Move to Alaska??
Chelsey

San Antonio, TX

#41 Dec 29, 2006
Joshua Johnson wrote:
I have question my wife and I are moving to Anchorage and are wanting to drive there, is it safe to drive there in the winter months or should I take a ferry to get there.
ARE YOU REALLY COMING UP FROM FLORIDA? WOW, THAT IS GOING TO BE A REALLY LONG DRIVE. MY HUSBAND AND I CAME UP FROM MICHIGAN IN MARCH AND HAD NO PROBLEMS. THE ALCAN HIGHWAYS IS ACTUALLY SOOTHER IN THE WINTER AND THERE ARE NO MOTORHOMES TO DEAL WITH!! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE REALLY GOOD TIRES AND A SPARE... AND GET A MILEPOST BOOK. IF I WERE YOU I WOULD GO UP THOUGH SWEETGRASS MONTANA AND GO THAT ROUTE AND NOT UP THE COAST. THE FERRY WOULD BE PROBABLY BE A LITTLE MORE RELAXING. MY HUSBAND AND I WERE CONSIDERING THAT TOO... BUT IT IS A LITTLE PRICEY AND WE WANTED THE ADVENTURE OF THE ALCAN! THERE ARE SOME DEALS ON THE FERRY IN THE WINTER AND IT REALLY DOES DEPEND ON WHAT YOU ARE DRIVING AND HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAVE TO GET UP HERE. REMEMBER THE PACE IS A LITTLE SLOWER UP HERE, SO HAVE PATIENCE WHEN PLANNING YOUR TRIP.

SORRY I COULD TELL YOU ONE OVER THE OTHER, IT REALLY IS PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND EITHER WAS IS FULL OF BREATHTAKING SIGHTS.

WELCOME TO ALASKA.
Chelsey from Fairbanks

San Antonio, TX

#42 Dec 29, 2006
JUST SO YOU KNOW... I LIVE IN FAIRBANKS AND NOT OHIO, SO I DO HAVE SOME CLUE ON WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT :)
KodiakBear

Tacoma, WA

#43 Dec 29, 2006
Joshua Johnson wrote:
I have question my wife and I are moving to Anchorage and are wanting to drive there, is it safe to drive there in the winter months or should I take a ferry to get there.
If you decide to drive... once you hit the Yukon Territory you are forever in the wilderness. Most people don't really understand the impact that this means. You also get some very spectacular views! Traffic many times may be just one car every 1/2 hour (if that) in either direction. The good point is that in Alaska it is illegal not to stop and help a car traveler in need of assistance, and Canadians can at least be given the credit to also assist. You need to fill up at every gas station/stop once you hit the Yukon Territory. Forget the cost, charge it to Mr. Visa for you will be trapped with no gas if you don't do it! The roads are good in Canada. Some dirt/gravel roads near Canadian border and once you enter Alaska. They tend to be 20 miles paved and then 20 miles gravel (and repeated this way some times for hundreds of miles), so forget those dings on your car because more will be coming. It is part of initiation of being an Alaskan. Alaska does not always have road/side barriers in the mountain areas, so slow your speeds during hills/mountain areas. I have always enjoyed the Yukon area the best, but British C. Territory is also very spectacular in viewing! Motels should not be fully booked, so take your time; enjoy the people, crafts at the Canadian small gas station sites, etc. Once in the Yukon many gas stations are not like Americans know them. Most are just a "hole in the wall" with a nice place to buy fast food items and a friendly person to ask about road conditions, etc. You need to fill up gas at all these places in the Yukon! I would say the most dangerous part of your travels in car to Anchorage is the last 100 miles to Anchorage. You will be in the high mountain area with moose sometimes standing in the middle of the roadway and in the fog! This is by far the most dangerous part! If you hit the moose kiss your car goodbye. Anchorage alone has 200+ moose/car collisions yearly. So, if foggy, and if dark (which it will be mostly this time of year), slow your car speed down so as not to hit the moose! It you have small children be certain they sit in the rear seats this last 100 miles going to Anchorage.

