US East Running the Trans America Trail (TAT) from WV to the OR coast

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armyRN

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So... what's the next trip? How about doing a little kayaking... in the Arctic Ocean? Looks like Canada is starting to open up their border to the US.

Short version - run the Dempster Highway all the way up to Tuktoyaktuk (Tuk) and back.

Long version....

Here's the general outline/plan: Figure a good 3-4 weeks for the trip, as it is pretty much a 5000 miles round trip from Bellingham, WA, to Tuk, and back to Bellingham, WA. Dates & times to be determined later (I'm thinking of doing it August 2022).

Going up:

Some of us will rally in Bellingham, WA if you're coming from the PNW (I will be getting up there the night before and getting a room). See maps below. We will take the eastern route to the border crossing at Sumas, then up to 1, and then on 1 going up to Hope to catch 5, and continue north on 5 to Tete Jaune Cache at 16. Then west on 16 (Yellow Head Highway) to Prince George, where we will catch 97 north (West Access Route) which will bring us to Dawson Creek (the start of the Alaska Highway!).

If you're coming from other than the PNW (or want to set your own pace), we will do our final/official meet-up (Rally Point) in Dawson Creek (figure a good two days driving from Bellingham to Dawson Creek, ~ 725 miles). There are a few interesting things to see in Dawson Creek - you might want to get there early the day before we rally to explore the town and museums. From Dawson Creek we will follow 97 (Alaska Highway) up to Watson Lake. From Watson Lake, we’ll head to Whitehorse on 1, and then just north of Whitehorse we’ll catch 2 (Klondike Highway) and take it all the way to Dawson City (Dawson City is right outside the beginning of the Dempster Highway).

Whitehorse is a big city - pretty much the last place to get stuff/gear before heading to Dawson City. In Dawson City we will do our final restocking/gassing-up before heading up the Dempster Highway. I’m figuring five to six days minimum to run up and back down the Dempster (about 600 miles up, and 600 miles back down to Dawson City again). There will be two free ferry crossings on the Dempster Highway prior to Inuvik on the way to Tuk. Once started on the Dempster Highway, the first place to get gas (or anything) is at the 225-mile point at Eagle Plains. The Arctic Circle is just north of Eagle Plains. Your vehicle will get filthy running the Dempster Highway. Your MPG will suck on the Dempster. And it will be awesome!

The Dempster Highway ends at Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada. We will camp there, explore the area, and those who brought them we'll put our kayaks in the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean). This is a bucket-list trip. Enjoy it!

I've run the Dempster as far as Inuvik - the furthest you could drive the Dempster at the time. The rest of the way to Tuk had not been completed yet when we drove it.

Bellingham WA to Dawson Creek - 725 miles
Dawson Creek to Whitehorse - 875 miles
Whitehorse to Dawson City - 330 miles
Dawson City to Tuck - 575 miles

Coming back:

We will return to down the Dempster Highway from Tuk to Dawson City to restock and clean-up (and spend at least a full day/two nights) before heading back down to Whitehorse on 2 (Klondike Highway), and then take 1 to Watson Lake. Dawson City is a fun place to explore - you'll want to spend some time there.

At Watson Lake, we will change directions. Instead of going the way we came up (gray on the map below), we will head down towards Prince George on 37 (Cassiar Highway). 37 will take us to Kitwanga, where we will pick up 16 (Yellowhead Highway) heading east to Prince George at 97, and then take 97 south to Cache Creek where it turns into 1. We’ll continue south on 1 which brings us back down to Hope, and then back to the border crossing at Sumas and to Bellingham WA

The route will be roughly 2500 miles each way (5000 miles total round trip), with about 1200 miles of that (600 miles up, and 600 miles back down) being the Dempster Highway. Other than the Dempster Highway, the route should be essentially paved and easily driven. At least for the first half of the trip (prior to getting on the Dempster), we might be kinda pushing it time-wise (300 - 400 miles/day?). After we return to Dawson City from running the Dempster, we will reassess how we’re doing for time, and how fast or slow we need to go to get back to WA in time. Dates and times TBD.

Will probably get more specific around the first of the year. Who knows what will happen between now and then. Just keep this in the back of your mind for now if you're interested. If/when this trip becomes official, I will start a new thread (probably copy/paste everything from this post) with a new Rally Point, vehicle requirements, expectations, etc.

