Thursday, July 23, 2009

7/22/2009 - Fish Fry at the Palmer Elks

We got back to Alaska and our RV on the evening of 7/20. Tuesday was a quiet day just to get some routine shopping and laundry completed. We received a call from Dennis and Carol Hill that they would be stopping at the Elks on Wednesday so we could get together. And, thanks to Larry and Peggy Leonard in Ninilchik, they brought along halibut from their potluck the other day and prepared dinner for us. All we can say is YUM!
Here's Chef Dennis as he fries up some halibut.

And, here's Carol sitting at the table and enjoying the meal.

Thanks again, Dennis and Carol for a wonderful meal and your friendship!

Monday, July 13, 2009

7/12/09 - Iditarod Headquarters - Wasilla, AK

Wasilla, AK is the home of the Iditarod Headquarters which we toured today. There was a short film and several displays both inside and out.
Future sled dogs resting up while they can:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

7/12/09 - Rest In Peace - Maxine Tilton

Ken's mom passed away early this morning. We will be flying out of Anchorage on Monday to be in Spokane until the following Monday.

7/9 - 7/10/09 - Trapper Creek - Petersville - Talkeetna

We left Denali National Park and our next stop for 2 nights was Trapper Creek Campground. Once we were set up, we drove to the Peterville Road and stopped at The Forks Roadhouse for a burger and a brew.
When we left Denali and drove to Trapper Creek, it was raining and we didn't get a good view of Mt McKinley from Mile Post 135. The next day was another clear day, so before driving down to Talkeetna, we drove up there again for a photo opportunity. As we were walking up to the viewpoint, we looked back and saw Maggie, Jim, Amy, and Andy who were on the bus ride with us 3 days ago into Kantishna. That's them in the next photo with Mt McKinley in the upper right, and Hunter Mountain in the upper left.

Talkeetna was preparing for their annual Moose Dropping Festival on Saturday and Sunday. We purchased a chance on that and looked around the town. There were several very unique log buildings.

7/6 - 7/9/09 - Teklanika Campground - Denali National Park

We spent 3 nights at the Teklanika Campground which is 29 miles into Denali National Park and the furthest one into which you drive your own vehicle. One of the requirements of this campground is that you have to stay there for a minimum of 3 nights...not a problem. We also purchased the "Tek" pass to Kantishna (at 91 miles into the park) which allowed us to ride the buses for the 3 days we were there. That was a lot of bus riding: 6 hours the first day, 10 hours the next, and another 6 hours our last full day in the park. This first photo is taken of our RV in our campsite which was #2 in the first loop. We were even able to get internet while there.
The caribou in the upper left corner of this next photo did not seem to be bothered by the grizzly and her 2 cubs.

They say that July is a poor month for viewing Mt McKinley due to lots of rain. As you can see in the next photo, we had beautiful clear skies and an outstanding view of the mountain.

After flying around for a short while, this golden eagle perched on a rock beside the roadway.

Friday, July 10, 2009

7/5/09 - Denali National Park

We moved into Riley Creek Campground on 7/5/09 and after getting everything set up, we packed our lunch and headed out for some sightseeing in the park. We walked in to the Savage Patrol Cabin which has been used by the rangers patrolling the park as an overnight stay. Even the dogs have their own log cabins.

We had a good view of the river before getting to the end of the road for private vehicles and stopped for lunch. We found that even fresh water seagulls can beg for food as well as their salt water relatives.

4th of July on the Nenana River

We spent the 4th of July at a campground overlooking the Nenana River. Our neighbors in the campground went rafting down the river and we got their photo as they went by.

The Alaska Railroad had about 4 trains that traveled along the other side of the river. Here's one of them.

Friday, July 3, 2009

7/3/09 - Fairbanks to Denali National Park

We left Fairbanks this morning and made our way down towards Denali National Park for the next week. It was a beautiful day and we actually saw Mt McKinley as we headed south. See the next photo and look very closely above the dark mountain range. I know it looks more like a cloud, but it is really the mountain!
We arrived at our campground for the next two nights before we go into campground inside the park and quickly set up so that we could go exploring to see what we could do in the park. We were able to drive the truck 15 miles into the park before we had to turn back. There was a viewpoint a couple of miles before we had to turn where we had another view of Mt McKinley. Again...look's really there.

This caribou was relaxing in the creek on a hot summer day and didn't seem bothered by onlookers.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

6/29/09 - El Dorado Gold Mine Tour

We took the tour of the El Dorado Gold Mine today. It starts off with a train ride through the sight as the gold mining operations are explained to us at various points on the trip.

This is inside the perma frost tunnel.

The shaft entrance for the drift mining.

Placing the results of our goldpanning in a container.

This is our nephew, Kyle, who works at the mine. He weighed our gold and between the two of us we had about $22.

This is the nugget we really wanted.