So, if you decide to drive thru the Yukon, I would encourage you to take one or more days staying extra times at small motels to enjoy the "people" talk of the Canadians, etc. Whitehorse might be a priority to also spend a full day at. Chances like these come to some once in a lifetime, so enjoy your moments when you can! Little cash is needed traveling thru Canada. Mr. Visa should be good even in small towns, gas stops, etc. Motels are also much cheaper in Canada. Once you enter Alaska the prices jump up on motels cost, but the price of gas drops. Enjoy your trip!
Palmer Dude

Juneau, AK

#44 Dec 29, 2006
Take head, your advice is good!! May I mention that you will see signs stating that you're leaving emergency service area so you're really on your own.

Palmer and fog, great, at least the wind died down though by Colony High School it was blowing like crazy!!

Happy New Year!!
KodiakBear wrote:
<quoted text>
If you decide to drive... once you hit the Yukon Territory you are forever in the wilderness. Most people don't really understand the impact that this means. You also get some very spectacular views! Traffic many times may be just one car every 1/2 hour (if that) in either direction. The good point is that in Alaska it is illegal not to stop and help a car traveler in need of assistance, and Canadians can at least be given the credit to also assist. You need to fill up at every gas station/stop once you hit the Yukon Territory. Forget the cost, charge it to Mr. Visa for you will be trapped with no gas if you don't do it! The roads are good in Canada. Some dirt/gravel roads near Canadian border and once you enter Alaska. They tend to be 20 miles paved and then 20 miles gravel (and repeated this way some times for hundreds of miles), so forget those dings on your car because more will be coming. It is part of initiation of being an Alaskan. Alaska does not always have road/side barriers in the mountain areas, so slow your speeds during hills/mountain areas. I have always enjoyed the Yukon area the best, but British C. Territory is also very spectacular in viewing! Motels should not be fully booked, so take your time; enjoy the people, crafts at the Canadian small gas station sites, etc. Once in the Yukon many gas stations are not like Americans know them. Most are just a "hole in the wall" with a nice place to buy fast food items and a friendly person to ask about road conditions, etc. You need to fill up gas at all these places in the Yukon! I would say the most dangerous part of your travels in car to Anchorage is the last 100 miles to Anchorage. You will be in the high mountain area with moose sometimes standing in the middle of the roadway and in the fog! This is by far the most dangerous part! If you hit the moose kiss your car goodbye. Anchorage alone has 200+ moose/car collisions yearly. So, if foggy, and if dark (which it will be mostly this time of year), slow your car speed down so as not to hit the moose! It you have small children be certain they sit in the rear seats this last 100 miles going to Anchorage.
So, if you decide to drive thru the Yukon, I would encourage you to take one or more days staying extra times at small motels to enjoy the "people" talk of the Canadians, etc. Whitehorse might be a priority to also spend a full day at. Chances like these come to some once in a lifetime, so enjoy your moments when you can! Little cash is needed traveling thru Canada. Mr. Visa should be good even in small towns, gas stops, etc. Motels are also much cheaper in Canada. Once you enter Alaska the prices jump up on motels cost, but the price of gas drops. Enjoy your trip!
Joshua Johnson

