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Alaska Caching


2goobs
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I will be traveling in Alaska the last two weeks in July. We will be be arriving in Anchorage on the 16 of July. We then travel south to Homer then catch the ferry to Valdez. From there it's up and around the Richardson highway back around to to acchorage. Any sugestions that you may have for some good caches along the way would be appriciated. Or is there a list around that I can get to help me with coords?

 

-thanks 2goobs

Lewisburg Pennsylvania

Edited by 2goobs
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Assume you are flying into Anchorage? Will contact Northwes down there and wee what he can do about rallying the local cachers. Let me know if Fairbanks is also on your itinerary, but based on your caching name, your timing, and your destination, I suspect some sockeyes and/or cohos on the Kenai are going to be your priority :D.

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Looks like we should be in fairbanks around the 24 an 25 of july. We have a travel bug that we will be leaving up there. It is the great British moose. Its goal is to photographed with a reeal moose. I know that we can help out this little guy. If we can't hopefully the locals can help him out.

 

Any ideas on places to check out and/or eat at while we are in you home town?

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Looks like we should be in fairbanks around the 24 an 25 of july.  We have a travel bug that we will be leaving up there.  It is the great British moose. Its goal is to photographed with a reeal moose.  I know that we can help out this little guy.  If we can't hopefully the locals can help him out.

 

    Any ideas on places to check out and/or eat at while we are in you home town?

Best place to perhaps see a moose for a TB photo is to take the drive out Chena Hot Springs Road to Chena Hot Springs (~50 miles each way). Once you get 30 miles out, the road crosses several sloughs and parallels the Chena River and the moose like to hang out eating the water plants. Or, show up in my yard at 2:30 a.m. when our dogs are going crazy because mamma moose just walked down the powerline cut at the bottom of our lot :P.

 

To get the lay of the land, hit the tourist information center and Public Lands Office downtown. More details and links can be found on the Welcome to Fairbanks!!! cache page.

 

If you are going to pay for any high dollar tourist attractions up here, a definite must is the Riverboat Discovery stern wheel boat tour of the Chena and Tanana Rivers. The trip includes demonstrations by a bush pilot, Susan Butcher's dog kennel, a traditional fish camp, and other Alaskan aspects. You even get unlimited free donuts and coffee for the price of admission! The Ladybug Kids do this each year because we enjoy it so much.

 

If you want to try your luck at gold panning, try Little Red's in Pioneer Park where for $7 you can try your luck with one-on-one help from the experts. Other outfits offer panning as part of their higher dollar tours, but our family enjoys this little family run outfit.

 

The Alaska Salmon Bake at Pioneer Park is a great place to sample some Alaskan cooking. And you must try some of the Alaskan blueberry (or one of several other flavors) ice cream at Hot Licks on College Rd. just east of University Ave. If you have warm sunny weather, we also recommend a cold drink and meal on the outside deck next to the Chena River at Pike's Landing or the Chena Pump House. The Princess Hotel and Chena River Resort also offer Chena Riverside drinking and eating. Gambardella's downtown has good Italian Food and for a real gourmet meal with great wine, try Lavelle's Bistro for dinner located downtown near the Marriot hotel or Alex's Cafe, also downtown.

 

The Chatanika Lodge located about 17 miles out the Steese Highway is a fun Alaskana place to eat. You have to at least go inside and check out the near mint condition '57 (I think) T-bird. A short walk across the road will take you to one of the monster gold dredges that worked the Chatanika River Valley. The AK Gold Rushc ache is also nearby. Thirty miles further out is the Davidson Ditch (for more info., check out the Ditch Niche cache page).

 

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum has some great exhibits on local natural history. The Arboreal Off the Bike Path cache page has a link to a campus map. Parking at the museum puts you within easy reach of the Arboreal cache and Wood River Butte cache. Down the hill and to the east is the UAF Botanical Garden and to the north on Yankovich Rd. is the Large Animal Research Station (LARS) where you can see musk oxen and caribou herds.

 

And, for the little kid in everybody, head on down to North Pole and visit Santa's workshop and hit the various caches down there. I'll have bookmark lists together in a couple of weeks once we get past the Summer Solstice Event Cache and get the Alaska geocoins mailed out. The Milepost is a great reference to have for driving yourself around.

 

Hope this is enough to get you started. Don't hesitate to e-mail or repost if you have further questions.

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We too are going to be up in your neck of the woods along with Team Alamo. We arrive July 29th and depart for the Kenai on Tuesday the 2nd.

We were hoping to meet up with some cachers in the area to trade some bugs and stories. Maybe we can arrange an event at one of your local hangouts?

Home brew and Alaska's best pizza at The Moose's Tooth on Old Seward Highway between 36th and Benson Blvd. could be the spot. I'll give Northwes a head's up down in Anchorage in case I can't be down there during that time.

