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RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

"Cool scenery at the bay there" "nothing to do in Whittier except have lunch at one of the couple local places" "Tunnel is cool" Those 3 items are all good enough reasons for me. Each to his own.:C Fo sho. JMO, on a 2 week tour, it wouldn't make the cut for me. Whittier's cool...but a thriving business is done at a couple of local shops selling "POW: Prisoner Of Whittier" t-shirts and hoodies. Not entirely in jest and mostly sells to the year-round local types.
PA12DRVR 10/15/19 03:26pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

Since we will be in a truck and travel trailer we will leave the TT at the campground and take the truck out daily to activities. Since we are in a truck can we get to Independence Mine from Willow on our most updated itinerary that I posted? (The latest one is heading South first then North. Just as a caveat, I haven't driven the Hatcher Pass road since 2018....pretty sure they haven't really improved it though. That road is very doable in a truck>...ideally 4WD, but not needed. Hopefully, the truck is not a low-clearance cruiser: that will cause dings on fenders, rails, etc. My most recent trips over the road have been in a 4WD 2500 Chevy Silverado (2009 version) and a 4WD 2013 Toyota Sequoia. I didn't like driving on the Sequoia's soft suspension, but that was just my bias...it handled it fine. I did use 4WD on both vehicles, but that was more to avoid spraying rocks (both vehicles were unloaded / light) than for any real need. The Willow-Independence is the rough side....a rough gravel road. FWIW, Independence - Palmer (the dirt part) while still a gravel road is more like a county road or FM / RM road in the L48. Also FWIW, the first time I drove the road (in it's current incarnation) there were a few spots where I pulled off to the side to walk around the next curve or over the crest of the hill just to see what the road did. There were also a few spots where I wouldn't pull off due to the narrow width at those points. It will be dusty in any case; car will get muddy if it's raining, but the road won't turn into a "mud" road.
PA12DRVR 10/15/19 03:22pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

A final couple of thoughts: - Hatcher Pass goes from the "Palmer Side" to the "Willow side": Independence Mine State Park (or State Historical Site or something like that) is road accessible from the Palmer Side ONLY if traveling in an RV. The road runs Palmer - Willow but from the Independence Mine area to Willow, it is at best a car road and works better in a 4WD SUV or pickup. If one is visiting Independence Mine with only an RV as a vehicle, there will be some backtracking to go to Wasilla / Palmer, up to Independence Mine, then back to Wasilla / Palmer before returning to Willow - Full disclosure: I've never been on the ATV tours around Knik. I fly over it all the time and in the summer regularly land the ol PA-12 on riverbars on the Knik River. That being said, an ATV tour of the Knik (based on reports from friends, seeing the trails from the air, and seeing the groups on the trails) seems to be about the best mix of accessibility, location, and activities available. Scenic country, even when raining. - If eating in the Noisy Goose: a) right now road work has the roads torn up. If not finished by next year, be very alert for the "Noisy Goose Access here" signs. They're not at the intuitive spots; b) when in the Noisy Goose (unless it changes in 2019 / 2020, I haven't been there since 2018), take the time to look at the various photos scattered about...just a touch of the "Alaska that was" outside of the usual tourist channels.
PA12DRVR 10/14/19 11:16am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

FWIW, for fishing, I'd double-ditto everything that Grit Dog said. The past few years for me I've been trying to justify my boat purchase, so my fishing has been off a boat, but in years gone by, I've fished all the spots he mentioned and it can be a real fishing frenzy. Similarly, a drift boat trip down the Kenai with a guide who knows what he / she is doing will be a fish slayer, unless the river is high due to rain or dirty due to fire run-off. If you hit it at the right time (mid-August or later), LOTS of opportunities for river fishing in the Mat-Su: either from a riverboat (typically you plus 3 others) or as a walk-in or as a drop-off...
PA12DRVR 10/08/19 09:51am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: RV trip 14 nights itinerary help

