RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Alaska Trip 2017' - Larson's Epic Adventure TR - (Part 2)

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 > Alaska Trip 2017' - Larson's Epic Adventure TR - (Part 2)

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GpnAZ

Phoenix

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Posted: 09/20/17 10:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

June 18
We drive through the USA border crossing without any delays this time.We cross onto American soil - Alaska, our destination, we stop at the "Welcome to Alaska" sign for the obligatory picture. We have nice new paved road to travel on, for at least 10 or so miles then back to gravel and not the smooth gravel road like on the Canadian side.

Sue & Peanut - "Welcome to Alaska" sign
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Road into Chicken Alaska
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Giant Chicken in front of the town mileage signs and campground, Chicken Alaska
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We get to Chicken and check into our campground and then check out the surrounding area. Sue finds a trough to pan gold in and gets a few tips from one of the locals that's also there panning.

Sue is looking for gold, Chicken Alaska
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I walk around and snap a few photos of some of the unique stuff that's there. We have lunch at the campground cafe and later we have dinner at the cafe across the road from the campground, good food at both places!

Our campsite at Chicken Gold Camp, Alaska
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We head out from Chicken the following morning, headed to Tok. First thing we hit is road construction about a whole 1/4 mile away from the campground, oh well it's something we have to get used to!

Road construction leaving Chicken Alaska
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Plenty of construction delays and rough roads getting to Tok, but once there we check into our campground and then head back to Tok to check it out. We stopped at the visitor center, got groceries and fuel and ate dinner at one of the local cafes. We get back to the campground just in time for the pancake toss and Sue wins a free breakfast! We have breakfast the next morning at the campground cafe, great food!

We head for Fairbanks the next morning after breakfast, stopping along the way to photograph some churches and moose! We stop in North Pole to shop at the Santa Claus store and buy some postcards to mail from North Pole Alaska! We get to Fairbanks and check into our campground and then head out again so we can go to the Pioneer Theatre for a play about Fairbanks, it was fun and entertaining!

Moose along Highway 2 on the way to Fairbanks
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The next morning we drive to the Discovery River Adventure for our paddlewheel ride down the Chena River, very interesting talking about the history of Fairbanks and dogsled camps and races! Afterwards, I took some time and washed the truck and camper, it was filthy from all the gravel roads and construction. We ended up going to the Summer Solstice Baseball Game, it started at 10:30 pm and ended about 12:30 am, no lights and didn't need them! Driving around after the game we saw 3 different moose crossing the roads we were on, no pics though. These long days are pretty crazy but we like it!

The next day we go to the University of Alaska Museum, go to lunch and then back to camp to work on laundry and scoring papers for a national scholarship committee I belong to for our National Plumbing Association.

The next day we head for Denali NP, stopping along the way in Nenana to visit the cultural center and photograph an old church there. After that we stop in Healy to eat lunch at 49th State Brewery and photographed the old bus that was used in the movie "Into the Wild".


Sue and TC along Highway 3 near Denali NP
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Sue at 49th State Brewery, Healy Alaska
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Bus that was used in the movie "Into the Wild", Healy Alaska
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Highway 3 by Denali NP
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We check into our campground just outside of Denali NP and then head to Denali to book a bus tour going into the Park tomorrow. We drive as far into the NP as they will let us, about 15 miles.

The closest thing to a grizzly bear that we saw in Denali NP
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Sue and Peanut - Denali NP entrance
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Scenic byway - Denali NP
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Scenic byway, Denali NP
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The next morning we got picked up for our bus tour into Denali NP, it was cold and rainy and our bus driver/tour guide did her best job to put us to sleep! Our bus trip into Denali NP was the short one (4 hours) and we heard the 8 hour bus tours were much better. Later in the day/evening we took a 4 hour Jeep tour into an area east of Denali and we got to see a lot of beautiful scenery, but only one moose. We got to see a partial view of the peak of Mount McKinley but our Jeep tour guide had to point it out to us, that is how obscure it was. I wish we would have known that there is a RV campground at the end of the road in Denali NP, but it has to be reserved well ahead of time.

