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Alaska’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 11 Jul 2009

Location: Denali to Anchorage, USA

MapYesterday we saw the mountain! What a sight! We got up leisurely in our 'double-wide' and had pancakes w/ bacon, enjoyed our coffee and had a few laughs before packing up the car and joining the ranger at the dog sled demonstration in the park at 10 a.m. All enjoyed while Mom stayed back at the car due to the distance we had to walk to te demo. Sam pet all the dogs he could and we all thought the demo was very interesting, informative. The lady ranger hitched up 5 dogs and took off around a circular gravel track probably 100 yards long. There were 32 dogs in the kennel, all barking and wanting to be picked. The visitor's center was the final stop for the park for us. Sam was awarded his badge as Tracy, Tony, Joe, & I proudly stood by and watched him being sworn in. We found a few momentos in the bookstore & gift shop before departing. (Note: Joe presented me with a beautiful book of photographs taken in Alaska by a local photographer. The photographer was stationed in the store, autographing copies. This was a token of his appreciation for all I had done to help Sam get his patches/badges as a Junior Ranger. I was moved!) Off to Anchorage and our final destination by 11:40 a.m. We were only a few miles out before this white gigantic mass stared us in the face. It was Mt. McKinley, better known as Denali. We stopped the car asap for a few kodak moments. Here, you take the picture when you can cause the mountain can go behind the clouds and the moment be lost. The remainder of the ride included music from Johnny Ace, Al Green (AGAIN!), Phatom of the Opera, and the music from Wicked (as Joe gave me the skinny on the storyline). We stopped near the Talkeetna cut-off for lunch with Denali in the backdrop, although almost completely covered with clouds & smoke then. We continued on to Anchorage, passing through Sarah Palin's old stomping grounds....Wasilla. The town is bigger than I remembered it. We still had Joe and Tony to unload our bags and things at the Creekside Inn (really and R.V. park and motel) one last time, before we drove them to the airport. On the way, we stopped at Barnes & Nobles so Joe, Sam, & Gwynne could buy some reading material. Some enjoyed a Starbucks drink. After saying some sad goodbyes (yes, Tracy & Sam teared up/broke down.....how sweet). The 'chocolate factory' was on the way home, so to save time tomorrow, we decided to take Sam (and Tracy) on the way back to the motel. Can you believe Tracy actually didn't get one piece of chocolate. She said it was because the Mocha Frap from Starbucks filled her up.....UNBELIEVABLE for anyone who knows Tracy. We hit the car wash next at Marmar's request. The van now looks maroon instead of maroon & tan. We gassed up, got some money from an ATM for Marmar Jane, and headed to grab a bite to eat.....Subway.....disgruntled employee.....scarey....Tracy wants to call their headquarters and report him. To bed by 10 or so, with Tracy still downloading pictures, stressed over Planet Ranger.