We woke up to beautiful sunny skies. The weather forecast was sunny and warm all day. A perfect day for viewing Mt. McKinley.
We started the day by walking to beautiful downtown Talkeetna.
Welcome to beautiful downtown Talkeetna
Downtown Talkeetna. We ate at the West Rib Pub for dinner last night
House rules at the historic Fairview Inn
Stubbs, the Mayor of Talkeetna. He hangs around downtown.
I had a spinach bread for lunch. It’s kind of like a square pizza with spinach and cheese.
Next we stopped by Talkeetna Air Taxi at the airport to book a flight-seeing tour with a glacier landing. The first flight available was at 4:00 so we returned to the RV park to get the truck and drve to the Talkeetna overlook for a view of Mt. McKinley with no clouds.
Beth and Henry at the Talkeetna overlook
An Airplane flies over Mt. McKinley
At 3:30 a van picked us up to take us to the airport for our flight. There were six passengers on our plane – two guys and a gal from Norway, a man from Maryland, and us. Our pilot Alex was from Georgia.
The flight was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. Seeing the mountains from the air and flying so close to the south face of Mt. McKinley was awe inspiring. It’s a day I will never forget.
Waiting to board
Mt. McKinley is in the upper left beneath the clouds
Shadow of our plane over the mountains
The Ruth Glacier is in the gorge between the mountains
We went really close to Mt. McKinley
View of McKinley through the front window
We were really close to the mountains
Really, really close to the mountain!
We were headed straight to this mountain
Really, really, really close!
Ours was the only plane on the glacier and we had plenty of time to enjoy the jaw dropping beauty around us.
We landed on the Ruth Glacier. Hard to believe it was warm enough to wear short sleeves.
The high round snow covered peak is the south peak of Mt. McKinley
Henry taking videos
Beth with the plane
Loving every minute of our time on Ruth glacier
We flew low over the glacier as we started our return trip to the airport.
Flying over the glacier
Beautiful scenery on our way back to the airport
What a glorious day it was! A day we will never forget. Perfect.
Day 57: Thursday, July 11, 2013 Teklanika Campground to Talkeetna, Alaska. Talkeetna Camper Park Site 34. 182 miles traveled.
The sky was still overcast as we drove the 30 miles from Teklanika to the Denali National Park exit. Our chances for a clear view of Mt. McKinley on our drive south on the Parks Highway were looking pretty slim. Mt. McKinley, at 20,320 feet tall, is the tallest mountain in North America. On a clear day there are overlooks along the highway between Denali National Park and Talkeetna where the mountain can be seen. We were keeping our fingers crossed the sky would clear.
The views were spectacular as we drove along.
There were still clouds in the sky as we exited Denali National Park and crossed Riley Creek
Our view out the front window of the truck as we drove south on the Parks Highway
Spectacular view at one of the overlooks on the Parks Highway
Then finally, parts of Mt. Mckinley came into view at one of the overlooks.
Stops at a couple of other overlooks were disappointing with clouds completely covering the mountain. Finally, as we drove into Talkeetna, we were rewarded with spectacular views from the Talkeetna overlook.
Finally! A beautiful view of Mt. McKinley from the Talkeetna overlook as we entered the town of Talkeetna
Denali (formerly known as Mt. McKinley), 20,320 feet tall, is the tallest mountain in North America
Happy happy happy! We checked into our campground and watched the Alaska Railroad trains load and unload passengers right behind our campsite.
The Alaska Railroad runs right behind our campsite
Our home in Talkeetna
We enjoyed a great dinner on the outside patio at the West Rib Cafe and Pub which was featured on an episode of The Travel Channel’s Man vs Food. An Alaskan Crabcake sandwich for me and Halibut and Chips for Henry hit the spot.