Scenic byway along Denali Highway
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Sue & Peanut enjoying the Nenana River - Denali NP
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Sue with our tour Jeep along the Denali Highway
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Mountain range along the Denali Highway
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Sue & Mark in front of the Nenana River
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Moose along Highway 3 - Denali NP
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Panoramic of mountain range & Nenana River along the Denali Highway
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Traffic along the Denali Highway
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Scenic byway - Denali Highway
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Denali Highway - You can just see the peak of Mount McKinley?
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The next morning we headed for Talkeetna, stopping along the way for a short hike at Troublesome Creek. We checked into our campground and walked into Talkeetna to check it out and get some lunch.

The next morning we head towards Anchorage, stopping along the way to eat breakfast and photograph a couple churches. We check into our campground and head into the downtown area, stopping at the Visitor Center and then eating dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, had to get a guitar pin for my collection.

The next day I drop Sue to go shopping and I go to the Goodyear store to get my tires rotated, they rotated them wrong, put all my polished wheels inboard, boy was I pissed! I decide I will bring it elsewhere tomorrow or the next day. We decide to find another RV campground, too many permanent full timers and poorly maintained park! We check into another one close to the downtown area.

The next morning we rent a couple fat tire bicycles to ride the Terry Knowles Coastal Trail, about 24 miles in all, we were exhausted by the time we got back to the RV park, but what a beautiful bike ride!

Sue & Peanut cruising the Terry Knowles Coastal Trail, Anchorage Alaska
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Some of the beautiful flowers along the Coastal Trail
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Sue & Peanut - Terry Knowles Coastal Trail, Anchorage Alaska
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Later that day some homeless person stabbed and killed another homeless person about 2 blocks from our campground, the police had all their crime scene tape up and I could see the medical examiner's vehicle and body on the ground as we drove by, life in the city! We were surprised by all the homeless in the downtown Anchorage area.

The next day I go to GCR Tires and talk to them about rotating my tires, they knew exactly what to do and had it done within 90 minutes, they were tire professionals in my book! After that we went to the Anchorage Zoo, bad time of the day to see the animals and it was raining! Drove to downtown and watched the movies at the NP Visitor Center about the 1964 Earthquake, it was very interesting! Of course I couldn't leave downtown without a $20 parking ticket, oh well my contribution to Anchorage and at least I could pay for it online.

The next morning our water pump in the camper decides to quit, it had been cycling on and off a lot for the last couple weeks. Sue finds a store that stocks it and we run over there as they are getting ready to close for the weekend. I drive over to Lowes parking lot to change out the pump just in case I need a tool or part to change it out. It went relatively smooth and had it done and my tire pressures adjusted in about 90 minutes. We head for Portage after that, stopping in Girdwood for lunch. It was just a beautiful drive from Anchorage to Portage!

Railroad tracks follow Highway 1 on the road to Portage
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Highway 1 scenic byway on the way to Portage
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Highway 1 scenic byway on the way to Portage
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Sue, Peanut and TC on Highway 1 - Portage Alaska
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We check into our RV campground in Portage and do a little relaxing.

Our truck camper at the Portage Campground
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The next day we drive to the Portage Visitor Center and from there to the Alaska Train Station to catch our train to the trailhead for Spencer Glacier. We hike to Spencer Glacier and get back in time for the train to give us the ride back to the station. The Alaska train cars sure are comfortable!

Sue with Smokey the bear, Portage Visitor Center
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Sue ready to board the Alaska Railroad car for Spencer Glacier
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Spencer Glacier, Portage Alaska
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Sue & Peanut in front of Spencer Glacier
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Spencer Glacier - Portage Alaska
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Sue & Peanut relaxing on the Alaska Railroad car
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The next day was Sunday so we thought we would go to a worship service at the United Methodist Church in Girdwood, it was a good service with a good message and nice and welcoming people! After that we had breakfast at a cafe in Girdwood and then headed back to our campground where the owners of the campground were throwing a big salmon bake in the afternoon, you just had to bring a dish. The owner had gone out that morning and caught all the salmon for the bake and then grilled it all with 3 or 4 different styles and seasonings, absolutely delicious!!

