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Thread: Where to live in Alaska as it relates to the outdoors.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Where to live in Alaska as it relates to the outdoors.

    I was kicking around all the places I've lived up here in my life, and thought of the diversity of each area for outdoor opportunities. I purposely lived in a lot of places so that I could find the best place. This has taken me 42 years! (24 years since I was old enough to make my own choice). My point was to spend enough time in as many cities/villages as possible to make an accurate evaluation.

    Fairbanks: Lots of hunting and fishing available close by. Easy access to most area's. Moose, caribou, bears of both types, arctic grayling. Good trapping too. Winters cold but the community has a lot of winter activities to keep you sane. Went to high school at Lathrop, worked for a cab company, built some fences.

    Sitka: Lots of rain, but great hunting for deer, bear, goats, salmon and halibut fishing. Mild winters. A boat is a must to enjoy this area. Went to college at Sheldon Jackson and fished my own boat out of here.

    Wrangell: Good hunting for bears and deer. Good fishing and nice inland waterways close by. Boat is nice, but lot's of miles of logging roads in summer. Winters mild. Stikine river is great running for moose in a airboat. Fished my boat out of here, and worked at a fish hatchery.

    Ketchikan: Lot's of rain, but good hunting for deer and bear. Good fishing for salmon and halibut. A boat is a must. Fished out of here occasionally.

    Craig: Nice little town. Good deer hunting, extensive road system from the logging, great bear hunting. Fished my boat out of here.

    Pelican/Elfin Cove area: Very small towns that I really enjoyed. Good fishing and hunting, but without a boat, forget it. Fished my boat out of here.

    Juneau: Fished my boat out of here very occasionally. Never could find much to do in the way of the outdoors here. I probably missed something.

    Yakutat: Great silver fishing in the late summer and fall. A decent miles of roads. Good bear viewing at dump. Fished my boat out of here also for halibut and salmon.

    Dutch Harbor: Great place to work, but few outdoor opporunities that I could find. Crabbed and factory trawled for 10 winters out here. Was able to step foot on most of the islands during this 10 years, including the Priblofs and St. Matthew. Kiska is a must visit if you ever get the chance.

    Kodiak: Tough, Tough Place. I was kid, couldn't find a job on a boat, rain rain rain. I think this town almost broke my spirit. Didn't have money or time to hunt much. Was down to my last slice of boloney in my tent 7 miles out of town before I made the one and only call to my dad for help get me a plane ticket to South Naknek, where I had a job waiting for me. Went back in 08 for an elk hunt on Raspberry, (even though I had swore off ever going back to 'The Rock') and it was a much nicer visit!

    South Naknek/Dillingham/Bethel: I wasn't able to get out hunting or fishing much, but seems there was some good choices of species to hunt.

    Homer/Seldovia: Great place, lots of hunting to be had for moose, black bear, goats. Great fishing for salmon, halibut. Mild winters. I worked the docks here. Tried to get on a boat, with no luck. Also worked for John Cabbott Seafoods in Seldovia a few months. Got my one and only ticket of any kind... 'minor in possesion' here for having a beer in my truck. 40 hours of community service to clean that one up...

    Kenai/Soldotna: Spent a lot of years here. I always felt there was too many people on the entire peninsula. Good moose hunting, bear, goat, etc. Just not enough places to go where you wouldn't see people. It never stuck with me. Worked for an oil company.

    Seward: Great place, but lot's of rain and snow. Good hunting for bears and goats. Great fishing for salmon, halibut, rockfish and all your saltwater stuff. I worked for a company cleaning fuel barges for the Navy at Adak here.

    Coldfoot/Wiseman area: Really liked this area. Amazing outdoor opportunities, with the ability to go for a walk for weeks. Great hunting for moose, caribou, grizzly. Excellent wolf trapping. Worked in a gold mine at Nolan Creek, and worked a claim at Gold Creek up toward the pass. First time I was here, I was 12, and this is what inspired me to someday have a lodge.

    Wasilla/Palmer: Currently have a small cabin rented here, as a base for the lodge and work. Great town, lots of things to do, and close to a lot of outdoor activities. This may become my 'not at the lodge' place.

    Anchorage: Well, I avoided this place for my entire life until I took a job here last spring. That's why I rented in Wasilla, and decided I would be happier to have my family out of Anchorage, and I decided to commute in every day. This has been a good choice since April. I don't think I could ever 'live' here. It is a great place to buy stuff! When they get the bridge built, I'll move further out, so that my commute stays at around an hour. Contracting to an oil company.

    Cantwell: I really like this sleepy little town. It's the closest town to the lodge. We've met a lot of great people here. It is a chilly place. Lot's of outdoor opportunities, and very few people. If the lodge starts making money, allowing me to not work anywhere other then the lodge, I will get a place here, and get my wife to start teaching in the school while I run the lodge.

