Saturday, June 25, 2016

Moose, Beer, & The Bus

While we spent some time in Talkeetna, AK we also drove a few hours north up to Denali National Park and 49th State Brewing Company in Healy, AK.  Fun day!

Denali Mountain

I knew this, but sort of forgot along the way - Denali is the tallest mountain in North America.  At breakfast one day, we sat next to a bunch of mountain climbers who were in Talkeetna to try and summit Denali.  20,000 feet at the peak!  A little too hard core for me, but hey - if that's what floats your boat, by all means have at it.

Since we had the pup with us, we were limited in which trails we could hike in Denali.  We were good little park patrons and followed the rules, only hiking on paths that were dog friendly.

We didn't see as much or as deep into the park as we would have if we took a bus tour, but what we did see was still memorable and fun.

Especially when we were flagged down by a passing vehicle to let us know there was a moose ahead of us on the trail we were on!

As we rounded the corner, sure enough...moose alert!  Imagine the most enormous horse you've ever seen.  It was gigantic.

That was definitely the highlight of our hike! We ended up veering off the trail we were on and walking on the road to avoid the moose.

It's not like we could have walked past him - way too close quarters for that.  And frankly, kind of dumb.  So, we trotted along the road until we could cut back into the trail again without it being blocked by a massive wild animal!

And P.S. - Cheety didn't even see the moose.  If he did, he would have barked like it was his job.  Probably good that the hubby shuttled him off before he noticed it.  Who knows what a barking little-big dog would have led to!

We came upon some other hikers and warned them about the moose, but their reaction wasn't at all what I expected.  I thought they'd be glad to know so they could avoid running into it unexpectedly.  Not so much.

They basically blurted, "Oh, wow!  Cool, thanks!" As if I was giving them a hot tip.  And then they practically ran in the direction of the moose to try and see it.  Hmmmm.  Not sure about that one. Good luck, boys.  Try not to get charged.  They're seriously enormous beasts.

Like everything else we've seen in our time in Alaska, Denali National Park was truly beautiful. I'm so glad all of this land and natural environment is protected.  Thanks Teddy Roosevelt!

After our moose encounter, we headed up to the 49th State Brewing Company.  What a fun pub with excellent beers and great food!

You've got to love their decor.  Nothing says Alaska like an enormous moose antler I right?

I went with their Baked Blonde ale and the hubby had their Solstice IPA.  Tasty beers, and I was able to branch out and order, for the first time, a yak burger. 

That's right...YAK!  How could I possibly have the option of eating a Yak burger and turn the opportunity down?  Inconceivable!  It was delicious, by the way. Juicy and flavorful - not gamey at all.

A unique feature of 49th State Brewing Company is "the bus."  As some of you may know, the book Into the Wild by John Krakauer was made into a movie in 2007.  It's the story of the fate of Christopher McCandless, a young hiker who disappeared into the Alaskan bush in search of freedom.

The bus at the brewery is a replica of the actual bus where McCandless's remains were found, and is the bus that was created for and used in the movie. 

The actual bus is still there - about 20 miles away out in the wilderness, and there have been several folks over the years who attempted to hike out to see it and either needed to be rescued or died.

Myself - I'd rather check out the movie prop and get a beer and a yak burger than hike 3 days to the real thing, but I don't have that pull so many others do when it comes to the story of Christopher McCandless.

My "carpe diem" is pretty simple.  Good food, good drinks, good company.  But hey, like I said - whatever floats your boat...have at it.  

Wrapping up our time in Talkeetna with moose, beer, and the bus?  Works for me!

Ta-ta for now.

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