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TIPS FOR ALASKA HIGHWAY DRIVERS

 TIPS FOR ALASKA HIGHWAY DRIVERS
 BOTHELL, Wash., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released


today by Alaska Northwest Books:
 The Alaska Highway has beckoned adventurers north for 50 years. Though it has become a road through the wilderness more than a wilderness road, its mystique is undiminished.
 This year, drivers on the Alaska Highway (formerly the Alcan Highway) will be treated to a year-long schedule of special events, from sled dog races to floatplane rallies, as residents in British Columbia, Yukon Territory and Alaska celebrate the 50th anniversary of this legendary route.
 Here are frequently asked questions about driving the highway and tips from "The Milepost" (Alaska Northwest Books), a mile-by-mile log of the attractions, facilities and road conditions along the Alaska Highway. "The Milepost" is updated every year, and offers up-to-the- minute information. It recently hit Number Four on the Travel Bestseller list (Publisher's Weekly, Jan. 27, 1992).
 -- When is the best time to travel? That depends on your preferences. Most people travel the road May through September. May and early June have the least precipitation and the least traffic, while July is busy. By late August, the trees are changing color and the nights and mornings are chilly. Fall and winter travelers are sometimes treated to the northern lights, but many facilities close between October and May.
 -- How do I prepare my car for the trip? Each year, thousands of people drive the Alaska Highway in everything from compact cars to RVs to trucks. Just make sure your vehicle and tires are in good condition before you hit the road. And don't overload!
 If you plan an off-the-highway adventure, take additional precautions -- install plastic headlight covers (a lot less expensive than new headlights) or a wire mesh screen across the front of you car to protect it from flying gravel.
 Auto shops are well stocked in the North, but you should carry your own emergency supplies: flares, a first-aid kit, a bumper jack with lug wrench, a simple set of tools, spare fan belts, one or two spare tires and parts that are not readily available.
 -- What's the highway really like? Conditions along the 1,500 miles of the highway range from poor to excellent. Dust and mud are generally not a problem nor are steep roads. But there are sections with no center line and stretches of narrow highway with little or no shoulder. Take your time, drive with your lights on, keep to the right on hills and corners, and drive defensively.
 -- What facilities can I expect? Gas, food and lodging are found along the highway on an average of every 20 - 50 miles. The longest stretch without services is about 100 miles. But don't expect a lot of businesses to be open 24 hours a day. The editors of "The Milepost" suggest that you buy gas before you turn in for the night because many stations won't be open when you start off in the morning.
 -- What do I need to cross the border? Crossing the border into Canada or reentering the United States isn't complicated, but check guidebooks, such as "The Milepost," to get current information. Restrictions apply to guns and some arts, crafts and souvenirs made from wild animals. Proof of rabies vaccination for your pet and proof of car insurance are required.
 -- Should I bring money or credit cards? U.S. currency is accepted in Canada, but to get the best exchange rate, go to a bank. Don't count on finding banks in smaller towns. Major American bank and credit cards are accepted in Canada and at most businesses in Alaska, but you should carry cash, since many small businesses do not accept credit cards.
 -- What are gas prices and availability? Generally, gas prices are higher in Canada and Alaska than in the Lower 48. The more remote the gas station, the higher the price of gas.
 For more information on driving the Alaska Highway, turn to "The Milepost" ($16.95 per copy, plus $2.50 shipping), which has been guiding travelers since 1949. It's available at local bookstores, or call the publisher: Alaska Northwest Books, P.O. Box 3007, Bothell, WA 98041, 800-343-4567, ext. 598.
 -0- 2/11/92
 /CONTACT: Margaret Liddiard of Alaska Northwest Books, 206-487-6100/ CO: Alaska Northwest Books ST: Alaska, Washington IN: LEI PUB SU:


SM -- NYTFNS14 -- 8589 02/11/92 06:58 EST
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Date:Feb 11, 1992
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