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About kennicott

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
  • Interests
    I spend my summers in Wilderness Alaska. Sawmill owner, own three raw land sub. history buff-
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    (1) Regent (2) HAL (3) Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

Recent Profile Visitors

219 profile views
  1. Latest.--------- https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/weather/2019/08/23/this-summer-is-on-track-to-be-the-driest-on-record-for-southcentral-alaska/ Still hot and very dry in Alaska. North of the Alaska Range though, over recent weeks we have had a lot of rain, remarkable and very strange weather patterns. For visitors, my guess is that there should be no problem on the Parks Highway, now, getting to Talkeetna. But we certainly can use a lot of precipitation in Southcentral Alaska. Been the hottest season ever, by far, as best as I can recall for Alaska and I was born and raised here. Getting close to September so it is starting to get chilly at night here in the Wrangell Mountains, where I am now, so I fire up the wood stove in the morn. We also have a nice cabin on Crystal Lake which is about two miles west of Willow near Mile 70 of the Parks Highway. I'm not there but my wife is at the lake. She says there is no problem except for power outages from time to time. I have tried to encourage her to go back to our home in Anchorage for a while but she says no way, the smoke in Anchorage is a lot worse than at the lake. The ADNs is keeping a close watch on these events--for obvious reasons. Here in the Wrangell Mountains near McCarthy and the Kennicott River it is so dry that it makes me very nervous. My entire place could be gone in minutes, a little wind and a spark could turn everything into an inferno ( like what happened north of Willow). I've got a pretty good sized wilderness spread too, 350 acres. I'm surrounded by white spruce, black spruce, quite a few aspens and cottonwoods with patches of birch. Makes one humble to realize how vulnerable we are.
  2. Smoke in Anchorage is pretty severe. But looks like traffic flowing better on the Park's north of Willow than it was the other day. North winds are not now, so the firefighters are beginning to put a dent in things. Cooler temperatures at night now is helping out, but still no rain in sight. And this is the rainy season. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2019/08/20/wildfire-roundup-heres-the-latest-on-southcentral-alaska-blazes https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/mat-su/2019/08/20/matanuska-susitna-borough-declares-disaster-over-wildfires/
  3. My guess is that by Friday you should have no problem on the Parks Highway getting to Talkeetna. Although we certainly could use a little precipitation in southcentral Alaska right now. Been the hottest season ever as far as I can recall in Alaska and I was born and raised here. We have a nice cabin on Crystal Lake which is about two miles west of Willow near Mile 70 of the Parks Highway. I'm not there right now but in the Wrangell Mountains where we have another place (also a tinder box) but my wife is at the lake. She says there is no problem except for power outages from time to time. I have tried to encourage her to go back to our home in Anchorage for a while but she says no way, the smoke in Anchorage is a lot worse than at the lake. Ha. The ADNs is keeping a close watch on these events--for obvious reasons---here is the latest: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/mat-su/2019/08/20/as-crews-fight-destructive-susitna-valley-wildfire-evacuees-prepare-for-recovery/
  4. The Parks highway is closed at Mile 71 until further notice. To get to Talkeetna one has to fly in or go north on the Glenn Highway to Glennallen then go north to the Denaili HIghway and cross over to the Parks Highway turn south and enter Talkeetna from the north. The railroad is not operating through that area north of Willow either. Largest fire is around miles 85 to 91, called the "McKinley fire". Another is a few miles west of Willow, at mile 70, called the "Deshka Landing" fire. The strong north wind which caused these fires has now let up so things might get better, but no rain in sight. They couldn't use helicopters yesterday to fight the fires due to the turbulent north wind. Hot shot crews from the lower 48 are currently moving into the Willow area. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2019/08/18/new-evacuations-ordered-as-wind-stokes-willow-area-wildfires/
  5. We were just in Whittier yesterday and the day before. Not on a cruise. We did the 5.5 hour Philip's 26 Glacier Cruise (On the Klondike) though. The passengers got off/on the train right at the covered walk way down to the Golden Princess (200 feet max) which was in port then. The bus passengers were let off a little closer even. In the drop off lot, Princess has set up a baggage check in station, you can leave your bags there then tour the area. Whittier is pretty small, but here is what we did, after staying in a nice hotel there:
