Author Topic: Alaska Master Thread  (Read 197682 times)

Offline davidd75

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #600 on: January 24, 2024, 12:47:34 PM »
do they have weekday minyanim usually during peak summer travel?

Offline TravelMoshe

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #601 on: January 24, 2024, 11:35:48 PM »
Not sure. You could call them at the number I wrote. They're very helpful.
I plan on being this this summer IYH for 2 weeks in August. We're 2 people above Bar Mitzva...

Offline pesach2020

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #602 on: January 25, 2024, 03:01:16 AM »
do they have weekday minyanim usually during peak summer travel?
I would say it's safe to assume they would have daily minyan or two. Obviously your best bet is to contact the Rabbi as he would be the middleman for all the minyan comers

Offline TravelMoshe

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #603 on: January 28, 2024, 12:08:26 PM »
As I'm working on planning the summer getaway, I'd love to hear from fellow members what are absolute must do's in Alaska?

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #604 on: January 28, 2024, 12:22:44 PM »
As I'm working on planning the summer getaway, I'd love to hear from fellow members what are absolute must do's in Alaska?
Our Alaska trip report, if you think it might be helpful for you:

https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=93831.0
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline TravelMoshe

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #605 on: January 28, 2024, 07:02:34 PM »
Thank you! I read it. A few questions if I may.
1. I've also reserved an RV from Great Alaskan Holidays. How did you research campsites, hook up places etc? I've never used an RV before..
2. Was the 7 hour cruise from Seward good? would you do longer or shorter? I've read some chatter about different places to take cruises from. Did you see a difference in your research? Watching glaciers calving seems also exciting besides for seeing all the water wildlife. Does this cruise cover both well?
3. Why was staying in the motorhome complicated for Shabbos? I had hoped to take advantage of Chabad RV hookup in their campus courtyard...
4. If using an RV, is the any other way to do laundry other than renting a hotel room with laundry machines for the night?
5. I'm having a hard time understanding your traveling within Denali. Why in Denali did you stay at the Savage River campground and then travel back to the beginning of the park the next morning? And then later you went back to Savage River etc. Why not just park near/at the entrance of the park and use the bus system within the park boundaries?
6. I'm going IYH for 14 days, arriving on Wednesday night. I'm hoping to do both Shabosim in Anchorage. I'd go north 1 week towards Talkeetna/Denali & south 1 week towards Seward/Kenai/Homer etc. Which side has more to do? I will have a full week for 1 and only 4 days for the other..
Of the things you did, which are a can't miss?

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #606 on: January 28, 2024, 10:18:53 PM »
Quote
Thank you! I read it. A few questions if I may.
1. I've also reserved an RV from Great Alaskan Holidays. How did you research campsites, hook up places etc? I've never used an RV before..
We've rented motorhomes many times before and after and I have a bunch of trip reports posted here on DDF.  There are a few tricky parts but it's not overly hard to do. I suggest you do some research on how to properly drive and operate a motorhome. They will show you a video before you leave, but I also suggest you watch some videos on YouTube to educate yourself.  Also, make sure all of the systems are operational before you leave Great Alaskan Holidays. I'd also suggest asking if they can turn on the refrigerator for you a day before you pick it up so the refrigerator will be cold when you arrive.  RV refrigerators generally take a while to initially get cold. 

Quote
2. Was the 7 hour cruise from Seward good? would you do longer or shorter? I've read some chatter about different places to take cruises from. Did you see a difference in your research? Watching glaciers calving seems also exciting besides for seeing all the water wildlife. Does this cruise cover both well?
I posted in the TR about our reason for choosing this cruise.  We were happy with our choice but don't have anything else to compare to.

Quote
3. Why was staying in the motorhome complicated for Shabbos? I had hoped to take advantage of Chabad RV hookup in their campus courtyard...
This was our first time staying in a motorhome for Shabbos and we weren't really prepared for it.  Different people will tell you different things on this issue.  I think some of the things are ridiculous but I will leave that up to you.  One thing we were told to do is to cover the wheels for Shabbos, and we have since purchased wheel covers (cheap on Amazon).  We have stayed in a motorhome for Shabbos multiple times and I prefer a nice RV Campground versus a hotel where we feel trapped on Shabbos. 

