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RE: Vancouver island and Prince Rupert to Jasper.

Some more details on the ferry schedule. This was in May 2003, with Port Hardy departure around 6pm, 3 stops during the night, and arriving in PR late afternoon. Our ride to HG was the next evening around midnight, arriving with the morning mists. We got a cabin for both legs, but not for the daytime return ride from HG. We got to Port Mcneill in the afternoon, and took the ferry to Malcom Island, and camped on the north shore. That was a nice ocean view campground with hiking to the point. The only downside was some local kids partying in the evening. Besides some history at Sointula (sp?), the island has some nice hiking, with cute locally painted signs. The ferry also serves Alert Bay, with more history and culture sights, but we didn't stop there. It may also be a cruise ship stp. Since the ferry didn't leave until the evening we spent time hiking at Fort Rupert. While I believe there's a RV park near the PR ferry terminal, I opted for the nearest Provincial Park (which had just opened), Prudhomme Lake. That was the first a nearly constant week of rainy nights. We toured Terrace and Kitimat, with short hiking at Lakelse. And Greek restaurant in Terrace (don't all BC towns have a Greek restaurant, as well as Canadian-Chinese?). On the return we drove straight to Terrace, and got a motel for showers and laundry (and a tire patch at Canadian Tire). On the earlier return trip from Alaska we did the full tour at Ksan, but this time just spent time viewing the rapids. It used to be that the summer ferry was nonstop and only 12 hr; now it's 16hr with one stop, leaving PH 7am, and arriving 11ish. For that I've probably try to get reservations at private campgrounds near both terminals. Our return from Haida Gwaii had a bit of schedule change. For the first part of the week we camped on the north shore near Tow Hill, the second part as near Village of QC, with several day trips. A ferry employee stopped by in the evening and said we needed leave a day early. There was a delay in bring in a summer boat on line, so they had to juggle the schedule, and continue to use the Queen of the North (yes, the one that later sank) for this run. So we had to pack up early the next morning to get to the Skidagate terminal and wait. I think this was Victoria Day.
paulj 03/23/23 10:04am Roads and Routes
RE: Vancouver island and Prince Rupert to Jasper.

I hadn't thought about your charging needs. I've watched some electric youtubers, including one group that took a Ford Lightning on the Dalton in Alaska. My earlier cars where a 84 Trooper II, a S10 pickup, a 1st gen RAV4, and now a Honda Element. Mostly it's been tent camping, with some nights in the Element. Cape Scott was a short backpacking camping hike.
paulj 03/21/23 10:31pm Roads and Routes
RE: Vancouver island and Prince Rupert to Jasper.

There's lot to see and recommend; may be it'll be easiest to enumerate my trips 1980s - Sunshine Coast (kayak Sechalt), Powell River, Comox, Tofino (beach camp), Victoria, Port Renfrew (Botanical Beach) - With trailer sailboat, Nanaimo, Campbell River, Kayokot Inlet - return from Alaska via Stewart, Terrace, PG, Jasper, Banff, Calgary 1990s - Powell River, Campbell River, Strathcona PP, Victoria - Carmanah PP (major gravel road) - Gulf Islands, esp. Ruckel PP on Salt Spring 2000s - Campbell River, Ralph River (Strathcona), Port Hardy, Cape Scott (gravel), Little Quilcene - Port McNeill, Malcom Island, Port Hardy, 24 May boat to Prince Rupert, week on Haida Gwaii, PR, Terrace, PG, Wells Gray - Williams Lake, Bella Coola, and back (lots of gravel). - Englishman Falls PP, Mt Washington Ski area hiking, back roads from Comox to Port ALberni, Bayfield, Carmanah, Gordon Bay, Port Renfrew, Victoria. --- In a sense I could pick almost any provincial park on the Island and find good camping and hiking. But trying to focus on Parksvile and north. Originally the drive north was a bit slow, but scenic along the coast. Now its freeway all the way to Campbell River. There's lot to see around CR - Elk Falls PP, Strathcona PP, Quadra Island. The next leg is through more remote working forest, with a scattering of Rec Sites and PP, but not a lot of sights close to the highway. Little Huson Caves is worth a stop. At Port McNeill you are back at the coast, with a short ferry ride to 2 nearby islands, and other coastal fishing resorts. Closer to Port Hardy, there's nice beach hiking at Fort Rupert. When we drove this in May, the run to Prince Rupert had several stops and took 24+ hrs; summer run I believe is 12 hrs. We had a small dog, who tolerated the long ride, but didn't enjoy it. An alternative to PR would be Bella Coola; that's a shorter ferry, and over all I think the BC area is more interesting the PR (unless you go out to the Islands). Between ferries at Prince Rupert we drove inland to Terrace, and south to Kitimat - that's industrial, but there's a nice big lake on the way. Further inland on 16, New Hazelton and Ksan Village/Museum is worth a stop. There's probably more to see along 16, but both times I drove it, I was pushing to get beyond Prince George, so didn't look too much at sights. Anyways, it's been fun taking a mental inventory of many trips up there. I don't know if we'll get back to BC any time soon. (p.s. this thread might be moved to the Canada/Alaska section, where Canadians may be able to add more)
paulj 03/21/23 09:36pm Roads and Routes
RE: Hwy 89A in Northern Arizona