As I follow it the current itinerary is: Day 1 fly into Anchorage, pick up RV, get groceries then drive to Matanuska Glacier. – Glacier hike and zipline –micaguides.com Day 2 Drive to Talkeetna – shopping/lunch Day 3 Drive to Denali National Park – Denali Grizzy Bear Campgound- need reservations- ATV tour in the afternoon Day 4 Shuttle, bus or hike Day 5 Drive from Denali to Wasilla or Willow- snowhookadvenures.com (dog sledding) Day 6 Drive to Portage/Girwood – 26 glaciers boat tour Day 7 Drive to Seward - possible afternoon fishing trip? Day 8 Day cruise Kenai National Park Day 9 Seward to Homer Day 10 Alaskabearviewing.com in Katmai Day 11 Fishing trip/walk around town Day 12 Homer to Cooper Landing (Kanai Princess RV Park-need reservation and hike to Russian River falls to see salmon spawning upsteam and fishing with a license) Day 13 Cooper Landing back to Anchorage Thoughts from someone that drives to all of these places (full disclosure, I usually zip right by Cooper Landing) on a regular basis: - If the OP is at all physically active, I highly recommend that Matanuska Glacier hike: MICA (whom I've used enough to have a family discount :@) offers a 3-hour trip that's fairly basic but it's a hike on a glacier and particularly if the weather's good, great mountain scenery - it's an honest 2 hours from my house in South Anchorage to the MICA turn-off. I always plan 3 hours and if I have 4, I'll stop and see the sights along the way. ....and that's in a car. It might be a tight trip to pickup the RV, get groceries, drive to MICA...and get there early enough to do the Glacier Hike and the zipline (both are in different locations) - I'd figure 4 hours in an RV to drive from Matanuska to Talkeetna, possibly more (much more!) depending on Wasilla-area traffic and construction on the Parks Highway - Denali to Willow/Wasilla is a fairly easy drive..but planning the drive and an activity for the same day puts some stress on time. Not sure (for this day or others) that it's a good idea to book a significant drive AND an activity on the same day. Summer traffic and construction makes the driving time for many segments a **** shoot. -The 26 Glacier Cruise is out of Whittier, which is essentially at the Portage Turnoff but there's the tunnel factor which sets the critical path for timing. They recommend making the 10:30 tunnel opening for the 12:30 boat departure....it can be done by making the 11:30 tunnel opening, but I don't recommend that - Whittier - Seward: 2 hours or so. You'll exit the Whittier Tunnel (coming out) about 6:15 p.m. or so, depending if there's a train that interferes. I'd consider going to Seward that night. - The Kenai Fjords tour is great. - Depending, somewhat, on the time of year, a fishing trip from Homer is likely an all-day event. - Keep your eyes open in Homer: you might see the cast from "Alaska the Last Frontier" if they happen to drive (on the well-maintained all-season road) the 10-15 miles into town where they can buy groceries, supplies, etc just in time to hide those supplies from view while the show is being filmed. - Seward to Homer is a significant drive: If memory serves, 38 + 60 + 75 = 170-ish miles? When calculating trips through Alaska where there are small towns, rough roads, or tourist traffic, netting 50 miles per hour is a great target. - I don't get the attraction of Cooper Landing unless one is taking a drift boat on the Kenai or getting dropped off to fish reds. That being said, staying in Cooper Landing (assuming time works out) beats staying at an RV park in Los Anchorage. Some non-specific points: - With the caveat that I've been up close and personal with bears as much as I want and that I don't understand the general fascination with bear viewing, Katmai (that area in general) is THE place to go for bear viewing. The last time I looked for commercial flights (vs. going along with my buddy) I recall pricing from $800 - $1600 (from Anchorage, it will be cheaper, I think from Homer). Go with as expensive a trip as you can...they just work out better. - If the Katmai thing is important, that will drive the time of year you should schedule your trip....and along those lines, do the research and find the best trip you can afford and build your itinerary around that. By the way, NOW is not too soon to be booking for next summer, particularly if there's any interest in staying overnight in one of the high-end lodges at Katmai. - As the previous comments have said, this is a do-able but ambitious itinerary. My concern would be the number of days that are scheduled for a drive AND an activity in the same day. It might be worth considering a reduced set of activities to be put on the list for the next trip....jus' sayin'.
PA12DRVR 10/08/19 09:42am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

