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Cloudy and Wet Alaska - June 2014  

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Slow_Mustang
(@slow_mustang)
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The Hindu rain god Indra was not too kind to us on this trip and it was overcast during most of our Alaska trip with intermittent rain, sometimes heavy. That accounts for the pictures in this thread being not quite sharp.

Reaching Anchorage in the early afternoon gave us enough time to drive down to Seward by dinner time. The Seward Highway heading south runs through the Chugach State Park, along the Turnagain Arm sea water. Most of the time it is more silt than water, but when the tide comes in, one does see water and marine life there. The drive down is very scenic with lot of view points on the way. In Seward, the Holiday Inn Express is located at the harbor with a beautiful view of the mountains, the numerous boats at the dock and the cruise ship.

Holiday Inn Express Review
http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/review-holiday-inn-express-seward-alaska.91173/

Seward Harbor

Seward Founders Monument at the Resurrection Bay

The boats of the two companies operating the Kenai Fjords National Park Tour in Seward are almost identical, as are their tours. We took the Major Marine Park Tour, but did not make it out to the open seas to access the National Park due to stormy weather. So we ended up doing the Resurrection Bay only. There was quite a bit of marine life at different places along the way. Each boat can take on about 200 people, but this being the early season we had only about 100 people on board. Everyone on our cruise opted for the buffet lunch at additional cost, but one could choose to take along their own munchies/sandwiches/soft drinks from the Safeway store in town. At the check-in window for the tours, they hand you your boarding tickets with assigned seating. In the evening we drove over to the Exit Glacier Ranger Station and hiked about a mile to get a glimpse of the glacier.

Exit Glacier

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Posted : June 26, 2014 7:03 pm
Slow_Mustang
(@slow_mustang)
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The city of Girdwood deserves a special mention; that is where we stopped over on our way back to Anchorage. It is located about 30 miles south of Anchorage and boasts of the Alyeska Resort. An aerial tramway owned and operated by the resort takes you up 2000 feet to a mountain top for a view of the seven glaciers, surrounding scenic mountains and the lush green valley below. The Seven Glaciers restaurant located at the top, is open only for dinner (after 4:30 PM) and provides a view of these glaciers on a clear day. During the day time, Boar Tide Deli is open for lunch up to 4:30 PM, and the lunch with a soda/beer can be had for $10 if purchased with the tramway ticket($25). We had a nice lunch at the Deli overlooking the valley below, but got to see only the toes of a couple of glaciers due to low clouds.

A road sign in Girdwood

Hotel Alyeska

Toe of one of the seven glaciers visible from the top on a clear day

A Tramcar

Stuffed Dall Sheep at the Boar Tide Deli Restaurant

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Posted : June 26, 2014 7:05 pm
Slow_Mustang
(@slow_mustang)
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A Girdwood store sign

Few miles down South on the highway in Girdwood is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
http://www.alaskawildlife.org/animals/

The AWCC Bus - You can walk around, drive around or take their bus to visit the wildlife housed there

AWCC Wildlife

Anchorage Mountains

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Posted : June 26, 2014 7:52 pm
gregm
(@gregm)

This place looks fantastic. Thanks for the great pics. (I've only been to Anchorage.)

DM Platinum Premier

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Posted : June 26, 2014 8:17 pm
Slow_Mustang
(@slow_mustang)
Silver

Denali National Park

Peaking above the clouds is the highest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley

King's Crown Mountain

A bear by the roadside in Denali

Main Lodge at the Princess Wilderness Lodge Hotel with 350+ rooms is located along the main highway, 2-3 miles north of the park entrance

Stores/Restaurants across from the Princess Lodge

Denali Bluffs Hotel and Denali Lodge also seemed to be good places to stay. Denali Bluffs hotel is situated on a bluff along the main highway and some of the rooms face the mountains of the National Park. Denali Lodge is located about 10 miles south of the park entrance and does not have any views. Princess Wilderness Lodge mainly caters to the Princess Land/Cruise tour customers. Only the outside rooms in the buildings on the back periphery have a view of the river behind the property and the mountains. For us, a motel 8 type room in Bldg. H of the lodge with no view for $350+/night was a big rip-off, even with the high price of everything in Alaska. Buyer beware!
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Posted : June 26, 2014 10:21 pm
Quasiconvexity
(@quasiconvexity)

This brings back great memories! Hope you are enjoying your time in Alaska and that the rain clears up soon!

http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/an-alaskan-odyssey-in-pictures.24236/

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Posted : June 27, 2014 12:18 am
Slow_Mustang
(@slow_mustang)
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Quasiconvexity, post: 2389324, member: 341 wrote: This brings back great memories! Hope you are enjoying your time in Alaska and that the rain clears up soon!

Thanks, we were there in the middle of June and we enjoyed ourselves in spite of the rain and clouds.

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Posted : June 27, 2014 4:44 am
DTWBOB
(@dtwbob)
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Great Pix !

Did you hear anything about the rock slide in the park? Heard there were 100 people on the wrong side of it and some had to be flown out.

DTWBOB

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Posted : June 27, 2014 5:09 pm
Slow_Mustang
(@slow_mustang)
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DTWBOB, post: 2389684, member: 45967 wrote: Great Pix !

Did you hear anything about the rock slide in the park? Heard there were 100 people on the wrong side of it and some had to be flown out.

DTWBOB

Yes, the Denali Tundra Tour guide did mention about one in the past. Not sure about the time frame that it happened in though. OR, is it another recent one that you are referring to, in the last few days? Definitely not when we were there.

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Posted : June 27, 2014 8:20 pm
DTWBOB
(@dtwbob)
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Slow_Mustang, post: 2389783, member: 4637 wrote: Yes, the Denali Tundra Tour guide did mention about one in the past. Not sure about the time frame that it happened in though. OR, is it another recent one that you are referring to, in the last few days? Definitely not when we were there.

Yes -- a day or two ago.... sometimes you have to be thousands of miles away to hear about these things --

DTWBOB

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Posted : June 27, 2014 11:26 pm
Slow_Mustang
(@slow_mustang)
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DTWBOB, post: 2389870, member: 45967 wrote: Yes -- a day or two ago.... sometimes you have to be thousands of miles away to hear about these things --

DTWBOB

I see it here,

http://alaska-native-news.com/guests-staff-airlifted-from-denali-park-lodge-after-flooding-11685

Flooding/landslide/road closure is unfortunate for the people in the Kantishna area which I believe is 60+ miles inside the park. But for the large majority of the people doing the Denali day trips within the first 30 miles or so, it must be business as usual.

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Posted : June 27, 2014 11:48 pm