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  #41  
Old 5 March 2018, 22:05
Akheloce Akheloce is offline
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I've done the ferry once on the .gov dime... Haines to Bellingham. This still required going through Canada to Haines though. Finding a cross gulf connection to Whittier or Valdez proved unworkable. If I were paying for it, I would not take the ferry. IIRC, it was $3500 for my truck and a stateroom (in 2004). Footage on the vehicle can drive the price up quickly. Have a trailer? Forget about it... serious $$$. It is legal to mail rifles to yourself, look up atf.gov for the details. If I were you, I'd consider which firearms you most want right away, send them FFL to FFL, and save the rest for future trips south via airline... hopefully you have a trusted friend or family in the lower 48 that you plan on visiting over the next several months or years.

When I came up the first time, I mailed a rifle to myself, and shipped a handgun FFL to FFL. Over the course of the next 5 years or so, my dad kept my other firearms which came up as checked luggage on Christmas visits.
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  #42  
Old 12 March 2018, 01:47
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AK49 AK49 is offline
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Shoot me a PM when you get up here. I'm born and raised in AK. A good buddy of mine has a fish camp on the Kenai river. We can take you and the wife out salmon fishing if you're interested. Additionally, I'm all about playing tour guide when it comes to anything outdoors, winter or summer.

Are you going to be working in the medical field in some sort of capacity? One of my long time buddies is a Paramedic for the Anchorage Fire Department, I can link you guy's up as well.

Drive safe.
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Last edited by AK49; 12 March 2018 at 01:54.
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  #43  
Old 13 March 2018, 23:34
justamedic justamedic is offline
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Shoot me a PM when you get up here. I'm born and raised in AK. A good buddy of mine has a fish camp on the Kenai river. We can take you and the wife out salmon fishing if you're interested. Additionally, I'm all about playing tour guide when it comes to anything outdoors, winter or summer.

Are you going to be working in the medical field in some sort of capacity? One of my long time buddies is a Paramedic for the Anchorage Fire Department, I can link you guy's up as well.

Drive safe.
Thanks, will do. I'll be in school for PA up there. I'm a paramedic, but the school does not allow me to work while attending. Thank you. And we'd love a guide. Met some pretty cool folks who live up there during the school interviews.
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  #44  
Old 13 March 2018, 23:38
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Thanks, will do. I'll be in school for PA up there. I'm a paramedic, but the school does not allow me to work while attending. Thank you.
What school? UAA? Doing the WWAMI program?
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  #45  
Old 13 March 2018, 23:40
justamedic justamedic is offline
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What school? UAA? Doing the WWAMI program?
Yes, that's the one. There is a satellite campus at UAA.
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  #46  
Old 13 March 2018, 23:41
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Cool. I have toyed with applying for the WWAMI PA program.
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  #47  
Old 13 March 2018, 23:47
justamedic justamedic is offline
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Cool. I have toyed with applying for the WWAMI PA program.
Great renowned program, great career, great wages, high job satisfaction.
Don't toy with it, do it. As of this application cycle the degree options have changed to all Master's programs. It will only continue to increase barriers to entry. You should seriously consider it.
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  #48  
Old 14 March 2018, 11:02
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Yea, if this is a dream or even something you're serious about, don't wait like an idiot I know who went back to school at 50 and graduated at 53 with a JD. This dude toyed with the idea in his 20s, 30s, and 40s, and it wasn't until he hit 50 did he realize he should have pulled the trigger 3-decades earlier. Unfortunately, he found out that age with wisdom and experience does not translate into making academic study any easier. The opposite is true!

