Hey Alaskans

Hey Alaskans

PostBy: rockwood On: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:55 pm

I'm coming up your way the first part of August. :dancing: I've wanted to go up there are my life!
My brother in law is working a gold mining operation outside Manley Hot Springs and I'll be there helping out for just over a week. We plan to make a quick trip to Denali NP which should be really cool. I would be surprised if we can see Mt McKinley due to clouds but maybe we'll get lucky.
We'll be driving from Fairbanks to the Park so any sight seeing recommendations etc. would be great. :)
rockwood
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: Short Bus On: Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:35 am

If you plan to go through the park you might want to schedual a bus ride before you leave home, the park runs a bus service, they will stop the bus and let you out anywhere, then you catch the next bus in 30-40 minutes, as I understand it. The earlier in the day you travel the better the chances of seeing the mountain, first bus is around 7:00 am, I think. My buddy on the other end of the air strip runs a charter flying service to view the mountain 172 Cesna, three passenger, possibly 190$ a seat, you pay for the empty seat if you don't use it, again not sure on the price, he is the lowest cost and possibly the smallest plane providing the service. Ray Atkins flying and guiding service, Cantwell Alaska, about 150 miles from Fairbanks, maybe 30 miles from the park entrance. Ray will also take you fly-in fishing, may as well say you caught a fish in Alaska, that would be in the one passenger Super Cub, on floats, he also has some cabins on different lakes, not sure what all he does. You could take the train from Fairbanks to Denali NP, takes all day one way, then your in for some expensive rooms. Princess Tours also runs busses in the park, but those are more expensive, I've heard.
Short Bus
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:43 am

I went thru Denali back in '87. Place is just awesome. Saw a bunch of grizzlys, & McKinley cleared of clouds just long enough to snap a pic. I think I was on that train that short bus speaks of. That was an AWESOME trip! Went right through the middle of nowhere. The noise from the train would scare these gigantic moose out of the swamps -- just unreal.

I'll have to dig that one out of the archives and scan it. I can't remember if I have it or if it's at my parent's place ....
SMITTY
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: rockwood On: Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:31 pm

Thanks guys, I'll have to talk to my brother in law and find out exactly what he had in mind. He has a satellite phone on site but it costs a lot so I'll have to wait for him to call when he's in cell phone range.
So...can you drive everywhere or do you have to ride bus/shuttle in certain areas like other parks? I think he's planning on just spending one day for the park. The train would be great but probably can't do that because of time. I plan to help my brother in law mining as much as I can because, as you know, you can only get into these remote areas a short time during summer.
Post photos if you find 'em Smitty 8-)
rockwood
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: Short Bus On: Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:48 pm

Check a map on the Denali national park website for a map, I think you can only go in about ten miles by car then you are going by bus. If you only have one day,maybe you should do somthing out of Fairbanks, Chena hot springs, riverboat discovery, gold dredge tour, I think there is a frozen tunnel, university runs it,maybe, check out pipline display in Fox, Fort Knox gold mine may have a tour, Pogo mine may have a tour. I had a friend with a frozen tunnel north of Fairbanks it was very interesting, caved in now. Lots of mastidon tusks and the like in displays from the frozen ground.
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: rockwood On: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:15 am

Thanks for the info. When my bro in law calls we'll decide what to do.
rockwood
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: Sting On: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:33 pm

Short Bus wrote:Check a map on the Denali national park website for a map, I think you can only go in about ten miles by car then you are going by bus. If you only have one day,maybe you should do somthing out of Fairbanks, Chena hot springs, riverboat discovery, gold dredge tour, I think there is a frozen tunnel, university runs it,maybe, check out pipline display in Fox, Fort Knox gold mine may have a tour, Pogo mine may have a tour. I had a friend with a frozen tunnel north of Fairbanks it was very interesting, caved in now. Lots of mastidon tusks and the like in displays from the frozen ground.


