Anchorage to Talkeetna – 167 miles
This was the group’s first day of riding together and as we gathered in the parking lot at the tour company, I could feel the nervous energy. This made me even more glad that I had arrived early and had a day with my rental motorcycle. It was the same BMW F700GS that I own and ride at home, but every bike has its quirks.
On this morning we took off and soon the nerves started to dissipate. We rode maybe 20 miles away to Mirror Lake and stopped for water, gear adjustments and just breathing. It might sound funny, but it’s amazing how the group energy affects everyone.
Our next stop on this gorgeous day was Independence Mine State Historical Park near Palmer. The views from this old mine were stunning and I’m sure my phone photos don’t do it justice. We had some time to explore the area, stretch our legs and have a snack.
After this we headed toward Wasilla and a date with some puppies! I had no idea there were puppies on this tour, but we had a planned stop at the Iditarod Trail Race Headquarters in Wasilla. Apparently when these folks have puppies, they like people to stop by and spend some time with them so that the puppies become socialized to many different people. Say no more, here I am to help with that mission!
Once we had our fill of snuggling puppies and watching the older dogs run, we got back on the bikes and headed for Talkeetna. The ride from Wasilla to Talkeetna wasn’t super exciting, but we did see a group of photographers on the side of the road in time to determine they were photographing a moose! Since we were riding, I didn’t get a good look at it, but it would end up being the closest moose sighting I would have on this trip.
Once in Talkeetna we had a little time to kill before we needed to head over for our airplane ride! It has started to rain a little as we walked toward the air strip and while we had reservations to land on a glacier near Denali, I knew it was a long shot, due to the weather. Everyone was disappointed that wasn’t going to happen but the kind folks there explained that Denali had been socked in clouds the past several days. Instead we had a grand tour of the south mountains and so many glaciers that I lost count. I do love to fly so this may have been the highlight of the trip for me!
After our flight, we went back to Talkeetna for some adult beverages and food before walking back to our hotel. I’m pretty sure I was asleep within moments of arriving and that is the last I remember until the alarm went off the next morning. It was a full first day, but a very enjoyable one as well.