It's official - I'm moving to Fairbanks and need so much help! - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-09-2009, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DH officially accepted his offer from UAF this week, and now I'm panicking. I have a ton of questions:

1. We have a PT Cruiser (ridiculous car but DH fell in love - and I can't say no to his excited face), is winterizing the car really necessary? I've lived in some pretty cold places (even walked to class at -35) and my old Jeep was fine, never flinched.

2. Would it be cheaper (or a good idea) to winterize it here in Denver? I'm skeptical that we'd be able to find someone who KNEW what they were doing.

3. Our lease is up at the end of this month, and we were planning on just heading North then, but now I'm seeing that some of the national parks where we planned to stay haven't opened any roads or campgrounds yet. I'm currently 20 weeks pregnant, and not sure I'm up for a road trip of this magnitude in the last trimester, should I try to put it off till mid May? late May?

4. Am I crazy to try to drive to Fairbanks without a place to live? I figured we'd find some cheap hotel or something for a night or two, and find an apartment once we got there.

5. Are we crazy to sell all of our stuff here and buy off garage sales when we get up there? I can't imagine paying for a U-Haul to move furniture I bought at Goodwill, but some part of me is worried that Fairbanks isn't big enough to furnish my apartment through Craigslist and garage sales and thrift stores in a reasonable amount of time.

6. We're sitting down with the owner of our company (we work in the same office) to let him know our plan on Monday. If he fires us on the spot (worst case scenario) is the economy bad enough in Fairbanks that we'd struggle to find jobs? Or could we have a little faith, each take the first offer we got and go from there?

After reading my rambling I think:
A. My preggo hormones are making me a sad, strange combination of neurotic and insecure.
B. I've lived in a "major" (we pretend we're major) metropolitan area for far too long. I've done cold, I've done rural, both have their highlights, I know we're going to be fine. Still, it sounds crazy to leave the ease of such a large city.
C. I might actually be crazy to be considering leaving in 3 weeks with so little prepared. Certifiably crazy.

Help!

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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I don't live in Fairbanks, but I think this will apply there as well.. garage sale "season" hasn't really started up yet..maybe craigslist, though.. by May it might, but it is up to the slush and snow pretty much. I will link you some online job listings.. give me a minute.

I know this craigslist says Anchorage, but if you type Fairbanks into the search function, you will probably find quite a few things, (people tend to list by town on there) Also, I think you could probably find a "furnished" apt, so I wouldn't worry about the furniture thing too much.. I mean, "furnished" apts don't have any great furniture, but it would get you started, I would think..

http://anchorage.craigslist.org/

finding work in Alaska

http://www.labor.state.ak.us/esd_ala...bs/ak_over.htm

here's a job search engine I found for Fairbanks area.. REALLY different from when i was looking for a job, but then that was a long time ago..

http://alexsys.labor.state.ak.us/job...geo=0204000090

Also, I recommend checking the "ongoing" Alaskan mama chat.. there are a lot of Fairbanks mamas on there, and you would probably get more info..
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dislocator3972 View Post
My DH officially accepted his offer from UAF this week, and now I'm panicking. I have a ton of questions:

1. We have a PT Cruiser (ridiculous car but DH fell in love - and I can't say no to his excited face), is winterizing the car really necessary? I've lived in some pretty cold places (even walked to class at -35) and my old Jeep was fine, never flinched.
PT Cruisers are not the best car for this environment but my old baby sitter had one.

Quote:
2. Would it be cheaper (or a good idea) to winterize it here in Denver? I'm skeptical that we'd be able to find someone who KNEW what they were doing.
Wait until you get up here. You'll have the whole summer to get it done. Yes, it really IS necessary.