IMO---> River Boat discovery has the best store for souvenirs bar none. You can go ther anytime just to shop - best while the boats are away from the dock. If your bored take the boat tour - its a grin but only once. Second best store for "stuff" would be Fred Meyer - grab a coffee, Eat lunch in the second floor deli and shop the Alaska section. I would stay away from China hot springs - its not worth the trip to see the rich folks soak in a pond. Traveling on the road to Fox and viewing the pipeline display is a eyeopener to get away from the city. The Gold mine is fun - you get a little train trip - you pan a little gold (in heated bleach water) from bags that are seeded with just enough gold flakes to make everybody happy - and then they strand you in their tourist store. Defiantly had the worst tour in my life at the Dredge - I would have liked to strangle the guide - should have know at the start when this stinking old fat fart walks up and says - "OK lets get this over with!" but for all that the rusting hulk of a ship is fascinating. Almost worth the price of admission alone - don't eat the stew. Walk down town and visit the ice house if you need a time killer - but first visit the university museum - that's a history lesson - nice building - great display.
Sting
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: SMITTY On: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:57 pm

I ended up having the album after all! It's been kickin' around since '86, so I was unable to remove the pictures from the pages (glue has long since dried up) ... so I just scanned the entire page - which works out good because now your getting 36 pics instead of 6. I apologize in advance for the unrelated pics of me riding the dirtbike .... and the other one I'll have to edit because I'm sure this girl is married now, soooo ........ :D ;)

I was 13 when I took the trip - so keep that in mind when you view the pics. They're not very spectacular. I was more interested in the train! The 2 people in front of the bus were our tour guide & bus driver. Can you believe I still remember the drivers name???? Rick. Can't recall the last name though, nor the name of the guide. Nice people.

The trip was Grandma's way of saying "hang in there kid, things will get better". I didn't believe her then, but eventually, she was right. Her 90th is this Wednesday. God bless her! :)

I'm sure we will be talking about this trip - and how I conned her at 67 years old to ride with me straight up the side of a 10,000 foot mountain on a chairlift into snow & ice in July. That's where the snow pics came from. She wasn't very happy with me -- after the first minute of the trip took us nearly vertical .... with me swinging the chair the whole way up & laughing while she begged me to stop. I was such a sweet child ... At least she was nice enough not to beat my ass senseless when we got back to the base. :lol:

I apologize in advance for not remembering ANY names of lakes, rivers, or most towns we visited. That was many many kegs of Jim Beam ago ....
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Beautiful lake somewhere up there - just unbelievable. Nothing remotely close to this in MA, lol!! Then we have the Yukon/AK border, our driver & tour guide, & some of the people on the tour. And a grizzly!!
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Top pic is of the paddleboat that took us upstream on a raging river to a live demonstration of how the native people lived. There's a sled dog trainer, & a huge salmon that they smoked up. That I remember tasting good!! On the bottom is the one and only AK pipeline.
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On top is the chairlift that I scared the death out of my grandma on. One pic to the left in the middle I believe might be McKinley? IF not it's in the other pics. The rest are glaciers seen around the area & from the cruise ship on the ride back to Seattle.
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The train I spoke of earlier ....
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The train ride. I spent the whole 4 hour or so ride standing up, hanging my head out between the cars. Do you think they'd let a 13 year old do that today??? Bottom left is my grandma. To the right ... I have no idea. Prison maybe??? LOL!!
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Top is a rainbow (yaaaay rainbow!!) seen from the deck of the ship. Next is some mountains in the area. And finally me standing in front of a glacier. The rest are just part of the album as noted above. Yeah that's me on the dirtbike & riding a wheelie on a bicycle I built out of the town dump & painted with a spray can.
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SMITTY
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: rockwood On: Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:34 pm

Thanks for all the tips.
Sting wrote:but first visit the university museum - that's a history lesson - nice building - great display.

I've read about the museum and hope we have time to go there.
Sting wrote:Traveling on the road to Fox and viewing the pipeline display is a eyeopener to get away from the city.

I could be wrong but I think we'll be traveling though Fox to get to Manley Hot Springs so we'll check that out.
Sting wrote:The Gold mine is fun

Probably skip everything to do with gold...gonna get plenty of that helping my bro in law. ;)
Thanks for the photos Smitty. Seeing those photos of the Alaska railroad brings back memories. I had a few issues of the "Alaska magazine" when I was a teenager and remember reading about the train.
SMITTY wrote:The trip was Grandma's way of saying "hang in there kid, things will get better". I didn't believe her then, but eventually, she was right. Her 90th is this Wednesday. God bless her!

