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Author Topic: Alaska with the Stocks 2013  (Read 30554 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #60 on: June 16, 2013, 02:00:06 PM »
You guys are about to catch up with us. We left Fairbanks yesterday and arrived at Denali Nat'l Park. Had no space for us until Sunday. I would call ahead if you are wanting to stay inside the park . We are staying 2 nights at $14.00 each on that old senior card Ha! I sure could use some pizza tonight,I guess the 3 flavors of fudge will have to suffice.
   We are at the Denali RV Park about 8-10 miles before the entrance Of Denali Nat'l Park. Already tripped our 30 amp twice tonight.
We spent 7 nights in Fairbanks in '09.  This time we're only spending 4.  There are many things we really enjoyed last time, like the Ice Hotel which was amazing, but once you've been there and seen it, it doesn't need to be seen again.  Denali is only 125 miles from us, so I assume it's really hot there. We don't have the ability to use propane for cooking; we're all electric.  30 amps requires us to manage carefully, and if even that is tripping, we're in trouble.  Denali is the premier part of the trip--the major reason Dean wanted to come back.   I hope we can get in at the NP, but that's up to him to try.  Please keep us up on what to expect at Denali.  We hope you see lots of wonderful animals.
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 2013
« Reply #61 on: June 17, 2013, 02:29:05 PM »
June 16      Day 30   Fairbanks, Alaska

Here are the pictures of the burl animals at The Knotty Shop, which I mentioned yesterday (Pictures 1 & 2)  I think the second one of the big mosquito is particularly relevant, as the mosquito in our RV is adding 2 bites a day and making me itch like crazy.

Dean spotted a Carl's Jr., his favorite restaurant, on our way into the park and tried to find it for our late, late dinner last night to no avail.  So today I used the Internet and found the address.  He's driven and worked hard, it's Father's Day, and he deserved his favorite brunch. 

We were surprised to open our RV's door and step out into a very comfortable, not muggy 81.  We headed up to the park's car wash because our headlights were so caked with dirt that you couldn't tell if the headlights were on or off.  It worked well, except for the soapy wand/brush that is supposed to dispense soapy water.  It didn't dispense anything.  Dean put lots of 5 dollars in the slot and the car looked much better when we left.  It's $2/4 minutes.  Dean says what you need to take along a really firm brush to cut through the gunk.

Dean enjoyed his Father's Day brunch at Carl's near Walmart, and we later discovered that there is another one only 2 blocks from the park.  When we came out and saw the car, we were disappointed.  It is much better, but it looks like someone went over it with a muddy paintbrush.  At least we can see out of the windows now.

I love going to the Farmers' Markets in Alaska (actually, everywhere, but especially here).  Fairbanks FM is open on Wed., Sat., and Sunday (today).  Saturday is the big day, and today there were only about 10 booths open.  However, I did get to talk with a local photographer and some local residents about where to find moose.  We bought a mouse with locally-grown catnip for Sherlock and one for my daughter's kitten.

The Museum of the North at the U of A is open until 7:00.  I thought we'd have a lot of time to see everything there, but the time flew.  We got there around 1:30, and we closed it.  We paid for 2 admissions ($24), 3 movies ($10), and an audio-guide with 2 sets of earphones ($4), totaling $38.  An 8'9", 1250-pound brown bear that was killed in 1950 greeted us.  They say he can easily run 30 mph. (Picture 3) I'd skip renting the earphones next time.  The exhibits are so well signed that the audio-guide doesn't add much.

Next we met Blue Babe, (Picture 4) the steppe bison who died 36,000 years ago.  I was amazed at how much information they could determine.  He was killed by an American lion (an extinct species), and he was 8-9 years old.  It was really cold in the museum.  We watched 2 of the 3 movies.  One was about winter in Alaska, and the other was about the Northern lights.  Both were excellent.

The art gallery was very good, but paled when compared by the beautiful carvings in the gift shop.  Everything there is high quality, and they had a small moose carved from walrus ivory that fascinated me.  However, he was part of a set that included sled dogs.  The single pieces were between $250-$350.  When there's a heavy mist in the air at home (Southern California), our schools get calls from concerned parents who don't want their children playing outside at recess.  I bought a book at the gift shop called Recess at 20 Below.  Up here, kids go outside for recess if it isn't colder than -20.  I also bought a porcupine puppet that I can use to reach kids in my daughter's classroom.  They had beautiful whale bone carvings, also.  Only First People's tribal members can kill a whale or walrus to produce these beautiful pieces.

We had been told by Alaska Fish & Game, a wildlife photographer, and numerous Fairbanksans that the place to see moose was about 30 miles out Chena Hot Springs Road, past the residences.  They said the best time was around 8:00.  The timing was perfect! 

We stopped at Sourdough Sam's, a mom & pop cafe, for a quick bite.  Our fish & chips (I substituted a salad for $2 upcharge) tasted fine.  Alaskans are so practical, as this cafe solves their fresh produce problem.  They had a late spring break-up.  A man told us that just 4 weeks ago, it was -14, so there wasn't any produce at the Farmers' Market, and produce is expensive.  They have lots of greenhouses and will have good produce, more reasonably priced, soon.  The salad I had was tiny, and they used canned tomatoes with the lettuce.  The fish was served on a popsicle stick.  Odd, inexpensive at $26, and filling.

We saw several ponds that had no moose.  After MP 28, I saw a young bull moose munching away in a pond.  I've seen more than a dozen other moose, but never before a bull!  I yelled at Dean, "STOP!"  But, we'd been doing the speed limit of 55 mph, so we had to find a spot to turn around, and he was waiting for us still.  We watched him for a long time, as he dove his head under the water, came up with green stuff, and shook his head. (Pictures 5, 6, 7)  I'm sorry that it was so late in the day with dimming light, so the pictures came out odd.  It was still light enough that we could have read a newspaper without difficulty, so we never considered that it would affect picture quality.  The colors aren't even close to right.  A few miles down, we saw a moose cow.  I haven't enhanced or changed the color in any way, but she did not have the ghostly quality this picture implies (Picture 8).

