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Trip Report - Highlights

Old Aug 5th, 2005, 11:57 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Trip Report - Highlights

Thank you to everyone who posts on this board. I read and reread your posts to help me plan my trip.



SOME THINGS I WILL DO NEXT TIME (AGAIN).

Plan more time for hikes. (I hiked on two or three trail but that was just a taste of what I wanted to do).

Plan more time on the many bodies of water – rivers or lakes. Guided tours or not. (I kayaked but I wish I would have planed a day trip – picnic or something).

I would lug my binoculars again. Mine were big (because I am not rich) but they were powerful and I was glad.

Fish (because I have never done it).

Invite more family.

Rent A Car. I will find out what the rental car has (tape or CD or both). I did call ahead and ask - I was so happy because I was able to bring music (a cd player to work in the tape player). I will also consider windshield insurance. Ouch.


Visit Spenard and Go to the Whale Fat Follies at the Fly By Night Club. (Read the website – it may not be to your taste). Nice way to end my trip.




SOME THINGS I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN:

If you find your self in Anchorage and end up at the Puffin Inn - DO NOT choose an economy room.

A camera with a good zoom lens would be nice to have when taking pictures of wildlife. My digital camera may have been no bigger than a wallet but at 3X Zoom I just could not get good pictures of wildlife.

The city bus is for adventurous people only. I was willing to take the bus and save $20-$30 in cab fare to have an extra meal out but there were no tourists on the bus.





REVIEWS IF YOU ARE INTERESTED

SLEEP
If I drive from Anchorage to Denali I will stay at McKinley View B&B http://mckinleyviewlodging.com/rooms.htm again. (I stayed two nights and rested before my big day at Denali). Note: this is NOT the Princess (that is up the highway 30 miles and quite nice). This is clean, private, right off the road and comfortable. I want to spend most of my time outside and this is a great place to sleep and the rates are very reasonable. The breakfast is help-yourself which I like. Not a traditional B&B but perfect for me.

I would stay at the Voyager in Anchorage again. It was not the Hilton but it was perfect for me. Clean and comfortable. The nicest people worked at the Voyager and were quite helpful with where to eat and what to do. I would stay there even if I won the LOTTO and could afford the Hilton.

I stayed at four other places but these two will be on my list again for lodging.



FOOD
Angela’s on the Parks Highway at Trapper Creak (the GREAT PIZZA sign) rocks! The pizza IS great and the specials are good. I neglected my packed (inexpensive) lunch to eat there twice.

Also Ray’s in Seward was good. I would go to Seward just to eat at Ray’s.

I ate many other places both expensive and not so expensive - Ray’s and Angela’s were the best.
seattlenative is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2005, 01:58 AM
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please repost this with the destination in the title
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 03:17 AM
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Well, bland title but very nice trip report. I liked the things you will do next time.
dfrostnh is online now  
Old Aug 6th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Nice report... we head to AK 4 weeks from yesterday, so some good tips I can use.

You rental car point is a good one. Most seem to have CD's now, but I have a new strategy. I'm taking my iPod mini with the FM transmitter/charger. Smaller than CD's and can take 1000 songs in my pocket.
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Old Aug 7th, 2005, 12:57 AM
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Smart. An ipod with the FM transmitter – an even better idea!

I spent at least 10+ hours driving and music was important.


********************************


There is so much good info on these boards. I really think my trip worked out well because I did some research.

Another thing I wish I would have known: the rental car company I used rents coolers. Ha. I brought one from home.
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Old Aug 7th, 2005, 10:28 AM
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Can you tell us more about your "windshield insurance" experience?
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Old Aug 7th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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I shipped the windshield. I did not purchase insurance (I have my own). I have to pay the windshield replacement cost to the car rental company. $300.00.

Of course I can turn it into my insurance and what they won’t reimburse I can turn intoVISA. However I will be filling out forms forever.

I could have purchased windshield insurance at $6-$10 a day. I signed a contract that said chip=replacement at the car rental company I used.

Really, this is all about planning and expectations - I think. I planned my trip weeks – not months -- before I left. I used ABC because on such short notice they had the best rates. They were very nice to deal with and I would consider them again. They mostly rent motor homes. If I would have had more time I might have discovered that windshield insurance might be worth considering. I guess it depends on how long you have your car, how far you are driving and how risk adverse you are. Or something like that.

I should note that these are two lane highways and I drove more than one thousand miles mostly following motor homes and SUVs. I don’t know how common chipped/cracked windshields are in AK, or anywhere for that matter, but I was not surprised when it happened.

It was the only really upsetting thing that happened. For a lot of people it would not even bother them – coming out of pocket to pay for damage. Type B personalities have it SO good . And besides, it could have been MUCH worse.


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Old Aug 7th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Re: CD's or tapes

We often purchase one when we get to an area--usually instrumental that we play frequently--then when we return home, it reminds us of our trip.

Just yesterday, my husband put a CD on, and I immediately said "Yellowstone," and could picture the early morning steam rising from the many thermal features. Just one way we prolong our vacation memories.
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Old Aug 7th, 2005, 12:13 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Chipped windshields are VERY common in Alaska. It is important to look over any car rental VERY carefully. Especially noting repairs. I one time almost got charged for a repair they claimed I had done, but after digging through the contract, it was noted they had done it prior to my rental. You also have to understand fully the driving restrictions. Most all prohibit unpaved driving, but plenty go anyway. This is a VERY risky area in a rental.

Hopefully the above will get the money back??
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Old Aug 7th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Fun report. But I'm w/ SusieQQ. Not only is your destination not in the title - It is all the way down to the 9th paragraph before there is a clue where you are talking about.

"Trip Report - Highlights" could be about anywhere in the country. My guess is a LOT more people would have read/responded to your trip report if the title told them anything . . . . . .
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Old Aug 7th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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Thank you. I see that now. I thought when I posted to the Alaska Folder it would be obvious but I can see that is not the case! I did not want to be rude and post two times (as the reading the AK boards was my first experience with this well…I am still learning the online culture here.)
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Old Aug 7th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Don't worry - lots of people take a while to figure it out since Fodor's instructions leave a LOT to be desired.

There isn't an "Alaska board". Just a general United States forum and all threads are lumped together. Clicking on Alaska merely lets folks search for information about that state. But even clicking on Alaska won't bring up every (or even most) AK threads -- only those where the poster remembered to click Alaska before they previewed or posted their thread.
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