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Thread: Summer Trip to Cooler Climates

  1. #41
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Great reports. You are a true world traveler!

  2. #42
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    The jeep tour on Friday was nice. It was great to ride in something other than a bus. It rained off and on and the only wildlife we saw were swans. Once back at the lodge we had lunch and a few hours to kill before going to the train. We hung out in the main building after doing some shopping. It was pouring all afternoon, so walking around wasn't an option even though there are some really nice paths plus my back was killing me. The train to Fairbanks was in a double decker car. The top level was glass domed and the two groups were the only ones on the car. The lower level was the dining car where we had dinner in two shifts. Our driver met us in Fairbanks and took us to our last Princess lodge. Saturday was our last day of the cruisetour. We went to see part of the Alaska (Alyeksa) Pipeline, then boarded a little train/tram to see a closed gold dredge, then to pan for gold(I found $12 worth and Stu $6). Next was lunch family style at Discovery Steamboat Landing-it was eh. We wanted to do the -40 experience there but it was time to board the steamboat paddleboat for a very short trip up the Chena River. It is set up to educational-we watched a seaplane go around the boat and then take off, we stopped by a dogsled home and learned about the dog sleds, dogs, etc and saw a demonstration of how they work the dogs without snow-this was all done while we were on the boat-they use microphone/headsets and it come through the speakers on the boat. We could watch out of the boat or watch the monitors. The next stop was how they fish and how they dry and smoke the salmon(native American tribe) then we docked and got off to attend 3 short presentations on the life of the native American tribe in a reconstructed native American village. Then it was back on the boat and back to our bus and lodge. Our farewell dinner was a wine pairing.

    We will spend two more nights in Fairbanks and are picking up a car after breakfast. We have 8 more days in Alaska on our own.




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  3. #43
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    We went back to the -40 experience and had our picture taken we were in there for about 60 seconds. We headed to the Fountainhead car museum. It is an amazing private collection of American prewar cars. They had about 65 pristine cars on display and another 30 that they rotate in. All but 3 of them run. Best of all was the dress, hat etc collection. For each car they had period correct dresses and sometimes the accessories which matched the color of the car. They were beautiful. After a lunch of Thai food we went to the Chena Hot Springs. We first did the ice museum and had an appletini in a glass made of ice. Then we spent an hour relaxing in the Hot Springs. A rest day




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  4. #44
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Yesterday we hung out in our room(and did laundry) until we were picked up for our trip north of the Arctic Circle. We flew in a 9 passenger plane to Coldfoot then took a van to Wiseman along the Dalton Hwy(this road was built so they could build the Alaskan Pipeline). The landscape was stunning. We learned about life in this remote village of 13 people-definitely not for me, but it was beautiful! Once we were back in Fairbanks we had dinner at a Moldavian/Romanian restaurant which was awesome. We like to try different types of food and this was new for us. We will be leaving Fairbanks and heading back to Denali today. There has been a lot of rain and there is a treat of flooding from the rivers. There have been mud and rock slides in Denali and we are wondering if our tour will actually be held tomorrow-92 miles into the park by modified school bus to Kantishna along one-way gravel road-11-12 hour day. FYI-Denali National Park is bigger than the state of Massachusetts.




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  5. #45
    Senior Member Aruba4ever's Avatar
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    Our descriptions are awesome. It actually makes me want to consider going there and I dont consider anything but Aruba, lol. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by robin View Post
    Yesterday we hung out in our room(and did laundry) until we were picked up for our trip north of the Arctic Circle. We flew in a 9 passenger plane to Coldfoot then took a van to Wiseman along the Dalton Hwy(this road was built so they could build the Alaskan Pipeline). The landscape was stunning. We learned about life in this remote village of 13 people-definitely not for me, but it was beautiful! Once we were back in Fairbanks we had dinner at a Moldavian/Romanian restaurant which was awesome. We like to try different types of food and this was new for us. We will be leaving Fairbanks and heading back to Denali today. There has been a lot of rain and there is a treat of flooding from the rivers. There have been mud and rock slides in Denali and we are wondering if our tour will actually be held tomorrow-92 miles into the park by modified school bus to Kantishna along one-way gravel road-11-12 hour day. FYI-Denali National Park is bigger than the state of Massachusetts.

  6. #46
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Tuesday we drove from Fairbanks to the Denali area. The road is the only road between Anchorage and Fairbanks and Denali is two hours from Fairbanks and 4.5 hours from Anchorage. The road is mostly one lane in each direction, with it going to two lanes once in a while so you can pass the trucks. It is very scenic like the rest of Alaska. We passed "Skinny Dick's Halfway Inn" and Stu had to stop for a picture. He went on their website later in the day and found they had an "interesting" gift shop. We stopped in Nenana for lunch-300 people in this small town and most are very old according to the cafe owner. We would have walked around but it was drizzling so we headed for the inn in Healy which is 10 miles north of the park entrance on Lake Otto. It is only 21 rooms and each is different. Nothing fancy, but comfortable with a fridge and microwave and beautiful views. We headed to the park and stopped to check on our reservations for a tour to Kantishna then drove the 12 miles you can drive in a car and saw a moose right by the road and got some great pictures. The visitors center is really nice, too. After dinner we headed back to our room. Our tour on Wednesday began at 720 and we needed to get up early so we did not get stuck in the back of the bus.

    On Wednesday we were up early and were treated to the sight a of momma moose and her baby about 150-200 feet from our window munching on breakfast by the lake! It was rainy, hazy and cloudy but we did get some pictures. We ate the breakfast provided by the inn(muffins, cereal, juices, fruit, etc. left in the fridge daily). Then it was off to the Denali bus depot for our 11 hour trip to the end of the road-mile 92 Kantishna. It was foggy, rainy, and cloudy and it was difficult to see much on the way out and we both dozed off and on. The streams, and rivers are very full and some were at the top of their banks or over. We picked up a park ranger and she gave us an excellent tour of Kantishna and that end of the park. On the way back the skies cleared and it was beautiful. We saw bears(at a distance), birds, dall sheep(in the distance), moose, snowshoe hare, a ground squirrel, and caribou. One caribou was right on the side of the road drinking water. I got some great pictures of it. It was a great day.

    Today we don't have much planned. It is beautiful out and we are going to head back to the Denali in hopes of see the mountain. Only 30% of the people who visit is part of it and only 10% see it from base to summit. We've seen nothing-yet.




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  7. #47
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Robin..... great adventure.... you've actually got me looking at river cruises on line....!
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  8. #48
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    What an amazing trip. So enjoying your reports!!

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  9. #49
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    We drove back into the park and saw the lower half of Denali this morning! The summit was hidden by clouds. We did some shopping and had lunch and then looked around some more(there really isn't much in the way of shopping, but it is spread out in one area). We headed back see if Denali was any more visible, but it was more cloud covered. We headed back here to the inn and are relaxing before heading down the road for dinner later. Tomorrow we begin our drive to Anchorage with planned stops in Talkeetna and maybe Denali State Park-we will have to see how the weather is and what time we get up and out. It is a 4.5 hour drive if you go straight to the hotel. Talkeenta adds about 45 minutes.




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  10. #50
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    Robin, you are so good at trip reporting! And thank you for taking the time out of your great Alaskan adventure to take us along with you. Love reading them.


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