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Alaska - the last frontier

Radka and I made a driving tour of Alaska in July 2001. A little over two weeks was barely enough to touch the surface of what Alaska is about, but even in this limited time, we were taken with the sheer enormity of Alaskan wilderness and landscapes.

There is little negative to say about Alaska to a would-be traveller. If you go, as we did, in the peak travel month of July, come prepared with a lot of DEET based repelent against the gazillions of mosquitoes. Most likely you will find Alaska quite expensive, but camping and cooking your own food can, like anywhere, get you by when traveling on a budget. There are not very many organized campgrounds, but it is easy to find a secluded spot near a highway in most places, except possibly for the popular Kenai Peninsula.

The southern and southeastern areas are prone to long periods of bad weather as we have learned during the last five days of our vacation. The weather can get miserable and cold anywhere in Alaska even in summer time, which is probably why RV's are so popular. A friend of my concocted an acronym for people driving RV's -'turons' (tourist-morons). Whether that is deserved or not even from the point of view of a backpacker is an open question, but these road hogs, that come in all sizes, and mostly supersizes in Alaska, are a sure way to slow you down so you can enjoy the scenery a little more.

One thing that struck me while in Alaska is the lack of media coverage of the contiguous US, which is totally true vice versa. Maybe it is the last frontier after all.

There are not many roads in Alaska, and probably for that reason, most of them are referred to by names aside from numbers. We have traveled a good part of them and the following sections reflect, aside from a few facts, my experiences about them.

Map with links

Anchorage and George Parks Highway Denali National Park Dalton Highway

Denali Highway Richardson Highway Valdez and Columbia Glacier

Seward Highway Seward and Exit Glacier Homer

Last updated: November 10, 2002
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