Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Talkeetna Oddities, Hatcher Pass, and We Are Run Out of Town

Three items for today's blog: Talkeetna Oddities, the Hatcher Pass, and -- we are run out of town.

Talkeetna Oddities

"Village Arts and Crafts" = Maybe the "Human Arts and Crafts" are done indoors.

Talkeetna has pasties (pronounced PAST-ees), just like Michigan's Upper Penninsula! They both have the same origin -- Welsh/Cornish miners. Pasties were pies made from left-over meat and vegetables that the miners' wives gave them to take into the mines for lunch.
We had to try a couple -- we got one beef and one salmon (not so traditional in the U.P.!) We ate the beef one this morning -- just like in Michigan, I liked it, John didn't.

This is just asking for trouble:

On the left, "Parking," on the right "No Parking Spawning Only."

This is the historic Fairview Inn:

A native woman outside the Inn told us to be sure to go in to see "the polar bear on the ceiling." This is what we saw when we went in:
At least it WAS on the ceiling.

Hatcher Pass

We made some new friends while we were in the campground in Fairbanks. They told us not to miss the drive through Hatcher Pass (it is also called the Willow-Fishhook Rd). They were so right! What a gorgeous drive (but NOT for RVs!).

We began at the Willow side, and followed Willow Creek for several miles.

The road went from paved to mostly-good packed dirt, although some stretches were a bit rough and lacked any type of guardrail. We climbed high over the valley floor and way above the tree line for some amazing views.
After about 40 miles, we went through the pass and came out near Wasilla.
We highly recommend this drive for anyone in the area.
We Are Told To Move Along

Our campground is smack dab in the middle of Nowhere Alaska, a place where old cars, older RVs, appliances, and metal objects of questionable origin come to die. And they all die in the middle of their last owner's yard, ostensibly to remain there until the rust destroys them or an earthquake covers them, whichever comes first.

We told our campground owner we were going for a walk, and she suggested we walk "around the block," the roads all being dirt lanes through the forest, and practically unused. This was our general direction of movement:

As we walked, we saw many "driveways" (i.e., rutted tracks) that led to "houses" (i.e., falling down structures or 30-yr old RVs covered with torn blue tarps), with vehicles that were decorated with rust, every crack filled with weeds, and sitting on four flat tires. We made a game of guessing whether anyone actually lived in these structures or if they were abandoned.

Then at point A on the map, a dog came to the road to greet us. He had a collar, and seemed well fed. He didn't bark, just stared. John made "good puppy" noises. The dog kept staring.

We continued on. He shyly lagged behind us for a while, but then found some courage and passed us as if to show us the way. He stopped periodically, of course, to sniff the weeds on the edge of the road and water the fireweed. But he seemed to enjoy our company, and we were happy to have him with us.

At point B, our Threesome of Bliss was shattered -- the posse arrived!

The chihuahua was the troublemaker from the start. The beagle was happy to meet our friend (they did the SmellMe-SmellYou routine), but the chihuahua would have none of it -- he wanted our new friend off his turf. The beagle then decided that, while the dog was okay, we would need to leave. As the beagle escorted us to the edge of town (around the corner at point B), the chihuahua took after "our" dog. The last I saw of our brave companion he was running at a full gallop back towards his home at point A, ears flapping in the breeze, a tiny little chihuahua hot on his heels.

We continued on, a little sadder to have lost such a steadfast puppy friend.

At point C, we took one last look back, and this is what we saw:

The Sheriff made it clear -- we were not welcome in Dodge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Zoe. Your description of your walk-about on the "doggy world" was Perfect!! hahha I understoon that whole concept literly. Made me laugh hard..Talkeetna & HatcherPass are 2 awesome places to visit. glad you both went there. so unusual of a place. Wasila is a great town also. enjoy your visit and i hope as you decent down thru Anchorage you take pics of the muruals. beautiful.enjoy yourselves. be Safe. birdladyD/ thx for sharing your experiences. we wish we were there with you also...but for now i/we are enjoying the memories YOU are experiencing and listing in your Blog.......