89A has two distinct sections. The early replies assumed you were talking about the southern one, heading out of Sedona. The northern one crossing the Colorado is quite different. It does climb and curve more than 89 through Page, but it's still ok for big rigs. From Google Maps terrain mode I see that Kanab is 5000ft, Jacobs Lake is 7800, and Marble Canyon 3600 (and north rim is 8200). The problem stretch from Sedona, heads north up a canyon, then quickly climbs out of in a series of tight turns. I17 climbs the same amount, but with more distance and less curves.
paulj 03/16/23 10:36am Roads and Routes
RE: hwy 140 from Merced to Yosemite...any advice?

Not too long ago there was another question about driving to Y. That poster didn't like the long down hill on the 120 route. He seemed to be ok with the new Priest Grade up, but got hot brakes on the downgrade. https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30375639.cfm
paulj 02/12/23 06:46pm Roads and Routes
RE: hwy 140 from Merced to Yosemite...any advice?

Not too long ago there was another question about driving to Y. That poster didn't like the long down hill on the 120 route. He seemed to be ok with the new Priest Grade up, but got hot brakes on the downgrade.
paulj 02/12/23 06:27pm Roads and Routes
RE: best route, West to East?

If you are ok with US50 over the Sierras (that's your backyard?), any of the freeway crossings of the Rockies should be a piece of cake. Roughly speaking US80 has a climb into Wy, and then stays relatively flat across the state (but the winds are notorious). I70 stays a long the Colorado River for quite a ways in Colorado, and then climbs over the Rockies. So that's a delayed, but higher climb. And a steeper drop to Denver. But it is heavily used by Denver residents for ski and other mountain rec.
paulj 01/21/23 12:19pm Roads and Routes
RE: Hwy 15 Indiana

I thought the twining of 31 was completed several years ago, but that may have just been the northern part, close to South Bend. The connection to Elkhart has been done for years. (My inlaws had a house that was demolished to make way for that expansion) Looking more closely on Google Maps, I see that the new, full freeway quality part is north of Kokomo (or US24). Further search with Indiana DOT, shows that there is a construction project for several miles on 31 near Indianapolis. And some preliminary work on an intersection on 15 near Goshen. An interesting novelty on the I DOT travel map - their snow plows have webcams.
paulj 01/10/23 10:21am Roads and Routes
RE: Hwy 15 Indiana

US31 and 20 is a bit longer, but limited access all the way, so no slowing down through towns.
paulj 01/09/23 09:44am Roads and Routes
RE: Beat Canadian road atlas

Backroad mapbooks gives the most detail, possibly more than you want https://www.backroadmapbooks.com/travel-category/brmb-products/books/ For example British Columbia is covered in 6 volumes, Ontario in 4. The detail is comparable to the Delourme and Benchmark atlas for the US states. Years ago I first found these in BC groceries and ferry giftshops. You might also browse a larger bookstore like B&N.
paulj 01/08/23 02:43pm Roads and Routes
RE: Kalamazoo, MI to Gulf Shores, AL

I think the main new thing in the last 25 years is that US31 in Indiana is divided limited access. I69 Indianapolis to Evansville is also newish, but with, I think, still some gaps - that's a work in progress. Take GMaps suggestions as just that - suggestions. For the most part they aren't based on "what's best for your rv", but rather a mix of distance (an objective measure) and speed (at best an estimate), yielding a "time". Use Sat view and Steetview to get more details as to the road condition (and views), but for construction areas note the dates of the images. I uses these a lot, but more for western mountain driving.
paulj 12/31/22 02:50pm Roads and Routes
RE: Best route from Salem, Oregon to West Valley City, Utah?

For the first part of the trip, locals, your friends and neighbors probably can give better advice than us - they can see your rig, and have driven the route(s) many times. Local news will also tell you a lot about pass conditions. There's also the State `Tripcheck` website. Going east on 22/Santiam Pass is mostly uphill, peaking at 4600 ft, and only dropping to 3200/3500 for Sisters and Bend. After that 20 is relatively flat, but remote to Idaho. I84 in Idaho is fairly flat and straight, with a broad pass crossing into Utah.
paulj 12/26/22 06:15pm Roads and Routes
RE: Need help with route north

The only way to really avoid mountains is to do as boaters do, and take the Great Loop. Up the coast to NYC, then the Hudson and Eire Canal to the Great Lakes. Or along the Gulf Coast to Alabama, and up the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
paulj 11/28/22 10:04am Roads and Routes
RE: Pahrump to Winnemucca

