July 19, 2014
I know there are those of you out there that are as curious as we were about how to plan and save for an Alaskan Adventure. And, while no one travels in the same style or pace, or with the same interest that we do, just keep in mind that these facts are our facts. And, not everyone does it like we did.
Because everyone travels to the border from a different Point A, being your location in the lower 48 to Point B, being your choice of border crossings. I started recording my facts on May 22, 2014, from our staging area at Johnson's of St. Mary Campground in St. Mary, Montana. and cover 57 days of travel through Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, Alaska, and back...ending with our return border crossing at Sweetgrass, Montana on July 18, 2014.
First, make sure you purchase the latest edition of the Milepost. It will be your guide, map, and constant companion for the entire trip. Of, course, in the beginning you won't be able to read it or figure it out! For some routes, you read it front to back, while other routes you read it back to front. And, then just when you think you have it all under control, you have completely changed highways, skipped 75 pages, never to return to where you left off. And, sometimes, you are miles down the road, before you know exactly where you are. You use high-lighters, make notes, and question your sanity, but, by the time you return to the lower 48, you will be a pro at reading this book. You will have practically memorized it, but, you will have also learned a lot about the roads less traveled. This wonderful necessity can be purchased from Amazon or your local bookstore for $34.95.
Next, if you are planning on a lot of sightseeing trips, fishing charters, or other adventures, purchase the Tour Saver Coupon Book from Tour Saver.com. The cost is $99, and the offers are 2 for 1. We used several coupons, I think enough that it was worth the purchase.
We traveled in our 40' motor home and towed our Jeep. Other than a few locations, we had no problems getting in or out, or finding a place to stay. The Top of the World Highway is beautiful, I am sure...but, we chose not to drive it.
We traveled 7,100 miles from border to border. We used 825.9 gallons of diesel fuel that averaged to $4.91 a gallon. The most we paid was $6.46/gallon at Watson Lake, Yukon Territory and the lowest we paid was $3.88 in Conrad, Montana. Our total fuel cost was $4,052,08.
Out of the 57 nights we spent on the road, we stayed in RV Parks or Campgrounds 35 nights for a total of $1,194.82. The other 22 nights we boon-docked at Wal-Mart, Fred Myers, or in a pullout along the road or beside a beautiful lake! So, with all those free nights averaged in the mix, our camping averaged $21/night.
Fishing trips, airplane rides, boat trips, shipping over 75 pounds of fish to Texas, and all other fun added up to a little less than $3,000.
I didn't keep a real close track on food. We have never calculated this in our travels. We figure we have to eat wherever we are. We enjoy tasting the local fare while traveling and try to support the local restaurants. And, on this trip, we found lots of good ones!
I think the craziest thing I did was pay $5.79 for 4 rolls of Toilet Paper in Seward. And, we always seemed to find Coke Zero on sale usually 3 for $12.00. Otherwise, a 12 carton of Coke was around $9.00. And, in Ninilchik, at a small local grocery, we saw a 16 ounce tub of sour cream for about $6.00. Thankfully, we were able to shop at Wal-Mart and Fred Myers where the prices weren't too bad. Well, so much for those free camping spots...lol
Oh, yes, I guess, I have to throw in that tire we had to buy in Whitehorse for $700.
We learned to use Loonies and Toonies while in Canada. Those are one and two dollar coins.
The highest we paid to do laundry was $4.00 to wash and $4.00 to dry.
And, last...I am sure I am taking enough souvenirs back to Texas.
So, the facts are the facts, but, the fact of the matter...the
reflections...they were priceless and will not be forgotten!