Friday, July 29, 2016


After Denali, we enjoyed a beautiful drive down the Parks Highway toward Anchorage.  We stayed one night in a little tourist town called Talkeetna.  It had a neat little downtown, crawling with tourists from the cruise ship bus tours that must stay overnight.  After that we headed down to a nice military campground on Ft. Richardson just outside of town.  The park is great, tucked away in the woods with full hookups and spacious sites.  The only downside was listening to the Blue Angels practice for the airshow coming up this weekend.  Loud!  We took care of chores, but had one really nice day trip south of town.  We had met some fellow travelers from Maine up in Denali, and they were back in Anchorage getting ready to fly home so they went with us on the drive.  Craig and Jodi are good new friends we'll see again hopefully when we travel to the northeast.  We also got to have dinner with an old military buddy from almost 20 years ago.  Chuck Baird got out of the Air Force and makes Alaska his home now.  You can find him on YouTube if you search for Alaskan Pioneer.  We stopped in and saw the Portage Glacier, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Park (animal rescue) and took a stunning gondola ride up to the top of the Alyeska ski resort.  No skiing going on this time of year, but spectacular views.  Our 12 volt water pump quit working, so we're at the repair shop getting a new one.  Can't sit in the woods for a couple days without running water.  Here are some recent pictures:

Typical view out of the windshield.  Good roads, great views.

The beard really completes the whole Alaskan Pioneer persona.  Chuck Beard...uh, Baird.

Two Dall Sheep were feeding on the side of the hill on our drive south to Portage.

Sometimes grizzly bears become too used to town, and they're either relocated or euthanized.   This guy was lucky and ended up at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Park.  He even learned to sit pretty with those 3 inch claws together before getting a food treat.  Cute, until he digs them into your skull...

Hard to tell from the picture, but this iceberg is floating on a lake where Portage Glacier ends.  It's as big as a house, broke off and floated across the lake until it came to rest on the bottom.

The view of 3 glaciers from the Alyeska tram.

Not wild, in the conservation park.  Moose are super flighty.

Musk Ox.  We'd have to go waaaayyy north to see these in the wild.

The tram on it's way back down the mountain.  It takes you over 2000 feet vertically to the top of the ski hill.

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