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Old 07-19-2013, 01:07 AM   #1
pkluong
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Default first timer in alaska

Hello my Alaskan nasioc friends! Looking for some Alaskan hospitality for my very first trip to Alaska! I plan to visit anchorage but heard it wasn't worth it and didn't think that would be true.

What are your true Alaskan opinions?

I have a passion for landscape photography so it'll be one of my top priorities. Second would be to immerse myself into an Alaskan culture minus the delicasies such as seal flipper kind of stuff.

I was planning for the end of Aug but wanted your opinions on the best time to go to get the most out of Alaska. I'm not afraid of the freezing cold but all I have is a pair of snowboarding clothes (if that's enough). I want to see the aroura and milky way.

What about places to stay? Couch surf? Hostels?

Any opinions would help! Thank you kindly.

Here is my flickr:
Www.flickr.com/photos/pluong
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:20 AM   #2
Dominator
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Sounds like a fun adventure. Are you driving up here? Renting a car? as for the weather at that time, it's not too cold in August. No need for cold weather gear. Just a jacket or sweatshirt at night. Then again, you're visiting from Cali, so you might want to bring more than that.

Anchorage has some great scenery, also, if you're mobile, drive the Parks Highway to Denali Park. There are some scenic stops along that road that are just breathtaking. You could plan for a drive from Anchorage to Homer. Lots of picturesque locations on that drive too. August would be a good time to take night sky photos, it will be dark at night by then.

As for Alaskan culture, specifically foods, someone else can point you in the right directions on those.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:28 AM   #3
Johncasquejo
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Hello fellow NASIOC member I'd be more than happy to school you on my favorite and secret spots for landscape photography that are relatively close to Anchorage, as well as tips for when and how to do it. I'm really into photography myself, and I have many plans a’brewin for this winter for pictures

As far as when is the best time to go if pictures is one of your main concern, personally I believe October or later would be the best. The landscape looks that much better when it’s blanketed with snow, and the super long nights make for more and better star/Aurora pictres. You could come mid-September too if you’d like to catch the fall colors, and maybe get lucky with early snowfall.

I'll PM you my landscape pictures and more info after I get off work.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
bjcarter2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johncasquejo View Post
...You could come mid-September too if you’d like to catch the fall colors, and maybe get lucky with early snowfall.
That'll be enough about snow out of you mister. Lets finish this nice summer we have rolling here.

If you want to talk about snow, take it to PMs or some obscure, clandestine government monitored non-porn website.

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Old 07-19-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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Anchorage is a great base to plan excursions from: Seward, Hatcher Pass, and Homer come to mind. As far as delicacies like seal flipper go, you'll have to get to the remote villages where they are still prepared or connect with a person in Anchorage that has relatives in the bush. A trip to the Alaska Native Heritage Center is a must if you're staying in Anchorage. I'll post links to other points of interest as I find them.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
Wrxak02
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I can't stop laughing everytime I was reading the 'seal flipper' line...
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:37 PM   #7
pkluong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominator View Post
Sounds like a fun adventure. Are you driving up here? Renting a car? as for the weather at that time, it's not too cold in August. No need for cold weather gear. Just a jacket or sweatshirt at night. Then again, you're visiting from Cali, so you might want to bring more than that.

Anchorage has some great scenery, also, if you're mobile, drive the Parks Highway to Denali Park. There are some scenic stops along that road that are just breathtaking. You could plan for a drive from Anchorage to Homer. Lots of picturesque locations on that drive too. August would be a good time to take night sky photos, it will be dark at night by then.

As for Alaskan culture, specifically foods, someone else can point you in the right directions on those.
I'm flying in to Anchorage since that's the cheapest destination in flight fares. I'll probably be taking the buses around town unless one of you great people want to take me around in your subie! maybe an alaskan subie meet. I love the cold but im from southern cali where temperatures range from 50-80 most of the year. Thanks for your comments!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johncasquejo View Post
Hello fellow NASIOC member I'd be more than happy to school you on my favorite and secret spots for landscape photography that are relatively close to Anchorage, as well as tips for when and how to do it. I'm really into photography myself, and I have many plans a’brewin for this winter for pictures

As far as when is the best time to go if pictures is one of your main concern, personally I believe October or later would be the best. The landscape looks that much better when it’s blanketed with snow, and the super long nights make for more and better star/Aurora pictres. You could come mid-September too if you’d like to catch the fall colors, and maybe get lucky with early snowfall.

I'll PM you my landscape pictures and more info after I get off work.
This sounds awesome! maybe we can go on a photography session. I can push my trip to later in the year if needed as I want to get the best bang for the buck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aleutdude View Post
Anchorage is a great base to plan excursions from: Seward, Hatcher Pass, and Homer come to mind. As far as delicacies like seal flipper go, you'll have to get to the remote villages where they are still prepared or connect with a person in Anchorage that has relatives in the bush. A trip to the Alaska Native Heritage Center is a must if you're staying in Anchorage. I'll post links to other points of interest as I find them.
I dont like eating weird stuff like that haha. but thanks for letting me know that anchorage is a good base. Ill see what the radius is with all those locations.

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Originally Posted by Wrxak02 View Post
I can't stop laughing everytime I was reading the 'seal flipper' line...
i dont get it.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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I'll provide you some muktuk (whale blubber) to try.

