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Author Topic: Alaska with the Stocks 2009  (Read 108580 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #90 on: June 14, 2009, 08:19:50 PM »

Sorry to hear the Salmon Bake is closed, but it's good that the campground is still running.  We stayed there both coming and going and the front row of sites was satellite friendly too.  Sites 1 and 2 are 50A by the way.  And they had excellent WiFi.  That was one of our favorite campgrounds in AK.

Here's what our coach looked like at Chicken.  Russ's Jeep is behind us.

Glad to know about Sites 1 & 2.  The people at Eddy's (I saw the correct spelling as we left and forgot to correct it on my post) were so nice, and we go through Tok again.  Thanks.

I wish you could have seen how many rocks were everywhere--base of windshield, bumper, side windows, hood (under the plastic).  It was raining, so I'm surprised Dean even took one shot, but I'm glad he did.  We already had window chips in both the RV and car from just driving around before TOTW, but they are becoming more numerous.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Jeff

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #91 on: June 14, 2009, 10:20:54 PM »
Linda:

Keep writing. Reading this brings back all the great memories of our trip two years ago.

Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #92 on: June 14, 2009, 11:30:07 PM »
After living in Alaska for 22 years, I can tell you that the TOTW highway can change at any time. Someone coming behind you next week may find it smooth sailing. It all depends how long its been since the road graders have been through, the weather and how much traffic has been across it.

The tour company I worked for ran tour buses across it three times a week.

Enjoy Valdez, it is one of Peg's and my favorite towns.
Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

Ned

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #93 on: June 15, 2009, 06:45:46 AM »
Do go to the several museums in Valdez.  It's an interesting story about how they moved the town.  The museum at the airport is not to be missed.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Barb

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #94 on: June 15, 2009, 06:55:00 AM »
I agree with Ned. Valdez was my favorite place, and boat ride.

I'm love'n your trip report.

Currently in Perce' QC,Ca
Barb
Barb
2003 NRV Tradewinds LTC
2011 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited

Just Lou

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #95 on: June 15, 2009, 09:27:50 AM »
Enjoy Valdez, it is one of Peg's and my favorite towns.

We fell in love with Valdez in 2006.  We were there for there "first ever" July 4th fire works display.  Not too impressive in broad daylight (11pm - still too light), but the spirit of the people was fantastic. 

They had canoe jousting contests on the town pond and a "free" cookout for the whole town.  After dark (dusk) they lit a giant bonfire and danced and sang for hours.  Fantastic folks.  Also my favorite.
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #96 on: June 17, 2009, 12:47:10 AM »
June 14      Day 23   Valdez, AK

   We had arranged our trip with Stan Stevens through the RV Park.  Unfortunately,  we discovered rain is predicted on Monday, and Tuesday is supposed to be sunny all day.  The 9-hour cruise, which is most highly recommended, only goes out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So we're going to brave the rain.
    We cleaned and repaired while the rain fell until late afternoon.  When it cleared, we set about to explore Valdez.  We went to the VC-always our first stop since we've learned how valuable they are.  We got a good map and set out to explore.  We went to check out Sea Otter RV Park, but Dean says with only 20 amps, I will have to choose between heat and running the refrigerator.  We'll stay put, but Sea Otter does have a premium view.  Valdez is really a tiny town.  We found the movie theatre, but it is closed this week because they have a playwrights' conference.  Alaska Halibut House had been recommended by the painter at the VC, so we decided to have dinner there.  Halibut & fries were $11-fast food, order at the counter, but there were 4 tasty pieces of halibut.

