Page 2 of SharonAN Travel Blog Posts

We rose early despite our tour not leaving until 8:30AM. We had to make our way up to the main entrance up the hill and we weren’t sure about catching the local shuttle to get us there. It showed up promptly and took us around the property, and eventually up the hill. We anxiously waited for Bus 10 (for tour group 10) to arrive and then we see Bus 11. Nine other tours had already departed to see the wonders of Denali! Our bus did arrive finally, some fifteen minutes late, and departed after Bus 11; but, our tour guide and driver seemed quite knowledgeable. He started by asking “Is everyone ready for a Great Day seeing the wonders of Denali!” He’d been doing this for over twenty years and said he got to go to ... read more
Dall Sheep
Wolf with the Caribou Carcass

Our bags were removed from the hallway of our hotel, just like they are getting off of a cruise ship. It’s nice not to need to worry about porting them around or getting them from one place to another. Our driver was a young student from Utah. He advised us that when we boarded the Riverboat that the best seats would be on the left side of the boat. He reminded us that when finished with lunch after the Riverboat, we should rejoin him, and he would be easy to find because he is the tallest and handsomest of the bus drivers. When we reached the river where our river tour would begin, he apologized, explaining that in Alaska it is a law covering all motor coaches such as this, that the driver must let people ... read more
Float plane Demonstration seen from Discovery River Boat
Susan Butcher's Husband's Dog Sled Training
Susan Butcher's Husband's Dog Sled Training

We each had a Continental Breakfast at the morning buffet. We wanted to get an early start doing laundry before our van would pick us up and shuttle us to the Chena Hot Springs. There were ample washers and driers at the Westmark; but, this venue has proven the costliest yet at which to get clothes clean, costing $2.50 to wash and then $2.50 again to dry. They did however have five washers and double that in driers. Our shuttle driver picked us up in an aging Ford E-Series van, similar but older that the one that had taken us up to the Dead Horse. I’ve nicknamed our shuttle driver “Hard Luck Charlie” for reasons that should become evident. Charlie found us just inside the door in the lobby; and, we were his only riders despite ... read more
Ice Museum
Light in Ice Museum
Jousting Statues in Ice

North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks June 12th 2017

We finally got a chance to sleep in after being on the go for the past several days. No worries, as it were. We got the buffet breakfast at the Westmark, and that included Eggs Benedict for me! Sharon wanted to go to church today to make up for missing mass on Sunday. I think she had an excuse though, there were no Catholic Churches in Dead Horse and the one near us in Fairbanks didn’t have an evening Sunday service. They did however have a daily service at 12:10PM today! And the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was within walking distance, Sharon assured me. I just hadn’t bargained for the rain. The church was quite full, for a small parish church, and the first Catholic Church to open in Alaska’s interior in 1904. The priest was ... read more
Immaculate Conception Church
Immaculate Conception Church
Immaculate Conception Church

North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks June 11th 2017

We assembled for breakfast, and already Mike was chowing down on his hot breakfast with eggs, sausage and hashed browns. We opted for the cold breakfast option (at a discounted price). We both had some cereal and some toast and I supplemented that with a Pepsi. Mike passed out the evaluation forms and envelope for us to rate him as a guide. He’d been kidding us during the trip that we could let him fill these out for him. Sharon scowled at me when I didn’t pick up on the fact that you were supposed to put both the evaluation form and the tip in the envelope. I finally picked up on what she was meaning; but, Mike had already stowed the envelopes. Sharon kept shooting me those, “Give it to him NOW” looks; but, I ... read more
Room in Deadhorse Camp
Room in Deadhorse Camp
Hallway in Deadhorse Camp

North America » United States » Alaska » Dalton Highway June 10th 2017

For sleeping in a place where the lights never go out, we actually slept quite well. We went to the dining room at the agreed upon time, involving a long walk across the foot bridge from the dormitory for breakfast. We sat down with Mike who was busy chowing down on his hot breakfast with coffee. He says he needs the coffee to stay awake, and we didn’t see anything wrong with that. I got an over-sized chocolate chip cookie and a Dr. Pepper; and, shared the cookie with Sharon. We’ve pretty much noticed two things about the diet of Alaskans: They love their chocolate chip cookies and the love Dr. Pepper. Both are found in abundance just about everywhere we’ve gone. We needed to be on the road at 7:15AM sharp, and Mike had made ... read more
Mike our Guide in Jack's Cabin
Dall Sheep on Jack's wall
Jack explaining about the Chapel

North America » United States » Alaska June 9th 2017

Today is the day we get to journey north on the roadway featured on one of Sharon’s favorite programs: Ice Road Truckers… not! (She hates the show and can’t understand why I ever watched it) The difference is, the Dalton Highway should not be covered in ice this time of year. We got something light to eat, not wanting to chow down on a big meal before starting out on what will surely be a long day on the road. We’d gotten the telephone number of a taxi company from the driver who rescued us when the lodge van broke down. We were told he’d be here in fifteen minutes. Sharon was getting worried when nobody had shown up after twenty minutes. I called back; but, was having trouble getting through. We tried Sharon’s phone, and ... read more
Gift Shot at Joy Alaska
Sign in Outhouse at Joy Alaska
Starting up the Dalton Highway

North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks June 8th 2017

After a night of little rest and even less sleep I awoke with Sharon declaring “Eureka”! I thought that she’d discovered the motherload in Fairbanks; but, perhaps just as good, she’d found the Pike’s Waterfront Lodge and they had a room for us tonight. Our tour at Gold Dredge Number 8 had been moved back to 10:30AM so we were in no rush this morning; still, we wasted no time going out to breakfast. We used GoogleMaps to find the nearest Denny’s, and as it turned out, it was just around the corner where we discovered that this was the northernmost Denny’s. It was not particularly busy on this Thursday morning, and we had a seat by the window. I chose my normal eggs over medium breakfast; but, with jalapeno bacon breakfast, and it did have ... read more
John in front of the pipeline
Earl the Singing Conductor on the Gold Dredge Train
Example of mining on the side of the train

North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks June 7th 2017

We had signed up for a private 4-Seasons van ride from Alyeska to Anchorage to catch the train to Fairbanks on the elevated dome car for scenic viewing and with meals included (breakfast, lunch and dinner to Fairbanks). 4-Seasons was the company that we had tried to contact to take us out to Alyeska; but, that driver never showed up. We were hoping that this driver would show up; and, that nothing would be held against us for giving up on that other driver. This driver was early and so we avoided the many anxieties one might otherwise happen when you get bogged down thinking “what if we miss the train”. The driver noted that it was high tide and we kept our eyes peeled in the event that we might sight a beluga whale; but, ... read more
View of Denali from the Train
View of Denali from the Train

North America » United States » Alaska » Whittier June 6th 2017

The morning dawned and again we were facing the possibility of inclement weather accompanying us onto Prince William Sound. Before you wonder how today’s Prince William got his name attached to a sound in Alaska, chill for a second. This Prince William was the third son of King George III. We had big hopes that this boating tour would be as photographically productive as our previous visit here during our first trip to Alaska about six years ago. We’re just hoping that we’ll be able to take the pictures of gleeful otters at play in the water or massive walls of ice falling to the sea; and, that they won’t be missed due to people being oblivious to others trying to take a picture. On our whale watching outings there had been multiple cases of people ... read more
Turnagain Arm
Eagle in Turnagain Arm
Lazy humpback in Prince William Sound.

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