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  1. #21
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    Don't be jealous Chris -- the east coast is definitely on my to-do list as well, but it just makes more sense to explore what I can while I'm over on this side. And, as a Manitoba girl, I've certainly had my share of cold temperatures and snow!

    Anyway, I've spent so much time travelling to other countries that I'm now trying to make it a priority to travel within my own just as much.

    Right now I'm waiting to hear about what my job situation will be for the summer (ah..the life of a sessional university instructor). Once that's secure I'll be able to make better plans (and probably have more questions as a result) about the trip.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  2. #22
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    There are two problems with Vancouver Island: it's not connected to the mainland; and there are only two directions - up and down.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  3. #23

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    Aye. See the whole Island. Don't forget the West Coast.

    Better?

  4. #24
    Ole
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    When I saw "North of 60" I thought you were coming over here, and thought I'd invite you.

    Oh well. If you ever DO come over here, I'll invite you anyway. North of 60, and even North of 70.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #25
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    Thanks Ole! That would be an amazing trip, but it's way beyond my budget at the moment. However, if I ever come into some money, expect to hear from me.

    When I was younger I had a good friend from Norway and always meant to visit him but of course we've lost touch in the intervening years (he's in Canada now anyway). As I've gotten older I've realized how important it is to make the most of the opportunities that we have while we have them.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

  6. #26

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    Hello, Rachelle.

    It's a wonderful trip that you're thinking about. I've done the entire route, parts of it several times. I lived in Watson Lake, Yukon from 1975 to 1979 and in other parts of the North until retiring in 2006. The last time I did any of your route was a trip from Yellowknife to Whitehorse via Fort Simpson and Fort Nelson in 1996.

    There are wonderful landscapes along much of the route, and a good deal of it is a genuine wilderness experience.

    I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of a publication called "The Milepost", which is an annually published guide to Northen highways. You may well find it in a local bookstore. If not, there is a website- www.milepost.com, and it's also available at Amazon and other online sources. It covers northen highways- points of interest, maps, etc in great detail.


    Most of your route should be easy going with a regular vehicle as long as it's in decent mechnical condition. Just make sure you have at least one good spare as it can be a long way between service stations. An extra can of gas is not a bad idea, but if you keep a close eye on the gas gauge and fill up regularly you're probably OK. Also make sure you have at least one spare headlight bulb. You might consider joining the Auto Association as towing can be expensive.

    One road I would be cautious about is the Top of the World Highway, which runs between Dawson City and Alaska. It's an absolutely spectacular drive. However, the last I heard was that it can still be nasty especially when wet.

    September is a good time to go. It can get cold, so if you're camping make sure you have a good sleeping bag. A great advantage is that bug season is over. You should see some decent fall colour at least on parts of the route. I wouldn't neessarily expect to see a lot of wildlife. You can run into bears and moose just about anywhere. I've seen caribou and mountain sheep in Muncho Lake Provincial Park. In September tourist traffic is down so things are more sane.

    On thing I'd encourage you to do is take it easy and check out some of the funny little stops (restaurant/gas stations) along the way. I can't make specific recommendations because things will have changed over the years. I can tell you that there is probably still a fairly distinctive Norhern road culture. One of my little rituals on regular trips between Watson Lake and Whitehorse was to stop for monster fresh-baked cinnamon buns and coffee at Rancheria and excellent burgers in Teslin. There were and probably still are some unique characters at those spots.


    I'd say three weeks is an adequate amount of time for the trip, in terms of covering the distance. However, you may get frustrated at not having enough time to stop and wander around. A good abbreviated route would be to do the Alaska Highway to Watson Lake, then come back down Highway 37.

    Cheers

    John Poirier

  7. #27
    mooseontheloose's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great suggestions John. I've been waiting for the Milepost to show up in my local bookstore, although I know that it's easy enough to get online. I have been wondering if I should pare down the trip a little so that I could spend more time in various locations and your suggestion for the abbreviated route is exactly what I was thinking.
    Rachelle

    My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus

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