Quote:
3. Our lease is up at the end of this month, and we were planning on just heading North then, but now I'm seeing that some of the national parks where we planned to stay haven't opened any roads or campgrounds yet. I'm currently 20 weeks pregnant, and not sure I'm up for a road trip of this magnitude in the last trimester, should I try to put it off till mid May? late May?
Were you planning on camping? There are tons of places to do so besides the National Parks and campgrounds. Our road system was built for tourists lol. Lots of roadside pullouts.
Quote:

4. Am I crazy to try to drive to Fairbanks without a place to live? I figured we'd find some cheap hotel or something for a night or two, and find an apartment once we got there.
Depending on how much money you bring with you, it could be quite easy to find an apartment. I suggest you watch our classified ads to get an idea of what is available. http://www.newsminer.com

Quote:
5. Are we crazy to sell all of our stuff here and buy off garage sales when we get up there? I can't imagine paying for a U-Haul to move furniture I bought at Goodwill, but some part of me is worried that Fairbanks isn't big enough to furnish my apartment through Craigslist and garage sales and thrift stores in a reasonable amount of time.
Oh mercy! You don't have anything to worry about. We have a very mobile society and a military base. It cost more to ship stuff out then it is worth so we have a ton of garage sales. We have several thrift stores as well. Don't bring furniture unless it has sentimental value. Craiglist is not the big thing here in Fairbanks. There are several other lists though that will get you what you want.
Fairbanks Garage Sale:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fairba...guid=180688919

Fairbanks Freecycle:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fairba...guid=180688919


Quote:
6. We're sitting down with the owner of our company (we work in the same office) to let him know our plan on Monday. If he fires us on the spot (worst case scenario) is the economy bad enough in Fairbanks that we'd struggle to find jobs? Or could we have a little faith, each take the first offer we got and go from there?
Check out the state job bank link that was already posted and look at the News Miner. Once again, depends on how much money you bring with you to hold you over till your first payday.

Quote:

After reading my rambling I think:
A. My preggo hormones are making me a sad, strange combination of neurotic and insecure.
B. I've lived in a "major" (we pretend we're major) metropolitan area for far too long. I've done cold, I've done rural, both have their highlights, I know we're going to be fine. Still, it sounds crazy to leave the ease of such a large city.
People pretty much only love Fairbanks or hate it. If they hate it, they leave as soon as possible. It's nice to live in a place that most everyone that is here, wants to be.

Quote:
C. I might actually be crazy to be considering leaving in 3 weeks with so little prepared. Certifiably crazy.

Help!
Crazy fits right in here. Here is the link to the Alaska Living Group. It's full of people who have been where you are. It's a great resource. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Alaska-Living/
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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AH I am so jealous! We used to live in Fairbanks! AWESOME TOWN!

So, in addition to what G. said above, I would like to add that Craigslist is fairly acitve in Fairbanks. We sold everything on there when we moved out of state. THings went quickly! I would not give up on Craigslist just yet.

I have traveled the AlCan while pregnant and it went well but it can be fairly nerve wracking as well. Be prepared for LOTS of stops but if you are lucky you will see TONS of wildlife so make sure you have your camera very handy!

Make sure you take a break every few hours and also fill up your gas tank at every stop. (trust me)

Have a great time! Maybe someday we will run into each other, Alaska is a pretty "small" state.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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I have traveled the AlCan while pregnant and it went well but it can be fairly nerve wracking as well. Be prepared for LOTS of stops but if you are lucky you will see TONS of wildlife so make sure you have your camera very handy!

Make sure you take a break every few hours and also fill up your gas tank at every stop. (trust me)

Have a great time! Maybe someday we will run into each other, Alaska is a pretty "small" state.
Yes, on the gas thing.. also, I was going to add.. if your dp REALLY loves his PT cruiser, you might want to consider the damage of the AlCan.. cars that get on it, start out looking great, but by the time they are done, they have cracked windshields, dings, you name it. Summer is construction season, and rocks, dust, bugs, FLY.. seriously. I would make sure my insurance would pay for a new windshield before I started out for sure..