On thing you should check about is whether Chabad has a sewer hookup.  If they don't, just make sure to flush your black and gray water tanks before Shabbos.

Quote
4. If using an RV, is the any other way to do laundry other than renting a hotel room with laundry machines for the night?
Most full service campgrounds have laundry facilities. If not, go to a laundromat.

Quote
5. I'm having a hard time understanding your traveling within Denali. Why in Denali did you stay at the Savage River campground and then travel back to the beginning of the park the next morning? And then later you went back to Savage River etc. Why not just park near/at the entrance of the park and use the bus system within the park boundaries?
We were only able to reserve Savage River Campground for our first and third night, and it worked out very well for us.

Quote
6. I'm going IYH for 14 days, arriving on Wednesday night. I'm hoping to do both Shabosim in Anchorage. I'd go north 1 week towards Talkeetna/Denali & south 1 week towards Seward/Kenai/Homer etc. Which side has more to do? I will have a full week for 1 and only 4 days for the other..
Of the things you did, which are a can't miss?
I can't really answer this.  Alaska is big and has a lot to do.  I'd suggest you get a guidebook and read the DDF thread.
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline TravelMoshe

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #607 on: January 29, 2024, 03:32:24 PM »
Thank you!
I'm wondering if I post a list of some of the activities I specifically want to do, if anyone else that has experience/information/tips on them would be able to share that with me.
Here's the list:
1. Visiting Katmai National Park to see the brown bears fishing
2. Take a day cruise to view glaciers (with seeing as much wildlife as possible)
3. Take flightseeing tour around Denali with a glacier landing (seems to me that from Talkeetna is cheaper than from Denali itself?)
4. Take a guided hike onto a glacier (seems that the closest to Anchorage & easiest is Matanuska Glacier)
5. Dog sledding
6. Some kind of guided fishing (we have no experience but it seems like you almost can't go to Alaska without fishing)
7. Gorgeous hikes that you would recommend
Some other things that would be nice to do too:
1. ATVing
2. Rafting or Jetboat
3. Zipline
4. Kayaking (although my initial research seems to indicate that my youngest (8 year old girl) may be below the age limit allowed..

Offline SSLPhD

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #608 on: January 29, 2024, 10:32:53 PM »
Thank you!
I'm wondering if I post a list of some of the activities I specifically want to do, if anyone else that has experience/information/tips on them would be able to share that with me.
Here's the list:
1. Visiting Katmai National Park to see the brown bears fishing
2. Take a day cruise to view glaciers (with seeing as much wildlife as possible)
3. Take flightseeing tour around Denali with a glacier landing (seems to me that from Talkeetna is cheaper than from Denali itself?)
4. Take a guided hike onto a glacier (seems that the closest to Anchorage & easiest is Matanuska Glacier)
5. Dog sledding
6. Some kind of guided fishing (we have no experience but it seems like you almost can't go to Alaska without fishing)
7. Gorgeous hikes that you would recommend
Some other things that would be nice to do too:
1. ATVing
2. Rafting or Jetboat
3. Zipline
4. Kayaking (although my initial research seems to indicate that my youngest (8 year old girl) may be below the age limit allowed..

You're going to have to fly to get to Katmai NP, and it's quite an expensive day trip.  Almost impossible to plan an overnight there for this summer at this point.  [Cabins I believe are lottery that you need to enter a year or so in advance, campground reservations for the season fill up within minutes of opening at the beginning of January.  (Yes, I've tried.)]  Lake Clark NP might be another option, but you'd also have to fly there for a[n expensive] day trip.

Best place to see glaciers calving is Glacier Bay NP, but again, you'd need to fly there.  Kenai Fjords NP is good, too, but the glaciers are not nearly as spectacular.  Loads of wildlife.

