Porcupyn's Blog

July 12, 2017

Alaska Trip – Day 9

Filed under: Family,Travel — Porcupyn @ 11:07 pm

Today was a travel day – I did not have anything major planned, other than to get to Cooper Landing that evening. A few months ago, when researching Alaska, I had seen photos of Byers lake and wanted to see the views as well. However, as a hike was needed to get to it, I had put it on the backburner. Yesterday, I had had half a mind to stop by the Byers Lake to enjoy the scenery, but had not done so as we were in a hurry to get back. Now, that we would have time to spare, I thought that maybe we could drive up to this point and check out the lake as well as the South view point of Denali on the Parks Highway.

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However, we got up late and also had to clean up from last night’s dinner and this morning’s breakfast as we were to check out of the place first. By the time we were done with all that, it was already past 10 am. We had planned to go have lunch at an Indian buffet place in Anchorage. Now, it was looking tough unless we pared our plans. So, we decided to drop Byers Lake altogether and just go up to the South viewpoint.

Though Denali had decided to stay hidden today as well, we walked up the trail a little bit up to a higher spot where there were some infoboards and we could see Ruth glacier.

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Ruth glacier

Ruth glacier

It was touch and go after that, and we were debating whether to go for the buffet or order a la carte. But we were able to get there just before the deadline. The buffet was closing at 3 pm, and we presented ourselves at 2:45! The buffet was quite filling, though the quality was good but not exceptional. Given that we had not had home food for more than a week, we went hog wild 🙂

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For what it is worth, the decor was pretty good compared to most places we frequent here close to home

For what it is worth, the decor was pretty good compared to most places we frequent here close to home

After a good lunch, we were back on our way to Cooper Landing. The tide was out, and at Beluga Point, the ground was quite boggy.

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Baab literally got bogged down for a minute before he was able to extricate himself

Baab literally got bogged down for a minute before he was able to extricate himself

His shoes were a sight to see though!

His shoes were a sight to see though!

Once we passed our last familiar landmarks (the Portage Glacier Road turnoff) on the Seward Highway, the road takes a dramatic U-turn around Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. After another turn, we leave the water behind and climb a bit along one hillside. The road is the direct access to Seward, but we turned off about 30-45 minutes north of Seward to go toward our Airbnb in Cooper Landing, which we reached after an uneventful journey.

A rant about some Airbnbs (such as this one): to me, a good and proper Airbnb is a house that belongs to the host, which the host either stays in as well and rents out a bedroom or two, or the host rents out the entire unit but stays close by. In addition, the host provides a decent breakfast as well, lacking which facilities are available for the visitors to make their own breakfast (at least bread toast and/or bake pizza for later). One other thing that really is a good feature is privacy from neighbouring homeowners – this is good not only for the guests but also to maintain good relations between the hosts and neighbours. We had really lucked out with the Palmer accommodation. Cooper Landing? Not so!

This is where the host actually runs a motel which does not even have the basic amenities that one would expect in a motel.Yes, I realize that at our price point, maybe that is all that was available. But then, I feel that it should be listed on an Airbnb – maybe only on hotels.com or booking.com – if the only kitchen-related amenity is coffee, and that too only when the host opens the office at 8 am. I could not even get ESPN – to watch some Wimbledon tennis – on the satellite TV which had tens of other channels. Thankfully, we at least had internet.

I am not blaming the host or Airbnb – I could have asked specific questions such as whether the room had an oven or not (it didn’t), a microwave (none available), etc. But for sure, it was more than sufficient if you needed to spend a night there – but we were there for three nights and were decidedly underwhelmed at the facility! But I didn’t complain on Airbnb or to the host, and won’t name the facility here either. After all, I should have done better homework (and maybe that was all that we could’ve had under the budget accommodation category).

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