Warning: this page is for a trip I made in 2002. Information is outdated.

Alaska 2002 trip pictures

Collected Alaska Information

This is information I am gathering about my trip to Alaska. This will turn into some kind of archive later on.

Camper

I am renting a camper from Cruise America. They even have the Renter's assistance guide on-line so I could do some advance reading on the camper that I was going to drive. It's a small camper from their collection which is still bigger then anything I have driven before.

I also found Alaska Truck and Camper when doing websearches but they still have to answer my e-mail enquiry about availability.

Maps

Roads? where we're going, we don't need roads..
-- Doc Brown, Back to the Future

I bought two road maps of Alaska. One is the Rand Mc'Nally.

At my first look at the road maps, I recalled the words of Doc Brown. Half of Alaska (the eastern and northern most parts) don't have a lot of roads, or none at all. Some of the other roads are blocked for my camper (one road is "at the drivers own risk" and only for the smallest camper).

Communications

I'm used to having a GSM phone with me. Not usable in the US, not even with a 1900 Mhz phone. I found this page describing communications in Alaska (in German) telling me what would work and what would not work.

Google searches came up with

  • Roberts which does look a bit expensive.

    Cellular coverage seems limited to areas that actually have people in them, for example see the coverage map of ACS. Between Anchorage and Fairbanks I will have no coverage at all.

    So the combined knowledge of comp.dcom.telecom has been called for help. So far, the best solution seems to be 'phone cards and phone boots' which runs into the problem that the timezone difference with the 'home front' is 10 hours and the 'home front' does not have an answering machine for when I call at the wrong time of day.

    Taking pictures

    Man with hat: Photography?
    Man: "Photographs, eh?" he asked him knowingly!
    -- Monty Python live at the Hollywood Bowl, Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink

    I have two options for taking pictures on my holiday:

  • Getting a new battery for my 35mm camera, buying a stack of film and using that camera. Get film developed afterwards and scan interesting pictures.
  • Fixing a laptop so it can copy the contents of the card in my digital camera so I can use that camera. Problems: charging laptop and camera (penlite batteries) during the trip.

    So the idea is now to bring the analog camera for sure and maybe add the digital one. I have arranged for a charger for the batteries my digital camera eats for breakfast, lunch and in between meals.

    And after some thinking outside the box from a very nice person I came to the following: I'll bring enough Compact Flash memory so I won't need a laptop at all, I'll just try to select the nice pictures from the display in the camera. Compact Flash is now a lot cheaper then when I previously bought it.

    Fuel

    Although a lot of oil comes from the alaska oil fields, fuel is expensive in Alaska and not available everywhere. So the idea seems to be 'fuel early, fuel often'.

    Weather

    See weblinks. It will not be summer :)

    Weblinks

    I will not have Internet access during the trip but in preparation there are some interesting weblinks:
  • Bob Hoffman traveled Alaska on his own and made pictures and a good trip report.
  • Alaska climate data
  • Philip Greenspun is also visiting Alaska, but with more time and a big camper, and a plane..
  • FAA webcams on Alaska airports
    Koos van den Hout