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Thread: Wow!! Just got our itinerary from Make-A-Wish

  1. #1
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    Default Wow!! Just got our itinerary from Make-A-Wish

    My son Garrett just got his Make-A-Wish itinerary for his Alaskan Adventure to Seward! Unbelievable! Highlights include a full day of Halibut/Salmon charter, kayaking in Resurrection Bay, and glacier cruise! We will be there next Tuesday the 19th through Sunday!

    Now I have a couple of questions. First, what type of clothing should we pack? We are from Michigan, so we are used to all kinds of weather.

    Also, we have some free time. Any recommended hikes? Keep in mind Garret has only been on prosthetic leg for about 7 weeks, but he is doing really good. He actually did a 3.5 hike a Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes last week that has a lot of huge sand dunes you have to climb. I think he could do 4 miles with some elevation. Nothing more than a moderate hike. Walking on rocks is a bit tricking for him, but he does love a good rock scramble! Oh, and are bears a concern and should we have spray?

    Also, if we wanted to do some additional fishing, what would you recommend? River, bank, another 1/2 day charter for salmon??? Garrett and I both love river trout fishing, but not sure how close or easy this would be. Can we rent equipment or would I need to bring all my fishing stuff?

    Any other tips or suggestion to make this a great trip for a great kid that has had a rough go would be most appreciated!

    Also, We will be keeping a blog for Make-A-Wish which you can follow here: http://www.wish.org/help/gone_wishin_blogs?b=http%3A%2F%2Fgonewishin.wish.o rg%2Fblog%2Fgarrett%2F



  2. #2
    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    Congratulations! Sounds like you're all going to have an amazing trip, and I know Garret is going to love all of it.
    First, bring clothing you can layer to keep warm and dry. For the fishing charter, waterproof boots (we Alaskans love our x-tra tuffs) and Helly Hansons will never do you wrong. If your hands are likely to get cold while fishing all day, some gloves that will keep your hands warm when wet, and provide grip are always good.

    There is a great hike in Seward that it sounds like you all can do. Exit Glacier is a nice walk along mostly level ground, and if you choose to scramble a little more, you can get very close to the face of this glacier. It's an easy drive, and there is also the Seavey's Iditarod team down the same road. You can check out the Glacier and an iditarod team in the same day. They offer dog team rides on a wheeled wagon that my six year old loves. Worth doing.

    In Seward, don't miss the Alaska SeaLife Center. It's a great facility, with great looks at Steller sea lions, Alaskan seabirds, and more. They offer behind the scenes tours, too, if you want to have a look at the research side. They do world class marine research there, and it's something that should not be missed.

    If you like freshwater fishing, you can also do a half day or more float trip on the Kenai River to flyfish for salmon and trout. Lots of guides along the river, so you won't have any trouble finding someone there. The guides will provide gear, so you can probably leave yours at home unless you have a favorite fly rod.

    I hope you have the trip of a lifetime, then continue to come back for more trips of a lifetime.

  3. #3
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    Congratulations to your sons wish being made a reality!

    As for clothes, I'd bring a good mix, being from Michigan you are probably a bit more use to the chill, but the weather can vary and change, always think layers. I'd also recommend rubber or waterproof hiking boots to wear on the charter, my even pack the rain gear if you have it.

    As for other things to do...

    Exit Glacier is just outside of town, and has some easy trails near the glacier (I've been told, only time we went it was still snowed in).
    http://www.nps.gov/kefj/planyourvisit/exit-glacier.htm

    Sealife center is also right there in town, may be worth checking out. We went our first year up here for my daughters birthday and was pretty cool for the kids.
    http://www.alaskasealife.org/

    I haven't been in 2 years, but down near the docks is a place called "Railway Cantina", best blackened halibut burrito I've had, can't wait to get back down there and have another lol.

    As for other fishing, I don't think there are any river opportunities real close, if you are willing to make a drive you could try out the Russian River for Sockeye Salmon, or book an additional charter on the Kenai for its excellent trout fishing (it is catch and release only). These are both probably an 1-1 1/2 hours away from Seward.

    One last thing, take some Dramamine before you go out on the charter. If I remember right its about a 2-2 1/2 hour ride out to the fishing grounds.

  4. #4
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    Wow Boreal beat me to all the same suggestions 2 mins faster! I blame my kids distracting me mid post =p

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Ditto to what the other guys said....and I hope you have an incredible trip!


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    Thanks for the great advise everyone!

    Boreal, Make-A-Wish set us up already with the dog sled tour and ride. I forgot to mention that!

    I just booked a half day float trout fishing trip on the Upper Kenai with Alaska Trout-Fitters on our only free day (Sunday).

    Garrett is right now out with my neighbor fishing and txt me a nice pic of small mouth bass he caught! I can't wait to see his face when he reels in a 10 lb silver or a huge Halibut! He has had a rough two years and deserves it!

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    Member Lake creek fishermen's Avatar
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    Troutfitters is great! Sounds like one hell of a trip! Nice bow fishing on the upper K.
    -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
    -Put some excitment between your legs, ride a polaris!
    -Local 907 Riders Union
    http://www.youtube.com/user/AKMackdaddy?feature=mhee

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Sounds like the other guys have you all lined out. Hope you have a great trip. On the Dramamine deal, if any of you get sea sick be sure to take it the night before or better yet the early the day before and then keep taking... it will do you no good to take it on the boat... I will be in Seward the same time you are, if you happen to be walking in the Harbor and see a boat named the Stor Fisk stop by and say hello.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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    I'll keep an eye out for you JR2. If you happen to see a family of four with a 6'3 kid with a prosthetic on his right leg in desert digital camo....it's probably us!

