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Old 09-09-2019, 01:49 PM   #477
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The thing I learned and that disappointed me the most was the fact you could drive into Denali for only a short distance.Then you had to take a second hand old school bus to go further.
I first visited Denali Park in 1971, when you could drive your car through the park. It was great. We camped at Wonder Lake and drove on to Kantishna in my Land Rover. And it took a Land Rover to get there.

I've since been back to the park a few times when the buses were the required transportation. I'm glad they did it. With the increased number of visitors they had to. You now see a lot more wildlife from the road due to the decreased traffic. Buses or cars, most people never get more than a quarter mile from the road, so this is a real plus for most visitors. And it's safer for the wildlife.

(BTW, we have good friends in Hamilton.)
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:43 PM   #478
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I'm sorry to hear you were disappointed, though I could tell it from the tenor of your posts. We had one trip where it rained almost every day, another where it was dry almost every day. Nevertheless, we made the best of it when it rained or there were forest fires. We loved our trips to Alaska and hope it will look better to you as time goes on.

Brad, the school busses were not all that bad. I don't think they were second hand as it would be strange if the government bought them that way (if they are a concessionaire, they would buy new too after taking bids). If you travel thousands of miles to see something, it seems like worrying about school buses is not worth the effort. They were fine and the only practical way to travel inside the park. There was a lot of traffic anyway—park employees, researchers, maintenance, etc. If people could drive all the way on the two lane road, the traffic jams would be awful. The bus is a reasonable compromise.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:12 PM   #479
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Brian, give it a few months, itís a long Trip. As time passes you will look back with fond memories and may even want to return. You had more fun than you may realize at the moment. Once is not enough for some and enough for others. Iím glad you took the adventure. Iím one that canít seem to get enough of the far north.
Does not matter as long as you are doing what you can in the direction of what you enjoy.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:32 PM   #480
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Denali Buses

I am unsure if the buses were second hand but it appears to me from the photos they were of the older school bus style.I live in a rural area and our schools here take nice comfortable buses to events.I saw a shuttle tonight for Glacier park and it was nice and newer.
I am a go it by myself kind of person, in my 64 years I have never taken a tour bus,cruise and only flew a very few times.I would for sure not pay someone to get my body beat up and be under their control to visit a place just to say I did. I would bet that Glacier park and Yellowstone,Yosemite have many more visitors and they are drive thru as well as many parks.
I do understand the reason behind the buses but since it's a free country for now I can still disagree with it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:43 PM   #481
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RE: Lucy is on the road to Alaska

Brian and Sue Ellen,
I wanted to thank you for your kind postings and honest views of your trip. I enjoyed the trip I think as much as anyone else did and am now considering traveling form my Home in Virginia to Alaska ourselves. It sure won't be thins year or next, but we want to make the trip. I especially liked that you stayed off of the highways. That is the coolest facter of your trip I liked. To see this Wonderful Country from the old roads and byways is my dream. We may never get to Alaska, but we will tour the lower 48 if our health continues.

Again Thanks and have a wonderful vacation at home in your own beds without having to drive everywhere you go.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:53 AM   #482
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Brian, great info. I really enjoyed following your trip, seeing your photos, and learning about some of the challenges of traveling to Alaska.

Overall it seems like your campground costs were reasonable, especially for last minute reservations and short stays. I've seen a lot higher costs virtually everywhere I've been so far, which is all east coast and over to Texas.

You did over 4300 miles of driving while not towing. That's cool! Lots of exploring. Surprising how quickly those miles add up.

Did you happen to keep up with food costs? I know that's harder to differentiate from everyday food costs when not on the road, but curious if you spent more dining out than you would normally. I haven't tracked my expenses on any trips so far, food or otherwise. Something I want to do on our next trip, out of curiosity more than anything.

Another question, think you'll do Alaska again? I wondered during your trip how you were feeling about it, particularly the weather issues and lack of views.

We're glad that you enjoyed Lucy's Alaska trip. We do our Airforums trip threads as much for ourselves as for the group. It gives us a permenant and comprehiensive record of our Airstream travels. We have been doing these threads for over ten years and have probably done about fifteen of them. They are a chronicle of our Airstream experience.

Our campground costs were noticeably higher in Alaska, but everything is higher in Alaska. I guess that it is getting the goods there that impacts the prices. We pretty much knew that it was going to be that way, so it was no surprise. On the other hand, we found that the campgrounds in Canada were about the same price as the l tripsower 48 when you factor in the exchange rate.

As far as tow vehicle mileage vs. the Airstream, this trip was amuch closer ratio than usual for us. On past trips, the ratio was much closer to 50%.

As far as food costs go, we did not track those expenses as we feel that we spend about the same on food whether we are at home or on the road in Lucy. We did not eat out in restaurants very often. we usually eat most meals in Lucy.

Would we do Alaska again? I don't know for sure. Our usual cross country Airsteam trips include a lot of small town exploration. This is our favorite thing to do. Northern Canada and Alaska do not provide a lot of opportunities in this area.

Brian
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:08 PM   #483
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Glad you made the trip safely. We enjoyed our time with you in Valdez. Here's wishing you, Sue Ellen, Lucy, & Lillian many more years of 'streamin'!


Where to next trip?
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:55 AM   #484
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Thanks again for taking us along on your travels !
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:13 AM   #485
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Glad you made the trip safely. We enjoyed our time with you in Valdez. Here's wishing you, Sue Ellen, Lucy, & Lillian many more years of 'streamin'!


Where to next trip?
Hi Carolyn and John,

We enjoyed our visit with you guys also. You also have safe travels. We are thinking New England for Lucy's next big trip.

SuEllyN and Brian
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:42 AM   #486
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Brian,

As usual, I really enjoyed riding along with you. I think I'd rather tour New England, the American West, and maybe even the Canadian Rockies and Atlantic coast before taking on Alaska. We had a northeast and Canada trip planned for this summer but had to abandon those plans for a body part replacement. Maybe next year.

Keep those blogs coming!

Al
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:46 AM   #487
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Hi Carolyn and John,

We enjoyed our visit with you guys also. You also have safe travels. We are thinking New England for Lucy's next big trip.

SuEllyN and Brian
Would like to hear your plans for New England. My wife & I would like to get up to Maine/Vermont next summer.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:46 AM   #488
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As always I thoroughly enjoyed your trip postings. Can't talk the wife into going to Alaska so really looked forward to this trip.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #489
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Would like to hear your plans for New England. My wife & I would like to get up to Maine/Vermont next summer.
We have toured New England with Lucy several times in the past. We like to follow a western route and enter New York from Ohio. This allows us to avoid the I-95 debacle. It also routes us to stop in at Niagara Falls and visit the Finger Lakes. Keep in mind that we are starting from Central Time, Florida and this route is not out of our way as Santa Rosa Beach is due south of Indianapolis.

We will make our way across New York and into Vermont and New Hampshire. The small towns there predate the Revolutionary War. This is where the idea of America was born.

We will eventually continue into Maine. We will visit the coast, but we prefer interior Maine. We will visit Baxter State Park and the North Maine Woods, seeking out the ever elusive Moose.

We will most likely dip down into Massachussetts and Connecticut for more small town touring.

As far as a return trip, we will decide the route as we go. We always try to take a return route different from the trip up.

Brian
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:59 PM   #490
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Perchance did I see you on I-70 heading east last weekend?
I was heading west in central Missouri and the red truck with the distinctive topper and Airstream made me think of you!
Welcome home!
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