Sunday, February 14, 2016

Alaska Travel Plans Revealed!


I mentioned in a previous post that Barb has been busy planning and putting details to our Alaska travel plans for the summer. Although it will probably change slightly from here to there I think it is to the point that we can share it!
But first, what have we been doing for excitement this week? With temperatures in the low to mid 80’s it was mostly fun in the sun in the morning and early afternoons and then hiding in the shade later in the afternoon.

How about a Desert Bar run with Red (Pam stayed home to watch everyone’s pets since it was so hot) Vicky and Harry, Steve and Dianne, Dino and Lisa as well as Richard? The place was absolutely packed! Note to self, check website to see if there are special events going on the weekend you plan on going. You see, this was Desert Dash weekend at the Desert Bar, when we got there the parking lot was full even before they opened. We did manage to find a parking spot out on the outer edge right next to Harry who had a flat tire! Luckily it was the outer tire on his rear dually and we got it changed in short order.
Don't think they can patch that one!


It was packed!!!
Clockwise....Red, Harry, Rick, Dino, Lisa, Me, Barb, Vicky, Dianne and Steve
Or how about a road trip to Mexico? Dino and Lisa had never been to Mexico so with passports in hand and Daisy over at Auntie Dianne’s and Uncle Steve’s for the day, we took the short 90 minute drive to Los Algodones Mexico. Arriving in Yuma we stopped at Target so the girls could use the restroom one last time before hitting the boarder. After waiting what we thought was an unusually long time Dino and I FINALLY see the girls emerging out the front doors, but wait….. is Barb wearing a new top? Why yes, yes she is….apparently the one she had started out with in the morning just wasn’t going to cut it. Note to self…..next time we stop for a bathroom break do it at a sporting goods store.

Los Algodones caters to Americans needing dental work, eyeglasses, liquor and prescription drugs and was absolutely packed! No dental work for us this year, my crowns from last year are holding up well. We were down here for the drugs, liquor and the pure entertainment of watching the look on Dino and Lisa’s faces as they walked the streets of Mexico experiencing the onslaught of beggars and vendors. We walked the sidewalks checking out the street vendors wares. The vendors usually start at about double what you can get it for so negotiation is the name of the game. Dino picked up a leather holster while Lisa picked up some ironwood carvings and a jacket.
Pretty much anything you need, no prescription required!

This is where I had my dental work done last year

Sidewalks were filled with vendors


 Next up was lunch at Pueblo Viejo and a stop at the Purple Pharmacy and Liquor store. Barb and I had lunch here last year and it was pretty good. This time however, it was underwhelming and disappointing. At purple stores we each picked up a bottle of liquor for less than $10, a couple of Z packs, ibuprofen, Benadryl and melatonin. The prices down there are unbelievable with the average price of a bottle being about $3-4. We had to stand in line for about an hour on the way back through the border....luckily we had plenty of street vendors along the line to say "no" to the entire time!
Like Barb's new top?

Dino checking out "Anima" magazine

Ugh! Long line to get across the border.....

From the back of the line
 Note #2 to self…..when you tell your daughter you are going to Mexico for the day make sure you call her when you get back and don’t leave your phone in the truck so you don’t get her texts and panicked voicemails wondering if you made it back alive….Oops, our bad. When we did not get her call until the next day. She even Googled Steve and Dianne’s blog to call them to see if we were alive!

Now, on to our Alaska itinerary!
Our plan is to leave Salt Lake mid-April and slowly work our way west and north with stops in Redding California, Cave Junction, Grants Pass and Florence Oregon to visit some of Barb’s relatives. Continuing north through Washington we plan on stopping at various lighthouses before crossing into British Columbia where our first major stop will be at Fort Langley where we will stop and visit Steve and Dianne for a few days!

First leg up the west coast
 Then it is off northward to Prince George, Dawson Creek and onward with major stops at Liard Hot Springs, Watson Lake, Whitehorse (stock up on groceries) and Skagway where we will take our first ferry ride over to Haines then north to Haines Junction where we have read that wildlife is abundant. 
Through BC and Yukon (left side going up)
Then on to Tok and Glennallen, we will stop and visit our friends Lee and Trace who are workamping there for the summer.  We will spend some time in the McCarthy area (Kennecott Mine, salmon fishing and glaciers).  Onward to Valdez (Solomon Gulch hatchery and more glaciers).  Next on to Anchorage where we will stock up before heading to explore the Kenai Peninsula (stopping to see Bill and Kelly in Seward) down to Homer. 

