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Old 07-07-2013, 09:18 PM   #31
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What a neat service at the hotel to have a wake up call just for a clear view of the mountain! Your photos of it are stunning! Your description of how you felt reminded me of the first time I saw the Grand Canyon. Before I saw it in person, I thought I've seen pictures I know what it looks like. But I was totally unprepared for the awe and wonder I would feel at seeing it. So glad you all got a cloud free view.
The wake up call was a nice service. Awe and wonder is a good choice of words to describe so much of nature.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:56 AM   #32
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What great service to get a wake up call like that and then how wonderful to be greeted with that amazing view! One day, I promise, we will get to Alaska to see more of it, it's just a case of how we fit it in...
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:32 PM   #33
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Glad you saw Mt. Denali! I know when we saw it, I said my vacation was complete, and we were only on Day 2! Great pics!
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:53 PM   #34
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What great service to get a wake up call like that and then how wonderful to be greeted with that amazing view! One day, I promise, we will get to Alaska to see more of it, it's just a case of how we fit it in...
You absolutely must put it on your list.

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Glad you saw Mt. Denali! I know when we saw it, I said my vacation was complete, and we were only on Day 2! Great pics!
Marnie, when we were traveling, I thought about your trip and how excited you were to see Mt. Denali. I also remembered you traveling on the train for a leg or so as well. It is indeed a beautiful area.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:24 PM   #35
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So glad to see this, Pris! I guess the warm weather made the mosquito problem even worse this year.
We had a late snow and then a quick break up which led to lots of mosquitos.....we have definately had a bumper crop this year. Pretty sure I'm a pint or so low from all the bites I've received in the last month and a half!!

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You and Mark should definitely get into the interior of Alaska! After all, there's a National Park there! You need the stamp on your park passport. The train runs in 4 legs and we were on 3 of them: Fairbanks-Denali; Denali-Talkeetna; Talkeetna-Anchorage; and Anchorage-Seward. We were not too excited about the T-A leg and did not take the train from Anchorage to Seward, but heard it was beautiful. It is a beautiful way to travel and, in some areas, it is the only way to travel (other than plane or dogsled).
The train ride both north and south are wonderful! You get to see so much that you don't see from the highways. I have only done the train south (Anchorage to Seward) but even after years of driving to Seward, I still found the train ride to be incredible.

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The room was stuffy when we first entered it, but once we opened the window and door, it got much better, not that DH would ever admit to that. I wouldn't have wanted to be there the next week when it hit 95, though! We had another lodge later with no ac as well, but it was it the woods and the temps were cooler that day as well, so it wasn't noticeable there.
We (or rather Fairbanks - I'm in Anchorage) were getting those temp exactly one month after getting several inches of snow!! It was bizarre!!!!!!!
Very few places have actual air conditioning up here....just fans and opening the windows usually do the trick.

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Glad you saw Mt. Denali! I know when we saw it, I said my vacation was complete, and we were only on Day 2! Great pics!
BTW....It is officially Mt McKinley and Denali National Park. There have been several attempts to change the mountain's name to Denali, but they have failed. Living here, I have a tendency to use the names interchangably, but those are the official names. Also, there are actually SEVERAL different versions of Denali (or The Great One - which is what it means), depending on which Alaskan Native group you are talking about. Just a bit of Alaskan trivia.......
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:25 PM   #36
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Day 6 Wednesday, June 12

We had a bit of a surprise this morning as we discovered no hot water! Needless to say, the showers were quite quick. Apparently it was out throughout the entire Anchorage Marriott due to boiler issues. Im certainly glad I wasnt working the front desk that morning. I suspect there were a lot of disgruntled guests. We put our bags out and headed out for some breakfast and a walking tour of downtown Anchorage.


After a couple of hours we returned to the hotel where Bill was waiting with our bus to drive us to Girdwood. On the way we stopped at the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center. This is a wildlife sanctuary where they take in injured and orphaned animals. If they cant be returned to the wild, they are given a home here. They have muskox (including 2 babies born in April), moose, caribou, black bears, brown bears and eagles to name what I remember. We spent a little over an hour here wandering around and grabbing a quick lunch.


We then headed on to our resort for this evening, Alyeska, a beautiful ski resort. Alyeska is surrounded by 7 hanging glaciers and is the home to two black diamond ski runs. It is the home to several Olympic skiers. Our tour included tickets to the tram up the mountain, so we headed over to ride up. While waiting for the tram, the operator pointed out a black bear grazing on dandelions right beside the parking lot of the resort. He was quite content and stayed in the area for some time.


The sights at the top of the mountain were beautiful.


