This is for those who are looking to come to Alaska to visit.
I am going to give you a crash lesson on driving on the roads here in Alaska as I am already having to deal with terrorists… er I mean Tourists. That is what Alaskans fondly call them as it can become very hard to drive around them.
Let us say you rent a Motor home or a car when you come up or you are driving up via the Alcan. I will advise you to buy a Mile Post. It will be the BEST 20 bucks you will ever spend. It will tell you everything you ever wanted to know touristy wise and will give you a map of Alaska and the Alcan Hwy for Canada. I am telling you this as it is very easy to get lost up here due to bad turns and people thinking they know where they are going. No you don’t, get this annual book.
Now, as you drive keep your head lights on at all times. I don’t CARE that you think that the sun being up for hours and hours on end in Alaska helps US (as in Alaskans) see you. Keep them on if you are on the highways. This helps everyone, not just us. Not even the tourist buses put them on and I almost got into a head on with one this weekend because he was speeding and he didn’t have his lights on and I couldn’t see due to the sun in my eyes. Turn ON the head lights!!!
There are two laws, which are needed to be reminded again and again, even to other Alaskans up here. If there are more then five (5) cars behind you, you have to pull over! That is a law. Period! The other law, which only long time Alaskans seem to know about is when someone passes you; you NEED to get over as far to the right as possible to let them pass. It is the LAW! Also don’t speed up. We don’t appreciate that and in most cases our Alaskan cars and trucks will pass you and then we flip you off or worse. Trust me on the “worse” part and I have done it as well. What do I mean? Well, if you don’t let people pass… yet one person tries to pass you and they obviously have a bigger engine and there is head on traffic coming on, the person passing will step on the gas and will cut you off to the point that we will almost take out your front end. I am not joking nor do I kid about something like this.
I am telling you this as I am warning you. Alaskans understand the highways up here better then you the tourist. If you don’t know what a frost heave is, and underlying dip and what people don’t slow down for these. You will need to. There are also speed limits like everywhere else, so keep up with them. If you see something and want to stop, DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. If you do, expect someone to get out of their vehicle and be extremely angry. Road construction is a pain everywhere. Please keep in mind that when or if you are stopped by it that is can move fast. Don’t sit there and pretend that you don’t see the line moving.
As I know that there are those who come up here to “see” how we live. But keep in mind, that we don’t play games nor will we nice concerning driving on the highways. We don’t take a week off and usually try to do our fun stuff on the weekends. Drive safe.