Traveling to Portland, Seattle & Alaska with my best bud (update June 4th: Florida)

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    Apr 09, 2012 11:52 AM GMT
    Hey guys,
    my best friend and I will be traveling to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska for the first time from May 23rd to June 9th, 2012 [two weeks] and would like to hear from the locals and those who've been there as to what's to do there. We've seen pics of all these places and the entire region looks stunning.
    Any advice you guys would like to share will be greatly appreciated. And if some fellow RJ members would like to meet up for coffee or dinner, that'd be even better. My bud is a native of Argentina and he'll be traveling all the way from Buenos Aires to go explore that beautiful part of the country with me.

    This is us [me on the beach in Italy, and my bud in front of that huge truck in Key West, FL]:


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  • bischero

    Posts: 847

    Apr 09, 2012 12:04 PM GMT
    I've always wanted to travel up in that region. You two have fun!!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 09, 2012 1:55 PM GMT
    Too much to do, too little time...

    where in Alaska are you heading? I love Wrangell - St Elias National Park, if you're adventurous...I've worked there for a long time and its a truly amazing place. McCarthy is where it's at...

    If you're in the mood for beauty with a heavy dose of nasty weather, head to Cordova and/or Valdez in Prince William Sound.

    And if you're not going very far from Anchorage, you can still do some awesome stuff in Chugach State Park, Hatcher Pass (near Palmer) and pretty much everywhere else you look.

    Have fun!

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    Apr 09, 2012 3:36 PM GMT
    Two weeks isn't a long time to cover that much territory.
    How are you traveling from Seattle to Alaska?
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    Apr 09, 2012 3:37 PM GMT
    I love the PNW, but why on earth are you skipping British Columbia? I think it shouldnt be missed!
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    Apr 09, 2012 4:06 PM GMT
    I always thought it would be fun to take the Alaska Marine Highway (ferry) from Bellingham and stop at every little town along the way.
    http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/map.shtml

    But now my goal is to do it in my own boat. I think it would take all summer though. (And maybe the following summer to come back!)
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    Apr 09, 2012 5:00 PM GMT
    Thanks for the tips, guys. Greatly appreciated.

    Yeah, two weeks probably won't be enough to actually appreciate and absorb all the beauty of such vast area. And in order to avoid running around like maniacs seeing a million things and enjoying none of them, we've decided to concentrate our time on just a few places: Portland, Seattle, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Denali National Park and the surrounding areas close to the places listed above.

    @bischero: Thanks, bud. You too enjoy beautiful Florence, Italy. I lived there both as a child and later did my junior year in college.

    @greenhopper: We'll certainly visit British Columbia, Banff national park and other parts of Canada on a future trip. Thanks for the suggestion.

    @chinarunner: Thanks for the tips on the national parks. I'll look them up to see if they fit our schedules and expectations. Both of us are huge national parks fans and thus have been all over the place visiting them, including beautiful Tierra del Fuego in the southernmost tip of the Argentinean Patagonia.

    @mindgarden: Thanks for the information on the ferry boat along the coastal towns. We're landing in Portland from the East Coast, then will drive to Seattle. Will fly from Seattle to Anchorage and then while in Alaska it'll be a combination of train, car and small plane to move around the state. Will fly back home out of Fairbanks.
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    Apr 09, 2012 6:24 PM GMT
    Driving up I-5 is not particularly scenic, though it is the fastest way to go PDX to SEA.

    Obvious possible day-trips from PDX would be:
    A loop to the Oregon coast and drive along US 101. (e.g. via US 30 and OR 6). (You could also go to SEA that way, but it would take an extra day of driving and/or a ferry ride. However, it would take you through Olympic National Park.)
    The Columbia River Gorge via US30 (scenic route) and I84. Lots of potential day hikes and bike rides along the way.
    Mt. Hood via US26 or combine with Gorge drive to make a loop via OR35.

    If you made it that far up the gorge, you could drop by here for coffee or a beer.
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    Apr 09, 2012 10:09 PM GMT
    I partricularly liked Mt Hood OR and stayed at that Inn there. Great dining room overlooking the Columbia River. Dont forgot to stop off at Mt St Helens Volcano National Monument on the way to Seattle.
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    Apr 19, 2012 11:42 PM GMT
    @mindgarden & @NJDewd:

    Thanks for the tips, guys. In the next few days I gotta start mapping out the entire itinerary for those two weeks and your suggestions are very useful. I'll definitely try to visit Mt. Hood and Olympic national park while there. I promise to let you know if we make it up to where you live (@mindgarden) so that we can grab a bite to eat together.

    Big hug to both from the two of us!
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    Apr 19, 2012 11:48 PM GMT
    chinarunner saidToo much to do, too little time...

    where in Alaska are you heading? I love Wrangell - St Elias National Park, if you're adventurous...I've worked there for a long time and its a truly amazing place. McCarthy is where it's at...

    If you're in the mood for beauty with a heavy dose of nasty weather, head to Cordova and/or Valdez in Prince William Sound.

    And if you're not going very far from Anchorage, you can still do some awesome stuff in Chugach State Park, Hatcher Pass (near Palmer) and pretty much everywhere else you look.

