Tag Archives: Beetle

Off road Buggy

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A Beetle under cover

Alaska Highway Closed

Lower Post, British Columbia; Photo credit: CBC/Danni Carpenter

The Alaska Highway has been closed due to an aggressive fire just south of the Yukon border in British Columbia. The community of Lower Post, BC has been evacuated. The town of Watson Lake is taking in displaced residents and stranded travelers.

The fire, which is believed to have been started by lightening, is approximately 4000 hectares in size. There were 14 firefighters and an air tanker working the fire as of the last update. Heavy equipment is currently being used to protect the community of Lower Post. The fire is not contained, and the highway is expected to be closed for several days. The road is closed at KM 823 near Coal River to KM 968 near the Yukon border.

The Alaska Highway has also been closed at KM 133 near Wonowan, BC and KM 454 near Fort Nelson, as well as between Fort Nelson and the Laird River.

Travelers can still drive to/from the Yukon using the Stewart Cassiar Highway. It’s a route I highly recommend! Absolutely beautiful country, but the services are even more limited than on the Alcan. I once took the Cassiar while driving a ’73 VW Beetle, so don’t be discouraged, although I suggest bringing an extra five gallons of fuel.

We are in a wet, bubble up here in Alaska, so the news that the Alcan is closed due to fire, came as a bit of a surprise. We had an inch of rain at my place yesterday alone, and the high on Saturday was 55 degrees. Our normal high this time of year is in the low 70’s. Currently, August 2018 has seen 3.54″ of rain fall in Fairbanks, which stands at the 10th wettest August on record.

Alaska had 399,000 acres burn this fire season, which is lower than the past three years. The total is 40% lower than the median over the past two decades.

Credit: JBugs

For Ringo:

Happy Birthday Ringo

Happy Thanksgiving

Snoopy Thanksgiving

Snoopy visits courtesy of Mr Charles M. Schulz

Alaska’s “Haul Road” under water

Flooding over the Haul Road

Extreme flooding has overtaken the Dalton Hwy just south of Deadhorse, prompting the DOT to close the highway north of milepost 375. At some locations, over two feet of water is flowing over the road.

Dalton under water

This is the second time this year that the Sagavanirktok River has forced the closing of the Dalton. In March, river overflow sent water and ice over the road, forcing its closure.

There is no time frame for the road to reopen. The river is expected to crest in four days, meaning the “Haul Road” may be closed at least a week.

I have already seen several early tourists on motorcycles coming back from the Dalton. I was wondering if they tried to make it to Deadhorse, considering the amount of mud packed onto their bikes. Now it looks like they wouldn’t have had to ride very far to collect all that mud.

The Dalton is an interesting road. I’ve driven up it when I needed four wheel drive for a hundred or more miles, and you couldn’t tell what color the truck was when I was done. I’ve also driven it in the Beetle, when we simply cruised the entire way and only sent clouds of dust in the air behind us.

Photo credit: Alaska DOT

Alaska’s Grizzly Plate Returns

Original Grizzly Plate
Alaska’s original 1976 grizzly license plate

The State of Alaska has brought back the grizzly license plate, which was originally introduced in 1976 for the U.S. Bicentennial.

Updated Grizzly plate
The 2015 version of the grizzly plate

The Grizzly has been updated in the new version, and some say it looks less like a curious groundhog than the original, but I think they look the same. With the tabs due on the Beetle, I think the griz plate would be perfect. I thought about getting them for The Rover, but if someone was willing to steal the front Chilkoot plate off of it in Montana, they are bound to make off with both grizzly plates the next time we’re in the Low 48.

Side Tracked

It’s a heat thing…

Heat Booster

As I try to balance working on the house and working on the Rover, I’ve decided to complicate life even more by trying to do a little Beetle work. I’ve always wanted to hunt down one of the gasoline powered heaters that were a VW dealer installed option back in the day. They are difficult to find in decent condition, and for a price that is less than I paid for the car in the first place.

I’ve opted to try to add a pair of booster fans to the air ducts instead. The kits run around $169 when you can find them, but I’ve found a couple of inline fans that have a very good reputation within the VW Cult. $19.99 each, and available on Amazon. I just love free shipping.


VW Beetle Cross Section