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Discussion Starter #1
OK, this is only marginally related to shooting, but since the new website organization has been in place I find myself only looking at the shooting related threads and ignoring the others. I suspect others may do that too. Also I can make the lame excuse that we do shoot birds in field trials, and there have been a number of "Shooting Related" threads about dogs lately. So here goes.

There is a retriever field trial scheduled for the first weekend in June in Wasilla AK. My wife and I have never been to Alaska and would like to go. For me it is one of two states I have not seen (the other is OK). She says she has been in all but Alaska. I tell her that several of hers were while she was an infant, but mine have all been as an adult, so some of hers don't count. Anyway, we are thinking of going, and the trial would be a good opportunity, especially since one of the judges is a friend/training partner who just happens to own the sire of my two dogs.

The options are to drive the Alaska Highway or to take the Alaska Marine Highway (the ferry from Bellingham WA to Haines AK). If we did one each way we could see more country. My main question is how would we handle the dogs on the ferry? I asked whether we could take them and the AAA gal said there is a $10 fee per dog, which is very reasonable. How long, timewise, is the trip from Bellingham to Haines, and what do people do about the dog potty situation?

On the other part of the trip, how is the lodging situation on the route? We could take a camp trailer along, but it adds about $1000 to the cost of the ferry, and cuts our mileage by at least one-third, which is significant at 2000 miles just for the section from Anchorage to Pocatello, and nearly 1000 miles from Pocatello to Bellingham. Any suggestions there?

Thanks for your help.
 

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Larry,

See the link above.

From the last paragraph:

"Pets on the Alaska Ferry

Pets are allowed for an extra charge, but must have a health certificate issued within the last 30 days to go through Canada or into Alaska. Pets must stay in the vehicle or in a suitable container on the car deck, and you can take care of them only in port or during attended pet calls, which are announced three times a day. Service animals accompanying a disabled person travel free."
 

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Larry,

There are numerous port calls on that three day trip. Basically the ferry is how folks get from town to town in that part of the world.

The link above has a few more details.
 

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From Haines you still have a 2-DAY drive to get to Wasilla!

I would not take the Ferry - takes too long. I'd either drive it (takes 3 - 4 days, usually) or, better yet, fly you, her and the dog to Anchorage on a commercial airliner (still gotta have a doggie health cert. w/in 10 days of flying) then rent a vehicle while you're in Alaska.

Both the drive and the ferry ride and pretty exhausting. The jet gets you there in 3 - 4 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I guess I'll check that out too, but flying two dogs gets pretty expensive. Also, there's a lot of pretty scenery on the way. Besides, we're both retired and have the time.
 

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Pocatello - I worked for B.C. Ferries until retirement, a few years on the Inside Passage/North Coast runs. The run from the north end of Vancouver Island up to Prince Rupert is unbelievably beautiful, and is best seen in daylight. Narrow channels with forest covered mountains going straight up thousands of feet, with birds, whales (if you are lucky), and passing marine traffic, make for an interesting trip. From Prince Rupert on north is much of the same. If you haven't seen it, that coastline is a trip worth taking.

You could also take a ferry from either Anacortes or Port Angeles in Washington, or Tsawwassen, south of Vancouver, over to Vancouver Island, and drive up to Port Hardy at the north end. This is a long one day, or easy two day drive. Again, beautiful scenery. From Port Hardy, you catch a B.C. Ferry to Prince Rupert, and from Prince Rupert, an Alaska State ferry to Anchorage. Doing this, you will see the most spectacular bits in daylight. The Port Hardy-Prince Rupert trip is, I believe, about 15 or 18 hours. Cabins are available, but there are comfortable lounge chairs, as well. When I worked on those runs, the food was outstanding. We ate the same food as the passengers, and never had any complaints.
 

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Its not a bad drive north on I-15,threw Sweetgrass and on to Dawson Creek.Remeber gas by the liter won't be cheap and right now its 3.50 a gallon in Anchorage about 35 cents more for diesel.Coming south you could go down the Cassier Highway,just north of Watson Lake.Hazelton in BC has some of the best scenary,big mountain range just east of it and just beautiful.The ferry does not run to Anchorage.
 

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Pocatello,

If you can take ferry one way and drive the other way, I would definitely recommend that option. As Shooting Sailor has mentioned, the scenery in the Inside Passage is absolutely magnificent. During the summer months, I believe you will have an option to take AK Marine Hwy ferry all the way to Whittier, AK. Whittier is only about 45 mile drive from Anchorage. That will get you a whole lot closer to Wasilla then if you were to get off in Haines.

Also on your travel trailer option...you could potentially save a lot on lodging to counter balance the higher fuel & ferry cost.

Regards,
 

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Larry, put the dogs in the kennel and fly. We do it every year. We have a nice Kitty, dog condo place here in Boise, Meridian area. I think it is $18 a night for the 1st animal and $12 for the 2nd. You would be flying out of Boise anyway most likely. Above is their web site. The animals just need to be up to date on shots and if not they will do it. They are open 24 7 so you can drop off and pick up anytime depending on your flight. The dogs will love it because they meet new friends. They are also Vets so there is a vet on duty 24 7 also. A plus is that you know your pets are safe, when you take them with you they can get loose and you never see them again
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Leaving the dogs is not an option - one of the points of the trip is to run them in the field trial.

My travel agent tells me the ferry to Whittier is a once-a-month option, and quite a bit pricier.

Thanks again for the web links, Scott. From that info it looks like I better make ferry reservations pretty soon.
 

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Pocatello,

You can check out the ferry schedule on AK Marine Hwy official website.

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/

Regards,
 

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A tip: In Wasilla there is a restaurant, sits on a hill along side the highway, that serves a Prime Rib Commercial---prime rib on Texas toast with mashed potatoes and gravy........man it was gooooooood!
Willie
 

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I did the ferry a couple of times as a young man.

I wouldn't trade those memories for anything. Astounding beauty.

You have to do it at least once.

Bill
 

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I haved lived in Alaska for 40 years this last summer,I really can't tell you how much beauty we take for granted here no matter the winters or summers.The mountains are really outrageous when you get right down to it.You can see Mt McKinley from Anchorage at 20,320 feet its really awesome to see,let alone ride snowmobiles at Petersville and ride close to it also.
 

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C S, I have to agree. I spent two summers working at Mckinley park and words can't describe the natural beauty. Flying to AK just doesn't make sense to me. I suppose some people feel that they've seen it all before or don't have the time for an extended trip. Bill
 

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My wife and I have been up the Alcan several times. We just can't get enough of how beautiful it is. From where you live, 4-5 days would be the norm. IDE take 5 days and not push thing. Enjoy the fact that you are in Gods country and also by driving 5 days, the dogs will thank you. Yes the motels along the Alcan are expensive for what you get ($150-$200) per night but I've seen a lot of camp trailers and even motorhomes damaged from the road.. The Alcan is NOT paved, a lot of it is rolled gravel and oil. Once your in Anchorage, motels are not priced that bad. They are about the same as Seattle or Portland.
My other suggestion would be to take the ferry back to Washington. The price is a lot cheaper going down to Washington than it is going up...
 
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