Posts tagged ‘Talkeetna’

Alaska Aug. 2012 Days 5 & 6

Saturday, Aug. 18th Day 5

After enjoying a couple more hours in the cute little town of Talkeetna, we headed south again.

First stop was in Wasilla at the Iditarod Headquarters to look around.

Then we drove by Sarah Palins house.  Well, we got close at least.  Susie was thrilled to get a glimpse of it.  Hers is the brown house in back of the fence.

Next we drove to Palmer to the visitor center.  Kathy really wanted to go through the Colony Museum but unfortunately it had just closed.  We watched a video on the settlers though and got a real understanding of what they had gone through those many years ago when the government moved 200 families up to the Matanuska Valley during the depression.  It was really interesting.

I had told Susie that we were going to stay at a Hostel in Anchorage.  Now I’ve stayed in many, many hostels in my travels and LOVE staying in them.  But Susie has never stayed in one and was NOT happy about staying in one on this trip.  She was getting more and more nervous the closer we got to Anchorage.  Was she EVER relieved when we pulled into the Marriott and found out it was all a joke!  She quickly forgave me for putting her through all the anguish once we walked into the beautiful room.


Sunday, Aug 19th, Day 6

We headed to downtown Anchorage for breakfast and was greeted by a bagpipe band playing in a park.  We pulled over to see what was going on and found out there was a marathon and they were playing as the runners passed by to encourage them.  That was a special treat.

Our next stop was at the Snow City Café for breakfast, a restaurant featured on drive-ins, Diners & Dives.  We had to wait an hour to get seated but it was a beautiful day and there was a pot of coffee that we could help ourselves to as we waited.  It was well worth the wait.  We had the meatloaf sandwich and seafood chowder.  Oh, so good!

After breakfast we walked across the street to Resolution Park overlooking Cooks Inlet.

By this time Kathy and Susie were getting tired of me telling them it was picture time so this is the shot I got of them J

The next place we visited was the Alaska Native Heritage Center.  What a wonderful place to learn about the history of all the different tribes that originated in Alaska.

We walked along a path that led to several different types of houses the Native Alaskans lived in.

A guide talked in each of the houses and told of each of the tribes customs and ways of life.

I got another shot of Kathy and Susie as they were taking a break from the tour.

Since we had visited the dive bar in Fairbanks we decided to find the oldest tavern in Anchorage.  The Cabin Tavern was the place!  It’s been serving drinks to Alaskans since 1940.

What a beautiful old log cabin with wooden floors and a great stone fireplace.  The bartender was a sweetheart and told us we had to try her special Bloody Marys.  They were great!  Since Susie is a bartender she was thrilled to get the special recipe that she’ll take back to Wenatchee and serve her customers.  This was the perfect drink to have before going to dinner and back to our motel.

August 24, 2012 at 5:16 am 1 comment

Alaska Aug. 2012, Days 3 & 4

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!

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