AKontheGO Gets Set to Sail for Southeast Alaska

Make ready the sails, AK Fam is on headed south with the turning tides!

Joe Cool prepares for yet another AKontheGO adventure.

AK Kid has packed his essentials; Spiderman costume, swim goggles, race cars, and a Darth Vader action figure, I’ve managed to smuggle a zippered bag or two of Cliff Bars, and AK Dad is still wrestling with his various assorted physical therapy equipment that must accompany us on our port-to-port trip through southeast Alaska. Just your average, every day family vacation. Not.

With this impending departure comes, of course, some important notes for AKontheGO’ers who are hoping for the usual, daily trip reports and Fun Friday listings. Here’s the simple answer: I will do my best to fulfill your requests. Southeast Alaska, if nothing else, is remote and rugged and does not always accommodate the smartphone or laptop wireless. BUT, I have managed a sweet deal with Alaska Communications to make said smartphone into a wireless hotspot, and hopefully <crossing fingers> things will work. Just don’t be mad if I run into trouble, okay? <mwah!>

Here’s the best way to follow AKontheGO these next few weeks: Twitter or Facebook. I’ll be tweetering and twittering along the way about things and people who are amusing or interesting (a given, I’m thinking), and Facebook will be our main channel for daily interaction with loved ones here at home (this means YOU). Want to know what we think about the White Pass Yukon Railroad? We’ll tell ya. Interested in your own family vaca to Sitka next summer? We’ll provide the scoop. Yep, we’re a walking crew of information, and we’re pleased to be the bearers of good news for our readers.

From l-r; Scott McMurren, Moi, and Lindsey Whitt of Port of Anchorage. What a trio!

The Travelgram Team had a fabulous time on the Travelgram Show yesterday with not one, but two fabulous guests to make our time worth your while, or something like that. HERE is the podcast for your listening amusement. First, Danielle Adkins of the Alaska Marine Highway System called in from sunny (?) Ketchikan to offer insight into the wonders of ferry travel around Alaska, and gave us the scoop about fares and reservations and how best to navigate the system. Next, Lindsey Whitt of the Port of Anchorage stopped by with exciting news about the Port’s new Summer Tours, happening each Sunday now through the end of August. In their fourth year, the tours are so popular that Whitt says 10,000 hot dogs have been thrown on the grill for hungry visitors this season alone! (okay, maybe not that many, but a lot of dogs).

Why would a family want to spend a Sunday afternoon down in the noisy, dusty, not-so-scenic Port of Anchorage? It’s a lesson in economic viability. Whitt told us that 90% of our goods come through the Port of Anchorage. 90%! That’s almost everything. Kids today, the young whippersnappers, don’t truly understand the mechanics of goods and shipping, and teaching them their latest DS didn’t come just from the store but arrived aboard a ship, first, can only promote understanding and hopefully appreciation. Right? The tours are FREE, and run between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. from the Alaska Railroad Corporate offices on Ship Creek. Cross the tracks by the Railroad Depot, and the bridge over Ship Creek, and hang a right. You’ll need government-issued ID, like a driver’s license to take the tour. Kids will be thrilled to sit in the fancy motorcoach for an hour or so of exploration around spots nobody else gets to see during the week; ships come in to port on Sunday, so the place is hopping, Whitt says, so forklifts, trains, loaders, and the like mingle with longshoremen and captains. Way, way, cool. Those hot dogs are free, too, and are grilled up by the engineers and brakemen, who are said to enjoy the tour days as much as we do. So hop on board and take a look into the guts of Alaskan commerce. I think you’ll be glad you took the time to do so. Find out more info about the Port of Anchorage and Alaskan commerce HERE.

Bon Voyage, farewell, and we’ll all talk soon from the farthest shores!


Posted in Alaska Marine Highway, Big Kid, Downtown Anchorage, Podcasts, Southeast Alaska and tagged , , .