FWIW, I'd suggest a day or two in Seward, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards, so would suggest the following: 1st day in Los Anchorage arranging the RV (This will be a bit of a challenge: not sure how often the shuttle runs or if it's feasible to get the RV the same day your cruise ship arrives.) You might double check with the cruise line. Most of them that come into Seward provide or at least offer transport to Anchorage Night 1: Los Anchorage Night 2 -3: Cooper Landing (Personal opinion is unless one is fishing, there are better places to visit; and this is backtracking from getting the RV in Anchorage, FWIW) Night 4: Willow ? Talkeetna? (It would not be a relaxing drive to go from Cooper Landing to Denali / McKinley in one day...but can be done if needed) Night 5: Denali Night 6 Fairbanks Night 7 Valdez Night 8 Anchorage ^^^ Of course you won't stay just one night in Denali, but the reason for listing the above is that if you're planning "2 weeks" in the RV, that's 14 days/nights..not very long to do the Seward-Anchorage-Cooper Landing- Denali-Fairbanks-Valdez-Anchorage route. I'd suggest skipping Cooper Landing, taking the 1 day / 1 night (possibly 2 days 1 night) it will take to get the RV and get headed out of Anchorage, spend several days in Denali; take the Denali-Fairbanks-Valdez drive for the scenery (possibly spending 2 days 1 night in Fairbanks), then return to Anchorage. The Museum of the North and Chena Hot Springs are cool to see in the Fairbanks area, maybe take a riverboat cruise. ...but I'd suggest with two weeks to make Denali the focus of your trip while allowing some decent time to drive the remainder of the road system and see the scenery. Use the next trip either for a different part of the state or for activities in Fairbanks-Valdez - Kenai Peninsula.
PA12DRVR 10/02/19 10:00am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Newbie question about 3.73 locking rear axle on F250 4x2

I'm a 4WD guy..but had a 4x2 F350 with the locker. It wasn't 4WD, but the locker was better than not for the slippery grass, few iced roads, and frequent muddy CG areas that I visited.
PA12DRVR 10/01/19 07:36pm Tow Vehicles
RE: General thoughts on Hybrids

Not sure if it's on point... but if "hybrid" means electric plus gas: - I had a 2005 (purchased in 2005) Prius in the Ewe-stun Texas area; - Did not use it as a Towed...not sure if it was "towable" - Owned it until 2018; it was sold at that point and the second owner put circa 25,000 more miles on it until the propulsion batter started showing significant signs of decay at (IIRC) circa 150k miles, a year after her purchase. It was traded on a small ICE vehicle. - The Prius was the most reliable vehicle I've owned. Period. Full stop. I never had a problem with the electric propulsion system or the gas engine or the running gear. The starting battery died (as in wore out, wouldn't hold a charge) and had to be replaced: very inconvenient as I had to take a cab to/from the auto shop to get a replacement, but in the big picture, nothing too serious. - The readout (FWIW) showed mileage (i.e. the combined electric / gas mileage) consistently in the high 40's at purchase decaying to the mid-30's while I owned it. - Due to tax credits, I got something like a $4000 credit at the time of purchase. Perfect vehicle for Ewe-stun (even in the 1-2" of snow that happened twice in the time I owned it) and for running around and for my then 18 mile one-way commute. Wouldn't want one in snow or even if I had to drive it through hurricane-flooded underpasses..but I didn't like to take my F350 through that either. If I lived where there was no snow and had regular need for a run-about, I'd look into a hybrid again.
PA12DRVR 10/01/19 07:31pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

I suspect you'll enjoy the scenery on the Vancouver - Seward cruise: have had guests that arrived from (I suspect) that same cruise and they liked it. Accommodations might be cramped....if it's the same line as some. I'd recommend looking into your lodging in Seward ASAP. Hoteling it during tourist season will be pretty spendy even if available. Would suggest possibly a VRBO or similar...should be able to lock that in now and (maybe!) miss the to-be-expected price bump for summer. Another alternative to get to Los Anchorage is to take the train. It's a pleasant ride and in my not-completely-informed-opinion (I've taken the train but not the shuttle bus) appears much more enjoyable than the bus. Good optics (binoculars and camera) are a must for any voyage on the water. Good to have in general in AK.
PA12DRVR 09/30/19 06:40pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Experience towing w/ 2WD F250, 2500 or other 3/4 ton

Only did the RV thing for about 12 years: - Had small (19' to large 33') travel trailers and large 39' - 16000 lbs 5th Wheel - Used everything from a 2wd Yukon to a 2500 Suburban to a 2500 Silverado to an F350 on the travel trailers; F350 on the 5th wheel. - Went mostly on the Gulf Coast with frequent trips to CO (1-2 times per year) and the Carolinas (2-3 times per year) - Had both 2wd and 4wd (in different vehicles) towing the travel trailers. Had both a 2wd and 4wd F350 thanks to an acquisitive car thief. - Much prefer going bigger for towing. Within reasonable limits, of course the 2500 will do it; more comfortable to use a 3500 vehicle. - Got stuck 3 times with 2wd: all on wet grass involving uphill and a heavy (for the vehicle) trailer. Never got stuck (even though driving twice through the same spot years later) with 4wd. - I live in Alaska...so will never own anything less than an AWD vehicle again but for the OP's use, I'd suggest (if it's an option) using the $$ on going 3500 vs. 2500 and not doing 4wd.
PA12DRVR 09/30/19 10:54am Tow Vehicles
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

