Inspiration's Journey Home Page
Talkeetna - Gateway to Denali
August 3, 2003


On the Way (Canada)

Alaska at Last!

Tok to Valdez

  Mineral Creek
  Lu-Lu Belle Cruise

Russian River

  Misc. Pics

Whittier Road

Portage Glacier

Backyard Bear!

  Kenai Cruise

  Flightsee Denali

Denali Nat'l Park

Kluane Lake

Cassiar Hwy. Bear
  Highway Scenes

  Waterfall Road

Jasper Nat'l Park
  Maligne Lake

Icefields Parkway
  Athabasca Falls
  Athabasca Glacier
  Overnight at Glacier
  Lake Louis Road
  Lake Louise

Banff, Alberta

Johnston Canyon

Misc. Pics

Fireweed Pics

Skagway (side trip)
  White Pass RR
  Return Trip

Alaska Journaling

My Article About
This Alaska Trip

I was told not to miss Talkeetna because:

Number one, it's the departure point for people climbing Mt. McKinley and affords a great view of the great mountain when he's not hiding behind clouds. This he does at least 70% of the time as he creates his own weather and he seems to prefer it cloudy. So this prospect didn't look too good on the day we arrived as it rained pretty much the whole day and we saw nothing cute about the pothole filled streets with mud puddles everywhere.

Number two, I was told it was a funky little hippie type Alaska town that was just cute as could be. I'd been told that about at least 2 other towns, so nothing new here.

Number three, I was told that it was the town that inspired the TV show "Northern Exposure." Of course, I've heard that about at least 3 other towns through the years, so who knows what the show's true inspiration was? It depends on which chamber of commerce you speak to, but I was intrigued enough to at least want to drive through Talkeetna anyway. We stayed at a woodsy city campground within short walking distance of the river.

The next morning was bright and sunny so we decided to go into town and shop for souvenir t-shirts. As we drove down the street, we both looked over at one point and exclaimed "what in creation is that!!!???" It was this huge white marshmallowey looking gargantuan beauty just sitting on the horizon holding court over the land like a great king. Even though we'd been told we had less than a 30% chance to actually see the mountain, here he was in all his splendor!
That evening I walked to the river, which is a prime viewing spot, and watched the sun go down over the horizon to his right and cosmically kissed him goodnight. There were no clouds around him at all, even around the base, and everyone was talking about how rare that is for this time of year especially, traditionally the rainiest and cloudiest time for Alaska. It seemed inconceivable that he is over 150 miles from where I stood and he still looked so imposing and impossibly high. Again, none of the pictures even begin to show his majesty or beauty, but they will at least remind me of what I have been so privileged to witness.
My excitement made it hard to sleep that night, so pretty early the next morning, I walked back down there. As I approached the river's edge, I saw a golden eagle take flight from the banks of the softly flowing river and suddenly all of my senses seemed so intensified I could hear the sound of his wings, hear each drop of each wave of water as it flowed, and could see brilliant stars in the shimmering sand. At that moment I knew I was connected to this beautiful earth in important ways that I usually don't even begin to comprehend and it certainly was a moment I will never forget. The book I have that tells about the earth's "magical places" describes Denali as the place big enough to leave all your troubles and negative thoughts, so I just piled mine up on that big mountain's shoulder and left them for him to worry about. Now if I can only find a way to keep from picking them up again.
Flightseeing above "The High One" Denali!
Copyright by Malia Lane - all rights reserved