Dunedin, FL

#45 Dec 29, 2006
KodiakBear wrote:
<quoted text>
If you decide to drive... once you hit the Yukon Territory you are forever in the wilderness. Most people don't really understand the impact that this means. You also get some very spectacular views! Traffic many times may be just one car every 1/2 hour (if that) in either direction. The good point is that in Alaska it is illegal not to stop and help a car traveler in need of assistance, and Canadians can at least be given the credit to also assist. You need to fill up at every gas station/stop once you hit the Yukon Territory. Forget the cost, charge it to Mr. Visa for you will be trapped with no gas if you don't do it! The roads are good in Canada. Some dirt/gravel roads near Canadian border and once you enter Alaska. They tend to be 20 miles paved and then 20 miles gravel (and repeated this way some times for hundreds of miles), so forget those dings on your car because more will be coming. It is part of initiation of being an Alaskan. Alaska does not always have road/side barriers in the mountain areas, so slow your speeds during hills/mountain areas. I have always enjoyed the Yukon area the best, but British C. Territory is also very spectacular in viewing! Motels should not be fully booked, so take your time; enjoy the people, crafts at the Canadian small gas station sites, etc. Once in the Yukon many gas stations are not like Americans know them. Most are just a "hole in the wall" with a nice place to buy fast food items and a friendly person to ask about road conditions, etc. You need to fill up gas at all these places in the Yukon! I would say the most dangerous part of your travels in car to Anchorage is the last 100 miles to Anchorage. You will be in the high mountain area with moose sometimes standing in the middle of the roadway and in the fog! This is by far the most dangerous part! If you hit the moose kiss your car goodbye. Anchorage alone has 200+ moose/car collisions yearly. So, if foggy, and if dark (which it will be mostly this time of year), slow your car speed down so as not to hit the moose! It you have small children be certain they sit in the rear seats this last 100 miles going to Anchorage.
So, if you decide to drive thru the Yukon, I would encourage you to take one or more days staying extra times at small motels to enjoy the "people" talk of the Canadians, etc. Whitehorse might be a priority to also spend a full day at. Chances like these come to some once in a lifetime, so enjoy your moments when you can! Little cash is needed traveling thru Canada. Mr. Visa should be good even in small towns, gas stops, etc. Motels are also much cheaper in Canada. Once you enter Alaska the prices jump up on motels cost, but the price of gas drops. Enjoy your trip!
Thank you for the advice, this friday the 5th we start our drive up there. I will let you know how it the drive was when we get there.
Joshua Johnson

Dunedin, FL

#46 Dec 29, 2006
Chelsey wrote:
<quoted text>
ARE YOU REALLY COMING UP FROM FLORIDA? WOW, THAT IS GOING TO BE A REALLY LONG DRIVE. MY HUSBAND AND I CAME UP FROM MICHIGAN IN MARCH AND HAD NO PROBLEMS. THE ALCAN HIGHWAYS IS ACTUALLY SOOTHER IN THE WINTER AND THERE ARE NO MOTORHOMES TO DEAL WITH!! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE REALLY GOOD TIRES AND A SPARE... AND GET A MILEPOST BOOK. IF I WERE YOU I WOULD GO UP THOUGH SWEETGRASS MONTANA AND GO THAT ROUTE AND NOT UP THE COAST. THE FERRY WOULD BE PROBABLY BE A LITTLE MORE RELAXING. MY HUSBAND AND I WERE CONSIDERING THAT TOO... BUT IT IS A LITTLE PRICEY AND WE WANTED THE ADVENTURE OF THE ALCAN! THERE ARE SOME DEALS ON THE FERRY IN THE WINTER AND IT REALLY DOES DEPEND ON WHAT YOU ARE DRIVING AND HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAVE TO GET UP HERE. REMEMBER THE PACE IS A LITTLE SLOWER UP HERE, SO HAVE PATIENCE WHEN PLANNING YOUR TRIP.
SORRY I COULD TELL YOU ONE OVER THE OTHER, IT REALLY IS PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND EITHER WAS IS FULL OF BREATHTAKING SIGHTS.
WELCOME TO ALASKA.
Thank you for the advice, this friday the 5th we start our drive up there. I will let you know how the drive was when we get there.
Joshua Johnson

Dunedin, FL

#47 Dec 29, 2006
Chelsey wrote:
<quoted text>
ARE YOU REALLY COMING UP FROM FLORIDA? WOW, THAT IS GOING TO BE A REALLY LONG DRIVE. MY HUSBAND AND I CAME UP FROM MICHIGAN IN MARCH AND HAD NO PROBLEMS. THE ALCAN HIGHWAYS IS ACTUALLY SOOTHER IN THE WINTER AND THERE ARE NO MOTORHOMES TO DEAL WITH!! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE REALLY GOOD TIRES AND A SPARE... AND GET A MILEPOST BOOK. IF I WERE YOU I WOULD GO UP THOUGH SWEETGRASS MONTANA AND GO THAT ROUTE AND NOT UP THE COAST. THE FERRY WOULD BE PROBABLY BE A LITTLE MORE RELAXING. MY HUSBAND AND I WERE CONSIDERING THAT TOO... BUT IT IS A LITTLE PRICEY AND WE WANTED THE ADVENTURE OF THE ALCAN! THERE ARE SOME DEALS ON THE FERRY IN THE WINTER AND IT REALLY DOES DEPEND ON WHAT YOU ARE DRIVING AND HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAVE TO GET UP HERE. REMEMBER THE PACE IS A LITTLE SLOWER UP HERE, SO HAVE PATIENCE WHEN PLANNING YOUR TRIP.
SORRY I COULD TELL YOU ONE OVER THE OTHER, IT REALLY IS PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND EITHER WAS IS FULL OF BREATHTAKING SIGHTS.
WELCOME TO ALASKA.
Where do i get a milepost book?
ValleyVoice

