Hey, Spike! takes readers north to Alaska
You may remember this Johnny Horton song from quite aways back – “North to Alaska.”
“Way up north” is where four Summit County locals were recently, taking a Winnebago from its factory in Forest City, Iowa, all the way to Anchorage, Alaska.
This motorized trek is part of the Great Alaskan Holidays’ annual purchase and delivery of RVs.
This year the firm, owned by former Copper Mountain Resort security staffer Daryl Bennett, bought 152 Winnebagos, ranging in size from 22-footers to 32s.
Making the trip were Dale and Pat Butler and Dale’s sister Jan Butler and Randy Mott.
Who are these folks?
Dale is the chief wastewater plant operator for Copper Mountain Consolidated Metro District; Pat’s the office manager at Mountain Marketing Associates, owned by Tim and Patti Casey; Jan is the executive manager for the Silverheels Inn Inc., owned by Reggie Gray; and Randy’s a casino croupier for the Golden Group in Blackhawk.
Dale is good friends with Daryl and even transported RV #1 to Anchorage along with Daryl in the mid-80s for what would become the largest most successful RV rental sales and service business in Alaska.
Daryl has developed a program, “The Adventure of a Lifetime,” which offers a deal of 11 days’ use covering 3,900 miles, in which you only pay for a reduced rental fee and the fuel.
And you can add some more traveling days at a reduced rate.
The concept has been a sell-out for years – and 2013’s is filling up fast.
This year the adventuresome quartet of Summiteers “volunteered” to drive one up.
Calling it an “amazing adventure,” they covered 5,000 miles in a 31-foot Winnebago Class C motorhome.
“Would we do it again? – in a heartbeat,” they say.
They traveled interstate highways, the ALCAN, and frost-heaved roads through northern Canada, and enjoyed four hot springs, 12 wineries, – 23 days and four breweries later, “we are back in Summit County.”
“We saw tons of wildlife – moose, bald eagles, stone sheep, bears, caribou, goats, whales, otters, sea lions, and bison along the way,” the foursome notes.
Dale caught two large halibut on a fishing charter out of Seward.
“We spent a couple of spectacular days in Denali National Park and traveled the campgrounds of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska,” they report. “The snow-capped mountains of both Canada and Alaska are hard to describe.”
And in some places gas was $5.50 per gallon, making the GAH rental fleet program more enticing.
Daryl’s GAH website offers this explanation of the itinerary:
“The complete vacation consists of driving from Forest City, Iowa to Anchorage, Alaska in a brand new class C Chalet motorhome manufactured by Winnebago Industries. Sold out every year for the last 15 years, the earlier you reserve this incredible trip, the better your chance of availability and of getting the motorhome floor plan you desire.”
GAH is accepting reservations for its 2013 Spring Adventure Package vacation; call 1-888-2-ALASKA for details. The website: http://www.greatalaskanholidays.com/spring.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years.
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