Talkeetna

Trip Start May 25, 2008
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46
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Trip End Aug 03, 2008


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Where I stayed
Talkeena Camper Park

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Today marks the 6th straight day of bloody overcast sky's!!! Ugh!!! Since our first activity today was not until 2:45, we had another lazy morning of getting up late and taking it easy. Around 9:30 we did walk the half mile to town and took in a ranger talk about Mt. McKinley. It took place in the mountaineering room of the Talkeetna Historical Society. Inside, was this huge 3-D model of the Alaska Range around McKinley. She gave a talk about the history of climbing the mountain and what it takes to do it today. My favorite part was the old style and modern mountain toilet. There use to be outdoor outhouses along the mountain - if not, you just dug a hole in the ice. But with thousands of climbers every year, the poop was getting thick on the mountain. So now, everyone has to carry their own waste bucket up and down the mountain. When you need to go, you just open the top and squat over it - sounds pleasant. Makes me want to go climb right now. As the ranger was taking about the area, I was checking out the place that we were going to be flying around this evening on our flight. Right now it is overcast, but I'm hoping that it will clear up soon. After the ranger talk, we walked around town checking out all the historical structures and the shops. Cool stuff in the shops but we ended up not buying anything to keep our budget going. As of now we are $1,000 under budget so things are going OK. However, today's River Boat ride and flight will cost a bundle, even though we have two for one coupons with each. Our last thing in town was to get a bit to eat. There were some cool looking restaurants, but we settled down on Talkeetna street food - Pooh had Chinese and I had Mexican. They were both in little mobile stands - like a truck. But they had some indoor seating areas and it looked kind of permanent. Pooh had a great sesame chicken that was some of the best I've ever had. Plus the egg roll was tops. I had the carne asada and my stuff was great too. All for less than $20 for the both of us which is pretty cheap for Alaska. After our nice lunch we walked back to the RV to give the dogs a walk. So yet again, we walked the half mile to downtown with the dogs. Then we had to go back to the RV, then back to town to check in for our jet boat tour. Yes, a jet boat. We would be on the water for just over 3 hours. The boat could seat around 45 people and was powered with 3 Cummings Diesel engines.  And yes, it was very fast. Going at top speed, the boat only needed 12 to 18 inches of water to operate. We took what was called the 3 rivers tour which as the name says, goes around the 3 rivers of the area. This was an OK trip but not one of my favorites. I think it would have been better if the sun was out. Also, the only thing on my mind at the time was our flight around Mt. McKinley. But I was glad we did it. We sat up front so we could ask the boat guide as many questions as we could. Plus the speed of the boat kept things interesting. This are glacier fed rivers, so the color is close to battleship grey - not very exciting. We did get off the boat once for a little walk to a mock-up of a Dyea village and a trappers homestead. Both very interesting. At the trappers place, our guide took out all kinds of skins for us to feel. Our guide carried a 12-gauge just in case a bear came around - good protection. Being glacier rivers, they were very wide as they change their course all the time and they are filled with trees so it was kind of fun watching our boat swerve in and out trying to avoid these little impediments. In the middle of the trip we did get a little snack - a coke and a LARGE cookie - yum, yum!!! The second river was very interesting as we went into a small canyon so we could check out the different rock strata. At the end of our trip, we docked where we started which was just a little north of town. At the dock I got the bad news - our flight had been canceld due to bad weather. I was totally let down. Of all the things I had us doing on this trip, this was at the top, and it was not to be. Just like last year when I really wanted to see Mt. Everest - but I got very sick and was held-up in Lhasa. So two straight years I have not seen the mountains I spent so much money to see. I guess I have bad Mountain Karma. So I guess that means I will not be spending $80,000 to take a shot up top Mt. Everest - something bad would happen. So the rest of the night I was bummed out. Pooh did cook a great dinner of Egg Curry so that got my sprits up a little. After dinner I did my usual of blog and read before turning in late.
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