The Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers

important 1. Below are some notes and interesting facts about Alaska - SCROLL DOWN and ENJOY! There is a link at the bottom of this page to take you to Alaska adventures in various years and places!

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There is no night sky in June and July in Alaska. The moon and stars disappear and the sun keeps everybody and everything up all night. The farther north you go, the more daylight there is in June, and the less in December. The number of hours of daylight for a few cities are listed below:

June 21st - 17:29 hours of daylight

December 21st - 7:06 hours of daylight

June 21st - 18:18 hours of daylight

December 21st - 6:21 hours of daylight
Anchorage June 21st - 19:21 hours of daylight December 21st - 5:28 hours of daylight
Fairbanks June 21st - 21:49 hours of daylight December 21st - 3:42 hours of daylight
Barrow - June 21st - never sets for 84 days with June 21st at midpoint - December 21st - 0:00 hours from November 18th thru January 24th (67 days) the sun never gets above the horizon in Barrow.
bullet Alaska has its own time-zone.
Alaska is one-sixth the size of the entire lower 48 (continental USA) and 2-1/2 times the size of Texas.
The name Alaska was derived from the Aleut word Alyeska meaning "Great Land"
Alaska has 30,000 miles of coastline-more coastline than the rest of the states combined.
There are about 100,000 glaciers in Alaska with more than 600 of them named. The Malaspina Glacier is larger than Rhode Island and the Nebesna Glacier is 80 miles long. Both are in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
The Aleutian Arc contains 80 volcanoes, more than 40 of which are active. Redoubt recently erupted.
Alaska is home to 17 national park systems, more than 54 million acres, 13 percent of the state's landmass. - Wrangell-St. Elias is the nation's largest national park - six times larger than Yellowstone.
The 1964 earthquake was a magnitude 9.2, the strongest ever recorded in North America to date. Alaska has more earthquakes than any other state.
Chugach National Forest, at 5.6 million acres is about the size of Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined.
dollar signIf you are going to Alaska, the two RV Gypsies recommend that you buy the Toursaver book. It has lots of tours and things at 2-4-1 prices. It can be purchased on-line or at a Safeway store. It saved the two RV Gypsies thousands of dollars. Actually, the two RV Gypsies used two Toursaver books and saved a lot of money. A new version of the Toursaver book is available every year.
importantYou can drive to Haines Alaska at any time because the U.S. customs is open 24 hours a day as of 2007. But you cannot cross into Canada from Haines between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Alaska time because Canada customs is only open 8 a.m. to midnight Pacific time.

"Bearfooting" is a verb. It means having a good time on the road. But it is also a state of mind - when your journey becomes more important than your destination. You know you are bearfooting when you find yourself rolling along in your RV, and can't remember the day of the week. What's more, you don't even care. This describes the life of an RV Gypsy!

Heaven is being on a permanent vacation with daylight until midnight or later with no sense of day or night; time, hours, day of the week, or even day of the month. While driving to Alaska, the two RV Gypsies encountered very little traffic, except in big cities like Vancouver, British Columbia Canada, and Anchorage or Fairbanks, Alaska. RVing in Alaska is extremely different from cruising to Alaska, although the two RV Gypsies have enjoyed the trip both ways. In an RV, there is less structure and many more choices of experiences. The brands of foods are different and everything is more expensive, especially food. Stores that the two RV Gypsies are used to shopping in are hard to find; actually many times any store is hard to find. The two RV Gypsies bought their gas and diesel every time gas and diesel was available, just to be on the safe side when they were in out-of-the-way places.

The biggest question the two RV Gypsies get asked about their trip to Alaska is: "Is it always cold?" The answer is NO, not in the summer. It depends upon where you are in Alaska. Naturally, cruises to glaciers, or walking on a glacier means wear warm clothing. And surprise! Karen even got sun-burned while in Alaska. There is great adventure and beautiful scenery everywhere, and a serenity that cannot be described. Boredom is impossible, especially for people like the two RV Gypsies who like photography. Even with all the extra daylight, there seemed to be so little time because there is so much to do, see, and experience. This web site is a lot of work and time-consuming, but the two RV Gypsies hope it helps other RVers plan their travels, and gives everyone a small taste of the wonder and beauty of Alaska and the rest of the USA. All is surreal. Not even dust, dirt, and a screwed up car from the roads that are under construction can diminish the wonder of RVing to Alaska! Yes, the two RV Gypsies love Alaska and will return again.

