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First Glimpse of Mt. McKinley

This was our last morning in Anchorage. It was a chore to get packed and ready by departure time. We had Robyn, Carola, Granddad all in our room for breakfast. Had pancakes, toast, and O.J. Then we left for Denali.

Eklutna Village: This was our first stop of the day, just 30 minutes from Anchorage. We were given a tour of the Indian village by Paul who is a native Indian/Alaskan. We saw the religious buildings, graveside and items of the Russian Orthodox people. (Previously the Athabaskan Indians but converted to Russian Orthodox.) Our guide, Paul, almost knocked over a sacred candle – and seeing the look on his face was hilarious.

Iditarod Trail Headquarters: Saw a video of the Iditarod race/people involved. They had a chart hanging of all the winners/losers/places of the 1995 Iditarod race. Many pictures and gifts etc. Aunt Carola and others took a dog sled ride. Linda Platnerlinda was the one giving the ride.

First Glimpse: On our drive into Talkeetna we stopped to look at Mt. McKinley. This was my first glimpse of the “big one.” Needless to say, it was spectacular. The view was only slightly cloudy – after we waited for about 10 minutes the peak of the mountain was visible! It was a shock just to be able to view it at all. The odds are that you will only see McKinley 1 out of 3 days. The Mt. Is 20320 feet high. It was an unparalleled sight.

Talkeetna: Small Alaskan town – reminded me of a West Virginian town. We had little time to see the town as we needed to catch our flight. After the flight (see below) we came back and had lunch here. (Meatloaf sandwich and ice cream to go. In the town we saw the ranger station were all the hikers must check in/out before they climb McKinley.

Mt. McKinley Flight: I was the co-pilot on the K2 Aviation Flight. We had an excellent pilot. There were many great views of Denali and of course the Mt. We saw Moose’s tooth, Great Gorge, Big Bowl and Mt. Hunter – just to name a few. We saw some of the base camps and some of the people climbing McKinley. Because we took the grand tour we saw both the North and South faces of the mountain. The visibility was superb!!! Viewing the Mt. Was sensational and is hard to describe. Its beauty is exquisite. On the way back to the airport we saw swans, a moose and calf but no Bear. Feel very lucky just to see the Mt. This plane trip was great. Another keeper!

Denali: We drove the 3 hr. Drive from Talkeetna to Denali. The vegetation took some major changes as we drove. We saw the boreal forest then the tundra then taigataiga . Arrived at Denali at about 8:00. All were tired. Just down the road was a pizza place – excellent pizza! Got pizza with Ray & Louise and then went to bed.

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