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Old 03-24-2012, 01:33 AM   #1
DawnsMinstrel
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Default Driving Advice for Western Canada

Greetings everyone,

it's been a while. Work and life have been keeping me busy and away from YouTube and the forum. But I can't help thinking that some of my fellow fans might know a thing or two about driving through British Columbia.

I ask because I've been offered - and have accepted - a job at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and I'm considering my options for the move. One option is to drive to the state of Washington, and from there take a Ferry to (I think) Haines, AK, and then to drive the rest of the way from there. Another option is just to drive all the way - including through B.C. and the Y.T. I've mapped out a possible route by land, but it looks awfully lonely out that way and I'm wondering if I'm wise to try to drive a 10' Uhaul dragging a car behind me through all that western terrain.

Any opinions? Advice? I would appreciate any and all suggestions.

Thanks, Tim
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
charlene
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Default Re: Driving Advice for Western Canada

wow Tim that's a huge adventure you're going on! I'd suggest driving but for the UHaul issue...that could make things a bit scary but if you are comfortable driving with one I'd say drive and see the beautiful scenery and 'quietude'..
Good luck with your job posting..when would you be leaving? What will you be doing at the University?
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
DawnsMinstrel
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Default Re: Driving Advice for Western Canada

Thanks Char. Yeah, I'm very tempted to do the drive for the sake of the adventure and the natural beauty, but I'm worried about the truck being underpowered, about scarcity of fuel out that way, unfamiliar roads and weather, cell-phone reception in case of emergency and so on. I've got time to prepare. We'll be moving during the latter half of May.

I've driven a Uhaul before several times - once while pulling a trailer carrying my car. I have to admit, I was unprepared for the difficulty of using a trailer that first time, and the truck i used was huge. In the present case, I'd be using a much smaller truck, which I think will make it easier. Also I plan to prepare myself a little better for the problem of hauling a trailer. I'm really mainly concerned with the truck being underpowered for the terrain and for being far away from fuel, help, food, and lodging. Having never traveled through there before I don't know what to expect.

About the job: It's a post-doctoral research fellowship at the geophysical institute. It's an odd position for me to take as I've been "post-doctoral" for several years now, but jobs in my field are scarce at the moment, and it's a great opportunity to work with a prominent colleague. Professionally I'm a theoretical/computational plasma physicist with a focus on problems in space science ( and formerly astrophysics.) The guy is hiring me mainly for my computational skills.

Anyway, thanks for getting back to me. I'll be grateful for any advice, suggestions and so on I receive, and if I do wind up doing the drive, and anyone out there in corfid land happens to live along the route we're taking, maybe I can stop by for some jamming along the way :-).
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:30 AM   #4
Lisa J
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Default Re: Driving Advice for Western Canada

Hi,
26 years ago we took the same trip to anchorage, then took the same trip back three years later. We took the ferry from bellingham to Haines, then drove the Yukon. It was nearly 3 decades ago, but it was pretty lonely out there. the driving was slow because the roads were not great. I hear they are better now, but still not great. I would highly recommend the ferry ride. as a matter of fact, my daughter just took a job near anchorage and will be taking that ferry ride in a month! the places and sights you see from the boat are incredible. The cost is about the same to drive as the ferry ride is and it is a lot of fun.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
lighthead2toe
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Default Re: Driving Advice for Western Canada

Hi Tim. Great hearing from you and congrats on the new job.

I would not recommend driving and I base that on the experience of making the drive from Vancouver, up through the mountains to the high country, into Alberta and from there across the prairies (sounds like a familiar song, doesn't it?) and then down to Toronto. It's a five sleep over drive. (5000km)

I found it's a very tiring way to travel and although I was driving a mini van not towing anything, it can get quite testy when you encounter a logging truck, of which there many along the route.
Truck drivers can be an impatient lot and they know the highway and we don't and that can lead to "tailgating" issues which I found rather scary especially at night when their headlights are shining directly into your mirrors.
Encountering wildlife along the way also can be dangerous, as deer, moose, etc. are unpredictable with their moves.
Other issues could be breakdowns, flat tires and lack of knowledge re accommodation, gas stations, etc. Think I've said enough!

I would take the recommendation of Lisa (thanks Lisa) and enjoy the view from the water.

Good luck and keep us posted and keep playing those great tunes the way you do!

RJ.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:58 PM   #6
DawnsMinstrel
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Default Re: Driving Advice for Western Canada

Hi Lisa and RJ,

thanks very much for your advice. I think you may have me convinced to take that Ferry. It had been suggested to me, but I do like the idea of seeing as much of the north country as possible too. Maybe there are better ways to do it though. I'm sorry I'm a little slow to thank you for your advice. I've been so busy getting ready for the move!

I'm hoping to put up a new video or two soon by the way, but I have to wait for my thumbnail to finish growing back after a bad break. ;-). Thanks for the well-wishes and I'll check back once in a while to update our progress.

-Tim
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