22 June 2010

doing preliminary planning for our Cleveland to Alaska leg

It looks like we'll be spending 7 full days on the road. We'll swing through lower Michigan and Churubusco, Indiana in order to see a few important people there, then everything else will be straightforward and without detours.

Day One: Cleveland to Chicago, 8.5 hours of driving
Day Two: Chicago to St. Cloud MN, 8.5 hours of driving
Day Three: St. Cloud MN to Brandon, MB, CANADA, 8.75 hours of driving
Day Four: Brandon MB to Saskatoon SK, 7.5 hours of driving
Day Five: Saskatoon SK to Grande Prairie AB, 12.5 hours of driving (OUCH)
Day Six: Grande Prairie AB to Fort Nelson BC, 7.5 hours of driving
Day Seven: Fort Nelson BC to Whitehorse YT, 13 hours of driving (OUCH)
Day Eight: Whitehorse YT to Skagway AK, 2.75 hours of driving/18.5 hours of ferry to Sitka!

This route was chosen to put us in big cities for the night whenever possible so that we'd have access to resources and less expensive hotels. It's a lot harder than the route that brought us to Cleveland, so we're going to have to rest up a lot and be very prepared. It'll be a huge adventure for all of us, and I can say that I'll be very glad to be doing this headed west, picking up a few 25-hour days that way!


  1. Sounds exciting! A long drive but really... very cool. I envy the sights you will see!

  2. No visit to Jasper NP? The Canadian Rockies are awesome. Granted, I'm sure you'll get plenty of glacier and mountain action in Alaska. Sounds like an awesome trip.

  3. Paul, we're gritting our teeth about the sight-seeing that we'll be missing out on, but we are on a deadline and a budget. We need to be in Skagway, loading our car onto a ferry no later than 11:45am on July 5th. That (and the animals and young children) is cutting down the number of side stops we can make.

    We'll try to take lots of pictures and post whenever possible!

  4. The best advice I can give you is to call all of your hotels in Canada -- especially in the Yukon Territory -- in advance. Most of the hotels close at night up there as they are mom and pop shops. When we made the drive, one of them left the key in the door for us because they shut down pretty early.

    Also, I don't think I've mentioned this, but track down a copy of the milepost if you can. It will tell you every rest stop, every place to get gas, every route, city information, etc etc. It was invaluable on our drive. http://milepost.com/

  5. hmmmm...my recent travels have shown me that places in between have the cheapest rates, but i don't plan ahead and stop when i can find the right place. guess that doesn't work with kids. the cheapest gas is usually the 3rd gas station off the exit.