    Denali Highway: Somehow, I missed this amazing stretch of road until about 10 years ago, I happened across it during the 4th of July on the way back from Chicken. About half way across, I said to my wife 'I think I just found home'. This place has it all, summer and winter, hunting, fishing, trapping, snow machine, atv's, no people, lot's of history, and all types of hunting terrain you can imagine. I spent the next several years trying to find even a postage stamp of a peice of property on this highway.... nothing. Then I found the listing for the place at mile 68... .way out of range for me.. I kept saving, moving to better jobs, and doing whatever I could to scrouge up enough pennies to make the guy a resonable offer on the place. Finally pulled it off just over 18 months ago, and it's been everything I had hoped and more.

    I have been on every road to the end in the state, except the Nabesna Road. I'm going to try to knock that one out this summer. I've traveled to almost every town, and lived in the ones above. I can now count the towns that I haven't been in farily easily. Barrow, Pt. Hope, Nome, Kotzebue, and Cordova. (been to Prudhoe, of course) I know there are a lot of villages in that area that I need to get to also.


    Anyone else try to do get to every place up here? Or am I the only crazy one?

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post
    I was kicking around all the places I've lived up here in my life, and thought of the diversity of each area for outdoor opportunities. I purposely lived in a lot of places so that I could find the best place. This has taken me 42 years! (24 years since I was old enough to make my own choice). My point was to spend enough time in as many cities/villages as possible to make an accurate evaluation.


    Denali Highway: Somehow, I missed this amazing stretch of road until about 10 years ago, I happened across it during the 4th of July on the way back from Chicken. About half way across, I said to my wife 'I think I just found home'. This place has it all, summer and winter, hunting, fishing, trapping, snow machine, atv's, no people, lot's of history, and all types of hunting terrain you can imagine. I spent the next several years trying to find even a postage stamp of a peice of property on this highway.... nothing. Then I found the listing for the place at mile 68... .way out of range for me.. I kept saving, moving to better jobs, and doing whatever I could to scrouge up enough pennies to make the guy a resonable offer on the place. Finally pulled it off just over 18 months ago, and it's been everything I had hoped and more.

    I have been on every road to the end in the state, except the Nabesna Road. I'm going to try to knock that one out this summer. I've traveled to almost every town, and lived in the ones above. I can now count the towns that I haven't been in farily easily. Barrow, Pt. Hope, Nome, Kotzebue, and Cordova. (been to Prudhoe, of course) I know there are a lot of villages in that area that I need to get to also.


    Anyone else try to do get to every place up here? Or am I the only crazy one?

    Claude
    I lived on the Denali for seven years it's one of a couple of places I would love to get back to. Used to be great hunting it's still world class snowshoeing and x-country skiing.
    Chuck

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiline View Post
    I lived on the Denali for seven years it's one of a couple of places I would love to get back to. Used to be great hunting it's still world class snowshoeing and x-country skiing.

    Chuck, When were you on the Denali.......???

  4. #4

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    Gracious House Dec. '87 to May 93 then my wife and I spent the winter of 95-96 caretaking Gracious House, the mine and Susitna Lodge.

    We know each other?
    Chuck

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    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
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    .....what years did you crab out west?

    -I crabbed out of Kodiak mid-90's...-we set all our gear west of Kiska, and near Buldir-


    ps....Seward, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful places in the world....

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiline View Post
    Gracious House Dec. '87 to May 93 then my wife and I spent the winter of 95-96 caretaking Gracious House, the mine and Susitna Lodge.

    We know each other?
    I was the caretaker for the Susitna Lodge, after Denny Thompson and Tex Greathouse left, and Denny sold the lodge to Rick Halford. That was about 73'-75'. I spent part of two summers building and rebuild the road into Windy Lake. No we do not know each other, outside of here and the: Wilderness Survival Forum.

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default crabbing

    I was out west crabbing/trawling from 87 to 96. The Bidarka, Rebecca Irene, Akutan, Claymore Sea, Saga Sea, Heather Sea. I went to Russia on the Claymore Sea for several trips. Those were crazy times!
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Do you not have your place in Kenai still at the beach? If not, where the heck am I supposed to park the camper next year during dipnetting season?
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

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    Member Bullwinkle50's Avatar
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    Default Crazy one

    Denali Hunter,

    You aren't the only crazy one. We moved here just over 4 years ago and my wife has a mission. She calls it her end of the road tour. She wants to travel to all areas of the state and travel to the end of each road. She has done a lot but has a lot farther to go.

    Randy

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    Default GP

    great post, I really enjoyed that and it contained some great info.

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    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denalihunter View Post
    I was out west crabbing/trawling from 87 to 96. The Bidarka, Rebecca Irene, Akutan, Claymore Sea, Saga Sea, Heather Sea. I went to Russia on the Claymore Sea for several trips. Those were crazy times!

    ...cool!
    -I remember the Akutan and the Rebecca Irene...
    I worked a half-share position on the The Handler...
    -we were supposed to go to Russia in '95...-though;our davet broke,reduction gear problems,etc, in April

    -the last thing I did before leaving Kodiak, was helping Gary sand and repaint his boat...
    -the Big Valley -
    -that was a tragedy when it went down a few years ago...he was a good guy-

    -the Aleutians:it's got its own alluring beauty out there,doesn't it?...
    -where the Alaskan winds are born...


