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Unread 11-07-2007, 09:15 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,223 posts, read 7,073,277 times
Reputation: 2179
Default For Xa'at

Let's be homesick together!!
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To my friends in beautiful Alaska-alaska-summer.jpg   To my friends in beautiful Alaska-alaska-winter.jpg  
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Unread 11-07-2007, 10:08 AM
 
15 posts, read 37,303 times
Reputation: 11
I love reading threads like this, you guys really do love the state. Can't wait to see the how and when Cobolt finally packs up and permanently makes AK his home. But just wanted to second Blue on the whole thing on an awesome message board; between the nice people and the gorgeous pictures you all post, I'm hooked already.
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Unread 11-07-2007, 10:22 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,223 posts, read 7,073,277 times
Reputation: 2179
Default Cobolt--A Work in Progress

Ha. Oh cobolt is trying to orchestrate some things in the way of greenback income. Plus, she has to remain south a bit longer while she's training to climb the south rim of Mt St Helens and do a partial of Rainier next summer . Then she can knock those things off the list and move forward.

Hey Xa'at. Here's another one for ya, sweetie.
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To my friends in beautiful Alaska-dscn2032.jpg   To my friends in beautiful Alaska-p5050089.jpg   To my friends in beautiful Alaska-dscn2033.jpg  
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Unread 11-07-2007, 10:29 AM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,463 posts, read 2,025,457 times
Reputation: 3371
Hi Blue! Good to see you over here! Come on up an enjoy some of the sights and fun.

No matter what kind of trip you decide to take, there will be "issues." We all have our biases. Once upon a time, there was a thread about the economic issues of an Alaskan vacation. People were either advocating a cruise or renting an RV for economic reasons. Hotel and rental car costs are astronomical during tourist season. An RV then becomes a viable option, plus it gives you flexibility to adjust your schedule.

My first trip to Alaska was on a cruise, followed by a ferry ride. Although we were already trying to relocate up here, the cruise was my first real exposure to the area. I FELL IN LOVE! Cruise ships and ferries are much bigger than that 30 footer you were on. They're not on the open sea much, so most people can't even tell they're travelling on water most of the time. The other thing we were told is for those people prone to seasickness, you need to start the meds a couple of days before embarking. Most people make the mistake of starting meds at the first sign of queasiness, and--by then--it's too late!

I guess it depends on your personality, but we were able to talk to a lot of the locals when we were on the cruise. We talked to even more people when we were on the ferry because many Alaskans ride the ferry and have vast experience of the state. Because both cruise ships and ferries hire naturalists, a tourist usually hears much more about the area. Bus tours have the same advantage. These guides usually have a lot of background information, plus they've heard many stories over the years that get passed on from guide to guide. They can be very entertaining as well as informative. (Or, you could get a dud! It happens, but not often.)

Planning a land tour on your own can be a very involved process. Sometimes, it's a chore just to book hotel rooms! Another thing I found out when I did a land tour with the relatives and had to stay in hotels. . . Most hotels are used to guided tours and their guests leave very early in the morning. If you're staying later, you might be awakened by workmen doing their thing because they forget there's a tourist doing his own thing. (They expect the hotel to be empty during certain hours.)

One of the things that really disappointed me when I first moved up here and started exploring the area is the difference between the advertisement and the real thing. Businesses that are located in log cabins often only have a log cabin front. The photos are taken in such a way as to "look like rugged Alaska." Glaciers are only a small slice of the landscape, yet the pictures look like they encompass the entire vista. Those giant fish are actually pretty rare. Wildlife is usually seen from a distance. Although some can be accessible by car (and at close range), it's usually a matter of luck and timing to see the critters up close and personal. . . . In other words, reality often disappoints!

Your best bet for a vacation is to figure out what you want to see, then come on here and get various opinions about the best way to reach your goals. This is a FANTASTIC state and very scenic in most places. For many tourists, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event, so make the most of it! And be sure to have lots and lots of FUN!
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Unread 11-07-2007, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Juneau, AK
2,628 posts, read 4,300,773 times
Reputation: 600
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocat View Post
I'm sorry to intrude, but would ya'll mind explaining what you mean by the ferry? I don't understand. I am just in the preliminary stages of planning a trip to Alaska-- what do you mean by the ferry? where does it start, where does it go. How to read about it on the web?
Thanks much
The "ferry" is actually a system of ferries that is part of Alaska's highway system- it's called the Alaska Marine Highway System, AMHS for short, but most people just call it the ferry. There are some 10 ferries (lessee... the Taku, Columbia, Mat, Mal, Fairweather, Chenega, LaConte, Kenicott, Lituya... and I missing anything?) that comprise the system, and they provide service to most areas of maritime Alaska, from Ketchikan in Southeast to Dutch Harbor/Unalaska out in the Aleutian chain. There are two ports down south- Bellingham WA and Prince Rupert BC, and from Bellingham there is usually at least one Juneau bound ferry a week.
Prices are high, because Murkowskidiot cut a lot of federal funding for the program and so they've had to raise fares to compensate. Many are car-ferries and you can bring your car along. Longer trips tend to be served by ferries that have cabins that you can rent with private bathrooms. Otherwise you have to sleep on the solarium (in the summer) or you get a reclining chair and a little space to put your stuff.
AMHS's official website is here: Alaska Marine Highway System :: Alaska DOT&PF


Quote:
Originally Posted by cobolt View Post
Xa'at---You made my morning! I would totally go hiking with you. I haven't done Mt Juneau. I did do Dan Moller last winter in the snow---have some great pics, but never made it to the cabin. It was getting too dark. Of course I've done Mt Roberts, Mt Jumbo/Bradley, the Preserverance Trail, Treadwill, east and west glacier trails, and my fav, the Herbert Glacier---I have awesome pics of that in the summer and then I went cross country skiing there last winter--but there were so many roots and bumps on the trail that the skiis got hung up alot, but it was fun. I loved going to that area around Skater's Cabin I think--near Montana Creek Rd where they set the cross country skiing trails. I loved skiing with the snow coming down with a world of white and silence. Or trying to ski out to the glacier when the lake freezes over. MAN I'm getting homesick now and it's not even my home!! Good memories.
Wow, sounds like you have hiked a lot more than me! I don't really ski, other than a bit of downhill... I'm a bit of an amateur hiker. You'll have to show me the trails!!
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Unread 11-07-2007, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
20,878 posts, read 20,384,582 times
Reputation: 11602
I tried downhill skiing one time, I learned very fast that I can't turn or stop.
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Unread 11-07-2007, 02:10 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,223 posts, read 7,073,277 times
Reputation: 2179
I don't do downhill--only cross country skiing. Last time I was at Eagle Crest there was too much of a frozen crust on the snow layer. I like cross country because it's easy to pick up and you can do it in so many places.

Xa'at--we'll go hiking together! I haven't done Windfall Lake yet and several others.
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