Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day Trip to Talkeetna

Day 22, July 15, 2008-245 miles (note the change in the number of days on the road; somehow I lost about a week in my counting, so it's actually day 22 today. Disregard the numbering on the other days!)

Today was an easy one. We got up early so that the women could get to the train station to ride the train to Talkeetna, about 120 miles up the Parks Highway. Gary's brother's PC proved to be worrisome to repair, so it was not ready for riding. I know he was the most disappointed, but all of us wanted his machine to be ready for riding this week. Something in the electrical system is not right; it runs fine, but after about 30 minutes of riding, the battery goes dead. Either the alternator is not putting out or the voltage regulator is not working properly. It goes to the shop tomorrow. I wanted it to be otherwise, but it couldn't be helped.

So, he carried Gary's wife, his brother's ex-wife, his mother, and his brother's mother-in-law to the train station and drove his car on to Talkeetna. Gary and I left on our bikes a little later since we knew the ride on bikes would be faster than the train.

The ride to Talkeetna was uneventful; we stopped for bathroom stops and snacks, and pulled into the train station just behind the train's arrival. Good timing!

After getting together, we backtracked to the road into Talkeetna to the Talkeetna Lodge, a pretty and fancy lodge overlooking the village and mountain ranges behind it. Lunch at the lodge was good, but the clouds were hanging low, so we could see none of the big mountain except perhaps the very base of it.

After lunch, we rode into town and parked. Then walked around in the tourist shops buying trinkets for the folks left home. Had some ice cream while watching the people walk by.

Talkeetna is a neat place. Mostly a tourist trap of sorts, it also serves as the staging area for flightseeing trips to Mt. McKinley and surrounding mountains. It also serves as the staging point for climbers going to climb the big mountain. We didn't see any of them today....

After a while, we ran out of things to do and see, and it was time for the ladies to head towards the train, so we all left the village to go back to our base.

It was a good day down memory lane, revisiting a place that was special to my sister and me when we visited Talkeetna 4 years ago. Wish she could have been along this time, too.

Tomorrow—north to Healy, the North Pole, and Fairbanks and then back to Healy.

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