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.
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A man named Steve Mahay trekked up to Alaska many years ago. In those days homesteading land was still a viable option for an escape from the typical. Back in the 70s Steve realized that that was the way to go. Like many of the Alaskans we encountered in the north, Steve is a true legend with his jet boat operation in Talkeetna. Back when he started the company he was armed with only a 16 foot, 20 hp boat living in a hand built cabin in
There are few things in the world that you can do that require such little effort or your part to get such a huge return. A glacier landing gives you a sense of excitement that equals many of the most intense things out there, but to get this incredible feeling and experience, all you need to do is climb into a plane and put your faith in your pilot. As the plane takes off and heads toward the monstrous peaks, many times there are clouds lining
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”.
There really is nothing like a day on the water. Boating, fishing, swimming, it’s all good to me. So when we got the chance to spend a day kayaking first on a lake, then on a river, and throw in some fly fishing for trout, I was more than excited. Our host for the day was Denali Southside River Guides, owned by Craig & Shelis Jorgensen. We would spend the day on Byers Lake, located inside the Denali State Forest, about an hour’s drive north on the Parks Highway from where we were staying in Talkeetna, Alaska. From there we’d head down the river flowing through the lake.
“Can’t beat a day on the water,” said Nels. I’m not sure which one of us was the first to say it, but it has become a common occurrence due to our many water based adventures lately. Recently, during our visit to Talkeetna, we had two such opportunities. The first was jet boating the Susitna River with Mahay’s Riverboat Service.
Sometimes, sensations created by certain experiences simply cannot be put into words. Flying in a tiny propeller plane that has glacier-landing and take-off capabilities over one of the world’s last vast wilderness areas untouched by man in one of this nation’s most mind-blowing national parks is undoubtedly one of those experiences. Thanks to the staff at Talkeetna Air Taxi, we were able to have the opportunity to enjoy this amazing ride.
On one of our scenic flights with Talkeetna Air Taxi, the summit of Denali (or Mt. Mckinley) made a rare appearance.
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.
We were on Whole Wheat Radio a few days ago. It was an amazing time. Jim is one of the coolest characters on the planet, and if you are ever in Talkeetna, I certainly recommend paying Whole Wheat a visit. Also if you like independent music, he has 24 hour streaming music online.