Weather:  Rainy until 4:00 when it cleared     high 50's

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #97 on: June 17, 2009, 01:05:09 AM »
June 15      Day 24   Valdez, AK

   What an amazing day!  It was sunny all day long until we were on our way back to the RV Park, where the promised rain appeared.  The Stan Stephens bus driver, his daughter, picked us up at the RV park at 9:00.  She told us that when she went to her prom, the temperature was -82°F, and they hired the freshmen to go out to their cars every 1.5 hours and start them up.   As we boarded the Valdez Spirit, everything was well-organized, and we departed the dock before 10:00. The modern boat has comfortable seats inside and a viewing rail all the way around outside, so everyone could easily see all the action.
   Within a few minutes, a few sea otters appeared.  Shortly after that, we spotted a bald eagle sitting in a tree looking at us as we looked at him. We learned that eagles have 1-2 eaglets every other year, but if food is abundant, they will produce babies each year.  They return to the same nest year each year and just add on more branches.  Nests that have blown out of trees have weighed more than 1 ton. There were beautiful stairstep waterfalls cascading down lush green hillsides.
   Captain Chris piloted our boat through a field of ice that had calved from the Columbia Glacier, which is the most actively calving glacier in North America. The picture shows what appears to be dirt on the surface. It is actually ash from the recent eruption of Mt. Redoubt, a volcano that is south of Anchorage. Columbia Glacier puts out 13-15 million tons of ice per day.  The ice chunks we saw floating by are considered "young", only 200-250 years old!  The base of these "bergie bits" is an awesome glacial blue.  The more blue the ice appears, the more compressed it is. This is a retreating glacier, and retreating is part of a cycle glaciers go through.  The ice field prevented us from going closer than 9.5 miles away from the glacier, which is moving downhill at 130 feet/day.
   A member of the crew put a net over the side and snared a piece of the glacial ice.  We were amazed at its clarity, and the crewman said it is safe to drink.  The ice chunks came in such interesting sizes and shapes, you could imagine the shape of a dragon or a whale, kind of like laying on your back and looking at clouds.
   Next, we went to Mears Glacier.  We could hear what sounded like fireworks.  These loud sounds were followed by massive amounts of ice from the glacier falling into the water, an action called "calving".
   A tasty lunch of chicken alfredo, rice, vegetables, and Oreo cookies was served to us.  Free coffee, teas, and water were available throughout the trip.  There were reasonably priced snacks, gifts, and candy bars.
   Besides dogs, what makes LOUD barking sounds? 300-500 Stellar sea lions who have "hauled out", and are proving who is boss.  We saw a group of sea lions who were either juveniles or "unsuccessful" adult males (the losers in the battle for dominance). The male winners and adult females were in a separate location, called a rookery.  Meanwhile, the ones we saw were relaxing on the shore or swimming near the shoreline. Over the last 30 years, the Stellar sea lion population has decreased by 80%, and scientists don't know why.
   Captain Chris told us the true story of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster.  He said that as the captain came into the Prince William Sound, he encountered chunks of ice from Columbia Glacier.  He requested permission from the Coast Guard to depart from the usual lane he would be in, and he received the OK.  He usually would have a crew of 40, but in a cost-cutting move, Exxon had decreased the crew to 17.  He and his 3rd mate had worked 22 hours straight.  He was not drunk.  After he had bypassed much of the ice, he handed over the steering to the 3rd mate so he could go below and do his paperwork, since he had just filled up his 11 tanks with oil.  When the 3rd mate took over, he did not take off the auto-pilot, so although he was steering properly to go back to his proper lane, the ship stayed the course.  By the time he realized the problem, the 3rd mate was too close to shore.  When he hit the rock, 8 of his tanks ruptured, and he lost 16% of his load.  The captain and the 3rd mate both lost their licenses for 6 months.  The captain now works as an advisor for an attorney who does maritime lawsuits.

   We had been smelling a wonderful aroma for 3 hours.  At about 6:00, we were served delicious clam chowder from Ivar's, a famous seafood restaurant chain in Oregon.

