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Old 07-10-2008, 06:26 PM   #31
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EMRider: I will post how I temporarily transformed the MJR into a rear spare tire carrier upon my return.


cellularSTEVE: I was not able to use the PulPal to get unstuck as I would have had to anchor it in on the opposite side of the road bed (crossing traffic) in order to get the most effective angle. As it turned out, two big rig fuel trucks came to my rescue. One pulled in front of me in such a way as to block all oncoming traffic. The other pulled behind me (blocking all rear traffic). The one in front chained up to my front left tow hook (on the Aluminess bumper). It took about 30 seconds to pop me back up onto the main road surface. Neither driver would take any $$ for their efforts. Many thanks to both of them for saving my day.

Cheers,
---TWOLOST---
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:29 PM   #32
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Road Update #3...


Sitting here in Valdez Alaska tonight. All I can say is WOW!! The drive over Thompson Pass was quite amazing. We have had a few clouds, but no real precipitation here so far.


Last road report was from Anchorage. Since leaving Anchorage, we ventured down to Homer. This is relatively short trip that I would highly recommend. The views from the Homer Spit were amazing and - again - we skirted any real rainfall. We ate a fresh seafood dinner in the early evening out on the spit and then retired back to our rental cabin which was sitting high up on a bluff with unobstructed views of Kachemak Bay/Cook Inlet. No roughing this night. Next morning we set out for Seward. One of the things we intended to do in Seward was laundry. We found none to be had. Asking a gas station attendant, she said that the town laundry went bankrupt (??). Months ago we booked reservations at what was listed as a 'luxury RV park', located just outside of town. Upon our arrival, we learned how to properly decipher the code. It was not a 'luxury' RV park - it was a 'luxury RV' park. The park was not luxurious (it was just a gravel lot). However, the RV's in the park were very luxurious. Camping in town (city operated), down by the shoreline would have been the preferred way to go. Chalk this up to a learning exercise. We also ran across a silver SMB as we first entered Seward that heading in the opposite direction (it was PJPVI, Pacific Ventures). Next morning we headed back toward Seward in order to visit Exit Glacier. This was another very neat side trip that had us standing at the face of a small glacier within a very short walk from the parking lot. After our glacier visit we headed a short distance north to Whittier. Whittier is unlike any other town I have seen. To enter via land, requires a trip through a long and narrow one way train tunnel. The center of town is a rail yard. The roads were not planned out in blocks like other towns - they seem to be random. There is a cruise terminal (and I cant even imagine why). The surrounding mountains are beautiful - yes. Contrast this to the town's two largest buildings (one WWII era building that was made into apartments and one larger WWII era building that was left abandoned). This abandoned building was once the largest building in Alaska. I spent a little time scampering all over this abandoned building. Not a single thing in this building was left intact. Everything was trashed, broken, defaced, and rotting. Granted, it was fun to climb around in - but it was so badly vandalized that it was disturbing. We also ran into PJPVI again, and this time had five minutes to introduce ourselves. Hopefully, there will be another SMB travel report posted here soon . Bailed out of Whittier early the next morning and set off for Valdez by driving rather than taking the short ferry ride. Just pulled into Valdez a few hours ago - and the drive in was spectacular. I have to sneak back out and see if I can get some good pics.

That is all for now. A better documented trip report will have to wait until we get back home.

Next we will be boondocking in Nabesna, along the Old Denali Highway, and Denali National Park.

Cheers,
---TWOLOST---

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Old 07-11-2008, 12:09 AM   #33
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View of Homer Spit:



Homer Ferry Terminal (just proof we were here):



Seward Alaska:




Exit Glacier:




Train going into Whittier:




Abandoned Buckner Building (Whittier, AK):




Thompson Pass:






Cheers,
---TWOLOST---


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Old 07-13-2008, 02:36 PM   #34
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TwoLost....

Did you have anything to do with that Volcano eruption???

...setting up a good shot???

.
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Old 07-13-2008, 11:26 PM   #35
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awesome trip report and photos as usual twolost. I ran into a couple today in Central Oregon en route from CA to Alaska with their SMB and I pointed them here. And hey, how come now pics from getting stuck? I know you have 'em !!
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:18 PM   #36
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Soon you will discover the worst part about a trip to Alaska.

