We've had a nice summer--Grace worked for the Parks and Rec department again. She now has a motor scooter (I should post pictures) and I even have a new nephew.
In celebration of the event we spent Sunday night at my parents' cabin and Monday morning we drove into Talkeetna--that coolest of cool Alaskan cities where climbers start their journey up Denali.
Did you realize that Denali (Mt. McKinley) is not only the tallest mountain in North America but it is also taller than Everest? At least in overall height. Everest sits in its boosted grandeur on the Tibetan plateau so it's got a cheater advantage. Denali is taller from base to summit and has a bigger bulk. Take that Tibet.
We started our day with a hike around Y Lake--which is, of course, in between X and Z Lakes. As if you had to ask. And no, I'm not making that up. Andrew and I went to Talkeenta for our anniversary back in June (happy 19 years!) and we read up on the hikes that might be good for a family trip and this one was at the top of the list for a good reason.
It's an easy 3 mile hike around the lake, completely flat at the beginning and at the end, with a slight rise around the far side, but beautifully wooded with lake views as you clump along. Not only that, but we brought our buckets and picked high bush cranberries along the way which were in such abundance that the kids of course began to throw them at each other and I finally had to break it up with a "If I catch you throwing any more of those at your brother I'm going to leave you here to walk back to Anchorage! Do you hear me? Do you?"
To get there take the Parks Highway to Talkeetna Spurr Road, then take a right on Comsat Road and you'll see the turnoff and parking a hundred yards or so farther on the right. There are outhouses and a small parking lot though you can also drive a little farther in along the trail if you need to.
Once we'd made it around the lake with our berries in tact we headed toward town. Back on Talkeenta Spurr Road heading north you come around a bend in the road and there . . . BAM!!!!
You see it--The Mountain.
There is a turnoff just there at the bend where you can pull off and take pictures (as you see here--and even on a Monday afternoon in August you can see that there are going to be tourists--and this picture only has a few of those who were there). Andrew let me grab a picture for you good folks and then we were off again.
Anyone with expensive sunglasses? Tourist for sure. Anyone on a four wheeler? Definitely a local. You get your fishing guides, your restaurant workers and the summer employees with Princess cruises and the Alaska Railroad there and everyone is really friendly, especially considering that their town gets completed invaded every June to August with retirees who have dreamed of seeing Alaska. You really couldn't get a greater difference between natives and visitors than you get in Talkeetna.
A very, very good day and for the kids it nearly made up for the fact that the next day was school.
Wow--now I'll have to see about writing another post. Who knows where this could end?