   On the way back to port, the captain saw several Dall's porpoises who kept crossing in front of the boat and leaping right next to the boat. There was a company barbecue waiting for Stan's employees, but the captain detoured to give us an additional experience. We kept moving at a decent speed, and the porpoises kept up with us, almost as if it were a race. It was like they were playfully leading us back home.  What a grand finale!  Our 9 hour trip lasted 9 hours and 40 minutes-well worth the price!  This is an "ABSOLUTELY MUST DO"!

Wildlife:  Millions of sea gulls, 9 sea otters, 7 bald eagles, 1 humpback whale, 6 seals, 5 orcas (killer whales), about 300 Stellar sea lions, 30-40 puffins, and 5 Dall's porpoises

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #98 on: June 17, 2009, 01:10:03 AM »
Day 24 Part 2

More photos from the boat trip.

Dean
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

BernieD

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #99 on: June 17, 2009, 08:16:24 AM »
Linda and Dean

When we were last in Valdez the playwrights conference was on also. Lots of celebrities in town; Patricia Neal, Edward Albee, Chris Noth and others. The VC provided us with complementary tickets to a couple of the seminars, but we were only able to attend Patricia Neal's talk about her life and battles.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #100 on: June 17, 2009, 03:43:01 PM »
June 16      Day 25   Valdez

   This morning we did "Must Dos".  When we finished, we headed out to play and met our neighbor.  I've found other RV'ers to be a wonderful source of information, and this neighbor spends 3 months/year here.  As we were chatting, a chipmunk scampered under her coach, and I commented about it.  She said that they fed the chipmunks peanuts and the eagles fish.  I asked more questions and discovered that they feed the eagles every night at 5:00.
   We jetted off to the Maxine and Jesse Whitney Museum, which other Forum members had recommended highly.  It did not disappoint.  It is advertised as being the largest collection of Alaskan artifacts in the world.  They had all the Alaskan animals in interesting poses, and the taxidermy was excellent.  They were magnificent specimens and looked alive! They had beautiful scrimshaw dioramas, fantastic seed beadwork, ivory ships with baleen sails, ulus, spears, clothing, homes, baskets, and a 11/2 hour series of movies about the earthquake, the building of the Alyeska pipeline, and Alaskan wildlife.  Admission was a meager $5.  The displays evoked many "oohs" and "aahs", and this is a "MUST SEE".  We tore ourselves away at 4:40.
   We got home and parked the toad in front of the RV.  The neighbors came out and tossed fish in the air, one at a time.  A bald eagle swooped within 5 feet of me as he grabbed the fish off the road RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR CAR!  The skies filled with about a dozen bald eagles, 2 golden eagles, and 30 seagulls, who competed for the fish.  They must have thrown out 40 or 50 fish over a period of about 30 minutes.  The sense of wonder remained through the very last moment.  They were so close that it was hard for Dean to get the eagles from wingtip-to-wingtip within one camera frame.  Truly a "WOW! Experience".  We decided to stay another day just to relive this sight.

Wildlife: 2 chipmunks, a dozen bald eagles, 2 golden eagles, 1 magpie

Weather:  High of 54°F, thick low clouds

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #101 on: June 17, 2009, 03:46:36 PM »
Day 25 pRT 2

more photos

Dean
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #102 on: June 17, 2009, 06:50:34 PM »
Glad to see you're quickly increasing that wildlife count !! Keep those travel stories and photos coming.

BTW, after TOTW road, doesn't Quartzsite look a bit appealing  :D

Wendy
 
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #103 on: June 17, 2009, 08:41:48 PM »
Glad to see you're quickly increasing that wildlife count !! Keep those travel stories and photos coming.

BTW, after TOTW road, doesn't Quartzsite look a bit appealing  :D

Wendy
 

Quartzsite is still "the armpit of the world", but TOTW is "a stinky, rutted, rocky armpit of the world". Why are there 2 armpits and only one Garden of Eden?   No, Quartzsite is still very unappealing, but Dean says to keep trying!