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    It certainly sounds like Garrett will have the trip of a lifetime here in Alaska. I hope he really enjoys it!
    I am also from Michigan, and will provide my 2 cents.

    Dress in layers. Avoid cotton/blue jeans as they will not keep you warm or dry. Try to pack fleece or synthetic materials. Bring rain gear (not a poncho from Wal-Wart). This will ensure you'll stay dry on the fishing trip. Keep in mind it rained 31 straight days here last year.

    Your itinerary sounds awesome. Memories and pictures for a lifetime!

    Check out Exit Glacier in Seward. Garrett shouldn't have much trouble with the trail, as it is fairly level and only gains a small amount of elevation. 2 miles round-trip to the "face" of the glacier, which is the trail I'd recommend. Also, check out the Alaska Sea Life Center. Lots of marine life, great staff, and very up-close encounters with the critters from the ocean. 2 hours at the Sea Life Center.
    Also consider kayaking in Seward. There is an experience Garrett will not forget. There are several outfitters in Seward, simply Google "Seward AK kayaking." I'd also recommend the trout/salmon fishing trip on the Kenai river. If Garrett loves fishing, this river shouldn't disappoint! Leave your gear in the mitten state, as all guides will supply you adequately.

    I hope your trip is memorable, productive, and safe. Please let us know how it turned out, and let Garrett know that we are all pulling for him! Enjoy the Last Frontier, and come back to enjoy it again!

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    Kayaking and Kenia trout fishing already in the plan Fuel E! I booked with Trout-Fitters for Sunday on the Upper, our only open day! I am thinking we have to find some time for Exit...maybe Friday morning. I am sure we will work in the Sea Life Center, not just sure when.

  12. #12

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    Gonda-let me put your mind at ease.... You'll be amazed with anything you do in Alaska! Long as you do it safely, it would be hard to imagine Alaska disappointing Garrett. It's that awesome! I read some of the posts on the wish site. Seriously, Alaska is that awesome. The items mentioned are all great. You can't go wrong. Be safe and I sincerely hope you have a great time.
    "...it's called fishing... it's not called catching..."

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    Congratulations & good luck with you flights. Seward is a small town that gets big in summer. There is plenty of walking to do on the docks, looking at boats and other fish coming in at the end of the day or the beaches. A hike out to Tonsina from Lowell Point is a good trip. you can hike the beach if it is low tide, so check the trail outbound with the low tide in mind for the return trip. Or some day hikes with a water taxi drop off could be fun. There is a lot kayak outfitters in town. Millers Landing does both as well as some other fishing options. http://www.millerslandingak.com/ As suggested layered clothing works best. Good rain gear is necessary to get you out in our wet weather. Seward is a very temperate area with heavy forests and thick vegetation. We have had a warm summer (for us) so far. Comfortable rubber boots for the fishing are a must unless you want fish blood all over your expensive hikers. Have fun and take advantage of this trip for Garrett

  14. #14

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    I just did the exit glacier last week. We walked to the toe of the glacier and had a picnic lunch sitting on top of it. The run off water on the walk to get to the toe was pretty swift in parts but never got above our knees.

    After that we went over to the Russian and walked to the falls. You can fish in certain areas on the Russian but you also have a really good chance of seeing some bears. There was a brown sow and cub while we were there and some people reported seeing 8 different bears that day.

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    Congrats! Your plans sound perfect. Seward is simply breathtaking. I just wanted to tell you that Troutfitters is an amazing guide service and will treat you very well. Not to mention that the Kenai is just a beautiful river to float down. Have a great time.Eric

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Well its been a couple of weeks, you should have recovered by now... How was the trip?
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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    Default Barely recovered.....

    We had a great time and great weather. I did look for your boat JR2, but never found it. We didn't have a lot of spare time so I didn't get to look much.

    The charter by Aurora was great. There were 16 people on the boat. Everyone limited on halibut and my family limited on pinks. Shipped home 66 lbs of fish. Not cheap, but I owe a lot of people favors for the help they have provided us over the last couple of years so I have been giving away quite a bit.

    Adventure 60 North took us Kayaking and hiking up to Fort McGalvray. My son made it the 4 miles, not pain free, but he did it. Jamie our guide was great. She carried a picnic up to the fort for us. Sea Kayaking is a blast.

    Seavey's was a lot more fun then I expected. Kids had a great time with the pups and watching the dogs work while pulling was impressive. By the way the Creperie down the street from there was terrific.

    Exit Glacier was cool but Garrett was only up for the short hike. He was still pretty sore from hiking the fort. Oh and on the way down to Seward we hiked to Byron Glacier and climbed on it a bit. That was fun and a pretty easy hike.

    Kenai Fjords Cruise was really cool. We watched a humpback breach 5 times; twice completely out of the water. The glacier was pretty active too. Just can't beat the scenery around there. It becomes redundant taking pictures of beautiful mountains.

    Our fishing trip on the Upper Kenai was fun but a bit brutal. The girls only made it part of the way before we had to dropped them off. Rained the whole time. Only bad weather day we had so I can't complain. I caught a nice bow and a big Dolly. My wife caught a huge Dolly which was her first ever trout. Prior to the halibut she had only ever caught bluegills. That was it for the fish. I would love to try that again but later in August. I think we were a little early for the heavy action. I would definitely use Trout-Fitters again, good people there.

    Thanks for all the help! We had a wonderful time.

    Never did see a bear

    You can see/read more here:
    http://www.wish.org/help/gone_wishin_blogs?b=http%3A%2F%2Fgonewishin.wish.o rg%2Fblog%2Fgarrett%2F

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    My boat was in the shop that week so I was not in Seward. Good to hear you had a good trip.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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