Talkeetna wasn't far from our campground, and is the starting point for anyone who climbs Mt. McKinley, or Denali. Since it was raining our first stop was the Ranger Station where we watched a video on climbing the mountain. We learned all about climbing, it takes two weeks to climb the West Buttress and only two days to make the decent. The climbing season is very short, only from May to July. June is the ideal time, as May is usually still too cold and by July some of the areas that were easily passable have melted making the journey much harder. Here are some stats on the climbers.
After the Ranger Station, we stopped at the Roadhouse for some sourdough bread, they are known for it in Alaska. It was decent, but nothing compared to San Fransisco sourdough bread. We also did a little driving tour of the historic areas of Talkeetna.
Next up was Denali. There were several stops on the way up that we supposed to be good viewing areas of Mt. McKinley. Since it was foggy and rainy we didn't see any mountains on the first attempt. Here is our view of Mt. McKinley.
After a couple more failed attempts to see the mountain, we ended up finding a RV Park right outside the Denali Park Entrance. There were tons of souvenir shops, restaurants and hotels near our RV Park, so we all went our seperate ways and went exploring. Patrick & I ended up finding the river they use for white water rafting. We also did a little souvenir shopping and Patrick found a moose hat.
Nathan, Nickie & Luke also found the rafting river. It looks like they were finding plenty of ways to keep themselves entertained.
Our only planned event for the day was the Cabin Nite Dinner Theater. It was an all you can eat salmon and barbequed ribs dinner and a play about the Denali town Kantishna, the only inhabited area of Denali National Park. One of the most entertaining parts of dinner was when our waitress Fanny told us that if we wanted more food we all had to hold up our napkins together and yell, "Fanny, bring us more food." Well, she assigned our friend Greg below in the red plaid shirt and orange hat to be our leader, and boy did he lead. Once the salmon was barley gone he started yelling "Fanny, we need some more food" and she was standing right next to our table. Then she asked what we needed and he said "more salmon, ribs, corn, potatoes, and whatever else you got." He was quite entertaining.
Although Greg was entertaining, Luke's kiss from Kitty was even more entertaining. There was an annoucement before dinner saying that if you knew anyone who needed a kiss you just needed to wave a dollar over that person's head and Kitty would come over and help them out. Well, mom thought Luke needed a kiss, so here is the aftermath, including when Luke got mom back with her own dollar.
Here are some scenes from the play.