If you're interested in this trip (or any trip up into western Canada or Alaska), buy a copy of the Milepost and start reading. Trust me on this one. You'll have a hard time putting it down, and you'll come up with another half-dozen trips you'll want to take. There are just so many options.

Link: Home - The MILEPOST

Kayak Arctic Ocean Map.2.png

Dempster trip.5.PNGDempster trip.6.PNGDempster trip.7.PNG

I'm thinking of taking the truck this next time instead of the Jeep. We'll see. Might even do something totally different and take my Toyota Yaris.

Arctic Trip.3.jpg

Truck.1.jpg
Yaris.2.jpg
 
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NMBruce

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So one thing that no one talked about in the number of people who showed up or didn’t show up when you plan and do a trip like this. The full trip would be a month or longer, about like my last Alaska trip where only 2 of 5 vehicles showed up and people decided to do their own thing about 2.5 weeks in. That’s a lot off time for people to get away from home. Some of my car trips around New Mexico & Colorado, I had 8 sign up and 8 showed up, it lasted a week, 5 days and people had the weekend to get there and home, plus they had to make their own hotel reservations.

I think the best way to do this, is plan the trip you want to do and if others join you, then great, if not then your still doing what you want.
 

NMBruce

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So... what's the next trip? How about doing a little kayaking... in the Arctic Ocean? Looks like Canada is starting to open up their border to the US.

Short version - run the Dempster Highway all the way up to Tuktoyaktuk (Tuk) and back.

Long version....

Here's the general outline/plan: Figure a good 3-4 weeks for the trip, as it is pretty much a 5000 miles round trip from Bellingham, WA, to Tuk, and back to Bellingham, WA. Dates & times to be determined later (I'm thinking of doing it August 2022).

Going up:

Some of us will rally in Bellingham, WA if you're coming from the PNW (I will be getting up there the night before and getting a room). See maps below. We will take the eastern route to the border crossing at Sumas, then up to 1, and then on 1 going up to Hope to catch 5, and continue north on 5 to Tete Jaune Cache at 16. Then west on 16 (Yellow Head Highway) to Prince George, where we will catch 97 north (West Access Route) which will bring us to Dawson Creek (the start of the Alaska Highway!).

If you're coming from other than the PNW (or want to set your own pace), we will do our final/official meet-up (Rally Point) in Dawson Creek (figure a good two days driving from Bellingham to Dawson Creek, ~ 725 miles). There are a few interesting things to see in Dawson Creek - you might want to get there early the day before we rally to explore the town and museums. From Dawson Creek we will follow 97 (Alaska Highway) up to Watson Lake. From Watson Lake, we’ll head to Whitehorse on 1, and then just north of Whitehorse we’ll catch 2 (Klondike Highway) and take it all the way to Dawson City (Dawson City is right outside the beginning of the Dempster Highway).

Whitehorse is a big city - pretty much the last place to get stuff/gear before heading to Dawson City. In Dawson City we will do our final restocking/gassing-up before heading up the Dempster Highway. I’m figuring five to six days minimum to run up and back down the Dempster (about 600 miles up, and 600 miles back down to Dawson City again). There will be two free ferry crossings on the Dempster Highway prior to Inuvik on the way to Tuk. Once started on the Dempster Highway, the first place to get gas (or anything) is at the 225-mile point at Eagle Plains. The Arctic Circle is just north of Eagle Plains. Your vehicle will get filthy running the Dempster Highway. Your MPG will suck on the Dempster. And it will be awesome!

The Dempster Highway ends at Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada. We will camp there, explore the area, and those who brought them we'll put our kayaks in the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean). This is a bucket-list trip. Enjoy it!

I've run the Dempster as far as Inuvik - the furthest you could drive the Dempster at the time. The rest of the way to Tuk had not been completed yet when we drove it.

Bellingham WA to Dawson Creek - 725 miles
Dawson Creek to Whitehorse - 875 miles
Whitehorse to Dawson City - 330 miles
Dawson City to Tuck - 575 miles

Coming back:

We will return to down the Dempster Highway from Tuk to Dawson City to restock and clean-up (and spend at least a full day/two nights) before heading back down to Whitehorse on 2 (Klondike Highway), and then take 1 to Watson Lake. Dawson City is a fun place to explore - you'll want to spend some time there.

