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Old 07-24-2007, 10:44 AM   #1  
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Question Getting our pets and plants to Alaska

OK, I need some advice from any Alaska experts.

UPS is transporting all of our household stuff to Alaska as part of the relocation package for us, so that is taken care of. The problem now is my wife's plants and our cat.

Our stuff is being shipped by train to Tacoma, Washington, then by water up to Alaska. We cannot ship our plants that way, and we obviously can't ship our cat that way :-))

Also, our cat probably cannot go via airplane. We won't put him in the cargo hold of an airliner (I've seen a few too many dead dogs and cats at my previous airline) and he will be a real pain to bring in a carrier and placed under the seat.

So, we're thinking of driving ourselves, our plants and our cat to Anchorage.

Should we rent an RV? A conversion van? I've heard of a few companies that need RVs transported up there, and they will actually pay us to drive them up there for them (though I haven't found them yet).

Any advice?
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:54 PM   #2  
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I've heard of a few companies that need RVs transported up there, and they will actually pay us to drive them up there for them (though I haven't found them yet).
My brother used Auto Driveaway for a move from LA to the East Coast.
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:49 PM   #3  
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A good buddy of mine did that drive back in 2000 from BWI to ANC. He was telling me that when he hit the Canada boarder by MSP I think, the Canada boarder patrol asked him how much money he had on him. He told them $1000. They want you to have plenty of money to get your car fix so you don't get stuck in Canada. That is what they told him. He didn’t have the 1700 that they wanted so they told him where to go in the US to get to an ATM and get the rest. Then they let him pass. Have some type of XM radio. Because you will loose ALL radio stations at one point, even AM.

Good Luck and welcome to Brown.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:23 PM   #4  
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A good buddy of mine did that drive back in 2000 from BWI to ANC. He was telling me that when he hit the Canada boarder by MSP I think, the Canada boarder patrol asked him how much money he had on him. He told them $1000. They want you to have plenty of money to get your car fix so you don't get stuck in Canada. That is what they told him...
They don't accept credit cards in Canada?

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Old 07-24-2007, 08:50 PM   #5  
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Ship them fedex and use your airline discount. Not sure why UPS doesn't offer airline discounts ?????????
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:34 PM   #6  
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If you must drive, take the Alaska ferry from Bellingham, WA; I would avoid the ALCAN. The ferry is 3 or 4 days, drops you in Haines, AK, and it's a comfortable 2 day drive from there. It's like a low rent cruise. And you could drive your own car instead of renting something (unless you have A LOT of plants)...that part of the trip is pretty well paved. There is a book dedicated to the journey; can't remember the name but I think it's something obvious like "The ALCAN". A google search should do the trick. It's got everything you want to know about the ALCAN; where gas stations/hotels are, what places are open seasonally, road construction, etc.

Or, get new plants when you move, and fly the cat in the cabin with you (after a high strength tranquilizer, of course). I can't imagine the plants are valuable enough to warrant the cost and A$$ pain of driving. Some airlines must allow it, cause I just had a dog and cat on my flight the other day.

When we moved up there in 2001, I drove our truck from OKC to SEA, picked up the hubby and well-tranquilized dogs there (they flew from NC), and caught the ferry in Bellingham. After coming off the ferry, we drove to Tok, spent the night, and made the rest of the drive the next day. This time around (we are moving there after the house sells in Louisville), we probably aren't going to drive anything up there. We'll let UPS take care of everything; and whatever they can't handle, we'll give away.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:05 AM   #7  
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The book is called the Milepost. Very helpful, I used when I drove from Phoenix to Fairbanks in March. I will use it again next week when I drive from Anchorage to St. Louis.

I would drive yourself, its a 3 day drive from Seattle. The ferry is over a grand for a compact car without a cabin for yourself. The drive is over a 2 lane Paved highway the whole way, if you take the Alaska Highway. The Cassiar is about 10% gravel and I would avoid it.

If you have any gas cans, fill them up before you get into Canada. Gas is over $4 per gallon($1.20 Canadian per liter if I remember). The only things that customs were concerned about were Firearms ($25 per approved gun), liquor, and tobacco products. They didn't seem to care about the 65 gallons of diesel fuel I was bringing with me.

Good luck however you get there. Hope to make the same trip someday!

Last edited by azvandriver; 07-25-2007 at 12:08 AM. Reason: poor grammar
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Old 07-25-2007, 03:29 PM   #8  
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I took the alcan on the way up and the ferry on the way back. If you have any hand guns they are not allowed in Canada. I had mine shipped with my household goods. Even if you take the ferry I would get the milepost because it outlines all of the gas stations and important sites. As long as you are traveling in the summer you should be OK, but if you hit snow season you may need snow chains to get through some of the passes. Since I was there for three years I went up in April and back the same time three years later. There was a little snow in the higher elevations but not a problem. Best of luck! I hope to make it back there in a few years.

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Old 07-25-2007, 04:59 PM   #9  
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Drive your butt up. Vehicles are more expensive up here than in the lower 48 anyway. Bring your own. The Cassiar is great (just don't pass up a gas station). I have to have done the trip at least half a dozen times in the last 8 years. Never had a problem with customs at either border. Firearms multiple times weren't a problem, just a license fee thats good for a year. Never moved a handgun though, but I believe the previous poster is right on those. As we move into September, check the weather in Whitehorse and Tok (to see if its still realistic without 4-wheel drive). Awesome drive, great scenery. Better yet, fly a Super Cub or PA-12 up. Those are cheaper in the states too.
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Old 07-25-2007, 11:05 PM   #10  
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I drove up back in aught-four. I grabbed me a Milepost and hit the road from Little Rock, Arkansas. The Milepost is an absolute must. The trip was incredible! I did it all with my wife, my 13 month old son, and a 140ish lb rottweiler. You can find a AAA book that's called "Traveling With Your Pet". It has hotels listed the entrie way up the Alcan that will let your cat stay with you. The Milepost is pretty reliable on this also. If you really want to do it right though, listen to AKfreighter and buy yourself an airplane and fly it up. You'll be kicking yourself in a few years if you don't!

Good luck!
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