Alaska 2011 – Part I

Some random notes from three days in the great white beyond …

  1. The flight to Anchorage was not bad, with the usual caveats about modern American airline service. (I know the meals are not ideal, but Delta’s low salt peanuts take serious liberties with the term “low”).  The flight from Detroit was on one of Delta’s older 737s.  This is one of the deals with 3 seats per side of the aisle.  My side had me, LG and a nice old man with fish suspenders.  That he was nice was a non-issue, but that he was nice and a large 6’4″ man was.  He was not fat (and he looked like he was fitting inside a shoebox himself comfortwise) but it made a 6 hour flight feel like six days.
  2. The drive to Denali is largely inland – the conifers are lovely, but it lacked the whales and neat scenery of the drive to Seward the last time I was this far up.
  3. Denali itself is both a tourist trap of sorts – in particular the hotel staff at the Grande Denali Lodge left much to be desired in terms of awareness and whatnot – but the part is breathtaking.  The tour of the park gives a good sense of the Arctic Tundra at 3000 feet, and the clouds came out clear enough to see the McKinley peak.
  4. I know restaurants fear lawsuits, but overshooting targets on seafood makes me sad.  But overall this has been lovely.  Fairbanks next.
A beaver dam on the top left - precision American ingenuity
Not sure of the scientific name. Let's call it the Mammaryshroom until then ...
A clear view of the summit. An amazing, humbling height.
Figures we would eat at a place with this sort of thing at the door.
Do you recall, the least famous caribou of them all?

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