Scenic drive thru Denali National Park 

Amidst the incredibly vast space and beauty, one doesn’t have to be present for very long to begin understanding the magnificence of the Alaskan Spirit.  I purchased a souvenier book of photography and poetry that captures the essence of the Last Frontier, called “The Spirit Of Alaska“.   We’ve taken a lot of great pictures, but time nor season will permit us to even come close to capturing all of the greatness and spirit (hence, one of the reasons I bought the book).   

Yesterday, we visited TALKEETNA, a census designated population of 876…. and the place where every climber seeking to reach the summit of Denali is required to check in for permits and orientations (at the ranger station).  As we observed the locals and talked with shop owners, we got another glimpse into the spirit of Alaska. A hard working, fierce and steady people who thrive on the pure and simple.  Interestingly, one of the shop owners I met was from West Chester, PA (small world afterall).  She has been in Talkeetna for 15 years now, living off the grid.  When I asked her what brought her here she simply stated, “looking for change”.   Her harsh yet rare beauty embodied the “spirit of Alaska”.   

Just as with every small, quaint place (can’t even call it a town by definition) there is always a great eatery to be found.  We enjoyed some of the best pizza ever, and that’s saying a lot.  In our 25 years of marriage, we’ve been a lot of places and have eaten a lot of pizza. 

Our quotes of the day:
“Living here is like a perpetual state of camping” — crystal
“Lord, grant us a trophy-moose sighting today” —rick


Well, we didn’t see a moose yesterday, but we sure did today.

A 2 hour foot hike thru Savage River Loop

(posted on FB so I won’t repost here).  We were up early to make our way into DENALI NATIONAL PARK.  Nothing could have prepared us for what met our human eye.  I think I now know what the Psalmist meant when he wrote, “THE HEAVENS (and the mountains–our paraphrase) DECLARE THE GLORY OF THE LORD!!  
We were in total awe surrounded by massive and majestic mountains.   We never were able to see MT. DENALI, (formerly Mt. McKinley) which means “the great one”, or “the high one”.  It is said that only about 30% of people visiting Mt. Denali actually get to see her as she is usually obscured by clouds….which she so happens to produce.  Should we be blessed with a clear day tomorrow, we may get to see her from our lodge room window before checkout.  

Quote of the day:
“DENALI IS “OUR” DISNEY” —Rick and Crystal 

Baked Alaska for dessert @ the lodge after a long and beautiful day!

Looking forward to uncovering more of the “spirit of Alaska” as our journey continues.     #Steimling25  


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