Grandmas are awesome! Mine are gone now and I sure miss them. Hopefully your Grandma is doing well. Spend as much time as you can with her....they're so wise.
rockwood
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: Sting On: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:56 pm

Across the road from the pipe line display near Fox -- Look at the deck around the house and see if you recognize the orange vehicle behind the house. The front of the whole business is still behind a fence in a wrecking yard in town. 8-)
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: valley trash On: Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:11 am

I know you're headed in a different direction but if you find yourself out east of Glennallen, go all the way. I would have to recommend that you go to McCarthy. If you want a real Alaska experience, try going there. 75 miles of dirt road out into most places that residents haven't even ventured. The old Kennicott mine and smelting plant is very much worth the trip. Now dont even get me started on the town of McCarthy. There's a bar and tons of good-natured folks to spare. Just a bunch of stoned college students. Trust me, to work in this town you have to be high and homeless. Besides all that i would recommend you go out this way into Valdez and possibly charter a fishing vessel.
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: rockwood On: Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:44 pm

Sting wrote:Across the road from the pipe line display near Fox -- Look at the deck around the house and see if you recognize the orange vehicle behind the house. The front of the whole business is still behind a fence in a wrecking yard in town. 8-)

I'll check it out.
valley trash wrote:know you're headed in a different direction but if you find yourself out east of Glennallen, go all the way. I would have to recommend that you go to McCarthy. If you want a real Alaska experience, try going there. 75 miles of dirt road out into most places that residents haven't even ventured. The old Kennicott mine and smelting plant is very much worth the trip. Now dont even get me started on the town of McCarthy. There's a bar and tons of good-natured folks to spare. Just a bunch of stoned college students. Trust me, to work in this town you have to be high and homeless. Besides all that i would recommend you go out this way into Valdez and possibly charter a fishing vessel.

We wouldn't have time this trip but I know I'll wanna make another trip. ;)
I'll be leaving in a couple days....I can't wait! It's gonna be so cool.
rockwood
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: Sting On: Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:39 am

I almost forgot

There is a micro brewery near Fox

Best burgers north of Fairbanks and the suds are great. They were making a batch of coffee beer when I was there last time but it wasn't done yet - We purchased the limit of cases so we could get thru Canada again. :D
Sting
 
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: WNY On: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:38 pm

We spent 2 weeks driving around AK in an RV, we visited a lot of the places talking about, it is a great place!
We did see Mt. McKinley, we spent a couple days in Denali.
We started Anchorage, then down at Homer, Valdez, up to Glenn Allen, Fairbanks, around to Denali, etc.... :)
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Re: Hey Alaskans

PostBy: rockwood On: Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:36 pm

Loved Alaska, I knew that I would though. Didn't do much touring around, most of the time was spent at the mine. We did drive down to Denali but only for one day so we couldn't see the mountain because of clouds just like I thought but it was a good trip anyway. Saw moose, porcupine, fox but no bears the whole time. It's funny because everyone else has seen them driving to and from the mine. The mine site is almost 200 miles west of Fairbanks and is very remote. Just a few nights ago a bear tried to open the cabin door where my bro in law was sleeping. It ran off when he screamed/yelled at it. He couldn't tell if it was a grizzly or black bear because it's now getting dark in the middle of the night up there. I bet he sleeps with gun in hand now and I wouldn't be surprised if it comes back. :shock: It's noisy during the day with all the equipment running so bears won't come around but at night it's completely silent so they could. They are careful with garbage ect. but I'm still not surprised one came into camp. I didn't worry too much, in fact I slept very well while there and brought a gun with me just in case.
The mining operation is interesting...It's placer mining using a trommel to screen out the big rock then running through a large sluice box. The left over material is then screened again by hand, run through smaller sluice and then lastly "panning" the remaining material leaving gold behind.
I just hope I can go up there again next summer. 8-)
1st photo is of the camp.
2nd is of the trommel.
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rockwood
 
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