My friend Joe (for lack of a better name :)) can and does prepare gourmet meals at his house, at my house, in the RV, at moose camp, at sheep camp, and on the banks of the Copper.
Joe's cooking gear? A roll of Wusthof knives; 12 in all (IIRC). He brings fewer than that on hunting/fishing trips, but even at his house, he doesn't use kitchen gadgets....although I'm quite envious of his kitchen full of Sub-Zero appliances.
Joe's profession? Well, retired now, but previously Chef de Cuisine at rated restaurants in San Francisco, Seattle, and in Los Anchorage.
I've got a bit different view ( I guess) than some of the others. While it always depends on your personal interests, I don't see the Kenai as a place to go to UNLESS you're using it as a jumping off spot to go fishing, flightseeing, etc.
If I had 4 - 6 weeks to go from Colorado - Alaska - Colorado, I'd suggest:
- Spend plenty of time in Western B.C.
- Spend plenty of time in the Kluane and Destruction Bay area (I know all of this is in Canada, but I always found it very scenic)
- My favorite area to drive is the Denali Highway. Relatively rough gravel road, but I'd take 3 days or more for this......I think this drive should be made if you can even if backtracking is required
- Drive to Fairbanks on the Glenn/Parks Highway. Enjoy Talkeetna on the way up. Enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery before and around Cantwell and Healy.
- Stop at Denali National Park for as long as you can put up with all the tourists. :) If you're into hiking and backpacking, take a couple of day hikes away from the buses.
- Take a riverboat cruise in Fairbanks
- Enjoy the various Museums in Fairbanks, including at UAF
- Drive the old highway from Fairbanks to Glenallen. See just a touch of the real Alaska.
- Drive from Glenallen to Valdez. Nicest (IMNSHO) pavement drive in AK.
- Take a cruise (Stan Stephens is good) out of Valdez.
- (Maybe) take either the fast ferry or the slow ferry from Valdez to Anchorage or backtrack Valdez - Glenallen and drive from Glenallen to Anchorage.
- (Assuming they're still in business next year) Stop for coffee and pie at the Eureka Roadhouse
- In Anchorage, visit the museum (Anchorage) and the Alaska Flight Museum (at Ted Stevens International Airport); view the busiest seaplane base in the world (Lake Hood) if so inclined
- Take a sightseeing tour out of Anchorage to see McKinley.
- Drive to Girdwood; eat dinner at 7 Glaciers or at Double Musky
- Drive on down to either Seward or Homer (longer!); catch a charter for Halibut.
- Head back :(
....or just decide how much you're willing to pay in terms of $$ and let the (dealer, internet, whatever) know that that figure is your limit.
If the figure ends up being X% off MSRP, great. If not, you don't care because you've determined what you're willing to pay. If the seller won't match it, great, because without a willing buyer and willing seller, you don't have a market.
If your budget is $50,000, will you pay $60,000 if it is 50% off MSRP? If you're willing to pay that much, then that was your budget, not the original 50,000.
Folks get too wrapped around the axle about getting some magical number off....set your own limits and go from there.
"We're planning on going back to Co. (Denver or front range) in 3-4 yrs. Our sentence in Az will be served..."
Substitute "Alaska" for Colorado and "Texas" for Arizona and this is my plan, not sure about the timing though. :(
So, mostly so I can feel superior, but maybe so the OP will find some value in thinking about some issues about business in Alaska:
- How long have you lived in Alaska? Have you seen a boom-and-bust cycle yet (probably not as Alaska's been on a boom cycle for several years)
- Are you buying a fee simple estate? A leasehold? Is there existing financing on the property?
- Do you know the environmental history of the site? Have you had an environmental assessment done? Will you get the seller to indemnify you? (EPA and DEC will look to all owners in the chain, but the indemnity might provide some recourse to stop making purchase payments).
- Was there ever fuel storage on the property?
- How does this property fit with Anchorage's recently revised zoning and building codes? Any issues with potential zoning changes? Any code upgrades that may be triggered by a sale?
-Does the seller have any long-term rental agreements with tenants? Are those agreements assignable/transferable?
-What liability do you have if Anchorage or wherever pulls a real winter out of it's a** and there are 3 weeks of -30 in January and February? Will you get an indemnity from the seller about on-site water not freezing?
-Have you looked at the Southcentral or wherever long-term roadplan to see what road construction will occur in the next 1 - 4 years...with potential disruptive effect on traffic.
