We really did enjoy the cruise and all, but I can’t deny we were both really anticipating our second half of the adventure: Alaska and the Al-Can! Once we got off the ship and rode the train to Anchorage, we couldn’t wait to pick up our U-Haul.
As soon as we had it, we drove to the local Sears for the kinds of camping gear we couldn’t take with us on the cruise ship. Serendipity was with us, and Sears was having a sale, a big anniversary sale! So we picked up an air mattress, boom box, ice cooler, and two camping chairs. Next, we headed to another Alaskan department store, and they were having a sale…an anniversary sale! So, we bought a bed cover, couple of towels, pillows, pillow cases, and a small rug. Finally, at JC Penney’s, we walked in and they were having a sale! An anniversary sale! Now I was finally wondering what the heck was going on, so we asked. The stores themselves weren’t celebrating anniversaries…it was the anniversary of Alaska entering the union! Oh. Anyway, we enjoyed some great bargains on stuff we had to buy, anyhow!
The only thing we bought and didn’t use was mosquito netting. Apparently, the mosquitoes in Alaska are quite legendary. I say apparently, because the year we were there Alaska was having a mild summer…we only saw two mosquitoes the whole time we were there, and they were literally many, many miles apart!
Actually, JC Penney’s had the best overall souvenir section of any place we had visited so far, and that’s including stops from the cruise ship. So we decided to go ahead and buy everybody’s gifts…after all, we had plenty of room in the U-Haul! How much room, you ask? Even with all the luggage, inflated air mattress, firewood, cooler, and flat of bottled water, we had plenty of room to put our two camping chairs inside and relax undercover the few times it rained! Closer to the front, we also had ample room to put our shopping bags, etc.
I happen to like collecting moose-themed items, and my Travel Buddy likes bears.
Inside the JC Penney’s souvenir shop, after walking around awhile, I had found a bobble-head moose, but Travel Buddy had not found a bear. Finally, we walked up to the counter and holding up the moose, I asked the guy if they had any bears. His eyes bugged out, and he exclaimed, “You found a moose?! Then, he walked to the rear of the store, around the back of a fixture we had somehow skipped, and wordlessly pointed to dozens of bears, both brown and black. Turns out they had plenty of bears, but they had run out of moose weeks earlier! Or so they thought. Heh heh heh.
So that’s the Alaskan Adventure in a nut shell…from cruise ship cabins to sleeping in the back of a rented U-Haul.
You can see why we called it our Riches to Rags tour.
We loved every minute of it.