Between show #1 and show #2, there was a four day gap. My colleagues-turned-friends aka the Talkeetna 4 (TR, BF & CB) and I decided that a trip outside of Anchorage was in order. BF was our leader since he had been to Alaska before and knew where to go. We headed up to Talkeetna which is a few hours north with two things on the docket: seeing Denali (Mt. McKinley) and the Northern Lights.
Talkeetna used to be a mining town, I think, and it's pretty small and quaint. We stayed in the Roadhouse there, in the Bunk Room. Literally, two bunk beds for four of us. Once we dumped off our stuff, we hopped back into the car and drove towards Denali. The closet we got was about 40 miles away (I think the park itself is closed at winter) but we were rewarded with two gorgeous views of the magnificent mountain.
It was simply stunning and there was no shortage of pictures taken. And there was no shortage of CB or I falling up to our knees or waists in snow. Somehow BF and TR managed not to make complete fools of themselves like we did. And there's picture proof too, proof you won't see on this blog. But we had a ton of fun.
The evening was filled with hanging out by the fire and consuming large amounts of wine. We also had a fabulous dinner at Latitude 62 down the road.
We stayed up far too late, especially since after an aborted 11pm trip to the lake to see Northern Lights, we had planned at getting up at 5:30am.
Unfortunately that trip failed too, because of this:
... but perhaps the low probablility in the forecast didn't help either. But the attempt was made, and quickly at that. It was definitely -25°F. No kidding.
Needless to say, we rushed back to the warmth of the Roadhouse, our beds and the fire.
Not much sleep was had on this overnight trip, but a lot of fun was had in its stead.
Our drive home included a trip to our second lookout to Denali only to discover that clouds obscured most of the view. Apparently, we had an extremely rare clear sighting. Another colleague of ours had to wait a year before seeing it for herself.
We also drove by Hatcher's Pass and got a gander at this view:
as well as some crazy skiers who hiked to the top of the slope and skied down.
It was totally worth it - I just wished we'd seen some Northern Lights!