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Published: March 9th 2017
Moose crossing signs everywhere. Moose are hit by cars alot.
I had a day off from working with the Iditarod Race, so I rented a car. My goal today was to see Denali. 36 years ago I was here with Ed (my husband), and we never saw the peak. We had miserable weather while up here in June 1981, but we perservered through it and did as much sightseeing as we could. I remember reading the Alaska Milepost " and on your left you will see blah blah blah mountains . . ." We couldn't see crap - rain, clouds, wind.
But now the weather is absolutely beautiful. My AirBnB host told me of a road I could take to see Denali. I rented a car with studded tires and drove up Arctic Valley Rd. I had to remember how to drive on black ice. I got to the top where there is a ski area (apparently open on weekends), so I turned around. On the way down I had an encounter with a moose. She crossed in front of me, looked at me, started walking towards the car (Yikes!). At this point I didn't know what to do and called Bob (housemate). He told me what to look for
There she is!
with threatening behavior. Non-threatening but still walking towards me. Then she crossed back in front of the car, up the snow bank, and started chomping on bushes. She was just curious, and I was such a wuss, but an angry moose can do some damage.
I didn't get good views of Denali from this road so I headed north. I figured I would just drive till I got some good photos. So I kept driving, and ended up in Talkeetna. This is the town that climbers fly out of when they are climbing Denali. I decided a flight would be the best way to see Denali, so I drove to the airport to inquire about flight. First place, way too expensive. 2nd place, half what the first place wanted. So, Jok (the pilot), 2 brothers Jeff & Joe, and myself went for a flight to Denali. I was thinking I should change my name to Julie to fit in with the "J" theme.
Jok was an awesome pilot. We flew over the Susitna & Chulitna Rivers, saw some moose from the plane, flew over the tundra and on towards the glaciers. Jok told us about the people migrating
View from Arctic Valley Rd. Anchorage in background.
across the Bering Sea, the ice ages, geology, climbing the mountains (not just Denali). We flew towards the Kahiltna glacier, Tokositna mountains & glacier, then turned right in front of Mt. Huntington. We could see Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter & Denali (with a lenticular cloud over it). Then we flew over the Ruth glacier and up to the amphitheater. We turned around here & headed back to Talkeetna airport.
The flight was glorious. The mountains in Alaska are spectacular and YUUGGEEE! I fulfilled my dream of getting up close & personal with Denali! Unfortunately I didn't have much time to spend in Talkeetna. I had to get the rental car back by 6 p.m., and the flight ended just before 3 p.m. I had a snack (reindeer pocket sandwich - yummy - my first time eating reindeer), bought a few trinkets, and drove back to Anchorage.
I'm thinking that in future years I might want to go out on the trail for volunteering. So, I stopped by a thrift store & bought a long, down jacket. I need to figure out the boots. There are boots that are thick & insulated, and that's what I would need. I
View from road.
have hats, scarfs, face masks, mittens, so I don't think I need to get those. It's a far-fetched idea at this point.
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