  6. If you stay on the ship in Whittier you are going to miss out on this: Taken yesterday from the Klondike, a small vessel used for shore excrusions there, 5.5 hour "Philip's 26 Glacier Cruise".
  7. Our heat wave continues. But yesterday after we had spent a night in a very nice hotel room in Whittier, where it is hot too, but then, took the 5.5 hour Philip's 26 Glacier Cruise. Excellent trip, and doing so we got away from the smoke (most of it anyway) and the heat.
  8. Hottest in Alaska I've ever seen and I was born and raised up here. In Anchorage we have been breaking daily records for over a month now. On the 4th we set the all time high. Trouble is, we are on fire due the heat. And fire means one thing, "SMOKE" https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/weather/2019/07/05/its-hot-in-southcentral-alaska-heres-what-experts-say-is-happening/?fbclid=IwAR0T7z3CCjGmUZKpKhfOApbLYNMjpViU4Ntw1IrQXCAzfg-nXII3wKR3HVw
  9. Strange---I see a wake. A pretty good one at that. Having been in a number of boat harbors for dozens of years, driving boats under no wake rules, that has got to be a tad fast---- not very slow. And also, having been on many cruises where we were moving at 2 or 3 knots, there wasn't any wake to speak of. My guess is they were doing over 10 knots. Princess policy limit is, for the Icy Strait area about 70 miles to the north, their ships not to exceed 11.5 miles (10 knots) per hour when in the strait south of the national park, due potential whale activity.
  10. Walker wasn't the only one who used the term "impaled"------------ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-10/cruise-ship-grand-princess-impales-whale-near-alaska/8792526
  11. If you do decide to take the 26 glacier cruise, you will enter Harriman Fiord. It was discovered in 1899 by accident. Here is a brief summary of the Harriman Expedition. Somewhere I read a article telling, in more detail, how they ended up finding this fiord in Prince William Sound. Have a great cruise. PS----- We preordered the seafood chowder. https://content.lib.washington.edu/harrimanweb/tripdesc.html
  12. Here is what I would do and many of them do, particularly those who leave again the same day, instead of running up to the big city. Matter of fact, in two weeks we have this 5.5 hour trip booked, for the 12.30 PM departure. My wife has never visited the northwest corner of Prince William Sound, so we decided she should see it since she is from Cordova. I used to fly commercially on the Sound so I'm pretty familiar with it all and I even escorted her sister and family some years ago on a tour from Whittier to Valdez, which covered a lot of this same territory including Esther Passage. She drove a big van we rented to Valdez to pick us up for more touring of the State but wanted me to go with her sister so I could do all the blabbing. When I was flying out of Cordova she was running the office and working the radio keeping track of us. Believe she has earned this, about time. https://www.phillipscruises.com/cruises/26-glacier-cruise.php
  13. I believe part of the problem may be due to lack of demand. There are not many cruises that do round trips to South Central Alaska and not a huge number of guests who do B-to-B round trips. The great majority of cruise guests fly one way and cruise the other, some spend a week or two touring South Central, then fly or cruise back south. If this type itinerary escalates where more guests are coming in and then going out on the same ship, you might find cruise lines providing more options in the future. As far as car rentals at Whittier and Seward, cruise lines aren't in that game, I can hear the screeching now if one tries it. This car rental void as been much discussed for years. Once again, supply and demand, it is my understanding Avis barely makes it pay even at higher rates.
  14. We were sorry to learn that Villa Nova had closed their doors too. Bummer. Just found out last week when I tried to make reservations, they are only a little over a block from our home too. Orso is one of our favorite restaurants, it is in the middle of downtown on 5th. It's fare has departed from strictly Italian in recent years though. But it does still offer some classic Italian entrées, such as chicken Parmesan ORSO style, a Parmesan-crusted chicken breast topped with house-made tomato sauce and mozzarella and served with vegetable herb capellini. Sorrento's, on the east end of Fireweed, used to offer excellent Mediterranean dishes although we haven't been there for quite some time. I was very surprised last winter when I ate lunch in the Olive Garden, a chain, it has been open in Anchorage going on ten years now. I never previously tried it because I heard a couple of bad reviews, like very expensive for what you get. But the cuisine was excellent, Italian, and low priced for what I had. Been there four times since and it is still tops. But, that has always been for lunch, I haven't tried it for dinner. It is located in the largest Mall in Alaska on the east side of Dimond.
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