Our Adventures

Welcome to the adventures of Larry and Connie Farquhar.

Alaska Adventure - Weeks 11, 12 and 13

Alaska Adventure - Weeks 11, 12 and 13

From our last post we were still in Fairbanks for another 5 days. We didn't sit around doing nothing, we knew of some Boomer RV friends who were coming into Fairbanks and we arranged a trip to Chena Hot Springs, which is about 50 miles northeast of Fairbanks (July 29). This was one of my must see and do items on our Alaska trip. We started off our visit purchasing our tickets for their Ice Museum. You must also pre-purchase your ticket for an Appletini, at their Aurora Bar. Connie P. and I were the brave ones of our group. When you enter the Ice Museum building you do so as a group. This is so the temperature doesn't drop below the 27 degrees. Large parkas were provided for our use and it was suggested that we bring our own hats and gloves. Yes it was very cold inside but there were some great carvings. Heather and Steve Brice are the resident carvers. Steve is a 16 time world champion carver and Heather is a 7 time champion. Both were inside busy either in the workshop making martini glasses or making repairs. Connie and I were eager to get our Appletinis so we looked around a little and then hit the bar. The beverages were very good and it was fun to sit at the ice bar on ice stools covered in Caribou hide. After our drink we looked around some more.

After our Ice Museum tour we headed back outside and we all enjoyed our picnic lunch. This place had some beautiful gardens and flowers. Chena Hot Springs is off the power grid. They have their own power plant that is geothermal. After our wonderful time soaking in the hot springs we took a short tour of the geothermal plant and the grounds.

(Continue reading for MUCH more information and photos)

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Guest — EdBaldwinedtecspeccom
Wow, great pictures, and fantastic summary of the trip. The extra touch on your costs were especially informative. Enjoy the winte... Read More
Friday, 09 October 2015 17:18
Guest — DaveJeffriesradiorangeryahoocom
Wonderful, and wondering where in AZ. My Bride and I winter in La Posa near Quartzsite.
Friday, 09 October 2015 22:11
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Alaska Adventure Weeks 9 and 10

Alaska Adventure Weeks 9 and 10

While we enjoyed our free camp site at Peterson Lake, it was time to move on. We headed back to Anchorage for a couple nights (July 13th - 14th). We stayed in the Sam's Club parking lot, allowing us to restock on groceries and do laundry. On our last night we enjoyed another Boomer get together. 12 of us met at a restaurant close by for more travel story swapping. Refueled and ready to continue on, we headed further north towards Fairbanks. We drove through the devastation left by the recent "Willow" fire. Many remote houses were burnt down. A little down the road, we stopped for lunch in Wasilla and took time to visit the Iditarod Dog Sled Race headquarters. They had a small display and some movies on the dogs. "Mushing" is a huge sport and mode of transportation in Alaska. They had a dog team hitched to an ATV. Connie took a quick ride around, being pulled by these very energetic dogs.

After lunch, we continued on and pulled off near Talkeetna for the night. We found a nice, quiet pull off to spend the night at (July 15th, 62.2982, -150.0837). We walked around this small and remote town. Besides being very much a tourist town, it's other main purpose is to provide services to the many remote homes in the area. Many without electric or water. Since we normally don't like to drive for more than a few hours (besides, we're not in a hurry), we stopped again for the night (July 16th) after only going 90 miles at the East Fork Chulitna Wayside (631504, -149.4129), which had a great and free campground. We were just south of Denali, which we'll return to in a couple weeks.

On July 17th, we finally arrived in Fairbanks. We decided to stay at the Sam's Club parking lot (64.854086, -147.708937). During the 5 nights we stayed here (July 17th - 22nd), we visited the nearby town of North Pole and the Santa Claus store. Connie may have liked looking around, but I wasn't impressed. A couple days later, we stopped at the Pioneer Park Village, but all of the stores were closed in the morning. We then headed to the University of Alaska Faribanks Museum. We had heard it was pretty good, and we had a 2-for-1 coupon from our "Toursaver" book. The museum was small, but full of a variety of displays. The art displays were okay, but I enjoyed the natural and historical section the most. Lots of information on dinosaur remains in Alaska, as well as information on the early settlers and the original tribes. They had displays on a wide variety of subjects. We especially liked the huge Grizzly Bear, and I liked the display on WWII battles in the Aleutian Islands. This is a part of WWII history not many people know about. Japan attacked, and occupied part of Alaska for awhile. Some Alaskan citizens (not military) were taken prisoner.