...and now so I can really feel superior: You joined the forum in May of this year. Is that the time period that you've stayed at the RV park? Have you stayed in Alaska in an RV or otherwise through an Alaska winter? There's been a cold day or two so far, but there will be many colder days in December/January/February. Are you ready/willing/able to assist RV owners with cold weather problems?
I have no specific suggestions (you'll see below that I've never gone on a commercial bear viewing trip), but have some general $0.02.
1) Of course, it depends on the area, but late June is sort of a bad time for bear viewing: after they've emerged from hibernation, but before many of the fish runs that attract the great #'s of bears.
2) One will see many more bears (subject to #1) by a 4-hour flight over bear country than even on a good day at a surface-based location....I can attest to this from personal experience having landed at creeks to look at bears, but also from haveing flown over several locations in the May timeframe when it's easy to see bears emerging from dens when contrasted against the snow
3) All those bears that one sees while flying will be brown shapes with some degree of definition.
So, the Hobson's choice is to go flying and maybe see dozens of bears from a couple hundred feet up or go to Brooks lodge (or similar) and maybe only see a few bears that can readily be seen to be bears.
"How many of you have picked up an item at one of the big box stores, marked $10.00, and when you get to the checkout the checker scans the item, it beeps $7.00. Do you stop the checker and say "wait! I need to give you another $3.00 for that gizmo"?
Done it several times actually and told them that the price on the shelf was $10.00; only when they stated that the shelf price was a mislabel do I pay the $7.00.
Equivalent would have been for the OP to say that he agreed to $59,000 and ask what happened to that agreement and why the price was $9,000 lower. Simply asking if the write-up is correct without asking what happened to the bargained-for agreement on price is insufficient, in my view.
...but we do need to move on.
Disturbing to say the least to see all of these posts challenging the morals and ethics of the OP...he asked the dealer TWICE if the numbers were correct when they were preparing the contract so the dealer had ample opportunity to fix the error. When you buy something in Wal-mart and it scans for less than was on the shelf tag, do you demand that manager come over and correct the price so that you pay more? The seller sets the price, and if negotiated, the seller agrees to the price.
Thanks for commenting on this. I too have found the comments calling out the OP's morals surprising. I, for one, would welcome him as a neighbor in my community or at any campground. I can't say the same from some of the others who denigrate another who has posted here for help, not to be judged.
Sorry, I have to question the integrity of the OP. He agreed to a price (maybe $59,000) and when the dealer made a documented mistake (contract written up for $50,000), the OP was happy to take advantage of that price. The fact that the OP highlights how he "asked twice" indicates that the OP knew that the contracted price was lower than one agreed upon.
The OP should have pointed out the mistake since the OP agreed to pay a higher price. If one agrees to pay X and doesn't pay that due to another's mistake, that not only proves that the other person made a mistake but that the first person doesn't have the integrity to fulfill their agreed upon bargain.
No landline in lovely Ewe-Stun, TX; Works fine with just cell phones.
Internet is not affected and the evaluation of 2-3 providers is that even with the bundling discount, it's not worth having landline + cable TV + internet. we just have cable and internet and cell phones (nationwide plan w/ AT&T) and it all works out OK.
I'd recommend driving yourself. Lots of sights to see on the way to/from AK AND it will get pretty expensive to rent an RV for your 4-5 weeks in AK.
I suspect you've seen much of the upper midwest, but a drive through Canada (particularly the West side, BC, Y.T., etc) is spectacular and would (IMNSHO) be sufficient reason to drive up rather than just fly in to Alaska.
.....although (also IMNSHO), Alaska scenery is still the best. :)
I believe it is rude to stay on the cell phone when in a checkout line or in a restaurant or when sitting next to another person or.....any number of times.
...and I believe that people who do that are ignorant, rude, boors and I wouldn't hesitate to tell them so, but there are any number of things to get mad about and those ain't them. Too little time and energy to get mad about cell phone stuff.
I would never buy any tool or truck not rated for the task I was going to do. Others will do what they want to regardless of the risks or hazards. the number of armchair engineers on this forum grows daily and all anecdotal evidence of "hotshotters" is worth diddly squat when you have a problem that risks life or limb. Just not worth it for a little bit of cash to do it right.
To the OP...I towed a 16k 5th wheel and wanted to stay within GVWR and GCVWR, so I went with an F350 dually. That was in 2006, so a "1-ton" SRW might stay within those ratings now.
