A Travellerspoint blog

Illness hits the Hobars

Days 12 & 13

Day 12 was suppose to be a very early morning, but the fever and cough were too much for the Hobars. Wynn and I did not make it up at 4:30am either so our tour into Denali National Park was put on hold. It was raining like crazy so I didn't mind staying in town. We stayed at the Grand Denali Lodge. Wynn and I went down the mountain into town on the shuttle and did some shopping. We had to go to the liquor store to find DayQuil and Robitussin. We stayed down for lunch and spotted our supper spot and an ice cream place for dessert. We ate at the Old Prospectors and it was historic as promised.

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After a restless night for me, ( everyone else was knocked out with NyQuil) we got up on Day 13 and took the shuttle to the Denali Visitor Center. Had to love the sign out front while waiting for the shuttle.

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They were re-paving the road on the way to the park entrance so we were a bit off schedule. They had Bob's passport stamp and also his Nat'l Park Stamp collection. They had a really nice display set up in the Center.

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We hiked for about an hour, in spite of the drizzling rain. We took the Taiga Trail.

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After a long cold wait in the rain, we caught the shuttle back down the mountain and had lunch at the Lodge. Evelyn got her sweet potato fries and I got regular. It was good to see her get a bit of appetite back. Bob's is still a bit suspect today. One more shuttle to take down the mountain...this time to the Denali train station. We were back on the rails with the destination, Fairbanks.

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We got checked in and found out our tickets included a dinner, free drinks and a dessert. A wonderful surprise since we would be on this train for 4 hours, arriving at 8pm. This train was a more leisurely paced trip with a lot of beautiful scenery. And yes, the food was yummy.

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We arrived into Fairbanks, picked up our luggage and loaded into the transit for River's Edge cottages.

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We checked in and took a walk around by the river and through the park. It was a good way to get our legs stretched out a bit after the train. I have to say that the flowers around here are tremendously beautiful. The 19 hours of sunlight in the summer months produce vibrant blooms!

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So now we are settled in for the night. I doubt it will be clear enough to see Northern Lights tonight. Tomorrow we are driving to the North Pole. Maybe we will see Santa 😉

Wynn and I leave you with our beautiful sunset across the river's edge.

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See you tomorrow...

Posted by brendagerber07 22:59 Comments (2)

Denali National Park...We have arrived

7.5 hour train ride from Anchorage

Hello everyone from way up high in Sugarloaf mountain-The Grand Denali Hotel, right across from the Denali Depot. We started off early this morning on a shuttle from the hotel to the Anchorage train station. We got our luggage checked in and then Bob and Ev had a little fun in the train station gift shop before boarding a shuttle to the actual train.

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We met our conductor and also our tour guide and bartender, who tag teamed a lot of the narrative. It was such an interesting team. I actually got video taken of the bartender reading a poem called, "The Call of the Wild"

There was so much beautiful scenery. I especially loved the views that included rivers, mountains and trees in the same shot. I will include some of my favorites. I really liked to train ride. It was a high top car with windows all around and on top. We ate in the downstairs restaurant, which was a first for me.

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We could see our hotel as we pulled into the station. It is the 25th today and free entrance into the Nat'l Parks today. This hotel is celebrating Christmas in August.

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Bob and Ev are feeling poorly so please pray that they will feel better after a good night's sleep. We have to be at the shuttle at 5:30 am to catch the green bus line into Denali National Park. We will see how the day goes as to how long we will tour. We went to eat in the hotel restaurant. Meals were in the $35 dollar range and I had a wonderful grilled pork chop with a mustard peach chutney and Yukon mashed potatoes. Wynn had a seafood pasta. Too full for dessert!

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So good nite to all of you. We are heading to bed early. I did mail postcards to our grand girls and boy! We love you all and miss you. Denali was under clouds today which made us all the more thankful that we clearly saw it yesterday and took our flight in clear air. We have had such beautiful weather thus far, that we can't complain if we get a bit of rain. Again, just thankful that we were in the 30% club that saw Mt Denali clearly! ( and the 10% club to see it clearly from Talkeetna in the summer!)

