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Thread: Relocation

  1. #1
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    Default Relocation

    I will be moving to Alaska, like others in this forum, due to military transfer. I've been facinated by AK since I was a young kid! I will be stationed at JBER. I DO NOT want to live in Anchorage. I'm moving to AK to enjoy the AK outdoors. Not become a "city slicker". I'm going to have to rent vs. purchase because I already own 2 homes in the lower 48. I only need space for myself and my furniture. Any suggestions on rental properties in not-so-condenced locations with good mountain views and close to good fishing/hunting but within 45 minutes or so of JBER?

    I will be arriving in Whittier via ferry in early May. I already have reservations for the boat, but does anyone have any advice for the 4.5 day ferry ride? I've been on ferries before, but never longer than a couple of hours. I'm actually driving cross country from NC to WA, then hopping on the ferry. I CAN'T WAIT! Any suggestions would be appreciated to make my transition a smooth one.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    If you want to be reasonably close to JBER but in a more natural setting, then I would look at Hiland Road (Eagle River) or up Eagle River Road beyond mile 4 or so. Neither will offer you good fishing or hunting out of your back door as they border on a state park in areas of the park that are mostly closed to hunting, but at least you'll be up in the mountains and able to hike and climb without restraint. Rentals in these areas aren't numerous, but they can be found if you look hard enough. If you want to live in the midst of an area that you can hunt or fish, you'll be hard pressed to be within 45 minutes of JBER. Your most realistic option would be to live out past Palmer or Wasilla, but that would require more than an hour drive each day. Realistically, you're going to have to drive to access good hunting and fishing most of the time. It is not uncommon at all to drive 3-6 hours each way to get to decent hunting and fishing opportunities. There are options closer by, for sure, but long distances are often a way of life up here.

  3. #3
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Live on Post and save your money so you have more to spend on outdoor gear and fuel to go on trips. The cost of living is high enough in the Anchorage area that most people end up paying out of pocket even after using the generous BAH we get up here. But if you are dead set on living off post take a look in Eagle River, Chugiak, Peters Creek, Birchwood, then if you want a bit further of a drive try Palmer and Wasilla.

    And like Brian said living in the middle of a hunting and fishing area just is not going to happen around JBER. Don't get me wrong there is hunting, fishing, and even trapping around there but not all in the same area and its not the best either. But I am a bit biased against the south central area and like to waist my money and time driving out of it to areas with fewer people.

    Army or Airforce?

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Anchorage is a good launching point. It sounds like you are single so you would likely be best off getting a small place as close to base as possible. Then when you get off work you can swing by the crib, grab your gear and head out. That sure beats getting up 2 hours before work to make a long drive then driving an hour and a half to get back home in the evening before you can go do anything. This is especially true during the winter when it will be dark before you finish your commute. I live in the valley but work from home and my wife works 10 minutes down the road. The only reason we live out here is the size of our family and our desire for a bigger house than we could afford in ANC. Alaska isn't usually enjoyed from your home, the home is just a place to get warm and store stuff. The closer it is to work the easier it is to launch from and the more time you will have. Besides ANC and Eagle River have more developed winter trails than anywhere else in the state. They are the only ones that have any real ski slopes close by.

    If I was single I would almost certainly get a cheap place with a roommate close to work and plan to be there as little as possible.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Note: "The valley" = Palmer and Wasilla (In case you weren't clear on the lingo.)

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    For the Ferry ride, hoping you like to read(?) it's definitely not going to be real exciting looking out the window for that long.

    Buy and load up a Kindle with reading material, maybe bring a laptop with several movies ??

    They will have some movies on board, a fairly nice cafe, that will help kill some hours, (tho is expensive food as I recall)

    and imagine being Real Friendly, you'll be able to strike up conversation with others, they'll all be in the same boat,
    Long Cruise, need to be able to entertain yourself somehow, and maybe some sleep aid meds (?)

    If arriving in early May, you'll be traveling in not so nice weather, and I imagine, straight across the Gulf on the Kennicott?
    the Kennicott is a nice large rig, but the Gulf of AK,(?).......
    the sleep aid idea, might be necessary for your stomach, (and keep it full, if you're so inclined)
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  7. #7
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Great, cafeteria-style food on the Kennicott, fairly cheap (the chili is the bomb), movie theater, observation decks, decent bar.
    As a first timer, your eyes will be glued to those windows, lol
    Last edited by cdubbin; 01-25-2012 at 20:07. Reason: Smartphones suck
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    +1 for the sleeping pills! I can't sleep on the ferry without them...

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    Army. Living on post is not an option. If I'm off from work, I don't want to be waking up to bugel calls all the time. I've heard good things about Eagle River and Chugiak. Thanks for the information!

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    You are correct kodiakrain, I am scheduled for the M/V Kennicott. I was originally suppose to leave in March and the ferry only brought me to Haines, followed by another 800 mile drive which brought me through Canada. Because my orders changed, AMHS informed me that they could get me further north. It's good, because I was not allowed to transport some of my smaller concealed handguns through Canada. Only downfall is my cabin does not have facilities like the other M/V that I was originally on, no biggie though. I guess I have to wait in Whittier (assuming the Kennicott is on time) for a tunnel to open up??

    I've been on numerous ferries to the Outter Banks in NC and cruise ships with no issues. One cruise had a night of pretty bad rocking, and I made it through without getting sick. I'm hoping I don't get too green faced

    The NOOK is already loaded with books and I look forward to meeting new people on the boat. Thanks for the information.

  11. #11
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    No bugle calls on Fort Richardson that I can assure you of. Been living on post for 5 years now and never heard anything but I do understand wanting to get away from the Army when you are off duty. Fort Rich is not Bragg thats for sure despite what some people try to bring from there.

    You should not have to wait too long for the tunnel to open after arriving on the ferry so no worries there.

  12. #12
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    Good info. Thanks. Based on your location, it seems that you and I are enjoying the same weather right now I'm outta here in 30 days now! Good luck to you!

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