Browsing Date

September 2012

Alaska September 25, 2012

Alaska – We Could Live Here

talkeetna

by Aconcagua

Talkeetna, Alaska

It was our last day in Alaska. I wanted to do was get in the rental car and do a road trip from Anchorage.

The options for a day trip from Anchorage was either to go north or south. The way north promises Talkeetna, “a historic, frontier town “. The way south would lead to Seward and the Harding Ice Field. We were afraid the weather would prevent us to see anything in Seward.

So we decided to go north

It rained the whole 3 hour drive there.

It was still raining when we arrived. We stopped at the Tourist Information Kiosk and ask her to point in the general direction of Denali – where we should’ve been able to see it during clear days.

She laughed and apologized for the weather. She seemed genuine about it as if the weather was usually under her control, but just not today.

Most people come to Talkeetna to get on one of the flight tours that give you a bird’s eye view of Denali – United State’s tallest mountain. In such a weather, that option was out.

Roadhouse Cafe, Talkeetna, Alaska

Spinach Bread, Talkeetna, Alaska

Hot, gooey, cheesy delicious spinach bread!

We ducked into Roadhouse Cafe to avoid the rain. It was a family style restaurant and we shared a table with an Alaskan couple. They came from a town an hour away. Just like many other people I’ve met in Alaska, they were transplants from other parts of the country. I told them about my desire to move to Alaska someday.

“The best decision we’ve ever made” – the couple said about their move to Alaska.

Afterwards, because it was still raining, we stopped by at a coffeeshop. Again, we were roped into a friendly conversation with a group of Alaskans from Anchorage. Somehow we ended up talking about where we all came from. One women proudly claimed that she was one of the few who can claim that she was in Alaska when it was still a territory.

I’m falling in love with Alaska

It wasn’t the first time the idea of living in Alaska crossed my mind.

I’ve been to Alaska only twice but each time we feel a sense of connection with the land and the people. The people we’ve met have been really friendly. But more than that, Alaskans just love the fact they’re living in Alaska. When I brought up the 6 month of winter, our van driver scoffed “Winter is the best part!”

People love San Francisco, ‘but the rent price is astronomical!’ they quickly say. There’s no ‘but’ in Alaskans’ declaration of love.

Painted moose in a cafe, Talkeetna, Alaska

Painted moose in a cafe, Talkeetna, Alaska

Alaska is also full of quirks. Talkeetna is a prime example of that. Mayor Stubbs has been the mayor of Talkeetna for 15 years, leading the town’s 800 citizens with a gentle paw.

Paw? Yes, Mayor Stubbs, Talkeetna’s mayor, is a cat.

The mayor of Talkeetna, Mayor Stubbs – the queen of subtle

Now if only Alaska had a tech startup industry, I might have an easier time to convince Jack.

Alaska September 10, 2012

Trekking on Matanuska Glacier – Anchorage

Matanuska Glacier is one of those glaciers in Alaska that you can easily drive to. You can see it from the highway. It’s also one of the few glaciers where you could, if you want, walk right across it, slip, and crack your head. And people do.

Alaska September 4, 2012

Looking for Sarah Palin's House in Wasilla

Wasilla, Alaska

Say you want about her, without Sarah Palin, Wasilla would only have been one of the many small towns we pass by that we never paid much attention to. I’d say that putting Wasilla on the radar of travelers like us might have been her biggest accomplishment.

Welcome to Wasilla

It started as a joke

“Hey, we’ll be passing Wasilla. We should look for Sarah Palin’s house.”
“Hahaha, right. You.. funny… you.”

(15 seconds of thoughtful silence)

“Hey guys, it’s actually right by the road. I have the address right here,” Aaron chimed in from the back seat.

Then of course curiosity got the better of us.

It was amazingly easy (so easy it was scary) to find out exactly where she lives. Some other blogger has put up not only a satellite map, but pictures of her house so we knew exactly when we found it.

So we got off the highway right after Wasilla’s Best Western, following a nondescript dirt driveway parallel the road following the directions Aaron was reading off his phone.

What were we hoping to do there?

Jack was hoping to get a picture with her. We scoffed, “Yeah, that’s likely going to happen” (not). I’m not sure if he thought we’d spot her grocery shopping or cleaning her guns outside her house or what.

Aaron whined about Secret Service and this being Alaska everytime we got within 20 ft of a “No Trespassing” sign, so he was clearly just hoping not to get shot.

The voyeour in me was just hoping we could actually get close enough to see the house.

We couldn’t.

The driveway to the house was extra long. The house was partially hidden by trees and there were “No Trespassing” signs all over (which we respected).

Sarah Palin's house in Wasilla, Alaska

So that was a little disappointing. We didn’t get shot at. And Jack didn’t get his picture.

We did get to check out Lucille Lake, the lake on Palin’s backyard.

A hydroplane on Lake Lucille

Random fact: 1 in 15 Alaskans owns a plane

And we have the bragging rights that we saw Sarah Palin’s house. Or to be exact, the right corner of her roof. But still.