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Old 08-05-2008, 12:17 PM   #15
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Hi Gregg & Cindy

Looking at the blog. When did you get the new 2 tone truck?

HowieE
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:25 PM   #16
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Gregg, I agree with you about the touristy stuff, we avoided it. We did like Chicken. Of the three tourist outfits there, the one furthest from the road was the nicest. My wife and one of the owners (the wife) had both gone to same college. They had a dredge there and the husband worked a gold claim and helped in the gift shop and a small restaurant. From your photos, it looked like you may have been there too.

You're right about Fairbanks. It's a place to get provisions and move on. We found one fairly decent restaurant. The museum was good. The first lodging we stayed at was the most horrible we've been to, the 2nd night at a motel was a little better. When we returned from the North Slope, we stayed at a B&B run by a dysfunctional couple where the husband insulted people and apparently had his wife terrified of him.

Wait 'til you drive through Glitter Gulch outside of Denali NP. Now that's touristy to the max! I'll be interested to hear about the campground in the park. The busses you have to take in the park are reputed to be uncomfortable. Because of an old back injury, I avoid things like that.

I was feeling for you on your flightseeing experience. We did one from Talkeetna. I insisted on a 2 engine plane to make me feel better since I don't enjoy heights. I was ok for a while, but when we got to Denali, the weather kept getting worse and we only got up to 7,000' (we live at 6,837 in Colorado! We only gained 163'). Still, it was a magnificent sight. The "but" was the ride—extremely rough. I managed to just barely retain my lunch. My wife had been holding my hand to reassure me, but after bouncing around the sky for a while, she had my hand in a vise grip and she needed the reassurance. Two teenagers on the plane had their heads in their hands and everyone on the flight was deathly quiet. I was proud to have been less terrified than the teenage boy sitting in front of me. I think I may not try that again!

I can understand why a caravan doesn't go up the Dalton Hwy and to the North Slope. The Brooks Range and the tundra on the North Slope are truly memorable places to see. I want to go back with the Safari, but says "no!" She's afraid of damage to the trailer, though we had very little to our truck in '02. Coldfoot is basically a truck stop. Wiseman is a genuine old Alaska town and fairly close to Coldfoot.

Thanks again for the blog. I'm enjoying being with you.

Gene
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:32 PM   #17
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Hi Gregg & Cindy

Keep the faith. The first time we saw Denali was from Homer 175 miles away, but at least we saw it.

As you travel south from Denali, just before Byers Lake, look back over your sholder to the west you may see Eldridge Glacier. Seams he worked for the USCGS back int the 1890 and must have named the glacier when no one was looking.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:05 PM   #18
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Gregg,

We really enjoyed Juneau and were there 4 days. I guess it depends how you visit it. We had our SUV, it was late September and there were far fewer tourists, we stayed downtown and could walk to most everything in the city, and the Mendenhall Glacier wasn't all that busy, though the ice was really busy melting faster than it ever had. When we were in Haines another time, we had talked about taking the fast ferry to Juneau and I'm glad we didn't having spend a more leasurely time there. Maybe next time you'll be able to spend more time in SE Alaska by taking the state ferry, but I'd try to find a place to park the trailer in Haines and just take the truck on the ferry. With a trailer you probably would have to either back on or back off the ferry.

Your trip sounds great. You got to see McKinley (Denali) more than once! We're thinking about taking the Safari next year, but maybe not. We'll see.

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Old 09-05-2008, 11:43 AM   #19
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Juneau

Gene,
The conditions when we visited Juneau were not great. It was cold, steady rain and with 4 ships in there was an instant crowd of probably 12,000 people all wanting to see downtown and Mendenhall Glacier. You're probably right, off season would have been nicer. We've gotten use to having all this natural beauty without crowds. The trip has been great, no real terrible places, just enjoyed the time away from cities more then in the cities. Thanks for following the blog and letting me know someone is reading it. I'll continue until we get back to Prince George, which will be soon.
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:51 PM   #20
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Gregg,
It poured much of the time we were there, and rained from Haines Jct. to Haines to Juneau to Petersburg and Ketchican (2 weeks worth). It did stop from time to time, but living in the high desert, it gets to us after a while. We've traveled along most of the US and Canadian Pacific coast (where there are roads) and from San Francisco north rain and more rain seems to be the norm. I think the rainy season hasn't started, but their standards are different about rainy season than ours.

There was only one cruise ship in town when we were there and it's better without them. I think those passengers mostly shop within a block of the ship or take a bus to the Mendenhall Glacier. Some of the ship passengers cross the street from the landing without looking they are so mesmerized by the curio shops. I'm surprised they don't get run over. Stuff is marked way, way up and then they do phony discounts. I did get a good T shirt for $5 on Sept. 30 after the last ship of the season left.

Yeh, we stay away from cities on our trips. We go to the quietest and most remote places on a lot of trips. We love the north country in both Alaska and Canada. Are you already thinking about going back?

Thanks for the blog and the pictures. I've enjoyed following your trip and we've had many of the same adventures. I'm still jealous you got to see that mountain.

You've got a lot of miles after Pr. George. How have the border crossings been? We often go to the smallest ones since they seem to be more relaxed, but we haven't crossed with a trailer. On the US side they can take the trailer or your car or truck apart and you have to put it together, though I never have seen that happen. The Canadians used to be very relaxed, but that has changed in recent years.

Gene
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:17 PM   #21
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Final posting, blog is closed

The caravan ended on Sep 13 in Prince George, BC. I posted a final note today. It was a fantastic trip, recommend it to all who haven't done it. The caravan was 65 days in British Columbia, Yukon Territory and Alaska. The trip to Prince George was over two weeks long, as will the return trip to Tn be. Hope to hit Yellowstone again, the Tetons and Badlands, then home for 10 days before heading back out, this time to the South Carolina coast then on to Everglades National Park where we are park volunteers. It's fun keeping the Tin Inn active.
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Old 09-20-2008, 07:05 PM   #22
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Many thanks to you two for blogging your journey for the rest of us. The photos have been fantastic. Keep us posted about your Everglades adventures.
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