At Watson Lake, we will change directions. Instead of going the way we came up (gray on the map below), we will head down towards Prince George on 37 (Cassiar Highway). 37 will take us to Kitwanga, where we will pick up 16 (Yellowhead Highway) heading east to Prince George at 97, and then take 97 south to Cache Creek where it turns into 1. We’ll continue south on 1 which brings us back down to Hope, and then back to the border crossing at Sumas and to Bellingham WA

The route will be roughly 2500 miles each way (5000 miles total round trip), with about 1200 miles of that (600 miles up, and 600 miles back down) being the Dempster Highway. Other than the Dempster Highway, the route should be essentially paved and easily driven. At least for the first half of the trip (prior to getting on the Dempster), we might be kinda pushing it time-wise (300 - 400 miles/day?). After we return to Dawson City from running the Dempster, we will reassess how we’re doing for time, and how fast or slow we need to go to get back to WA in time. Dates and times TBD.

Will probably get more specific around the first of the year. Who knows what will happen between now and then. Just keep this in the back of your mind for now if you're interested. If/when this trip becomes official, I will start a new thread (probably copy/paste everything from this post) with a new Rally Point, vehicle requirements, expectations, etc.

If you're interested in this trip (or any trip up into western Canada or Alaska), buy a copy of the Milepost and start reading. Trust me on this one. You'll have a hard time putting it down, and you'll come up with another half-dozen trips you'll want to take. There are just so many options.

Link: Home - The MILEPOST

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I'm thinking of taking the truck this next time instead of the Jeep. We'll see.

View attachment 205048

View attachment 205049
If you haven’t done this, do it. Plus Paul has done most of it a few times and knows the layout.
I hope to go back up in a year or two
 

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2dub

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I've been following this thread and have learned a lot. The TAT has been on my to-do list, but between this and other sources I do think I'd skip around too.

I don't think I'd ever do a group thing like this, I'm just not that social, especially with people I don't/hardly know. This only lend it's self to chaos and I would be one of those people who want to go at my pace and time which might not be the pace and time of others. I prefer to rise early get moving no later than sunrise , drive hard, make a few stops but they're generally quick and set up camp in the afternoon with time to still enjoy that day's destination with plenty of daylight and recouperate from the drive. So one or maybe 2 other people I know like to travel in the same way would be the largest group I'd do.

But I do applaud @armyRN for doing this for those who are so inclined. And good luck on the trip to Tuk. Fingers crossed that's my 2023 major trip so I will look forward to following that as well.
 

armyRN

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I've been following this thread and have learned a lot. The TAT has been on my to-do list, but between this and other sources I do think I'd skip around too.

I don't think I'd ever do a group thing like this, I'm just not that social, especially with people I don't/hardly know. This only lend it's self to chaos and I would be one of those people who want to go at my pace and time which might not be the pace and time of others. I prefer to rise early get moving no later than sunrise , drive hard, make a few stops but they're generally quick and set up camp in the afternoon with time to still enjoy that day's destination with plenty of daylight and recouperate from the drive. So one or maybe 2 other people I know like to travel in the same way would be the largest group I'd do.

But I do applaud @armyRN for doing this for those who are so inclined. And good luck on the trip to Tuk. Fingers crossed that's my 2023 major trip so I will look forward to following that as well.
Thanks!

With all the reading I had done about the TAT and videos I had watched, nobody ever talked about parts of it being repetitive and boring, and skipping chunks of it. Glad I got to do it, someday (when the fires are extinguished in OR) I'd like to go back and finish the ID/OR portion of the POS. No rush to do it again.

It is good to know yourself, and how you like to travel. Some folks do better solo; some do better with a group. I've done both, and enjoy both. Given a choice, I prefer not to be solo. Even if that means just one other vehicle. Stuff happens.

Four to six makes a nice sized group. On this Arctic trip, a larger number would be ok, as it is mostly paved till we get on the Dempster, and there's really only one way to get up to the Dempster (not a lot if side routes). What they call a "Highway" in Canada is often a 1.5 lane gravel road. As discussed previously, it is difficult to get an exact desired number of participants to show up unless it is a regular group of friends that you normally run with. I enjoy meeting new folks, so that makes it fun for me.

