Bob & Linda's Alaska Trip 2009 travel blog

A neat little town with a roadhouse, outdoor cafes and gift shops...

Main Street - Talkeetna - after a brief shower

Windy gravel road into the clouds of Hatcher Pass - lots of...

Hatcher Pass vista

Roadside fireweed on the way to Denali - absolutely beautiful

Ranger with one of the sled dogs at the Denali Visitor Center

Teklanika River valley in Denali

Winding road thru Polychrome Pass in Denali - can you see why...

Charlie and Cheryl - fellow Odetah workkampers

Denali in the summertime - no snow in these mountains

grizzly cubs at play

late night rainbow in Healy

Nenana wildfire - we are about to go thru a lot of...

The 17th Bob felt like a ride so we went to Talkeetna (about a 100 mile trip one way from Anchorage). This is a jumping-off spot for most climbing expeditions to Mt. McKinley (Denali) and on a good day can be seen from town. The town began as a trading post and grew to a riverboat supply base. It consists of one main street (the only paved road in town) so did not take long to explore, along with about 100 other people (from tour buses and rail passengers). We then decided to loop around thru Hatcher Pas, scenic alpine country (a mostly gravel road winding thru the mountains). It would have been a prettier ride had the clouds been not so low but was still gorgeous anyway. At one point we couldn't see the road very well because we were in the clouds (that's not the best spot to be, it's a long way down if you go over the edge). Made it back to camp safe and sound.

Left Anchorage Monday morning for Denali after dropping off the camper for its repairs and the truck for its makeover. Went thru a lot of heavy smoke from the wildfire in the Nenana area. Arrived in Healy later in the afternoon to spend a couple of days with Charlie and Cheryl, fellow Odetah workkampers. They are working in the Denali Park Hotel this summer and played tour guide for us. Tuesday, we headed into the park to get our shuttle tickets for 66 mile trip into the Eielson Visitor Center (in Denali) on Wednesday. You can drive into the park for the first 15 miles only, then only shuttle buses and government vehicles are aloud any further. So we drove in to see if we could see Mt. McKinley (usually at mile marker 9)but still in the clouds. The haze has gone today but very windy. We also watched a couple of films on Denali and then a Dog Sled demonstration at the Wilderness Visitors Center. Pretty neat!! Wednesday AM found us up and about early (7:30AM) to get good seats on the bus for our 8 hr trip into Denali. Had a very good day, a lot of wildlife sightings (many caribou, 3 Dall sheep, 3 moose, lots of grizzlies, a golden falcon, ptarmigans, magpie, snowshoe hares and 1 wolf) and spectacular scenery but again did not see Mt McKinley. They say that only 33% of the people see it. Hopefully we will have time to get up to the park again before we leave Alaska.

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