Hitching done and jacks were up – we were on our way northward about 11:30am, our first day off. After a quick stop in Anchorage, we faced new territory – places we hadn’t been before! Instead of staying on the Glenn Hwy – we instead followed the sign for Parks Hwy – toward Wasilla. Wasilla is a good size town with any store or restaurant you could need.
Our destination was Trapper Creek, where we had reservations for 2 nights at Trapper Creek Inn and RV Park. This is one of the places Bill and I had a job offer, which we politely declined after Gary decided he wanted us to work for him! It was a no-brainer decision after comparing terms. At Trapper Creek, we would have worked 4 or 5 days and only had 2 or 3 off in a row. The one week on/one week off schedule was hard – ok – impossible – to beat!
We arrived around 4:30 or so and had no issues parking in the long (and very narrow) pull-through spot we were assigned. The camphosts are very nice, turns out her family used to own the land the Inn and RV Park is on, so it’s a sort-of “coming home” for her. The place is nice enough and sure is busy, between the front desk, gas station, Inn rooms and RV Park. Oh! – and they have a snack bar. And a small grocery/sundry/gift shop area. Did I mention it’s crazy busy?
Our co-workers, Bob & Marna, had told us about the Trapper Creek Fireweed Festival – which was going on when we arrived! So, after some dinner and ice cream from the snack bar, we headed out to see what it was about. It was, as expected, small, but the band was good, and we sat and listened awhile, enjoying the beautiful weather.
The next morning, we learned that Tracy & Lee, who had driven to Denali the day before, were on their way to see us! The mountain was still clouded in and they didn’t have enough time for a bus tour so they came to spend the day in Talkeetna with us!
They arrived about 11:45am, and after hello’s and some catching up chit-chat, we followed the road south to the Takkeetna cut-off, which sent us back northward. We stopped at the look-out to see what was happening with the clouded in mountain and as we sat on the bench being hopeful – we saw this:
We decided to sit awhile and see if conditions changed – we all wanted to become part of the 30% club! It is reported that only about 30% of visitors that come to Denali National Park get to see te mountain. Persistence paid off and while it isn’t the fully unobstructed view friends recently got – we’ll take it!
These are the pics I took – I decided to try it in B & W also, just to see what it would look like.
After watching the view awhile, we let the others who were looking get a turn sitting on the bench. We are nice that way!
Talkeetna was just up the road and what a cute little town it is! Before leaving the viewpoint, getting lunch was our next priority. A consult with TripAdvisor made choosing Denali Brewing Company easy peezy. They are rated #2 in Talkeetna below Mountain High Pizza Pie. We had pizza last time we were together, plus Bill wanted to try their beers. Lunch was good – Tracy and I got the fish and chips, which was fresh and not over-cooked, but just a bit greasy. If they had blotted with paper towels for a minute it would have taken care of the issue, no problem. Bill really enjoyed his rib eye French dip on a pretzel roll sandwich, but the plate of the day was all Lee’s! He ordered the reindeer meatloaf with mashed potatoes and, except for the few bites he shared to let us taste, ate every last crumb!
We walked around the small town and stopped into a few of the shops, checking out the Alaskan made and Native made items. Beautiful knives, art work, für items, jewelery, etc. filled each display case, shelf and wall.
After awhile it was time to head our separate ways. I LOVE that we were able to spend the day together in Talkeetna! It was so spontaneous and worked out well! Couldn’t have planned it better! Love it when that happens!
Bill and I and seen a couple of places we wanted to stop at on the way into Talkeetna that we wanted to stop at on the way out. First place was Denali Brewing Company. Yes, we ate lunch there, but I am now talking about where they make the beer. Bill wanted to see if they have different ones to try and if they fill growlers. Yes and yes! That makes my man happy!
Next and final stop was a birch syrup manufacturer, Kahiltna Birchworks. They harvest and package birch syrup, in a similar way maple syrup is made. They also make candies and jellies and mustards. The tour was about 20 mins long, and that’s with Bill asking several questions. We purchased a few things and headed for home!
So far, rain is predicted for our entire time in Denali National Park. I sure do hope they are wrong!