Wasilla, AK

#48 Dec 29, 2006
Joshua, any good bookstore can get you a copy. If you can't get one in time, you should be able to pick one up close to the US/Canadian border-check larger service stations and towns that have bookstores.

Just a hint: You should really pack some survival gear in your vehicle for a winter drive of the Alcan. This means food items, down sleeping bags, extra water, some way to start a fire, emergency flares and blankets, first aid kit, five extra gallons of gas, and above all, heavy winter gear-boots, gloves, wool hat and scarf, etc.

Give yourself an extra day, carry a spare tire and it wouldn't hurt to carry a spare headlight and some antifreeze too-oooh, do check your antifreeze, it does need to be good for at least -35 degrees, and you need a new good battery. Don't get in a hurry and make your best time during daylight hours-slowing down when it's dark. Most people shoot for about 500 miles a day when they hit Canada, or more.

If you can stay in motels and inns that helps a lot. I usually packed sandwiches and drinks and other snacks in a cooler for my trips and didn't eat a lot of hot food, to save a few bucks. Remember to carry some extra cash and all your insurance information with you-and if you are bringing pets they will need an international health certificate too. Good luck!
KodiakBear

Tacoma, WA

#49 Dec 30, 2006
Joshua, and might I add to the above a cell phone if you have one. In Alaska Verizon (or Alaska Comm. System) is about the major freeway systems, but don't rely on it! You are truly in the wilderness when most of the time you don't even have a cell phone connection! Seldom is this the case in the "lower 48" (state side). Candles make good emergency equipment, too. Wrap yourself with a good blanket in the cold (in your car in an emergency) and a candle can give you some heat to survive till another car/s come by the highway. A good red emergency flag to hang on your car might not be a bad idea, also. Good flashlight with good extra batteries. Good wiper blades on your car for those blizzard type snow winds. You might have to slow your car speeds often in the blizzard type snows. Travel as least as possible in these conditions as it gets hard to see the roadway in front of you, and you also don't want to be rear-ended by those Canadian truckers who tend to be hard on the gas pedals. I don't think anyone is trying to scare you out, just the reverse! Trying to get you to understand the true "wilderness" of the traveling you will be doing, and the general safety precautions that you, and others, should take. So, if you just got to stay put in a motel for a day or two due to the blizzard snow winds then do it! Let the trucks drive it...they do daily, but they got the big rigs and they know every turn in the roads. You might find a good battery in Canada. Buy the biggest, baddest they got. Not much price change. Go for the biggest CCA (cold cranking amps). I got a 850 CCA in Anchorage Walmart for about $80. Still working good 3 years later. Hard to find such high CCA in the lower 48 states. My car states standard size is for 450 CCA, but this just won't due for your travels and for Alaska. It won't turn your car engine over at -20F, let alone -30. Canada has Costco stores, too. Good place to install a set of four new studded snow tires, or buy a good battery. Anchorage has a number of places that install engine heat cores that you plug your car engine into an electrical outlet when outside at your home. For $220 well worth the cost. The city (Anchorage) runs rebate/low cost programs/advice in the service providers for this service installation, too. And, I got an auto-start for my car at a small shop near the SW street corner of Dowling & Old Seward Highway, for $200 also well worth it! Two years later still works perfect! Can start your car inside and heat the car before you go out and sit in it. Ever touch your ignition switch (bare metal) with bare fingers? You get a 1st degree cold burn to your finger/s at -20F if you do. Alaskans will just laugh at you if you whine about this. You just got to learn to "layer" up when you go outside in the cold. Look for cloths and gloves in ski shops. Even Alaska large department stores have poor outside winter cloths...mostly cottons...not good...need the wool or polyester. I found a "made in Russia" polyester type coat in a small Wasilla sports shop and other than the reverse zipper (left handed) it is the best winter coat I've ever had! Don't depend on anything cotton to keep the winds from penetrating your skin...I go for the polyesters (that's why ski shops, etc. are good). Alaskans like myself just got to always keep your eyes/ears open for good shopping items. Anchorage is mild in winters in that seldom even with wind factors is it less than -20F. The mountain ranges protect you from wind chills. But just go 20 miles outside Anchorage and this is not the case. The bitter cold ends about Jan 10th, so you will miss the "bitter" stuff mostly. But the snow will mostly be on the grounds till Apr/May. Yet, Anchorage is changing. Don't get the high snow falls much anymore...I guess it went the way of the polar bears.
Joshua Johnson

