Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Hunt's 2008 Alaska Expedition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Half Moon Bay, CA
    Posts
    656

    Hunt's 2008 Alaska Expedition

    I've started this thread to provide a not-so-realtime trip report on our month-long Land Rover road trip to Alaska and the Alaska Highway. A more complete set of pictures is available here.

    Alaska Expedition Log

    Day 1-4: Half Moon Bay, CA to Bellingham, WA
    We left HMB in the early hours of Tuesday morning headed for the Oregon border on I-5. Our original intent was to camp at a NFS campground just over the border but since we were making good time we extended the day a bit and continued farther North. We found a lovely NFS campground named Threehorn just off OR-227 about 30 mi North of Medford. We were the only ones camping there but it turns out the campground restroom is a stop for the locals traveling OR-227 so we had lots of visitors.



    Wednesday morning we broke camp and headed Northwest to I-5 along a the very scenic state highway we traveled the day before. With the good progress the first day and easy traffic on I-5 we decided to head for Mount Rainier National Park where we would spend the next two nights. We pulled into the park about 4 PM and were able to find a nice campsite with little or no snow to contend with. Weather was crisp and clear with the mountain clearly visible. Next morning we awoke to thick fog with no view of anything much outside the campsite! We headed headed for the Jackson Visitor Center at 5300 feet without so much as a glimpse of even the base of the mountain. After talking to the rangers we decided to head for the Southeast corner of the park and lower elevation to do some hiking. Returning the visitor center about 3 PM the skies had cleared and all but the very top of the mountain was visible. We stopped to do some snow hiking and take a few pictures of Mount Rainier and then returned to camp. Friday morning dawned clear as a bell and once again the mountain was completely cloud free. On our way out of the park we stopped and took a picture of a cloudless Mount Rainier.



    The journey to Bellingham was uneventful except for the awful traffic through Seattle. About 2 PM we checked into the Alaska Marine Highway ticket office and picked up our documents, then got in line to board the ferry along with about 50 others that were there early. We began boarding at 3 PM and the process took four hours before everyone was on board and the ferry buttoned up. We departed about 90 minutes late at 7:30 PM.



    Day 4-7: Alaska Marine Highway

    After settling into our cabin we watched many others setting up tents and sleeping arrangements on the aft decks of the ferry. What was two clear fantail decks when we came aboard were now a tent city! Tents were duct taped down to the deck to keep them from blowing away.

    With 38 hours from Bellingham to Ketchikan we had plenty of time to explore the ship and chat with fellow passengers. Lots of great scenery along the way and the weather was perfect. We hit a few patches of fog and a bit of mist but overall the campers on the deck fared well. Two dining rooms on board kept us fed and our provisions we brought in from the truck (single malt, beer) kept us out of the bar. The ARB fridge/freezer is working well. It's dedicated battery only dropped a half volt in almost two days without being recharged.



    We had a beautiful day Sunday with stops at Ketchikan, Wrangle, and Petersburg. Overnight transit to Juneau was smooth. We arrived about 4:30 AM and departed for Haines around 7 AM. With our arrival at Haines, the luxury part of our trip was over. We were off the ferry at about 2 PM and on to the next adventure.



    Day 7- 10: Haines to Valdez

    As soon as we cleared the ferry, we headed for the Chilkat State Park to beat the others to the choice camping site. Turns out we were about the only ones there! We returned then to Haines for a tour of Fort Seward and food and gas shopping. We scored a fresh slab of sockeye salmon and beat it back to camp for an outstanding meal. It began to rain as we were cleaning up from dinner and rained all night. Fortunately we had some “rain practice” during the Oregon trip so we survived well. Next morning we visited the outstanding Sheldon museum which features the history of Haines and the surrounding area. Departing about noon, we took the Haines highway, approximately the route of the old Dalton Tail to Haines Junction and then to the Lake Cluane area in Yukon Territory. We found a very nice campground at Congdon Creek where we were able to dry the tent and cover out in the warm sun.



    The next morning we re-entered the USA and headed for Tok for fuel and an ice cream. Between Haines Junction and Tok, we were on the Alaska Highway. In both YT and Alaska, there were stretches of road where repairs were being made and we encountered a few delays and lots of very slow motorhomes. Also we've learned how important it is to carry extra gas. Not all stations carry premium and several stations we passed where The Milepost book said there was gas available had closed.



    From Tok we turned south on the Glen highway to the Porcupine State Campground where we finished our salmon and turned in well before sundown. Sundown being somewhere around 11:15 PM and sunrise around 4 AM and almost enough light to read by all night, the dense fabric of the rooftop tent is welcome.

    Next morning we got underway for Valdez early. We stopped for lunch and a short hike at the Worthington Glacier and reached Valdez early afternoon. As there was rain in the forecast we decided to motel it for our two day stay in Valdez.
    Brian
    2004 Discovery II G4 Edition - aka Jack
    2002 Freelander SE Gone.
    KØDTJ
    Avatar photo by Ron B., Oregon Discovery Trail 2008

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, California, United States
    Posts
    1,582
    Great read. Nice photos as well. Keep 'em coming.