I have traveled a lot, and in so doing I have "arrived" in Alaska every possible way you can (except the train, haven't done too much trains yet), have you considered the Marine highway? You can drive to Seattle, board your car on the ferry and ride to Haines I think. It would lower your gas bill for sure, and damage to your vehicle. You don't have to rent a cabin (at least when we went) you could pull your sleeping bag out on the "observation deck" (which is heated, etc), and travel through the peninsula area that way. It is truly beautiful. Plus, you could skip border issues..

not sure if it was cheaper, but I remember driving and camping with mom and dad the whole way one summer, and I remember driving and camping and doing the ferry a different summer.. driving and camping the whole way was pretty dusty and I felt cooped up quite a bit, but being able to walk around the ferry and see all those beautiful islands was an incredible experience..

I am not sure which would end up cheaper in the long run, so there would be some math involved.. but just a thought.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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And if you do drive up, be prepared for anything. When I drove up in May one time, it snowed.

Have fun, Fairbanks is unique and beautiful. I think some people have a hard time seeing it's beauty initially, but it really is a great place. Fall time is especially pretty. The people are great.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone.

I've got my copy of Milepost and I've started ticking off our route, where we want to camp, etc. It looks like gas the whole way will be about $350 dollars (if all my conversions were correct) and our combination of camping and hotels will be around $350-$400.

DH and I were SUPER excited about the ferry until we realized that it would be $1600 PLUS gas to Seattle and from Anchorage to Fairbanks, and that the next ferry with an open spot isn't until June. Who knew it was so popular??

I'll be able to work while we're traveling (I'm a scriptwriter) so I'll only have to take a day or so off, which is good, because DH will be let go and I'll be cut to part time when we go.

Ah well. With the pay cut we should be eligible for the state health care plan (Denali Kids Care or something) so maybe all the $$ we saved for the birth can instead be ours, and the Alaskan taxpayer can bear the burden of my labor. Suddenly my tax dollars don't seem to have disappeared as frustratingly as they had before.

We've been keeping an eye on classified ads, and things are looking promising. We just need to get up there and get an address!

Also, I started a travel blog for us. If anyone wants to follow our adventures, I'd love some subscribers!

For the record: I think our 'babymoon' adventure to Alaska is way cooler than the weekend in a hotel that we had otherwise considered! Long live the slightly foolish, youthful spirits young people in love!

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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My DH officially accepted his offer from UAF this week, and now I'm panicking. I have a ton of questions:

1. We have a PT Cruiser (ridiculous car but DH fell in love - and I can't say no to his excited face), is winterizing the car really necessary? I've lived in some pretty cold places (even walked to class at -35) and my old Jeep was fine, never flinched.

Yes, absolutely necessary~! but I would wait until you are in AK to do it.
If you were moving to Anchorage my answer would be different
I see a lot of PT cruisers here in Anchorage. Not my first choice of car but if they can survive the local roads, I dont see why it would not do okay in Fairbanks. but it might not like the icey roads in winter.

2. Would it be cheaper (or a good idea) to winterize it here in Denver? I'm skeptical that we'd be able to find someone who KNEW what they were doing.

Answered above

There are certain things you need to do to winterize a are for a Fairbanks winter. -70F is nothing to fool with.


3. Our lease is up at the end of this month, and we were planning on just heading North then, but now I'm seeing that some of the national parks where we planned to stay haven't opened any roads or campgrounds yet. I'm currently 20 weeks pregnant, and not sure I'm up for a road trip of this magnitude in the last trimester, should I try to put it off till mid May? late May?


Well, it depends on your pregnancy and what not. Personally, I would do it. I moved back to AK from California while pregnant. We traveled up to Washington, camped in a travel trailer the whole time with our 4 kids. I was 17 weeks or so when we started our journey. We then traveled to Montana and camped along the way. We stayed there for about a month. After that we continued north to Anchorage. I was 25 weeks when we finally arrived here. by the way that was my 7th pregnancy, if that matters.


I travel a LOT, so going on any kind of trip at anytime while pregnant is not a problem for me. I flew to CA at 30 weeks for a couple of days and back again at 37 1/2 weeks.