Edited by Ladybug Kids
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Arrrgh! Why is it my best email messages from Daddy Ladybug are always found just after the third hour I've promised myself I'm heading to bed!

 

I'd be DELIGHTED to host a local cache event that gives you late July visitors a chance to swap TBs and stories... let's talk more - tomorrow!

 

I live near the airport, and near Kincaid Park (arguably one of Anchorage's best caching venues!!). Meeting folks like you all is one of the best things I've gained in geocaching - prequalified bonafide nice people who enjoy seeing the real America...

 

Seriously - bombard me with questions and I'll do my best to answer them for you! I've lived here 30+ years, and my wife's folks are still living on their homestead up by Talkeetna (see the cache at 'The Three Forks of the Montana' near Talkeetna AK). I love to give folks tips on enjoying their visits here!

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Its great to have contacts in the area. The info that we have got from each of you is greatly appriciated. You can only read so many books. We decided not to do the cruise thing so we coould get to see what the state is really like not just to touist areas.

 

Looks like on the 29th we will be flying around Mcnily with k2 aviation for a birds eye view of things. Talk about an expensive flight but its the one thing that we really wanted to see, and we are to lazy to climb to the top of it haha.

 

I have lots of film and we are buying another memory card for this trip. Its comming up fast and I'm just plain gitty about the whole thing. I will run this past my better half and post some more rendon thoughts.

Edited by 2goobs
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Oh you're gonna love the K2 flight around Denali; some flights land on the glacier too. Watch the weather & be flexible around that day, so you can reschedule because of weather if you have to (doesn't happen often at all). Funny thing about Denali - it makes its own weather, so the closer you get the less you see of the mountain sometimes! Plan stops around Talkeetna to see the mountain; great cache spot at Talkeetna Alaska Lodge (Talkeetna Treasure Cache), with a stunning view of Denali, and K2 takes off at the airport just 2 miles away!

 

Practice taking photos through windows (like, K2 Aviation's airplane window - close to the lens - will your camera go to fixed manual focus so it doesn't keep focusing on a dirt spot on the plane's window & ruin your shot?), practice water and snow photos if you can; the light gets kind of wierd sometimes for the camera - shifts to blue (doh - it's ice!). Daddy Ladybug's a 'shutterbug' too and gets good winter/snow photos - he can give you tips if you need them (see his photo gallery at his profile - he's a king at winter caching photography!). Definitely get the memory card, a second set of rechargeable batteries, and a spare spare spare backup set of throwaway batteries from your local discount store before you come... they can be expensive or even unavailable outside of the big towns here, or inconvenient to your schedule. I travel the state with a minimum of one spare set of rechargeable and a dozen throwaways... minimum... for a day's drive.

 

The airplane ride is NOISY - you'll have headsets to wear - gals should ditch the earrings on this ride! Take motion sickness remedies in advance and don't tank up on fluids before you fly! Chewing gum will help your ears pop (they're not pressurized aircraft, despite how high they fly!). A video cam with internal stabilizer is terrific for the flight, and if you can dub over the sound you'll enjoy watching it later a lot more. THE classic bush plane photo is usually a shot of a K2 light plane against Denali - for good reason. I make all the graphics for the K2 folks & their airplanes - top of line in their work.

 

By the way, our highway system doesn't have great toilets at pullouts and waysides... my wife brings wet wipes and those sanitary purifier hand cleaners. Ugly side of Alaska - great views, nasty waysides - my four gals have waypoints on our drive routes for 'good' bathrooms (like the gas station at Girdwood, the gas stations in Seward, any Carrs or Safeway store in a town).

 

Enough rambling... except... are you planning to fish too? Naw... you wouldn't miss caching time, would you? :lol:

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Other thoughts:

 

You're starting in Anchorage, then heading to Homer to catch the ferry to Valdez? or are you heading to Seward to catch the ferry to Valdez? If you go to Homer, you must change ferries in Kodiak, I believe. Let me know... it will affect my suggestions for caches to hunt. Good grief - I haven't gotten to Kodiak in ages - and certainly not since I started geocaching!

 

In any case, you should 'bug' Daddy Ladybug for info on the Valdez caches too - he visits there on a regular basis as part of his work... There's a couple of folks in Valdez that pop out caches on a near-weekly basis! I haven't got over there yet to hunt those; I'm hoping to do a combined silver salmon fishing trip coupled with a Valdez cache run this August.

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In any case, you should 'bug' Daddy Ladybug for info on the Valdez caches too - he visits there on a regular basis as part of his work... There's a couple of folks in Valdez that pop out caches on a near-weekly basis! I haven't got over there yet to hunt those; I'm hoping to do a combined silver salmon fishing trip coupled with a Valdez cache run this August.