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #104 on: June 17, 2009, 08:45:51 PM »
Quartzsite is still "the armpit of the world", but TOTW is "a stinky, rutted, rocky armpit of the world". Why are there 2 armpits and only one Garden of Eden?   No, Quartzsite is still very unappealing, but Dean says to keep trying!

Linda

Sure could use you to take charge of a Pizza Party in Quartzsite  ;)

Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Ken & Sheila

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #105 on: June 17, 2009, 09:26:09 PM »
Linda,

>>Quartzsite is still "the armpit of the world"<<

When you get to Homer, tell me what you think of the "spit'. We loved it, but Sheila nicknamed it QS North.

Reading your travelogue makes us want to get back to Alaska, but that looks like 2011 for us.

Ken
Ken & Sheila
2009 Monaco Camelot 42 PDQ
2019 Jeep Trailhawk Elite, 2006 Saturn Vue
Fur-ball kids: Ariel and Mia

Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #106 on: June 17, 2009, 09:36:52 PM »
June 15      Day 24   Valdez, AK

She told us that when she went to her prom, the temperature was -82°F, and they hired the freshmen to go out to their cars every 1.5 hours and start them up.

I think she was pulling the tourists legs. The coldest its ever been in Valdez is -23° F on February 4, 1968. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Alaska was minus 80 degrees at Prospect Creek on January 23, 1971.
Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

ArdraF

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #107 on: June 17, 2009, 09:43:54 PM »
Linda, you/Dean got some really great photos!  Isn't it the most amazing place!  Really enjoying your trip with you...

ArdraF
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #108 on: June 17, 2009, 10:21:35 PM »
June 17, 2009   Day 26   Valdez

   Today was a lot of “can’t dos”.  The 4-wheel drive to Mineral Creek Canyon can’t be done.  The creek that Brewers forded is now under 4 feet of snow.  The Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery salmon run hasn’t started, so the hatchery is closed and there are no bears.  Most tragically, the Valdez City Council voted last night to fine anyone who feeds the eagles $300, so there was no eagle feeding tonight.
    I would say this RV park is the best in town for us.  Eagles Nest was $10 higher, same amenities, and we look out on the bay; they are across the road behind us.  Our hosts are very accommodating, work hard, really try to please, and they stay open until 10 or 11 at night.  Betty mentioned all the water at Sea Otter RV park, whereas we have nice thick gravel, so no standing water, excellent drainage.  However, while we have had some rain each day, I think Brewers had a lot more. Thanks to Terry’s suggestion we are going counter-clockwise. Sea Otter does have a killer view. We planned based on others’ logs, and I thank you all for making our trip more enjoyable with fewer problems. 
   The “airport museum” had been combined with the Whitney and is no longer in existence.  We made brownies as a “thank you” for our neighbors. On the recommendation of our neighbors, we tried the Chinese restaurant.  Lunch was lots of food, $10, and OK taste, nice people.
   We went to the Old Valdez Museum, located near the ferry.  It had 4 large tables with wooden models of the city, a spring-loaded chair from the old laundry, a Civil Defense jeep, a fire engine, an old well-restored juke box, and the biggest (8 feet long) wooden rifle I’ve ever seen.  The $6 admission includes the Valdez Museum, which was a nice, little museum.  If you have extra time, it has interesting items from the Valdez area.  They are having a raffle of 8 quilts, which benefits 8 local charities.  They were pretty, but we got to see the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, across the river from Metropolis, IL, and their quilts were absolutely awesome!  As we left the museum, we spied two bunnies munching on the grass   `.  Could they be snowshoe hares?