You WILL wamt to go back again!!!!!!

Make a big photo album and carry it around to show people. I'm sure everyone was tired of seeing our Alaska album. Took it to work, family events and on trips. Showing the album always takes me back to Alaska, and I really enjoy the reliving the trip, and you will too.

Anyone want to see an Alaskan trip photo album? You have to come by my house or meet us on the road.

Mike
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:50 AM   #37
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Road Update #4...


Cheers from Cantwell, AK.

Since the last road update from Valdez, AK...

While in Valdez, we went for a nine hour glacier tour. Columbia Glacier and Meares Glacier. Unimaginable and unforgettable beauty and power (sorry, pics to follow once we get home). On the way down the road to our next destination, we spent a little time exploring in the Thompson Pass area. As we were crossing one glacial moraine, the rocks below shifted during a stream crossing and I managed to put a few dents into the case of my diesel generator. Fortunely for me, everything still works. That night, we spent the night in an RV park in Glennallen (nothing special, just a place to sleep). Next night we spent boonedocking out on the unpaved Nabesna Road. We stopped at the ranger station at the beginning of the road to inquire about the two known water crossings. The ranger said that the road was closed just before the first water crossing due to a washout but it may be re-opened later in the week. We had originally intended to drive the 42 miles out to the end of the road - but this event looked to change that. We decided to drive out to the first water crossing to survey the situation. Upon arrival at the first crossing some 27 miles out the road, the road condition was nothing and SMB could not handle with ease. We used the ground clearance provided by the 4x4, but we never engaged the front hubs. Next was the second water crossing. The water was running pretty fast and may have been up to 30 inches deep at the deepest point. At that point, the width of the crossing was only about 15 feet across. I don't think that the SMB would have had any issue with this, but I chose not to find out. We turned back and boonedocked at an empty camp ground. This campground may have been empty as we had to use 4x4 low due to the amount of mud on the way in. We enjoyed a prime spot on a lake all to ourselves (just what our SMB 4x4 was built for). We were supposed to spend another night there but not having access to the remainder of the road changed our plans. As such, the next morning we headed west and north up to Delta Junction where we stayed in a state run campground. The drive was amazing!! We stopped a few times to scope out the pipeline as well (which paralleled this part of the highway north). Next morning we drove due south along the same stretch of highway and ended up in Tangle Lakes where we stayed in a cabin (with a shower). After cleaning up, we set out for some random boonedocking spot on the Old Denali Hwy. We ended up covering the whole hwy and ended up in this RV park in Cantwell. No view of Mt. McKinley as it is shrouded in rain clouds right now.

Next we are off to Denali Park for three days, then up to Fairbanks before setting out to Prudhoe Bay. Our SMB has performed great up to this point.


Thanks for following along. Sorry for the lack of pics right now (no bandwidth here). Have something on the order of 3,000 pictures so far. Unfortunately, none of them were of me getting stuck...


Cheers,
---TWOLOST---

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Old 07-17-2008, 02:28 AM   #38
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Here are a few teaser shots...



Thompson Pass, AK:




Nabesna Road, AK:




South of Delta Junction, AK:




Richardson Highway, AK:




Old Denali Highway, AK:




Cheers,
---TWOLOST---
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:40 AM   #39
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Thanks for all of the trip updates and pictures. I'm really happy to hear you are having a great, safe trip. The descriptions and pictures are making me so jealous as I sit here typing this. Denali is jaw dropping assuming the cloud cover (or lack of) cooperates. Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:36 AM   #40
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Thanks for the reports. I sit here at work and picture myself there. I am looking forward to more photos upon your return and more writeups when you have time.

I appreciate you sharing this with us. It probably makes most of us want to go there. It sure does for me.

My local trips are going well that I mentioned to you before after my Sequoia trip. Just got back from Coyote Flat in the Eastern Sierras and plan to try Laurel Lakes near Mammoth in the next 2 weeks. Wish I was up there in Alaska though! Keep the reports coming.

Safe travels!

steve
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