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Messages - shulem92

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Up In The Air / Re: Unique Airports You've Flown Through
« on: May 31, 2020, 11:46:30 PM »
AQY Girdwood, AK. does it count if there is no airport, but it has an iata code? it is a public landing strip.
L85 Mackeys lakes seaplane base Soldotna, AK. it has an FAA code :)


       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

• Walmart

       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

• Dog-sledding

• 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

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!

Part 4: Wednesday, August 21

Wednesday's excursion was the only part of the itinerary that I wasn't able to reconcile with my uncles' itinerary as the tour they had booked was full. They had an 8:30AM flight to Kodiak, another short kashrus tour in a different caviar processing company, and then a bear viewing tour. We wanted to do the same things, namely to go bear viewing, but alas we wouldn't be able to check out the famous Kodiak brown bears which can grow up to 12 feet tall and weigh up to 1800 pounds! After reading through the Alaska thread, I saw mention of bear viewing out of Soldotna. I did some research until I came across what looked to be the most promising outfitter Talon Air. I booked a 2:30PM tour with them for me and Uncle D. at a cost of $500 per person. (Well, only $200 for me after using my Sapphire reserve travel credit.)

Originally when we landed in Anchorage and discovered that there were ongoing forest fires, I did my due diligence to see if they would interrupt any of our plans. I was relieved to see that the Deshka Landing Fire, which is what we were smelling, wasn't near any routes of our trips that we had planned. But while googling "alaska forest fire", I discovered that there was another fire ongoing in Swan Lake. This would pose much more problematic as this fire passed directly over the only road into the Kenai peninsula, where Soldotna is located. In fact, the road had been closed down entirely for Monday and parts of Tuesday! I kept in touch with Talon Air, and they recommended either that I fly in to the local airport, or leave very early in the morning and hope that the road would be reopened.

We woke up bright and early Wednesday morning, and drove the Kodiak mashgichim to the airport. We dropped them off at 8 o'clock only to realize that Uncle B. had left his backpack behind in the hotel, and it has had all their food inside.  We drove 15 minutes back to the hotel, and 15 minutes back to the airport. Uncle B. is standing at the curb at 8:29 casually drinking a coffee as if his flight wasn't scheduled to depart in 1 minute! Thank G-d there was no TSA to go through, so he takes the backpack and walks over to his plane to board 8) .

We left the airport and got started on our 3 hour drive from Anchorage to Soldotna. I kept on checking the city website which had information on the road closures. The road was reported closed when we left Anchorage, but we were hoping it would open up as the day progressed.

The drive down Seward Highway was incredible. It's like the PCH in California on steroids. Besides for having this gorgeous drive down the coast, you also have a stunning backdrop across the water of mountains and glaciers. The pictures don't do it justice, because we were in a rush and only took while driving.

So, we stopped to use the roadside facilities, and take a pic with this sign, and on the back of the sign we found this motto;

Land of many uses indeed!! :)

We arrived at Cooper's landing where the road closure was, at 11 o'clock, and joined the very long line of cars waiting. Everyone was out of their cars and shmoozing with each other. As soon as we stepped out of the car, we got bageled by a jew who said he was from Odessa. Luckily for us the road reopened at around 12:15 and we started driving. The road was down to 1 lane with flaggers. Visibility was near zero in certain parts, and we kept spotting small brush fires literally on the side of road. The road had been torn up at some point and was mainly gravel/dirt. It was a pretty scary drive for around 10 miles, and then B"H everything cleared up.

moose crash area

We got to Talon air service at around 1, checked in, and ate lunch. We had a small safety course, and then we were fitted out with waders. We walked down to the backyard which is a registered seaplane base. Mackeys Lakes Seaplane base (FAA identifier L85).

