Wednesday, June 25, 2014

TALKEETNA, ALASKA

Talkeetna, Alaska was a way station on our journey from Denali to Alaska's southern coast, where we were to board our cruise ship.  The community has a population of about 850 permanent residents, and, although the town is technically unincorporated, it does have an honorary mayor, Stubbs, a local cat who as a write-in candidate in a local election is reputed to have beaten out its human competitors.  What Talkeetna lacks in population it makes up for in local color.  Here are a few of the shots that I got during our visit there.






Fairview Inn has something of a history.  It seems that President Warren Harding stayed in the inn on a visit to the area in 1923.  He was accompanied by his wife, who booked a separate room, and his mistress, who did not.  Harding also dined at the inn during his visit.  That's important because he contracted food poisoning from which he died before getting back to Washington, D.C.  It appears that the inn never fully recovered from the blow; it's something of a dilapidated mess.

While in Talkeetna, we took a river float trip.  Lots of fun.


There were only 12 of us on the excursion in two rafts.


Because we were approaching the summer solstice, the area was enjoying nearly 20 hours of daylight, which led to lush summer vegetation.



The float trip did not include a great deal of wildlife, although we saw plenty of evidence of beaver activity.  We did spot one bald eagle situated in a dead tree on the riverbank.


And that posed a bit of a problem.  Eager to give us a good look at the eagle, our guide/oarswoman realized--too late--that we needed to make a sharp turn in the river just there to avoid a large snag in the river, similar to the following.


We hit the snag, which sent Geri out of the raft and into the river, although her feet remained in the raft and we were able, after perhaps 20 seconds, to haul her back in.  Unfortunately, I was busy trying to avoid falling in the river myself and then trying to pull Geri back in and failed to get any shots of the accident for posterity.

But I did get one last shot of the Denali National Park mountains.


John

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