Trapper Creek and Talkeetna!

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 festival wa held in a big open field

Sadly though, the beautiful weather did not include a view of THE mountain!  It can be seen from the parking lot where we are – but nope – completely clouded in!  

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!  

Tracy took this pic – and generously sent it to me so we would both have it.  I think I may have to buy myself the t-shirt!

These are the pics I took – I decided to try it in B & W also, just to see what it would look like.

what do you think? the one above or below? i personally vote for Tracys!

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.  

our lunch spot
one of the numerous shops
adorable sign!
couldnt hide from the antlers and fur items!
told ya!
Tracy said “look intense!” – we hadn’t seen the front
Tracys turn!
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!

Bill said it was a fairly large place – largest microbrew he’s seen in AK so far
story of making beer
Bill liked the Hibernale, but ultimately went back and filled his large growler with Twisted Creek IPA and his smaller growler with Chuki stout

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!  

told you – can’t get away from antlers – they are everywhere
going in
we just had to get an assortment
how to make syrup diagram
this is the evaporator – concentrates the syrup – it takes 105 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup
these are samples from each day of harvesting – they break it down into 4 catagories: first day, days 2 through 10; days 11 through 13; and days 14 – 21.
comparing the color between day 1 and day 21
our tour guide was very young, but knew her stuff!
Bill sitting in a “sky chair” – we had 2 at our house in PA – they are made in Boulder CO
a bucket attached to a tree with a tap

So far, rain is predicted for our entire time in Denali National Park.  I sure do hope they are wrong!  

11 thoughts on “Trapper Creek and Talkeetna!

  1. Oh the birch syrup tour is cool. Sorry I missed that. Did Bill find me any summer ale?? If not I’ll have to sneak some of his growler lol. So great seeing you guys. It’s always special and we get to visit the coolest places together!

    1. They did not have summer ale at all, maybe it was a different company? He is thinking he may fill the growlers again on the way home, as the ones he has have been opened and won’t last. He may call you to see which you’d like. Agreed – anything done with friends is the BEST!

  2. So glad you got to see the mountain and join the 30% club. Great pictures. The Denali Brewing restarant was one of the places we ate at. They had great food. Did you get to meet the mayor? Enjoy the rest of your time there. Oh and it rained the whole time we did the bus but it was still special. Enjoy.

    1. We did not meet the mayor! I am still thinking about if I want to get a 30% t-shirt or not – I’ll let everyone know!

  3. What a beautiful view! You guys really lucked out. I love all the pictures. Steve is dying to beer taste with Bill. Steve is a big IPA guy. Glad you got to meet up again!

    1. I’m not sure if it said it in the post (need to check and fix if not) but Tracy took this pic and sent it to me since it was so much better than any my phone camera took! Bill would LOVE to have a beer drinking buddy since I HATE it!

  4. Looks like a wonderful time! Sorry to admit Tracy’s picture was way cooler! Always enjoy your post! We are at Circle M. Neil is working in Maryland and it was way closer than Hershey or PA Dutch. Still an hour drive though. We leave for Indiana on Saturday. Enjoy…miss you!

    1. It was a great day! Thanks Nancy! Circle M was not our fav, but sure was convenient to visiting our son! Be are to get some corn at the farm stand about half a mile up the road – turn left out of the driveway! We ate it almost every day we were there! YUMMY! Also great prices on everything! Who’s Neil working for? Safe travels to IN! Miss you too! Hugs!

  5. So glad you got to Wasilla, and from what you shared, it seems you liked it. Good to know they have lots of the stores and eateries there.
    Our friends just got back home in Wasilla from their Annual Randevoo. Hope I spelled that correctly.
    We so enjoy all you share, and you both look great. Hugs.

    1. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Wasilla, but it was nice! The Walmart there was good, we picked up a few thjngs there! I’ve heard it one of the fastest growing towns in AK!
      Hope all is good with you and Morris! Hugs to you both! And a pet on the head for Omega!

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