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Old 04-21-2018, 08:58 PM   #1
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Hello from Kenai Pen in Alaska

Hi All,

About 8 years ago, I attended a Rock Climbing Seminar out of Vegas, where I saw my first SportsMobile. The couple that owned it were very nice and we hung out a bit at the Seminar. I really wanted one of those!

Well, I just put a downpayment on a 2002 Ford EB250 SM, located in Montana. It appears to be in great shape and has about 60,000 miles on it. It is certainly not my ideal SM, but it will give me the opportunity to "test the waters". It does not have many of the fine features that are available, even back in 2002. But I can customize the interior to my liking over the next few months.

I will have a family get together in The Bahamas in June. Once I return to Miami, I will fly to Bozeman where I'll pick it up and work my way back to Alaska. On the original trip up to AK, I traveled up through Canada over a 6 week period, exploring and learning about photography. On this trip I'll travel The Northern Tier, hoping to get in some more exploring and some fly fishing.

I have never done an Alaskan Cruise, so will get on The Ferry in Bellingham, WA and do the Inside Passage up to Haines, AK, from there, I'll drive home to The Kenai Peninsula.

YES, this will be very crazy, taking this trip with a vehicle that I have yet to see or drive in person! No tools or accessories to make the trip as safe as I should. I'll have to pick up some gear in Bozeman before I set out. But, I'm gonna trust the seller as he has been so helpful making this work out.

I'll spend the rest of the summer in AK, organizing, customizing and preparing the rig, and selling my house to move out of AK in mid-October. By then, I should have all my toys and gear prepared to make my way back down south to Virginia to spend time with family and prepare for the next adventure.

If anyone wishes to do some fishing from Montana to Washington, please let me know. If I have truck issues on the way, and anyone is available to offer local info, I'd really appreciate that to.

I'm so happy to begin this journey.

Nurse Bob on The Kenai, AKA, Wandering Bob
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Old 04-21-2018, 09:21 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great trip. I've done the ferry from Prince Rupert BC to Haines and then the drive to Anchorage. It wasn't in a SMB but a big reason why I have one today. It's an awesome drive up through the Yukon and I have great memories and pictures of the whole drive. Welcome to the van life and have a wonderful trip.

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Old 04-21-2018, 10:04 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum... hope you have nothing but excellent adventures in your SMB!
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:48 PM   #4
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Sounds like a great trip. It wasn't in a SMB but a big reason why I have one today.
Thanks Oogs. Yeah, I came up in a fully loaded Tahoe and pitched a tent. Lucky that weather was very good most of the way.

Wandering Bob
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Old 04-21-2018, 10:49 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum... hope you have nothing but excellent adventures in your SMB!
Thanks, ctb
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:58 AM   #6
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Sounds like a fun adventure!

We did the Inside Passage by ferry in 2009 and it was great. I suggest bringing some good binoculars or a spotting scope, we spent hours just watching the pristine coastline and frequent whale spouts.

You probably already know this, but just in case... have a reservation! It'll be (almost?) high season, you don't want to spend hours or days in the Bellingham parking lot. Bringing a vehicle is pricey, but c'est la vie. Also, be aware that you won't have access to your van most of the time, so don't expect to sleep or cook in it, and have a go-bag of personal items ready.
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:34 AM   #7
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Sounds like a fun adventure!

<<I suggest bringing some good binoculars or a spotting scope>>

Will do!

<<You probably already know this, but just in case... have a reservation! >>

Haha! Yes, I know too well! Didn't get one on the way up in 2003, hence the drive up through Canada in '03!

<<Also, be aware that you won't have access to your van most of the time, so don't expect to sleep or cook in it, and have a go-bag of personal items ready.>>

I considered renting a cabin, but may just rough it so I have views most of the time.
Beautiful spot where you live! Thanks, Andrew
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:23 PM   #8
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No probs WBob! Man you are SURE set in AK for some truly awesome adventures...our page is loaded with pics from our '14 trip to AK breaking in our SMB...Did both the Dempster in Yukon/Northwest Territories and the Dalton on that trip...great wildlife, Northern Lights, seafood! VidaLaVIda is another member that has traveled AK extensively and has some great pics out there too! Can't wait to see your pics! AGAIN, WELCOME TO THE CLUB!!
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:07 PM   #9
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Very cool. Bring a full size torque wrench. Even with 8 bolts I don't trust these vans to not lose a wheel on long distance adventures.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:27 PM   #10
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If you've got the time and the ferry reservations allow you to, try to schedule time at some of the towns along the way. Prince Rupert is cute and has an actually good restaurant (Cow Bay Cafe). Wrangell and Petersburg are accessible only by ferry, not cruise ship, and are a fascinating case study in how 2 towns only a few miles apart can have vastly different cultures.

Being surrounded by Tongass Natl Forest, they have amazingly over-funded / under-utilized campsites nearby, or plenty of places to just dispersed-camp. We stumbled on one campsite a few miles south of Wrangell that was free, completely empty, beautiful views from a bluff overlooking the water, and -- I kid you not -- fresh potpourri in the outhouse. We regretted having uncancellable overpriced hotel reservations when we saw that place!
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