...will develop Bookmark lists for Anchorage, Valdez, Fairbanks, and Delta Junction after this weekend's event cache and the Alaska geocoins are sent out. Then I just have to figure out how to share the lists...should be easy since that was one of the intents of adding the Bookmark function.

 

Boy, that'd be a tough choice...silvers or caching, silvers or caching, silvers or caching??? Aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhh!!!!!! :D

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Practice taking photos through windows (like, K2 Aviation's airplane window - close to the lens - will your camera go to fixed manual focus so it doesn't keep focusing on a dirt spot on the plane's window & ruin your shot?), practice water and snow photos if you can; the light gets kind of wierd sometimes for the camera - shifts to blue (doh - it's ice!). Daddy Ladybug's a 'shutterbug' too and gets good winter/snow photos - he can give you tips if you need them (see his photo gallery at his profile - he's a king at winter caching photography!).

Quick snow and ice tips:

 

If your camera has a "snow scene" option, set it on that and it will do the exposure compensation for you. Otherwise, I intentionally overexpose my snow shots (film and digital) by 1/2 to 2/3 f-stop to make sure the snow turns out white and not blue. With a digital camera, you'll be getting instant feedback and can adjust accordingly. With film, you won't see the results until after development, so I recommend biting the bullet and bracketing your shots and taking lots and lots of shots for the Denali flyby since the film will be be cheap part of your trip. As you circle the mountain and fly in and out of the various glacier gorges, your lighting will continuously change due to clouds, shadows, sun angles, etc., so you'll have to be constantly adjusting as well. Also, if you have two cameras, position yourselves on opposite sides of the plane because the scenary is amazing and different on both sides of the plane.

 

For glacier ice blue, I shoot the straight light meter exposure and bracket +/- 1/3 f-stop.

 

Finally, when in the plane, I recommend shooting at the fastest shutter speed your lens will allow. You should be focused on infinity anyway, so depth of field isn't a concern. The fast shutter speed will get you a sharp photo even with the plane movement and engine vibration you'll be experiencing. Doing so will also "blur" out any dirt on the window, though the flightseeing companies usually do a good job of keeping the windows clean.

 

If your trip includes a glacier landing, I recommend turning on your flash when shooting your people pictures. Between the sun and the snow reflections, people's faces get lot of strong shadows on them and using the flash will help soften the shadows.

 

Might sound like a lot, but I do it all with a 20 year-old Nikon FE2 35mm camera and a Nikon Coolpix 3200 digital pocket camera, so you don't need to break the bank on camera equipment. The big key is to know your equipment and your film (and be sure to have lots of batteries as recommended by Northwes as they don't sell them on the Kahiltna Glacier). And don't expect to come back with Bradford Washburn quality photos. He spent weeks flying around the mountain with a large format camera hung out of the bottom of the plane, so his published work is the best photos shot under the best conditions by someone who had lots and lots of opportunities to get the best.

 

I hope you have blue skies and no wind for your flyby. You'll never forget it!!!

 

Edit: Additional thought. Try to plan your flyby trip when the sun is at a low angle (morning or evening). The low angle light brings out a lot of the relief on the snow-covered slopes and decreases the range of light intensity between the brightest snow and the deepest shadows. Shooting during midday has resulted in a lot of "blown out" images of properly exposed mountain and everything else silhouetted or properly exposed foreground and way overexposed snow/mountain. Photographers love the low angle light periods up here because they last for hours as opposed to minutes at lower latitudes.

Edited by Ladybug Kids
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And don't expect to come back with Bradford Washburn quality photos

 

I was hoping for Ansul Adams quality!!

Okay...you'll need to set up a wall tent with a sheepherder stove in the Dutch Hills south of Denali near where Sydney Laurence painted. You can drive there on the Petersville Road, but may need 4x4 for the last few miles, depending on how well the local gold miners have maintained the road :D.

 

Alternatively, you can hang out at Wonder Lake or Kantishna on the north side of Denali and wait for that big bull moose to wonder into the lake just as the sun sets and the full moon rises :D.

 

One has to be good, but you also have to be lucky! :D

 

Have a great trip!!!

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The Fun Guy cache is kind of a neat little Alaskan cache and I've been told that Cache with a View is a must for out of towners. Just two off the top of my head and I suppose it also depends on what you are interested in. Are you looking for uniqueness, quantity or the Alaskan experience? :lol:

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Boy, that'd be a tough choice...silvers or caching, silvers or caching, silvers or caching???  Aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhh!!!!!!  :lol:

Pasagshak River Kodiak Island.

