an alaska discussion - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-03-2008   #1
 
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an alaska discussion

okay, just a few questions, and a few statements. I have always dreamed of living in alaska. I have skills, that will allow a modestly constucted cabin to be built. I have lived in several places, and although I liked most of the places I was, they wound up being to small. Basically anyone would wash dishes, or flip burgers to be able to live there, so life was tuff without any skills. One thing I learned was that you have some trade offs between "cool" mountain towns, and the rat race cities.

I would like to live close to a major city, say within an hour or so, for more cash making options, but away from it as to allow the good life.

My only time in alaska was a stint in a cannery in Naknec, near King Salmon.
I didn't have a chance to see any of the goods at all. I like the idea of the Panhandle region, fishing, hiking, mountains, boating, island hoping, etc.but hell, other than island hopping, any place in alaska will affored one the outdoor pleasures they seek. I was looking into Haines, but the POP. is 2500, seems a bit small. Hell Juneao is only 30 k or so, and compared to most cities very, very small. I think that would do. My only thought is, on a map, it looked as if it had no roads connecting it with anything?? is that true? I know acnchorage would suit my needs, but completly unfamiliar with out lying towns or areas that would be affordable. I know it may be crazy, but Im looking to spend less than 40K on land, and hoping for views, trees, mountains, and rivers......so, is it doable, or am I dreaming? One area near anchorage that I have been checking out is Wasilla, but I Know next to nothing.

any thought or ideas appreciated.

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Old 07-03-2008   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oarbender View Post
I have skills, that will allow a modestly constucted cabin to be built. I have lived in several places, and although I liked most of the places I was, they wound up being to small. Basically anyone would wash dishes, or flip burgers to be able to live there, so life was tuff without any skills.
What kind of skills? Bowstaff skills? Nunchuck skills?

I'm going to tell you the opposite of what you want to hear. Move inland to McCarthy. It's tiny and bad ass. Land is cheap and the mountains are big. Retarded big. There are rivers, glaciers, and a single bar in McCarthy.
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Old 07-03-2008   #3
 
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eat your dinner TINA.......

Im not opposed to anything, just want to know options
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Old 07-03-2008   #4
 
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it looked as if it had no roads connecting it with anything?? is that true?
Yes. I believe Hwy. 1 will get you there but is the only way in and out.
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Old 07-03-2008   #5
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I lived in Fairbanks (Interior) for 8 years and in Anchorage for 4. The interior is brutal, a young man's game, and just not my cup of tea. I spent about 60% of my work life outdoors there too and it can be extremely harsh. I prefer the "Banana Belt" region. 40K is doable but you might be living in a tree house or high end Tuff Shed on the Kenai Peninsula. Not that that's a bad thing. Humping your water in the winter gets a bit old and you don't know how much wood you use until it's your only heat source.

The outlying areas of Anchorage are probably where I'd be looking but as I age I enjoy the finer things in life....like flush toilets. You'd probably be happy in Wasilla it's the boonies without being truly out there flappin. Your right about Juneau that you can't drive there. That's the case with many destinations in the southeast. Also keep in mind that in the southeast while it is milder it also rains ALOT.
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Old 07-03-2008   #6
 
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alaska

Hey Oarbender-
I spent about 5 weeks in AK in 2002, took the ferry up through the inner passage and stopped in Juneau. It was a small and quaint town until the cruise ships started rolling in. The passengers streamed off and crowded the small streets. My husband and I hiked Mendenhal Glacier,just outside of town (a long hike, about 6 hours) and had about 15 minutes total of quite time, otherwise choppers were buzzing over head with the cruise ship passengers. It left a bad taste-too busy for how small it was, but beautiful.
Stayed in Haines one week, small but amazing and very friendly locals. Met kayak guides living in tents, so that tells you about what you need to know for there.
Anchorage was the jumping off city for lots of beautiful towns and places but it was similar to any big town. Also, its loud with all the commercial, private and puddlejumper planes. Seward was small but packed with outdoor activities, close to a glacier and hiking, sea kayaking etc.
I don't know about prices for land but I imagine looking online would be a start. I would recommend taking some time to explore the different areas that interest you the most (easier said then done I know). And yes Juneau has no roads coming in or out of it-must come by air or water.
Hope it helps a little-good luck
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Old 07-03-2008   #7
 