4. Am I crazy to try to drive to Fairbanks without a place to live? I figured we'd find some cheap hotel or something for a night or two, and find an apartment once we got there.

LOL, just as crazy as I am!!
Since you are pregnant though, extended campground camping might not be as appealing of an option for you but let me tell ya. I have been there done that too! LOL
With my 4th pregnancy we moved back up to Alaska from Washington. I was about 1/2 way though my pregnancy at the time. We camped in the camp ground in Delta Junction in a TENT and also in the back of our suburban. We did that for about 2 weeks. Then we camped out at a friends house on the floor. We started building on our cabin soon after and we spent many nights in back of the suburban or on the floor of our friends house. We got the cabin buttoned up just in time for winter. I was helping best I could while pregnant. I was pounding nails and screwing screws right along side my DH. I did leave most of the heavy lifting up to him though!


5. Are we crazy to sell all of our stuff here and buy off garage sales when we get up there? I can't imagine paying for a U-Haul to move furniture I bought at Goodwill, but some part of me is worried that Fairbanks isn't big enough to furnish my apartment through Craigslist and garage sales and thrift stores in a reasonable amount of time.

Well, when we move we usually pare our stuff down to the bare bones. We travel with only the essentials and sentimental. there are times when everything we own (family of 6) fits into the back of a suburban. What exactly are you looking for? Ethan Allen? LOL Just kidding. Seriously though, you can find everything you need in Fairbanks cheap/free and fast.
It will cost a LOT to move your household furnishings up here so you need to think is the extra cost going to be worth it? Is my stuff that important? can I just buy this again later? Is this irreplaceable? Is this special to me?


6. We're sitting down with the owner of our company (we work in the same office) to let him know our plan on Monday. If he fires us on the spot (worst case scenario) is the economy bad enough in Fairbanks that we'd struggle to find jobs? Or could we have a little faith, each take the first offer we got and go from there?

I have not lived in Fairbanks for 2 years so I am unaware of the economy there right now. But as long as one of you is willing to work there is probably some kind of job out there for you.
When DH got laid off last October, it did take some doing but after a few weeks we had at least 5 jobs to choose from. Mind you they were not "dream" jobs but it was money coming in and that was better than nothing.



After reading my rambling I think:
A. My preggo hormones are making me a sad, strange combination of neurotic and insecure.
B. I've lived in a "major" (we pretend we're major) metropolitan area for far too long. I've done cold, I've done rural, both have their highlights, I know we're going to be fine. Still, it sounds crazy to leave the ease of such a large city.
C. I might actually be crazy to be considering leaving in 3 weeks with so little prepared. Certifiably crazy.

Help!

The beauty of Fairbanks is that they have nearly everything you need or/and want. They have culture, they have shopping, they have decent restaurants. They have fun stuff to do (Pioneer Park!). they have a really great Farmer's Market in the summer.
It is not just all bars and churches.

I lived there for 3 years. It took us a while to embrace it and love it. But the last 24+ months were great. We started really getting involved with the community and doing some of the local fun stuff.

the schools there are decent and they also have some totally awesome home-school networking so you have lots of options as a parent.

Winter is not that bad but sometimes with tiny children, keeping them busy and out of the house can be challenging as most of the "activities" are geared for bigger kids or warmer weather.

You can live in the city or go just 3 -5 miles out and be all "country"

If you have not guessed by my reply or my user-name, we move around a LOT! And out of all the places I have lived 2 of them reign supreme! Fairbanks, AK and Bozeman, MT.

At first, the move will seem very overwhelming but do what you can to accept it and welcome it. Try to get to know the community.

In the mean time, I certainly wont judge you for venting about things if you start to feel homesick or overwhelmed.

good Luck!!!
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:14 PM
 
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Thanks everyone.

I've got my copy of Milepost and I've started ticking off our route, where we want to camp, etc. It looks like gas the whole way will be about $350 dollars (if all my conversions were correct) and our combination of camping and hotels will be around $350-$400.

