August 30, 2004 GMT
(20) Up Close and Personal With Mt. McKinley

Saturday August 28 2004

I go to Talkeetna Air Taxi early when they open to find out if flights are going to Mt.McKinley.
There is low lying cloud cover, one of the pilots takes a test flight to check and we can hear him report back to the radio in the office that once you are up and through the low lying clouds the weather is clear and Mt. McKinley is beautiful.

I do not have a flight booked but the woman says there is one open seat on the first flightseeing tour.
I don't think about it too long as the weather could change quickly.
Within 30 minutes, the pilot, 5 others and myself are off the runway and on our way towards Mt. McKinley in a Canadian made De Havilland Beaver.
I am lucky as I have the very back seat to myself, I can slide from side to side to get all the photos I want.
The flight was 1 1/2 hours with a 1/2 hour landing on a glacier, it was awesome and the highlight of my Alaskan trip so far.
I snapped many photos, we flew close to and through mountains, the glaciers were awesome to look at and to land on one was the icing on the cake.
There was fresh snow and it was so quiet, beautiful and peaceful up there, truely amazing!
I would love to do that again.
Once back the first thing I do is take my digital camera card and get the photos burned to cd-rom disk, as it was almost full.

I will drive tomorrow, rain or shine!

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Sunday August 29 2004

Talkeetna to Tok, Alaska

It is always a little sad to leave such a nice, friendly town like Talkeetna, but the road beckons and I have decided to deviate a bit from my plan.

I will unfortuntely give Denali National Park a miss because I hear that there is still a lot of smoke there and around Fairbanks.

I figure with all the smoke I won't be able to see or take photos of the landscapes, the nature and animals. I will backtrack along the Glenn highway Route and make it back to Tok, Alaska.

A long, all day drive. It is beautiful but still a lot of haze in the air.

I spot a huge black bear beside the road, I wanted his photo but by the time I got back and lifted the camera to snap him, he bolted. I have a nice photo of his backside.


As I pull into Tok, Alaska I meet a nice man on a white H-D police bike.

His name is David and he comes from Georgia.

I mention to him that I know of a motorcycle only campground that I stayed at the last time I passed through here.

We strike up a conversation and then motor off to the campground.

The thing that I first noticed about David was the trailer that he was pulling behind his motorcycle, I was real curious to know what he had in there.


We chatted while he set up and I was amazed to see what unfolded from that trailer.
It folded out on the sides and the top raised like a car tent trailer.
He had a table & chair set, 2 gas cans, 1 water jerry can, a generator, cooler filled with perishables and ice. Inside it has lights, extra electrical cords, propane tank & stove, DVD/TV, a bear skin rug that he bought along the way and his bedding.
It was amazing to me all the stuff that he pulled from that trailer, everything except the kitchen sink.

It is his plan to drive to Haines also, it will be a nice change to ride with another person for a day.

Tomorrow we will leave Alaska, drive through the Yukon, B.C. and enter Alaska again, a good days ride ahead of us

Posted by Jeff Nicholls at August 30, 2004 05:51 AM GMT
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