Anyhow, on to the travel stuff. :) I recently posted my pictures from our time in Anchorage, while we were in Alaska we also took one day to drive North, and another to drive South. Normally for us, a day of driving 8 hours or so is "nothing" and we can get 3-4 states away from home. We're road trip pros. In Alaska, driving anywhere takes forever and a day. Alaska is two times the size of Texas after all. So when you look at the map, just know that from Anchorage to each of these places would be the same dot, yet 2-3 hours in between.
On our trip North, we visited Wasilla, where the Iditarod Headquarters are located, and Talkeetna, a hippy, outdoorsy, flight base town where a lot of planes shuttle people out to Denali. Wasilla seemed like a fun halfway point to Talkeetna, and since we had gone dog sledding on our honeymoon, we thought it would be fun to learn more about the dogs and the Iditarod. Talkeetna does not recognize traditional local government, and has named a cat their "mayor". No joke. His name is Mayor Stubbs and he is 15 years old. Clearly something I needed to see. :)
In the photo of us above Denali and the National Park are behind us... not that you can see them. : /
We drove about half way up to Denali from Talkeetna, it was another 2ish hours to get all the way there. Though it wasn't dark, we weren't crazy about driving farther away from Anchorage since we were staying there for the night. The view was gorgeous, next time maybe we would go all the way out. It's hard to say. We aren't the most outdoorsy of travelers, so that seemed like a pretty extreme place to try first.
Our day North of Anchorage was quirky, scenic, and filled with furry friends. The towns were small, and quaint. I am glad that we got to see the documentary on the Iditarod, it was really eye opening and interesting. The people at the headquarters were SO nice. In Talkeetna we didn't really meet anyone who seemed very interested in us. The waitress at The Roadhouse was super abrupt... and almost rude. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt, but it wasn't very welcoming.
Eat: We ate at The Roadhouse, mostly because of the abundance of breweries in Anchorage, which is probably good, most nights our coworkers wanted to eat at breweries. The food was good and the pie was excellent, the service was not, but maybe we caught them on a bad day. I don't even remember where we ate lunch...
See: The view! Mayor Stubbs, Husky Puppies, Denali National Park.
Shop: There were a few gift shops in Talkeetna, lots of local art and photography. The Iditarod gift shop was cute. It had lots of books that seemed like they would have been really interesting. Nagley's just for the experience, it's part grocery store, part drug store, part antique display... it's a lot of things going on. It was where we found Mayor Stubbs.
Do: Iditarod Headquarters (free!), you can even pay a really small fee (like $10) to ride with the sled team. In the summer they have wheeled sleds, in the winter there is snow... obvs. We skipped out, having done it before, but these are real sled dogs! See the puppies, and the documentary/memorabilia inside. Nagley's Store. Denali National Park.
Favorites: Husky puppies... clearly. And the documentary, after 30 minutes I felt so much more educated on the Iditarod and sled dog life. It's very interesting.
Overall this was not my favorite day of the trip, Talkeetna was oddly unfriendly and it was very overcast that day. Though I would definitely recommend the Iditarod Headquarters. :)
Have you been to Alaska's upper peninsula before?
Have you ever been dog sledding?
Up Next: Seward & Kenai Fjords National Park
Thank you for reading!