So today is day 6 (Thursday for us) and we have traveled abut 400 miles so far! Incredible vistas that you wouldn't believe! And with almost 20 hours of daylight the days are pleasantly very long!
Talkeetna ended up redeeming itself very nicely! Once we got over the culture shock and decided to see the beauty of God's creation! Of course there was also the homemade ice cream and giant, yummy homemade cinnamon rolls! But our favorite was sitting down by the river on a huge driftwood log and watching God show off. They say only 30% of people who come here get to see the Great Mountain - Mt McKinley because of cloud cover. We got to see her in full view 2 days out of 3. Did we ever tell you how much favor we walk in! We can't even tell you all the times God has given us favor! (by the way, the warm and very sunny weather we have been having is an anomaly as well!) So anyway, the mountain is huge and snow covered and bathed in sunlight. That along with the river flowing in front of us and the Arctic birds divebombing the water for fish - it was a breathtaking vista! We sat for hours and stared. We also met some new friends. Chris, a really nice young man from Germany, and Dixie, our new friend from Homer who came up here to visit and never went home. That is very common here. Plus many others we have chatted with - people are VERY friendly here! We took this wonderful hike around a number of lakes, about 3.2 miles. No worries Mom, NO wildlife! The sky was blue, the water was so crystal clear and greenish in hue. Oh, we did see a couple of fish! Very nice hike. A good start for our legs!
The next day we left for Denali National Park, but along the way we stopped off at the State Park and hiked by another lake. THis one was vastly different - the ice was still on it, but all broken up into little pieces. The pieces run into one another when the wind blows and they sound like the most beautiful chimes you have ever heard. A symphony! Ooooo, along the way there was this really cool suspension bridge. Ya know, Amy's favorite kind that you get out into the middle of and jump and rock the thing! I let her go first (Sherri)! The end of our hike culminated in a water fall called Cascade Falls and that is a misnomer - it more shot across the rocks with a vengeance. We of course, had to climb up next to it. We have photos of course! Unfortunately, this computer can't keep up with my typing - and that is really slow - so no uploading of photos tonight. I have to say, I was a bit nervous at moments knowing there are bear and moose there with us, but we did exactly as told and made lots of noise and talked to each other and we have successfully seen NOTHING! BUT... on our drive we saw two Caribou lazily grazing on the side of the road. Although we left the tires on the road when Amy slammed on the brakes - my forehead print is on the winshield - only kidding!!!! I certainly would have done the same!
Our hostel in Denali is great, too! Very cute and quaint little cabin in the woods. And the best part - it is clean!!
Today was our most perfect day! We started out by sleeping in nice and late. Then had perfect, hot showers and went on our way. We had white water rafting today and we were excited. They literally stuffed us into these "dry" suits and off we went on to 38degree water! Thankfully we only got splashed! How do we describe the beauty - perfect azure blue skies with puffy white clouds, huge snow capped mountains all around us, and nothing but nature in sight. In many places there is still ice on the river and chunks of it floating with us. Our guide was wonderful as well. About two hours on the water and a few bumpy rapids - enought for fun, but no fear - it was like we said - perfect! Of course, we weren't done yet! SO we grabbed some grub and took our guide's advice - and rented two kayaks on a lake called lake Otto. Equally beautiful, we had the whole lake to ourselves and explored every inch of it. No ice on this one, but we did sing a round of Otto Titsling (for those of you who have seen Beaches) and scared the ducks away and had ourselves a great laugh! Now we just finished an awesome meal - and it is still light outside!!! Even though it is 10:50pm!
So we bid you good night and love you much!!!!
Looking forward to another perfect day tomorrow!