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Alaskan Odyessey

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:20 am
by oldranger
Just returned from 5 week road trip to Alaska. It was broken up by 5 nights on a floating cabin a little west of Cordova for my salmon fishing fix. Our route was up 97 from Bend to Kamloops, then 5 up to the Yellowhead Highway, across the Yellowhead to the Cassiar Highway up that with a brief detour to Stewart BC and Hyder AK and spent an extra night at Boya lake where we inflated kayak and paddled the beautiful calm waters of that lake.Then on to the Alaskan Highway to Whitehorse, then the Campbell up to Dawson City, across the Top of the World Highway passed Chicken, a brief spell on the Alaskan highway then onto the Tok cutoff as far as Slana where we camped two nights with an excursion into Wrangle St Elias, then to the Glen Highway and thru Anchorage to Portage Valley where we parked the trailer for 13 nights. During that time Kathy and I drove thru the combo railroad/auto tunnel to Whittier and took the ferry to Cordova. I spent 2 nights in Cordova before flying off with 9 other guys where we stayed in 2 floating cabins fishing for pinks, silvers, and halibut. (actually I was the only one to really focus on silvers as I got bored fishing and catching pinks that were past their prime). Kathy spent one more night in Cordova before returning to Whittier on the Ferry. After the fishing trip I flew to Anchorage where Kathy picked me up and we returned to Portage Valley where kathy forced :rolleyes: me to go fishing to catch a silver for dinner. The next day we got up early and headed to Seward where we took an 8 hour boat tour of Kenai fjords National Park. What I haven't mentioned that once we first arrived at Portage Valley it was overcast and rainy most of the time. But this day was Glorious! With just enough puffy white clouds to punctuate the bright blue sky, clear calm water, magnificent peaks, and the many glaciers we viewed. The following day we packed up and passed thru Anchorage and up the Parks Highway toward Denali, spending the night in Talkeetna where the rain continued and we could not see Denali as we had hoped. More rain early the next day as we continued on to Denali where we were to spend 3 nights in the Tek campground, 30 miles into the park. It remained overcast but no rain and our hopes to actually see Denali were dim (apparently only about 1/3 of visitors actually get to see Denali). Next day we boarded our scheduled shuttle bus. Not far into our journey we watched a mother bear with 2 cubs wander across the hillside above us and then stroll on down to the bus. They totally ignored us and promptly walked in front of the bus and down the road as if they owned it. Finally they stepped aside and we rolled on. Then we topped a ridge, rounded a curve and holy **** there it was--Denali! The north summit was clearly visible though the south summit was slightly obscured by a thin cloud cap. At the Eilson visitor center the mountain was still dramatically visible. As our shuttle moved on toward Wonder Lake the mountain became engulfed in clouds and we were not to see it again that day. Next day we took the earliest shuttle we could and again we were treated to grand views of Denali. By the time we reached the visitor center it was again obscured by cloud cover. We left Denali the next day and headed to Fairbanks where we visited the University's museum. On a layover day drove about 50 miles east of Fairbanks to Chena Hotsprings. After that we were headed home as fast as we could with 2 notable pauses. One was at Laird Hotsprings that is south of Watson Lake and the second was just past Spences Bridge on route 8 where we stopped at a farmstead and picked up the best juiciest nectarines I have ever tasted. A couple miles up the road we encountered a herd of Big Horn, then a bit further a black bear with 2 cubs. Then it was driving home as quickly as we could so I could prepare for my next Sierra Adventure.

The following pics are not necessarily in the order of the trip but include some of the highlights.
Pics to be continued

Re: Alaskan Odyessey, part 2

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:44 am
by oldranger
Thats all for now!

Re: Alaskan Odyessey

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:48 pm
by Shawn
Holy moly OR, that looks like the trip of a lifetime !

There is so much awesomeness in your report and photos I wouldn't know where to begin to comment (a rare moment for me). :)

Thanks for the TR and great photos.

Re: Alaskan Odyessey

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:55 pm
by jeremiahkim
Shawn took the words out of my mouth. Really does look like the trip of a lifetime. I just keep scrolling over those pictures.

Salmon and that wildlife. What a dream.

Thanks for sharing!

Re: Alaskan Odyessey

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:22 am
by gary c.
Beautiful trip and pictures.

Re: Alaskan Odyessey

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:42 am
by Jason
Amazing. Would love to do that some day. The water in the sockeye photo is so clear it's crazy. Thanks for the report.

Re: Alaskan Odyessey

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:30 pm
by windknot
Sounds like an epic adventure, thanks for sharing the photos and story! I missed the silver run in the Juneau area by just a few weeks. Alas.

Re: Alaskan Odyessey

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:58 am
by rhyang
Amazing photos !

Sent from my Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F using Tapatalk

Re: Alaskan Odyessey

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:13 pm
by maverick
Wonderful TR Mike, love the pictures, beautiful wildlife, glacier, and fish photo's. That is some serious flash flooding! :eek:

Re: Alaskan Odyessey

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:48 am
by giantbrookie
Ah, what a trip! As for the fishing, you and Matt are killing me! Oh well, I'm in Japan right now eating plenty of fish but not fishing or catching anything.