We boarded our plane at the dock. It was a 7-seater Cessna caravan on floats. We were assigned together with another 3 people, so our group totaled 5 people. We had a short 30 minute flight across Cook inlet into Lake Clark National Park. Along the way we passed numerous glaciers, and the view was pretty impressive, because we weren't flying too high up. We passed an active volcano, Mt. Redoubt, which last erupted in 2009. We landed in Crescent Lake, which is the most visited part of this National Park. Takeoff and landing was pretty cool, as it was my first flight in a seaplane. Upon landing we were introduced to our tour guide for the day. We climbed into the boat, a rowboat with an onboard motor.

Mount Redoubt

The views were incredible! Sitting in a boat on a gorgeous lake, the water was a natural turquoise blue, surrounded by mountains, glaciers, and forests. Not a sound to be heard (other than nature), as we were many miles away from the closest city. I could have just sat there for days, forget that we were going to look for bears. The lake was formed by melt-water from the glaciers, which causes the color of the lake to be that incredible color.

There actually is a private lodge out there where one can stay, but I’m sure it’s not cheap. Our guide was explaining to us how every single part of the lodge was flown in. Lake Clark National Park is one of the few National parks that are only accessible by boat or air. Lake Clark National Park totals 4 million acres, and only has 2 park rangers! For comparison, the state of Hawaii is 4.11 million acres in size, and Rhode Island and Connecticut combined are only 3.77 million acres. We started out on the water, heading towards the popular bear spotting sites. Our guide started shmoozing with us, asking us about ourselves. After breaking my teeth explaining that I'm in college studying Talmudic law in Beth Medrash Govoah, the tour guide casually drops that his son just went off to Israel to study in a yeshiva! ( ::) Now he tells me). Turns out he grew up in a religious home in St. Louis, but nebach ended up marrying some Aleutian/Native American. When he started shmoozing with my uncle about his occupation, he's a shochet, he was very excited to remember all the Yiddish terminology for all the different animal parts that he used to eat as a kid.

As we were moving around looking for bears, the tour guide kept pointing out interesting things along the way. He showed us salmon, explained the different types, and gave us a history of the park, all of it being very informative. At one point, we saw a few boats huddling together and we zoomed over to join them. Our tour guide explained to us that boats huddling together was the telltale sign that a bear had been spotted :) . We got our first glimpse of a grizzly bear moving in and out of the foliage on the shore. Nothing too exciting yet. After around a half hour we saw a black bear as well. We stopped on a little island to check out paw prints in the sand. After seeing how big those paws were, everyone was terrified to use the bathroom, because it meant you had to go into the woods on your own :o . Our guide showed us a few different types of wild berries, and we picked some edible ones to taste them. We passes by a professional videographer with a massive gimbal on their boat doing a video shoot for a video about the park.

After 3 and a half hours, where we barely saw 2 bears, we were getting kind of disappointed. This is what we paid $500 for? Our guide took us across the lake to a different popular spot. At this point it was getting a little chilly, the rest of the day had been a gorgeous 70 degrees in the sun, but now the sun was already behind the mountains. We got to the other shore, shut off the engine and waited. We saw a bear come down to the water line and start looking for salmon. This bear was literally sent just for us. She proceeded to put on a show for half an hour, jumping, running, and playing in the water. Smacking fish for the fun of it with her paws, and occasionally biting into a salmon. It was incredible to be sitting 30 feet away from a bear in the wild. Our guide was busy reassuring us that he never had to use his gun on a bear even once, and if you don't bother them they won't bother you. Easy for your mother to say that about dogs or bees, quite different when talking about a 1000 pound bear!! We got very lucky as the week we were there was spawning season as I mentioned earlier. There are so many fish that come back to their place of birth, that the bears have unlimited food to eat. Our guide showed us how the bear was literally taking a bite from the brain of the fish (highest fat content) and tossing away the rest of the fish. That's how plentiful they were. Or guide told us that one week later, they would be eating the entire fish as there wouldn't be enough. We saw remnants all over the shore, dead fish with just a bite taken out of the heads.

At ~10 seconds in you can hear an audible crunch of the bear cracking the salmons skull!! 

