September 14th, 2009 – by: Hummingbird
This cute bulletin board had a small roof covered with flowers.
When we got to Talkeetna we took the shuttle bus into town from the railroad station and spent a couple of hours walking around, eating lunch, and just browsing. Most of the places to eat were more bar or saloon than restaurant so we picked the one that had the smallest smoking area, least beer, and biggest menu. Huge hamburgers with a few fries, cole slaw and a Coke.
The best thing in town is their Historical Museum, which cost $2 to get in. They had lots of old items from the town, quite a bit of old railroad station pieces from the time when they had a depot very close by.
They also had another building with a large collection of items, photos, and history of Mt. McKinley/Denali, including a scale model of the mountain and surrounding area. Most of the climbing expeditions start here in Talkeetna.
Pretty rustic welcome sign.
We never did see anything in town that was anything like what was on the television show, which was a shame.
After lunch we finished our stroll of town and returned to the shuttle bus stop where we waited a few minutes for the bus to take us the one hour ride to the McKinley Princess Lodge for the evening.
The Princess Mt. McKinley Lodge is located only 40 miles from Mt. McKinley well away from anything else.
It was built in 1995 as a summer lodge for tourists. The lodge is separated from all of the small guest quarters, each of which only has a dozen rooms. So it is a very big facility and there is a shuttle bus that runs around the whole place just for the visitors. In the lodge there are several places to eat, a large area with couches and overstuffed chairs and a gigantic fireplace. Out the back doors is the huge deck that faces Mt McKinley and on a good clear day you can get a wonderful view of the mountain. They say that only about 20% of the folks that come to Alaska even get a “good clear day”, because the mountain creates its own clouds around it almost every day. We were very lucky! We ate dinner at the Grizzly Bar, one of the smaller restaurants, because we were just too tired to eat much. The super waitress must have known how tired we were because she didn’t even charge us for the coffee we had. And she refused to add it to our bill when we pointed it out, so we just added that much more to her tip. I think the entire place was closing down for the winter about noon tomorrow, so she was on her last shift. Then back to our room for the night and to bed and sleep very early.