"I sure as he!! wouldn't let it deter me from running to Mc Carthy or the Denali Hwy. The risk is that you're on your own for a tow or repairs if you break down on one of those roads. Of course one pays a premium to use someone else's equipment. It's a convenience for the user that comes at a cost. How much of AK do you want to see? and how much do you want to pay? For the OP, in good weather, the MCarthy Road and Denali highway are 100% passable, easily with most any RV and not risky (to me anyway)." GritDog raises some good points. Some things to consider: - Even if otherwise allowed, travel on the McCarthy Road or the Denali Highway may put recovery on your own nickel...read the fine print, but sometimes there's a towing exclusion for those areas as they are outside of the range of many Los Anchorage, Mat-Su, or Fbks based wreckers. Case-by-case thing, so can't say for sure. - I've "only" made one trip per year on the McCarthy Road the past 3 years ('16, '17, '18) and only one trip ('17) on the Denali highway recently. Surprisingly, no flats on any of those trips....but both roads (either due to sharp rocks or otherwise) can be tough on tires. Have a spare at least; ideally a plug / patch kit and a portable compressor. - Personal opinion only: FWIW, despite having driven per above, I don't like to drive the McCarthy Road...it's generally slow, the best scenery is at the end of the road, and McCarthy is (IMNSHO) becoming a destination point for outdoor hipsters...and, although it's still a 4-hour jaunt, I can fly to McCarthy pretty easily in the ol PA-12. - Also opinion; in anything except late fall drizzle and fog (i.e. rainy, foggy, 35 degrees) the Denali Highway is the most scenic drive in Alaska. My preference is to drive East from Cantwell to Paxson since the Paxson to Los Anchorage leg is more scenic than the Los Anchorage - Cantwell leg, although not by much. - Barring early or late season travel (i.e. before the road dries out in the spring or while it is getting snow but not enough to plow), both Denali and the McCarthy road are good roads. Denali shuts down in the winter and McCarthy is "shut down" only during transition periods....although I'm not sure what Alaska's recent budget gyrations will do to road maintenance efforts on the McCarthy Road. All that being said, were I renting a car, just for myself, I'd be somewhat reluctant to drive to McCarthy...particularly since there are quite a few other options (fly-in, bus lines, etc) that take one from Chitina to McCarthy. There are very limited alternatives for seeing the Denali Highway other than driving oneself...so I'd be a bit quicker to "break the rules" if need be to drive the Denali.
PA12DRVR 09/30/19 10:40am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

"Inholding": It's actually land titled (in the case of my in-laws going back far enough, patented) in the name of an individual, i.e. "Tom Jones, holder of fee simple interest of 95 acres more or less per lot 12 plat 48-1295 in the Chitina Recording District, etc"....this land is in turn surrounded by park land. Wrangell St. Elias NP has several inholdings including the "towns" of McCarthy and Kennecott....although these are connected via (IIRC) a State-of-Alaska owned road, the McCarthy Road. Canadafan raises a very valid point: Most rental companies (cars or RV's) will have use restrictions. The restrictions are the usual as mentioned (no unnumbered roads, etc) plus (in Alaska), although it's been 20 years since I rented a vehicle up here, they usually call out specific restrictions: the Chitina - McCarthy road is usually restricted and I believe the Haul Road (even though numbered as Alaska 11 IIRC) is also restricted.
PA12DRVR 09/27/19 10:08am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

"we spent 3 days between the Chitna River, Klutina and Copper river and never made it all the way up to the Kennicot mine," My in-laws have been in the McCarthy Kennicott area since the '50's and now have an inholding in WSENP. This enabled me to get up to that area many years ago and walk through Kennicott and the mine before it was a NP and certainly before it reached the current level of development. It was really something to see things back then that were, other than a layer of dust and some inevitable pilfering, just like folks walked away in 1938. The mine is an interesting tour now but it's fairly sanitized, cleaned-up, and just not the same as it was in the '70s. Summer of '18, I got too busy chasing reds myself and didn't pay attention to my drift, got pushed into the sandbar, and almost spent more time on the river than was planned. Fortunately, we were able to swing the stern out to a deep channel and jet off without sucking up all the sand and gravel in the world...
PA12DRVR 09/24/19 11:23am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Our home has hardwood floors. We don't have pets, so can't help there but we a) always take off shoes..... b) use a hard surface vacuum very regularly c) only very infrequently use a cleaner. We've had equally good luck with, surprise, Bona, and Murphy's Oil Soap...or at least the hardwood floor cleaner that carries that brand name. Not sure it's really "oil soap" As other posters noted, we tend to sort of overlook dust but a quick swipe with the vacuum and about every 6 weeks with the cleaner seems to take care of most dirt and grime.
PA12DRVR 09/24/19 11:11am Around the Campfire
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