You can probably drive toward Wrangell-St. Elias NP and do some of your activities there, if that interests you.  [You may not be able to drive inside the park (check your rental agreement), but outfitters may offer transportation.]

If you plan on staying at a campground inside Denali NP, you should probably book as soon as your dates become available.  Check out a campground map so you could choose the best spots.  I don't think any of the campgrounds there have sewer hookups, but they do have a dump station.  (Of the three campgrounds that allow RVs, Teklanika is probably not what you're looking for, Savage River is nice, Riley Creek is more convenient but noisier.  Some sites at Savage River and Riley Creek may not fit a large RV.)  Remember that to go past Savage River, you need to hike, bike, or take a bus.  Book the bus in advance, when you book your campground(s).  The tan buses are tour buses that do out and back, green buses will drop off/pick up along the way if you want to hike, provided there is seating available.  Going out to Wonder Lake/Kantishna and returning the same day is a LONG day.  Staying overnight at Wonder Lake, as @PBaruch did, allows one to do the full road, while breaking it into two days.

When you say rafting, I think Gates of the Arctic NP, but that's probably not the scale you're thinking of.  I believe you can do it at Wrangell, as well as other places.

To round out the national parks, the 8th one in Alaska is Kobuk Valley NP, but not on most people's radar.

To answer all your other questions:  check out alaska.org; it's an excellent resource for all things Alaska, and I believe it's run by a member of the Jewish community there.
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Offline ben moshe

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #609 on: January 31, 2024, 07:38:43 AM »
seward tour: we took the 6 hour ferry with kenai fjords tours and it was more than enough we saw all the wildlife and beutifal glaciers, its also usually very cold and windy so your prob. going to be inside the boat unless theirs a sighting.

glacier hikes: we did matnuska glacier and loved it but if your going down to wrangel theiy have cheaper, better, and less crowded tours.

Rafting: from what i herd the place to do rafting is near denali,
i did rafting in wrangel, it was great but very short, the guide spent most time preping, lazing in the lake and telling us history before,
also i took a rv to wrangel and it was a scary adventure, wouldnt recomend unless you have a car.

hiking: if your able to hike full harding icefield trail do it, if it was in the west you would need to win a lottery to go.

other great options would be fair banks, great for kids but quite boring.

also if you could go to valdez the drive passes through matansuka glacier and wrangel is a short detour, it was the nicest place i have been to in alaska and has many activities like, watch wildlife eat salmon at salmon gulch, biking, hiking, glacier and wildlife cruise, jet ski near glaciers, 3 hour kayaking in valdez glacier lake for $65 pp!!! where you kayak through a maze of icebergs and explore ice caves,
also valdez activities are way cheaper than ancorage area.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2024, 07:44:24 AM by ben moshe »

Offline TravelMoshe

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #610 on: February 10, 2024, 08:23:55 PM »
Can you elaborate on why Fairbanks is fun for kids yet still quite boring?

Offline tzifanya54

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #611 on: February 11, 2024, 11:47:32 AM »
Thank you!
I'm wondering if I post a list of some of the activities I specifically want to do, if anyone else that has experience/information/tips on them would be able to share that with me.
Here's the list:
1. Visiting Katmai National Park to see the brown bears fishing
2. Take a day cruise to view glaciers (with seeing as much wildlife as possible)
3. Take flightseeing tour around Denali with a glacier landing (seems to me that from Talkeetna is cheaper than from Denali itself?)
4. Take a guided hike onto a glacier (seems that the closest to Anchorage & easiest is Matanuska Glacier)
5. Dog sledding
6. Some kind of guided fishing (we have no experience but it seems like you almost can't go to Alaska without fishing)
7. Gorgeous hikes that you would recommend
Some other things that would be nice to do too:
1. ATVing
2. Rafting or Jetboat
3. Zipline
4. Kayaking (although my initial research seems to indicate that my youngest (8 year old girl) may be below the age limit allowed..
Keep in mind that the weather which is unpredictable can really affect things. We were scheduled for a Denali flight seeing tour with Glacier landing, was cancelled 3x throughout our trip. We would reschedule and they would cancel due to weather. We did not end up doing it.

