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Thread: General Info and Advice

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    Default General Info and Advice

    Hi all,

    I've been reading through this site for several months, and can usually find answers to any question I have. So a big thanks to the folks that take the time to deal with would-be Alaskans' many questions--as crazy as they often are .

    Grew up in the mountains of the Oregon Coast, haven't lived there in many years and find myself missing it every day. Unfortunately, the place has changed quite a bit (haven't they all?!), and it seems to me that if I want the sort of environment I was raised in, then I need to look further afield. And so...

    I'm actively planning on relocation to AK, which currently means saving money, adjusting possessions, and doing a lot of reading. I'll most likely come up for a visit sometime in the early spring to get a feel for a couple different areas. Looking most seriously at both the Matanuska and Susitna valleys for their relative proximity to Anchorage--say, within 3 hours--and city resources (book stores, university, cheaper grocery/hardware/etc. prices). Big area, I know. But just throwing it in to make it clear that the south and interior are not really what I'm looking for. The move is 1.5 years away, as much for seasonal reasons as any others.

    All of this is just a sort of introduction, so thanks for the patience.

    I'm sure that down the road I'll have all sorts of tedious questions but for the time being, I have just a few, some broad and some sorta survey-like ones:

    The plan is to purchase a Class-A RV (lower end) rather than deal with a uhaul rental or crappy box truck purchase. Will this be difficult to sell up there?

    Are any of you carpenters? What are lumber prices like?

    How is cell coverage on the Park and Glenn Highways, say from Parker to Denali and Parker to Glennallen? I don't love the things, but this is the kind of tidbit that helps with logistical planning.

    Finally, anyone willing to put up a list of 10 things that people should know, but probably don't, about moving up there? I'm not planning on living in a remote cabin, trapping, and living off the land, if that helps.

    Thanks again!

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    First Question is: Will you require employment.......??? If you do NOT require employment, I suggest you look at Sunrise, Alaska and Moose Pass, Alaska, even Cooper Landing, Alaska........

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    Yeah, I'll be working. There is a chance that I will be bringing my job with me, though. I spend 1/3-1/2 of my current employment in the field, which usually means 4-6 hours drive one-way. So, if the job comes with then location will be less important.

    I had decided against the Kenai for some reasons I no longer remember (cost of land?). Sure seems like a pretty place (a lot like Oregon Coastal mountains), but I would'nt mind being on the north side of Anchorage for closer access to mountains and rivers.

    edit: and I mean mountains and rives specific to the matsu, as well as further north. A Big Reason for wanting to move up there is access to good, wild river floats, cmaping/hiking, etc..

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    When you ask about cell coverage, I assume you mean from Palmer? As for coverage out the Glenn and up the Parks Highways, it can be spotty. Heading north towards Denali you'll have reception for a little over an hour, then it will become hit and miss until you pass Denali. The same is basically true out towards Glennallen.

    The RV should be easy enough to sell.

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    Thanks, Brian.

    I've never actually spent more than $3k on a car (I'm a cheapskate, and elbow grease is cheap if you can enjoy the work), so purchasing an RV makes me a little nervous.

    edit: and yes, Palmer...haha...I sometimes work in the boonies near Parker, AZ. Guess the subconscious is taking charge when Im not paying attention.

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    Do you live in the Kenai, AGL? People I know from AK always suggest either a) somewhere out on the Kenai, or B) somewhere on the Glenn Hwy. This is usaully accompanied by warnings to stay as from far from Wasilla as possible. Obviously I don't have first-hand opinions.

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    That looks impressive! I've heard a good thing or two about Six Mile and also that it's a good place to die when the water's high.

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    Quote Originally Posted by salix View Post
    That looks impressive! I've heard a good thing or two about Six Mile and also that it's a good place to die when the water's high.
    Pretty much anywhere in AK. is a good place to die if you hit it just right.......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Pretty much anywhere in AK. is a good place to die if you hit it just right.......
    Likewise a lot of places. My urban neighborhood, for example: at least every other weekend there's a flurry of gunshots and heli's with spotlights. A manhunt ended in my shed a month ago.

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    I think I just found my new signature on this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Pretty much anywhere in AK. is a good place to die if you hit it just right.........

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    I live in "Downtown" Sunrise, Alaska.....Population: 9 humans & 751 bears, 14 mountain goats, 21 caribou, 7 moose. Sunrise, Alaska is 75 miles from three cities/towns with supplies and hospitals. Zero employment.

