Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

So the Agitatrix and I have our trip pretty much set. We’re flying into Anchorage next month. From there we’ll spend a night in Talkeetna, and take a jet boat tour, and then a “flightseeing” of Mt. McKinley. Apparently, the flight tour includes landing on a glacier.

From there, we’ll take the Alaska Railroad to Denali National Park for some whitewater rafting, then a couple days of wildlife viewing. We’re then taking a coach back to Anchorage, where we’ll rent a car spend a night in Girdwood. Then it’s the Seward Highway to Seward for a few nights, where the the highlight will be a boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park. Finally we head to Homer, where so far we’ve booked a half-day kayaking tour.

We have a couple of free days in Denali, Homer, and Seward, so I’d love to hear suggestions from natives in any of those places. The outfitter we used suggested a bear viewing trip in Homer. It sounded pretty cool, but at $500 each, we decided to pass. I’ve heard halibut fishing is fun, too. The guide books say you’re pretty much guaranteed to catch a 30-pounder or so. But the price there was pretty steep, too. Half-day boat charters run about $350 per person. Alaska sounds amazing, but it isn’t cheap.

But we’re really looking forward to it. I spent a few days in Alaska a couple of years ago, but I was confined to Kodiak Island. It was stunningly beautiful, so I’m excited to see other parts of the state.

I bought the first season of Northern Exposure on DVD to get psyched up.

Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark

16 Responses to “Alaska”

  1. #1 |  Marc | 

    Zip lining is fun, if you can find in those areas.

  2. #2 |  ClubMedSux | 

    Based on your previous post about smoked beers, I would recommend looking out for Alaskan Smoked Porter while you’re up there. As you’d probably guess, it pairs wonderfully with smoked salmon.

  3. #3 |  jeff | 

    basically halibut fishing is just putting the hook on the bottom and waiting for a bite. not worth it. now salmon fishing is worth it. in denali make sure you take the bus all the way to wonder lake.
    in girdwood i assume your staing at alyeska. if so make sure to eat dinner at the top of the tram ( i forgot the name of the restuarant)

  4. #4 |  TC | 

    Jegg has is correct, go for the Salmon, Halibut is like dragging up an anchor on a fishing pole!

    On the other hand it will give ya chance to work on your abs! :)

  5. #5 |  Nobody | 

    You should go drive around and try to spot Senator Stevens’ version of the Internet. Or the Gravina Island Bridge.

  6. #6 |  Loren | 

    Confirm on the halibut fishing. When I caught mine, it was like dragging up an old tire. Funny how something that puts up so little fight in the water can be so dangerous in the boat though. When you have that 30 lbs fish flopping around in the bottom of the boat, it has a lot on energy, even after we clubbed it before bringing it aboard.

  7. #7 |  Bruce | 

    The name of the restaurant in @ Alyeska is the Seven Glaciers. Another fine restaurant there is the Double Musky, they make a great pepper steak and feature cajun cookin’ at it’s Alaska best.

    I just got back to Anchorage from a Halibut charter out of Anchor Poin (north of Homer) a full day charter ran us $225/person at a nice family run charter company. And of course you know Northern Exposure was filmed in Washington right?
    This summer has been very cool and rainy in south central, few days have broken through the 60 degree mark, so bring rain gear, fleece and buy bug dope, you will need it virtually everywhere.

    The bus ride into Wonder Lake is tough but worth it if the mountain is out

  8. #8 |  law talking girl | 

    Seward – hike/kayak from Miller’s Landing to Caine’s Head (if hiking check the tides) for terrific views of the bay; can be a day trip or an overnight camp; grill over a bonfire on the beach with collected driftwood

    Homer – take a water taxi or fly across the bay to Seldovia, China Poot Bay or Halibut Cove, stay in a B&B, hike around, lounge on the beach, eat crab cakes

    Denali – if you have a car, drive the Denali Highway from Cantwell to Paxson and back for incredible scenery (I think it’s more spectacular than the park even), lots of mosquitoes and amazing fly-fishing on the McLaren River; some rental car agencies won’t allow this because most of the road is unpaved

    Girdwood – Maxine’s is also a very good restaurant (and cheaper than 7 Glaciers or Double Musky); if you have time take a short but steep hike up to Crow Pass and a view of Raven Glacier (follow Crow Creek Mine Road to the trailhead); I’ve seen black bears several times near the base of the tram at Alyeska

    Have fun!!!!!!

  9. #9 |  John | 

    In Homer, check out the Spit Literally a spit of land that juts into the bay). Buy some salmon poles and snagging hooks–if they’re allowing that while you’re there–and spend a day salmon fishing.

    From Girdwood, you might take the tunnel through the mountain to Whitier, where you can rent kayaks and paddle up to a tidewater glacier. Just sayin’.

    Also, in general, less sightSEEING, more camping and fishing and DOING.

  10. #10 |  Kwix | 

    The sidetrack to Whittier may be worth it for the novelty of driving through the longest highway/railway tunnel in N.A to a town where 90% of the population lives under one roof. The cost is $12 and the amount of time you have to wait for the tunnel to open (it is one direction at a time and shuts down for scheduled trains).

  11. #11 |  Trish | 

    Yep, fish and chips on the spit in Homer is a must. I recommend Happy’s. And the Salty Dawg Saloon.

  12. #12 |  roy | 

    Bring food. Tourist activities aren’t the only thing that’s expensive up there; overall cost of living is high too.

    Also, how did you swing using “Agitatrix” as a pet name without getting slapped?

  13. #13 |  Zeb | 

    Check out the Fairwiew Inn in Talkeetna if you feel like going out to a bar. It seems to be the most local sort of place in town. There is this old guy who hangs out there and dances all night and is awesome.

  14. #14 |  Bruce | 

    in today’s Anchorage Paper

  15. #15 |  Kwix | 

    Dang, Bruce beat me to it.

  16. #16 |  Kwix | 

    In Talkeetna, Mile High Pizza Pie is pretty good too. Purple building, hard to miss.