Then came the grand finale!  I was looking at the water at each pond/river fork.  But at the North Fork of the Chena River, there is a gravel area beside the river, and I saw movement.  I was speechless--actually could not get a word out.  Trotting toward the bushes was a wolf!  I've only seen a wolf in the wild once before, and I got a much better look at this one.  We circled back, but of course, he was gone, so there's no picture.  But, what a thrill!

There was a price to pay--mosquito bites from putting down our windows, and something bit me on the forehead, leaving a huge lump.  However, I hope to go out earlier tonight, around 5:00, and try for better pictures.  Will the moose be out that early?  There's only one way to find out.

Staying at River's Edge RV Park.
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 2013
« Reply #62 on: June 17, 2013, 06:29:36 PM »
Whooo hooo what great Moose shots.  But I wanted a shot of that  mosquito bite on your forehead too! ;)
We both got a chuckle out of Dean's favorite restaurant being Carl's.  He does love his burgers doesn't he? 
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Marsha/CA

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #63 on: June 17, 2013, 07:45:10 PM »
Linda, you rascal you...seeing a bull moose before I did.  You get the award!!

BTW, we spent hours along that Chena Hot Springs road looking for moose; even driving into the dirt off roads area.  We did see a couple of females; but no bull moose that I was looking for.  Also, the restaurant at Chena Hot Springs is fabulous.  However we were there in late July, so all the produce was going strong.  We peeked into the green house and noticed all the very large tomatoes, lettace; everything was very big and tasted wonderful.

We've seen a couple of wolves over our trips; one in Denali.  Are you taking the interior bus tour?  I also did the river rafting trip with the water at 38 degrees, they suit you up to the max.

So fun ready of your trip.

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #64 on: June 17, 2013, 11:51:55 PM »
Linda, you rascal you...seeing a bull moose before I did.  You get the award!!

We've seen a couple of wolves over our trips; one in Denali.  Are you taking the interior bus tour?

Marsha~

Yes, we're planning on taking the interior bus tour twice.  Denali and its animals are the highlight of our trip.  So, we're really looking forward to it.  We came early, reversing the direction so we could get to Denali before the hot weather hit--and we're in the 90's!  Oh, well, we'll try to see what's there.  Big smoke in the sky in the direction of Denali.  I must listen to the news tonight.  I hope wherever it is, they got the fire out without any injuries to any living thing.  But, please, not Denali.......   

I bought heavy duty mosquito stuff today, and we'll try to get some more peeks at moose, and maybe pictures tomorrow at around 5:00, when there is more light than there was last night.  If we can get a really good picture, I'll mat it, frame it, hang it on my office wall, and even send one to you!  I was looking at moose things all day today--carvings, earrings, figurines.  I feel like I want a momento--not for being first, just for getting to see a bull moose in the wild.
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 2013
« Reply #65 on: June 17, 2013, 11:54:52 PM »
Whooo hooo what great Moose shots.  But I wanted a shot of that  mosquito bite on your forehead too! ;)
We both got a chuckle out of Dean's favorite restaurant being Carl's.  He does love his burgers doesn't he?
The mosquitoes' bites weren't that bad.  This one is like a mosquito on steroids, but it's just a raised hill over a wide area, so I don't think it would make an impressive shot.  Yes, he loves burgers.  We have seen lots of Thai restaurants, and I've wished you guys or Russ were with us (of course, primarily for your company), but also because I enjoy sharing eating experiences, and Dean is all meat and potatoes.
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 2013
« Reply #66 on: June 18, 2013, 04:10:46 AM »
June 17      Day 31   Fairbanks, Alaska

Yippee!  We stayed home this morning, and I did house chores while Dean worked on electronics.  Success!  Dean talked with Real Time Communications, made some adjustments, and we now have our satellite Internet.  It's slow, but it's there.  Since Motosat is out of business, we no longer have their technical advice on how to adjust the bird-on-a-wire since we changed the settings for Internet.  Dean did some postings hoping for help from other Motosat users.  We'd love to have Direct TV, but if we can't get it, we need to suspend our service so we don't spent the monthly fees unnecessarily.

Then we took care of business, including notifying the insurance company of the damage from our dog encounter. 

We thought that on this 90+ day, the Ice Museum downtown was a good destination.  It's in a 1930's era theatre, and it's not beautiful, but the ice carvings in it are very nice.  Their ice comes from one special lake and is crystal clear.  They use colored lights as accents.  The prospector (picture 1) is pouring the water out of the pan.  Many of the exhibits were behind glass.  There was one room you could go into.  There was an ice log cabin in it with a dining table and benches that you could sit on, and it was really cold in there.  There was a sleigh (Picture 2).  Then we saw an interesting film about Fairbanks and particularly about the process of getting the ice.  They have sold their clear ice to places as far away as South America.  There is an international competition here every March.  The cashier gave us pins from the competition and a free booklet with all the entries from last year.  Then a Chinese ice sculptor crafted a pretty flower in less than 5 minutes. (Picture 3)  Admission was $11 each. (Picture 3)

We went looking for mosquito repellant and anti-itch meds.  I had heard a TV ad for Tri-calm, but either stores don't carry it or it is sold out.  Afterbite is sold out at Walmart, and is reputed to be the best by the people who live here. We did find a clip-on repellent finally at Sportsmen's Warehouse, and I'm going to try it on my moosehunt tomorrow night.  It's supposed to provide 225 sq. feet of repellancy around us.  I hope so.

We had a coupon for $15 off dinner at The Cookie Jar in the Northern Lights book.  I had stroganoff; Dean had lasagna.  Both were just OK.  The salad had fresh, not canned, tomatoes.  Whoopee!  We didn't have to cook, and that was neat. 

We came back to the park, and Dean spent hours re-securing our refrigerator.  He thinks there has to be a better way, and I'm sure he'll engineer it.

Staying at River's Edge RV Park.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #67 on: June 18, 2013, 04:57:11 PM »
Neat ice carvings!  Do you have mosquito net hats?  They protect the head, face, and neck.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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SaltyAdventurer

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #68 on: June 18, 2013, 09:14:48 PM »
Linda, I just love reading your posts! Hard to imagine that it's in the 90s in Fairbanks, after being -14 just a month ago. I am SOOOOOOOO jealous of your successful moose-hunting! And seeing a wolf....wow! You lucky girl you!  Don and I have seen two smallish cows standing at the edge of the road a few days ago, but they turned and stepped into the trees as soon as several cars slowed down for them. We're sure seen endless signs cautioning us to beware of moose, but no actual proof that they are even here!