The next morning we're up early to get to the tunnel for the drive to Whittier for our Meares Glacier Cruise. We pay $13 for the two way ticket through the 2.5 mile tunnel to Whittier. We didn't realize what an industrial town it was and not much to see or do. We had reservations to stay there a couple nights on the loop back from Homer in a couple weeks, so we decided we would forego Whittier and spend more time on the Kenai Peninsula instead. We did the Meares Glacier Cruise and even though it rained on and off it was a beautiful scenic cruise with plenty of sea life to view and there was probably well over a dozen glaciers, they also served prime rib and salmon for an early dinner!

Portage Glacier Road, Portage Alaska
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Tunnel on the Portage Glacier Road
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Tunnel view on Portage Glacier Road
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Railroad cars headed out of Whittier Alaska
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Sue in front of our Glacier Cruise Boat, Whittier Alaska
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Glacier view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Glacier view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Glacier view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Icebergs and fog, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Sue on the windy seas, Meares Glacier Cruise
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Glacier view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Glacier view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Icebergs and waterfalls, Meares Glacier Cruise
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Icebergs and fog, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Glacier view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Icebergs and waterfalls, Meares Glacier Cruise
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Glacier view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Glacier view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Glacier view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Scenic view, Meares Glacier Cruise, Whittier Alaska
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Whittier Alaska
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The next day was July 4th, GOD BLESS AMERICA!! We head out to Soldotna, stopping in Sterling for lunch. We get to Soldotna and check into our campground and then I drop Sue at Fred Meyers for groceries and I get to wash the truck and camper. We didn't have to worry about where to catch the fireworks show, because there wasn't any when it stays light until after midnight! The sun was shining all day so it was a good day! This is the end of Part 2, hopefully I didn't overload it with too many photos.


2018' RAM 3500 Laramie CC, DRW, 4X4, Cummins w/ Aisin transmission
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpnusa
www.flickr.com/photos/gpnaz
www.flickr.com/photos/his_cross


Tom/Barb

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Posted: 09/21/17 12:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great post


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Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

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Posted: 09/21/17 12:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great TR!
Thanks for taking the time...


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old idaho guy

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Posted: 09/21/17 06:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great pictures!

c.traveler2

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Posted: 09/21/17 10:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GpnAZ, a great second part to your first one, your photos are beyond outstanding.

What port of entry did you use entering Alaska?

* This post was edited 09/21/17 03:03pm by c.traveler2 *


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GpnAZ

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Posted: 09/22/17 05:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

c.traveler2 wrote:

GpnAZ, a great second part to your first one, your photos are beyond outstanding.

What port of entry did you use entering Alaska?


Thanks Alex, we crossed at Poker Creek, which is the Top of the World Highway (hwy 9), between Dawson City Yukon Territory and Chicken Alaska.

zb39

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Posted: 09/22/17 06:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome pics and story.................Your making me want to go back


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whazoo

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Posted: 09/22/17 05:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! So there's absolutely no reason for us to ever go now. I've seen the best of Alaska while sitting here in a campground in Idaho. I could never hope to have all that fun lol. Or take those kind of fantastic pictures. And finally, a good picture of Mark and Sue together!! What a fabulous trip report Mark, where to next?!

PatrickA51

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Posted: 09/22/17 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All I can say is awesome! Excellent photo's superb trip report. Also, I have to agree with Whazoo. Looks you two really had a fabulous trip. Thanks for posting.

Yeti plus

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Posted: 09/22/17 07:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow I thought Sue and Peanut were on this trip by themselves, but there was 1 picture with Mark in it to prove he was along![emoticon]
Our trip went around the circle the other way so it is interesting to see things pop up in the opposite direction. May have to save our nickels up for a return trip.
Excellent pictures, bring back many memories.
We were in Valdez for July 4th. They had fireworks, but without a dark sky they weren't as impressive as we are used to in the south.
Thanks for posting .
Brian


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