Saturday, July 25, 2015

Denali to Anchorage

We left Denali in much the same weather conditions as when we drove in--quite overcast and rainy--and as a result weren't able to see the mountain from any of the spots along the highway that are listed as good viewing points.  All the more reason we're so thankful we had such a beautiful day when we took the bus tour into the park!!

We did have a treat along the way, though, when we stopped in Talkeetna, a quaint little town that was the filming site for much of the TV show Northern Exposure.  For those who may remember this show, it was about a doctor who moved from New York City to a fictional Alaskan village to practice.  I never really watched this show, but when I did a little internet research, I found that, though the first few episodes had plot lines about the challenges of living in such a setting, it wasn't long before the series went the way of most Hollywood shows, becoming more about such things as office romances, etc.  Anyway, that's the reason a lot of folks visit Talkeetna, to see where Northern Exposure was filmed.  I had some knowledge about the origins of the show, though, from my days working at the Georgia Department of Human Resources.  While I was there the head of the Division of Public Health was Dr. Kathleen Toomey, a brilliant doctor and public health policy visionary.  I learned then that when she first graduated from Harvard Medical School she spent several years working with the native Inupiat people in Kotzebue, Alaska.  She was approached by some TV folks who wanted to make a series based on her experience, but they told her that, in order for it to be a successful TV show, they had to make the protagonist a male doctor--can you believe that??!!  So typical!! Anyway, she was a wonderful colleague, and now is with CDC.  She is such a compassionate person, concerned about the welfare of all people, especially those with limited access to health care, that I can only imagine how wonderful it was for her to be in Alaska.

Anyway, at Talkeetna we found a delightful little vegan friendly cafe called The Flying Squirrel.  They had some yummy soup, a delightful quinoa salad and scrumptious vegan dessert bars, plus we got a wonderful loaf of fresh baked multigrain bread!  In the town it was pretty crowded, but we did find the quilt shop that was participating in the Row by Row Project, and found one of the cutest kits ever!  The woman who ran the store was such a fiercely independent soul, as we could glean from some of her comments, but it was a fun little side trip!

Went through Wasilla on the way to Anchorage, but no, we did not stop at Sarah Palin's porch to see Russia!

Our lunch spot discovery!
 They had this cute little play area for the kids!
 Wonderful fresh baked breads--they bake different kinds of bread each day of the week.  Since it was Friday they had challah in addition to the multigrain bread we bought.
 Some of the road into Talkeetna was like this!!

 But still the lovely flowers!

 Here's the little quilt shop

 And this little log cabin . . .
 . . . with its outhouse!
 Took this picture just because of the name of the company!
 All different shades of the fireweed, all so pretty!

 You can see the evidence of the past fires; this was very recent, since we've been on the road

 No matter how overcast or cloudy, if you're patient, Alaska will reward you with some glorious views!

 Wasilla saloon sign

 Here's the sign for Wasilla Main Street

 Coming into Anchorage

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