A few more thoughts: - Most places on the road system are going to be pretty popular with tourists during summer; - I think the OP mentioned in a post that they had access to the standard marine life (whales, seals, etc) at home. If so, while one can see moose caribou and bears at the strangest places and almost anywhere, perhaps the trip should focus on places other than the Kenai Peninsula, i.e. Denali, etc. for hooved mammals. - Bears: While confessing that I don't get the fascination with bears, it seems to be a top attraction to Alaska: My strongest suggestion is to decide if bear viewing is a high priority and, if so, plan that as the keystone to your trip...that means timing of seeing bears dictates when you make the trip. Late July to August seems to be the high point for bear viewing flights...and that's the best way to see bears. One can take a drive into Denali NP and possibly see a bear on the road. More likely is "See that dark brown spot halfway up the valley? That's a bear." - Katmai / Brooks Falls etc are the best combination of accessibility and likely change of seeing bears or lots of bears. Not the cheapest place to go. - Fishing: lots of freshwater options; generally later in the summer is better for salmon (conversely, less active for other species). If you end up based in the Los Anchorage / Kenai Peninsula area, lots of options for river fishing for red and silver salmon...and it may vary depending on the trip / location, but it can be done with an 8-year old. Drift and powerboat (on different sections) fishing the Kenai river is popular; bank fishing for salmon is available in Seward; lots of options in the North-of-Anchorage Mat-Su area. - In the interior (i.e. Fairbanks, Denali) probably easier for a family trip that chases grayling / trout / dolly varden...but salmon are available as well, just a bit more hit-and-miss on the timing etc. - As mentioned by a previous poster, staying in the variety of public service cabins can be a great way to go...takes a fair amount of early selection and planning. - If one wants to really avoid the crowds, get a good tent, a good stout rental car, and tent camp one's way around the state, doing the VBRO or something when in town. Tent camping on the road system can be the entry into 1 - 2 day side trips on the hiking trails which can be enjoyable for a wide range of ages if the mental interest is there to explore and tent out.
PA12DRVR 09/23/19 02:55pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

Some at-best-quasi-organized thoughts: - I've taken visitors on both the 26 Glacier Cruise out of Whittier and the Kenai Fjords tour out of Seward. Can almost guarantee no seasickness on the 26 Glacier Cruise (fully heave compensated catamaran) and it's unlikely on the Kenai Fjords trip (big vessel, displacement hull, etc). - I've taken visitors and myself on numerous saltwater fishing trips on both charter vessels and my own: My guess is that with the right medications (either OTC stuff or prescription stuff) one can entirely avoid true "chumming" seasickness..but if one is prone to being seasick, certain trips might not be enjoyable even so....but that's the nature of the beast....gotta go where the fishies are. - Seward, Whittier, and Homer (possibly Kenai and Cooper Landing) get pretty unpleasantly full of either visitors or summer Alaskans during the ...summer. There were two instances this summer when (at Seward) I could not have launched my boat if I did not have a seasonal rental place to take the truck and trailer back to....all the public and street parking were full. - If I was to visit Seward, Homer, or Valdez for several days during tourist season, I'd plan a long way ahead and do an AirBnB, VBRO, etc for a house...and avoid the hassle of RV'ng there; not sure how that logistically works out if one's brought an RV up from the L48. - Can't really speak for anywhere except Seward (may be the case elsewhere, but I've not looked in to it) but there are quite a few options of parking an RV outside of "town"; i.e. paid places that range from a spot of ground to electrical only to water and electric (not many "full hookups") .... but even "outside of town" these tend to fill up pretty fast. - One should go to great lengths to avoid Seward in or around the 4th of July or during the Silver Salmon derby <<< don't ask me how I know that one. - Can't help you with the activities that satisfy the whole family...my wife and I tend to end up doing stuff the adult children enjoy and the grandkids tolerate or vice-versa. - For the places that any tourist will visit, Alaska is not a remote, untamed wilderness. That being said, one must be prepared to "rough it" to one degree or the other. Roughing it might mean that one only drinks King Street (a local brewery) beer on a sightseeing cruise (one Texan loudly complained that the boat didn't stock St. Arnolds...:E) or it might mean being prepared to deal with rain and fog...or cooler temperatures..or getting up early to catch the boat or bus...or having to have more than just Nike's for footgear..or, or, or. - In most spots that one will visit as a tourist, the bugs aren't as bad as legend has it. Nothing that a little bug dope or breeze won't cure. Off the beaten path is an entirely different story and lives up to every bit of the legend....Alaska law requires that private pilots carry mosquito headnets as part of their summer survival gear; once you're out away from civilization during summer, that requirement makes a lot of sense.
PA12DRVR 09/23/19 12:02pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Alaska RV trip loop routes/planning resources

