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North America » United States » Alaska July 1st 2015

We started our day Sunday enjoying a yummy breakfast at the Talkeetna Roadhouse. It first opened in 1917 & has been offering rooms to rent & delicious food ever since. Talkeetna is where mountain climbers wanting to climb Mt McKinley depart from. They are flown to base camp at 7200 feet & have high hopes of making it to the summit at 20,320 feet. We watched an interesting movie on climbing & learned that annually 1200 climbers, from all over the world, come to climb the summit, of which 50% succeed. We had a restful day Sunday enjoying nice walks around town & a little shopping. The magenta flowers in the picture are called Fireweed & they are blooming everywhere right now. We have heard when they bloom all the way to the top of the ... read more
General Store
The Talkeetna Roadhouse
Biggest pancake in history!

North America » United States » Alaska June 28th 2015

We left Denali Nat’l Park about 10 Friday morning & drove 155 miles down the Parks Highway to Talkeetna Camper Park. We had many miles of road construction on the way, which delayed us about 1/2 hour. The Milepost mentioned many scenic viewpoints of the Alaska Range, including Mt McKinley, along the route, but with the rain & low clouds, no mountain peak views for us. Of course, it had to rain through the road construction area; our rig is really dirty & there is no car wash in Talkeetna, not even a garden hose at the gas station! Nearest wash is 70 miles, at Wasilla, so that will be on our agenda Monday morning as we drive south to Palmer, which is just northeast of Anchorage. Talkeetna reminds us of Dorset, MN, on steroids! We ... read more
Mt McKinley summit, barely
Teal/blue puddles on glacier
Glimpse of the summit

North America » United States » Alaska June 26th 2015

This will be a long post, so get comfy! Apparently, we have adjusted to sleeping when it is light outside as we slept until 6:30 Tuesday morning! Our day began with putting $20 worth of quarters in washers & dryers at the laundromat! We enjoyed a nice walk & resistance band exercises in the RV after our walk. We had lunch in the RV & went to Fairbanks to get my nails done! The gal did a great job, & now I am good to go for awhile. Very important. :) While I was getting my nails done, Mike went to the RV supply store in Fairbanks & found a few things he couldn’t live without. We needed a few groceries & found Fred Meyer Grocery, which rivals a Wal-Mart Superstore. We bought 2 footstools that ... read more
Mike & I with Santa
Welcome to Denali
Our bus

North America » United States » Alaska » Sitka June 26th 2015

We again headed to the Lido for breakfast. I chose to eat fried eggs over medium with French toast; while, Sharon also had the French toast with very crispy turkey bacon. We did the daily Sudoku Challenge in the Explorer’s Lounge, and this time Sharon beat me on the Easy game (by quite a margin). It was a different story on the Hard puzzle where Sharon threw up her hands and earned a DNF. We had no tours planned for the second part of this two-week cruise. We waited some before going down to the tender and take the considerable journey ashore which takes over ten minutes. We only wanted to walk around Sitka. We considered walking out to the totem park; but, that looked to be a walk of a mile or so and the ... read more
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It’s very much like a “Sea Day” today, in that there is no port of call or sanctioned opportunity to disembark, what they like to call a scenic viewing day, when you’re supposed to see something really spectacular! Our day started in the Lido where we were dismayed by the worsening weather and visibility and the possibility of another Tracey Arm washout loomed as an increasingly likely possibility. There is at least with Hubbard Glacier a very wide sea approach; so, except for the increasing brash ice and bergie bits bobbing in the water, there really is no “visibility hazard” such as the narrow meandering fjord on the approach to the glacier on Tracy Arm; or the side glacier that you sometimes get a glimpse of there, what is it they call it, oh yes: Some ... read more
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North America » United States » Alaska » Kodiak June 24th 2015

Kodiak is one of those smaller towns in Alaska which has not been transformed by the large jewelry merchants of the Caribbean who come north for the summer and hustle the tourist trade. We’ve had more than one tour guides, train guides, bus drivers and such ask, “By a show of hands, how many of you came here to shop in the diamond stores?” So far nobody has raised their hands. One bus driver apologized for asking, saying “I just had to ask. I haven’t found anyone yet to say yes!” But obviously, some cruisers must buy from them or they wouldn’t be here! It is one of the reasons that Kodiak is a nice place to visit; because, it hasn’t been spoiled yet by outside influences. It was one of the reasons that we wanted ... read more
Memorial for the Good Friday Earthquake in 1964 where a 500 MPH tsunami measured 30 ft high on Kodiak Island
Russian Orthodox Church in Kodiak

North America » United States » Alaska June 23rd 2015

We started our day Sunday washing the pickup & 5th wheel by hand at the RV Park before driving north to Fairbanks. We had the black pickup shining & it stayed clean for 12 minutes; grrrr!! We drove through a couple little rain showers, just enough to make a mess of the pickup! The air is filled with smoke thoughout the entire state of Alaska from 186 wild fires burning, 47 new ones this morning from lightning strikes overnight. The beautiful mountains we have heard so much about are, unfortunately, obscured by smoke as you can see in the picture. At this writing, the smoke coming in the camper windows is smelling very strong! Mike just read that the National Weather Service in Fairbanks has issued a dense smoke advisory for the Fairbanks area…..in effect until ... read more
Smokey mountains
End of The Alaska Highway
Fairbanks at midnight

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage June 22nd 2015

Our final tour of this cruise began this morning with a quick trip to the Lido, anticipating an early morning docking in Anchorage. We mustered in the Showroom to get our “Pink 2” stickers, and had to wait for the announcement that we were clear to leave the ship. Although we were ready, the captain had to wait for the tides to come in and our scheduled time for disembarking came and went. There was some concern about getting off in time; because, we had a train to catch. The tour operators must have also been concerned; since, we were told that we wouldn’t be given our train tickets and food vouchers onboard, but would proceed directly to the train station and pick them up there before boarding. I took the time to catch up on ... read more
Whistler
Swans
Mama Eagle protecting her babies

North America » United States » Alaska June 21st 2015

We started our drive today at 6 AM. That meant getting up at 4 to shower & get “my face on” in case a photo op came along:) We wanted to get an early start to make sure we were able to get a site in the campground we had chosen, & we had heard the condition of the road north through the Yukon to the Alaska border was pretty rough due to permafrost, & boy was it ever. This section of road was built on permafrost, which partially thaws & gives way each year, causing havoc with the road surface. One of our bathroom breaks today was at the Historic Canyon Creek Bridge, a very old wooden bridge as the picture shows. We did have some stretches that were good going though & decided to ... read more
Sun obscured by wild fire smoke
First look at Alaska Mountains
Female grizzly

North America » United States » Alaska June 21st 2015

We had gotten to sleep in because Sharon had gone to the Vigil Mass on Saturday Evening, and we were still recovering from the early rising the day before. We made our way to the Lido Deck and I decided to get fried eggs over medium for the first time on either of our Alaskan cruises. Sharon did the scrambled eggs and crisp turkey bacon, noticing that several others were asking for their turkey bacon to be crisp also. That turkey jerky thing doesn’t quite make the cut! We made our way to the Explorer’s Lounge to take our daily Sudoku. We’d forgotten to bring pens and were forced to endure using those too-often too-dull ship pencils. As we hurriedly scribbled numbers in cells an Asian cruiser observed “Is this a race?” Sharon conceded that it ... read more




Tot: 4.565s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 9; qc: 66; dbt: 4.482s; 3; m:jupiter w:www (104.131.28.133); sld: 3; ; mem: 1.6mb