After watching this bear for around half an hour it was time to go to catch our seaplane back to society. We flew back in a deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver with 6 passengers. As we reached civilization, our phones started buzzing away with worried phone calls from our wives. We didn't know before the trip that there wouldn't be any service where we going, so for all they knew, we had dropped off the map for 6 hours! (I'm pretty sure this was the day R' Elya Brudny said people shouldn't do water activities after there were 2 tragedies in water parks, and that definitely didn't alleviate our wives fears!) After checking in with our wives, we were pretty grateful that we didn't have service for 2 reasons. Number 1: It was super relaxing to be disconnected from the entire world, surrounded by some of the most gorgeous scenery I have ever seen! Number 2: the road back to Anchorage had been closed on and off the whole day, and had we known about it, we would have been pretty anxious the whole day.

We landed at 8:30, got into our car and started heading back, as there was talk that they may shut down the road overnight again. B"H it was still open when we got there, and we passed through uneventfully! Our drive back to Anchorage took an extra hour because there was construction on the road for 3-mile stretches, so they were alternating traffic in 15 minute intervals. We got stuck waiting 4 times. As it was we were exhausted, and the extra driving time didn't help. We got back to our hotel at 12.

My uncle's that had went to Kodiak had started a grill so the food was ready by the time we got back. Uncle B. brought his sous vide with him and we used the plastic insert of the cooler. We set it on a timer and had fully cooked food waiting for us, just waiting for a quick sear. The food was amazing, we compared trip notes and pictures while we ate, and then we collapsed into our beds after yet another exhausting day.

(Their trip was very similar, except that they were standing on ground 30 feet away from the bears! while we were in a boat.)

Part 3: Tuesday, August 20 

Our main purpose of the trip was to visit a roe processing plant in Valdez. I booked tickets on Ravn Air for 22k UR for a RT from ANC to VDZ. We left our hotel at 6AM, and took a 15 minute Uber to the airport, figuring we would need to be there around 45 minutes before our flight. We didn't realize though that we were flying out of South terminal A, which literally does not have any security at all! Terminal A services most of the intrastate flights, and there is no TSA checkpoint at all. Our flight was called for 7AM, and it was slightly nerve-wracking that until 6:55 no one even acknowledged that our flight was even scheduled. Boarding lasted 1 whole minute. The 15 of us on that days flight walked out onto the tarmac and up to the plane. We were flying on a DeHavilland DHC-8-100 which has a max capacity of 29 passengers. The pilots graciously allowed us to take selfies, and 2 minutes later we took off. I don't think I stopped looking out of the window the entire 45 minutes. The view was breathtaking! Unlike our entry to Anchorage where we saw a flew glaciers upon landing in the dim, smoke filled atmosphere, here we were flying directly over miles of glaciers on a beautiful clear day. I was literally glued to the window for the entire flight.

We landed right on time at 7:45AM and a representative of the caviar company was waiting there to pick us up. We drove out to the hatchery where we were taken on a small tour of the facility. The reason we went in August, is because that is when the fish spawn. The way HKB"H created this world, is that all salmon return to the place where they were born, to lay their own eggs and then they die. The spawning season is primarily at the end of August. We then went on a tour of the actual processing facility. Salmon roe is exclusive that it can be identified by its color alone and therefore the halacha is that it's kosher because it's uniquely identifiable. This enables a mashgiach to come once and watch parts of the production, as opposed to having to be a mashgiach temidi for the entire harvesting process. After the tour we officially over-certified the kashrus (with 4 mashgichim instead of the usual 1 ;) ).

Birds at the Hatchery

The company representative drove us into "town" (population ~4k and 1 traffic light:) ) where we bought 1-day fishing licenses for $20 per person here. My uncle had chartered a boat for the day with 2 local fisherman who were going to show us the ropes. We took our Dramamine and set off. We were going deep sea fishing in Prince William Sound! We traveled for around 20-30 minutes to the fishermen's favorite spots. We passed one or two cruise ships on our way out to open waters. The boat had a cabin where we sat in, and a big deck in the back. It felt surreal sitting in the back of the boat, the breeze rushing through my hair, surrounded by the most incredulous views in both sides of us of glaciers, and snow covered mountains. Ma Rabu Maasecha Hashem passed through my mind, not for the first time on this trip and definitely not the last.