 

The Take: SLAM-- Heart stops and the world stops revolving.

ac3c835e-03b8-43ad-be5c-4003ef1a64e5.jpg

 

The Fight: Keep the heat on don't let him get downstream.

aabb50f6-219c-4e76-ada6-f9e11668fe90.jpg

 

The SMILE :lol: (I had to look twice at the fish on the right to make sure it wasn't a small King Salmon.)

8a6ca171-dfe7-4e40-a6f4-50d35b9a2b33.jpg

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is there any chance that anyone knows the Status of the "Hiding in Hoona-lulu"cache?

Shooter206, have you tried contacting Neoprene Rose (the cache owner)? She appears to be based in Sitka, which is a long way from Hoonah but 'way closer than most of the Alaskan caching community. She probably visits Hoonah on a semi-regular basis providing health care. Failing that, research which cruise line docks in Hoonah & post a query aimed at folks travelling their ships. Hoonah's a nice place to visit, but it's definitely on the back side of nowhere for most Alaskans... unfortunate but true - accessible only by float plane, ship, or ferry out of Juneau. Good blacktail deer hunting there, and the fishing's out of this world... but it costs over $700 to access from Anchorage.

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Hello all,

 

Hope you all had a good time ant the 1st annual summer solstise. I was thinking of all of you wishing that we were there. Only a few more weeks until I can enjoy your little corner of the earth. If there are any TBs in need of a return trip tho the east coast let me knopw and I can try to retrive them and get them back here.

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Hello all,

 

Hope you all had a good time ant the 1st annual summer solstise. I was thinking of all of you wishing that we were there. Only a few more weeks until I can enjoy your little corner of the earth. If there are any TBs in need of a return trip tho the east coast let me knopw and I can try to retrive them and get them back here.

Had a great time, great company, great food and great weather for the 1st Annual Summer Solstice Event Cache. Will get photos up later this week to go with the attended logs. Tundra Tim, AKBike&Ski, and I even did some caching literally by the light of the midnight sun on a ridge flanked by thunderstorms to the north and south.

 

As a matter of fact, I do have a couple of travel bugs with east coast goals that I picked up at the Event Cache that Northwes and I were thinking about putting through the Stargate system, but having you carry them would be even better, especially if you logged them through one or two caches during your trip around the state.

 

Just reminded myself that you are showing up on July 16, so I'll be sure to get my bookmarked cache lists done by the end of the weekend so you can start picking and choosing. Hope other Alaskans see this thread and provide their own picks, too! I already have Trove Rover's recommendations on my Anchorage bookmark list...apparently she and I have similar tastes. She was being a bit modest because "Cache With A View" is her cache placed in a great place at about tree line that provides a sweeping view of Anchorage, Cook Inlet, Turnagain Arm, the Alaska Range, the Kenai Mountains, and the Chugach Mountains. Go there at sunset on a clear day for a real special treat.

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:D I definetly wasn't trying to toot my own horn, I would have recommended "Cache with a View" regardless, based on a few of the log entries. There are also quite a few caches up there in the area that you can grab if you are in to a relatively flat hike and even more if you are in to exerting a bit more energy. I just got back from a road trip to Seward and Kenai and wanted to mention a couple of nice caches I hit along the way. Please keep in mind I had a 5 year old in tow so I only hit ones that were quick and easy. I know there are alot more along the way (like Colorado Creek Claim Jumper) that look like fun adventures, but did not attempt (yet). Anyway, Turnagain Pass Micro, Jeromes Secret, Lilly's Lookout and Kenai River Flats are all a must do if you are traveling to these areas via the Highway.
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Well I think we have the packing done, waypoints downloaded, and camera bag stocked. Look out Alaska here comes 2goobs! I can't wait to get up there and see what youi have been hiding up there. What is the weather supposed to be for the next two weeks?

 

We will be bringing our our lap top so we can check for TBs that need a lift back east! We will try to get as many as possible. We will be anchorage on the 16 and 17. Fairbanks on the 25. Denali 26,27,28. Back to anchorage on the 30. Just let us know on this board where to pick up the TBs.

 

2goobs

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Now that I have the coins mailed, I'll get going on the Fairbanks Bookmark list.

 

Weather: Based on two weeks and where you are going, come prepared for anything between 40 and 80 degrees with the high likelihood of mist, rain, and/or wind at least some of the time. It's about 80 degrees and sunny today in Fairbanks.

 

Have a great trip!

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Hello everyone. I just wanted to thank everyone in AK for your help especcialy Lady Bug kids and north wes. You all were very helpful with caching up there and also with taking picctures and places to go and to see. We made it to one on Lady Bugs Kids' caches and nearly got eated alive!! (by the state bird mosquito). We hope to return soon and I hope our picture at the Kids cache comes out! Well thanks again and if you ever make it to Pa. let us know.

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