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Alaska - Day 11 - Talkeetna to Denali
July 2010
On Sunday we once again boarded the Alaska Railroad and continued our journey north. We saw miles and miles more of beautiful Alaskan scenery and had another great meal on the train. This time it was lunch. The food on the train was very good, as I would expect from a dining car run by a cruise line, however, unexpectedly, the prices were fairly reasonable. (Taking into consideration we were in Alaska where everything is more expensive.)

After arriving in Denali we found out that Julie was able to book us on a flight for the following night so we decided at the last minute to go to Jeff King’s Husky Homestead. Jeff is a four time Iditarod winner. It was the next best thing to actually going dog sledding. It was a really great presentation, so great that I bought a copy of Jeff’s book (in audio book format actually.) Before heading back up the crazy driveway to the lodge we had dinner at a local restaurant called The Salmon Bake.

(click any photo for a larger version)

DAY 10 | ALASKA INDEX | DAY 12

002 Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge Entrance 010 Alaska Railroad Train 012 Wilderness Express Car
The front entrance of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge
We reboarded the Alaska Railroad in Talkeetna
We reboarded Royal Carribbean's Wilderness Express car on the Alaska Railroad in Talkeetna
017 Ferns 019 Sherman City Hall 024 Front of Alaska Railroad Train
Ferns grow in massive quantities along the route of the Alaska Railroad
Sherman City Hall is actually someone's house, but since they're the only house around for miles they call it City Hall.
Looking to the front of the train as we go around a curve
027 Hurricane Gulch & Chulitna River 030 Trees 032 Fire & Log Chair
Hurricane Gulch & Chulitna River
Note how skinny the trees are due to the lack of top soil on top of the permafrost.
Looks like a nice place to camp
033 Top Soil Layer 037 Jack River 041 Mountains, Clouds & Trees in Denali
Trees are really skinny here due to the lack of top soil.
Along the Jack River you can see drunken trees caused by the permafrost.
The most common trees around here are Black Spruce, Sitka Spruce and Aspen.
043 Lake in Denali 047 Glacial & Mountain Rivers 048 Glacial & Mountain Water Combine
The train passes a lake in Denali National Park
The river on the left is fed with glacial water while the one on the right is fed by mountain runoff.
Here you see the two rivers in the previous photo merging.
049 Grande Denali Lodge 054 View from Grande Denali Lodge 056 View from Grande Denali Lodge
We stayed at the Grande Denali Lodge in Denali.
Looking down to the Susitna River from the Grande Denali Lodge
Looking down to the Susitna River and George Parks Highway 500 feet below the Grande Denali Lodge
057 View from Grande Denali Lodge 059 Mom 060 Michael
Looking over the mile long driveway of the Grande Denali Lodge down to the Susitna River
Out on the deck at the Grande Denali Lodge
Out on the deck at the Grande Denali Lodge
064 Grande Denali Lodge 065 Salmon Print 066 Denali National Park Bus
We stayed at the Grande Denali Lodge in Denali.
Only in Alaska will you find a picture of a salmon hanging over your bed
A bus from Denali National Park stops at our lodge
068 Grande Denali Lodge Sign 069 Grande Denali Lodge 070 Grande Denali Lodge
We stayed at the Grande Denali Lodge in Denali.
Looking at the Grande Denali Lodge from their precarious 1 mile driveway
The Grande Denali Lodge sits on the edge of the cliff 500 feet above the George Parks Highway
071 Mom with Husky Puppy 072 Mom with Husky Puppy 074 Michael with Husky Puppy
When you arrive at Jeff King's Husky Homesead you're immediately handed a puppy.
When you arrive at Jeff King's Husky Homesead you're immediately handed a puppy.
When you arrive at Jeff King's Husky Homesead you're immediately handed a puppy.
076 Michael with Husky Puppy 077 Michael with Husky Puppy 078 Mom with Husky Puppy
When you arrive at Jeff King's Husky Homesead you're immediately handed a puppy.
When you arrive at Jeff King's Husky Homesead you're immediately handed a puppy.
When you arrive at Jeff King's Husky Homesead you're immediately handed a puppy.
079 Mom & Michael with Husky Puppy 082 Michael with Husky Puppy 090 Husky Sled Dog Puppy
When you arrive at Jeff King's Husky Homesead you're immediately handed a puppy.
When you arrive at Jeff King's Husky Homesead you're immediately handed a puppy.
Jeff King's husky puppies are extremely cute!
091 Jeff King & Husky Puppy 092 Jeff King 093 Kennel Presentation
Jeff King, 4 time Iditarod winner, demonstrates how to hold a puppy.
Jeff King is a 4 time Iditarod winner.
Jeff King and his staff give a presentation about their operation at Goose Lake Kennels.
094 Husky Sled Dog 098 Husky Sled Dog 101 Husky Sled Dog
Alaskan Huskies are running machines
Alaskan Huskies are always eager to run.
Yes, that's a moose antler that husky is playing with. Only in Alaska!
102 Husky Sled Dog 103 Husky Sled Dog 105 Dog Carousel
I think he's trying to chew his way free so he can run more.
Jeff King's sled dogs enjoy all the activity around them
It's hard to decide who enjoys the carousel more, the runners or the rider.
106 Dog Carousel 107 Dog Hamster Wheel 112 Jeff King
This carousel is dog powered.
The giant hamster wheel is a fun way for the dogs to train.
4 time Iditarod winner Jeff King describes the sport of dog mushing.
113 Winter Gear 114 Carved Dog 115 Michael on Dog Sled
This is the winter gear that Jeff King wears during the Iditarod and other races.
Late-night sunlight at Jeff King's Goose Lake Kennels
This is as close as I got to actually riding a dog sled. Some day I'll get on a moving one.
116 Shops on Parks Highway 117 Mushers Sign
The "town" of Denali is really just a service center for the tourists and employees of Denali National Park.
We never see signs like this in New Jersey.

GO TO DAY 12

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