Wildlife:  2 members of the rabbit family awaiting specific naming, 4 bald eagles, 2 chipmunks

Weather:  High of 52°F, thick low clouds, rain all morning

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #109 on: June 19, 2009, 02:19:34 AM »
June 18      Day 27   Address is Palmer, AK, but we're really at Mile 109 Glenn Highway, which is actually about 60 miles away

   I woke up to two bald eagles flying over the grassy area in front of our RV.  What a great way to start a travel day.
   'The Milepost" is a super source of current information, and warned of possible nighttime closure of the Glenn Highway, so I went to www.dot.state.ak.us and clicked on "Traveler Info", then "road conditions".  They list all areas of construction, when, and to what extent traffic is impeded.  The same information is available by dialing 511 for recorded information or 907-273-6037.  Another source is on your CB, Channel 19 is the truckers' channel, and Channel 9 is the emergency channel.
   We retraced our route back to Glennallen, again enjoying the magnificence of Worthington Glacier.  We stopped at the Wildlife Museum Betty had recommended, but it was closed.  We went next door to The Freeze, had a good fish sandwich, and learned that the museum owner only opened it a brief time last summer and has only been seen once this summer.  The young man behind the counter seemed puzzled as he said it had a great business 2 years ago, and he thought it was really good.  We'll try again when we return this way.
   Today we saw lots of wildflowers-fireweed, dandelions, lupine, wild rose, and a light yellow flower.  We saw lots of road signs about animals, but no evidence of them.  But, we did see many pretty lakes covered in water lilies and many pretty views.

Wildlife:  2 bald eagles, 2 magpies, several seagulls

Weather:  High in mid 60's, light rain off and on, steady in the evening

Overnighted at:  Grand View R. V. Park, FHU, 50 amps, cable, free Wifi, view of Dall sheep is advertised, but we looked at the wrong mountain for 3 hours before we found out where they really are.  We'll look for them again tomorrow.

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #110 on: June 20, 2009, 02:50:17 PM »
June 19   Day 28   Anchorage, AK, A CITY WITH NO SALES TAX!

   We awakened to fog-shrouded mountains and light rain.  We waited until 11:00, hoping it would burn off so we could see the Dall's sheep.  It had rained steadily throughout the night and weathermen predicted another 48 hours of rain and lightning, so we decided to move on. 
   We stopped at the Matanuska Glacier overlook at Milepost 101 so Dean could enjoy seeing it as much as I had been, sitting in the passenger seat.  The Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site is well-suited for big rigs, even though it doesn't look like it from the highway.  The glacier extends 27 miles to the northwest-truly impressive in size!  But...only until you discover that a few years ago it extended 53 miles!  There is a fairly easy 20-minute walk to a viewing platform, but it was drizzling and threatening to rain.
   At milepost 97 all traffic came to a dead stop, and we waited about 35 minutes to be let through the 5-mile-long construction site, which is a truly remarkable human feat.  They are straightening and widening the Glenn Highway.  They send a pilot car through with a stream of RV's, then the men get to work for 20 minutes blasting, then the pilot car comes through the other way and the cycle is repeated. They have removed over 2.4 million cubic yards of material since they started in 2007, and it looks like it is close to completion.  The part they have finished is a gorgeous 4-lane highway.
   When we got over the mountains, the skies cleared.  Protected by the mountains, Anchorage gets comparatively little rain each year; it's very temperate.  We bypassed Palmer because the ground would be too soggy and it was too rainy to enjoy the Musk Ox Farm and the reindeer farm; we'll do that when we come back through.  We stopped in Anchorage to take care of business, and they have every store we needed.  Today we went to Best Buy (we needed a converter box although our coach was a 2006 model and Dean had thought we'd be OK), the Mac Store (we needed a new power cord), the UPS store to return our defective RV inverter part so we won't have to pay for it), and then to see a movie at the Totem Pole Regal Cinema, a nice 8-screen theatre.  "The Proposal" was quite enjoyable.  They have $1 candy nights on Mondays and $1 popcorn on Tuesdays.

Overnighted at:  Golden Nugget RV Park, $45, FHU, 30/50 amps, TV svc, free
WiFi, free activities and food (hot dogs, chili) 5/7 nights, lots of space between coaches.  Thanks, Brewers, for telling us there was <12 inches between coaches at Ship Creek RV Park.

