July 24, 2004
After our cruise, Allan and I rented a car in Anchorage and drove to Denali National Park stopping in Talkeetna. We hoped that we would be able to see Mt. McKinley, the highest point on the North American continent at 20,310 feet. That’s more of a challenge than you might think. We stayed at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge for the views of Mt. McKinley and spectacular Alaska Range – on clear days. The views were spectacular! Talkeetna is a charming historic village located at the base of Mt. McKinley and is the staging area for over 1,000 climbers who attempt to climb Mt. McKinley. Talkeetna is said to be the inspiration for the fictional community of Cicely in the TV show “Northern Exposure.” The town keeps its mining history alive with renovated miners’ cabins used as lodging, shops and restaurants. Local artisans sell their wares at an outdoor market in the summer, and art galleries filled with unique Alaska gifts line historic Main Street. The Roadhouse, built around 1917, is one of the oldest establishments still in operation on Main Street in “Beautiful Downtown Talkeetna.” We had a great Alaska sized breakfast at the Roadhouse, which is a favorite among climbers. Numerous flightseeing tours are based in Talkeetna, offering amazing bird’s eye views of Mt. McKinley. We chartered a flight and were able to see McKinley up close and personal. It was awe inspiring.
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