Last edited by Nomadgene; 07-20-2013 at 12:01 AM. Reason: silly spell check LOL
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:24 PM   #9
pkluong
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I'll provide you some mukluk (whale blubber) to try.
LOL! no thanks. I learned about that and seal flipper from that bush pilot show called flying wild alaska haha
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:05 PM   #10
Shaggie 907
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I'll provide you some mukluk (whale blubber) to try.
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
Wrxak02
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First Firefly...then Supernatural...I'm just waiting for a Voltron reference at this point.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by pkluong View Post

LOL! no thanks. I learned about that and seal flipper from that bush pilot show called flying wild alaska haha


You actually admit to watching that?
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:01 PM   #13
pkluong
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You actually admit to watching that?
Yes lol a few episodes only though... It got boring. However I always did want to get a pilots license...
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:58 PM   #14
Dominator
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I always thought the girl from that show was pretty cute. Her vivacious attitude is attractive.

Taking buses and cabs everywhere will be costly. I hope you can get something together with some of the local Anchorage members.

Seal flipper is just funny to think about, brutal actually. Lol, at Nomad's offer, I'd pass on eating his boots. I'd pass on the MukTuk too, bleh. About the only "traditional" food I've eaten and liked was some dried Salmon jerky. That's good stuff.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:50 AM   #15
pkluong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominator View Post
I always thought the girl from that show was pretty cute. Her vivacious attitude is attractive.

Taking buses and cabs everywhere will be costly. I hope you can get something together with some of the local Anchorage members.

Seal flipper is just funny to think about, brutal actually. Lol, at Nomad's offer, I'd pass on eating his boots. I'd pass on the MukTuk too, bleh. About the only "traditional" food I've eaten and liked was some dried Salmon jerky. That's good stuff.
Public transit is expensive? (Not including taxi) that's a shame. I'd take a members offer in a heartbeat. Salmon jerky actually sounds pretty good! And yea the daughter from the show is pretty cute she has really skinny lets and walks funny though lol... I think she actually went to school here in Orange County after the filming... Chapman university if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggie 907 View Post
Mukluk, Muktuk….

They taste about the same

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Old 07-20-2013, 03:27 AM   #17
Dominator
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^^
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:48 PM   #18
pkluong
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So what's the best/cheapest method of getting around?
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:53 PM   #19
EvolvedAK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkluong View Post
So what's the best/cheapest method of getting around?
People Mover (City Bus Service)

Buy a 30 day unlimited pass to save yourself some money.

Here's the pricing:
http://www.muni.org/Departments/tran...reandpass.aspx

Last edited by EvolvedAK; 07-21-2013 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:05 PM   #20
pkluong
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Originally Posted by EvolvedAK View Post

People Mover (City Bus Service)

Buy a 30 day unlimited pass to save yourself some money.

Here's the pricing:
http://www.muni.org/Departments/tran...reandpass.aspx
Great info! Thanks and its pretty cheap.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkluong View Post
So what's the best/cheapest method of getting around?
Where do you plan to go outside of Anchorage and how long do you plan to stay in Alaska?
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:27 PM   #22
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I live in CONUS, but travel to AK a couple times a year and have been for a good 15yrs. Palmer/Wasilla are great areas to base from as well and a bit closer to Denali and hatcher pass and many other areas. As well as being great little towns, especially Palmer which is more on the smalltown side. No matter where I go I alwasys feel there is beauty worth being shown on a postcard. I am into photography to and have to say christmas time or wintertime up there is by far the best! Harder to get to the more remote areas if you are restricted on your means to get around. It'll be a shock seeing where you are from if you havent experienced much of the wide openness and grandeur of AK. The end of august is also a great time to go when the mosquitoes arent as bad. But overall you just cant go wrong if you like nature and appreciate things that most people into photography do. Its truly amazing. Best of luck, and a word of advice in re to camera gear, choose maybe 2-3 lenses max to bring and have a smaller kit when you go out, also remember how fast batteries die in the cold. Keep spares under your layers and close to the body...sucks when you trek 30miles through subzero (-10 to -50) temps to a glacier and end up having to use your Iphone as all your camera batteries are dead! LOL
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:52 AM   #23
pkluong
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Where do you plan to go outside of Anchorage and how long do you plan to stay in Alaska?
About a week. And I don't know yet.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:56 AM   #24
pkluong
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Originally Posted by RONINSER View Post
I live in CONUS, but travel to AK a couple times a year and have been for a good 15yrs. Palmer/Wasilla are great areas to base from as well and a bit closer to Denali and hatcher pass and many other areas. As well as being great little towns, especially Palmer which is more on the smalltown side. No matter where I go I alwasys feel there is beauty worth being shown on a postcard. I am into photography to and have to say christmas time or wintertime up there is by far the best! Harder to get to the more remote areas if you are restricted on your means to get around. It'll be a shock seeing where you are from if you havent experienced much of the wide openness and grandeur of AK. The end of august is also a great time to go when the mosquitoes arent as bad. But overall you just cant go wrong if you like nature and appreciate things that most people into photography do. Its truly amazing. Best of luck, and a word of advice in re to camera gear, choose maybe 2-3 lenses max to bring and have a smaller kit when you go out, also remember how fast batteries die in the cold. Keep spares under your layers and close to the body...sucks when you trek 30miles through subzero (-10 to -50) temps to a glacier and end up having to use your Iphone as all your camera batteries are dead! LOL
I think I might be prepared except the -x degrees lol lowest temp I've ever experienced at home is like 30f and 10f in mammoth lakes. I love nature photography. I will only bring 3 max anyways haha. But the hard part is bringing the tripod.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:21 AM   #25
bjcarter2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkluong View Post
About a week. And I don't know yet.
One week in August! You'll be lucky to see anything below the mid-40s unless you hike a glacier or summit Denali. I'd be more concerned about rain that time of year. It can get a bit damp in August.
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