    I drove from Phoenix to Anchorage when I was 18, a very memorable trip/summer.

    Scott
    All sold a while ago

    1995 RRC LWB - LT230, $G Front Bumper


    1960 109" 5 Door Station Wagon w/Deluxe Rolled Bonnet with Spare Recess. Frame off restoration. PO setup 289 Mustang with D60 rear end with chromolly inners. Recently moved to Sacramento awaiting a place to finish the restoration.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    2,125
    What a great adventure Brian! Very entertaining write up as well. Keep us in the loop for the entire trip!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    NorCal, On the Coast.
    Posts
    3,377
    Nice report Brian! We are looking forward to future chapters of your adventure.
    Gary

    NCLR002
    LRRF0016
    NCLR VP Web Admin
    1995 RRC County LWB
    1994 Defender 90 SW



    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Colombia
    Posts
    262
    great timing, we have friends from Argentina who are traveling to Alaska in their 110. please keep us updated.
    here is their web site: http://www.terra.com.co/amunches/
    they are in southern ca for the moment and plan on heading north next week.
    (they plan to sell the Defender 110 on the return trip from Alaska. the 110 is in the states legally but not registered or D O T approved. they are going to ask 30k with all the overland gear.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Half Moon Bay, CA
    Posts
    656
    More pictures at: http://www.pbase.com/brhunt/alaska08

    Day 10-14: Valdez to Anchorage by way of Seward

    Our second day in Valdez was filled with a cruise aboard the Lu Lu Belle in Prince William Sound. The trip, which lasted about six hours took us in pursuit of whales, puffins, eagles and sea lions as well as to the Columbia glacier. We threaded our way through sea ice to as close to the face of the glacier as we could get – some seven miles. A great way to spend the 4th of July!





    Next day we packed up early and headed for the Anchorage area. Along the way we decided to divert to the Independence Mine State Park north of Palmer. This is an old gold mining settlement which finally closed down in 1943 because during WWII gold mining was deemed unessential to the war effort. We then headed over Hatcher Pass toward Willow and the Parks Highway for our return to Anchorage. We camped at a roadside pull-out for the night. About midnight I peered out of the roof top tent to see the largest porcupine I had ever seen. It took him about a half hour to leave, ambling away on his nightly rounds.



    We were in Anchorage before 10 AM and we stopped by to check out Elmendorf AFB Family Camp and get a cup of coffee at the base exchange. We then decided to drive down to Seward for salmon bake and a quick trip to Exit Glacier. We had been to both of these places before and were hungry for the Exit Glacier Salmon Bake fare. We camped that night at a USFS campground off the Seward highway. We returned to Anchorage about noon. Our first stop was the Anchorage Museum which is an excellent history and culture museum all about the evolution of societies in Alaska. After the museum we went to Elmendorf AFB and checked into the Family Camp for laundry and a shower and then to the commissary for provisions. That evening we went to Humpy's Ale House for halibut fish and chips. We leave for Denali tomorrow.

    Brian
    2004 Discovery II G4 Edition - aka Jack
    2002 Freelander SE Gone.
    KØDTJ
    Avatar photo by Ron B., Oregon Discovery Trail 2008

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Woodside,, CA
    Posts
    841

    Don't forget to stop at Skinny Dicks...

    I can see you in the t-shirt now...

    http://www.skinnydicksak.com/
    Chuck (KI6WSR)

    2004 White Disco II with 3" RTE Lift with Bilstein Shocks, GBR 4:11s gears, Rovertym bumpers front & rear, 2 IPF HID lights , rear work lights, custom sliders, diff guards, gas tank protector. Warn 9600 winch, synthetic rope, 285/75/16 ProComp Tyres & wheels, Brownchurch rack, CDL Linkage. ARB Lockers Front & Rear, heavy duty rear axles, drive shafts, and CV joints from GBR. CB and Ham.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Redwood Shores, CA
    Posts
    110
    Nice! I'd love to check out Alaska one of these days. Keep us updated Brian.
    2004 Discovery S | Giverny Green/Alpaca Beige

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fortymile Desert, Nevada
    Posts
    1,421
    Great write up. So what were the restrictions for carrying fuel cans on the ferries?
    Ron/Rocky - '04 Discovery S
    Usually found somewhere in Lyon, Pershing, Churchill, Lander, Humboldt Counties..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    N. California
    Posts
    5,182
    Keep it coming Brian!

    I am enjoying my happy hour = cocktails + surfing the web, reading your thread and other adventures!

    Awesome pics/report!
    NCLR BOD www.nclrclub.org

    SPOT Adventures: http://www.spotadventures.com/user/p...?user_id=47904

    Tread Lightly Trainer

    2004 Java Black D2 SE7 "Family AUV" - All-Around Utility Vehicle

    1990 CT D110 "Support and Touring Vehicle"

    1990 White RRC - Dedicated "Trail Rig"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •