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Key West, FL to Dead Horse, AK

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Sep 21st, 2012, 01:59 PM
  #1
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Key West, FL to Dead Horse, AK

Road tripping with my dogs and husband starting October 1st. Any advice on things to stop and see or do along the way??? I can't wait to get to Dalton Highway
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Sep 21st, 2012, 03:02 PM
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Your route goes through Atlanta, Chattanooga, St Louis, Nashville, Minneapolis, Fargo, Minot and then almost nothing else. I hope that you will have something to listen to while driving because google maps puts it as 54575 miles. How long do you guys have? If you have only one day in every place along the road then I can not recommend much but if you have a few days here and there I might be able to think of something.
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Sep 21st, 2012, 06:22 PM
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Sorry typo, 5475 miles
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Sep 21st, 2012, 07:10 PM
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You are driving to Alaska . . . and not leaving Florida until October.

By October it is already winter in Alaska. Do you have any idea what you are getting in to?
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 04:49 AM
  #5
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Yes we know what we are getting into. This trip will take us 45-60 days. We are going very slow about it so we can have fun on the way. I will make a lot of stops for 1-2 days each so i can sightsee
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 04:51 AM
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We just came back from a 35 day trip to Seattle and back to Miami. I don't want to repeat seeing the same things though. We started a blog about it @theconstantrambler.com you can check it out if you'd like.
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 06:13 AM
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Sounds like a fantastic trip, and you are lucky to have a spouse who will take it with you. I am not quite clear whether the one way trip will take you up to 60 days or whether that is round trip.

I assume you have a good idea of what road conditions in December in NW Canada and Alaska can be. I assume you have an appropriate vehicle, enough extra clothing (and insulation if you are using a camper) to keep you warm in severe weather, that you are carrying sufficient spare parts (belts, hoses, etc) that your vehicle can be repaired almost anywhere. You should join AAA, and you will need a Canada Card from your insurance company.

I have read that many mechanics do not accept credit cards for towig and work: be sure to carry a hunk of cash. Finally, a good old fashioned CB radio may be of more use in some places than any mobile phone.

You know you will need a passport and that there are many items that cannot be taken into Canada (pistols and anything resembling an assault rifle, for example) and others that you can't bring back into the States (fruits, vegetables, meat).

I don't know if there are income/asset requirements for entering Canada as there are for entering the UK (they won't let you in if you are in any danger of being a public charge) nor do I know what you need to do about health insurance for a trip that long. I do know that a relative was stopped by Canadian border authorities at a Saskatchewan crossing and was asked about all these issues. Some of the answers were a little loosy-goosy, so the border authorities called us for more information.

My son has seen people taken off the Montreal-Boston bus and left standing by the roadside when there papers were not in order. They had to wait until another bus came along in the other direction.

All kinds of things that are okay in one country become issues when you cross into another.
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 06:30 AM
  #8
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Ackilander, Thanks for all the info. This is all great stuff, most of which we already have covered but i did get some good info out of there. We are traveling 60 days round trip. We are taking our dogs and blogging about it This is going to be quite the adventure but we have covered just about ever base to make for a comfortable journey. Extra clothes, new car, outdoor equipment, and a good amount of funds for emergency Your post was very informative. Thanks again for all the advice!
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 09:47 AM
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One Thanksgiving, we took the ferry from Juneau to Haines AK and then drove the Al-Can highway into the Yukon territory - and saw about a dozen other vehicles the entire drive, mostly truckers heading about south to Haines. The road conditions were excellent due to the good snowpack on the road. But there's not a lot to "see" in the blue day/night of winter in Alaska.

One of the most amazing sight I've ever seen was the congregation of bald eagles outside Haines AK. The Chilkat river doesn't freeze and thousands of bald eagles congregate there. They are as plentiful as oranges in an orange tree, and hop along on the ground just a few feet away from humans. Personally, I'd rather see the Southest than do the Dalton Highway in winter. Be sure to check road conditions before you set out. Another wonderful winter experience was taking a flight plane ride over Denali from Talkeetna one February. Magnificent.
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Sep 25th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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If I had to guess as to the potential setbacks along your path, I'd first look to the proper documentation for bringing dogs across the borders.

Just be sure you have all of the paperwork - (where you can find it in the car!)... and perhaps even have back-up documents kept with somebody in Florida next to a fax machine. Maybe even e-mail various documents to yourselves for retrieval where needed.

