I averaged clinching Montana's off-pavement highway system), allowing for several hours to get out and see whatever there is to see.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 03:12:30 PM by corco »
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Brandon

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #180 on: October 19, 2016, 03:54:33 PM »

Have you considered taking the paved Cassiar Highway back south? It's probably more direct to do so that way if you're heading to Vancouver, and is supposed to be more scenic than the Alaska Highway.

On that note, I was thinking of the following route:

Day 1: I-55N to I-355N to I-90W to I-94W to I-29N
Day 2: I-29N to MB-75N to MB-100W to MB-1W to SK-1W to SK-11N to SK-16W
Day 3: SK-16W to AB-16W to AB-43W to BC-2N to BC-97N
Day4: BC-97N to YT-1N
Day 5: YT-1N to AK-2W
Day 6: AK-2W to AK-11N
Day 7: AK-11S to AK-2E
Day 8:AK-3S to AK-1S
Day 9: AK-1N to AK-2E to YT-1S
Day 10: YT-1S
Day 11: YT-1N to BC-37S
Day 12: BC-37S
Day 13: BC-16E to BC-97S to BC-5S to BC-97CE to BC-97S
Day 14: US-97S to I-90E to I-82E to I-84W to US-730E to US-12E
Day 15: I-90E to I-94E
Day 16: I-94E to I-90E to I-355S to I-55S

Of course, subject to change.

Quote
On the subject of 2 vs. 3 days of the Dalton- definitely agree that anybody doing it solo should take that long, because 1000 miles of driving alone down a dirt road of dubious quality would be exhausting.

In our case, I'm hoping we'll have 3-4 drivers per car, allowing us to switch off frequently, hopefully minimizing that exhaustion and making it doable in two. Since we're planning on going in the summer, we should able to pull two 17-18 hour days (assuming a 35 MPH average moving speed and a few hours out of the car, which seems like a worst case scenario average driving speed- I'm expecting we'll be averaging closer to 40-42, which would cut off a couple hours of travel and is still slower than the 45-47 I averaged clinching Montana's off-pavement highway system), allowing for several hours to get out and see whatever there is to see.

A good portion of the Dalton Highway is paved as well, and that should speed things up a bit.  Apparently the state has been paving it in bits and pieces and increasing the paved amount year by year.
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oscar

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #181 on: October 19, 2016, 04:07:48 PM »

A good portion of the Dalton Highway is paved as well, and that should speed things up a bit.  Apparently the state has been paving it in bits and pieces and increasing the paved amount year by year.

That pavement has been quickly disintegrating, starting as soon as a year or two after it has been laid down. The resulting surface is a little better than the original gravel (less dust and gravel thrown up by passing vehicles), but don't count on much of a boost in travel speeds.

A 35mph average (not including sightseeing stops) seems reasonable, allowing for surface quality, the occasional need to slow down to minimize windshield damage from gravel kicked up by passing trucks (my truck's windshield survived a round trip on the Dalton, but I saw few other intact windshields along the highway), and the slow Atigun Pass section. On gravel (most of the highway), expect lower travel speeds for potholes and slippery surfaces, if it's just rained and the graders haven't had a chance to smooth things out.

Have you considered taking the paved Cassiar Highway back south? It's probably more direct to do so that way if you're heading to Vancouver, and is supposed to be more scenic than the Alaska Highway.

I agree with that suggestion. I drove the Cassiar back from Alaska in 2012, heading back south toward Vancouver. Not really much more scenic than the Alaska Highway, but it's at least a change of pace. Not much service availability along the Cassiar, but it gets better after you reach TCH 16.

One possible side trip off the Cassiar is to Hyder AK, right next to Stewart BC on BC 37A. That would snag you another Alaska county equivalent, give you a chance to get "Hyderized" at the local bar (make sure you have a designated driver, or lots of time to bring your blood alcohol below Canada's limits, expect Canada Customs and Border Protection and the Mounties to be on the lookout for DUI), and visit the drive-up Bear Glacier on the Canadian side.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 06:35:23 PM by oscar »
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corco

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #182 on: October 19, 2016, 07:38:49 PM »

My plan at this point, for what it's worth:

Day 0: Work, drive to Ellensburg, WA
Day 1: Drive to Prince George BC via US/BC 97
Day 2: Drive to Watson Lake YT via BC 97/YT 1
Day 3: Drive to Skagway, AK, catch the PM ferry to Haines AK, spend the night in Haines
Day 4: Drive to Fairbanks
Day 5: Fairbanks Meet, if that's a separate thing
Day 6: Dalton portion of meet, drive to Deadhorse
Day 7: Return to Fairbanks, go to the car wash
Day 8: Ditch you assholes, drive to Palmer or so and stop at Denali
Day 9: Drive to Whitehorse via Dawson City
Day 10: Drive to Stewart/Hyder
Day 11: Drive to Kamloops
Day 12: Return to Boise

« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 07:53:05 PM by corco »
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #183 on: October 19, 2016, 07:45:16 PM »

Wasn't aware the Cassiar was fully paved.  It certainly seems like a good idea... at the very least, it reduces the amount of deadheading on the Alaska Highway.
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Alps

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #184 on: October 19, 2016, 07:48:41 PM »

The Fairbanks Meet is a separate day. The Dalton drive will be the two days after that. With all the driving everyone's doing, a lighter day will be a nice break. Here's what I'm planning on:
* Johansen Expressway - including stubs and possibly the northernmost SPUI in the world? Stops #1 and #2
* Highways 2 and 3, junction of Alaska's Interstates
* A visit to North Pole and the Santa Claus House, just because; will use Old Richardson Highway in one direction between North Pole and Fairbanks. Stop #3
* Open to suggestions. Could also drive Old Steese Hwy. up to Highway 2/6 junction. The new Tanana Road ("Road to Nowhere") seems a bit far.
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #185 on: October 19, 2016, 08:13:09 PM »

I'm also giving thought to an RV, a rolling roadgeek meet, if you will.  I've seen a few that, when divided by enough people, come out to $550-$800 per person on board.  That would solve most of the lodging issues and costs.  It would, by cooking on board, cut down the restaurant costs as well.
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #186 on: October 19, 2016, 08:46:26 PM »

The Fairbanks Meet is a separate day. The Dalton drive will be the two days after that. With all the driving everyone's doing, a lighter day will be a nice break. Here's what I'm planning on:
* Johansen Expressway - including stubs and possibly the northernmost SPUI in the world? Stops #1 and #2
* Highways 2 and 3, junction of Alaska's Interstates
* A visit to North Pole and the Santa Claus House, just because; will use Old Richardson Highway in one direction between North Pole and Fairbanks. Stop #3
* Open to suggestions. Could also drive Old Steese Hwy. up to Highway 2/6 junction. The new Tanana Road ("Road to Nowhere") seems a bit far.

The Road to Tanana requires you to take the Elliott Highway almost all the way to Manley Hot Springs. West of the Dalton junction, the Elliott is unpaved, and in some places rougher than the Dalton. The only way I think you could work it in is on the way back from Deadhorse, with an overnight at the Manley Roadhouse, and perhaps a soak in the local hot spring (ask me for details).

In North Pole, make sure to go far enough off the highway to check out the candy-cane lightpoles.

Also in the Fairbanks area, Chena Hot Springs Road off the Steese Expressway, which is fully paved. About half-way to the resort is a heat pipe system to refrigerate a particularly difficult patch of permafrost right under the pavement.

I'm also giving thought to an RV, a rolling roadgeek meet, if you will.  I've seen a few that, when divided by enough people, come out to $550-$800 per person on board.  That would solve most of the lodging issues and costs.  It would, by cooking on board, cut down the restaurant costs as well.

I have no experience with that option, but it seems do-able for most of the trip. But plan on not taking it on the Dalton. Most rental contracts won't allow it, and most of the ones issued in Alaska will specifically prohibit travel on the Dalton (the ones that don't will charge extra for ruggedized vehicles). You would also need to make sure the tires are up to snuff for the Dalton -- RVs and trailers, with regular passenger car (rather than light truck) tires, seem to be particularly prone to flats. Two of my hot springer friends had five flat tires on their RV (even though the tires were practically brand-new), on the Dalton coming back from Coldfoot.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 08:54:27 PM by oscar »
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Duke87

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #187 on: October 20, 2016, 12:51:42 AM »

When I determined it would require three weeks to do the drive all the way from NY, I pretty much immediately ruled that out as an option. To me even taking two consecutive weeks off seems onerous and I consider myself lucky my current employer has allowed it more than once with no complaints.

I do still want to "drive to Alaska" but I tentatively expect this to take the form of flying to Seattle, doing a one way rental from there to Fairbanks, and then taking two planes home. That's if I can actually do a one way rental to Alaska - if not I'll have to either figure out how to squeeze in a return trip or do two planes both ways and skip the Alaska Highway.