    Have fun!




    hahahahaa, that's crazy... I'm from Cordova... and friends from McCarthy....



    And also true about the weather. lol
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    Apr 20, 2012 12:14 AM GMT

    Guys,
    any suggestions on hotels in Portland, Seattle, Anchorage and Fairbanks? My bud gets a special discount rate with La Quinta hotels through his job so we'll be staying there. That is, as long as they're located in areas a couple of first-time tourists would actually enjoy, close to amenities, transportation, etc.

    Any suggestions on what locations to look for in those areas?
    Thanks again guys for any suggestions you may want to share with us.
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    Apr 21, 2012 6:45 AM GMT
    @Shawnathan,
    that's a very cool song and video. Thanks for sharing, bud. Luv the vast Alaska landscapes, the immensity of the place and the cute doggies in the video. I wonder where in Alaska it was filmed.
    Btw, who are Bill & Doug in Whiterock, B.C.?
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    May 11, 2012 10:20 PM GMT
    Hey, guys!
    Alas, our trip to the Pacific northwest and Alaska is pretty much around the corner. Since I'm the biggest procrastinator in the world, I haven't yet made our hotel reservations and was wondering if you guys had any suggestions about the best areas to get a hotel room since neither one of us has ever been to that part of the country.

    Are there any gay neighborhoods in Portland, Seattle, Anchorage and Fairbanks? Or any other neighborhoods that are cool although not necessarily gay that you can suggest? Thank you guys for your invaluable help in planning our trip.
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    May 11, 2012 10:56 PM GMT
    Portland
    Hm.. you don't mention a budget... obviously there are all kinds of hotels at all kinds of prices. Your previous post mentions being locked into La Quinta motels. Ew. The two listed in portland are at the airport or way out in the NW industrial area. BFE from anywhere. You can get a max train from the airport to downtown. I'm not sure about its schedule. You could hike couple of miles from the NW Yeon location to the Nob Hill neighborhood, which is popular, with lots of little bars and cafes, then a couple more miles to downtown from there.

    There used to be a sort of gayborhood centered around Stark and Burnside, but it's become gentrified. Still a couple of gay bars/clubs there. There are little spots all over the city. The Ace hotel is right in there, if you want something closer to the action. And of course, if you're a book person, Powells is right there too.

    For "gay stuff" I found this page: links to lists of bars, clubs, baths, etc at the bottom of the page. http://portland.gaycities.com/
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    May 23, 2012 6:03 AM GMT
    @Mindgarden,
    Thanks for the tip, man. I actually used the information you gave me including the link to the the gaycities website. We ended up getting a good deal on a hotel in downtown Portland/Lloyd center.

    My friend is on a plane from Buenos Aires to Portland (via Dallas) as we speak. I'll be leaving for Portland in just a few more hours, too. Can't wait to start our vacation! Let me know if you want to grab lunch or dinner together.

    Any other RealJock brothers want to meet up for lunch or dinner, too?
    Hope to meet some cool locals during our travels.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    May 23, 2012 6:10 AM GMT
    Don't be surprised if your buddy gets all the good looking onesicon_cool.gif
  • Thegenuineart...

    Posts: 127

    May 23, 2012 6:48 AM GMT
    Stop in Vancouver on the way icon_razz.gif
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    May 23, 2012 6:58 AM GMT
    OP asked me to take my comment down. He thinks he is the good looking one?? I am allowed to give an opinion, even a fact if I see it.icon_idea.gif Consensus should follow. Which guy would you hook up with RJ men????
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    May 23, 2012 6:59 AM GMT
    I vote for the guy with the truckicon_smile.gif
    This is us [me on the beach in Italy, and my bud in front of that huge truck in Key West, FL]:


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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 23, 2012 7:11 AM GMT
    If you'd like to know some awesome stuff about Alaska feel free to message me. I live here.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    May 23, 2012 7:25 AM GMT
    Most likely that you are on your way by now, but try to see the Columbia River Gorge. Humbling and soul-expanding at the same time.
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    May 23, 2012 11:08 AM GMT
    Hey, guys!
    @thegenuine,
    I wish we could stop in your beautiful city. Unfortunately, we'll fly from Seattle directly to Anchorage next Saturday.

    @Trollileo,
    Good luck on your final exams, man!

    @Guy101,
    Thanks, man. I'll contact you later with inquiries about Anchorage and surrounding areas.

    @Ljay,
    Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, we'll be visiting the Columbia river gorge. It sounds like a great place.

    @MuchMore,
    Ha ha ha!!! Sure thing, man. We'd take you with us. Problem is you're too big to fit into a carry-on. I'll be making a brief layover (1 hour) in Chicago on my way back home, though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2012 10:08 AM GMT
    Hey, guys! As you already know, I'm currently traveling on vacation through the Pacific northwest with my best bud and on our way to Alaska soon. Here are some pictures from the beautiful state of Oregon. Enjoy!

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    May 29, 2012 3:33 AM GMT
    Just a little more lush and picturesque than Phoenix right now! I love it! That area is absolutely gorgeous--and just wait until you get to Alaska!! Wish I could be traveling with you guys!

    Mark