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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Fall Has Arrived in Alaska!

~Saturday, August 27, 2022~

Day 804

Day 68 of Alaska Trip

Do you know how there are just some places you visit that completely move you? There certainly have been several for us. Over halfway into our Alaska trip, we’ve come to realize just how much this state speaks to us. It’s almost like it’s its own country because it IS so different AND so big. For us, the “Frozen North” has felt like a portal of power with a sense of inspiration and aliveness. From the people to the topography, there is nothing like it. And it wouldn’t even be fair to compare it to anywhere or anything else.

Around 11:10 a.m. just going about our business, I received a text from our host, Will, which said, “Checkout time is 11:00”. He never mentioned a checkout time when we checked in, so we figured it was pretty lax. I was sort of waiting to see him make an earlier appearance to ask if it would be o.k. to extend our stay anyway. He beat me to the punch I guess. Since our flight adventure wasn’t until Monday (waiting for a good weather window), we asked if we could stay until then. Initially, he said he could make tonight work, but not Sunday since a Class A arrival would need our space and that we’d have to move sites. No problem. Shortly after that agreement, he realized he’d made a mistake and that the Class A wouldn’t be arriving until the following weekend. We’re all good to stay! He even agreed to us leaving our rig here until we got back from our tour Monday morning which should end around 10:30. Nice to know we don’t have too much pressure in moving the trailer. If we needed to extend the checkout until noon, it was fine by him.

Hike day!! And almost in our “backyard” of Talkeetna. We took about a 1-mile walk to the Talkeetna Lakes Park, specifically the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (otherwise called Mat-Su), to hike around 3 lakes….Tigger, X and Z Lakes (there is a Y lake too, but not directly on our specific loop). Starting at the Whigmi Trailhead, Sadie couldn’t contain herself with the anticipation of what was around each corner

and it would be enough to excite any lab complete with dense vegetation, trees and lakes! Proving just how good her trail skills are, she seems to always know when there’s a fork in the road and to wait to be told which way is the right direction (she’s usually just seconds ahead). I swear she’d be the lead dog on a sled team if they allowed labs, but of course I’m biased.

The lush, forested trail filled with Spruce, Cottonwood and Birch Trees was quite easy, though we did have several modest hills

and ran into several hikers along the way. It was one of those relaxed, mindful trails where you make a conscious effort to stop every now and then, to really take in where you are and what you’re doing. To keep one headed in the right direction, the trail was marked well with yellow, blue, black or red posts at each junction. The lakes are not connected in any way except by their trails. We had mostly sunny weather which was a nice accompaniment to our picnic time at X Lake.

It would be the only spot on all 3 lakes that had a “welcome” bench on which to rest and look out over the beautiful lake or that allowed us a spot to watch a very hyper dog, swim.

We even spotted 2 or 3 Loons diving for their afternoon meal and greeting us with their unique call, or at least I'd like to think they were talking to us. It was about the last 2 miles

of the 7 that we began to see rain AGAIN. Hopefully we don’t keep taking it with us. This is when having an electric site comes in handy as we can use a portable space heater and blow dryer to dry us and our clothes off in a jiffy.

When we arrived back to our campground, the “front yard” was full. I much prefer having company over being alone on someone’s property. Knowing that Mountain High Pizza Pie had live music, we decided to leave Sadie to chill at the campsite while we went into town. There was a great musician playing a variety of cover songs….artists like James Taylor, Jason Miraz, and Pearl Jam. But it was his original songs that blew us away. Someone give this guy a beer and a meal!! And someone did!! One talented guy who played tambourine with one foot and the bass drum with the other, all while strumming an acoustic guitar and singing. Talk about multi-tasking! We loved the variety of songs and the passion in his voice. Enhancing the entertainment were several kids as young as 3 years old, dancing in front, even including their newly acquired pup. Don’t you just love the intrinsic carefree attitude that children have? The neighbor that lives next door to the restaurant even lent some entertainment of his own, launching bubbles from his second story window right over the restaurant. The good weather and great music made all the difference in the crowds turning up tonight, everyone having a great time!

It was a fish taco night at the trailer…..halibut from Kachemak Bay that was caught by our new friend Jordan from Homer! It was so delicious. Sadie liked it too!

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