We left Seward fairly early in the morning. We had a two hundred-fifty or so mile drive up to Talkeetna where the next part of our trip was taking place. An acquaintance who has been to Alaska several times advised me to be ready for a fairly time consuming drive because of roadwork. And indeed there were two stretches along the way; the first right past Girdwood; where road work created a single lane along the highway almost 7 miles long. And on the Parks Highway, right before Talkeetna Spur Road, where the entire road was....well, gone. Vehicles would escort a line of cars over the dirt and gravel while the road was being rebuilt.
Still, we arrived at Talkeetna too early for check-in. We found some parking along the rustic roadside. Talkeetna is quite quirky. Part frontier town, part an outdoor-artsy haven, part tourist destination, with a definite "hippy" vibe. One thing that was universal (except for the young lady working at our lodge) was that everyone seemed so friendly.....happy even.
Half the fun is people watching.
People were so nice; we didn't mind spending some time (and money) in the arts and gift shops that line the one main street that is Talkeetna.
I'm not sure how many times we were asked where we were from...….and how many times those same folks mentioned visiting San Diego; being last year or several decades ago. From what I gathered, many shops close down during the winter, hence the reason we found people working several jobs during the high season.
After killing a good hour-and-a-half, we headed over to our accommodations. We were still early, so we parked our car and walked up the half mile or so to the mile 13 marker turnoff. We were told the view here is amazing. And yes it was.....
While enjoying the view we heard "hi...….". It turned out to be the two young ladies who sat next to us at Seward Brewing Company the night before! They were here enjoying the view....and chatting up the nice looking young man sitting on the bench. More on these two in a later post.
Let's just enjoy the view, shall we?
We then walked back into Talkeetna....yes, I was definitely getting my exercise, even with the car!
We decided to get something to eat. We figured that we'd grab a late dinner....remember; the sun wasn't setting until 11 pm during this time. And Talkeetna Roadhouse seemed like just the right place. Part "Roadhouse", thus the shared rooms and bathrooms, with a large dining room, this place oozes charm.
It still functions as a "roadhouse" with shared rooms and bathrooms....
Though these days, it probably caters more to tourists like us.
We went simply with the Hungarian Mushroom Soup and the Reindeer Chili.
The mushroom soup was nice and hearty, with a good, earthy flavor of mushrooms....but it was barely past lukewarm.
The reindeer chili was quite bland.
And almost room temp....not very pleasant. It needed some heat and seasoning.
What we were really impressed by was the bread; which was warm, yeasty, and so comforting.
This was so good......to the point that we understood what we needed to do in terms of pastries while in Talkeetna.
13550 E Main St
Talkeetna, AK 99676
Talkeetna is such an interesting and "colorful" town...…….
After lunch we walked back to the lodge which was located on the Susitna River. It was a beautiful location.
And Alaska was turning out to be even more beautiful than we imagined...……..