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Cool. I have toyed with applying for the WWAMI PA program.
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  #49  
Old 26 March 2018, 16:44
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I flew to AK in the '70s but knew a few that drove up. At least back then a lot of the road was gravel and trucks would kick rocks up and put stars on the windshields. I'd heard of putting screening in front to prevent being hit by rocks, does anyone have more info on this?
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  #50  
Old 26 March 2018, 16:55
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hawkdrver hawkdrver is online now
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Originally Posted by P304X4 View Post
I flew to AK in the '70s but knew a few that drove up. At least back then a lot of the road was gravel and trucks would kick rocks up and put stars on the windshields. I'd heard of putting screening in front to prevent being hit by rocks, does anyone have more info on this?
Wish I did, been through a couple windshields on that road and narrowly missed replacing another one on the last drive up.
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  #51  
Old 26 March 2018, 17:14
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Originally Posted by P304X4 View Post
I flew to AK in the '70s but knew a few that drove up. At least back then a lot of the road was gravel and trucks would kick rocks up and put stars on the windshields. I'd heard of putting screening in front to prevent being hit by rocks, does anyone have more info on this?
Yep, folks still do that in AK. Most of the roads in AK are unpaved, and the paved roads are always in shit state...like any other 3rd world country.
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  #52  
Old 26 March 2018, 19:27
Akheloce Akheloce is offline
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Most main roads up here are paved. AK uses sand and pea gravel in the winter instead of salt (with the exception of a few areas recently trying a new concoction). Therefore, even in the summer, there is a lot of pea gravel on the shoulders of the asphalt, and they get kicked up into windshields regularly. Alaska roads do suck as a rule, but IMO mainly due to improper building for the extreme freeze thaw cycles that we have up here.
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RIP Sitka 43 and ICY 33

Seven … six … eleven … five … nine-an’-twenty mile today
Four … eleven … seventeen … thirty-two the day before —

"Just remember son, 80% of the people in this world are fucking idiots"- My Dad
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  #53  
Old 27 March 2018, 16:53
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I should have specified that I was referring to the Al-Can highway, some of the stars I saw in the unprotected windshields looked like they were hit by something larger than pea gravel. Have any dump stations been added along the Al-Can? In the 70's those with holding tanks literally hauled all their poop the full distance. Those with the old chem toilets at least could get rid of it along the way. Maybe you could use a plastic bag over the seat to catch the waste? Anyone know what the laws are now?
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  #54  
Old 27 March 2018, 18:42
Akheloce Akheloce is offline
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The Alcan is fully paved, but it is always under construction. Therefore, there are always stretches that are gravel. It's a long road, and by the time one area is repaired, another is ready to be tore up and worked on.

We (US) pay for it, and they use it...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakwak_Agreement


I've never RV'd it, always pickup or car, but there are several RV parks along the way with full facilities.
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RIP Sitka 43 and ICY 33

Seven … six … eleven … five … nine-an’-twenty mile today
Four … eleven … seventeen … thirty-two the day before —

"Just remember son, 80% of the people in this world are fucking idiots"- My Dad
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  #55  
Old 27 March 2018, 19:03
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Little Fix Little Fix is offline
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I drove up to Anchorage last year, to help a friend move. It was an awesome trip because I drove one of his vehicles and he paid for everything. We did the drive in the early spring, which was awesome from a scenery point of view. The snow driving was awesome but the vehicle I was driving took a pounding. Both of his vehicles needed new windshields when we finally got there but mine looked like it had been sprayed with an AK-47. I tried to get pictures of the damage but it really didn't come through in the photos. I stopped counting when we had 25 rock chips. Some of the rocks were a fairly decent size and were big enough that I was worried about one making it all of the way through the windshield. We had a couple that were about golfball sized that we watched as they sailed in.

Enjoy your trip and be ready to buy a new windshield. The views alone are worth it.
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  #56  
Old 9 September 2018, 15:41
justamedic justamedic is offline
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Well, we have been here a month and we love it. We’ve settled in and found it to be great thus far. We’re going to see how this first winter goes before we render a full and complete verdict . We went for a hike up in Chugiak State Park and it was absolutely beautiful... we are stoked to be out of the desert for the most part also. We are going to check out Hatcher’s Pass next, and can’t wait to see some Aurora.