Weather:  Rainy, 40's to start, then clear, 60's

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #111 on: June 20, 2009, 05:06:53 PM »
Be sure to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center while in Anchorage. Preferably on a nice day, since much of it is outdoors.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ian

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #112 on: June 20, 2009, 08:53:32 PM »
Dean and Linda, thanks for sharing your journey with us. I look forward to the updates and especially the spectacular pictures.

In particular the shots of the eagles at Valdez. When you get somewhere with a decent bandwidth would there be a chance of emailing me the original of IMG_0654.JPG, the eagle soaring with just the foggy mountains behind. I would so love to have that on my desktop. No hurry, but that would look so cool on the widescreen.
Cheers, Ian - from Adelaide, South Australia. GMT+0930 +1 for Daylight Robbery - Oct to Apr
A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles. Tim Cahill
A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. John Steinbeck

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #113 on: June 21, 2009, 02:37:33 AM »
June 20, 2009   Day 29   Anchorage, AK

   It rained all night, but it cleared as we got dressed to start our day-mighty considerate!  We skipped breakfast as we were going to try one of the Brewers' recommendations, the famous Arctic Roadrunner, for a high-calorie lunch of a burger and fries.  The food was good, the restaurant has lots of interesting photos, sayings, mounts, and Campbell Creek was rushing by as country music played in the background.  But best of all was the other people that were there.  Alaskans are so outgoing and just plain nice.  The lady behind us heard Dean and me talking and she stopped by on her way out to let us know what she loves about the area-and she didn't stop talking for 20 minutes.  We did get lots of insider tips, one of which is that the newspaper says the mosquitoes this year are the worst ever.  They had the perfect amount of rain and warm temperatures to produce prolifically.  She also told us about neat places to go on Homer Spit.  Then we got out our map to plot our course when we finished eating, and the man behind us said, "Can I help you find someplace?", and he gave us great directions.
   We went to the VC, our first stop always, and circled and circled and circled some more looking for any parking place anywhere.  It seems that they have had an influx of 10,000 extra visitors because of the upcoming Summer Solstice, plus they had a marathon which drew 4,000 participants.  We decided our funky map was good enough and left.
   We drove to the Rasmussen Museum of Anchorage, which is an attractive art and history museum.  We saved $8 by using a coupon from our Toursaver book. They are putting on an addition (funded by oil revenue), so there is a lot of construction. They had interesting art using a variety of materials, and one depicted the glacier blue that is so pretty that we had to take a picture.  Large dioramas with lots of realia depicted Alaskan life at various times in history. We spent several hours there.  Dress warmly because it is chilly inside. We learned that we could have parked underneath the museum for free on weekends.
   Then we went to Costco to re-stock our pantry.  Costcos are all arranged similarly, but this one had huge steel dipping nets for catching salmon ($120) as we entered.  They had woodcarvings of bears and moose, as well as reindeer sausage.  They surprised us by closing at 6:00, so we'll try a different store tomorrow.

Weather:  Rainy in the a.m., high of 66°F.

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #114 on: June 22, 2009, 03:50:25 AM »
June 21   Day 30   Anchorage, AK

   It only rained part of the night, but it continued well into the morning.  We used our Northern Lights coupon for a free breakfast at Denny's and 2 Grand Slams (oatmeal, eggs, sausage, toast) only cost $7.
   We looked for something we could do inside, and Dean wanted to do the Alaska Aviation Museum. Admission was $10, and I got in free with a Toursaver coupon. Dean was a pilot, so he is much better at evaluating, and he says it was well-done, but small.  But, we have visited the space centers in Florida and Dallas, as well as the space museum in Washington, D.C., so any others are "small". They did have a film of the history of aviation that I enjoyed.  The aviation pioneers here were hardy souls, just like the miners, explorer and First Nations people.  The museum was dedicated to bush pilots and their planes.  It had lots of plane floats, skis, vintage planes and engines.  They did a good job of labeling.  Dean spent about 3 hours reading and looking, so it must have been interesting.  It is located on Lake Hood, and we watched seaplanes take off and land while many ducks paddled around nearby.
   We stopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Costco (to buy planks to cook fresh fish on, and the fish), and the grocery store.  Dean pronounced it too cold to barbecue the fresh halibut we bought, so we're having Ivar's clam chowder from Costco.  Ivar’s is a well known name from Oregon.