    And surrounded by majestic mountains, fully with-in the awesome Chugach National Forest. Land is expensive and worth every dollar to live in paradise with few humans, and still have mail delivery & electric.


    Quote Originally Posted by salix View Post
    Do you live in the Kenai, AGL? People I know from AK always suggest either a) somewhere out on the Kenai, or B) somewhere on the Glenn Hwy. This is usaully accompanied by warnings to stay as from far from Wasilla as possible. Obviously I don't have first-hand opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by salix View Post
    Finally, anyone willing to put up a list of 10 things that people should know, but probably don't, about moving up there? I'm not planning on living in a remote cabin, trapping, and living off the land, if that helps.

    Thanks again!
    1. If you want to find solitude in the wilderness, plan an activity other than fishing or hunting.

    2. Avocados run $3 apiece; this has got to violate my human rights in some way.

    3. Learning how to walk on ice will really tone that butt.

    4. Pac boots, Carhartts, and flannel shirts are acceptable evening wear.

    5. A bear will not eat you if you decline to carry a handgun.

    6. The winters will make you crazy, deal with it and embrace the loonyness.

    7. The summers may also make you crazy.

    8. All the reality shows are total BS.

    9. Never turn your back on a cow moose.

    10. All your friends will be totally jealous!
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Ha! Excellent pointers, cdubbin! Note that I wouldn't dream of driving from Arizona to Alaska without a couple crates of avocados. When the day comes I'll arrange a rendezvous with you because...well, avocados! I routinely get them 4-6/$1 at the Mexican supermarkets. Seriously, I will bring them. Might have to figure out a good smuggling cranny in the rig. I'll check with Amnesty International if I can get some support for this cause.

    What's the deal with hunting and solitude? I really have no idea what it's like up there, but I sure don't like being shot at. Salmon is my food, what I've eaten since I was a few months old (not so much now since it's all farm-raised Atlantic crap down here). I'll deal with the hordes of a-holes, though I'll incessantly whine about it.

    I suck at walking on ice. So, at least I'm bringing comedy with me--though I bet you all get plenty of that from tourists and new transplants.

    The reality show is the king of ironic genre names.

    I'm not big on guns, but no problem with them either (I grew up tracking and hunting). I'll admit that I'm a little nervous about brownies--I've only even encountered black bears in the sticks--but anyway, I strongly doubt I could draw down on one (fast enough) in a surprise encounter.

    Winter...I like to think that I can imagine it, but I'm just going to assume that it's far more intense than I think. I've probably gotten pretty soft down in these parts. Last night I was sitting outside enjoying a cold one with bare feet and a tank top!

    I farkin hate mosquitoes, but I've gotten to the point in life where I can take joy in small things, like, being mauled by mosquitoes is a chance to also kill them. Is that part of why summer might make me crazy?

    Regarding formal wear, that is a happy coincidence.

    My friends will be jealous. Complacent *******s.

    edit: oops. used the b word that once referred to ones, er, legitimacy of birth. Noted as a no-no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by salix View Post
    Likewise a lot of places. My urban neighborhood, for example: at least every other weekend there's a flurry of gunshots and heli's with spotlights. A manhunt ended in my shed a month ago.
    Well, as you probably imagined, I wasn't talking about the 2 legged kind of threats. But.....live in Anchorage and there is a good possibility tho.......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by salix View Post
    I'll admit that I'm a little nervous about brownies
    Don't let anybody up here kid ya........we're ALL a little nervous about brownies.....some just a bit more than others, but still a little nervous.......lol.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    1. If you want to find solitude in the wilderness, plan an activity other than fishing or hunting.
    I might quibble with that one a bit. I find plenty of solitude afield, but I'm willing to hike more than most and I enjoy pursuing less popular species.

    It's all about priorities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by salix View Post
    What's the deal with hunting and solitude? I really have no idea what it's like up there
    He was probably just referring to popular places to hunt off the road system....which there are a few and the crowds can be thick. Other than that, there are still places where you can fly out and be in total solitude. AK. is indeed a big place. But if solitude to you means not ever hearing a plane overhead then you may have to change your definition of solitude. There are, however, still a few guys that do manage to find places where they don't even hear a plane for days on end. Normally though that's because the weather is so bad you can't fly in it......lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by salix View Post
    I farkin hate mosquitoes,
    Well if you can't stand the skeeters, then you'll REALLY love the whitesocks......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Well if you can't stand the skeeters, then you'll REALLY love the whitesocks......
    Those sound just delightful. They're not persuaded by DEET, I take it?

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