I agree strongly with fla-gypsy: There will be lots of armchair engineers on here that will tell you what GVWR and GCVWR do or don't mean, but I haven't seen any of those armchair engineers produce their Ford/Dodge/GM employee badges or produce the documentation that proves that GVWR/GCVWR is only a "marketing" ploy.... also a common response to questions about ratings.
There are two other common responses:
- "As long as its within the axle ratings, its OK": Following that logic, let's put a couple of 10,000# axles next to a trailer (no engine, no chassis, no body, just the axles) and see how well that tows. It's pretty ignorant to think that the assembly of parts and pieces that make up a truck might not have a lower ability to tow/carry than just one element of that assembly.
- "As long as I pay the proper license fee, its OK": same thing...let's put 15,000#'s of license fees next to a trailer and see how well it tows. I won't even begin to assume how licensing fees are calculated, but I think it would be reasonable to presume that they are NOT based on engineering analysis of trucks, loads, and trailers.
If one wants to ignore the suggestions of the manufacturer, that's entirely within one's rights.....and it won't necessarily be dangerous nor necessarily illegal...but when ignoring those suggestions don't pretend to know more than the manufacturer nor pretend that since state laws don't address truck ratings (below 80,000#'s), that the laws are all that should be considered in selecting a truck and trailer combination.
Sorry that I can't remember the model, but FWIW, #1 Son's work (Forest Service) puts Hakkapolita (SP?) tires on their F150's all the way up to F550's and uses them year-round.....but they carry chains for the real bad times.
Typical cool smoke temp I look for is around 165 degrees, so you are plenty hot to cook a partial bird pretty fast.
x2. I always felt (using a wood/charcoal water smoker) that if I could get to and maintain 220, it was plenty warm enough to smoke a whole turkey, just takes a bit of time: but that's the point of smoking.
My choices for brining in order of preference
1) Big-A*** Porcelain pot: Only works for smaller turkeys and has to be where one can set it outside to keep cool.
2) Appropriate sized cooler that can hold the turkey, the brine, and ice for keeping cool
3) Big-A** plastic bags...the default option if the turkey is too big for any other option...but again, one must put the bag somewhere where it can stay cool.
DO NOT use an aluminum pot with brine. Results are very unpleasant and likely toxic.
Not sure I understood this last statement or maybe a typo. Why wouldn't a smart car have access to gravel roads. Maybe I misunderstood.
I would be concerned about ground clearance and bottoming out on some of the gravel backroads.
We have driven it on well maintained level gravel roads without a problem (Amish roads).
The three cut-n-pastes above illustrate the concern I was trying to raise about the Smart car:
0) (part of the context): Most of the "tourist" destinations in Alaska will be able to accomodate your MH. Nevertheless, a toad of any sort would be more convenient for driving in and around Los Anchorage, Squarebanks, etc.
1) Other than the convenience factor, I was presuming you might want to take your toad some places that the MH might not "go" or that might be dicey with the MH
2) My concern about the Smart car was what was posted above: ground clearance and bottoming out.
3) Others have used their Smart car on "well-maintained" gravel roads. Some of the places that one might take a toad (the road to McCarthy comes to mind as does the Hatcher Pass road) aren't always well maintained. Other places even if "frequently" maintained aren't smooth and have significant bumps, dips, and rocks. Most of the gravel roads in Alaska aren't as good as the Country Roads, Farm-to-Market Roads, and other common gravel roads in the Continental U.S.
4) Even some of the paved roads in AK aren't that great and there are places (such as a trip to Eureka just last August or the Chitina cut-off, to keep with the McCarthy theme) where I won't take the Prius that I have up there simply due to the washboarding, dips, and rough pavement.
If you want to take the Smart car to better get around town and for more convenient running about, that would be great. My caution would be that you'll have to be aware of the paved road conditions AND that the Smart car won't get you that much more access beyond what your MH will give you.
A wall tent or a yurt, even a good one, is going to show wear in the Texas climate.
If you're not actually in this tent/yurt full-time (every day,etc), you'll have (I would guess) some pest problems or at least potential pest problems.
I would think a shed or used RV would provide better wear properties and could be better outfitted to keep the pests out.
We have "bug-out" gear and plans in the event of a natural disaster that impacts routine goods and services for up to a month. After that, it will get kind of dicey.
I think it is pretty unrealistic to presume that one can build a kit that will enable them to withstand a complete societal breakdown. Realistically, if one has food and supplies and a million other people don't, how long will you be able to fend off everyone else?