Today was a travel day to Anchorage for me. I have some warranty repair work to be done on Suite Pea and I need some repair work done on my toad braking system.
I am so used to dry camping at Wal-Mart stores and being welcomed there that it was a big surprise to find that RVer’s were prohibited from parking at either Wal-Mart or Sam’s. It was due to a Municipal Law. There were signs posted on every pole in and around the parking lot. In the Sam’s area there were also ‘no loitering’ signs. However, there were young people partying and trashing the parking lot. We were told and given paperwork about the ‘no overnighting’ and in one area where there were ‘overnight parked vehicles will be towed’ I was informed by the tow driver that I had to move immediately. The 18-wheelers were parked there, oops sitting there with their motors/genny’s running with no hassle. I found out a week later that if you go 2 blocks over, there are no signs around. Also, there are no RV parks that I could locate down in the south area where I needed to be for a 7:30 a.m. appointment.
This is totally opposite to the Wal-Mart in Fairbanks where they have RV sites marked off and labeled. Most of the folks were probably like us and needed to make purchases for their trip and stopped. Many, like us, then went to a campground for the rest of their time in Fairbanks. For me that was a week. Oh, well, it is over this time and I certainly have no plans to spend any time with my rig in Anchorage.
Oh, well, I got to my appointment and didn’t have to hock the car to have the braking system repaired. The warranty work on the rig was completed. He did break the light on the water pump in the bathroom. Oh, well, guess I’ll get that fixed back at the home base. Don’t want to go there again. By the way, the Winnebago dealer in Anchorage is one of the few new RV dealers in the whole state. But they make their big money renting RV’s. So if you need work done don’t expect to be treated like anything other than a “oh, you want work done on your privately owned vehicle” kind of person. They don’t expect to see you ever again, so there is no need to be nice to you. They have one Customer Service guy and that’s that. It was really amazing. They have 12 service bays, or so they advertise. When I walked thru the service area, they had 2 RV’s in 4 bays being cleaned, others were being washed. Quite an assembly line. I noted that some of the folks were not speaking English. But then that isn’t so surprising for those type of jobs.
They are the rental company Great Alaskan Holidays and that is their primary business. They own their lease/rental vehicles and they are made specially for them by Winnebago. They are all Winnebago Chalet and run from 22’ to 32’. I have observed people driving the rentals and can only say, if you aren’t an automotive technician, avoid buying a rental. They are really driven hard. Many are not taken care of by the drivers as they don’t know how to care for them. I think others don’t care and some are very careful. If you are driving your rig…stay back, way back and try to wait for them to clear the gas station before you enter.
Alright enough negative stuff. Let’s get down the road to Girdwood soon as we get Suite Pea and Herbie ready and a little gas put in them thar tanks.
But first just a note that it is 12 a.m. right now (Sunday/Monday 7-22/23) and it is dark outside. I mean like pitch black!!
The drive to Girdwood was on Highway 1. It passes Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet and that is a little twisty. Girdwood was impacted by the Friday 13th earthquake in 1964. Really impacted as the level of the town dropped by several feet and places were in the ocean that weren’t before. The town relocated up the road a bit and is the best snow skiing area near Anchorage. We had planned to ride the tram but it was too windy, plus cold and rainy. But the wind I think is what caused them to close it for a couple of days. I only overnighted here and then we were on our way to Seward.
Liz and I stopped and birded on the way to Seward, while Nan and Tina went ahead. Tern Lake was a great stop as was Jacob Lake. While we were at Tern Lake an eagle came and got lunch – Liz said the same thing happened the last time she was there! Serendipity! Several gulls and terns out there and two Common Loons, a momma duck with “ducklings” and one Bald Eagle. That’s a nice stopping place.
On to Seward….oh my road construction for 3 miles. Slow going and rough road. The road to Seward is narrow and not especially in good repair. But we made it and parked in the north end of the city park with no services. Hey, it is what it is. Seward post is separate.