July 31, 2012
Today we stopped in Talkeetna on our way north to Denali National Park. Its still another small Alaska town, a bit more touristy than Hope. Its a popular last stop for those attempting to climb Mount McKinley.
There is a Denali viewpoint just before you get to town. Unfortunately, on our way in the weather is not cooperating and all we see are clouds.
So we proceed to set up camp at Talkeetna Camper Park, the only real campground in town, and our first campground with electricity and water hookups in quite a while. Its a small park with about 30% too many sites for its size, but we manage to get in Ok. Not everyone is so lucky, however, as we are startled a little while later by some campers in a rental RV backing into a tree. Somebody is not getting all their security deposit back.
After relaxing a bit, we all head off to explore the town on foot. At the far end of town is a small beach like area where the Talkeetna and Susitna rivers come together. This is another popular spot for viewing Denali. We hang out for about 20 minutes and see only more clouds. Then I noticed an oddly white cloud which turns out to be the very peak of Denali. We stick around a while longer as some of the clouds dissipate enough to give us a partial view of the upper mountain. The camera batteries are dead by this point so all we get is a grainy cell phone shot.
We walked back into town later that night for dinner at the West Rib Pub & Grill (as seen on Man vs. Food), and for once have something other than pizza with our beer. On the way out we head to the beach again for another Denali check, but it is not to be. No more mountain tonight.