Sea LIons

After reaching our destination, the super secret location where the fish bite, one of the fisherman got the gear set up. We had 5 fishing rods trawling behind us waiting for a bite. The other fisherman was inside correcting our course if need be. We had a fun time for the next several hours reeling in the fish we caught. It is very hard work fighting against 10-15 pound salmon.

 We disembarked at around 3 and hung up our catch of the day on the prerequisite hooks at the dock.

At the end of the day we caught 10 coho (silver) salmon, averaging 12 pounds each! At the dock where you disembark there is a fish gutting station where locals gut the fish for you. The cost is $1 a fish, unless you make salmon steaks which cost $2 a fish.

someone else's catch of the day :)

We went back to the Fish Central where they vacuum packed all of our fish for us and gave us a special travel styrofoam cooler. They offer services to FedEx overnight your fish for you, but obviously it was prohibitively expensive, approximately $100 a fish. We declined the offer and went to walk around a bit because our return flight wasn't until 6. We grabbed a beer in a local bar. Apparently they're very proud of their Alaskan ale, personally though I'm not such a fan.

Our driver picked us up and dropped us off at the airport. Once again there was no TSA. The gift shop was cute and had books about how to home-grow your own marijuana. Only in Alaska!

Giftshop ::)

The airport was a small building that more resembled a warehouse than an airport. It had 1 big room without any gates, because there is only one flight!

Upon arriving in the airport we were told that our return flight was delayed. Checking the status of our plane we saw that it didn't even take off from Anchorage yet... Apparently this was a very common occurrence. The way the "airport" is set up, it is against the cliffside of a mountain, and wind gusts are very common there. We were very fortunate that we even made our flight out to Valdez, because apparently we were the first flight in 3 days!! After catching a few winks in the departure hall/arrival hall/lounge/gift shop, we finally boarded our flight at 9PM. The return flight was as stunning as the inbound flight.

We got back to our hotel at 10:15 and proceeded to search for a nice park where we would be able to grill our freshly caught salmon. We ended up in Valley of the Moon Park which was perfect as it had a gazebo with lights. The park was a bit sketchy as a few cars kept coming and going presumably dealing drugs, but we minded our own business and they minded theirs. The salmon was incredible! Literally the best fish I've ever had in my life. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and some lemon juice. That slight fishy taste that you sometimes have in salmon was nonexistent. On full stomachs we returned to our hotel, put the rest of the fish in the freezers, and called it a night.

Part 2: Monday, August 19

Monday, August 19th dawned bright and early. After some last minute errands including getting some deli sandwiches from D-lux, Uncle B. and I left Lakewood at 1PM. (The reason for the delineation has to do with my tally of "travel" time on this whirlwind of a trip.) We arrived at EWR, dropped off our rental, and went to check in. Even though our tickets weren't purchased on our United cards, $5 to the curbside check-in agent and a flash of our United CC had our cooler checked in for free. We checked in, and got upgraded to economy plus. After security, we met Uncle D. In the airport who was transiting from CLE, and joining us for the flight to Anchorage. We boarded, and settled down for the longest domestic flight in the continental US! With a 7 hour and 50 minute flight time. Obviously an 8 hour flight has to have an extra half hour wait on the runway, so we didn't end up taking off until 4:20. We made good timing and landed at 7:35 AKST, which is 4 hours behind EST, so our total flight time was only 7 hours and 20 minutes. We met Uncle S. in ANC as he was on a different flight than we were.