Dunedin, FL

#50 Dec 30, 2006
KodiakBear wrote:
Joshua, and might I add to the above a cell phone if you have one. In Alaska Verizon (or Alaska Comm. System) is about the major freeway systems, but don't rely on it! You are truly in the wilderness when most of the time you don't even have a cell phone connection! Seldom is this the case in the "lower 48" (state side). Candles make good emergency equipment, too. Wrap yourself with a good blanket in the cold (in your car in an emergency) and a candle can give you some heat to survive till another car/s come by the highway. A good red emergency flag to hang on your car might not be a bad idea, also. Good flashlight with good extra batteries. Good wiper blades on your car for those blizzard type snow winds. You might have to slow your car speeds often in the blizzard type snows. Travel as least as possible in these conditions as it gets hard to see the roadway in front of you, and you also don't want to be rear-ended by those Canadian truckers who tend to be hard on the gas pedals. I don't think anyone is trying to scare you out, just the reverse! Trying to get you to understand the true "wilderness" of the traveling you will be doing, and the general safety precautions that you, and others, should take. So, if you just got to stay put in a motel for a day or two due to the blizzard snow winds then do it! Let the trucks drive it...they do daily, but they got the big rigs and they know every turn in the roads. You might find a good battery in Canada. Buy the biggest, baddest they got. Not much price change. Go for the biggest CCA (cold cranking amps). I got a 850 CCA in Anchorage Walmart for about $80. Still working good 3 years later. Hard to find such high CCA in the lower 48 states. My car states standard size is for 450 CCA, but this just won't due for your travels and for Alaska. It won't turn your car engine over at -20F, let alone -30. Canada has Costco stores, too. Good place to install a set of four new studded snow tires, or buy a good battery. Anchorage has a number of places that install engine heat cores that you plug your car engine into an electrical outlet when outside at your home. For $220 well worth the cost. The city (Anchorage) runs rebate/low cost programs/advice in the service providers for this service installation, too. And, I got an auto-start for my car at a small shop near the SW street corner of Dowling & Old Seward Highway, for $200 also well worth it! Two years later still works perfect! Can start your car inside and heat the car before you go out and sit in it. Ever touch your ignition switch (bare metal) with bare fingers? You get a 1st degree cold burn to your finger/s at -20F if you do. Alaskans will just laugh at you if you whine about this. You just got to learn to "layer" up when you go outside in the cold. Look for cloths and gloves in ski shops. Even Alaska large department stores have poor outside winter cloths...mostly cottons...not good...need the wool or polyester. I found a "made in Russia" polyester type coat in a small Wasilla sports shop and other than the reverse zipper (left handed) it is the best winter coat I've ever had! Don't depend on anything cotton to keep the winds from penetrating your skin...I go for the polyesters (that's why ski shops, etc. are good). Alaskans like myself just got to always keep your eyes/ears open for good shopping items. Anchorage is mild in winters in that seldom even with wind factors is it less than -20F. The mountain ranges protect you from wind chills. But just go 20 miles outside Anchorage and this is not the case. The bitter cold ends about Jan 10th, so you will miss the "bitter" stuff mostly. But the snow will mostly be on the grounds till Apr/May. Yet, Anchorage is changing. Don't get the high snow falls much anymore...I guess it went the way of the polar bears.
So do you think i could make it in my Scion TC or are the roads there that bad that i could not make what do you think?
Joshua Johnson

