Several of our good friends, including Dennis and Carol Hill, Don and Sharon Del Rosario, Larry and Marilyn Forbes, and Luke and Cool Judy Rinehimer, are all traveling in Alaska this summer, and we’ve been following their adventures through their blogs. Their photographs are spectacular, the scenery is beautiful, they have seen some neat wildlife, and it has been interesting to see the trip through their eyes. But Terry and I have about decided that, for us at least, at this point in our lives, an RV trip to Alaska is very low on our list of things to do.
I know that probably sounds blasphemous to a lot of RVers, and the realization actually comes as a surprise to me, since when we bought our first motorhome and became fulltime RVers, taking a trip up the Alaskan Highway was one of the first things I wanted to do. I mean, how can you not want to make the trip? Isn’t it the adventure of a lifetime?
Rick and Paulette, a nice Canadian RVing couple, said a lot of what we feel with a recent blog post titled Any Places You Don’t Want To Visit In An RV? It is a very long trip, and though the road isn’t as bad as a lot of people would have you believe, it can still be hard on an RV and tow vehicle. We have spent the last few weeks driving up U.S. Highway 101 from California to Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula, and while it’s been a beautiful trip, it sure hasn’t been an easy road to drive in a big motorhome in many places. We’ve shaken enough things loose already, I don’t need any more.
We have also reached the stage in our lives where we really like creature comforts. We’ve done a lot of boondocking in our time, probably more than most RVers we know. But we’ve been there and done that. Yes, we can do it, but give me a full hookup RV site any day of the week over the prettiest pullout on a remote highway with a mountain view. Most folks we know who travel to Alaska seem to do a lot of dry camping along the way, either because there are not that many RV parks, or to offset the cost of the trip. We also need a reliable internet connection so I can post my daily blog, take care of customer orders, and conduct business. We’re not retired, we are working RVers. It seems that most of the folks we know who are traveling to Akaka have had at least some problems getting online.
I mentioned the cost of the trip above. That is another factor. From Blaine, Washington, on the Canadian border, to Anchorage, Alaska is almost 2,200 miles. By the time you see Denali National Park (and how can you go to Alaska and not see it?), and do some traveling within the state, you could easily put another 1,000 miles on your RV. And then you still have to come all the way back to the lower 48! Our budget would really take a hit from that.
A final factor is that this summer in the Pacific Northwest has shown us that we cannot depend on untested mail forwarding services. We have connections in many parts of the country that we have developed over time. But up here, the choices have been limited, and it would be even more so in Alaska. So we would have to rush up there and back between the time we send one issue out and the time the next issue is due. A fast trip of that magnitude is not for us.
There is a lot to see in the lower 48 that we still have not gotten to, and places we have visited that we want to go back to again. Sure, Alaska has beautiful scenery. But so does the Oregon Coast, the Rocky Mountains, New England, and everywhere in between. We’ve seen bear, elk, deer, and mountain goats from Arizona to Washington. Do we have to drive all the way to Alaska to see more?
Yes, we would like to see Alaska someday, but not in our motorhome. I could see us taking a cruise. That would be fun, and I wouldn’t have to go too far to find a place to eat!
Thought For The Day – Treat the earth well. It wasn’t given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.