US Trip 2018 – Day 3 – To the skies!

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The route this day took us first to Talkeetna, then to Anchorage, down to McHugh Creek and back up to the airport. A bit of driving, and a lot of nice experiences!

Approximate time on road/out caching:  11 hours, 10 minutes
Total miles driven: 155.3 mi / 249,93 km
Total cahes found: 14
Total DNF: 2
States visited: Alaska
Famous places visited: Anchorage
Most memorable cache: GC5583 Gilligan’s…..
Biggest surprise: That I got to fly the seaplane!
Weather: Rain, overcast and some light sunlight in between
Highest temperature: 16°C / 61°F
Lowest temperature: 10°C / 50°F

An early start

We got up early (not nearly as early as later on the this trip, but still early), and started a bit earlier than planned. But before leaving the very cool Hobbit house behind, we had to take some photos of the area. So cool place to spend the night!

We rearranged the plan a bit, and stopped at the first cache before we headed towards the Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe for breakfast.

The weather was a bit of gray and wet today, but no way we were going to let that ruin our fun!

Tiny town

We had a scenic flight scheduled for later, but we had plenty of time to visit Talkeetna first. And hopefully find a couple caches while there.

The weather was still a bit gray, which might have helped keep the muggle population down. Not too much people around. We found a couple caches, got some souvenirs, looked around a bit and then we headed back towards the hobbit cabin.

Time to fly

Now it was time to fly! Something we had been looking forward to a long time. We’ve never been in a seaplane before, any of us. And to us this is very much Alaska.

So even though we kinda expected it, it was a bit sad when they had to cancel the flight due to the weather… But since it couldn’t hurt to ask, we asked if we could go anyway, on a random route. We didn’t care so much about the view of Denali. We just wanted to fly in a seaplane! And sure enough, they had no problem getting us up in the air! Wohooo!

Shortly after we sat in the seaplane. Strapped to the seats, with headsets ready. We’re used to airplanes. But only the big ones. This was a whole new experience! It was epic!

You said what?

As if this wasn’t already as great is it could get, the pilot suddenly asked:

You want to fly?

Wow! This is the first time ever I’ve tried to control something that can fly! IT WAS AWESOME!

Cache Across America

After getting back down (smoothest landing ever, I did not do that part), we started on the way back to Anchorage. We noticed a couple Norwegian flags along the way, and had to turn around to see what it was. It was a tiny shop that sold Norwegian dog wear! So we made a purchase (cheaper than buying it in Norway), and continued south.

More roadwork, and some caches along the way, later, we arrived at the parking lot for the Alaska Cache Across America cache. It was raining. We did not have jackets or other clothing that’s appropriate for weather like this. We decided to give up. But our nice friends on the Slack persuaded us into trying.

So we did. In the rain. We walked as fast as we could out, found the cache, DNFed one and «found» the earthcache and then back into the dry car. We made it!

A quick trip to the city

The next on the plan was a quick visit to the city itself, Anchorage that is, to find a couple caches with lots of favorite points. First GC62EE2 Happy Camper then GC127XV Anchorage – Big Wild Life. We enjoy collecting stamps, both for our NPS passport, but also for our stamp book and our trip plan. So Happy Camper was the perfect stop for us!

For some reason, we forgot the pen in the car. Even though we brought 15 of them, we managed to leave all of them. Luckily for us, both caches had pens in them. So we could still sign the log.

Then we forgot that we had forgotten the pen, and went to find a bonus cache… A nano… Reality hit us hard, and we had to find the closest souvenir shop to buy a new pen. The closest one didn’t have, so we had to continue to the  next one. After some shopping, we finally had what we needed to sign the nano. Next time we’re remembering the pen!

Gilligan’s island

We left Anchorage, and continued to GC5583 Gilligan’s…... We arrived at the correct time of day, but maybe not at the correct time. It was raining, again. Not the best weather to go out here. But it was a virtual, so we «had to». You know how it is…

We made it, safely, out and safely back! And while we were out here, we decided to give the two earthcaches across the street a try as well. Not the easiest earthcaches, but we had time enough, so why not.

Bore tide

The car started nagging about low gas, oops. We had pre-purchased the gas (the setting is «stuck» in my account, it made sense when we drove from cheap east to expensive west on one-way rentals earlier years, but maybe not so much here), so I did not want to fill it up. But not knowing the car, we had no idea how much longer we could really drive… 😛 Wasn’t that far to drive back to the airport, so should be fine. Right?

We eventually managed to solve the earthcaches, and then we were awarded with perfect view of the bore tide! Awesome timing!

Best airport ever

Being the geocachers we are, we changed from the wet clothes to much dryer clothes, in the car. On the parking lot. Then we made it safely to the airport.

The new terminal was so much nicer than the terminal we arrived in. It was large, quiet, not crowded and it felt more like a museum than it felt like an airport. It was possibly the best airport we’ve ever been to. It was certainly way better than Singapore Changi, which is regularly referred to as the best in the world (I’ve been there twice).

The huge windows, where we could just sit and watch the traffic, was the perfect way to end our visit to Alaska!

We enjoyed it, Alaska, even though you gave us a lot of rain. We’ll be back!


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