Exploring Alaska: A Day in Talkeetna
Exploring Alaska: A Day in Talkeetna by Kristen M.
We took a drive North to Talkeetna one day while our good friend Ed Smith was visiting us from Hawaii. He was particularly interested in eating at the Talkeetna Roadhouse, a cozy family-style cafe and bakery, where Adam from the T.V. show, Man vs. Food had taken a breakfast challenge. The historic village of Talkeetna is nestled at the base of North America’s tallest peak Mt. McKinley (Denali). Halfway between Anchorage and the entrance to Denali National Park, Talkeetna is said to be the inspiration for the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska in the television series Northern Exposure. The town also served as the main setting for the Disney movie Snow Dogs.
My husband Jay and our youngest child Kaliah outside the Roadhouse
Our drive to and from Talkeetna was a beautiful one. It snowed most of the way, and the sun made an appearance now and then. And when it did, it was magical. The snow glistens in the sunlight, the way the Cullens do in Twilight.
Saw this guy foraging on the side of the road on our way up…
But, back to Talkeetna… A small, charming little town with a population of less than 2,200 people. Originally settled as a mining town and Alaska Commercial Company trading post in 1896. A gold rush to the Susitna River brought prospectors to the area. Talkeetna, is a Native Alaskan Dena’ina word for “river of plenty.”
Local store on Main Street
This log cabin belonged to Tom Weatherell, a miner who built this home in the 1920’s using only pegs and dowels. No nails. This home is now listed as one of the most endangered properties in the state.
When we arrived at the Talkeetna Roadhouse, we brought our appetites. Ed had the Biscuits and Gravy, made with Reindeer sausage and Jay and I both went with the chili. His had Reindeer as well, but not so carnivorous me, opted for the vegan black bean version. All was delicious. I added a little Athabascan Hot Sauce to mine. Named after the Native Alaskan tribe indigenous to the area and made right there in Talkeetna. (Sorry, the foodie in me didn’t remember to take pics!)
Took a walk to the end of Main Street after our meal…
Ed in front of the town Arts and Crafts Store
Kaliah in Winter Wonderland!
Ended up at the point where the three rivers (Talkeetna, Susitna, and Chulitna) merge. Of course, completely covered by ice and snow, still a beautiful sight to behold. We had a perfect view of Denali/ Mt. McKinley from there.
The drive home had some treasures of its own…
A pair of Bald Eagles