09 June 2012


Our friend Robin Appleton lives in Talkeetna in the summer. We work together in Denver, and when she is done with her contract, she loads up her two dogs, Bailey and Chuey, and spends six consecutive days driving up to Talkeetna. She spends her summer months in an awesome log home that she designed and built, and she welcomed us for a couple of nights to rest, relax, shower, do laundry and check out the sights of Talkeetna.

Bailey, in the chair, and Chuey! They've got tough lives!

We arrived in the afternoon of June 5, just as Venus was making a pass between us and the sun. The Talkeetna rangers were in the park with the solar glasses to watch it happen on one's own, and a simple contraption that allows several people to see it at once. The occurrence will not happen again in our lifetime, and to be honest, we thought we had already missed it. Josh was especially excited to see it happen, and then run off to the brewery!

That night we headed to the bar with a number of locals, and a large number of climbers just down off the mountain. Talkeetna is the jumping off point for most climbs on Denali, with climbers regularly being flown up to land on a glacier and hike their way to base camp. They spend a couple days getting acclimated, and then about three weeks making the ascent, descent, and flight home. When they are done, they seem to be ready for a beer. In fact, most seem so ready for a beer, that they head straight for the bar when they get off the plane. Yup, the bar is alive with the scent of unwashed mountain climbers. It hits you full on when you walk in, and the really scary thing is that about ten minutes later, you realize you have become accustomed to the smell.

The next day, planned bike maintenance day, it rained. Shocker! We read, watched a movie, and played with the dogs. In the afternoon, it finally stopped so Josh went out and did oil changes. Robin got home and we eventually all headed out to her friend Chip's house, where two bands from Seattle had come up to play for his party that evening. That night was locals only, except me and Josh, and we had a great time talking with lots of new people.

Thursday morning dawned full of sunshine. We had a fantastic breakfast at the Roadhouse, walked the river, and then Robin took us up to the lodge to see the view. It was AMAZING! The lodge itself was quite beautiful also, and I would recommend anyone wanting to stay in Talkeetna to stay there. At least early in the season as I expect it is insanely crowded during high season.

We left that afternoon, thanking Robin for her hospitality. It was such a nice stop. It was nice to have a bed, and nice to be able to do laundry, but it was really great being able to meet locals and see what they do when the tourists aren't looking!


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