Offline ben moshe

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #612 on: February 11, 2024, 12:06:49 PM »
i was in fairbanks this past summer, i hear the winter has great northern lights sighting,
the gold tour was simply boring, basicly old ppl. or parents bringing their kids, the ice meuseum is nice but not worth the money and time  the only thing that i feel was somewhat worth it was the chena hot springs as it was emty in the summer.
in short its basicly meuseums and tours their are much more worthwile places closer to anc....

Offline TravelMoshe

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #613 on: February 12, 2024, 09:19:57 PM »
Keep in mind that the weather which is unpredictable can really affect things. We were scheduled for a Denali flight seeing tour with Glacier landing, was cancelled 3x throughout our trip. We would reschedule and they would cancel due to weather. We did not end up doing it.
Yeah I've heard about that! So how are you supposed to schedule anything? I mean, didn't you have other activities scheduled for those days that they rescheduled you for?!

Offline myb821

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #614 on: February 14, 2024, 08:22:47 AM »
I remember reading a trip report of someone who went salmon fishing and cant seem to find it. Does anyone recall and have a link?

Offline SSLPhD

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #615 on: February 14, 2024, 09:40:45 AM »
I remember reading a trip report of someone who went salmon fishing and cant seem to find it. Does anyone recall and have a link?
https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=133797
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #616 on: March 18, 2024, 09:15:20 AM »
Alaska Airlines has a new JFK-ANC nonstop this summer.
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Offline TravelMoshe

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #617 on: April 01, 2024, 09:24:54 AM »
ooh! Gotta look into that. Thanks!
Btw, does anyone have an answer to the following questions:
1. If I booked some of my family using the companion fare & some using points on Alaska Airlines, I had to do that as 2 separate itineraries. Is there any way to get them together on one itinerary so I can get the free checked bag for everyone?
2. Has anyone ever used an RV campsite near Girdwood? I'm having trouble finding a good one.
3. Has anyone ever gone to either the Musk ox farm or the reindeer farm in/near Palmer? Any thoughts about it?
4. Has anyone used the famous Mile By Mile book? Was it helpful?

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #618 on: April 01, 2024, 02:14:56 PM »
ooh! Gotta look into that. Thanks!
Btw, does anyone have an answer to the following questions:
1. If I booked some of my family using the companion fare & some using points on Alaska Airlines, I had to do that as 2 separate itineraries. Is there any way to get them together on one itinerary so I can get the free checked bag for everyone?
2. Has anyone ever used an RV campsite near Girdwood? I'm having trouble finding a good one.
3. Has anyone ever gone to either the Musk ox farm or the reindeer farm in/near Palmer? Any thoughts about it?
4. Has anyone used the famous Mile By Mile book? Was it helpful?

Reindeer farm was fun - Musk Ox Farm not so much.  But, they no longer allow you to enter the pen to feed and interact with the reindeer.  Now you can only feed them through the fence (unless you pay for a much more expensive tour  - for $70 pp they let you enter the pen).  I am not sure how worthwhile that would be anymore.  Also, when we were there, they did allow RV camping overnight - not sure if they still do.  We covered both farms in our TR.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2024, 02:45:00 PM by PBaruch »
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Offline Dan

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Re: Alaska Master Thread
« Reply #619 on: April 12, 2024, 12:51:15 PM »
I had the following conversation with the Star-K yesterday regarding fishing:

After a bit of Googling, I found this study from 2011 taken in Prince William Sound, showing that 100% of the salmon caught in Prince William Sound were infected with anisakis, and 90% of those had the parasite in parts of the edible flesh.

No fishing for me I guess :(.
https://www.sciencealert.com/expired-cans-of-salmon-from-decades-ago-reveal-a-big-surprise
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.