Be prepared for that cost to triple! Gas in Canada is crazy $$. We are talking like at least $1 canadian for a LITER! that is over $4 per gallon if the dollar does not drop.
You will be lucky to find a hotel that is under $75 canadian. Not sure how many nights you are planning on sleeping in one but we went for cheap and the prices have climbed exponentially in the past 13 years. used to be we could do it for $50 a night, now we are looking at a MINIMUM of $75 to $100. Mind you also that when you are traveling it will be summer and tourist season, which means summer rates.
I just want you to be overly realistic with the money you might need to get through Canada. It is better to budgeted too much then not enough.


DH and I were SUPER excited about the ferry until we realized that it would be $1600 PLUS gas to Seattle and from Anchorage to Fairbanks, and that the next ferry with an open spot isn't until June. Who knew it was so popular??

I know! I really want to do the Ferry too.

I'll be able to work while we're traveling (I'm a scriptwriter) so I'll only have to take a day or so off, which is good, because DH will be let go and I'll be cut to part time when we go.

Ah well. With the pay cut we should be eligible for the state health care plan (Denali Kids Care or something) so maybe all the $$ we saved for the birth can instead be ours, and the Alaskan taxpayer can bear the burden of my labor. Suddenly my tax dollars don't seem to have disappeared as frustratingly as they had before.

We've been keeping an eye on classified ads, and things are looking promising. We just need to get up there and get an address!

Also, I started a travel blog for us. If anyone wants to follow our adventures, I'd love some subscribers!

For the record: I think our 'babymoon' adventure to Alaska is way cooler than the weekend in a hotel that we had otherwise considered! Long live the slightly foolish, youthful spirits young people in love!
traveling to Alaska is an AWESOME adventure and everyone should do it at least once! Which route are you planning on going?
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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traveling to Alaska is an AWESOME adventure and everyone should do it at least once! Which route are you planning on going?
We're heading north out of Denver to Grand Teton National Park, then to Glacier, then we'll take the East Access Route through Banff and Jasper until we get to Dawson Creek. Then it's THE highway all the way to Fairbanks! I've got a map and itinerary posted on my travel blog.

I'd really like to tent camp as much as possible as we missed most of our winter camping opportunities due to morning sickness and general first trimester woes, so I'm ITCHING to get out and play in the woods. But, we need to be in a hotel certain nights so I can work. Luckily, I can download everything I need to do in the morning, write while we're in the car and then upload and submit everything when we stop for the night again. That will probably work out for the best because I do NOT do well when my hands are bored.

DH and I have been dreaming of this trip for a long time (years) and we're just too excited to focus on anything here.

Here we come!

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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We're heading north out of Denver to Grand Teton National Park, then to Glacier, then we'll take the East Access Route through Banff and Jasper until we get to Dawson Creek. Then it's THE highway all the way to Fairbanks! I've got a map and itinerary posted on my travel blog.

I'd really like to tent camp as much as possible as we missed most of our winter camping opportunities due to morning sickness and general first trimester woes, so I'm ITCHING to get out and play in the woods. But, we need to be in a hotel certain nights so I can work. Luckily, I can download everything I need to do in the morning, write while we're in the car and then upload and submit everything when we stop for the night again. That will probably work out for the best because I do NOT do well when my hands are bored.

DH and I have been dreaming of this trip for a long time (years) and we're just too excited to focus on anything here.

Here we come!
great! I am a Montana girl so I am familiar with that Route.
You'll have a GREAT time!:
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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We're heading north out of Denver to Grand Teton National Park, then to Glacier, then we'll take the East Access Route through Banff and Jasper until we get to Dawson Creek. Then it's THE highway all the way to Fairbanks! I've got a map and itinerary posted on my travel blog.