Wynn and Brenda

Posted by brendagerber07 21:57 Comments (2)

We saw Denali and Sheep Mountain

Days 9 & 10

We are back in Anchorage at the Comfort Inn on Ship Creek Rd. Our hotel is right across from the railway station that we will be using tomorrow. What a fabulous two days. The terrain was very different since now we are moving inland with no seas in sight. But wow, did we ever see the mountains. We had started our morning by going to a preserve that took injured or orphaned animals in for protection and healing. We all enjoyed this adventure.

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Sheep Mountain Lodge was located in a remote area with no cell service, TVs, and very limited Internet access. Our cabins were adorable log cabins. We went down the mountain a quarter of a mile to catch a restaurant and ordered a thin crust pizza. It was delicious. We came back to our cabins and got settled in for the evening and heard that the northern lights were going to be on display for the rest of our trip. All we needed was dark skies. So at 1:30 AM, Wynn and I stumbled out of bed and met Bob and Evelyn outside under the dark skies. And yes indeed, we saw the northern lights. They were not all green and purples like we imagined, but the skies did look green in Bob's pictures. We are hoping to view them again in another day or so. Cannot do this every night . 😴 We did see some mountain sheep way up high as well.

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So after falling back to sleep, we had breakfast right at the Sheep Lodge. Homemade cinnamon rolls and hot eggs and thick bacon gave us a good start for a new day. We drove back into Palmer and then decided to head to Talkeetna. It was such a clear day, that we knew we would be able to see Denali. They told us there that only 10 % of visitors in the summer months see it as clearly as we got to today. We stopped several times along the way to take pictures of Mt McKinley.

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We also saw where some of the forest fire went through.

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When we got to Talkeetna, we decided to go through a few gift shops and be tourists. We picked up T-shirts, ball caps… and Evelyn got me a very cute moose coffee mug. And then, Bob and I got to fulfill one of our bucket list items, we booked a small air flight to go over the Southface of Denali

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Here are some pictures from the air that I was able to shoot. I have not downloaded any of Bob's pictures today, as they are returning the rental car right now. I wanted to get the blog up before I got too tired. So you will have to settle for my photography.

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So after a couple of days, we are ready for our scenic train ride from Anchorage to Denali. After having seen it from the air, it will be fun to tour the Nat'l Park. We will be staying in the Princess Lodge for the next two nights.

Wynn and I both took time to call our Mom's today. Today marked the 2nd anniversary of my Dad's arrival into Heaven. I miss him and knew my Mom would be missing him too. Wynn talked to his Mom and reminisced with her about their trip to Alaska in '93.
G'night from the Hobars and the Gerbers...

Posted by brendagerber07 22:34 Comments (4)

Day 8 and we are halfway thru our vacation

Prince William Sound

Day 8 started at the Hidden Creek B&B and a home cooked breakfast. Our hostess studied to be a chef and it was obvious. We had a personalized menu and the table was set. There were ten of us all together for breakfast and the conversation was lively. I had a plate of French toast with a banana praline syrup. Yum! Also had a couple bites of reindeer sausage. Wynn had blueberry pancakes. Bob had the hostess special- seen on the menu and Ev had egg over easy on top of buttermilk pancakes. Fresh fruit and muffins completed the meal. We get to experience this again tomorrow morning.

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Then we made the trip from Girdwood over to Whittier. There was a very strange one way tunnel through a large mountain that only allowed our cars through on the half hour. We shared the tunnel with the cars going the other way and also the Alaskan Train. It was quite funky and cost us a few bucks to go through.

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When we went through the tunnel we arrived in Whittier. It was a crazy little town with mostly ports and not much else...couple of hotels.

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We boarded the Phillips 26 Glacier Tour and got onto the boat for our five hour cruise through the Prince William Sound.

