Alaska Aug. 2012, Days 3 & 4

August 23, 2012 at 6:47 am Leave a comment

Thursday, Aug. 16th Day 3 

Kathy, Susie and I had breakfast in our room and headed south towards Talkeetna.  We enjoyed the beautiful scenery on the way.  We didn’t see any more moose but the mountains and forests were enough to keep us happy.  We stopped at Rose’s Café just up the road from the employee housing I stayed in in Healy when I was working at the Princess Lodge in Denali and shared their famous huge hamburger.  Then stopped and got gas at Denali ($4.60 a gallon) and were on our way again.  We pulled into Nenana and saw a rack of fish being dried for the dogs to eat in the winter.

We stopped at Mary’s Café and gift shop just north of the McKinley Princess lodge.  I had stopped there several years ago and was really impressed with Mary Carey, an Alaskan pioneer who wrote several books on her adventures after moving to Alaska in 1962.  Kathy bought one of her books and now can’t put it down.  We pulled into beautiful downtown Talkeetna and settled in our cabin for the evening.

Made a nice dinner in the cabin and had a quiet evening.  I e-mailed Shirley, a friend of mine who now lives in Talkeetna, so we could meet the next day.


Friday, Aug. 17th Day 4

We went to the Roadhouse Inn for breakfast.  It’s a really fun old restaurant with family style seating.  We sat next to a couple from Spokane and visited.  Had reindeer sausage with our breakfast but reluctantly passed on the cinnamon rolls and other yummy looking pastries.

Then back to the cabin to grab our lunch and head to the train depot for the Hurricane Turn Flagstop Train ride that goes along the Susitna River & Indian River Canyon.  What a fun ride!  We left the Talkeetna Depot around 12:15 and headed out of town into the “bush”.

I went back to the cargo car where several people were riding with their supplies.  It was so interesting hearing their stories.

Three young men had a huge pile of supplies as well as a raft, guns and bow & arrow.  They were going to raft back down the river and hunt for bear along the way.  This was their second trip, they were from Anchorage.

I talked to a couple of other guys sitting with their dogs and heading up to their cabins.  One of them said that most people had a place in town as well as up in the woods and depending on what was going on in their life at the time depended on how long they stayed at one place or another.  We stopped several times as we were traveling up to Hurricane Gulch.  Many of the passengers were bringing supplies to their homes, including lumber and other building materials.  Some were spending the week-end; some had gone into town to get their monthly supplies.

We even passed the smallest town in Alaska called Sherman.  Population 4.  Two of the residents were standing in the doorway and waving at us as we passed by.

Warren, the conductor was a real hoot!  He told us stories of the area and people all along the way and kept us quite entertained.

When we got to Hurricane Gulch the train stopped right on the bridge so we could get a good look.

Unfortunately we didn’t see a lot of animals.  Susie got a glimpse of a bear and I got a glimpse of a moose and that was it.  But it was OK, the people we visited with along the way and the stories and scenery was well worth the trip.

When we returned to the depot my good friend Shirley, who I had met in 2006 when I worked at the Denali Princess Lodge met us at the depot and invited us up to her cabin for dinner.  We followed her along a dirt road for about 10 miles until we arrived where her husband Paul and their dog Jake were waiting for us.  We had salmon, that they had caught, for dinner as well as freshly made jam she had made that day.  For dessert she made a cobbler out of blueberries she had picked that day also.  It was an absolutely delicious dinner and so much fun catching up!

Their cabin is totally “off the grid”, powered by solar panels and a generator.  Upstairs is a couch in front of a big picture window overlooking the beautiful forest.  On a clear day they can see Mt. McKinley.  The porch is lined with lettuce plants that they go out and pick for their salad.

Jake absolutely fell in love with Kathy and sat by her almost the entire time we were there.  He wanted her to hold his hand.  Sweet little guy!

We visited for hours and finally had to head back to our cabin in Talkeetna with a full belly and a warm heart.  What another perfect day in Alaska!


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Alaska, Aug. 2012 Days 1 & 2 Alaska Aug. 2012 Days 5 & 6

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