I'd really like to tent camp as much as possible as we missed most of our winter camping opportunities due to morning sickness and general first trimester woes, so I'm ITCHING to get out and play in the woods.
We drove from AK to UT (and back again) last summer. I hope gas prices have come down since then, but yeah, last june the gas prices in yukon and northern BC were over $6/gal (that was CAD... like $1.40/liter...so whatever that translates to in USD!!) I know everybody had expensive gas last summer, so hopefully it's down...but yes, I second the advice to get gas at every chance, because you literally may not have another chance for 200miles...and there is literally NOTHING between them.

The wildlife up there is impressive...we saw buffalo, mountain goats, sheep (dall sheep are they called?), elk, deer, moose, lots of black bears (including some cubs, awwwww!) and even a bobcat! (we just saw him disappearing into the bushes...) All along those roads the trees and bushes are completely leveled for about 20ft on either side of the road, which makes it easy to see wildlife on the edges, but I also suspect it's so that you have enough time to slam on the breaks if a moose is runnign across!!!
Oh, we crossed the border from skagway into CA at like 11:30pm (Because the ferry got in at 11), and there were porcupines EVERYWHERE up there...we kept seeing them scatter from the headlights. It was hilarious.

BTW, our drive from Skagway to Utah was, um, about 50 hrs I think? We didn't go quite straight...we took a couple of jogs to one side or the other to see family in Idaho, but we did go through Banff/Jasper and also Glacier NP. One thing about seeing those three places in the same week--they all kinda look alike. They are beautiful, but very similar. The road through Glacier was closed (so we could go in on one side, then had to go back out and around an back in from the other side) and that was the first week of June... In Banff and Jasper most things were open but some trails and whatnot were still under snow so we couldnt' go up there.

We didn't have any trouble with winter weather/snow on the roads (except for the mountain road in Glacier), but like I said there were some portions of the parks that were closed. We were tent camping, and it did get cold at night, but bundle up and you should be ok. (Also, if you haven't camped in bear territory before, make sure you listen to and follow all the rules!!!!)
the one frustrating thing about the tent camping was that you're not allowed to bring your own firewood (they're worried about a particular type of beetle getting into the province), and the bundles they sell there in the park are pretty pricy... you might want to consider the charcoal route, or a propane stove or something...
Everything in Banff and Jasper is expensive...that's just sortof how it is. We camped in Jasper (the north one) on our way south, but then we didnt' stay in Banff--we stayed at a state or county campground that was just a few miles beyond the southern edge. It was about 2/3 the price, they didn't charge for wood, and there weren't so many people. One thing though--you mentioned that you'd need to stay in hotels sometimes? Both Banff and Jasper are tourist towns (the town of Jasper is actually inside the park), but in both places there are residents that will let you rent a room from them and stay in their home--MUCH cheaper than the hotels, and I bet a lot of them still have wi-fi or that sort of thing. We didn't go that route because we were traveling with our dog, but you might want to look into it. I don't remember the link, but you could google for it I'm sure.



The ferry is quite pricy if you're traveling with a car, but if you go without a vehicle it's not a bad way to get back south... another option is to drive to Prince Rupert and take the ferry from there (saves a day and a half and several hundred $$)...we've explored a lot of these price options in the last two years


btw, I'm watching this thread with interest...we've lived in rural southeast for the last two years, but are moving in just a month...only we don't know where, Anchorage/Mat-Su is likely, but there's a possible job opportunity in Fairbanks that if they offer the job we'll almost certainly take it, so hey, maybe we'll be neighbors!! (I'm 11wks pg, so just a month or so behind you it sounds like? what fun what fun!_

~Jenni, rural frugal Alaskan, eternally married to Dragon
loving my wild things DS Wolf (12), 3 angels, DS Bear (6) & DS Eagle (3)
 

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Old 04-26-2009, 03:14 AM
 
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We're heading north out of Denver to Grand Teton National Park, then to Glacier, then we'll take the East Access Route through Banff and Jasper until we get to Dawson Creek. Then it's THE highway all the way to Fairbanks! I've got a map and itinerary posted on my travel blog.