Dunedin, FL

#51 Dec 30, 2006
KodiakBear wrote:
Joshua, and might I add to the above a cell phone if you have one. In Alaska Verizon (or Alaska Comm. System) is about the major freeway systems, but don't rely on it! You are truly in the wilderness when most of the time you don't even have a cell phone connection! Seldom is this the case in the "lower 48" (state side). Candles make good emergency equipment, too. Wrap yourself with a good blanket in the cold (in your car in an emergency) and a candle can give you some heat to survive till another car/s come by the highway. A good red emergency flag to hang on your car might not be a bad idea, also. Good flashlight with good extra batteries. Good wiper blades on your car for those blizzard type snow winds. You might have to slow your car speeds often in the blizzard type snows. Travel as least as possible in these conditions as it gets hard to see the roadway in front of you, and you also don't want to be rear-ended by those Canadian truckers who tend to be hard on the gas pedals. I don't think anyone is trying to scare you out, just the reverse! Trying to get you to understand the true "wilderness" of the traveling you will be doing, and the general safety precautions that you, and others, should take. So, if you just got to stay put in a motel for a day or two due to the blizzard snow winds then do it! Let the trucks drive it...they do daily, but they got the big rigs and they know every turn in the roads. You might find a good battery in Canada. Buy the biggest, baddest they got. Not much price change. Go for the biggest CCA (cold cranking amps). I got a 850 CCA in Anchorage Walmart for about $80. Still working good 3 years later. Hard to find such high CCA in the lower 48 states. My car states standard size is for 450 CCA, but this just won't due for your travels and for Alaska. It won't turn your car engine over at -20F, let alone -30. Canada has Costco stores, too. Good place to install a set of four new studded snow tires, or buy a good battery. Anchorage has a number of places that install engine heat cores that you plug your car engine into an electrical outlet when outside at your home. For $220 well worth the cost. The city (Anchorage) runs rebate/low cost programs/advice in the service providers for this service installation, too. And, I got an auto-start for my car at a small shop near the SW street corner of Dowling & Old Seward Highway, for $200 also well worth it! Two years later still works perfect! Can start your car inside and heat the car before you go out and sit in it. Ever touch your ignition switch (bare metal) with bare fingers? You get a 1st degree cold burn to your finger/s at -20F if you do. Alaskans will just laugh at you if you whine about this. You just got to learn to "layer" up when you go outside in the cold. Look for cloths and gloves in ski shops. Even Alaska large department stores have poor outside winter cloths...mostly cottons...not good...need the wool or polyester. I found a "made in Russia" polyester type coat in a small Wasilla sports shop and other than the reverse zipper (left handed) it is the best winter coat I've ever had! Don't depend on anything cotton to keep the winds from penetrating your skin...I go for the polyesters (that's why ski shops, etc. are good). Alaskans like myself just got to always keep your eyes/ears open for good shopping items. Anchorage is mild in winters in that seldom even with wind factors is it less than -20F. The mountain ranges protect you from wind chills. But just go 20 miles outside Anchorage and this is not the case. The bitter cold ends about Jan 10th, so you will miss the "bitter" stuff mostly. But the snow will mostly be on the grounds till Apr/May. Yet, Anchorage is changing. Don't get the high snow falls much anymore...I guess it went the way of the polar bears.
Do you think that I could make in our Scion Tc?
KodiakBear