You may recall that I decided we would skip Fairbanks, and skip Denali also because of the unappetizing prospect of that long bus ride inside the park....you are making me wonder if I made a horrible decision. I guess we won't know until after we've spent 3-4 days camping along the Denali Highway between Paxson and Cantwell, where we think we'll see lots of wild critters. 
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #69 on: June 19, 2013, 01:15:49 AM »
Neat ice carvings!  Do you have mosquito net hats?  They protect the head, face, and neck.

ArdraF

No, I want one!  Where can I get it up here?  I'll start looking, but suggestions would be appreciated.
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 2013
« Reply #70 on: June 19, 2013, 01:33:24 AM »
Linda, I just love reading your posts! Hard to imagine that it's in the 90s in Fairbanks, after being -14 just a month ago. I am SOOOOOOOO jealous of your successful moose-hunting! And seeing a wolf....wow! You lucky girl you!  Don and I have seen two smallish cows standing at the edge of the road a few days ago, but they turned and stepped into the trees as soon as several cars slowed down for them. We're sure seen endless signs cautioning us to beware of moose, but no actual proof that they are even here!

You may recall that I decided we would skip Fairbanks, and skip Denali also because of the unappetizing prospect of that long bus ride inside the park....you are making me wonder if I made a horrible decision. I guess we won't know until after we've spent 3-4 days camping along the Denali Highway between Paxson and Cantwell, where we think we'll see lots of wild critters.

Mutual Admiration Society--I love your posts.  We have seen moose, but we haven't had a good look at a bear yet.  I think the moose signs are just to breathe hope into the tourists.  However, in 2009, at one Superstore, we talked with a cashier who used to drive an 18-wheeler. We had tears rolling down our cheeks as she described hitting a moose--now think about how heavy and strong an 18-wheeler is.  She said that it dented her front end so badly that it had to be towed, and she had moose poop all over the windshield.  In fact, she was still finding moose scat and cleaning it from her truck a year later.  So, when we see those signs, especially if it's close to dusk or dawn, I ask Dean to slow down.  If it did that much damage to a big semi, I don't want to find out what it would do to our RV.  Hitting that dog at speed did quite a job on our front, and he was not even close to the 840-1500 pounds on average a bull moose weighs.  So, take those signs seriously.

We've learned that different sites attract different people, but Denali NP is our #1 don't miss spot on our whole trip. We saw so much wildlife on that bus trip, and the guide was so sharp at spotting them, that we're planning on doing that bus trip twice.   I'll be interested in hearing about Paxson and Cantwell because we haven't been there.  I hope you see a lot of wildlife there, too.  Happy trails!
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 2013
« Reply #71 on: June 19, 2013, 05:23:49 AM »

June 18      Day 32   Fairbanks, Alaska

Dean earned his Carl's Jr. brunch today!  Armed with clip-on mosquito repellent, spray mosquito repellent, after-bite antiseptic anti-itch cream, long lens, medium lens, short lens, camera, tripod, and binoculars, we finally started out for Creamers' Field Waterfowl Migratory Refuge.  This was originally a dairy farm that several different bird species chose for their nesting.  It was purchased by Alaska in order to protect the birds.

In 2009, we saw hundreds of sandhill cranes feeding at the field, so we expected to see the field blanketed with birds and saw none.  Horrors!  Not a bird of any kind in sight!  I called them 2 days ago to ask about mosquitoes, and never thought to ask about the birds.  We talked with a lady who said she had just hiked the 1.5 mile trail and back and had found no birds, but her kids had enjoyed chasing butterflies.  She said there were birds by another parking lot, so we drove back near the street. All was good. There were about 30 Canadian geese and 20 sandhill cranes happily feeding near the signage.  They shared space well (if only nations of the world could do as well), and there were a few loners. (Pictures 1,2,3)  They kept their heads down, gobbling heartily, so Dean had to be quick on the trigger to get a picture with the face showing above the grass.   I am concerned about the huge decrease in numbers of cranes, and I'll call Creamers' tomorrow.
As we watched the birds in 80+ weather with a little breeze blowing, I thought God couldn't engineer more perfect weather.  We realize we've been lucky.

Heartened by our success, we took off on a moosehunt.  We hoped that we'd have good lighting for pictures by leaving 5 hours earlier than last time.  The downside is that moose are supposed to be napping at this time.  Two days ago we found two great moose by Mile 32 of Chena Hot Springs Road.  I drove, and drove, and drove some more--beyond Mile 45!  I was looking so hard that if Dean hadn't yelped, I would have hit a guardrail.  No moose!  I told Dean that we'd done all we could do, and we'd see some in Denali. 

About 5 miles into the return trip, I glimpsed a moose standing in a creek. I made a quick U-turn, and she was so hidden by the dark shadows that we missed her on our first return pass.  It seems like every time we see a moose, it has its rear end facing us.  Wouldn't you think 50% of the time they'd be looking our way?  And, why are they always in the shadows?  Dean got out of the car and shot pictures from different places, trying to get a decent shot. (Pictures 4, 5)

About 2 miles later, Dean spotted another one, also in the shadows of the forest. (Picture 6)  Dean was tromping through the grass, camera pointed into the shade, when a tour van saw him and stopped--right on the highway.  I'd gone to a turnout, and Dean had walked back to the photo spot.  People poured out of the van, quickly took their pictures while Dean was still trying for the perfect photo, and were heading back to their van when they spotted another moose getting ready to cross the road.

Dean hustled back to the car through the grass on the sloping embankment, taking pictures of the moose as he crossed the road.  Very impressive coordination!  We drove down to the next creek when we found that moose, rear pointed at us, of course.  The glare off the water made it difficult to get the picture he wanted, but I liked this one.  (Picture 7)

We headed back toward the RV park, stopping at the Regal Cinema 16 to see if the new Superman movie, which Dean wanted to see, was showing soon.  It was screening in just 20 minutes--perfect timing!  Dean enjoyed it, a nice way to celebrate a wonderful day.  Dinner was popcorn and coke--that's not something I'll share with our doctors.

Staying at River's Edge RV Park.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

SaltyAdventurer

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #72 on: June 19, 2013, 10:17:13 AM »
Linda, I'll bet you anything that the hordes of sandhill cranes knew the unusually hot weather was arriving, and are migrating at a slightly different time this year...leaving you with less to see! I know for a fact that there has NOT been any noticeable decrease in the number of sandhill cranes migrating through Colorado in recent years...but they do respond to weather patterns. You guys are our inspiration, daring to go on your bird hunts and moose hunts armed with tons of insect repellent etc. Not sure I will be so brave!
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

Betty Brewer

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #73 on: June 19, 2013, 11:00:45 AM »
Love love love your blog and photos.  I am officially envious and may even start planning a return  trip to Alaska!
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #74 on: June 19, 2013, 12:11:28 PM »
You guys are our inspiration, daring to go on your bird hunts and moose hunts armed with tons of insect repellent etc. Not sure I will be so brave!

We have both been bitten, but that was before.  Now that we have all the "goodies", we haven't seen mosquitoes.  Hope it stays that way.  I'll let you know what, if anything, is effective.
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 2013
« Reply #75 on: June 19, 2013, 12:24:36 PM »
Love love love your blog and photos.  I am officially envious and may even start planning a return  trip to Alaska!

Thanks.  There's no place like Alaska, especially the magnificent wildlife and crusty old people who speak their minds.  The one thing I like about Carl's is that the table are so close to each other that it facilitates conversations.  I learn a lot from locals, and other vacationers tell us of their experiences, and that is helpful, too.  Yesterday at Carl's, we met a couple from Ohio.  They had just one day in Fairbanks, and I told them what  our experiences had been at the Ice Hotel, Ice Museum, Creamers' Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, North Pole, Museum of the North, etc., because they didn't know what they wanted to do in the one day they had here.  As they were leaving, a Fairbanksan man told them, "She doesn't know anything.  She's full of baloney."  Then he proceeded to tell how awesome North Pole was in detail, and he was really rude.  I had told her that everyone has different things they like, and for us wildlife was a favorite.   I thought I had been very factual with distances, admission prices, etc.  Alaskans do not beat around the bush; they tell it like it is.  After I got over my shock, I chalked it up to one more unique Alaskan experience.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #76 on: June 19, 2013, 05:56:20 PM »
It's really hard to see wildlife with an untrained eye unless they're right next to (or on) the road.  I once asked a tracker in Africa how he could see so many animals when we couldn't.  He told us to always look for things horizontal because nature, such as trees, grow vertically and animals backs usually are horizontal to the ground.  That really helped me and maybe it will help you too.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #77 on: June 19, 2013, 11:19:27 PM »
It's really hard to see wildlife with an untrained eye unless they're right next to (or on) the road.  I once asked a tracker in Africa how he could see so many animals when we couldn't.  He told us to always look for things horizontal because nature, such as trees, grow vertically and animals backs usually are horizontal to the ground.  That really helped me and maybe it will help you too.

ArdraF

Thanks for the tip.  We'll put it to good use.  Wait until you see what we found today!  He got so close I thought he was going to let Dean scratch him behind his ear.
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 2013
« Reply #78 on: June 20, 2013, 02:45:09 PM »
June 19      Day 33   Healy, Alaska (Denali Nat'l Park)

We all expected this to be a dull travel day (Picture 1).  It was anything but!

First, we went to Fred Meyer's to gas both vehicles.  It took us over an hour!  We had pump troubles, re-locating to another pump, the hose not reaching the car, another motorist blocking us by pulling into the pump from the other direction, and tight turns (Dean came very close to a pole and had to keep getting out to make sure he was going to clear it).

Roads today were good.  They flag microscopic bumps, and we're starting to slow down less when we see their flags, something we'll pay for one of these times.  Kudos to Alaska's Highway Department!  We ran the AC because it was hot, and we enjoyed the comfort of the cool air.

At Mile 309 Parks Highway, we stopped at Monderosa, touted to be the "Home of the Best Burger in Alaska," and kind of a dive.  My hamburger-loving husband critiqued it as being excellent.  I'm not into either burgers or fries, but I usually order any house's specialty, and I thought both were outstanding.  The fries were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and they must have a ton of calories and cholesterol-anything that good always does.  The other couple split one burger and fries, but Dean wanted the whole thing, so I split mine in half and brought it home for another meal.  However, the highlight was listening to the opinions and stories of the other couple and the waitress/chef.  I only asked a question every now and then to keep them talking about life up here.  Typical of hard-working Alaskans, this couple in their mid-70's who live in Anchorage were on their annual trek to sell to gift shops throughout Alaska.  They represent products from 40 different companies.  All 3 people were very strong in their opinions.  The waitress/chef told us that education out here is anemic.  They have a combo K/1/2/3 class with 25 students and no aide.  She says that when the kids get to high school, they are so far behind that the teachers are frustrated.  Duh!  Another nugget we learned is that the amount of oil flowing through pipeline is decreasing significantly, making for less tax revenue.  The Alaskan government has decreased the taxes on the oil companies, hoping they will use that money for more exploration.  They need to have a certain amount of flow to keep the pipeline running.  Otherwise, they will have to revert to trucking it.  I thought this was our excitement for the day, and I was very happy. 

We didn't get into Healy until 5:00, despite starting at 11:00.  6 hours to drive 111 miles is a new record for slow.  We speedily hooked up so we could get to the Wilderness Access Center (open until 7) and get our tickets for the bus tours on Friday and Saturday.  Tours range from 4.5-12 hours.  We opted for the 11-hour tour to Wonder Lake.  4 bus passes were just under $200. 

We drove the part of the park road that is open to the public, the first 15 miles.  I detected movement in the brush, and I stopped about 5 car-lengths away from a moose--a bull moose!  I've been told that it's important to give wild animals their space, and that's why I left that distance.  I was so mad when two other cars, alerted by my flashing lights, pulled in front of me, between me and the moose.  How rude!  The moose passed by them, and he walked toward our car, so close that I thought he might stick his head in the car window.  Sometimes doing the right thing pays off.  These pictures were not taken with a long lens.  We were that close! (Pictures 2, 3, 4, and 5)  I couldn't print some of the pictures because we were actually too close to him.

On the way home, we stopped at the local market for batteries.  It was crowded, and everyone was trying to buy mosquito products.  Of course, they were sold out.  If you're headed this way, pay heed.  Load up with mosquito repellent and a mosquito net hat.  I have a painful bite on my lower jaw, and I must have 40 mosquito bites, even between my toes.  I got all these bites either in the RV, in the car, or in transit between the two.  I hadn't put on repellent because I wasn't going to have a prolonged period outside.  Mistake!  I bet if you brought in bottles of repellent, you could sell them up here for $50.  A late snow melt (there's a little snow on the ground here still in shady spots) and record high temperatures combined to make the perfect storm of mosquitoes, also record numbers.  One man talked of looking down at his arm, finding it covered with mosquitos, and wiping them off in a sheet.

Tomorrow, we are prepping for our bus trips.  We are bringing our own lunch, water, and foregoing the extra $110 per person the tan bus charges for lunch, drink, and a tour guide.  When we were here in 2009, the bus driver narrated, and he was very good.  There is a one-day delay in getting bus tour tickets because of demand.  If you want to go on the day after you arrive, buy ahead of time.

Staying at Denali RV Park--$165.64/4 nights, FHU, 30 amps, good WiFi, Cable TV, best place to stay with hookups in Denali


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

Henry Wishard

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  • Gone Crazy*** Be Back Soon
Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #79 on: June 20, 2013, 07:13:07 PM »
   Nice shots of the bull moose, and the mosquito products are not to be found in Eagle River.We found some at Walgreens yesterday, Walmart and Fred Myers was sold out. So far we have spent about $100.00 on repellant.
Henry & Margaret Wishard
12625 Lake Vista Dr
Willis, Texas 77318
2017 Tiffin Open Road

2012 Jeep Rubicon

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #80 on: June 21, 2013, 12:45:45 AM »
   Nice shots of the bull moose, and the mosquito products are not to be found in Eagle River.We found some at Walgreens yesterday, Walmart and Fred Myers was sold out. So far we have spent about $100.00 on repellant.

I think it's a matter of timing.  We need to find out when shipments are coming in.  The game warden in Denali went into Fairbanks for the specific purpose of picking up 100% Deet, and she listed a bunch of places she tried.  She didn't even find any mosquito repellent at all.  We found some in Fred Meyer's the day after she was there.  We saw some advertised at a hardware store, but they were closed.
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 2013
« Reply #81 on: June 21, 2013, 01:00:44 AM »
June 20      Day 34   Healy, Alaska (Denali Nat'l Park)

We stayed in the RV this morning, got 100% rid of mosquitoes inside, napped, read, sprayed 2 outfits with a clothing mosquito repellent (supposed to last through 6 washings), started prepping for tomorrow's bus trip into the park, and tried to take care of business matters.

We made reservations at the Alpenglow, a wonderful restaurant set atop a cliff.  Driving up to it on a windy, gravel road was fun because they had humorous signs, like Mosquito Crossing with a mosquito carrying away a man like a bald eagle does a fish.  The service and food was wonderful.  We used a Northern Lights Coupon, so my $28 scallop dinner was free and we only paid for Dean's $32 steak.

We drove back into Denali and once again spotted a moose.  I don't know whether she's shedding her winter fur or has a bad case of eczema, but she did enjoy munching leaves.

Early to bed so we can get up at 4:45.

Staying at Denali RV Park--$165.64/4 nights, FHU, 30 amps, good WiFi, Cable TV, best place to stay with hookups in Denali
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Bonnie Lawrie

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #82 on: June 21, 2013, 12:48:35 PM »
Hi Lida & Dean,
     Did you know that the mosquito is the state bird of Alaska? Ha, ha! I use Skin So Soft, an Avon product, as an insect repellent. It works great! I even used it on my horse to repell flies. I used a 50/50 mixture of Skin So Soft and water and sprayed it all over him. You might want to try it. It is a good alternative to insecticides.
     Thanks again for your well written trip postings and super photos. I am so enjoying your trip!
                                                                                Happy Trails,
                                                                                            Bonnie

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #83 on: June 21, 2013, 11:43:57 PM »
Hi Lida & Dean,
     Did you know that the mosquito is the state bird of Alaska? Ha, ha! I use Skin So Soft, an Avon product, as an insect repellent. It works great! I even used it on my horse to repell flies. I used a 50/50 mixture of Skin So Soft and water and sprayed it all over him. You might want to try it. It is a good alternative to insecticides.
     Thanks again for your well written trip postings and super photos. I am so enjoying your trip!
                                                                                Happy Trails,
                                                                                            Bonnie

Thanks, Bonnie.  I'd heard about Skin So Soft from you and two others, but I can't find an Avon lady.  I went to their website a couple of years ago, put in my zip code, and they were supposed to hear from someone.  I never heard from anyone.  I'm going to try again.
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 2013
« Reply #84 on: June 23, 2013, 02:05:55 AM »
Hi!  June 21 & 22, our trips through Denali will be posted as soon as I can get through editing Dean's 242 photos of Denali.  It was wonderful, and we saw caribou, ptarmigan, hoary marmot, bears, lots of Dall sheep, and more.  The bull moose seem to be having a convention; we have seen so many, each having a better rack than the one before.  We've been getting up at 4:45 to get to the Wilderness Access Center by 6:45 for the 7:15 bus.  Both days we had the two front seats because we were first in line.  We didn't see any animals in the first 30 miles, and we were glad that we went the whole 11-hour, 85 miles one way trip.  But, we're exhausted at the end of the day.  Tomorrow we are going out to Cantwell and driving the Old Denali Road, looking for more wildlife.  So I can't burn the midnight oil.  I will get it done, but that many photos will take me several days to go through.
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 2013
« Reply #85 on: June 23, 2013, 10:12:06 PM »
June 23   Day 37   Healy, Alaska (Denali Nat'l Park)

We knew that others thought highly of the Cantwell and Paxton area, so we wanted to see the wildlife there.  We stopped at Creekside Cafe, a bakery recommended to us, and picked up 2 lunches.  We topped off the gas tanks in Cantwell so we could go as far as we wanted.

We drove 35 miles south to the Old Denali Road, which goes from Cantwell to Paxton.  The road is all gravel, except for one mile, at least as far as we went (Mile 99).  It has some rugged spots and large rocks to dodge, but it also has some smoother parts.  The posted speed limit is 50 mph (You have to have a Gumby spine and be crazy to go that fast on a gravel road.)  The maximum weight is 9 tons.   I figured the bumps were worth it if I could see lots of bears and moose.  I was amazed at how many cars and motorcycles we saw.  Some passed us going the opposite direction at 50 mph, as I prayed they didn't kick up a rock and break our windshield.  Others going our direction also passed us, kicking up a tremendous dust cloud.

We heard from Alaskans that you could drive with windows open, and no mosquitoes would enter, if you created sufficient breeze because they hate wind.  It was a beautiful day (high of 79), and there were many mosquitoes.  We drove at or 20-25 mph, and no mosquitoes came in, and those that were in, left. 

We drove about 40 miles, and we saw one tiny duck.  By the time Dean got his camera set up, the duck had flown to the next pond.  We followed.  Dean got out of the car again, and the duck flew on to the next pond.  We pursued.  Dean got out of the car again....and he flew away.  I carried the camera with the lens attached, cradled in my arms, so we'd be ready next time.  On the way back, we saw 6 more tiny ducks on the other side of a large pond (Picture 1 taken with Dean's big lens with an extender). 

When we came to smooth asphalt, I was ready to put away the weighty camera, when I saw a moose.  Dean stopped on a dime, drove right to the opening in the bushes across from her, and the race was on.  I don't think she was aware of us because we were on the opposite side of a wide river on a cliff.  When I spotted her, she was about 50 yards from the far shore, and a long way from our shore.  It was like she heard a dinner bell, and she ran through the water to the bushes as Dean ran with the camera to our cliff edge.  She won, getting to the bushes before we got the picture.  But at least we both saw her.

I was told by a neighboring RVer that he had heard that we'd see as much wildlife today as we did at Denali.  Not even close, less than 10%.

Do you know what Alaskan Tennis is?  It's when you take those tennis-racket shaped fly/mosquito zappers and swish them through the air as you walk.  I actually saw a woman doing that in our RV park.  Today, Dean and I played...are you ready for this?.....Duck, Duck, Moose.  I get a bit giddy when I am unable to accomplish a goal...like seeing wild animals.

Staying at Denali RV Park--$165.64/4 nights, FHU, 30 amps, good WiFi, Cable TV, best place to stay with hookups in Denali

Moving to Anchorage Golden Nugget tomorrow--maybe we'll get to meet Henry!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 10:26:44 PM by Dean & Linda Stock »
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

SaltyAdventurer

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #86 on: June 26, 2013, 02:13:11 AM »
Hey, Linda, I'm ready to throw rotten tomatoes at  people who said we'd see more wildlife on the Old Denali Highway (or at least as much wildlife!) as we'd ever see in Denali NP!  Don and I saw zippo wildlife...and I do mean zippo! Two big white trumpeter swans on one pond toward the Cantwell end of the dreadful road. One grayling landed by a flyfisherman. Maybe a half-dozen regular old mallards floating on very distant lakes. One loon on a lake.

But MAN those mosquitoes were really WILD! Now that is true wildlife....they're here at Trapper Creek too, but not in the numbers that we had them along the Denali Highway.  Unbelievable!

The ONLY thing that made our great adventure on boondocking on the Old  Denali Highway worthwhile was leaving early this morning and seeing views of Denali itself, in all its splendor, so much along that road toward the Cantwell end...I'm in the process of writing my daily journal right now and will post it asap.
Klondike Susie aka Salty Adventurer
2013 Itasca Reyo (25', no toad)
Married to oldedit
Resides in Denver CO area & Silverthorne CO

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Alaska with the Stocks 2013
« Reply #87 on: June 26, 2013, 03:46:41 PM »
June 24   Day 38   Anchorage, AK (Two days, one posting, Dean's been using the computer for fix things and I didn't want to ask for it)

We enjoyed the drive through the pretty Mat-Su Valley to Anchorage.  We stopped at several Denali viewpoints that are closer to the mountain than we were at the national park, 75 miles from it.  However, after parking the coach and walking the trail to the viewpoints, we see that it is shrouded in clouds today.  During the summer, you only have a 20% chance of seeing it clearly, so we feel blessed that on both our bus tour days we could see it quite clearly, with no clouds.

We got into the park at 5:45.  I don't remember many of the RV parks we've been to, but I did remember the "uniqueness" of this one.  Last time, the GPS got us lost.  We ended up at Elmendorf Air Force Base.  The lady sentry told us we had to turn around where we were.  Dean said the area was too small.  She assured him that he could.  Well, we couldn't.  Dean blocked traffic entering and exiting the base while he unhooked the toad, maneuvered the RV, and then re-attached it. 

We called the RVpark for directions.  The lady had us driving in circles for 15 minutes, as I relayed her directions.  Dean became frustrated, but he was ready to shoot the messenger, not the dingbat whose directions I was relaying.  I gave him the phone so he could listen to her himself.  In our conversation, I had learned that they were across the street from Costco.  So, I saw a nice-looking passerby, had Dean stop the coach, and asked for directions to Costco.  He didn't know, but the second time we stopped, we found someone who did, and we managed to get to the park.

This time I had everything under control.  I Mapquested directions before we left Denali.  I made an on-line reservation and followed up with a phone call to verify.  However, I was not at all surprised when Dean told me that when he went in the office they didn't have our reservation.  Thank goodness they weren't full!  They have kept their reputation as a loony park, but they are nice people.  As we pulled into our 2 spaces (the spaces are short, and Dean paid a $4 surcharge to buy the second space), Dean tried to line up the sewer and couldn't find it.  He got out and searched.  Meanwhile, two neighbors came over and commiserated with him about their problems getting hooked up and positioning.  He found a sewer connection in the second space, but it was too far away for our hose (which is long) to reach.  Dean walked up to the office, and the intelligent, nice, young lady walked down and told him to enter from the opposite direction that they had marked on the park map.  Dean hooked up the Cable TV connection.  No reception.  Back up to the office.  They have the connection, but they don't subscribe. Surprised?  No!

We were trying to get set up quickly because we wanted to meet RVForumers Henry and Margaret.  Dean wanted to take a shower after he dumped tanks (at Denali the sewer was by our front tire).  It was 8:00 before we made it over there.  We hadn't eaten for 8 hours, but we really wanted to talk with them.  They were leaving early tomorrow morning, so it was now or never.  We decided to share where we'll be next so others can give us helpful info.  I should have thought of that a long time ago.  We really enjoyed meeting them, and we hope to cross paths again.  Hopefully, we'll be able to spend more time.  I'd stutter step a day or two to be able to listen to more of their stories.  Out of all the states, including my own, Texans are my favorite people.

By 9:00, Henry had been standing on his gouty toe for an hour and my stomach was rumbling, so we left for Vallarta's, a favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant we discovered in '09.  We have a coupon from Northern Lights for buy one dinner/get $8 off the second dinner, but we'd eat here even if we didn't have a coupon.  No ambience, great food.  The nice owner saw us pull up and came out to the car to tell us he closes an hour early on Sunday and Monday (8:30).  So, we'll go back another time.

Fortunately, we had our Northern Lights coupon book with us.  We found another Mexican restaurant, Pancho's Villa.  When we drove up, we couldn't figure out where the front of the building was, and we passed it up.  We figured it out only because there was junk stored on the backside.   The outside was large, bizarre, had no windows.  It was made of painted bricks, and it had two tiers of steps surrounding the whole place.  We tried entering one door that was painted just like the bricks, but it was padlocked on the side.  We found the next door would open, and it took us into the kitchen/rear dining area.  When we left, we left through the front door (the back door was now locked), but we had quite a walk to the car.  The decor was nice.  The dinner was great--very delicious--the best relleno and tamale I've had in many years.  The combo was large, but only $11.95 plus $1.95 for the second (with our $10 NL coupon), our cheapest meal of the trip, as well as our best.  We only ate half, so we'll have it for another meal, too.  I splurged on flan, my second favorite dessert.  It was as bad as the dinner was good.  We have another coupon, so it's likely we'll be back.  I   
knew I was right in eating in at the beginning of the trip and saving our food dollars for Anchorage and Homer.  So far, so good!

Staying at Golden Nugget RV Park--$42--2 spaces (upcharge of $4, but the second one doesn't have a sewer connection), FHU, slow WiFi, TV from the air that we can't seem to get--probably us, not them, close spaces, conveniently located, no mosquitoes!!

June 25   Day 39   Anchorage, AK

Today was dedicated to getting our lives back in order.  Our satellite still isn't receiving and our bird-on-a-wire for Direct TV needs for the satellite to work and to be readjusted to a new setting, and we are trying to find out what that setting is.  If we can't get this stuff working, we will stop the monthly service charges on all of it, which will save significant money.  Last time, we didn't have it, and I rather enjoyed going into the libraries and cafes to try to find internet.  The coach needs a thorough cleaning, inside and out.  Washing and shopping need to be done.

We worked all morning.  At 12:30, we set off for brunch.  I have lots of buy one lunch/get a lunch or dinner free coupons in my Northern Lights coupon book, and they have on the back of the coupon descriptions of about 20 items from their menu.  Dean has been working so hard problem-solving, I let him pick, but I agreed with him. 

On our way to Rumrunners, we passed The Lucky Wishbone, a favorite restaurant from our last visit that is on our Must Visit List.  We enjoyed talking of our memories as we drove to downtown, where both Rumrunners and the Visitors' Center were located.  We found Rumrunners address, and the storefront was vacant!  I always look up restaurants on Trip Advisor before we go, but my apps are all frozen and I can't use them--another problem Dean will try to solve.  If I had looked it up, I would have found the first item there said it was closed.  Dean had been using the computer to solve our other electronic problems, and when we decided to go to lunch, I was so hungry that I skipped looking it up.  I won't do that again.

So, back to The Lucky Wishbone we went.  The Lucky Wishbone was founded in 1955 by George & Peggy Brown.  He was a bush pilot who flew out of the tiny Anchorage Airport, right across the street.  They started with "Fresh Air Pan Fried Chicken" and milkshakes.  They now are famous for their onion rings, homemade chili, extra lean ground beef, strawberry shortcake with homemade old fashioned buttermilk biscuits, corn muffins, malts, and sundaes with 10 different toppings.  When we were here in '09, Peggy had passed away, but we got to talk with George, who was 87 years old.  He was bussing tables, carrying a large, heavy tub of dirty dishes, serving customers ice water, and chatting with other patrons.  This restaurant seats well over 100 people.  At age 87, he still flew his airplane in his spare time!  He has rules.  You can't come in and order to-go.  You must go through the drive-through.  No one waits very long because everyone hustles, even George.  The American work ethic leading to success worked quite well for him.  He won a place in my heart.

This time, the first thing I did when I got to Anchorage, was to call TLW and find out that George was still alive.  So, I was disappointed when we came in today and found that George had left just 5 minutes before.  He is at the restaurant every day for hours, and sometimes he comes in twice a day.  Oh, well, the good food was still there, and maybe we can come back in again and see him while we are here.

The restaurant is laid out efficiently, but comfortably.  The tables are lined up in a row, with menus in a holder at each table.  The couple at the next table were "snowbirds", have lived in Alaska since 1966 (he moved from Fullerton, CA, our neighbor) and birth (she).  They are our age, so they live in Wasilla (Home of Sarah Palin) in the summer, and they now spend winters in Yuma and Hawaii.  I love listening to Alaskans!  When they are gone in the winter, they have the house wired to notify them if there is a burglar, temperature drop, or increase in humidity (indicating a water leak).  Neighbors also check on it.  Neither moose nor bear are their biggest problem--pack rats are.  They chew up the hoses on his truck and make their nests in the engine area.  Alaskans are problem solvers.  After trying several methods to keep them out unsuccessfully, he now places a salt lick by the rear tire of the truck.  He figured out that they wanted the salt on the hoses in his truck.  They haven't destroyed anything or made any nests in his truck since he started doing this.

They also told us that global warming is here.  They have had more days over 70 this year already than they normally have in 3 years.  In a normal year, 300,000 acres burn.  Right now, over 500,000 are on fire, and it is just June.  They really rely on their rain.  Winds dry out trees very quickly, and with the lightning striking, they ignite immediately, with wind blowing the embers into dense undergrowth.  Almost all of their fires are caused by lightning.  They let them burn unless there are homes or people endangered, thereby renewing the forest.

The Anchorage Visitors Center is a busy log cabin in downtown.  Street parking is metered, and we bought an hour's worth.  We got lots of good tips.  I really want to see beluga whales, so we picked up tide charts (they come in chasing the fish at high tide), information on what's going on, etc.

Then I asked what had happened to Rumrunners.  The 3 ladies exchanged meaningful looks with slight smiles.  They are supposed to promote tourism, not discuss negative aspects of the city, so I had to play detective and ask direct questions.  It seems that it is very, very difficult to lose a liquor license in Alaska, but they did it, AND they were closed down by the city.  They not only served to minors, but repeatedly broke every liquor law on the books.  Police were frequently called to keep order.  But the final straw was "all of the shootings."  And, of about a dozen choices, this is the place we chose to have lunch!  So much for our choosing.

There was an Audubon-led walk at Potters Marsh that I would have like to go on, but Dean wanted to go see a movie, "Monsters University," at Regal 16.  While I enjoy some kids' films, like "Ice Age", this one didn't entertain me.  I'd give it a "D"; Dean would give it a "B."  The popcorn (Tuesdays $2) was our dinner.

We came back home, and Dean worked on my phone until 1:30.  He has restored 7 of the 13 apps.  WiFi here is really slow.

Staying at Golden Nugget RV Park--$42--2 spaces (upcharge of $4, but the second one doesn't have a sewer connection), FHU, slow WiFi, TV from the air that we can't seem to get--probably us, not them, close spaces, conveniently located, no mosquitoes!!

Headed to Homer, Sodoltna, and Seward
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 2013
« Reply #88 on: June 26, 2013, 03:49:20 PM »
Hey, Linda, I'm ready to throw rotten tomatoes at  people who said we'd see more wildlife on the Old Denali Highway (or at least as much wildlife!) as we'd ever see in Denali NP! 

We heard the same from several people, and you saw 5 times as much wildlife as we did.  It was to the point of me appreciating it when a butterfly came by!
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 2013
« Reply #89 on: June 28, 2013, 06:43:38 PM »
June 26   Day 40   Anchorage, AK

Dean worked all morning on our satellite and electronic problems--nothing that will interfere with continuing our trip.  In 2009, we spent many days working on getting our satellite to connect.  Prior to this trip, Real Time Communications assured Dean they would give him new coordinates in Alaska and his satellite would work.   My premise this time is that in Anchorage we have the best possible situation, and if we can't get it working, shut down the service for the duration of our trip until we get into the Lower 48, save the money, and forget about it.  We'll spend as much time as he wants (he doesn't ever give up!), but when all avenues are exhausted, we're done this time. 

We also are playing musical computers.  This computer won't connect to the park's WiFi, and the other computer is awaiting our mail on Monday so we can load Microsoft Word onto it.  I can't type my log on the new one until then.  So, I type on this one, download it and the pictures onto a memory stick, put that into the new one, where we can then post it to the RVForum.

We hadn't eaten breakfast, so at 1:00, we went to Spenard's Roadhouse for hamburgers.  They have a wide variety of food, and it all sounded delicious.   I had a $10 off coupon from my Northern Lights coupon book.  The food is all fresh, not genetically modified, and as much as possible, locally grown.  My hamburger had bacon jam on it, which was full of flavor, had no fatty taste, and was absolutely delicious (definitely not low calorie).  It also had a cheese with wonderful flavor, grilled apples, and arugula.  I'm definitely not a hamburger lover, but this one was delicious.  It came with sweet potato tater tots (Dean's choice) that made him very happy, soup, or salad (my choice).  The waiter suggested the lemon basil vinegarette dressing, which was light and refreshing.  The waiter was wonderful, and I'd go back here again.

We needed to lay in supplies, so we shopped at Costco, right across the street from this conveniently located park. And then, we drove through a wonderful automatic car wash right across the street from our RV park.  The basic car wash is $8, which we would usually choose. But our car was in such terrible shape, I read to Dean the new feature of each wash as the price went up, and he said, "Oh, yes, that would be good."  We ended up with the most expensive wash at $14.  I have been very careful upon entering the car so I don't get dirt all over my clothes, and yet I still have 2 outfits with dirt stains.  The car is sparkling clean now!  Well, at least on the outside.  I noticed smudges on the windows, which I have decided are squished mosquitoes, so I will have to tackle that, and there is still dust all over the console, dash--actually everywhere.  I have a half-off coupon at the Jeep dealer for a hand wash inside and out, and it will cost only $15 plus tip, but I'm saving that for our stop back through here in mid-July.

I only have a few pages left in Michener's Alaska, and I am sorry to see it end.  It's 868 pages long, and usually I would feel, "Mission Accomplished."  But, I really look forward to reading it whenever I have a block of time.  It's not a book you would want to read in 5 minutes spurts.  It's just too hard to put down.  What a wonderful book!  A must read for anyone coming up here.  I see things daily that relate to what I read in the book.

The weather couldn't be more perfect.  80 with a breeze.  Keep it coming!

Staying at Golden Nugget RV Park--$42--2 spaces (upcharge of $4, but the second one doesn't have a sewer connection), FHU, slo-o-o-o-o-o-w WiFi, TV from the air that we can't seem to get--probably us, not them-- close spaces (I hear what our neighbors are saying inside their trailer), conveniently located, no mosquitoes!!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

 

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