Wednesday August 23: Talkeetna to Denali Park
We got up, I took a shower, and we went over to breakfast. It was essentially a continental breakfast, which Sam took a dim view of. He bailed and went back to the room. I pretty much ate a few bowls of granola. We chatted with the other people staying there and having breakfast.
We packed up the car and headed out. A few miles away, we happened upon the Flying Squirrel bakery. It looked popular, so we stopped in. The smells inside were wonderful. We got Sam a “Not a Breakfast Burrito”. The food looked really good, although the service was rather slow.
At the first night’s B&B, we were told about a place in Talkeetna that had good bags of herbal mixes. We went to downtown Talkeetna, but we couldn’t find any place like what was described to us.
We topped off the gas tank and headed north. We stopped at a few scenic overlooks, but the mountains were cloudier than before, and the pictures weren’t great.
About ten miles from the park, Sam was getting hungry again, and we saw a cafe that looked promising, so we turned around and went back there for lunch. We figured that it would have better food and cheaper than where we were going.
When we got to the park, we found that we had passed the Denali Village about 4-5 miles earlier. We thought it would be better marked, but it wasn’t. We went back and tried checking in, but it was too early. It was 2:30, and check-in wasn’t until 3. We visited the gift shop, where a few more bears joined Sam’s collection, and I wrote up more of this log until 3:00, when we checked in.
We drove to the appropriate parking lot and found the two cabins. Each one sleeps 2, so Sam got one, and Amy and I got another.
We had an early dinner scheduled (5:30), so we didn’t have time for any elaborate activities. Sam vegged out, while Amy and I drove up to the visitor’s center. It was rather poorly marked, and when we go there, we realized why. We weren’t at the visitor’s center! We were at the park bus center. We got some park fliers and then drove a few miles further in and found the actual (and better marked) visitor’s center. We caught the second half of a film about sled dogs in the park, wandered around a little, but then we had to hurry back for dinner.
We got back at 5:15, which gave us just enough time to get organized, get Sam, and walk over to the dinner/theater building. We got there about 5:25, but most of the people had already arrived, were sitting down, and starting to eat. We got seated and joined them.
They did some singing during the meal, but I wasn’t too impressed. They sang a number of Christmas carols. They explained that it was a tradition either in the national park system or perhaps in Alaska to celebrate Christmas in August. I thought that they were making it up, but later on, we saw/stayed at a number of places that were decorated for Christmas.
Dinner ended fairly soon, but then I found out that the real show didn’t begin until after the dinner was over. That show was more interesting.
One line that I thought cute, and which could in a sense be applied to RPI was after a dance hall girl said that she came to Alaska because the male/female ratio was 10 to 1. Another character replied, “well, you know what they say...The odds are good, but the goods are odd.”
They finished at 7. I got a bunch of still pictures from my phone. I didn’t think of recording a video until the last song was ending.
Afterwards, Amy and I wandered up to the main lodge/reception, and I’m typing this up there. It is a bit early to go to bed, but we’re not really keen on trying to do a short hike. Doing that right around sunset seems like hanging out a “dinner is served” sign to every mosquito in the neighborhood.
Tomorrow is a free day to do whatever we want. Friday, we will have a free morning, but then we’ll be going on a bus tour looking for wildlife from 3 to 8. A lot will depend on the weather.
Since we got to the park, it has clouded up, and the clouds are looking grayer. I think the forecasted rain is upon us.