I like to be wheels rolling by 0800, and then stop later in the afternoon with plenty of daylight left to set-up camp, cook a meal, and relax before hitting the sack.. On this Arctic trip, the further north we go, the more we get to 24hr daylight. I remember my first trip into Alaska; I had brought my Coleman lantern. Figured out real soon with 24hr daylight it was just taking up space. We had to buy beanies to cover our eyes so we could sleep at night. Literally - it was daylight at midnight and beyond. You had to force yourself to go to bed at a decent time.
 

Solo Saga

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Thanks!

With all the reading I had done about the TAT and videos I had watched, nobody ever talked about parts of it being repetitive and boring, and skipping chunks of it. Glad I got to do it, someday (when the fires are extinguished in OR) I'd like to go back and finish the ID/OR portion of the POS. No rush to do it again.

It is good to know yourself, and how you like to travel. Some folks do better solo; some do better with a group. I've done both, and enjoy both. Given a choice, I prefer not to be solo. Even if that means just one other vehicle. Stuff happens.

Four to six makes a nice sized group. On this Arctic trip, a larger number would be ok, as it is mostly paved till we get on the Dempster, and there's really only one way to get up to the Dempster (not a lot if side routes). What they call a "Highway" in Canada is often a 1.5 lane gravel road. As discussed previously, it is difficult to get an exact desired number of participants to show up unless it is a regular group of friends that you normally run with. I enjoy meeting new folks, so that makes it fun for me.

I like to be wheels rolling by 0800, and then stop later in the afternoon with plenty of daylight left to set-up camp, cook a meal, and relax before hitting the sack.. On this Arctic trip, the further north we go, the more we get to 24hr daylight. I remember my first trip into Alaska; I had brought my Coleman lantern. Figured out real soon with 24hr daylight it was just taking up space. We had to buy beanies to cover our eyes so we could sleep at night. Literally - it was daylight at midnight and beyond. You had to force yourself to go to bed at a decent time.
I spent a week in Sitka back in 2015. That week included the 4th of July. On the 4th, even though it is far south of most of this Artic trip's route, it was still VERY much daylight when the people I was staying with put their kids to bed around 9pm. They woke them around 11:30, and we all went to see the fireworks at roughly midnight. It was the darkest it would get, and just "dark" enough for the display to have some visual impact. We were up on a hillside, and watched as the ordinance exploded light over the harbor. I was a unique and beautiful experience that I treasure to this day.

If this trip happens, and I hope it does, I wish all that attend the greatest of times. Definitely something to remember. I'll be moving around that time, and unfortunately, can not even consider joining. However, I look forward to following the thread.

BTW, tomorrow (27July21) I'm taking my rig on its first overnight "shake out" run since all of the mods. I was definitely overly optimistic to think I could have joined the TAT run in June, lol. Lesson learned? Never commit to an event unless your rig is in "fully operational" mode, and no major mods or repairs are planned, or needed, prior.
 

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terryg

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So one thing that no one talked about in the number of people who showed up or didn’t show up when you plan and do a trip like this. The full trip would be a month or longer, about like my last Alaska trip where only 2 of 5 vehicles showed up and people decided to do their own thing about 2.5 weeks in. That’s a lot off time for people to get away from home. Some of my car trips around New Mexico & Colorado, I had 8 sign up and 8 showed up, it lasted a week, 5 days and people had the weekend to get there and home, plus they had to make their own hotel reservations.

I think the best way to do this, is plan the trip you want to do and if others join you, then great, if not then your still doing what you want.
Good advice.
 

armyRN

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So in case I left anyone wondering... the Jeep is back together and on the road.

The fuel pump was replaced by me, and is working fine now.

The clutch throw-out bearing was toast (hence the squealing and weird pedal feel). So in addition to replacing the clutch system (and a new fork and throw-out bearing, and hydraulic system), I also put in a heavier flywheel by Centerforce. I'm liking it.

Read about the heavier flywheel: Heavier flywheel for a four-cylinder TJ - JeepForum.com

Still will be needing new tires before any new major adventures, but am glad to be back on the road with the Jeep.
 
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