Possibly one of the best adventure destinations on the planet, this small town just a couple of hours north of Anchorage was the town that helped to inspire the television series, Northern Exposure. While it is a world apart from the actual show, the charm of the place is like no other and the residents of the town are one of its greatest assets.
Category Archives: Accomodation Reviews
We drove to Anchorage shortly after our early morning unsuccessful fishing trip. Somehow, whenever I arrive in a big city lately I get nervous. Anchorage is not that large of a city, but in comparison to the other towns we have been in it seems overbearing! Somehow I get consumed by the amount of street lights and availability of stores! But for the next three days we are nestling in at the Alaska Backpackers Inn.
The Richardson Highway that we took down to Valdez, Alaska is one long, meandering curve after another. Barely a stretch of straight road created awe-inspiring vistas that seemed to just spring-up of nowhere. One second we were driving along the road with tall trees and colorful wildflowers by our sides, the next second our eyes were popping out of our heads trying to comprehend the magnificence of a stunning sight of sun beams bathing massive, jagged snow-covered peaks that somehow just appeared in front of us. That stretch of highway was made for the gods, I do believe.
A little part of each of our hearts now lies in Talkeetna, Alaska, a quaint little town about 2 driving-hours north of Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. The word “Talkeetna” is loosely translated as “river of plenty,” or, more elaborately, as “place where food is stored near the river”. To most residents today, however, it simply means “where three rivers meet” because the town is located at the confluence of three major rivers–the Susitna, Chulitna and Talkeetna—an area deemed “the Big Susitna drainage”.
Seward, Alaska is on the famous Kenai Peninsula, a destination for all sorts of outdoor activities like salt water fishing for halibut, river fishing for different types of salmon, sea kayaking, and rafting. It’s impossible to do it all, so we decided to take our chances going after King Salmon on the Kenai River. Based near Soldotna, our host for the day was Chugach Backcountry Fishing, owned by Cory Hetrick.
The long road has almost come to an end. We’re sitting here, at Steve mom’s place in Dillon, Sunday afternoon, with only an hour and forty-five minutes from home and the completion of the on the road portion of The World By Road Expedition. We’ll be making our way to Denver mid-day, Monday. Just the thought of the end of the road is a beyond eerie feeling, so I haven’t a clue what’s going on in Shoppman’s mind, for this has been his life for the last 29 months. It’s been an incredible ride, and has been an amazing experience. Blogs on the finale will be up soon, put first on to the week in review.
Miles, upon miles, upon miles. Miles in the rearview mirror. That, for sure, was the theme of this week, as we traveled from Valdez, Alaska to Edmonton, Alberta. That is a haul, spanning close to 2,000 miles.
We spent the weekend at the wonderful Brookside Inn Bed and Breakfast, and were graciously accommodated by hosts Jerry and Susie. We had some great meals and conversations with them, and were beyond lucky that they had an abundance of halibut. Home cooked meals are never taken for granted by anyone on the crew.
We’ve really enjoyed ourselves in Alaska, and all feel very fortunate for all that we’ve been able to see, experience, and the people we’ve been able to meet, so it was nice that we got to give back a little this week, as well. This week has been another great week in the northern most state. It began with a great lake and river kayaking trip/fly fishing trip with Denali Southside River Guides. We got the opportunity to go out with Craig Jorgensen and two of his crew members on Byers Lake to thoroughly enjoy a day on the water. “I wouldn’t give this day of kayaking and fishing up for anything,” said the fisherman of the crew, Craig Johnson.
Don’t get me wrong, I cherish these unique experiences and it’s one of the main reasons that I’m on the expedition. However, after the mad dash to the Arctic Ocean and back I think I speak for all of us on the crew when saying we were happy to have a host for a couple of nights at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge upon our return to Fairbanks.
Sometimes I have to take a step back, look around, and maybe even pinch myself to realize that this is real. We are beyond fortunate, and this last week has been like no other. When one is able to mix incredible people with amazing adventure its result is almost surreal. Alaska and its people are one of those places, hands down.