Wildlife:  Lots of ducks

Weather:  Supposedly 55°F, windy, very chilly

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Jeff

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #115 on: June 22, 2009, 09:45:04 AM »
June 21   Day 30   Anchorage, AK

Dean pronounced it too cold to barbecue the fresh halibut we bought, so we're having Ivar's clam chowder from Costco.  Ivar’s is a well known name from Oregon.


Linda:

Almost Oregon; Ivar's is a Seattle institution since 1938. ;D

Have fun!

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #116 on: June 22, 2009, 11:53:44 AM »
I would so love to have that on my desktop. No hurry, but that would look so cool on the widescreen.
Ian, you started something!  When I read your note, I told Dean that I wanted it, too, because it is by far the most exciting event of the trip so far.  Our daughter also e-mailed us the same request.  Dean says it's too big to e-mail, and he has a plan for how best to do it.  We'll get to it today if it's rainy, which is predicted.  If it's sunny, it will be done on the next rainy day.  It sounds like his plan is something he hasn't done before, but he thinks he knows how to do.

This is the highest compliment anyone can pay a photographer.  Thank you.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #117 on: June 22, 2009, 12:04:00 PM »
Be sure to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center while in Anchorage. Preferably on a nice day, since much of it is outdoors.

Nice day?  So far we haven't seen one of those yet in Anchorage, though they say this overcast/rain is unusual.  Our daughter and son-in-law are trying to arrange busy schedules so they can come up here towards the end of July, and they want to do Anchorage, so we are doing the "B" activities and saving the "A" things, like the Native Heritage Center, glacier cruise, Sourdough Mining Co. to do with them. 

Keep the suggestions of your favorite places coming.  I'd hate to leave a place and find out there was somewhere we should have gone and didn't.

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Betty Brewer

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #118 on: June 22, 2009, 12:41:30 PM »
Linda,

You voiced a concern in  Marsha's Canada log that you were afraid your log may be dull.  Your log is NOT dull.  It is wonderful to see how you make lemonaid out of the rainy weather.  We experienced the wettest summer in Alaskan history but it did not  deter our travels or learning.  I did not care as much about Valdez as many,  as we had 5 inches of rain in  one day.  The campground was a lake but I have wonderful new water shoes as a result. You seem to be doing the same.  I am reliving our trip through your eyes and it is a wonderful journey, please  keep it up.  
Betty  
 
  
 
« Last Edit: June 22, 2009, 02:32:36 PM by Betty Brewer »
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Tom and Margi

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2009
« Reply #119 on: June 22, 2009, 01:53:17 PM »
Let me echo Betty - your travel journal is anything but dull.  We've been reliving our Alaskan trip (2000) through your travels.  I was so sorry the Top of the World highway was in such poor shape this year.  It was one of the highlights of our trip.  We were covered in dust when we arrived in Tok, but the road was relatively good (for dirt and gravel).  We were lucky, though.  When we arrived in Tok we looked back at the mountain and it was covered by ugly black clouds.  I'm sure whoever was on TOTW at that time did not have as much fun.  :D

There is a fun store in Anchorage (if it's still there) called New Sagayas -- and I may have murdered the spelling.  Pam Van Luchene recommended it.  It has all kinds of really fresh fish, many exotic seasonings, and all kinds of kitchen gadgets.  It's a neat place to wander around.  They also served a lunch buffet.

Keep up the good work, Linda.  Don't stop!  :D  The photographs of the eagles were breath taking!

Margi