Whew! Wifi has been practically non-existent for the past few days, but we’ve arrived at the end of the Alaskan Highway in Dawson Creek and I can finally share some photos!
My last full day in Alaska was spent north of Anchorage. Took a 2-mile trail to a waterfall and stopped in the little town of Talkeetna – a town who has a cat as their mayor. No joke. We had lunch here – reindeer chili and a sticky bun for me – and wandered around a bit, checking out the gift shops and quirks of this little historic district. On a clear day there is an overlook to view Denali (Mt. McKinley), but we had no such luck. On the drive back, we checked out Sarah Palin’s house.
Strangely enough, I didn’t see Russia.
On Thursday, we set out for the Alaskan Highway to begin making our way back to Nashville. The first two days of our drive provided amazing scenic views: mountains, rivers, lakes, and even a glacier. The sign post forest, a place where travelers leave old license plates and road signs, was a unique sight in the town we stayed in last night and while we did see two bears and a porcupine yesterday, the wildlife has been sparse.
And then we set out for the longest driving day thus far and the wildlife decided to show up.
We saw what we assume to be the same grizzly from the previous evening and throughout the day saw 15 more bears, of the grizzly and black variety. Mostly all one at a time, with the exception of mama grizzly and her two cubs!
The bears weren’t the only guys who came to play, though. The biggest laugh of the drive was provided by a fox running along a guardrail with breakfast in tow. The site was a mix of hilarity, amazement, and horror!
Later on, a herd of bison were grazing just along the side of the road, a lone female elk made her way across the street, and the view that followed next was what I had been waiting for all week.
Oh my word, y’all. I had convinced myself that the moose just weren’t interested in me and that all the bear sightings made up for the lack of moose. But this moose, this bathing moose, left me in awe. I watched as he dunked his head under water, “fished around” for a few seconds, and then lifted his head, the water draining off those majestic antlers. The backdrop, a pond surrounded by trees, a perfect setting for that moment I had been highly anticipating.
We continued on our way, stopping at the Toad River Lodge, home of the world’s largest hat collection. Much like the sign post forest, folks had left their ball caps. Hung along the ceiling, hundreds of hats covered this gift shop, restaurant, and lodge.
We faced rain and some dreary, overcast views, but the sun and blue skies reappeared while we finished our drive. In an attempt to pass a slower vehicle, we about took out an owl. Upon passing the car in front of us, a large owl perched on the side of the road took flight – inches from our car!
So, that’s a brief (but long) update on the last few days. I’m working on some individual posts to highlight a few of the more spectacular sightings and share more photos! Wifi should be more available the rest of the way so hopefully there won’t be anymore 4 day gaps in posts. Thanks for following along on this crazy adventure!