Saturday, May 1, 2010

Plans, plans, plans!

I've been very preoccupied with our trip to Alaska this week. I've been reading guides and maps, online forums, and asking lots of questions about where we should go and what we should see. I've planned big trips before. In 1996, we went to Colorado for a family reunion and then stayed an extra week or 2 and tent camped around the state. In 1997, we drove our pop-up trailer on a long vacation to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons. I know these places can get very busy and you must make reservations early. We've heard that tourism is down in Alaska due to the economy, so I haven't been in a rush.

The biggest problem I am having is deciding where to go and what to do. We've decided to only make reservations on weekends and be a little more flexible on weekdays. We spent a day trying to decide if we were going to drive up the Dalton Hwy (post the Arctic Circle) or not. We decided to just go up part way. We are going to let each kid pick a special activity on the trip. That might be something that the whole family does or maybe just the kid and one parent. Our middle child is interested in checking out gold mining and mineral hunting. The teen wants to fly over Mt. McKinley. Not sure what the little one wants to do...probably buy some souvenirs. We are going to go on a day cruise to see whales, sealife, and glaciers. We want to watch people fish for salmon and dig for clams on Kenai Peninsula. And we will be on the LQQK out for wildlife. I've always been good at spotting them and we will have an advantage with sitting up high above the road in our RV. I am confident that we will see bear & moose. I am hoping we see some Musk Ox!

I am so thankful to have the internet to get so much information from. We do have some local friends who have RV/camped in AK a few times. We've gotten books and suggestions from them, but a lot of info has come from online RV forums. Today I got some very specific info about hiking trails (that aren't too difficult) that will lead us to glaciers and some other cool spots. While we do enjoy some popular things like visiting national park, we also like getting off the beaten path. I am sure there will be few nights of boondocking (just pulling the RV over and dropping the jacks) in a remote area. We better make sure to keep our camp area CLEAN!