We wrapped up the evening at one of the resort restaurants, then settled into our room with the tv and our books.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #37
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Your trip is bringing back all the wonderful memories of our trip last May! We didn't get to see Mt. McKinley while we were in the park, but we did from the train headed from Denali to Anchorage. We didn't do the Talkeetna stop - we just stayed on the train all 8 hours to Anchorage.

Cheryl - You and Mark MUST get to the interior of Alaska!! The cruise just barely touches on the state. Chris and I area already discussing our next trip back - which will have to be 2 weeks and cruise-less. We figure it will take at least 2 more trips to get to all the national parks in the state.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:29 PM   #38
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Thanks, Jennifer, for adding the Alaskan perspective to the weather here. We were reminded several times about the late mid-May snow. The guides pointed out to us that the tree leaves, grass and other greenery were only in about the second/third week of growth. Everything was so lush and beautiful, it was hard to imagine that. We did see several lakes and areas that still had some ice on them, which we were told was unusual for early-mid June.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:34 PM   #39
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I just can't believe this sunshine and blue-skies version of Alaska! What terrific luck.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:47 PM   #40
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I just can't believe this sunshine and blue-skies version of Alaska! What terrific luck.
We did run into a little rain the next day, and it was quite chilly, but that was the only day of less than perfect weather.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:06 PM   #41
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Great photos from the tram ride! Also enjoyed the animals.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:25 AM   #42
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More beautiful scenery. I promise this is on the "must-do" list, it's just the length of that list that worries me, as I have vacation plans from now until 2017 (I am not joking here ) and still more to go on the list. Sigh. Now if only I could win the lottery, then I could speed up seeing all those wonderful places on the list...
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:38 AM   #43
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Thanks, Jennifer, for adding the Alaskan perspective to the weather here. We were reminded several times about the late mid-May snow. The guides pointed out to us that the tree leaves, grass and other greenery were only in about the second/third week of growth. Everything was so lush and beautiful, it was hard to imagine that. We did see several lakes and areas that still had some ice on them, which we were told was unusual for early-mid June.
I've lived in Alaska for almost all of my life....at least all that I can really remember well. The weather this past summer has been HOT!! We have been getting some rain in Anchorage this past week or so, which is good because our fire danger is really high. In fact up in Fairbanks where you were, they are battling a pretty good sized wildfire that is actually starting to threaten the town. There have been lots of evacuations of homesteaders and a couple of Iditarod mushers.

For those of you considering a trip to Alaska....the cruises are WONDERFUL, but you don't really see Alaska....its (please forgive the pun) just the tip of the iceberg!!! I very much recommend some kind of land/sea package or if you can swing it, cruise one time and then do the land part on a second trip! There is so much more to see here, from Seward to Fairbanks....it's amazing!! Even after all the years of living here, I still sometimes stop and just say "Wow....I can't believe this is home!!" As to the wildlife....I am used to opening up the front door to go to work and finding it in my driveway...and I live IN Anchorage, not out in the boonies! I have encountered bear, moose, porcupines, ermine and wolves. Every day is an adventure!
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:59 PM   #44
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Great pictures from Ayleska ! We weren't able to fit that in!
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:30 PM   #45
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Great pictures from Ayleska ! We weren't able to fit that in!
Thanks. It was very pretty, but, in retrospective, we would skip it next time. It wasn't nearly as enjoyable as the other places we saw. The resort, however, was quite fancy, and I enjoyed the pampering it offered, since we don't usually stay at high dollar hotels.
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My Previous TripsApril 2018 Wonder thru Panama Canal~Oct. 2016 POFQ~June 2016 Wonder to Alaska~April 2016 POFQ~Feb. 2016 POR/Magic/POFQ~Nov. 2015 POFQ~June 2015 Magic to Norway~May 2015 POFQ~March 2015 POFQ~Dec. 2014 POR~Sept. 2014 CSR~March 2014 POR~March 2013 POR~June 2011 WONDER to ALASKA~March 2011 POR~June 2010 GF/POLYNESIAN~ June 2009 MAGIC ~ March 2008 POP/WONDER/POFQ ~ Oct. 2007 POP ~ June 2007 CBR ~ March 2007 POP/POFQ ~ June 2006 POP ~ Dec. 2005 POFQ ~ July 2005 POR ~ Jan 2005 POP ~ July 2004 POR ~ Jan. 2004 CBR ~ June 2003 POFQ ~ March 2003 POFQ ~ March 2002 Courtyard ~ Dec. 2001 WL ~ July 2001 ASMU ~ March 2001 POR ~ July 2000 SWAN ~ July 1998 DxL ~ July 1992 DxL ~ May 1989 off site ~ Dec. 1976 Honeymoon off site
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