We went to the National counter to pick up our car, and despite Executive Elite status, they only had a Camry for us. After inquiring why there were no cars on the lot, we were told some vague answer about a fire. Little did we realize at the time the implication of that casual remark. As soon as we had landed I checked the weather on my phone, and instead of saying cloudy, or sunny, it said "smoke". I thought maybe the weatherman in Alaska were smoking up, as weed is legal there ;) . We walked outside the airport and instantly realized why the forecast was smoke. The sky was overcast with smoke, and the air smelled terribly like smoke. After a quick Google search we saw why. There was an ongoing forest fire 35 miles away and we were downwind of it.

We got to our hotel at 9:15, just missing the 9PM closure of Natural Pantry ;( . When my uncle had booked the hotel, he wanted to be guaranteed a kitchen, so he booked the Extended Stay America on 34th St. The hotel is really outdated, the service was terrible, and overall it was borderline motel quality. In hindsight, we should have taken an Airbnb, but we weren't really on this trip for the comfort, so we made do with the situation.

We were exhausted and starving. Starving won, so we headed around the corner to Walmart. Surprisingly there was no kosher bread there, although they did have these uncrustables These things are great! Freeze, and thaw. They defrost pretty fast, and you have a delicious PB&J sandwich wherever you are without the mess. These came in the clutch numerous times over the trip. We stocked up on some basics, bought disposable 9x13 pans and some coals. We tried buying beer but were shocked when they didn't let because one of us didn't have ID on us. (Later on in the trip we found out that Alaska is very strict when it comes to alcohol. Chiefly due to a very limited supply chain to cities far out, hence a strong black market for alcohol.)

We got back to our hotel and put up a BBQ. We used a disposable 9x13 pan, coals, and a grate which is a basic necessity we never travel without. Simplest grill without needing to shlep around a bulky grill wherever you go. Just grab your grate (toiveled back at home) and a 9x13 and you’re all set. We grilled some steaks, and ate in our hotel rooms. After eating we promptly collapsed from exhaustion, as it was 5AM according to our circadian rhythm (1AM AKST).

Part 1: Preparation 

Many years ago there was a small company that processed roe, in the small town of Valdez, Alaska. Valdez is infamously known for the Exxon oil spill of 1989, the biggest oil spill at the time. This company decided they wanted a hechsher, so they called up one of the biggest hechsherim in the USA and started the kosher certification process for their line of caviar. My Uncle S. was the mashgiach chosen to go meet them and give the hashgacha. Ever since then he has been going back every single year, because for those of us who have been fortunate to visit Alaska, we know that it has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world!

This past year Uncle B. decided that he wants to tag along and visit Alaska. He arranged an entire itinerary for the the 2 of them with a departure date set for Monday the week after Tisha B'av. I had no idea they were going until my mother mentioned it to me Motzai Tisha B'av. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to go to Alaska, (In fact I had already done all the research with tentative itineraries the year before but had to cancel last minute), so as soon as I heard they were going, I called my uncle and asked if I can tag along. After receiving his permission, I needed permission from my wife who graciously told me I could go.

Next step was to check availability for flights and attractions. I don't have the normal flexibility of flights because I was limited to an existing itinerary. They were booked on UA1747 EWR-ANC and UA1748 ANC-EWR (the only direct flight from Newark to Anchorage, which runs seasonally between June and September). Luckily there was saver economy availability for the return for 17.5k UA, but the inbound flight only had saver availability with 2 stopovers. I booked a flight for a month out and then called in to get the right dates to avoid the close-in fee. When I tried to change the flight, the agent couldn't find availability on the direct flight EWR-ANC (obviously, because there was none). I asked for a supervisor and managed to persuade her to open up a saver seat for me B"H. In all the hullabaloo, obviously she also forgot to charge me the close-in fee :)

With things looking up in regards to a flight to Alaska, now I had to book all the small flights and attractions. I figured I had 24 hours to see if I can book them and if not I can cancel. In the meantime, a 3rd Uncle, Uncle D. was on the fence about joining the trip, but some of the attractions were fully booked, so he wasn't gonna go just to hang out by himself. Once he heard I was going anyway he figured we'll wing it together, so he booked tickets as well. (Alas he didn't have the same rep that I did, so he paid 35k CLE-EWR-ANC.)