(Continue reading for more of the log and photos)

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Guest — JimmySmalleyjimtokikogmailcom
I have been checking in on your trip and taking in all the things you two have been doing, sounds great. I plan on taking the trip... Read More
Sunday, 02 August 2015 13:53
Guest — jimtokikogmailcom
I mest up and put my e-mail address wrong the first time.
Sunday, 02 August 2015 13:58
Larry Farquhar
The weather has been hot (we wore shorts) and cool. It varies greatly, even in one day. While we may think 70's is nice, Alaskan's... Read More
Sunday, 09 August 2015 08:47
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Alaska Adventure - Weeks 7 and 8

Alaska Adventure - Weeks 7 and 8

We stayed on the "Spit" at Homer from June 24th - July 8th. As expected, the July 4th holiday weekend was a mad-house in the campground. We enjoyed our stay in Homer, but after a couple weeks, we were ready to move on. During our stay in Homer, we hiked in an Alpine Meadow at the Eveline Recreation Area (where I left off in our previous Blog entry). While visiting the Bear Creek Winery, Larry made a deal with the manager to take some aerial photographs of their beautiful facilities in exchange for a case of wine. This was a winning deal for both sides. One of our day trips involved a drive to the nearby town of Anchor Point, with a side trip to Nikolaevsk and the old Russian church. We drove on the beach at Anchor Point and watched them recover boats directly in the ocean with large tractors. There were no boat docks, but there were a dozen Bald Eagles. Part of the significance of this trip was this is the furthest West you can drive in the United States. Another day, Bob and Joyce took the ferry across the bay to the town of Seldovia (Connie and I elected to not go). This whole area has a strong Russian influence, since it was Russian explorers and hunters who settled here (other than the original native tribes).

For one trip, Connie wanted to drive the road out as far we could on the Kenai peninsula. We had done the same while staying in Seward. We went past the end of the pavement of East Road and took a 4WD trail down a steep hill to the beach. We drove a short distance on the beach of Kachemak Bay. I'd say this was the end of the road. From here, we had wonderful views of various large glaciers across the bay. Another day trip took us to the nearby town of Ninilchik with numerous Halibut fishing charters. Of course, another day was spent catching up on laundry - at $5 a load at the Laundromat ($22 in total!)

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(Select the "Continue Reading" option below to read the entire article with more photos.)

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Guest — AlKatzman
can you e-mail??
Saturday, 23 January 2016 15:37
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Alaska Trip - Weeks 5 and 6

Alaska Trip - Weeks 5 and 6

Before our trip to Alaska, we bought the "Alaska TourSaver" book. This $99 book includes hundreds of coupons, mostly "two-for-one" deals on tourist attractions. We used a few coupons at some gift shops while in Anchorage for free gifts. They were mostly 50 cent souvenir magnets. One of the coupons Connie wanted to use was for an Alaska train trip from Anchorage to Whittier. There was no special reason for wanting to do this trip, other than the experience of a scenic train ride. Getting to Whittier also involves going through a long, one-lane tunnel. Cars are allowed to go in one direction every half hour, alternating which direction to go. In between this, the train also uses the same one-lane tunnel and must be "aired out" with turbine ventilation fans after each trip. Using a two-for-one coupon for this trip was $93. When we went to the train station to purchase our tickets, the counter man explained we would have a 6-hour stop in Whittier. He also said there's "nothing to do there, but drink". Basically, he talked us out of taking this trip. Instead, we used another two-for-one coupon ($74) on a short scenic train trip from Portage to Spencer Whistle Stop. There is no other way to get to Spencer Whistle Stop other than by train. We went early and drove down into the Portage Valley. A very pretty area with campgrounds, Portage Lake, and a few glaciers. But we didn't have time to go through the tunnel to Whittier. Once at the Whistle Stop, we went on a 2.6 mile hike to the Spencer Glacier. This hike was lead by a USFS guide, and the four of us were the only ones on the hike. We had our own private tour guide. A easy hike with beautiful scenery and interesting information. We got pretty close to the glacier, and it was the first glacier we'd seen, other than a quick drive by in the distance. It was a good day.  ("Continue" reading for more information and photos).

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Guest — Erin
Enjoying your accounting of the trip. We've been to AK a couple of times, but not with the Phaeton yet ... something we'll do in ... Read More
Sunday, 28 June 2015 05:51
Guest — marilyn bintz
Great write up of your trip. This is the kind of thing I joined facebook to read.
Monday, 29 June 2015 15:11
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Aerial Video of Williwaw Campground

Aerial Video of Williwaw Campground

Before heading to Seward, AK, we made a 4 day stop in the Portage Valley. Since I had some time, I took some aerial videos of the nearby area, including Byron Glacier, Middle Glacier, Portage Lake, and the Williwaw USFS campground we were staying in. The weather was great and I couldn't pass up the opportunity! Hope you enjoy the show!

I also started to learn more about "aerial mapping" with my UAV. Here's a small mapping test I made of a portion of the campground. This aerial map is created from multiple photos, then stitched together to create a "photomosaic". This is a greatly reduced sized photo, as the complete map is a large file that can be zoomed in for great detail.

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Guest — Becky Fuller
RVs are really tucked into the woods. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. See you before long.
Saturday, 20 June 2015 23:46
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