Tacoma, WA

#52 Dec 31, 2006
Joshua Johnson wrote:
<quoted text>
Do you think that I could make in our Scion Tc?
Yes.
It has front-wheel drive (a must for long driving in snow). And, you should have studded snow tires for your trip thru Canada/Alaska. The studs can stay on in Alaska till May 1st (I believe). If you don't have studded snow tires then you should have a good pair of snow tires, or have a real rugged (treads) of all-season tires. However, I would really not recommend such a long drive in just all-season tires (too dangerous). If you have "regular" tires you are jeopardizing your life on such a long drive (even on the main roads due to icy conditions). If you stay on the main roads you should not need chains. Anchorage regularly has auto stores (ie- Schucks Auto Supplies) that advertises that you can buy chains...and if not used you can return them without questions if unused without questions.
The snow in Alaska is very dry snow. Seldom will you have more than 3-5 inches daily and with front-wheel drive you get fairly good traction in such snow. It just snows from November to April daily...so it adds up over time, and if a road is not plowed you can't drive off a maximum of about 10 inches in that Scion-TC. When you get to Anchorage make sure you are on a street that has a regular "snow route" (snow plows) if the Scion-TC is your only vehicle. Else, you are going to need a 4-wheel vehicle to drive your own street. Most all cars/vehicles in Anchorage are "big monsters." Regardless of the mpg the safety factor is considered...they don't want to get stuck driving some back road at 1 a.m. and where nobody is around.
Living in Alaska means high cost for car care. Consider this. Your Scion-TC will be good 7 months out of the year, but the other 5 months you will wish you probably had a bigger (or heavier) car/vehicle. Cars/trucks/SUVs are all more expensive in Anchorage...add about 40-80% more to a good used car in the lower 48 states and you will know about what you will pay for it in Anchorage. Stay away from the used car dealers, buy from the military base (soldier leaving post) in Anchorage or just go looking in the newspaper from a personal party.
Also, when driving thru Canada/Alaska until you get to Anchorage in that small Scion-TC be sure of "your exit" when parking. If parking at a motel don't park in the back where other cars don't plow down the snows, etc. And, I even tended to rear park so as to not have to back up when leaving in the motel after a 5-7 inch snow fall. It all adds up to being as safety conscious as possible.
If you are a fighter, than you got half the battle won for being a future "Alaskan." There will be a time in your next two years you will nearly breakdown crying trying to hand plow your driveway at 6 a.m. and then only find out that you need to hand plow another 100 of main roadway just to get to the corner of a main road. It is the fight in you that will help you, not how much loving heart you have. I guess that is why some feel that some Alaskans are abrasive when people ask about living in Alaska. You just got to experience it to be able to really describe it to another person. Why in the hell would anyone want to live mainly away from civilization, endure such weather elements, and just get by with the wages they are paid? Well, if you see a moose sitting right in front of your car chewing it's cud from eating your tree trimmings, or see near daily bald eagles, or see fish like you never have before, or just like to hike to the top of a mountain top and look down to society, well then you might be getting closer to explaining to others why people endure the lonesomeness and weather elements.

Enjoy your trip. And, be always thinking safety- roads, weather, food/water, bears, cell phone connections, even if you don't immediately need them since this will get you automatically in gear to think like a real Alaskan.
KodiakBear

Tacoma, WA

#53 Dec 31, 2006
To view the current road "snow conditions" in Anchorage go to:

http://www.camera.touchngo.com/

this picture (downtown shopping area) always shows the best of all road conditions in Anchorage; hence, add about 2-4 inches for other main roads.
Can your car drive on the ice/snow? If not, best get studded snow tires, or be prepared for lots of fender benders/accidents being your fault and have good auto insurance.
Chelsey from Fairbanks

San Antonio, TX

#54 Jan 2, 2007
I DON'T KNOW IF ANYONE ELSE MENTIONED THIS TOO... MAKE SURE YOU GET A BLOCK HEATER, OIL PAN HEATER AND I THINK IT IS A BATTERY BLANKET... BASICALLY YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU CAN PLUG YOUR CAR IN SO IT DOESN'T FREEZE OVERNIGHT!! AND DON'T LET A MECHANIC TELL YOU THAT THE MAGNETIC OIL DIP STICK HEATER WILL WORK!! AT 50 BELOW IT WON'T! TELL THEM WHERE YOU ARE MOVING TOO AND HAVE THEM CALL THE DEALERSHIP UP HERE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU NEED. IT COSTS ABOUT $400 AT THE DEALERSHIP... IF YOU ARE GOOD WITH CARS YOU CAN DO TO AN AUTO PARTS STORE AND DO IT YOURSELF TOO!! HAVE A GREAT TRIP!!
Casey

