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Star Princess North to Alaska! Sept 10 2016


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We were living in Carson City, Nevada at the time. So the road trip was round trip from there. We had a Toyota pickup up truck with a camper on it. Camped out most nights, with a few motels thrown in here and there. The Alaska Highway is definitely passable for passenger cars. It is paved all the way, although there are some rough spots that are caused by frost heaves. Think giant speed bumps. The Top of the World Highway is dirt, but is very well maintained and is fine for cars and motor homes. At least that was our experience in 1995.

 

Hi Jasperdo, we lived in Gardnerville, NV for 12 years and now in Vancouver, Washington, so we are neighbors past and present! :)

(sorry for the aside, Norris).

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Hi Jasperdo, we lived in Gardnerville, NV for 12 years and now in Vancouver, Washington, so we are neighbors past and present! :)

(sorry for the aside, Norris).

We actually lived out in the Johnson Lane area, so we weren't too far from Gardnerville. I still miss the view of Jobs Peak and the Sierra's sometimes. We love it here in Washington, though.
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We really enjoyed our time visiting the animals, brief though it was. Back on the bus...

 

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Turnagain Arm, the name coming from Captain James Cook. His name is linked with Misty Fjords too. He was struggling to find the Northwest Passage and used the phrase Turn Again more than once.

 

We are on the lookout for Beluga Whales but spotted none today

 

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I have come to the point - 5 a.m, Tuesday where I had planned to have this completed but there's still Aleyeska with its stunning views and Anchorage to come so I'll take my laptop along with me as we set off soon for our long trek North.

 

So-to be continued....

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Safe travels. Will you be including some leaf pics as well?

 

Although they are not cruise pictures here are a few from today's drive



 

Roadside store where Carol bought juicy apples

 

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Our view during lunch. Arcadia, Michigan.



 

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Point Betsie lighthouse

 

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View from Chateau Chantal Winery where we stay

 

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Sunset viewing patio

 

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Norris,

 

Still reading and enjoying your review. Northern Michigan is one of those absolutely beautiful places, isn't it? Enjoying your Michigan pics, too.

 

Thank you.

 

Ohiodoglover

 

Indeed Northern Michigan is stunning, especially now with the crowds gone.

We used to continue from here and stay a few days in the equally scenic Ontario.

 

Glad you like the pics. I have just been putting my Alyeska pics through Lightroom and will have them up soon.

 

Cheers!

 

Norris

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Wonderful photo of the Point Betsie Lighthouse. My wife is a huge lighthouse fan, and we try to catch as many as we can on our road trips. We got to see a lot of Great Lakes Lighthouses a few years ago, including a few on the Lake Huron side of Michigan. We need to go back someday and travel the Lake Michigan side of the state.

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We enjoyed the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center and our next stop after driving up the coast was here...

 

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Its prime function is as a ski resort but of course there is no snow here today.

Part of our tour is an aerial tram ride up to where the slopes begin. We have 90 minutes here and as there are bars and restaurants above and below you can easily fill that time. We will eat in Anchorage so are just here for the scenery.

 

We're going up there

 

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The bus remains down below

 

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The driver goes to get our tickets and hands them out to each of us which means we can travel up independently now. We let the rest go together and hang back to use the facilities which are representative of a good hotel.

 

The bear is here to deter shoplifters in the gift shop

 

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After a quad espresso from the lobby Starbucks I joined Carol to wait for a tram

 

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We love pretty much all forms of transportation with maybe the exception being donkey rides down into the Grand Canyon as we feel for the poor gentle animals that have to do the dirty work. I can ride machine-driven things all day. The gondolas we ride today are Swiss and the Swiss know a thing or two about getting up mountains. And cheese. They are assembled on site.

 

As one is going up another is coming down

 

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It takes 6 minutes to get to the top

 

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There's also a chair lift for people wearing skis

 

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There are a lot of runs available in season

 

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love the lighting on the brown bear pictures.

 

Ah-a new face/screen name. Welcome!

 

Glad you liked the bear pics! The lighting was natural morning light.

 

Norris

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It's a long way down. There were actually people who eschewed the tram in favor of hiking up the mountain. Not something I would attempt.

