Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2006-07

North of Anchorage

Once again I woke up around 7-ish and made my way to the Club Lounge for a light breakfast. The weather was just as forecast - cool and rainy. However I decided that, especially with a car at my disposal, it would make no sense at all to curtail my plans as a result. Having spent a perfect day south of Anchorage the previous day, I'd decided to head north this time, up to Talkeetna, which was billed as 'the flight-seeing capital of Alaska'. This sounded good : provided the weather was reasonable, a scenic flight to Mt McKinley sounded just the ticket.

The drive northwards was not as interesting as the wonderfully scenic Seward Highway; it was mostly a case of just pressing ahead on what is really quite a fast road. The weather was clearing up nicely too, the further north I got. All was going smoothly until I ran into the most amazing sight. Now if you or I move house, you know the routine : in a nutshell, hire a removal van. Well, I got caught behind what looked like somebody moving their entire house! The 'Oversize' signs weren't kidding - the thing took up the entire width of the road and traffic coming the other way had to pull off the road altogether, well in advance. Quite amazing.

I eventually made it to the tiny village of Talkeetna and wasted no time enquiring about scenic flights. The deal sounded really good, but unfortunately neither the 1pm nor 3pm flights had any bookings, and they only operate if there are a minimum of four passengers. I decided to have some lunch at a nearby pub - yes, it actually called itself a pub! I had a caribou burger and was pleased to see that it turned out to contain a genuine steak, rather than some reconstituted patty. It was lovely!

I checked back at the office - still no joy for the 3pm. I had a walk round the village and checked back a final time. You've guessed it - it just wasn't meant to be. I decided to cut my losses and head back to town. As I left, intriguingly, I passed two packed tourist coaches heading into Talkeetna. I thought about turning round, but decided that it would probably just end up in further disappointment. The views on the way back were actually much better than on the way north.

I made it back around 5 o'clock. It was a shame that the plan hadn't worked out, but c'est la vie! I'll just have to come back and do it again sometime.

Wed 30 Aug

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