Here are the logs for the Friday and Saturday of our trip.
Friday, day 3 in the motor home
We started out this morning with a walk through Talkeetna. Talkeetna was the inpiration for the town in Northern Exposure. Lots of little shops with lots of hand-made stuff. In one shop I found hand-made soap which the owner made. It was fun to talk shop with her. In one shop I found some soap bars packaged as end lots. They had a tag that said “Moose Stakes.” It was a cute way to sell off the odds and ends, but it was $18 for the pound bag - and it was melt and pour soap.
We left Talkeetna and headed north for Denali. We got here about 5:00 our time. We signed up for a 10 hour tour tomorrow. At the RV park there were books that you could take and exchange. I will have some reading material for the tour. (Anna, I finished the Randy Alcorn book - you got me hooked on a new author). Right now I am reading a biography on Sarah Palin. It is fascinating. It’s cool to read about places she lives and works. The feelings towards her are mixed. The Alaskans we’ve talked to think she’s great, but the people from out of state say that the Alaskans are mad at her. Hmmmmmm.
We’ve been looking for Mt. McKinley, but I’m thinking if you have to ask yourself, “is that it?” it probably isn't. Mt. McKinley was originally called Deenaalee - meaning “Tall One.” I can’t remember who it was that changed the name to McKinley. The park itself remains “Denali.”
It’s really windy up here tonight. Our motor home is overlooking a very steep drop to a river. Makes me a little nervous.
Tomorrow we leave the visitor center at 6:45 for the tour. We need to pack a lunch and drinks.
No internet here so you won’t get this in a timely fashion.
We got up this morning at 5:45 to take a bus tour through Denali National Park. I was a little cynical about taking such a long bus ride (10 hours) but it went really fast. We got a lot of great shots of Mt. McKinley. Our bus driver was Cissy McDonald. She reminds me a lot of Chris McCarthy. Our bus mates were really cool. There was an Eastern Indian family from Texas - 16 of them. There was another family traveling together who were Philippino, and also from Texas. There were assorted other people too, but these were the people we talked to the most.
We saw the back end of a moose (Dad saw the whole moose). Dad also saw a couple of “bear” rocks. There were Dall Sheep, but I didn’t see them. We saw caribou, ground squirrels, and a grizzly bear with her cubs. We saw bald eagles and golden eagles. We had breathtaking scenery for the whole trip. The road was cut into the side of a mountain. The plane ride didn’t scare me, but the view from our bus window sure did.
In Alaska, the state flower is the Forget-me-not, but the most plentiful flower is the Fireweed. Fireweed appears when there has been a fire or some kind of disturbance to the land.
After the tour we headed north and are now in an RV park in Nenana. The couple who own it are really nice - Judy and Larry. They live in Florida except for tourist season when they run this place. Judy is making her first quilt so we had a nice talk about quilting. She said there is a quilt shop - Northern Threads- in Fairbanks. You can bet that’s on my list of must-sees.