I'd really like to tent camp as much as possible as we missed most of our winter camping opportunities due to morning sickness and general first trimester woes, so I'm ITCHING to get out and play in the woods. But, we need to be in a hotel certain nights so I can work. Luckily, I can download everything I need to do in the morning, write while we're in the car and then upload and submit everything when we stop for the night again. That will probably work out for the best because I do NOT do well when my hands are bored.

DH and I have been dreaming of this trip for a long time (years) and we're just too excited to focus on anything here.

Here we come!

We did that exact route.........you will love it! YAY!
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:16 AM
 
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btw, I'm watching this thread with interest...we've lived in rural southeast for the last two years, but are moving in just a month...only we don't know where, Anchorage/Mat-Su is likely, but there's a possible job opportunity in Fairbanks that if they offer the job we'll almost certainly take it, so hey, maybe we'll be neighbors!! (I'm 11wks pg, so just a month or so behind you it sounds like? what fun what fun!_
Total fun! I want you in Mat-Su just so I can meet you, but if it turns out to be Fbx then that's great for the two of you!
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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Don't know when y'all are planning on leaving, but plan for snow just in case. If you don't have 4 wheel drive, see about getting tire chains just in case. I know, sounds crazy, but we hit a lot of nasty weather when we came through this last week. The locals were surprised by it, as they had already had several weeks of temps up in the 40s-50's. The Milepost is not all that wonderful, we didn't think. We bought one for our trip down and we weren't impressed. Well, we liked a lot of the background info it had, but they didn't mention the majority of the really steep grades, which was the info we needed. There are a lot of nice campgrounds, though, so you should be okay there. I would, however, in possible, plan for some hotel stays just in case.

Oh, and watch for wildlife. And take a camera. We got some awesome pictures of some buffalo. Oh, and don't forget to have your passports, title for the car, registration for it, and if you have any animals, make sure you get their health certificates before hitting Canada.
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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The beauty of Fairbanks is that they have nearly everything you need or/and want. They have culture, they have shopping, they have decent restaurants. They have fun stuff to do (Pioneer Park!). they have a really great Farmer's Market in the summer.
It is not just all bars and churches.

the schools there are decent and they also have some totally awesome home-school networking so you have lots of options as a parent.
: ok, these were two things taht were making me sad at the idea of fairbanks rather than mat-su... but you're warming me up to it.

Thanks for the info (and the link) on apartments...we have 2 kids (with 3rd on the way) and a dog, so we're a little more limited about where we can stay (though thankfully most of AK seems to be pet-friendly! SO not the case in a lot of other states). That is one thing I've been feeling a little nervous about...I don't want to camp out while we look, I'd really rather try to find something and have it ready/waiting when we get there. (Actually that applies no matter where we're movign to, I'm a type-A OCD like that)


If we do get the Fbx job, I will want more info about that whole winterizing the vehicle thing...I had never even thought about that what does that tend to cost? (we have a 2005 minivan...so it's newer but I don't know if that counts for anything...we'd already figured that DH would probably need to get some kind of commuter vehicle that was 4wd and such)

~Jenni, rural frugal Alaskan, eternally married to Dragon
loving my wild things DS Wolf (12), 3 angels, DS Bear (6) & DS Eagle (3)
 

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Old 04-26-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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It depends on what you get done. You can "probably" get by with just a block heater. Your additional options are battery blanket, transmission heater, and hmmm what else? I got a block heater installed in my old car for $60 in Minnesota before I came up 5 years ago.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here we come!

We're leaving tomorrow, and we should be in AK by Memorial Day!

Our travel blog

Thanks for all your help and advice, I'll see you soon! (lol, well, maybe)

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:15 AM
 
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Have a wonderful trip!!!
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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1. We have a PT Cruiser : YES winterize your car no matter what kind. -60 makes even winterize cars a little iffy .

2. winterizing in denver: I would go ahead and do it here to make sure it is up to Alaska standards.

3. Our lease is up at the end of this month: they should be opening soon..... at least the alaska ones..... not sure about this one.

