Page 28 - RV Alaska
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Also known as the Alyeska Pipeline, it was built in a mere three years between 1974 and 1977, trans- Alaska pipeline has many impressive milestones to its name. It was designed and constructed to move oil from the North Slope of Alaska to the northern most ice-free port in Valdez, Alaska. Through its 48- inch diameter pipes, it has carried almost 17 billion barrels of oil over the past 40 years. It stretches almost 800 miles, running oil from Prudhoe Bay in the northern part
of the state to Valdez, crossing three mountain ranges and 800 riverbeds.
This expansive length of metal also provides tourists with an unintended abundance of opportunities all along the pipeline’s span.
 Photo: Dave Bezaire
 Be Bear Aware in Alaska
 Know the Bear Necessities
Alaska is home to three species of North American bears. While
you won’t be seeing a polar bear along Alaska’s highways,
you may encounter a grizzly or black bear.
Alaskan bears wear coats of many colors. Grizzly bears range
from blonde to almost black. Black bears can be grey, red or
brown. There are also Glacier bears, a blue-grey black bear
colored to be better disguised while on glacial ice.
Bears spend most of their time eating or looking for food to
eat. Bears seen along
Into the Wild
Alaska’s heartland has wide expanses of tundra and North America’s tallest peak
roadways are usually looking for tasty vegetation that comprises about 90 per cent of their diet. Don’t let them learn that human food or garbage is an easy meal. Never feed a bear. Keep your campsite clean at all times!
Safety when roadside bear viewing
Traffic safety comes first. Pull over only if it is safe to do so. Be sure you aren’t blocking traffic and be aware that some roads have soft shoulders. Also ensure other vehicles can see you over a hill or around a corner in plenty of time to avoid a collision.
If the bear stays around and doesn’t mind being watched, keep your doors
closed and stay in the vehicle. Open the window just enough to take pictures.
Most bears will try to avoid humans. Try not to surprise a bear; always make your presence known. Talk loudly while hiking and shout out frequently. Don’t pack smelly food for your meals. Pack out your garbage too.
If you see a bear that is far away or doesn’t see you, turn around and go back. If you come across a bear that is close or if a bear sees you, stay calm. Do NOT turn and run! Instead, stand tall, wave your arms, and speak with authority.
  The Alaska Highway, one of the main overland routes to Alaska, is a popular choice for RVers driving to Alaska and crosses the border into interior Alaska.
The Top of the World Highway is another route to interior Alaska. This scenic highway meanders over the top of a mountain range. The highway ends at the Taylor highway which can be take north to Eagle or south through Chicken to Tok and beyond.
The wilderness of Interior Alaska can also be explored via a wide range of guided tours and activities including ATV and Jeep tours, whitewater rafting and scenic river trips, fishing as well as flight-seeing. The fun doesn’t stop in the winter. Dog sledding and ice sculpting are popular activities in interior Alaska and Aurora borealis can be viewed from late August until April.
Wildlife can often be seen from the
road or from trails. Some of the best places to see wildlife are Chena Hot Springs Rd, Chena Lakes, Delta Junction,
Denali Highway, Denali National Park, Pinnell Mountain Trail, Steese Highway, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, White Mountains National Recreation Area and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. In Fairbanks, wildlife viewing locations include Creamer’s Field and Smith Lake & University of Alaska Fairbanks trails.
To improve your chances of seeing wild animals, wake up early in the morning or stay up late at night as the animals tend to move more in the cooler temperatures after the sun dips to the horizon. If you’re driving during darkness or at dawn or dusk, stay especially alert for animals on the highway.
Respect wild animals and give them lots of space; females with young can be especially dangerous. A cow moose with a calf is a cute sight but a moose mom
is very protective and can be dangerous if she feels her calf is at risk of being harmed.
You may feed the mosquitoes but please never feed or disturb wildlife!
Photo: Aramark

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