After numerous phone calls, we managed to join onto the itineraries for all the attractions besides for one of them so we booked ourselves a different trip for that day (more on that later). 

After reading the Alaska thread thoroughly, and based on my notes from the research I did the year before, I went out to do some clothes shopping. All the cold activities we were doing the tour group provided real protective gear, so I really only needed a solid waterproof windbreaker, and a pair of sunglasses. 

We went to the local butcher and bought some vacuum packed meats. We froze everything a few days in advance and packed it all into this cooler. We were now ready to take on the Last Frontier!

North To The Future is the state motto of Alaska.

"A reminder that beyond the horizon of urban clutter there is a Great Land beneath our flag that can provide a new future"
The motto represents a visionary optimism for a state filled with promise; (...) promoting the State of Alaska by advising that the future lies with the next-to-the-last United States star located to the north of the Lower 48. 

Part 1: Preparations

Part 2: Monday

Part 3: Tuesday

Part 4: Wednesday

Part 5: Thursday

Quick Summary

I wrote a very detailed account of my trip to he best of my ability, more as a recollection for myself. If you are interested in just the bullet point summary, (For example, if you’re doing research for your own trip,) you can find it below.

Keep in mind that Alaska is tremendous and has so much to offer. You can be there for an entire month and do a different outdoor activity every single day. Originally when I started planning a trip to Alaska I tried making an itinerary that I thought could cover all the basics. Now that I went, I see that it’s impossible. So if you’re planning a trip to Alaska be realistic, and don’t try and cram everything in. It just won’t work unless you’re there for at least 2-3 weeks. Don’t worry though, after going once, you will DEFINITELY  go back ;)

COVID-19 Discussion Board / Re: Did you test for antibodies? POLL
« on: May 24, 2020, 03:22:05 PM »
From my totally layman's and entirely non-medical understanding it means that you may or may not have had it. It is simply inconclusive. Basically the same status as if you hadn't taken the test.
lol. i know that. nothing is changing in day to day living. im just curiuos if i had it. thats all

COVID-19 Discussion Board / Re: Did you test for antibodies? POLL
« on: May 24, 2020, 02:59:55 PM »
What I was told by the clinic I tested by. I also got a result of 3.80
my question is, did i have it and for whatever reason didn't produce antibodies? or is this minimal number something found in all humans naturally without any exposure to covid19 at all? or maybe i just didnt give enoughtime for the antibodies to grow

COVID-19 Discussion Board / Re: Did you test for antibodies? POLL
« on: May 24, 2020, 02:17:58 PM »
i tested at mycare in lakewood and got a negative result. but it says i have 3.80. can someone explain to me what the numbers mean? upthread someone said greater than 1.01 is positive.

COVID-19 Discussion Board / Re: Unemployment Help
« on: May 14, 2020, 09:45:53 AM »
wow!! even with nj's "new" system, where they only let literally 104 SSN's certify in the same half hour, their site kept crashing and i wasn't able to certify. seriously NJ? 104 people and your site crashes??

COVID-19 Discussion Board / Re: Unemployment Help
« on: May 13, 2020, 01:05:20 AM »
Wow. That's crazy. They circulated a doc with no mention that it's a proposed bill and it includes an FAQ???
Something seems off...
i asked lrrc about it and they told me that it counts as income for snap, but not for hud and jerseycare. after googling i did find this pdf from the usda, see a2

COVID-19 Discussion Board / Re: Unemployment Help
« on: May 11, 2020, 12:13:20 PM »

2 - Weren't we supposed to get benefits retroactively from the date of unemployment, which was 1 1/2 weeks before the date the claim was filed?

i got regular UI and have the same issue. just gonna wait it out

COVID-19 Discussion Board / Re: Unemployment Help
« on: May 08, 2020, 06:29:38 PM »
Psa: i filed for UI and gave a DD. For some reason a few weeks worth of $ went on my debit card that i had from disability from my last kid. So check your debit cards if something doesnt add up

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