“Go that way.” The proprietor pointed with a grin. That’s a huge convenience in lots of the small Alaskan towns. There’s only one road so it’s very hard to get lost.
The Whittier tunnel is no ordinary structure. The walls are solid, ragged granite, and it’s not lined or well lit…kinda spooky. It’s the only tunnel of its kind in North America. It’s shared by train traffic and car traffic. Being only one lane wide, traffic flows in each direction on a schedule and since we had such a long wait at the rental office, we had about twenty minutes to wait outside. We waited in the sorting lanes and soon realized that it isn’t even first come, first served. The tour busses took top priority and were released to drive through at about one minute intervals.
Monday, we drove up to Denali, making some stops along the way. We took a nice hike to a waterfall, (Which Thomas almost refused to do, since it was an easy path and he thought that it would be mosquito infested. (He hates mosquitoes but they LOVE him.) We sprayed the repellant and he finally came along.
We also had to stop in Talkeetna. Talkeetna AK is famous for its annual event of Moose Dropping. They shellac moose poop and drop it from airplanes at targets. I didn’t ask what the winner gets for a prize. . . We wanted to see it, (it’s not often you meet people so comfortable in their own skin that they admit to being excited about a poop-flinging festival.) This is a moose turd I found up in Denali. It is in its pure, organic state. (completely dry and odorless.)
I showed it to the kids, which disgusted them. They decided to hike to a crag that Jeff and I didn’t care about, and as soon as they left, I found 11 dollars in a wad by the stream. Nobody else was around, so I pocketed it. When the kids came down, I said “If you open your mouth and close your eyes, I’ll give you a big surprise.” But neither of them would. . . So I said that if they’d close their eyes and hold out their hand, I’d let them keep what I’d found. They still wouldn’t. So I had no choice but to keep my treasure. (the money, not the turd.)
The salmon were running strong up the Kenai and the red (or sockeye) were jumping a foot or two out of the aquamarine-colored water. Our guide honored our tour by running us aground on an island, (he claimed it was the first of such mishaps) (I pretty much believed him), but just after that we saw a Brown bear sow with her cub. The cub looked like about a three hundred pound butter ball. Just a few minutes later, we passed some fishermen, (there were LOTS of fisherman along the way) and saw a black bear about 100 feet down river from the men. Black bears are actually dangerous to humans, even though they are much smaller than the brown bears. They don’t discriminate in their diets as much as a brown bear and will hunt and eat a human. (Rare, but occasionally) (That’s not ‘rare’ as in undercooked, it’s ‘rare’ as in ‘unusual’. Some VERY mild rapids made the rafting ride itself fun. We didn’t have paddles, so we were mere passengers.
This poor fellow agreed to pose for us at the airport. His living counterparts were not so accomodating.
This is our back patio sporting the seatcovers I just refinished. It is indeed a lovely place to sit and read.