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Old 09-19-2019, 09:24 PM   #1
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Our Alaska trip

We're halfway through our trip. Currently in Anchorage with friends. My wife comes back Sunday (don't know why she didn't want to hunt birds. We'll make a trip down the Kenai and then start heading back the end of the month.

A few things:

The bird hunting (ptarmigan and grouse has been very poor). My friend thinks the many birds did not make it through the hot, dry summer so we were reluctant to take even the few we saw.
Salmon fishing in Valdez was slow (got 2/3 of a limt).
The Fountainhead Antique Auto museum should be a must stop for everyone who gets to Fairbanks.
Got a chip in the RV windshield in Wyoming. So far nothing in Alaska.
Got a chip in the toad driving it on the New Seward Highway in Anchorage when a pickup merged in and threw one from the shoulder. Nothing else and nothing special done to reduce the hazard when towing.

Been a great trip. Recommend to all. Thanks for setting up the Alaska forum.

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Old 09-19-2019, 09:35 PM   #2
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That's good fishing. What kind of salmon were running in Valdez? My kid got his sockeye on the Kenai this year (he dipnets) but he passed on the partridges, too. His theory is that the local birds have fallen prey to the unusually hot and dry summer + the predators that have concentrated in the area due to the fires. Too bad about the upland birds. They can be a fun shoot. What about waterfowl?

Have the fires been a problem for you?
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodekyll View Post
That's good fishing. What kind of salmon were running in Valdez? My kid got his sockeye on the Kenai this year (he dipnets) but he passed on the partridges, too. His theory is that the local birds have fallen prey to the unusually hot and dry summer + the predators that have concentrated in the area due to the fires. Too bad about the upland birds. They can be a fun shoot. What about waterfowl?

Have the fires been a problem for you?
We were looking for ducks but the only ones we saw were some in the pond next to the McLaren Lodge on the Denali Highway. Did see some in Potters Marsh yesterday south of Anchorage but pretty small numbers. I don't think they've been pushed out up north yet.
There was an interesting article about the bird population in general being down 29% since 1970 in North America which seems to bear out our experiences. My buddy also feels that the young birds did not survive the hot, dry summer.
The fires did not impact us. We did see the aftermath of the fire on the Parks Highway. We're heading down the Kenai Monday. Those fires also burned up to the road on both sides. Heard today that the peat under those fires will likely smoulder until everything is buried under snow.
My wife and I will probably leave Alaska next weekend. Always good to be in Alaska - hope I have the chance again.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:48 AM   #4
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Worldcat: Ditto on the fountainhead, we got home Aug 10th from our trip, don't feel bad about the salmon fishing success or lack of it. We fished in Anchorage (Ship Creek), Soldotna, Hope, Homer, and finally Valdez, where we finally had success, all 3 of us limited out, both days we were there. Think it has more to do with timing than anything else, although we saw plenty of other fish catchers in the other places(maybe it WAS just us being poor fishermen!) we fished. We were lucky and missed most of the fires, only had smoke to deal with in Anchorage. We were in Talkeetna the day the Montana Creek fire started. I hear you on the rock chips, friend garnered his in Wyoming on the way home! Did or are you taking the Tok cutoff? We found it no worse than anything else really, although there was a lot of it torn up for construction. Anyway, congrats on a great trip, it was our first and want to do it again!
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:51 AM   #5
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Rodekyll: for us it was mostly pinks in Valdez.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
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When the humpies (pinks) come in to Sitka you can walk across them as they go up the Indian River. It's a frothing mass of fish. They plug up the water so bad we can't get through them to catch more preferred species. There once was a humpy hatchery at the north end of the road system. The pens became contaminated and the hatchery was shut down. The fish kept returning anyway and started running up all the water sources in the area. That included the storm drain down by the Tru-Value Hardware. Yup, we got salmon in the storm sewers under Sitka. You can park in the back lot and watch them go up the pipe.

But on-topic -- the highways are basically built to wherever they go. But a lot of it was built in a rush during the war and in their haste they engineered for expediency, not best building practices. When a piece of equipment sank in the permafrost, they left it and built over it. They filled roadbeds with logs and saplings. They filled with whatever was handy.

And all those buried machines and all the substandard substrate is rotting, settling, and going back to the earth. Add to that the problem of thawing permafrost and the ravages of fire, flood, and weather. You can see that the road was in bad shape as it was being built. So every year they tear up a section of road and redo it.

Funds are scarce. The nation laughs at Alaska's road needs with jokes about bridges to nowhere and such. Our own governor joined the party by giving up highway funds in order to rebuild (yet again) below-sea-level neighborhoods in New Orleans. The fed spends more money on the Canadian part of the Alaska highway than the US part. The transportation officials want to run the highways like a business instead of like infrastructure. So road maintenance and repair happens slowly and in small doses. Somewhere the road is always torn up, and somewhere else it always needs work.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:36 PM   #7
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Had a nice run down to Homer and Seward early this week. homer was mostly closed up so spent 2 nights at friends of friends in their driveway. Their house is right on the Cook Inlet directly across from Mt. Redoubt. Incredible views to wake up to.
Stayed at the Waterfront Park in Seward and had a great dinner at Ray's. Lots of places were also closed for the season.
Left Anchorgae this morning. Tok Cutoff road work still pushing to get as much done as possible before snow really flies. The Glenn Highway had plowable snow from snow a few days ago.
Porcupine Creek Campground was closed so just pulled off about 40 miles before Tok. Will cross the border tomorrow. Very sorry to leave. Doubt I will make it back.Click image for larger version

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