Fairbanks, AK

#55 Jan 2, 2007
FYI - I moved to Fairbanks 2 years ago from Syracuse and I have to tell you that though it might get to -40 here it actually feels warmer since there is NO wind and NO humidity. Also I have hiked all over and having a gun with you is an added security but I have yet to run into a bear or moose on the trail.
It is beautiful here even in the winter with Northern Lights and frost and amazing pastel colors of the sky. Compared to Central NY there is no comparison...Fairbanks is Way better. Oh and the people here are REALLY really nice.
Jessica wrote:
This is a very serious decision I have to make...should I move to ak? Here is my situation:
I live in upstate NY and had a baby the 29th of July 2006. The father lives and works in Fairbanks, ak. He recently got the job there and has not experienced an Alaska winter. He wants us both to move up there. I love him and want him to be a part of his daughters life. Now I like the snow, hiking, all that good stuff. But when it's so cold that you can't leave your house or you have to hike with a gun... I just don't know. I have visited Alaska and loved it. I would love ny tips about Alaska and any advice on moving there.
cones1

Pittsford, NY

#56 Jan 4, 2007
Casey wrote:
FYI - I moved to Fairbanks 2 years ago from Syracuse and I have to tell you that though it might get to -40 here it actually feels warmer since there is NO wind and NO humidity. Also I have hiked all over and having a gun with you is an added security but I have yet to run into a bear or moose on the trail.
It is beautiful here even in the winter with Northern Lights and frost and amazing pastel colors of the sky. Compared to Central NY there is no comparison...Fairbanks is Way better. Oh and the people here are REALLY really nice.
<quoted text>
Hi Casey- upstate native also - seneca falls - moving to alaska in four weeks to join my fiancee (also from the finger lakes region of NY). glad to know there are others up there waiting :)
Alaska Mudman

Anchorage, AK

#57 Jan 24, 2007
Hello all, I live in Nome Alaska. I was raised in Barrow (where many people still use Honey pots and have no running water accept for a cold water spigot provided by the city and 90% of all potable water is recycled (Barrow has one of the best water filtration systems in the world)).
I always find it humorus when people that are thinking of moving to alaska automatically thingk that they have to ferry to alaska. All major cities and most larger towns have both passenger and cargo airline access (how do you think a lot of stuff gets sent up here especially to land locked areas?). Now if you don't want to Fly to alaska and are willing to spend a couple of days in Canada you can drive to almost all major alaskan cities from the lower 48. I reccomend that all people moving to alaska make the highway trip atleast once as you can see some incredible, nigh on unimaginable things if you do.

If you want to get a good look at some of the more remote places in alaska jsut go to google.com and download google earth. It will let you see just about any place in alaska (although in some cases the satellite pictures can be as much as 10 ears old).

The biggest downside to living in alaska is that technology wise many of our services are anywhere from 5 to 10 years behind the lower 48. So if you think that you will be able to enjoy all of the creature comforts that you are used to, I would reccoment that you stay nearrer the cities (Fairbanks, Anchorage, Valdez, and Juneau) and larger towns (Homer, Nome, Palmer, Soldotna and Wasilla). If being able to use a cell phone or having flat rate tv or internet access isn't a big thing to you then you can live just about anywhere in alaska.
Alaska Mudman

Anchorage, AK

#58 Jan 24, 2007
I guess I should have used a spell checker on my typing, but I am used not used to typing on my new laptop yet so please excuse any misspellings you may have seen in my previous post.

Thank You
ROBERTO

Sacramento, CA

#59 Jan 24, 2007
CAN YOU HAVE CHICKENS IN ALASKA I MEAN IS IT TOO COLD IN WINTER HAS ANY ONE RAISED CHICKENS THERE BEFORE JUST ASKING DO THEY HAVE CODES LIKE TOWN-COUNTRY ANIMAL KEEP SAKE LIKE ONLY IN CERTIN AREAS CAN YOU HAVE ROOSTERS DUE TO DISTURBANCE OF LOUD NOISE LIKE CROWING ECT?
Drake

Washington, DC

#60 Jan 24, 2007
lou wrote:
I personnally would be scared to death of Alaska. Isn't it true Alaska has some of the weakest gun control laws in the world? No permit for guns?
It must be a blood bath up there!
Yup Yup ..... A lot of Frost Bit Broke Back Cowboys ..... taking the law into our own hands ..... remember Gun Control is being able to hold your Gun really steady, so as to hit your target.

Reality: After a bit of fun ..... Alaska is a low crime state and most folks look after each other. This is not the Norm in the Rat Race, Dog-eat-Dog, Milk the System I find in the lower 48.

Alaska has been my greatest adventure for more than 19 years. Drake

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