Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 24, 2014 - Mt. McKinley to Moose Pass with a Detour Thrown In

Up and at it fairly early this morning.  We loaded up the bikes and headed down the road.  We kept looking for a good spot to take a photo of Mt. McKinley and eventually we were rewarded.  They say that only 30% of people who come to Denali ever get to actually see Mt. McKinley because it is usually covered in fog or rain clouds.  We got lucky and saw it in all its splendor.  Too bad we have crappy point & shoot cameras.  Oh well, google it and you too can see it in all its splendor J

The road was in pretty good shape, little traffic and we made good time.  We pulled off at a rest stop and were very pleasantly surprised to find a Veteran’s Memorial.  It was awesome.  All alone in the wilderness with superior views of Mt. McKinley.  We spent a bit of time here to read the plaques and reflect a bit on how grateful we are for those who have served and those who currently serve to keep us safe and free.  Thank you!

We also got some great pictures of Mt. McKinley from here.  How wonderful that the memorial is in a solitary place with the perfect views of the biggest mountain in North America.

About 50 miles out of Healy, AK we took a turn for Talkeetna for our fourth Denali National Park Stamp.  Talkeetna is about 15 miles off the main route.  Neither of us knew anything about Talkeetna so it was a big surprise to find it was a massive tourist town.  Well, not massive as in the town was not large, it was quite small.  But massive in that there were a gob of tourists there.  The cruise ships bus the folks there or put them on the train and Talkeetna is a destination to shop, eat and explore.  It is also the starting point for people who are mountain climbing.  Wow! It was busy.  We were hungry so we quickly found a place to eat.  Very charming.  It was family style, find an empty chair and claim it!  We actually found two stools at a window counter which was perfect.  We ordered our brekkie, waited a bit and were finally served an absolutely wonderful meal.  Yummy, I had a pancake that covered the plate and fell over the edge.  The pancake was full of berries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries and I ordered a side of bacon which was thick cut peppered bacon cooked to perfection.  I was in heaven over this brekkie.  Eric had scrambled eggs (that’s the only way they served eggs), peppered bacon, country potatoes and a biscuit smothered in reindeer sausage gravy.  Oh yeah folks, that’s what I’m talking about!!!  Although it took much longer than we expected it was excellent.

After brekkie, we went in search of the Ranger Station where the National Park Stamp was located.  After a wrong turn, we circled back through town and found it, score!  Another stamp in our books.

From Talkeetna we got back on the highway headed south.  Our destination was Moose Pass, AK.  All was good and fine, the road fairly smooth and little traffic.  Until…..we got to Wasilla and the traffic increased and was kind of stressful.  From what we could see, Wasilla is just a strip mall that lasts for several miles. Out of Wasilla, traffic was still busy and then all of a sudden we were in Anchorage.  We were on a semi-freeway that suddenly changed to a surface street.  Riding along at 65 mph then bam!!!! A traffic light.  Yuck.  We made our way through town and it wasn’t a very nice part of town either and got through Anchorage.

The next bit of our ride was most pleasant.  We were riding the Seward Highway along the Cook Inlet.  Fantastic, gorgeous, beautiful, stunning and more.  We were in and out of clouds and little rain bursts but that didn’t diminish the scenery at all.  Wow, spectacular!  We made a quick stop to place a few stickers on the railing.  One for Ken Morton and another for the Big Tex Rally.

We continued our ride, soaking in the scenery until we reached the Summit Lake Lodge at Moose Pass, our home for the evening.

So, tomorrow we head to Soldotna with a detour to Seward.  We’ll see what the day brings.

Cheers to you all,
Cletha, Moose Pass, AK


  1. Thanks for posting the photos of the Veterans Memorial. Nice.

  2. Mount McKinley is just stunning. I hope to see it one day.