I couldn't make a better post than what TeeJay did above as far as routes, etc. A few things to add (all personal opinion); - IMNSHO, Seward and Homer are great destinations in and of themselves: The rest of the Kenai Peninsula locations are good "meanwhile" places if you're going fishing, etc.....and for that reason, my preference would be to prioritize Fairbanks/Valdez/McCarthy over the Kenai Peninsula if you're short on time .....unless you're going to the KP for fishing. - Granted I live here, but other than a jumping off place and for a small bit of scenery, I can't see where Anchorage competes for RV / Visting days. - Recommend the 26 Glacier Cruise out of Whittier: Have now taken or sent about 10 sets of visitors on it and no one has been disappointed. It's a big touristy thing with 250 of your closest friends, but the scenery is good ...even if in the rain. - Nothing wrong with roadside / bankside /creekside fishing: That being said, I'd suggest a saltwater boat trip out of Seward / Valdez / Whittier / Homer (wherever you end up) for fishing as well - Can't offer this (obviously opinion) enough: The summer of 2019 was an aberration: plan for rain and be prepared to do "stuff" in the rain. If one decides not to do "stuff" in the rain, it really limits the experiences available in Alaska... regardless of route one travels.
PA12DRVR 09/18/19 10:33am RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: How do you really judge TV adequacy anymore?

"I can fly from here to Omaha in a Cessna or a 737. Both are rated to haul me there. The Cessna will not do it just as good even though it will do it just fine." Made the Omaha - Spokane trip in Cessna 180 back in the day. Enjoyable in many ways, but for repeat-ability, I preferred the same trip in the 737 / DeHavilland combo that the airline offered. Similarly, while pulling my boat is within the calculated capacities of my new-ish Toyota...its just a better experience in my old-ish 2500HD; even though the capacities calculate out to be closer than I'd have thought.
PA12DRVR 09/13/19 03:55pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Fairbanks-June or August/Sept

FWIW...and always depends on the specific year/week/day/hour....While "Fall" is clearly approaching by late August / Early September in Squarebanks, assuming it's decent weather otherwise, that time of year tends to be warm-ish days and cool nights. Not too hot during the day (nothing like Los Anchorage or most of Alaska this summer) and cool enough at night to enjoy a jacket, fire, and hot toddy.
PA12DRVR 09/11/19 08:53pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
RE: Chena Hot Springs

I was at Chena most recently a year ago. Decided it was not the spot for the mini-corporate retreat I was planning BUT.. ...I wouldn't hesitate to go there for a visit. I know nothing other than the headlines about the recent death but would offer the following comments (obviously, based on a year's dated info, so things could be different) - The hot springs fill a variety of pools - The pools are either naturally occurring or man-made (i.e. swimming pool) - Other than the (1? or 2?) large-ish swimming pools, the water can get pretty hot in most areas...leading to some limit of how much time one wants to spend in the water, particularly if it's hot outside - Like much of Alaska's "tourist attractions", Chena Hot Springs Resort is not what one would find in Manhattan, Rodeo Drive, or uptown Chicago... a bit more rustic than what one would expect for a resort in those places...but it is a order of magnitude step up from some of the fleabag motels in an around Fairbanks and is better than most if not all of the chain motels and competes with the better hotels in Fairbanks; - I've gone to Chena several times just for dinner when I was staying in the Fairbanks area. - When I visit Chena, I have the drive and/or small plane flight back and forth to Los Anchorage to see scenery or Northern lights, so it's not worth it to me to take the scenery or aurora tours offered at Chena...but if the sky is clear, such tours may very well be worth the price to an infrequent visitor. All IMNSHO and FWIW.
PA12DRVR 09/10/19 06:51pm RVing in Canada and Alaska
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