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We were seated on the second deck and had seats by a window. We sat with a couple from Pittsburgh area. He was an Army vet and she a retired school teacher. This tour was mainly about the glaciers - 26 of them to be exact. We visited up close to at least four of them but the others were pointed out. The beauty of these majestic glaciers and sparkling mountains cannot be truly seen in these pics, but I think Bob did a great job in capturing the views.

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We had a forest naturalist doing the narration as we travelled. He was informative, but not nearly as personable or entertaining as our sea captain in Seward. We did not see nearly the wildlife, but like I said, there was more emphasis on the glaciers. We did see some seals, sea lions and otters.

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There were some other creatures encountered as well.

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As I told Wynn, you just can't beat a day on the water. This boat was larger than our last one and we went about 45mph. The wind on deck was close to 50 mph. Bob and Wynn stayed out most of the time. Ev and I went in and out depending on what was being seen. When the tour was done, we hustled back to the car. We got in line for the tunnel with two minutes to spare. Then we waited while a train came through. (Bob was in his glory catching the train coming out of the tunnel in pictures. )

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We travelled back to Girdwood and had supper at a little joint in town. There was live music and good food. We went down the hill afterwards for ice cream cones and ate them while looking for moose in where? Moose Meadows of course. There were none to be seen tonight.

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So another day comes and goes and we are headed to bed. I have another few minutes before the clothes come out of the dryer. Tomorrow we are heading to an animal shelter in the morning and then we have a three hour drive to Sheep Mountain Lodge. This is suppose to be a quiet, no electronic retreat. They do not have cell service or Internet....so there will not be a blog tomorrow, friends. I know, I know...you are all soooo disappointed. 😂

So I leave you with one more picture tonight. The sun will shine again and we will be back on Monday.

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Bye for now!

Posted by brendagerber07 23:11 Comments (3)

Moose Surprise!!

Driving day to Girdwood

What a day- filled with all kinds of variety.
We had such a pleasant stay at the Windsong Lodge. We decided to eat breakfast at their restaurant and had a delicious breakfast. Bob and Ev walked across the road to the marsh, but did not see any moose. That was to be a theme of the day. Wynn and I went back to our room, packed our bags and then went to sit in front of the fire in the lobby.

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Today was marked as a travel day with the destination of Girdwood. We had a detour trip down Rt. 1 into Soldotna to retrieve a National Park stamp for Bob's Passport Book. It was interesting driving although we did not see as many mountains on this road. We were looking along every turn for moose, but none were to be seen.

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We were looking for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. After several crazy miles of looking and even after getting directions, Wynn finally got service and looked it up on his phone. We found it and it was worth the extra miles.

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They had a very nice wildlife display room.

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We also spent some time hiking back to a very serene lake, again looking for moose along the way...

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When you look really hard for so long, then you start thinking you see things...like I thought I saw a bear...

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Wrong! So we all piled back in the van and headed off down the drive back to the road. I looked up from a map to tell Ev something and saw it. I yelled "moose" and Bob slammed on the breaks. There was a mama moose and her baby. I couldn't believe it. Bob marched over there and started shooting pictures. He drives with his camera on his lap. The rest of us got out timidly and crept over too. Hooray for the moose!

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And that was the highlight of Cooper Landing and Soldotna! We saw our moose.

We got back on the road to Girdwood. We drove into some rain, but it had slowed to almost a stop by the time we reached Hidden

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We piled back in the van and had dinner in downtown Girdwood. We ate at the Chair Five Restaurant and then went back down the mountain for ice cream. Stuffed to the Gills comes to mind.

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And the best part was the dip in the hot tub at the end of the wonderful day!

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Tomorrow we head to Whittier to do a boat ride through Prince William Sound. Hoping it's another beautiful day! Sleep well...we will. This B&B has all the little touches. The host and hostess are really sweet and we are looking forward to their breakfast in the morning. Bob and Ev are sleeping on a real live Murphy bed. Wynn and I have the bedroom. G'night y'all

Posted by brendagerber07 21:51 Comments (2)

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