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Talkeetna has Mt. McKinley,but Anchorage has the Ulu Factory

Friday, June 29, 2007

sunny 0 °F

I wake up and there is not a cloud in the sky, so I head down to the river to check out Mt. McKinley with no clouds.
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It’s not the close-up/no-clouds view I was hoping for, but it is really a beautiful sight to see the 3 large mountains in the distance (Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter and then Mt. McKinley), blue skies, and a river in the foreground!

Even Talkeetna looks nice this morning. The town without the traffic and hordes of people is very quaint. Here's a picture of their general store:
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We pack up and then stop again at the viewpoint along the road at the end of the town. The view yesterday of Mt. McKinley was nice, but this morning’s cloudless view is even better. I would have loved to have a day like this for our bus ride to Wonder Lake in Denali National Park.
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The drive to Anchorage is uneventful. We had planned to stop at the Iditarod Museum, but missed the turn and didn’t feel like turning around. Joe is doing a packet that his Reading teacher gave him on the Iditarod dog race, and we are driving along the Iditarod trail at various times today.

We made reservations for an RV park in Anchorage. The park is easy to find and we set up the 5ver. We must be getting good—we have it set up way before the guy beside us and he started before us :-) Plus he can’t seem to get his 5ver detached from his truck – I can see that he forgot to unlatch the one metal piece, but it seems absurd that I would help anyone set up their unit. He eventually realizes his mistake and I can stop debating on whether or not I should say something.

We sit down for a lunch and a freight train passes the campground on the tracks that border the edge of the campground. Campgrounds often are near traintracks, but this RV park is VERY close to the tracks and the whistle as it gets close to us is EXTREMELY loud. But not only is the train noisy, the trailer is actually shaking! It feels like we're riding on a train :-)

Well, we have a quick lunch and then walk to downtown Anchorage and go to Jere’s first stop: the Ulu factory, to see ulu knives being made. I’m not sure why, but he seems fascinated by them….UNTIL he find’s out the ulu is the Eskimo word for “woman’s tool”. I kept telling him that if he buys one of them he’s going to have to start helping to cook :-)

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We take the Ulu factory’s free trolley to the Anchorage Visitors Center
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and then walk around the downtown area looking at their “Salmon on Parade” statues. Who doesn't enjoy looking at funny salmon statues?
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The city gardens have very colorful flowers. Twenty hours of daylight must grow big, beautiful flowers.
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We walk back to the trailer, start dinner and then get in touch with Richard, who drives tour buses in Alaska. I would explain how we know him, but as I typed out the explanation I realized that it is way too convoluted to explain. Anyway, Richard came over and we chatted and then went out biking together on the Coastal Trail. Richard is a much fast biker than we are, but Jere and I would eventually catch up to him -- when he stopped and waited for us :-)
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A long day, but a good day. I like these sunny, warm days in Alaska.

Posted by jengelman 13:55 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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