Rolly Lake & Arrival in Talkeetna 7/31 – 8/2/2009

We left Wasilla after staying overnight. We went to camp 2 nights at North Rolly Lake campground in Nancy Lakes State Recreation Area located on Parks highway about 30 miles north of Wasilla and 30 miles south of Talkeetna.

We had a lovely campsite in the woods and right on the lake. The campground was 6 miles in from the parks highway on a recently paved road. All our maps and documentation has the road as gravel.

We paddled the circumference of the lake. It was a non-glacial lake and was clear. It was 1st non-silty lake we had paddled in quite a while. After our morning paddle, we hiked 3 miles from our campsite to Red Shirt Lake. Fred took a nap in the grass there before we headed back to start a campfire.

The weather was partly cloudy and it cleared in the afternoon. It was great to see the sun for a change.


Talkeetna and our initial views of Mt Mckinley

On Sunday 8/2, we headed for Talkeetna hoping we would see Mt McKinley. On any day, there is only a 40% chance of being able to clearly see it. Since the early morning had clear skies, we were hopeful.

When we reached North Willow at milepost 90, we got our first view of the majestic Mt McKinley! It was crystal clear and beautiful!

When we registered at the Talkeetna Campers RV Park, we discovered that the owner had known Fr. Ron Dunfey. He had downed beer with him on many an occassion but didn’t know him very well.

We checked at the ranger station to meet a friend of Fr Ron’s, Roger Robinson, a park ranger who helps climbers plan their accents of Mt. McKinley. Unfortunately, the summer climbing season had ended and Roger was on vacation.

From our fullservice campsite, we took a walk along the Talkeetna River where we found outstanding views of Mt. McKinley. We also walked across an Alaskan Railroad bridge over the river. We viewed some Tour Jetboats going and returning from their trips and witnessed one getting stuck on a sand bar.

The village of Talkeetna is a tourist location with many shops, restaurants and Adventure Trip vendors in a place that was once reserved for climbers. Fr. Ron Dunfey, the Glacier Priest, spent many years here.

Last night, we had beers and listened to Jazz at the Fairview Lodge. This was an old locals hangout pub where we are certain Fr Ron must have spent some time. Then we moved up the street where there was lively bluegrass music. We had more beer and wine with Pizza as we listened to the local musicians. We had a good time!

Tonight at 7 PM, we are booked on a flighseeing trip to fly around Mt. McKinley. We will also land on a glacier there. We are hopeful that we will see the same sights that Charles Kuralt saw when he visited Fr. Ron on a glacier on Mt. McKinley for the national evening news.

The sky is now very blue without a cloud in the sky. We haven’t seen Mt. McKinley this morning as yet. It can have its own weather system. You never know what you are going to see.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply