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Author Topic: Back to Alaska  (Read 11305 times)

Jeff

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Back to Alaska
« on: June 12, 2015, 10:34:49 PM »
We crossed the border into Canada this morning at Sumas, WA and are spending a couple of days in Harrison Hot Springs, BC. After years of wishing since our trip in 2007 we are headed north again.


This trip will be a bit different as we are going to hop on and off The Alaskan Ferry System starting at Prince Rupert BC with 3 day stops at Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, Skagway, and a final ferry destination of Haines before continuing our drive north.


We are traveling with Helen Harmon,  a friend from Washington who had planned an RV trip up here with her husband who died from a tragic accident shortly after her retirement. She has downsized to a Class C and always said she would love to go with us if we returned so here we go!


Helen has a friend Joanne traveling with her and the four of us will be joined by our daughter Jami and her family in Anchorage at the end of the month. They will be with us for six days and then our two granddaughters Emily and Kate will stay with us for another 11 days before flying back to Hawaii.


We are really excited!

« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 01:33:58 AM by Jeff »

Betty Brewer

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2015, 11:43:26 PM »
Have a great trip and keep us informed!
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Tom

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2015, 05:32:41 AM »
Sounds like a wonderful trip Jeff. Safe travels.
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 06:31:39 AM »
Jeff,

Have a great trip. Alaska is back on our schedule, but not until 2017.

ken
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Chet18013

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 06:43:40 AM »
Enjoy yourselves. I wish we were making that trip. We want to make it again. Using the ferry sounds like a neat way to do it.
Chet18013
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2015, 06:45:26 AM »
We are jealous! Have wanted to go back ever since our 2002 trip but never made it. Have fun!!!
Gary
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garyb1st

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2015, 07:30:21 AM »
Have a great trip.  Looking forward to your posts.
Gary B1st

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2016 Jeep Wrangler

Tourmaster

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2015, 09:10:11 AM »
A trip like that is on our bucket list. Will be anxious to see some photos.
Have a safe trip with no hiccups.
Wish I could have been a stowaway.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 09:12:45 AM by Tourmaster »
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Tom and Margi

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2015, 09:32:10 AM »
I'm suffering a huge case of envy.  We loved our trip in 2000 and always intended to return.  Never happened.  Will look forward to your trip reports.

Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2015, 09:49:06 AM »
    Jeff and Sue, enjoy your trip, and the company.  It will certainly be different from a trip down east to Maine.  Donna and I are jealous, as that has always been on our bucket list, but given the distance from NS and limited timing in the US, it just hasn't move to the top of our list.
    Again, enjoy and keep safe.

Ed
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SargeW

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2015, 01:03:01 PM »
Good luck and dodge the logging trucks when possible!
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Kevin Means

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2015, 04:53:12 PM »
Can't wait to read your updates and see the pictures Jeff... and dream. Safe travels.

Kev
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Kevin Means

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2015, 10:52:36 PM »
You still there Jeff? Haven't heard from you in awhile. Was wondering if we should send a rescue team out. :D

Kev
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ArdraF

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2015, 11:05:33 PM »
I'll bet they're having too much fun to report in!  ;) ;D

ArdraF
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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2015, 03:02:00 AM »
We have been busy but drove up through British Columbia to Prince Rupert on great roads, boarded the Alaskan Marine Highway System (AMHS) Sunday for a six hour sail to Ketchikan.


We spent a great three days there including some fishing and departed last night for Wrangell for a real change from the crowds of cruise ship passengers at Ketchikan. I will try to cover a little more detail as we head further up the Inside Passage.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 02:01:27 AM by Jeff »

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2015, 01:59:39 AM »
We had great weather at Prince Rupert and stayed at the Prince Rupert RV Park just up the hill from the Alaskan Marine Highway System (AMHS) terminal. We sailed last Saturday for Ketchikan aboard the ferry Matanuska, the first of five legs we will be aboard. We arrived in Ketchikan around 5:00PM and proceeded to the Clover Pass Resort, a fishing resort with a motel and about 30 full hookup RV sites about 15 miles north of Ketchikan. Clover Pass offers boat rentals, fishing, whale watching, and touring charters, a small store, and fish processing. Its friendly staff was very helpful and accommodating. We were lucky enough to get one of eight sites facing the water with a beautiful view out our windshield.


Judy and I rented a boat for a day of Halibut fishing and managed to get our limit of two fish each which meant dinner of grilled Halibut that was delicious.


Ketchikan is a community of 8,000 permanent residents who are invaded by 6000-10,000 cruise ship passengers every day of the season. The ships pull in by 8:00AM and have all departed by 3:00PM each afternoon. They spend the day touring Ketchikan, flying seaplane tours of the area, taking whale watching our fishing charters, checking out the Totems all over Ketchikan, and of course buying over priced jewelry and Alaska artifact. By 3:00PM Ketchikan is a ghost town where you can walk into any restaurant and be seated immediately. We were here on a cruise in 2004 and at that time our ship was docked at the only dock and one more was anchored and ferried their passengers ashore. Now there are 3-5 ships tied up to the new docks each day.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 03:25:17 AM by Jeff »

Kevin Means

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2015, 02:33:11 AM »
Glad to hear from you! I'd love to take that ferry system with our motorhome. I got Alaska's promotional material sent to me last year, and it had a lot of info on the ferry system. On a sad note, I see that a tour plane out of Ketchikan just crashed today with nine lives lost. Tragic. Thanks for the update! (and the pics)

Kev

2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2015, 03:18:23 AM »
We spent Tuesday afternoon and evening parked at the AMHS terminal at Ketchikan and toured the town after the cruise ships departed. While parked we met several members of a Chautauqua touring group from the NW US that were touring most of the Inloand Passage towns. They are  in Wrangell with us and we plan to see the show.

We arrived in Wrangell at 5:15AM just in time to see our two weeks of beautiful weather turn to rain which is forecast on and off for the next three days. We drove a mile or so through town to the Alaskan Waters RV park where our sites were available as we and one other 5th wheel who were on the ferry with us were the only occupants in the eight site park.

Wrangell couldn't be more different from Ketchikan. It is a small community of 2,000 with fishing and lumber based industry. Everyone is extremely friendly qand you cannot enter a store or restaurant without getting engaged in a conversation. We had lunch at  local tent supporting their local Queen contest, spent a couple of hours at the  Nolan Museum which is a beautiful facility celebrating the local history going back to the first native settlements through today.

We stopped in a hardware store today, met one the the Chautauqua group and were invited to a seafood pot luck tonight where we were told to not bring anything as there was always too much food. Dinner was great with a great evening of talking to more tour members and local residents.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 10:28:54 AM by Jeff »

garyb1st

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2015, 05:56:02 AM »
Great photos Jeff.  Is the 2:30 AM sunrise an early start or late evening?  When I was in Stockholm years ago, I remember the very short nights.  It's strange to finish dinner at 10:00 PM in a relatively dark restaurant and then walk out to a street with what looks like late afternoon sun. 
Gary B1st

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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2015, 10:23:06 AM »
Gary the sunrise is on the ferry to Wrangell between naps. We departed at 11:15PM just before dusk and the  Sun remained just below the horizon, coming back up at 2:30. It did get fairly dark which it will not do by the time we get to Farbanks in a a few weeks.

Derby6

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2015, 04:27:21 PM »
Plenty of Smoke in Fairbanks right now though..... :(
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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2015, 01:50:23 AM »
We will not be there for a month so maybe the smoke will clear.

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2015, 02:46:39 PM »
We just spent 30 hours on the AMHS ferry Matanuska traveling from Wrangell to Juneau with stops at Petersburg, Kake, and Sitka. The trip was absolutely beautiful including narrow channels too small for cruise ships, glaciers, and whales. We had four hours on Sitka for a quick guided tour of the town and dinner and arrived in Juneau at 4:30AM this morning. We had cabins for both nights and really enjoyed the trip.


An update on residential refrigerators. Our Samsung AC-197, which has it's own inverter, was on batteries for 30 hours and the battery voltage was still 12.2 volts (under load) when I went down to the car deck this morning. Yesterday afternoon after 20 hours or so the voltage was 12.4. Our 12 pounds of frozen halibut was still solid as a rock!


With our four Trojan T-145s we could easily go a couple of days if necessary.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 01:32:32 AM by Jeff »

Frank Hurst

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2015, 06:25:27 PM »
I have been "out of touch" and have just started reading you log. Sounds as if you are having a great trip. DW and I have driven up and have done the cruise. We would love to do the ferry. Love your pictures. Looking forward for more reports.   :-)

Frank
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Moonstruck

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2015, 07:02:20 PM »
This is a great thread.  Thanks for posting.
Don and Lou--Don Posting
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doolinguy

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2015, 07:45:59 PM »
I just found this thread and really enjoy it. My wife and I are planning a similar trip in a year or two. The ferry idea is great. We did a cruise up there five years ago and really enjoyed it. I can't wait to get back.

I'm looking forward to your next posts.

Take only photos and leave only footprints,

David McManus
Raleigh, NC
looking to buy a Class A

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2015, 04:00:02 AM »
We arrived in Skagway yesterday along with the daily cruise ships. (Even Disney is doing Alaska now) Today we drove up over White Pass to Carcross to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Arrived back in plenty of time to watch Skagway's midnight fire works.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2015, 07:32:41 AM »
Thanks for posting the photos. Brings back memories...
Gary
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2015, 08:36:48 AM »
    Thanks from me too Jeff, only I know that it is going to cost me big time.  I have shown most of the pictures to Donna, and now Alaska is back on top of our Bucket List. 

Ed
Ed & Donna
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BigLarry

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2015, 10:33:04 AM »
Really enjoying your posts. We made the all land route in 2010 and you're really making us get the itch.  We hope to do it next year!

Larry and Betty
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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2015, 04:03:08 PM »
This is our third trip up here; a cruise in 2004, m/h in 2007 driving both ways, and now this trip. Ferry hopping has really been a treat  We now wish we had stopped in Petersburg and spent more time in Sitka.


We will be here until late August and I want to come back again already! And we just finished a discussion about shortening our summer excursions.  :)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2015, 12:34:21 AM by Jeff »

BigLarry

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2015, 11:03:02 PM »
Our fix this year is going to have to be a couple weeks on Vancouver Island in September.  We like to go back there every few years.  We lived in Sequim for three years in the early 1970's.  Our Son was born in PA and we still have friends up there.
Larry and Betty
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Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2015, 09:28:37 AM »
We were on an Alaskan cruise in August 2010 and stopped at Juneau. Went to the Red Dog saloon and that same guy was singing for tips to fill his Viagra tip jar. It was a fun saloon. Thanks for posting, brings back a lot of memories.
Gene

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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2015, 02:06:07 AM »
After 5 days in Skagway (because a ferry schedule change that we were told about a few weeks ago) we took a one hour ferry ride to Haines where we will spend the next few days.


The Oceanfront RV Park looks out on the serene channel between Skagway and Juneau surrounded by ice covered mountains. We also have HD Directv here so we are in touch with the world again.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 02:10:04 AM by Jeff »

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2015, 01:56:01 AM »
Spent our last day in Haines visiting the Eagle Center with fantastic live and preserved exhibits and watched the last of the cruise ships and ferries make their way down the Lynn Canal from Skagway. We head north tomorrow into the Yukon headed for Tok.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 01:58:04 AM by Jeff »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2015, 10:13:43 AM »
Thanks for the photos - Haines is one of our favorites stops.
Gary
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BigLarry

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2015, 02:53:59 PM »
We spent a week in Haines.  Its a real place.  We were very disappointed in Skagway.  Most of the businesses in town are owned by the Cruise ship companies!  Once the cruise ships left it was absolutely dead!!!!!  The drive into Skagway is the best thing about visiting there.
Larry and Betty
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Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2015, 04:42:59 PM »
Do you plan to take the ferry out to Dutch Harbor and back?
I am currently in King Cove where the ferry makes a stop each way.
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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2015, 09:54:26 PM »
Jeff we are done with the ferries. Homer is about as close as we will get to you.

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #39 on: July 13, 2015, 03:22:19 AM »
We have spent the last two days on the Alaskan Highway in the Yukon driving from Haines up to Tok, AK. Beautiful landscapes, horrible roads in the Yukon.

Jeff in Ferndale Wa

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #40 on: July 13, 2015, 09:53:53 AM »
Jeff we are done with the ferries. Homer is about as close as we will get to you.

If you were able to find the time, it might be worth the trip to park your rig in Homer for a few days and take the round trip ferry ride. Coastal Alaska is so much different that the interior.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #41 on: July 13, 2015, 09:55:06 AM »
Any idea what happened to that Shadow Cruiser in the last photo? Looks like it encountered a very low bridge!
Gary
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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2015, 01:28:42 AM »
Any idea what happened to that Shadow Cruiser in the last photo? Looks like it encountered a very low bridge!


Gary it appeared he came over the rise ahead of us, saw the wet gravel and slid out if control while trying to slow down. The pickup and its occupants were OK, that's them carrying stuff to it but the trailer went over the bank. The wrecker had pulled it upright and back onto the road.


Another case of slow down while up here.

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2015, 01:31:25 AM »
If you were able to find the time, it might be worth the trip to park your rig in Homer for a few days and take the round trip ferry ride. Coastal Alaska is so much different that the interior.


Jeff time is the problem.

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2015, 02:14:30 AM »

We pulled out of Tok this morning and drove to Anchorage to have a few days before our daughter Jami and family arrive Friday. We followed the Richardson Highway past the Wrangell Mountain Range and The Glenn Highway through beautiful glaciers and down the Matanuska Valley to Palmer. Look carefully in the last photo and you can see the trail of one of the three moose we saw today. (Not fast enough with the camera)


We must be back in civilization, saw our first MacDs in three weeks. :)  Anchorage is a city of 300,000 with every big box store and restaurant chain imaginable but just past the "Welcome to Anchorage" sign is a "Caution Moose" warning.

Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2015, 05:53:12 AM »
    Jeff, in my hunting days, that what we referred to as "track stew", it isn't very tasty nor very filling.  Better luck with the trigger finger next time.

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

JX2Fields

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2015, 11:05:39 AM »
Jeff
 My wife and I are in the very early stages of planning a trip to Alaska pulling our fifth wheel. What are you traveling in and I thought the ferry was very expensive. We were there in 2003 on a cruise and enjoyed it, them my son and I went on a fishing trip in 2010. Really will enjoy hearing about your trip and will help us plan ours.

 John
John & Judy
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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #47 on: July 29, 2015, 04:31:19 AM »
John a 41' DP towing a CRV. We made five legs on the ferries that totaled just over $2700.00. Saves a couple of hundred on fuel, probably some wear and tear.


That part of the trip was priceless.

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #48 on: July 29, 2015, 04:44:35 AM »
We have had our daughter and family from Hawaii with us the past week and still have our two granddaughters with us for another 11 days so we have been busy!


Picked them up in Anchorage and to satisfy their request went up to Talkeetna, Denali, and Fairbanks. The adults flew home from there and we than drove back to Anchorage and out to Seward.


We have done shore fishing, dinner shows, glacier landings, riverboats, hot springs, The Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, and a dinner cruise today with seals, porpoise, sea lions, eagles, puffins, murre, glaciers, and ice burgs. More salmon fishing with granddaughter in the AM and then we head to Homer.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 04:46:32 AM by Jeff »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #49 on: July 29, 2015, 11:49:06 AM »
Going halibut fishing in Homer? Your granddaughter would get a thrill if she landed a big most any halibut!
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2015, 09:21:39 PM »
Decisions decisions.

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #51 on: July 31, 2015, 02:29:24 AM »
We are parked at one of our favorite sites in Alaska, Mariner Park on the Homer Spit looking Southwest across the Gulf at the chain of glacier-covered volcanoes that lead out to the Aleutian Penninsula. The beach is shallow and at low tide the kids were out several hundred feet hunting sea life.


Dinner tonight was pie iron pizza and apple pie followed by roasting marshmallows and sitting around a beach campfire. Can't be beat!


Sure hope the girls remember this. (it's getting to the point I hope we remember this)! ::)

Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #52 on: August 05, 2015, 03:04:39 AM »
Finished up our time on the Kenai Peninsula with a fishing charter with granddaughter Emily where we saw whales and sea otters. On our way back to Anchorage we spent the afternoon at the Alaska Wildlife Refuge with its various exhibits.


We spent the night at the Aleyeska Ski Resort and rode the tram up for a beautiful view of the Turnagain  Arm. Today the girls flew back to Honolulu on Alaska Airlines and had a great flight while parents and grandparents held their breath for six hours.

ArdraF

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2015, 04:58:05 PM »
It looks like a great time was had by all!  Love those smiles!

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Tom

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2015, 06:38:52 PM »
Jeff, I'm enjoying your reports and photos. You have a beautiful family, but you already knew that. This trip will surely be remembered for the rest of their lives.
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Jeff

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2015, 09:29:04 PM »
Time to wrap this up as we have been to Palmer,  Valdez, Chicken,  drove over the Top of The World highway to Dawson where I toured Dredge Four that a RV friend Glenn Dewick worked as a young man. At Chicken we ran into Todd from Alaska Gold Rush and later passed a couple of claims before crossing the Yukon border.

We then grove down to Whitehorse where we joined the Alaska Highway down to Dawson Creek with a quick detour up to Fort Liard in the Northwest Territories to say we have been there.

We also spent a night in Watson Lake to find Tim and Jan Lynchs' RV Forum sign in the sign forest, and stops in Jasper and smokey Banff where we said goodbye to our friend Helen Harmon who has traveled with us all summer. Will spend the next couple of days in Calgary sightseeing and then head to Chicago to see the other half of our family. Had a great time driving smooth 4 lane highways lately!

We crossed into Canada on the 13th of June and should be back in the lower 48 by the 1st of September. It has been a great 2 1/2 months! Going back to Alaska has been high on my list and we had a great summer doing it.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 09:41:14 PM by Jeff »

ArdraF

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2015, 12:12:26 AM »
We've enjoyed returning with you!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Kevin Means

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #57 on: August 29, 2015, 03:03:49 AM »
I've really enjoyed your trip reports and pictures too Jeff. Everytime I read yours and other posts about RVing to Alaska it churns up the urge to make the trip myself. Ahhhhh... someday.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

Ned

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #58 on: August 29, 2015, 06:56:46 AM »
Welcome home, and happy you had such a great trip.  Our AK summer was the highlight of our many years on the road and your reports and pictures brought back many memories.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #59 on: September 03, 2015, 10:50:38 PM »
Jeff and Sue, it is so good to re-connect!  Dean and I have done the cruise tour and the land route clockwise and counter-clockwise. We can't ever seem to get enough of Alaska, and we plan to go again.  I'd like to try your route as something to give us new memories.  We didn't know about the fireworks in Skagway.  Is that new?  Your friends are lucky to have you as an escort.  Happy travels, and keep writing!  We love it!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

William52

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #60 on: June 14, 2016, 07:11:00 PM »
I read Jeff's post about there trip to Alaska and was going to comment(old post) about it and ask is it better to travel up and drive back or do it backwards. Seems like the ultimate adventure and I bet the trip is expensive ? Fuel and food? I guess time to ask for info from the state and towns along the way. Which places are best and which one are just money pits? On bucket list for sure and all should do it at least once. Viking 4700.00 5 days Bellingham to Whitter  Going to go read again. Thanks All
2000 Pace Arrow M35N F53 V10 Ford  100,000 + miles purrs like a kitten. Yes I am old school.         2007 Honda VTX double dark side

Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: Back to Alaska
« Reply #61 on: June 15, 2016, 04:15:47 PM »
If you are thinking of taking the ferry up or back, depart or return to Prince Rupert, CA. much cheaper.
Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

 

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