Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pictures for Inspiration!

This blog is looking boring, here are some pictures of things we'd like to see and do on our trip:

Laird Hot Springs look like a great way to relax mid-trip. A fancy resort used to be open near here and I really wanted to stay, but they're website says they're closed. Still, we'll enjoy a good soak, maybe we can time it to be early morning or late night since the air will be frosty in May. So fun!

Jasper National Park:

We won't be able to spend as much time here as I'd like, but I'm happy with being able to spend SOME time at least. With any luck, our move back to the continental 48 can be leisurely and allow for more sightseeing.

Banff National Park:

This place almost looks fake doesn't it?

Signpost Forest:

I think there are lik 600,000 signs here or something.

I'm pretty excited about this trip. It's nice to feel like we're doing exactly what we should be doing and that this is all in God's hands. Here's hoping we find a pot of gold in Fairbanks!

All my images are from this site.

Road Conditions and Camping Situations

We'll need a new National Parks Pass, and we should probably order it while we still have time to get it! We also need to compare prices and decide if we want to get a Canadian National Park Annual Pass or just pay the entrance fees. I think we'll be better off just paying the fees. We should also check Mile Post for advice.

Grand Teton National Park/Yellowstone National Park
Saturday night: Jenny Lake Campground, open, $19, call 800-628-9988 for reservations
Road Closures: None in GTNP, YNP SHOULD be clear! I wanted to drive up from GTNP, stop at Old Faithful, and then head out through the Roosevelt Arch (since we missed it last time), and that path should be cleared on May 8th.

Glacier National Park
Sunday night: Updated Daily Only two campgrounds open, and they are both primitive right now. Upside: primitive camping = $10
Road Closures: Updated Daily It's not open through the park just yet, but we have a few weeks left.

Banff National Park
Monday night: We haven't yet picked out anywhere to camp, and I'm not finding any info online about what's open and what's not. Prices vary quite a bit from one location to another.

Road Closures: We're looking pretty good here.

Jasper National Park
Tuesday night: Fees and Opening Dates Again, we'll need to check things out and pick a campground.

Road Closures: We're looking pretty good here.

Grande Prairie
Wednesday night: Ramada: $88 per night, complimentary internet, restaurant on site, fitness center
Thursday morning I'll need to download my work and be sure I have everything I need before we leave.

Fort Nelson
Thursday night: Ramada: $75, internet available - we'll need to call to be sure there's no charge, there might be a pool, fitness center, continental breakfast

Friday night: Canada's Best: $97 but we'd have to pay for wireless access. Each room comes with high speed internet, but wireless has a fee. What? We'll need to call for details.
Westmark: $110, wireless access available but no info on pricing. This hotel looks nicer and has a fun looking restaurant on site.

It might be nice to get to Fairbanks Saturday night, settle in and start making lists of places to call for apartments, jobs, etc. but we may not get many landlords on the phone until Monday. Which means we're in a hotel until Tuesday at the soonest. Maybe we should check for a hostel in Fairbanks? Or camping outside the city?
Saturday night: Super 8: $71 - Call for internet pricing
Holiday Inn: $85, complimentary internet, pool, breakfast

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Plan

Starting Point: Denver - Old Home
Ending Point: Fairbanks - New Home
Total Driving Time: 64 Hours, 15 minutes
Total Driving Distance: 3313 Miles

I've checked gas prices from Denver to Glacier National Park, and all were just under $2 per gallon. $2 per gallon, at 25 miles per gallon, for 1037 miles works out to be about $85 dollars.

Gas prices in Canada range from $2.63 per gallon to $3.36 per gallon. I converted everything from CAD to USD and from litres to gallons. We'll travel just under 2,000 miles from Montana to Alaska and if I round to $3 per gallon, our gas in Canada should be about $240.

Gas from the Canadian border to Fairbanks will work out to be about $30.

Gas total: $355

Camping should be somewhere between $10 and $20 per night, depending on which parks are open for the summer season and which are still on their winter rates.
We'll need 3 hotel rooms, all of which are around $80 per night.

So, rounding to give us some wiggle room:
Hotels: $300
Camping: $80
Gas: $355
Total: $735

Food isn't included yet, but food can be as cheap or expensive as you make it. We will be trying to make as many meals ourselves as we can, and eat out as little as possible.

  • Day 1: Denver to Grand Tetons/Yellowstone
  • Day 2: Grand Tetons/Yellowstone to Glacier
  • Day 3: Glacier to Banff
  • Day 4: Banff to Jasper
  • Day 5: Jasper to Grande Prairie
  • Day 6: Grande Prairie to Fort Nelson
  • Day 7: Fort Nelson to Whitehorse
  • Day 8: Whitehorse to Fairbanks
Staying in Grande Prairie instead of moving on will give us a little more time in the parks, plus give me the opportunity to work while we're driving. We're going to try to time this so that I don't have to take more than a day or two off.

We need to find out which parks are going to have roads open, and which parks are going to have camping available. I also need to find out if I'm going to have trouble at the border since the names on my Social Security Card and Driver's License don't match.