Alaskans often save their fireworks for New Year's Day when they can see the fireworks better than on the 4th of July. This was great for the two RV Gypsies because they no longer like fireworks on the 4th of July (because of the loss of their son). It is so hard for the two RV Gypsies to accept that all of America is celebrating on a day when their son lay dead on his living room floor, and nobody but the killer knew of it right away.
cool clipart80 degrees F below zero is NOT too cold for school in TOK, Alaska
The two RV Gypsies were told that in some parts of Alaska there are days that are considered just too cold for school. Usually the cutoff point is around 50 to 55 degrees F BELOW ZERO. But not in Tok! School goes on no matter what the temperature. Local residents have told the two RV Gypsies that children who walk stay home more often, but those who are bussed to school go to school no matter what the temperature may be.
unhappy faceDriving the Alaska Highway

Frost heaving (or frost heave) is the process by which the freezing of water-saturated soil causes the deformation and upward thrust of the ground surface. This process can cause cracks in the pavement and damage the foundations of buildings, even below the frost line. Frost creep, an effect of frost heave, involves a freeze-thaw action allowing mass movement down-slope. The soil or sediment is frozen and in the process moved upward perpendicular to the slope. When thaw occurs the sediment moves downwards thus mass movement occurs.

IN OTHER WORDS - WATCH OUT FOR DIPS AND BUMPS WHEN DRIVING THE ALASKA HIGHWAY. The two RV Gypsies really had a travel day from H--- due to frost heaves and gravel roads. The two RV Gypsies' car needs a new windshield and a complete paint job. Cover your toad if you drive the Alaska Highway. Actually one of the worst areas the two RV Gypsies hit was in The Yukon Territory of Canada just before entering Alaska.

frost heaves in the road
Driving the Alaska Highway (previously known as the "Alcan") is more than 1,400 miles of road, filled with mountain ranges, beautiful lakes and rivers, forests, scenic detours, frost heaves, and flying gravel. Constructed as a link between Alaska and the contiguous USA, the highway was completed in 1943, though the regions harsh environment forces nearly-constant upkeep. Thus - nasty frost heaves and gravel roads.

Driving the Alaska Highway gave the two RV Gypsies a sense of just how remote and beautiful Alaska really is. The Alaska highway officially starts in Dawson Creek, Canada and ends in Delta Junction, Alaska. With gravel sections, frost heaves, inclement weather, and long stretches between towns, it's important that to be fully prepared for the unique conditions of driving to and in Alaska.
First, when planning your road trip make sure you give yourself enough time. You'll likely be averaging less than 60 miles per hour on the trip - count on 40 mph or less due to road construction.
Make the usual preparations such as checking your oil, having plenty of gas/diesel, proper air in your tires, and making sure your spare tire, RV and toad are all in good shape. There's not much help along the roadways. The two RV Gypsies often drove for many hours without seeing other traffic.
Some GPS systems may not work in parts of Alaska, although the two RV Gypsies did not have any problem with their GPS. Have a detailed map so that you can gauge your next gas stop. Your best bet is to fill up whenever you come across a gas station. On this trip in 2009, many small gas stations, motels, RV parks, and other businesses that the two RV Gypsies passed by were closed.
The two RV Gypsies recommend a soak at Liard Hot Springs in Canada. An outdoor natural environment, with turquoise soaking pools, gentle waterfalls, and steam blurring the leafy green trees above. A stop at Chena Hot Springs in Alaska is also recommended by the two RV Gypsies. Photos of both are on this site - use the Alaska button above or the TOC button above.

Also, Valdez is a great place - other must sees for RVers in Alaska - glacier caving, hike a glacier, dog-sled on a glacier, and of course wildlife viewing. A great place to see lots of bald eagles is the beach at Anchor Point and on the Homer Spit. The two RV Gypsies really enjoyed the bears in Hyder.

Everyone the two RV Gypsies met in Alaska and Canada were so genuinely polite, happy, and fun to talk with.

info - Yukon-Alaska border
Cafe Michele business card

On June 29, 2009 the two RV Gypsies, ate at Cafe Michele in Talkeetna, Alaska. The food was a bit pricey, but yet quite reasonable for the quality and quantity of the food. The server, Janus, was professional, personable and excellent. The atmosphere was very nice. Therefore, this restaurant gets an excellent rating in the opinion of the two RV Gypsies. The two RV Gypsies even took a second trip to Talkeetna later in 2009 just to eat there and see Janus. The restaurant says that they were voted one of the Top Ten Restaurants in Alaska in 2001 by the Food Network and they were featured on the Food Networks's "Best of..." "Places to Take Dad", 2002.

unhappy faceUnfortunately, when the two RV Gypsies returned to Talkeetna in 2016, the restaurant had changed names and owners.

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