The Alaska Highway is awesome... and especially so when you travel off-season. I think the best area is adjacent to Kluane Lake, Yukon... and I just now saw a story about the Northern Lights being great this year.

When you get up there far enough, you can just stop right on the road and take the exact photo you want, rather than await the scenic turnout 500 feet ahead. You'd hear any vehicle approaching 5 miles away.

While clearly you may encounter any crazy sort of weather, there is something good to be said for driving on the 'east' side of the Rockies between Dawson Creek and Watson Lake. Who knows? Maybe this year will be one of mild winter weather in the far north.

Unlike many, you can always reason that you are, eventually, destined to return to Florida, so perhaps you can stand the cold and inconvenience for longer than most.

How will you pick your exact route? I sorta fancy taking turns selecting single spots on the vast map through which you will travel. (once the first person picks Bismarck, ND then it is generally assumed that the other won't/can't pick Laredo, TX, etc.)

At least when you get way up there, there will be less uncertainty about which routes to take.

Oh, and be prepared in far northern BC to find nothing but thick forests pierced only by the road you're on, for miles and miles and miles. (maybe snow would break-up the monotony)

Have fun!
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Sep 26th, 2012, 05:02 AM
  #11
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We are really looking forward to the northern lights, thats one of our "bucket list" items! As far as the route goes, we have a system worked out We take the full route and then divide it up into 8-9 hour chunks. Then we pick somewhere we want to see in the general direction we are going. On the way back we might try the random map point thing, sounds fun!
We are planning on taking a path East of the Rockies while going north through Canada, and West of the Rockies while going South.
Thanks so much for all the feedback!
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Sep 26th, 2012, 10:50 AM
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You could hit Yellowstone on your way there or back, the weather may have some roads closed by your return trip though. Same for Glacier National Park.

Calgary/Edmonton are along your route, and Banff and Jasper National Parks are both not too far west of there.

Winnipeg is not a bad little city for a day or two.

Black Hills of South Dakota are great for several days - Mt Rushmore, Wind and Jewel Cave, Custer State Park. Badlands National Park is a couple hours west of there. You could safely do all those on the return trip.

You have so many options for the return route - it looks like you did the Pacific Coast on your last road trip so this time you could go thru Salt Lake City and into southern Utah, then New Mexico. Or head east thru Spokane, Idaho and Wyoming/South Dakota. Really depends on what type of scenery you want for the return trip.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 11:10 AM
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Glad to see you have been reading our blog, theconstantrambler.com We have plans to hit Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, a few of the places you mentioned in South Dakota are on our list, and i really wouldn't mind taking the Pacific Coast back even though we did that last time. There is so much to see and so much we missed on the last trip.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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Well if you were already planning on it, I guess I'd hit up South Dakota, Yellowstone, Glacier and then head north to Banff/Jasper and Calgary and Edmonton. Then somehow work Utah in on the way home, there is a lot to do there and by then you might really appreciate the warmer temps.
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Sep 27th, 2012, 05:54 AM
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I would like to hit the Bonneville Salt Flats on our way home. My husband has always wanted to drive it
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Sep 29th, 2012, 11:05 AM
  #16
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Leaving monday to start this 2 month journey. I am so excited!
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Oct 1st, 2012, 06:55 PM
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While I do like the mystique of the salt along the path between Reno and Salt Lake City, I fear your husband may be let-down upon finally having the experience he's been imagining.

At any rate, do go to SLC, and then out near the lake, where for miles and miles you can smell the strong scent of salt in the air. (no wonder the Morton Salt Factory is nearby)

Oh, and when you get up to the Alaska Highway, be prepared for towns so far apart that you have to pay much more attention to whether you can make it to the next one, or whether you should stop here.

Hopefully the first month or more will go off without a hitch.

Will look forward to updates??
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 09:58 PM
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I don't mean "gas"... I mean, lodging...


The likely spots are 200-300 miles apart.

Last time I was in the area, there was even a 24-hour gas station out in the middle of nowhere, in western Yukon.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:00 AM
  #19
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I'm not too worried about lodging. If all else fails, we have sleeping bags and can sleep in the car
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Oct 9th, 2012, 08:05 PM
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LOL - I can imagine how sleeping in the car is gonna be in mid-November along the Alaska highway!


Hope it doesn't come to that.
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