    (btw I didn't mean to steer your thread off-topic-)

    -back to the subject of hunting...down here,we fill the freezer with mostly black bear (I love it)-(and fish, of course)-
    -we are considering taking trips more up north, for moose...
    Last edited by aksheephuntress; 02-05-2010 at 13:49. Reason: spelling-

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    Were you trolling when you spent time in southeast?

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    I'd sound like one of those John Cash song's. lol, not only here in Alaska, but everywhere west of the Miss.

    I did see the Jesus Rock in Dutch Harbor/ Unalaska, and they said if you ever saw it you would come back, " legend has it down there" Ain't been back yet, who know's? (10 years ago) I will say I enjoyed the place for the 6 month's I was there despite the weather.

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    Default WOW!

    I thought that i have lived in some cool places. You take the cake man! Many experiences for sur. I would love to sit down and drink some cold beers with you!

    Most of you know I sent lots of time in NW Alaska and have worked and hunted out of many of the villages out there. Kotz is a tough place to call home for most folks but it provides a great jump off spot for unreal hunting and fishing. I was sorry to leave but work and family can pull you many new places!

    Gakona/Copper River area. This is home now! We have built our retirement home on the edge of the Copper/Gulkana rivers. I worked out here in the late 90's and did lots of BLM back-country work on the Denali HWY area including the Delta and Gulkana rivers. Very cool out here. Kid friendly and worth the waite. We will be opening a raft rental DYI Salmon fishing operation this summer which I hope will be well received. Shuttle and gear for the best river trip!

    Great post

    Walt
    Gulkana River Rentals
    907-822-4290
    northwestalaska@yahoo.com

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    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Default ...

    I've lived out of Anchorage, Fairbanks and now Nome.

    I consider Nome "Guy paradise". Great trapping, great hunting, great fishing!! While the wind gets old, the "other" stuff makes this place perfect for me.
    Know guns. Know peace. Know safety.

    No guns: no peace. No safety!

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    Member aces-n-eights's Avatar
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    Great post, thanks! You've inspired me to explore more of this great state.
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Denalihunter,

    You pretty much covered all corners of the State, You should have done a documentary of all these places and put it in writing of a book or something, it would be a great read for someone wanting to move up here. There are a few more remote areas....Circle, (the Steese HWY), and the Aleution Islands (lived there for a year).....but I'd say you've done it more than anyone.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    funny you should ask, i took a guy hunting once that had been to every post office in the united states..got in a little plane and flew all over alaska...musta been bit by the crazy bug i thought.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
    Master guide 212

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Answers

    JMG, not to worry, I sold the beach house to a friend of mine who is planning on running the B&B and rv spots this summer. He's a good guy and will do a good job with it. Once he gets it all figured out, I'll get him on here so he can pay Mike to advertise for him. We miss the place a little bit, but it sure is nice being 4 hours closer to the lodge!

    Randy, Sounds like your wife got bit by the same bug I did. This will definitely keep you busy for a lifetime! I've enjoyed every bit of it.

    HunterH, yes, I was power trolling for silvers and kings, and longlining for halibut, blackcod, rockfish, etc. I owned the F/V Skeeter, a 45' wooden boat, and did that for 10 years. Most called me 'Skeeter' or 'Clyde'. (Clyde was what folks thought I said when they asked my name, so it kinda stuck for a lot of years.)

    Rock, yes, Jesus Rock is pretty famous. You prayed to it on the way out, and thanked it on the way in! lol

    Walt, you and I do need to sit down with a beer, because I need someone like you to help my clients out. Shoot me some info, and I'll get a link to you on my website right away, and let's see if we can work something out.

    Alaskan, okay, now I really need to knock Nome off the list and check it off. I'll find some way to do a hunt out that way. Maybe Musk Ox!

    Aces, you won't be dissapointed! Every trip, every town, every experience has been great. Some more challenging, but all good.

    Kah, it's been on my mind for a lot of years to document it. I even signed up and graduated from Long Ridge Writers School out of Connecticut several years ago. It was an online school. Now I just need time. Hoping when the lodge makes enough to let me live out there, I'll have time to put it in print.

    Jake, I know that guy, I think! He came to Wrangell in the late 80's, early 90's, and he wrote a book called 'traveling america by zip code'. He came to Wrangell because it has the highest numbered zip code in America. I think it was 99929 or something. I never did get the book to read it, but it was a cool concept!

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Denali, You ever go into the Museum in Dutch? That's what I was doing down there. That mosach or what ever you call it ( The bear riding on the Plane) was one of the hardest project's to place. It was a middle of the night thing. We had to cut it out of the police station in on piece, then it would'nt fit through the door. lol Had to almost dismantel the station to get it out,lol, but we never even chipped it and got it to it's new home complete. That curved ceiling was a real pain also. It was like a 29 degree radias, and took alot of floor space to figure to get it right. lol. And the trying to make it look like a ship when you walk in with over a thousand bolts, it was a challange, but it was a fun project.

    The Museum Of The Aleutian's

    www.aleutians.org

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