Week 167 - Alaska Review - 10-25-2009

The Final Word on Alaska,

Twenty-five weeks ago, our travelogue outlined our preparation and expectations of our trip to Alaska. This week we reveal how the rubber met the road. We have been wanting to do this recap ever since we left Canada, but to our delight each week had so many new photos that we needed to present. This week worked as we took few photos and are heading home quickly (for us!). We did stop by Redding to see Donnalee (Pete's sister) and her friend Don. That was a nice visit!

[Note: This review is for those RVers that would like to visit Alaska. We welcome any emails questions about a trip you would like to take.]

Now for the review: In the last couple of years, we talked to everyone we met about Alaska. We got great preparation and touring information from RVers. In addition, from Dana, a friend our close friend Paul, we got a list of must-see destinations. Dana has been to Alaska five times before (six this year?). We went to many of his suggestions and they were great. Thanks Dana.

Preparation for the Mothership included:

Our expectations and comments:
Destinations and attractions:
  • Here is the list that our friend Dana gave us and our comments.

    • Sakani Chief is historic: did not go here
    • Mucho Lake: Very scenic. You can't miss this one, you must drive along side it for miles.
    • Watson Lake Sign Post Forest: Thousands and thousands of signs from people around the world. If you go, bring a sign or materials to build one and hang it.
    • Whitehorse Yukon Brewing Co: We visited the tasting room and got an fantastic presentation of their brews.
    • Braeburn Lodge buy a cinnamon bun: We stopped and purchased an enormous bun. But ours was in the evening and we think it was baked in the morning :-(
    • Dawson City is like Skagway was 15 years ago: True. Skagway is a tourist trap, but we enjoyed. Dawson City is a working town with great history and old-time activities. Your experience in this town is like taking a step back in history, very fun.
    • Take ferry across Yukon, drive to Poker Creek and back to Dawson City: We took the Mothership on the ferry and drove the Top of the World highway. Not worth the time and fuel. While you travel on the ridge of many mountains at 5,500 feet, you cannot see far. The is because your mountains are surrounded by other mountains at the same level.
    • Cassiar Hwy Junction Sally's restaurant: We had just eaten as we come to Sallys so we skipped it.
    • Jade City, Jade Cutting: This store had tens of thousands of jade products, beautiful and very expensive.

  • Alaska:
    • Skagway ride the train: We did not ride, but Dana and others we spoke with recommend it.
    • Haines, could take ferry back to Skagway: We took the ferry from Skagway to Haines with the Mothership. Beautiful trip, not too pricey.
    • Chena Hot Springs: This was great. The hot springs are nice and taking the tours are so interesting. Free tours include the geothermal power plant and greenhouses. The paid for Ice Museum tour is awesome.
    • Fairbanks, Discovery Boat Tour: Very interesting history and great views of houses along the Chena River.
    • Girdwood resort called Alyeska, tram to mountain top: Sounds great, but ran out of time to take it.
    • Anchorage: Sourdough Mining Co Show: No time for this either.
    • Seward, Kenai Fjords Dinner Cruise, Rays restaurant, Holgate Glacier: This cruise was wonderful: Glacier, food and marine life.
    • Homer: stay on spit, Lands End restaurant: Could not stay on the spit due to MH problem, but visited Lands End Restaurant: Very nice.
    • See Denali Mountain from Talkeetna: We did see it from Talkeetna. But we were fortunate enough to see it up close while on the tour bus from within Denali National Park.
    • Matanuska Glacier, Long Rifle Restaurant: You can drive right up to this glacier (for a fee). We chose to see it from the Long Rifle Restaurant. The Long Rifle doesn't look like much from the outside. But the inside is great, full of animals and a fantastic view of the glacier. And Pete voted their Bleu Cheese Burger, the best burger in Alaska!
    • Valdez: Columbia Glacier/Ice Fields Cruise: Did not take this cruise.
    • Hyder AK: Salmon Creek bears: We did see the bears at 6 pm when they came down for dinner.

  • A final note:

    9 out of 10 people we spoke with said "take your beautiful class A motorhome to Alaska". All we can say to the 1 in 10 who said we would ruin our motorhome is "shame on you". Shame on you for scaring people from enjoying their motorhome and renting or buying an old junker to take. Either they went years ago or have been scared by talking to those who went years ago. Using common sense (like skipping the Top of the World highway), your motorhome will return in fine condition. And you will enjoy this trip as much as any in North America.

    North to Alaska, love Pete and Ellen

    This special edition travelogue was brought to you as there is nothing new in our travel.

    Photos from Oct 2009
  • The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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