Alaska’21: Day 3 – Anchorage to Talkeetna

Between the weather and feeling lazy we didn’t do much today but managed to get a few good photos in and of course ate some great food. I got the blog up early as always and then we took Paul out.

This is the same park we were at the day before in downtown Anchorage. I’d taken this same shot then but didn’t include it in the blog because there was literally nothing to see except green grass and clouds. So I was happy that the clouds had lifted some and you got to see some of the mountains that are all around.

Same park again, since it wasn’t raining at that time we walked the length of it towards the water. Same mountains in the background as the photo above it.

Closer to the water there was a nice residential neighborhood that had many houses we enjoyed seeing. I’m always self-conscious about taking photos of other people’s homes so decided just to go for a long view on one of the streets.

We came across a nice little park that bordered the water with a playground, as seen below.

Walking up the same street the park was on took us straight back to the hotel, the brown building on the left. Our room is the right corner window on the 11th floor.

The hotel entrance we used dumped us right at the restaurant which was lovely since we were definitely ready to eat.

Ash had a crab omelet, above; I had one with reindeer sausage, mushrooms, and cheddar; it looked exactly the same on the outside so just posted one photo.

After breakfast we went to the athletic club again for a quick visit, Ash to the gym and me to the steam room.

We packed up and made our way to Talkeetna around 11:45am. It rained the whole way but the shot above gives you a glimpse of the landscape. I’m sure it’s stunning when the weather is better. You can still definitely feel the expansiveness of it and that counts for something.

The map to the left shows Anchorage at the bottom and Talkeetna at the top. I didn’t take the screen shot at the beginning of the trip obviously; the whole drive was a little over 2 hours. I took this right after we drove through Wasilla of Sarah Palin fame.

Talkeetna is believed by some to have served as the model for the fictional town of Cicely in the 90’s TV show Northern Exposure.

We stopped once for gas and paid the cheapest price we’d seen in awhile, $3.11.

We made it to our destination a little after 2pm. This is about 2 miles away from the town Talkeetna.

Distance shot of the building showing the grand entrance where you can park your car to check in.

Just what you would expect for a lodge: lots of wood and stone. Ash stayed here for several nights on his trip last August.

Under that same entrance, with 4 stone pillars holding up a massive log ceiling.
A massive lobby; Ash at the front desk on the far left and a wooden staircase starting at the far right, then going up and over his head.

I admit that the lobby is literally breathtaking; pretty sure I gasped a little when I walked in. Perhaps to mimic the outdoors, it’s expansive.

A stone fireplace of massive height in the center of the lobby, maybe 3 stories high. And it's literal center, not center wall.

We walked through the lobby several times throughout the day, there were always people sitting around that fireplace.

Rockers line the large windows at the end of the lobby, offering a view outside. A large stuffed bear is encased in glass on the right.

Sitting in those rocking chairs is a popular activity here….

…because, as you can see from the map above, what you would see in better weather is Denali, AKA Mt. McKinley, the highest mountain in North America at 20,310 feet. This sign shows all the peaks you should be able to see from this spot. We’re hoping for better weather today. The forecast says maybe we will get some sun around 10am so we will definitely be watching for that! (And, by the way, if, like me, you haven’t been paying attention, the official name of the mountain was changed to its local name, Denali, in 2015.)

The room is very comfortable and will have an amazing view if the weather clears some.

Two queen size beds, Paul quickly took over one of them.

Paul even gets his own bed and quickly made himself at home.

Wood cabin building, Flying Squirrel Bakery and Cafe, with Ash and Paul out in front.

We drove through the town of Talkeetna just so I could see what it looked like. We didn’t stop because the weather wasn’t fun although there were quite a few people out who didn’t seem to mind. It looks interesting so we will definitely be back today, no rain in the forecast for today or tomorrow. Instead we headed back to a place we’d seen on the way in that Ash had heard about but wasn’t open when he was here last, a bakery called the Flying Squirrel known for its wood oven pizzas.

Everyone we encountered here, staff and customers, were very nice. It was a rustic setting but very comfortable….

…and we sat at that table by the window for quite a while. Ash is talking to a couple playing Scrabble on the right.

We split a nice salad to start; that dark stuff in the middle is blood orange.

We split a small pizza with pepperoni, mushroom, and Kalamata olives.

I picked what turned into the first round of baked goods: a pecan ginger bar, which we both agreed was the best of all. A birch toffee pecan oatmeal cookie; birch is a thing around here, especially syrup. I liked it fine although Ash didn’t care for it much. And a Zebra cookie which is essentially a coconut macaroon.

I was having a much better time than you can tell from this photo 🙂 Somehow we both ended up in flannel. When in Rome and all that.

Ash announced he was going for another round of baked goods: a chai shortbread cookie, a poppy seed lemon cookie, and a currant turnover which was definitely the best of these three. At least they were pretty small!

We went back to the room and just hung out for a while. Ash brought HDMI cords with him so hooked up his laptop to the TV. We watched the Friends Reunion on HBO Max, then went to the hotel restaurant for a lite dinner.

A crab dip which sounded good but turned out to be pretty bland; we didn’t finish it. Copper River salmon sashimi which was as good as the waiter promised it would be.

A beet, greens and feta cheese salad with shrimp.

We watched a couple of episodes of Halston on Netflix and called it a night around 11pm, which is pretty late for us. It sill wasn’t dark at that time and that definitely messes with our sense of timing.

Today we’ll explore the town of Talkeetna, population 965. Expect great things!

2 thoughts on “Alaska’21: Day 3 – Anchorage to Talkeetna”

  1. What a great trip so far, thank you for sharing this. I can just be a armchair tourist LOL

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