And that's if I can make it at all - seeing as I have agreed to be in my sister's wedding party this would have to be either one of the later July dates or possibly late May/early June. I will not be able to do late June/early July due to wedding prep obligations.
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #188 on: October 20, 2016, 05:20:43 PM »

I do like the RV idea.  Campgrounds with electric/water hookups are certainly a LOT cheaper than hotels, and the RV gives you many of those amenities, plus you aren't constantly packing/unpacking.  Some campgrounds apparently even have wifi these days.
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #189 on: October 20, 2016, 06:35:52 PM »

Leaning toward Tue 7/11 or Thu 7/13 for the meet itself, followed by 2 days of the Dalton Highway. Anyone have any thoughts on a Tuesday vs. a Thursday, or whether another day of the week would be even more advantageous? For myself, I plan to have 3 travel days in one direction and 5 in the other, so that makes these work best for my logistics.
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #190 on: October 20, 2016, 07:09:16 PM »

I'd prefer 7/11 myself, but could make the 13th work if doing it on the 13th is the only way to maximize attendance. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday work better for me than Thursday, and Friday/Saturday doesn't work. 

Friday/Saturday means I have to fly, which I'm fine with, but that's one less Dalton-eligible vehicle.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 07:33:42 PM by corco »
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #191 on: October 21, 2016, 12:37:36 PM »

I vote for 7/11, since I can use one fewer vacation day due to the July 4 holiday (it dovetails nicely, too, so I could even incorporate the family July 4 celebration into the trip).
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #192 on: October 21, 2016, 01:08:59 PM »

I'm also giving thought to an RV, a rolling roadgeek meet, if you will.  I've seen a few that, when divided by enough people, come out to $550-$800 per person on board.  That would solve most of the lodging issues and costs.  It would, by cooking on board, cut down the restaurant costs as well.

I very much like this idea; split the cost of the rental and the gas amongst those on board, have each person going on the trip arrange to cook X number of meals for everyone, with someone else doing the clean up.  You can even reduce the amount of food taken by stopping at grocery stores or WalMart/BJs locations along the way.  Maybe we can even rotate drivers if the rental contract allows.  If my wife and I go on the trip, this would also make it much easier for us to bring our dogs along and save the cost of a dog sitter.

Even better, do any roadgeeks own an RV they'd be willing to use for the trip?  That way you need only split the cost for gas and meals.

My father-in-law owns an RV, but they live in it full-time and I doubt they'd be willing to use it for this purpose, especially considering the fact that he and his wife both still work.  They HAVE taken road trips in it and cite Wal-Mart parking lots as being a nice free option for RV-ers; we could consider that to reduce the campground stay costs even further.

That all said, I may not be able to get three consecutive weeks off work.  Even if I could it significantly reduces the amount of PTO available to me for out-of-town family visits, distant robotics competitions and license plate collectors' meets, and other roadgeek meets.  My wife wants me to come along to visit family of hers in South Africa; to make this economical this would be a long trip and we were thinking of going for Christmas/New Year's 2017-2018 to use my PTO time from two different years (my employer does not allow carryover; PTO time is use it by 12/31 or lose it forever), provided we save up enough money.

It's something she and I have not discussed yet and I suspect it will be a long discussion when it happens.

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #193 on: October 21, 2016, 04:05:33 PM »

My understanding of the logic behind taking an RV was that you wouldn't be stopping overnight, and could drive straight through.
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #194 on: October 21, 2016, 04:32:10 PM »

My understanding of the logic behind taking an RV was that you wouldn't be stopping overnight, and could drive straight through.

If I recall correctly, the beds in my father-in-law's RV are unusable (stowed away) unless the RV is stopped and the pop-outs are popped out.  I could be wrong; I didn't pay all that much attention to be honest -- when we visited in August, the RV stayed in the campsite with the pop-outs popped out and we took their car whenever we needed to go someplace.  It could also depend on the specific RV rented.

If there are roadgeeky things to see on the way to Alaska, driving through the night would mean everyone would miss half the things, with the nighttime drivers potentially missing all the things (hard to see them at night).  It also messes up the sleep schedules of half of the people.

If that's not the case, then sure, driving through the night reduces hotel costs to near zero.  But there'd need to be a day or two upon arrival to reset the sleep schedules of the overnight drivers and perhaps a day or two on each end to get the overnight drivers ready for overnight driving (i.e. don't ask them to drive on the first night, since they will be sleepy as their sleep schedules adjust).

oscar

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #195 on: October 21, 2016, 08:15:52 PM »

If there are roadgeeky things to see on the way to Alaska, driving through the night would mean everyone would miss half the things, with the nighttime drivers potentially missing all the things (hard to see them at night).  It also messes up the sleep schedules of half of the people.

