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Elaine and Peter’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 21 Jul 2019

Location: Wassila,Alaska, USA

MapA more leisurely pace today as we sent off south in glorious sunshine through the Broad Pass on the road through the less dramatic Denali Sate Park. We hadn't gone far when the bus pulled over by the side of the road for the driver and anyone who wished or was daft enough to pick wild blueberries from the scrub!
This was such a wide valley at five miles across, difficult to envisage the size of the glacier thatbwould have carved this one out.

Our main stop was at the lively small town of Talkeetna, known as a hippy town. Possibly the only town to ever have had a tabby cat as its mayor for 16 years until 2015 when it retired from office!
Originally a trading post in 1896, the town developed firstly in the Gold Rush and secondly in the construction of the Alaskan Railway. We loved it here, a fabulous bustling little town and just the sort of Wild West town that we had envisaged that we would find in Alaska.
We sat outside a bar eating the largest freshly baked pizza imaginable listening to a bloke strumming away out of tune on his guitar in glorious sunshine, what could be better. The town by the side of the river is full of bars and craft shops and galleries and old buildings.
There is an annual festival here held in the autumn to which only women are invited. It attracts people from all over the world and is the Batchelor Auction. Women bid from a catalogue of eligible males with money raised going to charity. Apparently a hilarious and wild event.

Outside of the town is the Mount Denali viewpoint. Denali attracts climbers from all over the world. To preserve the wilderness and environment, there are strict procedures in place for climbers. There are ranger stations at the foot of the trails. Climbers must list everything they take and bring everything back including the results of bodily functions...to aid in this climbers are issued with portable potties!!

We are staying the night at a none place called Wassila, the only call to fame is that it is the home of former governor Sarah Palin.

But there was great excitement when the bus pulled into a large Walmart store for supplies.
Little things!!!!