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  • khdeutmeyer

Return to Alaska...Moose, Moose and More Moose!

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

We had he opportunity to return to Alaska for a short eight day visit in 2008. My goal was to see moose! I read an article about Powerline Pass, a hiking location outside of Anchorage and part of the Chugach State Park. Our goal was to hike and photograph moose!


Sparing moose at Powerline Pass

We returned for our second trip to Alaska in 2008 and spent five nights in Anchorage and three nights in Juneau. We flew into Anchorage, took a flight from Anchorage to Juneau and then returned home from Juneau. We rented a car in both Anchorage and Juneau since we love to sightsee and find our way around the communities we visit. We traveled in early October and the weather was rainy, foggy and damp. But we were fortunate to see the experience the first snow and it was beautiful! I always wanted to see Alaska with snow!

“Moose are amazing grand animals. Long legs, broad chests and friendly faces. But they are nothing to mess around with. Moose are fast and can be mean. But, we were fortunate to find so many moose on this trip! I gained a whole new respect for this gorgeous animal!"

The trip started in Anchorage with a drive south of town on the Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm. It is a fantastic and scenic drive. On the drive you will see a turn-off to Whittier, a small seaport town. You travel through a mountain tunnel to get to Whittier,

Moose that crossed the road south of Anchorage

a seaport fishing town. The drive is very picturesque with mountains and glaciers. Along the route we saw a moose standing on the road crossing to the other side. We pulled over and watched the moose for quite a while. It was a beautiful picture of it wading in the water after it crossed the road with the mountains in the background. It was a once in a life time photo!


From Anchorage we also did a day trip to Denali National Park. It was a long day and alot of driving but we wanted to see Denali mountain again with no clouds hovering over it. It is a gorgeous drive and very peaceful. We stop in Talkeetna along the way, which is a very quaint town near the Denali park and has cute shops and restaurants. We have not stayed in

Denali Mountain on a clear day

Talkeetna but it is a good base location if you plan to spend time in Denali. We were fortunate with our day trip...the second time, both in 2006 and 2008 we had success seeing the mountain!


I wanted to see the capital city of Alaska so we took a one-way flight from Anchorage to Juneau. Juneau is on the cruise ship route and has the Mendenhall Glacier so it was on my bucket list. I do not foresee us ever doing an Alaskan cruise, I wanted to see one of the major ports on the inside passage route. My husband doesn't like the idea of a large cruise ship with thousands of people so if I wanted to experience the inside passage, I needed to plan the trip myself using the Alaska Ferry System. While in Juneau we stayed at the Best Western Inn, a smaller hotel not far from the tourist attractions. I had read there are bear at the Mendenhall Glacier so we were headed there! It was October so it was cloudy and rainy but we saw the Glacier and a smaller black bear off the

Black bear at Mendenhall Glacier

trail system by the parking lot. We also saw a porcupine, our first one, in the parking lot. I was hesitant to walk the trail system since the park was desolate and the main Park Information Building was closed, but decided to take a trail or two just to find other bears. We were successful with that too. Another larger black bear was crossing a creek on a trail and gave us quite a scare! We didn't spend much time at the Glacier but knew we would be back some day. With it being October, downtown Juneau where the cruise ships dock, was pretty desolate. Not many shops open or tourists mingling. But the down town was still beautiful and the capitol building was just off the main shopping district on the hillside. We enjoyed our visit Juneau and decided we would come back and use it as a base for our own inside passage trip in the future.


Below are photos from our 2008 trip to Anchorage and Juneau. Love Alaska!

Since I am reflecting back on my experience and writing this years later, I unfortunately do not have the a written itinerary or a list of places I stayed back in 2008. Back in 2008, I did many Google searches and since our trip was just a short week, I limited my research to the the moose locations. It sure wasn't as easy as it is now with the research, 15 years later! I planned the trip on my own and we enjoyed every minute. However, future trips and posts will have the itineraries with lodging information for reference.


TIPS TO TRAVEL ECONOMICALLY AND GET THE MOST FOR YOUR TIME AND MONEY


I also get asked many times, "How do you travel so often and keep it affordable?" A few tips are below:

  • For me, planning and researching is part of the excitement of the trip! Visioning is so much fun!!!

  • I plan all of my own trips and research, research, research on the internet. I utilize TripAdvisor, Frommer's, and blogs from other travelers to find the information I need for my trip. I do ALOT of reading and researching. It takes patience to plan a good affordable trip!

  • I have a budget in mind for each trip and challenge myself to stay in the budget. Depending on the location, I typically start planning and booking hotels, cars, etc., approximately 9 months out. Hotel prices usually get more expensive the closer to the trip unless you are willing to do a last minute internet deal. Car rental and airline prices also go up the closer it is to your trip. Occasionally you can get a last minute deal but something else may be more expensive and you are really not saving. I like to plan!

  • For hotels, I use Booking.com, or Priceline.com. I look for hotels with good reviews, pay when you stay, and free cancellation in advance.

  • We have done all-inclusive in a couple of tropical locations years and years ago but found that we do not eat and drink enough to make it worth the extra expense. We like to go off site from the hotel and experience the local cuisine and traditions. We have not done all-inclusive in the last 15 years. However, all-inclusive is wonderful if you want to stay at the resort for all meals, not rent a car, and have the hotel shuttle you to your destinations. That has worked for us in Jamaica and it was very relaxing! But I would not drive in Jamaica so all-inclusive was the smartest option! If you enjoy all-inclusive, the earlier you book the trip the lower the price. Unless you are game and are not a planner, and are willing to travel where the last minute deal is advertised. Then you could get a great all-inclusive deal!

  • If we are flying, I use the Skyscanner app to check airfare prices and I try not to buy until about 60 to 75 days out. There are times where I will by earlier if the price is super reasonable. I usually do not book on Skyscanner. It will tell me the site that is the most affordable to purchase the tickets and if it is a more well known trust site, I go directly to the site to purchase the tickets. Many times Skyscanner will take you right to the airline website. Skyscanner will search all airlines and will sort by price, times, shortest trip, etc.

  • Have a credit card that gives you miles or hotel points. We will use points for many of our trips. We are American Advantage members and have an Advantage credit card. We try to fly American as often as we can to earn points and then use those points for future airline tickets. Our credit card is tied to our Advantage numbers and awards points as well.

  • We drive if the location is in the United States and we can drive and sightsee along the way. If we need to rent a car, we reserve online using Booking.com, Orbitz.com, or Priceline.com. They are usually the most reasonable. I watch for specials and never book a luxury vehicle! We also have a credit card with a low limit that we use for vehicle rentals that provides insurance as a credit card benefit. We always decline the insurance when we are in the United States. If we are traveling out of the United States, we check with the credit card if the insurance is valid internationally. We have found it is valid in Europe, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, but in other locations, we are forced to purchase the liability insurance from the rental car company.

  • While there are free maps online for most destinations, I always go onto Amazon and buy a map of my destination, especially if it is international. I do not buy maps for tropical Caribbean islands. I just get one when we arrive. But for countries like Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, England, Canada, Germany, France, etc., I always purchase a good map. As you do you research, you can use the map to highlight the places you want to visit and the sites you want to see. I have it as a reference later for putting my memories and photos into a photobook!

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