I’m on a blogging roll. Somehow it’s just more fun to blog when there are such exciting things to blog about. And in Alaska each day is a big adventure. Today was no different for Pam and I!
The day dawned bright and clear. And yes, I was up looking out the window at exactly 2:19 a.m. It was light outside. “Walk around outside without a flashlight” light. Not that I did that. But I could have. It’s amazing to me. And just so you know, it makes it extremely hard to go to bed at night. Which makes it good for you because it truly gives me time for blogging. You can thank me later.
Anyway, because it was so nice and clear we decided it was a great day to drive up to Talkeetna where we would get some wonderful views of Denali. Or as ya’ll in the lower 48 would say, Mt McKinley. Massive mountain. Unbelievably majestic mountain. If you’ve never seen it in person, you need to. But in case you don’t ever get to, I thought I’d show you all 563 pics I took of it today. Because it was amazingly beautiful. Majestic. Did I already say that? It bears repeating. Alaska makes one in awe of the beauty of God’s creation!
This was our first view of The Mountain today. Oh, man. Unbelievable. It is one massive mountain.
The rest of the trip, Denali would be peaking out from behind the trees off and on.
Sometimes we’d see a bit more of it…….
And sometimes not quite so much.
But it was always there. Awesome.
And as we got close to Talkeetna, the clouds below it were building so that only the very peak was peeking out. Denali creates its very own weather. Have I mentioned it’s a massive mountain?
Have you ever seen the television show called Northern Exposure? I was told once that it was patterned after Talkeetna, Alaska. It is the cutest little town that nestles in the shadow of The Big Mountain.
These are the kinds of stores you’ll find in Talkeetna. Fun little shops. Great places for souvenir shopping.
I think this was our favorite store today. Maybe because of our newfound appreciation for moose. Funny how having a moose visit and lay around your back yard for two hours the night before makes you all of a sudden think moose are the most fun things on earth. Thanks for coming by, Bruce the Moose! By the way, he did NOT return this evening. Although we looked for him every time Pam’s dogs looked out the window and made a slight whimper. We will never give those dogs a hard time about barking to get our attention ever again.
Anyway, a shop called “Mostly Moose” was certainly on our agenda for today. Twice.
We also ate lunch in Talkeetna. We met up with Pam’s dear Alaska friends who also have family visiting this week. They’ve been doing lots of touristy things and we so enjoyed meeting up with them and having lunch together!
This was what Pam and I both had for lunch. Smoked salmon pasty (yummy thick pastry shell loaded with salmon and all kinds of veggies) and reindeer chili. I thought it should be caribou chili, but what do I know. I’m just a silly Texan who loves Alaska. I heard once that the difference between a reindeer and a caribou is this: if it’s inside a pen, it’s a reindeer. But if you accidentally leave the gate open and it steps outside, it has now become a caribou. Something about the difference between domestic and wild?
This is Faith with her big blueberry pancake that she had for lunch. It was so big, it was hanging over the plate. Her Dad, Ken, is the son of Pam’s Alaska friends. And that’s her Mom, Teresa. They are from Michigan and they are filling their days with all manner of fun Alaska things. I might need to stick with them for a few more days? Nice people and we had a great time together today!
After lunch we walked down to the Big Susitna River (hope I got that right!) And we all walked across this precarious log bridge that a sweet young girl had constructed for us tourists so we could get to the edge of the huge river without getting our feet wet in the icy waters.
This is on the banks of the river. And I know it’s hard to believe, but somewhere over in all those massive clouds hides Denali. Now totally covered with clouds. We couldn’t even see the very top peeking out. Some people spend several days on their visit to Alaska near this big mountain and never get to see it because it’s totally covered in the clouds the whole time. So we were very grateful for the clear day to see it as we drove to Talkeetna!
I forgot to mention that a lot of the businesses in Talkeetna also had cute little rooms for overnight stays. We saw this little room in the back of the restaurant where we had lunch when we wandered through the building. Pam’s friend, Kay was with me and pointed out the Alaska air conditioner sitting on the little desk. See it? It’s all the a/c they need up here. And it was ON when I took the picture. I don’t think it would work well in Texas.
These are some of the mountains we saw on the drive back to Wasilla. Notice to my Texas friends….. Alaska is under construction too. The roads, I mean. Can’t get away from that even when you travel 4,000 miles from home.
And this is Alaska’s version of rush hour. A traffic jam. But who cares when you have that kind of view to look at?
Today was souvenir shopping day for me. So here are a few of my finds…..
A calendar. So Dear Hubby and I can enjoy beautiful Alaska pictures all next year.
Birch syrup. We decided we had to try it and we’re having it on French toast for breakfast tomorrow. I’ll let you know what we think.
A cute little stuffed moose. Because we are very into moose these days. See yesterday’s blog. And Bruce. Pappy will probably take off with this moose and claim it as his when I get home. He has a way of stealing all my stuffed animals.
And this one is Pam’s. Again – moose crazy. She named this little guy Bruce and I think she even wrote his name on the bottom of his legs. In honor of…. well, you know. And by the way, that little plate on the right? The one that says Rose Garden – Thailand – 1983? That’s Pam on the plate. Pretty cool souvenir shelf that Bruce the Moose has joined.
That’s it for Day Two! And I still can’t quite believe I’m really here. I am blessed!
Loved seeing Talkeetna again! That was my favorite place. Along with Denali, of course 🙂
Another wonderful jog down memory lane…sans the snow! I need–I mean want–I mean love your new little stuffed moose! 🙂
Great Blog!!!! So very glad you have your grove back for this trip.. It wonderful seeing all the pics.
I am loving this! I love Denali ! If you get a chance , tour there. There is Toklat grizzlies. Blond. Only place I have ever seen them. Cute moosie too. You are blessed! I do think the bee needs to drop by soon. Things have changed a lot since I have been there. It was still two lane roads, and not much traffic. But the beauty is still the same. Enjoy enjoy
So beautiful! Saw the “rush hour” pic and a motorcycle pulling a trailer. I think Bill and I need to do that! When I was there several years ago, we got to see Denali. We flew over it and it is incredible! Have fun!
I can see you just love that mountain, what a great place to visit, and maybe see again. Love the moose, either in life or the little one. Cheers,Jean
Another great tour day for you and for us!!! Thank you!
Oh, this is such fun – thank you for taking us all along on your Alaskan adventures! Love the moose! They are way too cute — maybe you need to buy Pappy his very own little moose so he leaves yours alone!
I really hope that Bruce the Moose stays safe and far, far, far away from those hunters in hunting season! So if you see him, warn him! 🙂
So much fun for you both, and so many memories you’re giving me, Barb! Thank you – I loved Wasilla (did a float plane ride there) and Talkeenta was the best little town. I vaguely remember Mostly Moose too — wooley mittens there??? What fun — love your tour to remember it all —- have a wonderful time!! Great to see your blogs again —-
Spectacular views of THE mountain! What a great day!!!
What a fantastisch trip you are making. Love the moose! We have just two days left of a three wwwks stay in Canada. I keep traveling a bit following your adventures. Could you really leave that puppy behind? That must have been so hard! Happy travels!