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Subject:  Re: Question for intercst Date:  11/23/2009  8:08 PM
Author:  telegraph Number:  21779 of 116887

"During my Alaska cruise last year, I enjoyed going on the shore excursions. It got me away from the crowded shopping areas, see some beautiful scenary while getting some exercise to boot.

The only excursion I didn't get to do was the heli/hike on the glacier--winds were too high."

I flew up at AK ten years ago....was invited to spend some time with ham up there in Anchorage, so I took him up. He was retired radio systems engineer for Fish and Wildlife up there and had lots of tales to tell. Plus he'd been up there for 40 years.

Saw the sights in Anchorage.....I had a rental car.

Took fight up to None AK...stayed at the No Place Like Nome B&B. Met a fellow ham who happened to be staying at the same B&B. Big coincidence. His rental car wasn't available. SO we went zipping around out the 4 roads out of Nome(all dirt) to the ends of each. The train to nowhere. Small villages (like 100 people) at the ends of the road. Council AK. Stuff you aren't going to see on a tour. Spent five days in Nome.

There are dozen or more hams there - they have long winters - so they get ham licenses and use ham radio to talk - works well out to 50 miles from cell service outside town. One ran the local FM radio station. Got the VIP tour.

Flew back to Anchorage. Did a few more things there. Drove up to Fairbanks, past Denali. Stopped in Talkeetna - a town where the AK Railroad brings boatloads of people by train, they shuffles them on a bus to Denali National Park 25 miles away..... the other thing Talkeetna has is the annual Moose Droppings Festival.

I worked with someone for 10 years who had spent five years in TAlkeetna working for SBS when they had an international very large satellite dish (10Meter) there to handle international calls. Heard lots of tales about the area, so checked it out.

Then I went and visited Denali. You take the everyone else to go into the park.

Then went up to Healy AK and got ao 'motel'. It was sort of unique. It had been at Prudhoe Bay.....they disassembled the whole thing (modular). Every room was a 'module'. The dining room was modularized - handled 300-400 people. They had about 300 rooms in the place - Healy was where the gov't was building a 'next generation' coal plant. You don't get to see places like that staying in Hiltons or on cruise ships.

THen it was up to Fairbanks for a few days. Great aurora science display at Alaska University Fairbanks.... then back to Anchorage.

Top flight to Juneau.....saw the cruise ships. Poor folks shuffled off the boat, got on a bus, where zipped to 'the glacier', and 'the shopping area', then shuffled back quickly to the ship. SOme were going to the railroad station to zip to McKinley and back.

I spent 3-4 days there. That was ham radio Field DAy weekend, so I helped out at their station, setting things up, operating on the radio, eating, eating, and yakking and meeting real people.

Then back to Anchorage, out on Prince William sound going whale watching and glacier watching out of Whittier AK.....

then back to Anchorage and trip home. Month in AK..... no hassles. Stayed away from all the 'shopping areas' and cruise ship crowds. Herds of people.

Well, that's my AK adventure. SOmeday I'll go back, but saw it pretty good the first time.

Never been on a cruise ship. Someday - Panama Canal...that's about the only thing that is interesting for me.....

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