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Bob and Joanne's Alaska adventure: Precious moments in RV parks

During their 109-day motorhome trip to Alaska in 2006, Joanne Sommer and Bob Potts camped in state parks, private campgrounds, national parks, national forests, provincial parks and Bureau of Land Management areas.

“Sometimes we would call a couple of days in advance to make campground reservations, but for the most part we didn’t even do that,” Joanne said.

They used The Milepost trip planner to pinpoint campground locations and roadside pullouts where camping was permitted. “We were told this publication was going to be the bible and they were right. It really tells you all you need to know.”

Private campgrounds typically had sites to accommodate their motorhome and towed vehicle. That wasn’t always the case in U.S. National Forest campgrounds or sites managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Joanne said.

“We probably spent about half our days on the side of the road, or just finding places that allowed overnight parking.”

In Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seward, Homer, Haines, Hyder, they found plenty of places to park along the side of the road with sufficient space to pull out.

The conditions and amenities of the campgrounds they stayed at ran the gamut. Many presented opportunities for fellowship with other RVers.

For instance, at an RV park in Fairbanks, they enjoyed a halibut and brat barbecue. “Everyone brought a side dish and it was great socializing with everyone, including the folks who were work-kamping there. We heard lots of stories from others about where to stay on our travels.”

At an RV park near Denali National Park, Joanne shared her homemade chocolate chip cookies with two grateful RVers next door.

At a campground in British Columbia, from inside their motorhome they could hear cheering from the other RVs as Edmonton won hockey’s Stanley Cup.

"And who could forget the sourdough pancake toss at Sourdough Campground in Tok, Alaska," Joanne said.

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