While taking US95 as far as Tonopah, there appear to be multiple choices from there. Continuing on US95 to I80 may be a bit longer, but stays closer to civilization. It may also have better gas choices. I have passed through Tonopah, but in a East-west direction, from Caliente to Big Pine. Tonopah was a welcome gas stop since there wasn't much of an alternative in the 200 miles from Caliente. The most direct route through Austin doesn't look too bad - gas wise. The Champs gas station appears to be an important stop for US50 travelers. It closes at 9 (according to GM), and even has a EV charging station. I just watched a vlog of a world traveler passing through Austin on US50. Looks like more of a historic mountain town than I first realized. With some history, gem shops, and such.
paulj 11/26/22 09:40am Roads and Routes
RE: Slippery Doo Dah

I didn't encounter any ice. :) edit --- Ice warnings aren't much value without some indication of locality.
paulj 11/20/22 02:29pm Roads and Routes
RE: Tire chains in Califdrnia

The Washington State requirements might be easier follow at this WSDOT link https://wsdot.com/travel/real-time/mountainpasses/tiresandchains It mentions "snow socks" and has links to approved ones. If you need to use a traction aid, it will need to fit, and be durable enough to handle 20 miles of slow speed driving over a mountain pass.
paulj 11/17/22 10:03am Roads and Routes
RE: Traveling to California

Why do you want to avoid high mountains? What is high for you? Some people have problems with altitude. Others are concerned about grades - up or down. Or maybe it's the potential for snow. On I40 there's a grade where it drops from the high plains level to the Rio Grande at Alb. It then climbs gradually to Grants and the Continental Divide. Flagstaff is another high area, known more for snow than grades. Then a drop to the Colorago River west of Kingman. CA 58, Tahachapi Pass takes you from the California desert into the Central Valley. I15 Cajon Pass is the major route from I40 to the LA basic. I5 Grapevine the main route north out of the basin. I10 from Palm Springs is a lower pass. All of these are busy freeways. Grapevine may be most notorious for grades (mainly downhill north bound) and occasional weather problems. Then there's the question of when you want to cross over to 101, whether you take it all the way from LA, use something like 46 to cross from the Central Valley, or wait to I580.
paulj 11/06/22 09:31am Roads and Routes
RE: Route Planning Question

The big advantage of paper maps is that they give the-big-picture, better so than phone or standalone gps units. State level maps are also good at highlighting major routes, with limited information on minor roads or "scenic" ones. Years ago for bike ride from Mpls to Chicago, I had to order county level maps from Wisconsin to get info on minor low traffic roads. And later for an Alaska trip, I made heavy use of detailed guide books. And in the lower 48 I also used AAA books and maps. Still I have been surprised by paper maps. One straight route in southern Oregon turned out to be heavily washboarded gravel. And in the mid 2000s there was a big news story about a couple lost in the Oregon coast mountains after Thanksgiving. There was a lot of speculation about them using Mapquest, but it turned out they'd used a paper map, where the route was marked aa paved but scenic (BLM and FS). Sometimes the only clue on paper maps that a route is mountainous is the color of National Forests. We have a lot more information available to us now than a couple of decades ago.
paulj 11/02/22 10:07am Roads and Routes
RE: Route Planning Question

While the `shortest` can easily end up being a minor slow road, I would expect the 'fastest' to be biased toward the freeways. But that may vary with the region and length of route. Usually 'fastest' is based on distance and some sort of estimate of the speed. That speed estimate might a crude one based on road type/name, but might also take into account road surface, grades and curviness. At least with Google Maps in the western states, the differences in speeds between routes seem to be realistic. I can imagine cases in the eastern mountains were short windy route through some pass would end up being both shortest and fastest - at least for a car. With Google Maps with full internet access it is easy to examine the suggested route for details - terrain mode shows the hills, a zoom in shows the curves, and Streetview shows even more detail. It is also change the route and see how that changes distance and time estimates. Getting this kind of detail is harder on a phone, or when route finding without internet connection. That's where a degree of preplanning comes in.
paulj 11/02/22 12:13am Roads and Routes
RE: Interstate 59

On interstates there are several kinds of roughness. One would be potholes, which I suspect are most common in northern states, where ice, salt, freezing etc breaks up the pavement. Another is wear grooves caused mainly by heavy truck traffic. Some try to fix that by grinding it flat, and adding a new layer of asphalt. The worse is tilted slabs. Again heavy trucks are a major factor. If the ride is bouncy this is likely the cause. Fixing takes more work, such as actually realigning the slabs and adding dowels of some sort to keep them aligned. I believe this was worst when the interstates were a few decades old, and most states have already addressed this. Bridge expansion joints also need to be replaced - this may be the most common work you'll see. Roads, and all infrastructure, are built with a design life. I've seen references to roads with built with a 25 design life, and are still be used (with patching) after 50 years. Total rebuilds are expensive, and very disruptive to traffic. Got to a state's DOT website to see what construction projects are in the works, or have been recently completed. Alabama DOT shows quite a few, but I can't say how that compares to other states. Streetview images of I59 don't suggest anything unusual. It looks relatively flat and wide, without unusual traffic. There aren't any obvious potholes, wear grooves, or tilted slabs. Though it is possible that the asphalt overlay hides problem slabs.
paulj 10/17/22 01:57pm Roads and Routes
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