The drive was beautiful, the gas was expensive, and the windshield made it unscathed. We took about five days from Seattle with the TT stopping nightly. We backed out of the house and are renting a nice home for pretty cheap in a much better place, Eagle River. We love it and it’s much cleaner, nicer, quieter than the city while only 15 minutes away on the highway. We drove by the house we almost bought, and we lucked out - never buy sight unseen in AK or anywhere for that matter.

As for the guns, I shipped them FFL to FFL from Seattle for $100. The guy here is a friend of a guy in my class who hooked me up for no charge. Great guy and great deal. The Canadian BP was a breeze, I had all my papers in order for the guns, the move, the dog, etc to show them, eager to show them, and the agent was like I don’t want to see them... have a safe trip. Lol. Three questions. That’s it. No searching, no interrogation, no nothing. It was very anti-climactic.

We used Alaska Marine Lines to ship our other vehicle from the Port of Seattle to the Port of Anchorage. It was only $1900, and we’re going to see if we can get some sort of tax breaks at the end of the year. We have a tax wizard of sorts. My wife got a job that paid for most of our relocation of all of our household belongings- lucky, but she still didn’t have a weight set :)

My summer break for class ends next week, and I’m prepared to be in the books for a solid couple of years. The first quarter was online and the next was in Seattle (which is why I was there for 7 weeks). The next couple years is all AK. Probably no time for camping trips or anything until next summer. Thank you guys for offering to guide though. You may see a PM from me in the future though! Oh yeah, we sold the trailer already and we did turn a profit.

We’ve gone around Anchorage and where we live at night and day and I am green here, but... it doesn’t seem that bad. Everyone I talked to said what a dump it was. Granted, it’s no Beverly Hills or anything, but it’s relatively like any other city I’ve ever been to... there is a high police presence in the city though. Including a few who live on our block which is fantastic because they leave their squad cars in the driveway. Great deterrent for any bullshit.

Anyhow regarding the “dumpness”... when I was living in Vegas as a medic and San Bernardino before that, much like a cop, we usually saw the worst of the worst of the shittiest people and lower ends of the social-economic scale. Suffice it to say, Anchorage’s bad neighborhoods don’t have shit on Vegas’ or SB’s bad neighborhoods. I won’t be hanging out down in the bad neighborhoods at night though. For my purposes, I think it’s quite nice here with a few areas to avoid like anywhere else. And for the scumbags that may slither out of their own areas, I carry everywhere I go, soon with insurance . I’m not trying to sound naive, but it doesn’t seem any worse than anywhere else I’ve lived.

There are a ton of great restaurants and brewery’s we’ve gone to such as 49th State, Moose’s Tooth, and the Rustic Goat to name a few. We’ve noticed that the food prices are a bit higher in store and eating out. You guys definitely weren’t wrong, nothing in AK is cheap by any means.

Well, there is my complete AAR after being here for a month. Thank you all for the great information and advice on the ALCAN, AK, and the living style/conditions.
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  #57  
Old 9 September 2018, 16:23
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hawkdrver hawkdrver is online now
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Welcome. Glad to hear you're enjoying it.
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  #58  
Old 10 September 2018, 02:19
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wandering_idiot wandering_idiot is offline
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Are you planning on getting your AK paramedic license up there as well? There's always seasonal work in the summer and that pays really well; it may offset some of the expenses of living up there.
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  #59  
Old 11 September 2018, 17:40
justamedic justamedic is offline
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Are you planning on getting your AK paramedic license up there as well? There's always seasonal work in the summer and that pays really well; it may offset some of the expenses of living up there.
I would be interested in that. I have not yet looked into getting it up here yet though. My out of state cert expires this month, but my FP-C is good until 2019(which doesn’t mean much to the state) and I renewed my National Reg which expires 2020.
From what I’ve heard they don’t have a whole lot of full fledged certed paramedics up here, but rather some sort of advanced EMT medic hybrid thing.
Care to PM about it?
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  #60  
Old 11 September 2018, 18:16
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You need to apply for your AK Paramedic Cert right now, using your out-of-state cert. Just take my word for it.
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