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Old 09-01-2014, 12:34 PM   #463
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thanks for checking in Dan... Yeah, getting home from vacation is always more work that one imagines!!! hugs around, gail
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:43 PM   #464
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Hi all I'm back. I think I have my computer problems solved. It took about 5 days going back and forth with the support people to get things working again.

We also had an old friend from Los Angeles visit for a few days. He is on his way home so things around here are getting back to normal if there is such a thing as normal.

Getting back to our trip the drive from Talkeetna to Denali was rain for the entire day. We stopped at the Alaska Memorial to it's Veterans.

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This is the weather for the day. By the way this igloo is for sale if anybody is interested.

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This is the rain and overcast that we endured as the high passed Mount McKinley. This would have been our best opportunity to see the mountain had the weather been cooperative.

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We later discovered that only about 30% of the people that visit the area are able to actually the mountain.

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Old 09-07-2014, 06:48 PM   #465
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We stayed at a park in Cantwell about 25 miles south of the park entrance. The campgrounds inside the National Park are packed with people standing in line to get a spot. Here we are at the Park entrance.

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This is the topographic model of the park in the visitor center. You can see how far Mount McKinley is from the park entrance. You can drive a private vehicle about 15 miles to Savage. To get beyond that you have to be in a tour bus. Unfortunately Rascal was not welcome on the bus. We did consider putting him in a day care but with the weather it didn't make much sense.

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This is from the road in the park.

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We came across this moose but he was on the shy side.

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On the way to Savage.

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This is as far as we could go

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Old 09-07-2014, 07:51 PM   #466
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We stopped at a little town called Nenana. Their claim to fame is the contest to predict the melting of ice on the river each spring.

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They build this tripod and put it on the ice in the middle of the river. They tie a rope to a clock in the tower and when the ice melts enough to sink the tri pod the clock stops. They have books the size of phone books recording the guesses for each year.

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Here is the train station which is now a museum.

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The visitor center.

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Old 09-07-2014, 11:23 PM   #467
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Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post

We later discovered that only about 30% of the people that visit the area are able to actually the mountain.



This is the topographic model of the park in the visitor center. You can see how far Mount McKinley is from the park entrance. You can drive a private vehicle about 15 miles to Savage. To get beyond that you have to be in a tour bus. Unfortunately Rascal was not welcome on the bus. We did consider putting him in a day care but with the weather it didn't make much sense.
Hi, Lee Lee and I took the 12 hour bus tour; She was going to take the first tour and I was going to take the second tour. She offered to trade, but I said no. Lee Lee saw the mountain and I saw clouds. We took separate tours so one of us would be with Boo-Boo all day. We would never leave him alone for that long.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:21 AM   #468
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Glad to hear that you are home again. What a great place to visit. I know you had a great time, so did we. I would love to be there this time of year to see the changes but I don't want that long drive back.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:54 AM   #469
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Bob we looked at the tours also but decided we just didn't want to sit on a bus for that long. The people at the RV park watched dogs and were quite excited after meeting Rascal but after considering everything we decided against it. We will just have to look at Mount Rainier twice the next time we are by it.

Joe and Nancy it is good to be home but it was one heck of a trip. Irene is already talking about things she wants to do on our next Alaska trip. I would like to see it in the different seasons but I may be a bit of a light weight. Many of the locals we met insisted the winters were no big deal but they didn't seem to be bothered by mosquitos either. Maybe some day.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:05 AM   #470
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After leaving Nenana we continued north to Fairbanks. The terrain was different lacking the spectacular mountains we had become accustomed to seeing, more wide valleys and rolling hills. Maybe the mountains were hidden in the distance by the overcast.

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Old 09-09-2014, 02:29 AM   #471
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As we entered Fairbanks.

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About the first place we came to was the Alaska Bowl Company. The have some really great sets of four bowls turned from inside each other out of a block of birch. They are very interesting and a bit pricey. Irene did find a cutting board that she had to have.

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We came across this nice looking RV Park that was mostly empty. Irene inquired and was told that they no longer rented spaces. They had a few mohos and trailers that they rented but they weren't making any money running the park so they shut it down. It looked like it had been a very nice park on a river.

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Like everywhere else there were lots of sea planes.

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Old 09-09-2014, 02:40 AM   #472
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Outside the Visitor Center at Fairbanks we found the arch built from moose antlers.

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Irene found the quilt store. Apparently it is a well known store among quilters.

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Just north of town there is an information display for the pipeline. You can actually walk up and check it out.

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There were many displays explaining the construction and operation.

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Old 09-11-2014, 02:20 AM   #473
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After viewing the pipeline we continued to the Hilltop Truckstop and Café. About 20 miles north on the "haul road" to Prudhoe Bay. There is a truck scale just before the Truck stop and the truckers head north with empty fuel tanks and then stop and a couple hundred gallons of fuel and many pounds of weight. We were also told that we have to try the pie. Here I am ready to dig in.

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Not far from the fairgrounds was a bird sanctuary next to a large creamery called Creamery Field. Some of the visitors.

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For those wondering how fast Rascal has been growing, here he is in front of the office at our RV Park. Actually it is a very short building.

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Another Sunset.

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Old 09-11-2014, 02:31 AM   #474
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Next we went to the North Pole. All the street lights are candy canes.

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One of the common forms of art work is carving antlers. They can be found everywhere. This was an interesting piece done with moose antlers.

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Here we are visiting Santa.

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Irene and Rascal checking out Santa's sleigh.

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The RV Park at North Pole is now closed because it wasn't profitable.

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Old 09-11-2014, 02:57 AM   #475
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Leaving North Pole we went by Eielson Air Force Base which is home of the farthest north full-up fighter wing. Here are several F-16's lined up.

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One of the F-16's coming in for a landing.

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We started to see mountains again in the distance.

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We came across the Tanana River and the bridge that Alaska Pipeline that spans the river. It is the second longest of the 13 major spans crossing rivers. It is a suspension bridge 1200' between the towers and is designed to withstand a 7.5 earth quake, 60 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, and 100 mph winds. There are lots of cables supporting the pipe

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Just past the river is Rika's Roadhouse which is now a museum.

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There were several out buildings like this one with displays of lifestyle 100 years ago. There is also a small state campground on the site.

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Old 09-11-2014, 03:14 AM   #476
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We next came to Delta Junction which is the north end of the Alaska Highway. Here the Hagarstream is facing down one of the Alaska size mosquitos.

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The sign post at the end of the Highway.

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Rascal is not to sure about the mosquito.

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Here is brief description of the building of the Highway.

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The progression of pipe lines from the 3" CANOL built in 1943 to the 8" Haines-Fairbanks built in 1955 to the current 48" ALYESKA built in 1977.

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