ANCHORAGE TO TALKEETNAJune 5 in the United States
We left Anchorage around 9.30 am and set off on our three and a half hour drive to Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, near Talkeetna. The route was mainly on a two lane road and we went through a couple of little towns including Willow and Trappers Creek, again we followed the rail route and spotted a train today. There was a considerable amount of damp meadow land, ideal for moose, and plenty of road signs saying look out for moose but despite all my best efforts I didn't see one, still on my to see list!
The Lodge is in Denali Park and it is another beautiful and clear day so we have had great views of the mountain including Mount McKinley, also known as Mount Denali, which is the second highest mountain in the USA and the Alaskans claim from base to peak it is bigger than Mount Everest.
After eating lunch, sat outside with a great view of the mountains, we went on a very interesting and amusing nature walk with a park ranger. She was bought up in Alaska on the army base in Anchorage. She told us how Alaska has a very quick switch from Spring to Summer, it was snowing here just a few weeks ago but now the sun is out and there is daylight for 19 hours everything bursts into life very quickly, for example, she saw no forget me knots (Alaska's state flower) in bloom yesterday but today they are blooming all around the property. A number of the birch trees show signs of where the moose have eaten the bark during the winter when nothing else was available. We can also now recognise moose poo!!! There are plenty of ferns in the forest, lupins, geraniums, elderflowers, alder trees and lichen. After this walk we set off on our own to walk the hill trail, we read the instructions about if we saw a bear we made lots of noise to let him know we were there, if it was a big brown bear and he attacks just curl up and play dead, if a moose's ears go back he is going to charge so go and hide behind a tree!!! Ok we know what to do! We set off on the trail, enjoyed visiting the tree top house and looking at the magnificent views of the mountain range and returned to the lodge with no wildlife encounters. We were told by a member of house keeping she had just seen a moose at block 20 and she showed us a picture, we rushed over there but 'mooseteriously' it had disappeared.
We had a delicious (and expensive) meal at 20,320 Alaskan Grill which included salmon with blueberry sauce, chocolate s'mores, lemon cake and huckleberry ice cream. We watched photosymphony in the Hudson Theatre which was pictures of the Aurora set to music.Read more