 

There were many who neither took the tram nor hiked up-the swarms of midges or no-see-ums on the summit. Each person could have their own busy cloud of nuisances circling their head. I thought lighting a cigarette would keep them at bay but no.

 

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The chair-lift winch

 

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We never have, and it's doubtful we ever will, disembarked a ship and gone straight to an airport to fly home. Although we'll be on a plane 12 hours after leaving the Star, this excursion is our buffer, delaying the harsh reality of leaving Alaska behind, once again.

 

And vistas like this reinforced our decision

 

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Far below, the Resort

 

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Norris, Norris, Norris

 

My new CC friend. I just wanted you know how much I enjoyed your wonderful review, the beautiful pictures you so carefully took that they could take my breath away just "breathing in the cool air."

Really, you are a great story teller and I appreciate that.

 

I will continue to follow you and Carol in your cruise review journeys.

 

Until we meet again...

Sandra

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Wonderful photo of the Point Betsie Lighthouse. My wife is a huge lighthouse fan, and we try to catch as many as we can on our road trips. We got to see a lot of Great Lakes Lighthouses a few years ago, including a few on the Lake Huron side of Michigan. We need to go back someday and travel the Lake Michigan side of the state.

 

Jasperdo, Michigan holds the title of State with Most Lighthouses and we were staying 5 miles from the Old Mission Lighthouse which sits on the 45th Parallel.

As we visit the Mission Peninsula each year we always drive over there, rain or shine. No rain when we went on Wednesday morning.

 

You can see the pale sun trying to peek through the overcast sky...

 

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Many we visit offer self guided tours for a few dollars and the rooms are set as they would have been in the late 1800's and early 20th century. I am always fascinated by their kitchens and parlors. Some feature mannequins in period costumes for the wives and lighthouse keeper uniforms. The light has been removed from the Old Mission one but you can climb up into the turret.

 

Norris

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Norris, Norris, Norris

 

My new CC friend. I just wanted you know how much I enjoyed your wonderful review, the beautiful pictures you so carefully took that they could take my breath away just "breathing in the cool air."

Really, you are a great story teller and I appreciate that.

 

I will continue to follow you and Carol in your cruise review journeys.

 

Until we meet again...

Sandra

 

Sandra, thanks for all the kind comments!

 

We can "meet again" in January on board the Celebrity Reflection. January 14 to 21.

 

I'm glad you followed this all the way. Many thanks.

 

Norris

 

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The round turret building you may have seen in some photos is the gift shop and I paid it a visit looking for a fridge magnet. I left empty handed.

 

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Across the way, a restaurant

 

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Two ladies have hiked up from the hotel

 

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Gift shop

 

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What goes up must come down and we wanted to spend some time sitting in the grounds by the hotel.

 

Meantime here is a video of the tram ride



 

[YOUTUBE]vMo7Gi4cqGU[/YOUTUBE]

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Down below, having left the no see ums far above, we were able to enjoy our peaceful surroundings.

 

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Nice fire pit

 

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I'd been keeping an eye on the time and it was time to head back to the bus for our drive to Anchorage....

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Hi Norris!

 

I just wanted to say thank you for your great review I have enjoyed it very much. I also loved your review of Celebrity Silhouette and I can’t wait for your hopefully up coming review of Celebrity Reflection. Your reviews are best substitute for be on cruise :D

 

Tiina

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Norris,

 

After 10 days away I'm now all caught up. As usual your photos are superb, almost 3D and making me feel like I'm right in them.. Good work.

 

Please carry on, don't stop.

 

Judy

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Hi Norris!

 

I just wanted to say thank you for your great review I have enjoyed it very much. I also loved your review of Celebrity Silhouette and I can’t wait for your hopefully up coming review of Celebrity Reflection. Your reviews are best substitute for be on cruise :D

 

Tiina

 

Tiina, you are my first correspondent from Finland! I have a Finnish CC friend called Sinppu who writes fun reviews on some of the other boards.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the reviews and hope you pop in to say "Hi" in January when I write about the Reflection.

 

Thanks for the compliments!

 

Norris

Edited by Bimmer09
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