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Check out the Kenai area, About 2 hours south of Anchorage. Kenai has 7533 as of 2006 numbers. Kenai, Soldotna and Sterling are all more built up, for Alaska standards. I worked as a carpenter when I lived in Sterling in 93. I personlly like Coopers landing, 1 hour south of Anchorage, and there is a class IV stretch on the Kenai River in that area. Place gets a little crazy when the salmon are spawning, and tourists can be thick in the summer.
http://maps.live.com/?v=2&lvl=11&style=r&cp=60.552898~-151.259750

North of Anchorage is Wasilla, another decent sized area to live.

McCarthy is cool, but that road is known to eat tires like mad. There are railroad spikes stuck in the road everywhere. 2 spare tires are the MINIMUM to carry if you travel that road much. McCarthy mountain is a full 12,000 feet of Vertical. But plan to any climbing in the winter or early spring when there is snow on everything. In the summer, do to the constant sunlight, vegitation grows like mad. Once the snow retreats from anywhere, the brush is too thick to get through.

I can't help you on prices, it has been 10 years since my last stint in Alaska. But a word to the wise. If you plan on boating much, you have to be prepared to fly in/ fly or boat out. What I mean by boat out is ferry boat service. For instance, to boat out of Cordova, you fly in and drop a raft and supplies below the canyons. Then you fly to the glacier with your kayak. Now you run class V & VI with the yak and catch back up to your raft. Now you have 110 miles of flat, but extremly fast flowing river to get to the sea. Back in Cordova, you take the ferry to either Valdez or Juneau depending on where you came from.

That said, Alaska is a great place and I plan on going back when my kids are older.

And yes, there are no roads to, or out of Juneau. You fly or take the ferry to get there. Alaska as a whole, does not have much of a road system. Look at a map and you have a single road from Anchorage to Fairbanks to Tok, making a loop. Then there is one road north out of Fairbanks, one road south from Anchorage to the Kenai Pennisula, halfway from Tok to Anchorage, you have one road south to Valdez. That sums up Alaska's highway system.
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Old 07-03-2008   #8
 
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If you've got the inclination and the wherewithal, I say DO IT, and sooner rather than later probably...

I was up there back in '91 for 5-6 weeks with a college buddy after graduation, hithchhiking, backcountry camping, staying in hostels, etc. While we we waiting for our backcountry permit in Denali, we camped for one night in a vacant area outside the entrance to the park--I went back there last summer w/ my wife, and that "vacant area' was now all developed--I know AK is gi-normous, and there's still miles and miles of pristine wilderness, but the word is out, and people are flocking up there--

that being said, the place is so f'n incredible, like I said def. do it if you're able!

Talkeetna is a cool little town, kinda busy with the mcKinley climbers and flight tourists, but cetainly no metropolis--but it looked like there was still plenty of places on the outskirts to do something like you're talking about, and all along the highway from anch/wasilla up to denali and fairbanks too

Seward is also nice as has been mentioned, but touristy there too, but the whole kenai peninsula is frickin' awesome too

btw, have you seen the Dick Proenneke shows on PBS? --if you haven't, you've got to check them out--totally amazing what this dude did back in the '60s. This is his website:

Alone in the Wilderness, DVD and VHS available, the story of Dick Proenneke

but he's on pbs every now and again too

have fun, I'm jealous!

Jay
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Old 07-03-2008   #9
 
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check out talkeetna. toursity, small, but gorgeous! not toooo far inland, either...and oh... the caribou burgers at the West Rib.... mmmm...delicious! not too awful far from the Nenana or SixMile.
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Old 07-05-2008   #10
 
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yep, I saw one mans wilderness, it was amazing.


Thanks for all the info, i have several things to research now. much appreciated!
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