Hand tools are great. A foredom tools is a big step up. Check out the local carving clubs and DU, good source for wood, tools and carvers. Look for carving competitions, try to take a carving class and watch utube videos. Try to find floatsom foam and rasp out some bodies for practice.
Dani, you will see more scenery on the train trip than driving. Fly in fishing is a great trip,nice solitude, no noises except float planes. Or just take a remote fly over. Lake hood has many flight operators.
Train trip sounds great. I visited a friend there, great memories. Everything is a great distance apart, denali, fairbanks, wittier etc. E mail alaska tourist bureau, anchorage and your work conference for info. Good camera, comfortable cloths.
Harry, Bite the bullet and get a new trailer with guide on's, large tires and lites high out of the water. Get the axle that lubes through the axle and forces water out. Finally did that and haven't had to work on the trailer for years. Getting older and can't work as easy now. Lights on the...
Don, first where are you located? There are ice boat clubs all over the US.Check out iceboats.org, it is located with a ton of info and a great swap site. I own a boecraft skeeter and a partially finished DN. The hardware is expensive. Very fast sport and a lot of fun.