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Re: North to the future. A promise fulfilled! Conquering the Last Frontier
Part 5: Thursday, August 22

Our last day in Alaska :( . This was the only day that we didn't have to wake up very early, because our activity for the day was "local" (only an hour away). We packed up our belongings from the hotel, packed our frozen salmon into coolers, and hit the road. Once again we were treated to a gorgeous scenic drive down Seward Highway. Our destination was an hour's drive to Alpine air Alaska, which is situated at Girdwood Airport (AQY), which consists of a public airstrip, and that's it. They gave us snow gear from head to toe, and we climbed into a Robinson R44 helicopter for a 10 minute flight to Punchbowl Glacier. After 2 shifts we all made it there, as the helicopter can only hold 3 passengers. Being as it was my first time in a helicopter, I called shotgun. The view flying over the treetops, mountains, and glaciers was incredible. It feels like you're in a flying glass bubble, with the panoramic windows offering a 270 degree view.

We landed on the glacier to be greeted by twenty Alaskan huskies barking their heads off, raring to go. We were going mushing! The guide set us up on sleds, 2 people sitting on the front sled, and one standing, manning the brakes in the back. The guide was standing in the front with 6 dogs. We did one lap for around 10-15 minutes. It was exhilarating! The cold breeze running across your face as you hold on to the sled for dear life. It helped me appreciate the 20 minutes drasha we got from the guy about his experiences in the Iditarod. I was able to feel why he was so enthusiastic about it.

We took a 20 minute break inside the heated tent and got to play with the newborn pups.


The other group went around while we were waiting inside. They do a second lap afterwards, so you can really experience it. The first time around everyone was busy taking pictures, but the second time we really enjoyed it thoroughly. I love the cold, so I loved the fact that I was dog-sledding on snow in middle of the summer :) . After an hour we flew back out to the Girdwood airport, waving goodbye to the snow and the glaciers :( . Our pilot explained to us that we were lucky we got in when we did, as it was getting too warm and they would probably close for the season the next day! Once the snow melts, the dogs can't run, because the permafrost is too cold for them.

They had some cool postcards in the office and kindly offered to mail them for us back home to our families. They also gave us some cute helicopter pens which were great gifts for the really young kids. On our way into town we noticed a craft brewery across the street so we stopped in to Girdwood Brewery. They had some cool flavors on tap, and some of them were pretty good.

Girdwood Brewery

We left around 1 PM and drove back to Anchorage. We stopped by Natural Pantry and were surprised by how many kosher products they actually had. From bread with regular O-U on it, to MealMart hamburgers. It reminded me of Trader Joe's in the sense that you can find random products that are kosher. We bought a few things that we needed and started looking for a good spot to have a BBQ. After a few false leads, we got directions to a local park, and guess what, it was the park we had grilled in 2 days before ::)  . We sat down and set up a massive BBQ. Everyone knows that the last day of vacation you have to finish all the food, because you don't wanna shlep anything back. So we had sous vide oyster steak, london broil, sausages, salads, and even grilled pineapple with ice cream! It was a great end to the trip.

We drove around a bit, stopped in a few gift shops, and shopped around a bit. We had to make the requisite stop in a dispensary just to check it out :) .

We headed back to the airport, dropped off the rental car and checked in for our flights. They have special regulations about shipping coolers, because so many people are flying with coolers of fish. The Alaskan lounge wasn't letting us in with priority pass (and I see that now they have dropped all pretenses and just left the PP network totally), so only 3 of us were let in as companions of my uncle and his Admirals club membership. It was a good way to wind down before the flight. We departed on UA1748 at 7:30 PM and landed in Newark at 7 AM. Uncle D. who was headed to CLE on a different flight got diverted to Denver because of a medical emergency, and B"H managed to make it home before Shabbos. We grabbed a rental car and headed up to the Catskills. After adding up all the travel times, out of the 96 hours of the trip, we were traveling (whether by car, boat, or plane,) for 33 hours, and including all the time spent in airports and the like, we had spent a total of 56 hours traveling! It's no wonder that I slept for the next 36 hours, basically straight until after Shabbos ;D .

Hope you enjoyed, because I definitely did!

The end!

May 31, 2020, 11:03:35 PM
Re: North to the future. A promise fulfilled! Conquering the Last Frontier

       Monday 8/19 

Left Lakewood - 1 PM

Arrived at EWR - 2 PM

Flight UA1747 left gate 3:45 PM

Took off 4:19 PM

Arrived ANC 7:36 PM

Arrived at Extended Stay America 9:15 PM


       Tuesday 8/20

Departed hotel 6 AM

Arrived ANC 6:15 AM

RVF800 departed 7:05 AM

Arrived VDZ 7:42 AM

Arrived at Valdez Fishery 8:15 AM

Kashrus tour until 9 AM

Boat charter 10 AM

Return 3 PM

Return flight RVF807 scheduled 6:05 PM

Actually Departed VDZ 9:02 PM

Arrived ANC 9:40 PM

Arrived at hotel 10:15

Grill at Valley moon park 10:30-11:45

      Wednesday 8/21 

Departed hotel 7:30 AM

Arrived at Talon air services 1 PM

Departed 2:30 PM

Landed on crescent lake 3 PM

Boat 3-8 PM

Departed 8 PM

Arrived 8:30 PM

Arrived at hotel 12:05 AM

        Thursday 8/22   

Departed hotel 8:45 AM

Arrived at AQY (Girdwood) 9:30 AM

Departed on a Robinson R44 II helicopter at 10:15 AM

Arrived at Punchbowl Glacier 10:23 AM


Departed at 12 PM

Arrived 12:07 PM

Departed ANC on US1748 8:38 PM

Arrived EWR 7:08 AM

Departed EWR 8 AM

Arrived at Catskills Mountains 10 AM

May 31, 2020, 11:06:26 PM
Re: North to the future. A promise fulfilled! Conquering the Last Frontier
Amazing TR!! Show us photos of the caviar factories.
There's not much, as it is pretty straightforward without any processing. they harvest the caviar at the hatchery, and then soak it in a salt solution. we got to watch them sorting it by hand, as it is a delicacy :)

June 03, 2020, 10:47:36 PM