Day Eleven

Day Eleven

It’s another gorgeous day and we board the Midnight Sun Express for Talkeetna. Princess has their own UltraDome railcars that have full domed glass ceilings for ideal viewing of the natural beauty of Alaska. Breakfast is offered in the dining car downstairs, but we ate earlier at the hotel so just have coffee at our table in the dome. Someone yells “Moose” and sure enough there is a moose ambling across an open field. There are so many flowers! Wild roses line the edges of the tracks and the forests. Ponds are filled with yellow lilies and bog bean blooming white. Lupine accents with blueish drifts. An occasional dwelling or small town pops up and is gone again. The guide keeps up a commentary as we go. He talks about how large the vegetables grow here with so much daylight but says not too many people garden because the moose are such a problem. I can relate. For us it’s raccoons and deer but moose are so much bigger!

When we arrive in Talkeetna, it is time for lunch. We will have plenty of time to explore this little town before the bus takes us on to the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.

Talkeetna’s population is only 873, many of it’s buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and it is said that the TV show, “Northern Exposure” was based on Talkeetna. Could be.


There are too many touristy junk shops though. There are also lots of tour opportunities based here and if you want to climb “the mountain” you have to register here with the Rangers.

By mid afternoon we are ready to get on the bus for the Lodge, our home for the next couple of days. The McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge is beautiful. It is situated secluded in a wilderness area with a perfect view of the mountain if you are lucky. When we arrived it was “not out” which means it was hiding in the clouds which apparently is what it does 3/4 of the time! Even without the mountain, McKinley, Denali, The Great One – whatever you want to call it – this place is gorgeous. There are 2.5 miles of walking trails and we hike one of them to a spot overlooking the river. Breathtaking!


Mt McKinley is hiding behind those clouds.


Forget-me-nots are the state flower and this lovely drift is on the way to our cabin complex similar to the one you see in the background.

The grounds have many statues of wildlife and this one is near a waterfall on the way to our room.


We register our request to get on the mountain call list in case the mountain comes out while we are asleep and go to bed. It is late, but as bright as midday.

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2 Responses to “Day Eleven”

  1. Gwynette Says:

    Even if the mountain is not ‘out’, it’s lovely. Did you feel almost in another world, another time? When I first skimmed the photos, I thought the salmon catching bear was real!!

  2. Ruth Says:

    Yes, it IS like another world, another time. there is a sense of wilderness here.
    There were lots of wonderful statues of wildlife around the grounds.

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