Not a lot of darkness in the summer north of the south end of the Alaska Highway. But I agree with your point above, and others, about the desirability of overnight stops. An RV with multiple drivers would still stretch out the driving days to take better advantage of the available daylight, while keeping everybody well-rested and with undisturbed sleep cycles.

Also, unless the RV has on-board shower facilities that can be used while the RV is in motion, it can get smelly in there pretty quickly. And don't forget the need to stop for dump stations to properly dispose of accumulated sewage from the on-board toilet and kitchen facilities. Overnight stops at RV parks should help with those and other logistical issues.

The one RV park I stayed at along the Alaska Highway in 2012 (not by choice, a First Nations conference was jamming up lodgings in Watson Lake that day) had showers, laundry, and wi-fi. Even when I had to camp in undeveloped campsites, I was pleased to find some laundromats with shower facilities.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 08:21:50 PM by oscar »
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1995hoo

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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #196 on: October 21, 2016, 09:20:13 PM »

I know vdeane doesn't fly commercial, but have any of you considered the notion of whether it might be feasible to charter a plane from a smaller airport somewhere in New York or nearby to, say, somewhere in Washington State, then drive? I know it sounds absurdly expensive at first blush, but depending on how many people you have, it might not be utterly insane once you consider reduced cost for food/gas/lodging/time off work to drive, and a charter flight might help with vdeane's stated aversion to the TSA process since general aviation usually skips all the TSA folderol if you go out of a smaller airport.

Before you say "WTF," I looked into chartering a plane through Bombardier Skyjet with a group of people for a football trip to Wyoming a few years ago, with the idea being that because we had 12 people we could go out and back the same day such that the extra cost may have been cheaper than flying commercial to Denver, renting cars, staying multiple nights, paying for meals, etc. We were going to fly out of Leesburg, Virginia. It ultimately fell apart because we would have had to have left so early, and we would have gotten back so late, that we would have had to pay another surcharge for overnighting the plane in Leesburg and keeping it waiting all afternoon in Wyoming. If we could have avoided those costs, it would have been cheaper than all of us going out separately (well, not counting that when the charter fell apart, I used American Express points on Frontier to fly round trip from Reagan to Denver for $11). But in your case, you'd fly out and then not need a plane again for a week or so, so you might not have the same expense.

Of course, this idea defeats a lot of the roadgeek interest of the roundtrip drive, but I'm trying to balance it with practicality in view of the time concerns. Obviously it'd depend on having enough people willing to meet at one location to split the cost enough to make it viable.

(I have no clue whether you could charter a plane to Alaska. Skyjet won't let you price an itinerary outside the Lower 48 online—you have to call, and I had neither the time nor the interest to do that today, especially not the time. Unusually busy day at work. This is why I mention flying to Washington State. No doubt flying into, say, Whitehorse would be even more complicated.)
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #197 on: October 21, 2016, 09:37:08 PM »

TSA screening process? Haven't had to deal with the full body scanner BS since I got NEXUS. People with NEXUS and PreCheck can just pass through a metal detector and be on their way. Flipping wonderful.
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Re: Alaska roadmeet ever?
« Reply #198 on: October 24, 2016, 09:53:59 AM »

I know vdeane doesn't fly commercial, but have any of you considered the notion of whether it might be feasible to charter a plane from a smaller airport somewhere in New York or nearby to, say, somewhere in Washington State, then drive? I know it sounds absurdly expensive at first blush, but depending on how many people you have, it might not be utterly insane once you consider reduced cost for food/gas/lodging/time off work to drive, and a charter flight might help with vdeane's stated aversion to the TSA process since general aviation usually skips all the TSA folderol if you go out of a smaller airport.

Might be something to look into.  My first job out of college was working on software for air traffic controllers; thus we had several hobby pilots on staff.  There was one year where one of my co-workers needed to fly X number of hours to keep his license current.  The FAA's software test facility is at Atlantic City airport; we went to their Christmas party that year.  We rented two four-passenger planes, flew out of Hanscom Field in Massachusetts directly to Atlantic City.  Went to one of the casinos for some blackjack, then to the FAA Christmas party.  We flew back to Hanscom Field that afternoon.  This was after 9/11, and we went through exactly zero TSA screening bullshit.  Minus my gambling losses, my portion was just south of $300, though I don't remember the exact amount.  Granted, this was just for renting the planes, jet fuel, parking the plane at ACY airport, and so on, since we had two pilots going with us.  Also, this was about ten years ago, so I'm sure prices have gone up.

 


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