Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our Trip to Alaska...First Stop, Anchorage then on to Denali Park

The morning of August 1st we flew to Anchorage.  Dave hadn't been back since moving to Bend in 2005 and this was Kelly's first trip.  We booked our seats on the right side of the plane, so we could see the coast of Canada and Alaska all the way up.  Here's a shot of the mountains rising up through the clouds.

As we neared Anchorage we could see Mt. McKinley (known as Denali to Alaskans) out our window.

After being picked up at the airport by our friend Vicki, we met up with Amy & Morgan for some Moose's Tooth Pizza for lunch.

That afternoon we enjoyed walking around downtown and had a few drinks at some of Dave's favorite spots from when he lived there.  Here's Dave at Bernie's Bungalow.

Here's Kelly with Allen & Vicki (in the kitchen).  They were nice enough to let us stay at their place when we were in Anchorage.

The view of the Chugach Mountains from their backyard.

Friday morning we loaded up Allen & Vicki's two vehicles and drove up to Denali Park.

There's always road construction going on during the summer.  Here's Kelly as we wait to get moving again.

This photo is of Broad Pass south of Cantwell.

Here are Allen & Vicki's two cabin's in Denali.  They rent out the one on the right and were staying in and doing some work on the cabin on the left.  After unloading the car, Vicki drove us up to Wendy's house where we stayed.

That evening we went to dinner at the 49th State Brewing Co. in Healy with Wendy and Randy.

We ran in to several people there that we knew.  Here's Dave, Randy and Cruiser.

Randy and Wendy.

We also ran in to three friends who we have worked with in Antarctica.  Having some dinner, here's Dave, Kristen, Monica Scheflo, Bobby, Monica Magari, Randy and Wendy.

Kristen, Kelly & Monica Scheflo

Saturday morning we walked from Wendy's house down to the Tonglen Lake Lodge for breakfast at the Artisan Cafe.  The lodge is owned by Artist Donna Gates and just opened this year.  Here's the link to the lodge website if you'd like to check it out.

Here's Wendy and Dave on the steps to the lodge

Donna designed the panels for the railing around the lodge porch and had California artist Rudi Santana cut the pieces with a plasma cutter.

Another section of railing at the lodge.

The beautiful conference room in the upstairs of the lodge.

The stain glass windows were made by local Denali artist Michelle Turk.

Here's Donna with Wendy & Kelly and the Lodge's Canine Resort in the background.

A metal sculpture of three spruce trees that Donna designed and Rudi created.

After breakfast we drove in to the park to climb the Healy Overlook Trail. Mt. Healy is the mountain shown behind the sign.

Here's Kelly at the Healy Overlook.

The view from the Overlook.

Dave & Wendy resting after the hike up.

When we got back to the parking lot we ran in to Joe & Mary, friends from McMurdo.  Mary is working as a Park shuttle bus driver this summer and Joe was visiting from Boston.

Saturday night we went to the Denali Education Center auction.  Here's Brian & Laura.  Dave worked with Brian in the Everglades back in 1989.  Brian then came to Denali and worked for Dave a few years later and has been working in the Park ever since.

Diane Flynn, Marg Halloran, Dave Bolton & Dave.

Dave Bolton, Wendy & Kelly

This was the 19th annual Denali Education Center auction.  They raised $44,000 this year.  If you want to learn more about it, here's a link to their website.

Wendy, Allen VanDeventer & Dave

Sunday morning, Flynnie invited us up to her house in Healy for brunch.  Here she is with Marg.

Dave & Flynn on her front steps.

Flynn and the house she had built a few years ago.

After brunch we drove out to check on Dave's property.  Here's Kelly's first attempt at walking on tundra.  He was surprised how spongy it is and difficult to walk on.

Here's a panoramic shot of the view from Dave's property.  Would anyone like to buy it???

Dave looking over his land.

Here are a few more shots of the views to entice potential buyers.

Our next stop was to check out the Denali National Park Visitor's Center.  This building was completed after Dave left Alaska and moved to Bend, so this was a first time visit for both of us.

Here's a better shot of the Grizzly Bear sculpture at the Visitor's Center.

Sunday evening Wendy had a little dinner party at her house in our honor.

Randy, Vicki and Kelly at Wendy's house.

Bill & Jodi brought this peach pie for dessert that was baked by Anne, the baker at the Artisan Cafe.

The pie was about 3" deep and delicious.

Jodi, Wendy and Bill.

Dave & Jodi 

Holly, Bill & Jodi's daughter loved exploring outside at Wendy's house.

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