Monday, August 17, 2009

08/17/09 Trip Summary

So anyhow, once upon a time a long, long, long time ago...

In Jul/Aug of 2009 Alex and I had an Alaskan Adventure of a lifetime and here is our story:

I drove about 95% of the 8,709 miles on this trip. To put this in perspective - the drive from New York to LA is 2,700mi. We drove from New York to LA, LA to New York and New York to LA again. And we drove an additional 600 miles to boot! Whew! Thankfully there were no mechanical problems over some pretty remote and inhospitable terrain.


  • Spent 5 weeks (35days) on this, our first, Alaska Adventure
  • Spent a total of 4 days under a roof, in a house, sleeping in a bed (Alex actually slept on a couch). The other 31 days we slept in an RV.
  • Saw no darkness from the time we left the US until the time we re-entered the lower 48 states
  • Saw smoke from the various forest fires most of the time in Alaska
  • Drove the Alaskan Highway twice (up and back) 1,450mi x 2
  • Drove through 5 states (KS CO, WY, MT, AK) and 3 Canadian Providences (Alberta, Yukon, British Columbia)
  • Climbed Flattop Mountain, the most climbed mountain in Alaska
  • Went to Hatcher's Pass to see the Independence Mine
  • Hiked some (3-5mi) of the Coastal Trail in Anchorage
  • Went to see Portage Glacier
  • Went to Alyeska ski resort, had lunch at Roundhouse Cafe after tram ride
  • Went to Crow Creek Mine (Alex panned for gold)
  • Saw fishermen elbow to elbow at Bird Creek (reds were running)
  • In Seward, went to SeaLife Aquarium, saw too many ships to count, Alex threw rocks on the beach
  • Hiked (~5mi) up to Exit Glacier
  • In Homer, watched eagles buzz our campsite, enjoyed the beach, collected sea shells
  • Drove through city of Kenai and Soldotna
  • Stayed (in RV) at cabin on Kenai River
  • I caught one Salmon
  • Alex caught three Salmon (we made him throw back the 3-5lb, 15" too small for us)
  • In Talkeetna, visited the shops and the town square
  • In Denali (near Mt McKinley), went on a 6hr bus ride and a 3hr rafting trip
  • In Fairbanks, went to Univ of Alaska museum and a Northern Lights movie
  • Went to the Christmas shop in North Pole, AK
  • Stopped at Delta Junction for a little R&R, I took lots of pictures of 1940s road equipment
  • Watson Lake, BC - Signpost Forest
  • Shopping in Estes Park, CO

We've seen the following animals:

  • Black Bear
  • Brown Bear (Grizzles)
  • Beluga whales
  • Coyotes
  • Wolves
  • Fox
  • Porcupine
  • Elk
  • Deer
  • Moose
  • Buffalo
  • Horses
  • Salmon
  • Caribou
  • Mountain Seep
  • Rabbits
  • Reindeer
  • Eagles
  • Ptarmigan

We've also seen quite a few bicyclists on the Alaskan Highway (all over Alaska really). I figured they could also be in the list of wild animals because they'd probably made one a good tasty snack. If you're on a bicycle I really question whether you have any respect for Mother Nature. You couldn't get away from any bear or moose - and these are the animals that will charge you. They will kill you if they think you're any kind of a threat. Who knows what's going through these dangerous animal's minds when a biker swishes up on them? Ah, to be young and foolish.

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