4. Am I crazy to try to drive to Fairbanks without a place to live? : in the summer i think it's just fine. in the winter it might be more iffy consider cabins too.

5. Are we crazy to sell all of our stuff here and buy off garage sales when we get up there? : most people furnish their apt/cabins here from stuff they find so it can totally be done.

6. job: depends on what you do...... ????

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Old 05-17-2009, 01:22 AM
 
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YAY we'll see you here!

transtichel.gifAk Hippie mama  ribbonpb.gifYamia  DSD '03 blahblah.gif  DS '07 ribboncesarean.gif  DS2 '09  hbac.gif & DS3  uc.jpg '12

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Old 06-03-2009, 02:38 AM
 
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Yay! I skimmed over your blog and see you've made it. : Welcome to our neck of the woods. Fairbanks is a terriffic place to call home. :

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:45 AM
 
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Welcome to Fairbanks! I'm glad we are having nice weather for you and glad you missed the shakers we've been having lately! Hope you find a great place soon.
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the support guys!

We're here, and we're thrilled about it. I still find it incredibly strange that it doesn't really get good and dark, but we're adapting. We got up here last Monday night and stayed in a hostel (tent site) until we found a place. We REALLY like the family housing on campus so we're on the waiting list there and found a furnished 1 bedroom to get us by until we move to campus. That will make a total of 4 moves during this pregnancy, which I think should earn me some sort of medal.

Fairbanks is amazing! I have never met so many really nice, welcoming, LOVING people in one place! Maybe we've just been super lucky, but we just feel so blessed to be here. We have a few maps taped up to the walls so we can figure out where we're going and we have another city map in the car so I can get us found when we get lost, but this town really isn't very big so it's hard to be lost for long.

You guys have so many mosquitoes! We'd forgotten how spoiled we were in dry, dry Colorado. My feet and ankles look like they've been absolutely attacked!

I have to say, I was a little disappointed at the Farmer's Market. We couldn't find any produce? We went today, is there more on Saturday? Did we just miss it? We'd love to buy all our fruits and veggies locally if we can, does anyone know where we need to go to do that?

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:34 AM
 
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We just don't HAVE any produce yet. It's still really early in our growing season. Most people don't plant outside until June 1. But they are coming and they are YUMMY!
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:26 AM
 
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growing season is from June to August! Carrots are 1/2 an inch high, and peas are only 4-6 inches in my garden. We were lucky this year in the valley, in that we were able to put out starts 3 weeks early this time.
Even so, the radishes will not be ready for at least 3 more weeks as it is.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh! Well I guess that explains it then! It's hard to believe because it feels so warm and there's so much sun, but I guess if the food needs a little more time to grow, I can wait!

I have a lot to learn about life this far north.

Thanks for the info!

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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Oh! Well I guess that explains it then! It's hard to believe because it feels so warm and there's so much sun, but I guess if the food needs a little more time to grow, I can wait!

I have a lot to learn about life this far north.

Thanks for the info!
Yes, its warm, but its only been that way for less than a month.
Snow was still on the ground in areas 4 weeks ago.
Normally, the last frost is not till around the first of June.
You will figure it out! Some things took me awhile as well.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 06-04-2009, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, its warm, but its only been that way for less than a month.
Snow was still on the ground in areas 4 weeks ago.
Normally, the last frost is not till around the first of June.
You will figure it out! Some things took me awhile as well.
The first of June! You guys really are hardcore! What an abrupt change from winter to summer, does summer turn into winter that quickly?

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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The first of June! You guys really are hardcore! What an abrupt change from winter to summer, does summer turn into winter that quickly?
Hehe! You will find out! Actually, fall, if you can call it that is beyond gorgeous! The colors ae blinding. The ground colors turn bright red, along with some dark gold, and the trees turn a very bright gold.
Only lasts a couple of weeks, but it is worth it.
Its not all the bad. But its not for everyone.
In the dead of winter, it is crucial to remain active, and take a good high vitamin cod liver oil for A and D levels.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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