Boarding the ferry in Homer with our camper we will take a 9+ hour ferry ride over to Kodiak Island for a week of camping, fishing, hiking and bear viewing!  Then we (or just me if Barb gets eaten by a bear) will head back through Anchorage on our way to Denali National Park for a week before we head to Fairbanks to visit Barb’s cousin, Lori for a week! We have not seen them since 2005 so we are really looking forward to that.
The Alaska leg
 Leaving Fairbanks we will go through Tok again, then north to Chicken (gotta visit Chicken Creek saloon!) and take “The Top of the World Highway” to Dawson City, Yukon.  Continuing on our route south we will take the Cassier Highway into British Columbia staying in a couple provincial parks.  The last legs of our adventure will be Jasper National Park, Banff National Park and Calgary.  Then we will cross back over into the US and spend some time in Glacier National Park. 
Our return trip is the upper lines then east towards Glacier

Whew, there you have it 5 months in 5 paragraphs! These are just the highlights as we have many other stops, sightseeing, kayaking and fishing adventures along the way. We don’t have any definitive dates for anything except our arrival to Fairbanks (end of July) as we wanted to leave flexibility in our schedule in case we wanted to stay longer and any one spot. For any of you who have been to Alaska or are going and see something that we “just have to see” please let us know!

28 comments:

  1. I'm going to save your itinerary for when we make the trip. You'll be are scouts.

    I'm sitting at the airport in Seattle waiting to head back to Vegas. Steve and I will celebrate Valentine's day tomorrow.

    Sounds like you guys are staying busy.Enjoy the weather and have fun.

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    1. Let us know when you go, we are going to update our spreadsheet as we travel. Looks like you had a good time in Seattle!

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  2. The next time you are crawling under a vehicle, wear longer pants please. Nice job on the Itinerary Barb. Maybe we will follow now that we have the route.

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    1. What are you talking about, I don't see such a picture?

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  3. Funny stuff about the new top. Your idea to stop at a sporting goods store is a great one. It sounds like a great trip you have planned.
    Oh and I agree about the shorts, I certainly was not going to click on that to enlarge it LOL!! That picture is on Steve I Dianne's blog. Maybe we should have let you wonder about that a while LOL!!
    Dave & Diane

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    1. Thanks guys, we are really looking forward to the trip. The hard part will be to slow down the enjoy it.

      Upon further review, I took out that picture....Barb enlarged it and thought maybe it was a little too revealing!

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  4. We've be en to Alaska and I have to admit you've done a lot more planning than us...I'm already tired! Looking forward to the blogs and following along.....

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    1. Barb is the ultimate planner. The thing we wanted to make sure however is that we have no real time table, no reservations, so we could alter the timetable if we need to.

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  5. Another busy week in the desert! Great job on your Alaska itinerary, Barb...you're much more organized than we were on our trip up there! Looking forward to showing you the sights in our area when we connect in Fort Langley. I'll make sure I have a fresh stock of cookies for Daisy!

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    1. We too are looking forward to an "insiders" view of the Fort Langley area. Based on your previous blogs it looks absolutely beautiful!

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  6. Been there, done that with the daughter!! Good to know they worry about us:) Now our son gets upset when he realizes that we are still alive because he was already spending the inheritance:)

    Sounds like an awesome trip!! We've never been to Alaska but one of my favorite trips was our visit to Glacier and Waterton, Jasper, Banff, and Calgary. Amazing!!!

    Great top, Barb! Worth the stop:)

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    1. Funny but true, our son is pretty laid back and he just assumes things are going okay.
      We talked about starting the trip going through Glacier and those other parks but it worked better coming down that way for us. I just hope we don't rush through them!

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  7. Be sure to set and alarm for 2 AM once in Fairbanks, Jim. It's amazing how light it is up there in the summer....and how different it is from Seward and Homer. It looks like you two have a fantastic trip planned!

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    1. It is hard to even imagine that it would be light at 2 AM, we will have to do that!

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  8. Bill and I are so excited you have included us in your plans!
    My only thought is you may want to look into booking the ferry ride - my understanding is they will up - you don't want to miss out!
    We will be planning to visit some of the areas you are going to on our weeks off - can't wait to read all about it!

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    1. Thanks for the tip, Barb checked into it yesterday and it is filling up already!

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  9. We'll be doing a similar trip starting out in May of this yr and returning probably July or August. I have tentative plans but as we just fly by the seat of the pants, these could change. Maybe we will run into one another.

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    1. With the limited roads up there, our paths will probably cross somewhere!

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  10. Great trip planning, Barb. You da Gal! Can't wait for the kayaking trips and fishing pics! You'd better watch out Jim, Barb and Daisy just might plot against you for the better fishing spot.

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    1. We would love to kayak around icebergs and glaciers! Not sure where and if we can do this but we are on the search for someplace can do it.

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  11. So sweet your kids worrying about you!! Can't wait to hear all about Alaska!!

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  12. So glad you are coming to see us before Barb gets eaten by a bear 😄 Seriously so happy we made the cut and can't wait to see you guys in AK!!!!

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  13. We met very briefly at Bayou Segnette State Park in early 2015, you guys had just arrived as we were preparing to leave. Just peeked in on your blog to see you are heading to Alaska, we are as well! We will be crossing the border north of Bellingham, WA around 5/4 if the weather looks good. Hope to cross paths! Safe Travels!

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    1. Hey guys, of course we remember you! Will send a pm in RVillage to see how our schedules compare!

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  14. We are leaving NC first of May heading toward Alaska ourselves. Probably won't cross the border till the end of May. Will be doing pretty much the same route except for Kodiak. Maybe we will cross paths somewhere enroute.

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    1. Should be a fun trip, if you see we are in the same area let us know!

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