Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Foraker 2011: Tuesday, April 26, Talkeetna, Alaska - travel day

Watch for links to video below, and click pics for larger versions.

Bambi hangin' with her daddy
for a while before he leaves

I woke to an easy preflight ritual this morning. My flight wasn't til 1pm, so it was rather unlike many trips I've taken lately where I've had to be up at the butt-crack of dawn.

I've spent the last several days frantically running around comparing gear lists, because for whatever reason, AMS has multiple versions : one mostly geared toward climbing Denali's West Buttress, and another that's based on that one, but a little more Foraker-specific—but they don't agree completely.

And neither of them agree completely with my own list items; packing got unruly quickly. Looked like a climbing gear bomb went off in my studio.

Last year's experience in the Alaska Range has proven invaluable, though, as I now have at least some sense of what worked for me and what didn't.

So comparing all three lists I'm finally packed, and my First Ascent bags are once again sitting in the family room waiting to be (tortuously) lugged out to the 4Runner for transport to the airport. I believe I'm one bag smaller this year, though, and for a trip that's more than twice as long, I call that progress!

 Still, it's just a ton of crap… I'm probably still overpacked, too, like always. This whole thing with packing light is always a challenge for an anal retentive idiot like me, but I am getting better. It just takes practice.

My modest room at the Tee Pee
My flight today was at 12:40 PM—which means it got in to Anchorage around 6pm: a great time if you like getting to an airport at an hour where no trains run and nothing but expensive custom trips go to Talkeetna, and then charge you $150 each direction for the privilege. Gas prices are crazy now, true, but still… Ouch. Last year was $60 each way.

The flight: so uneventful as to be nearly unworthy of mention here, and my ride to TKA was equally aggressively mundane.

The rugged Chugach range just outside Anchorage
I dropped my gear off at AMS around 9:30 PM and had high hopes of a caribou burger at the West Rib, but it was not to be: the were closed for the night.

So instead, I headed over to my "hotel," the Tee Pee where I stayed last year, and whose proprietor is still that same nice, but wayyyy too chatty older woman. She promptly checked me in.

I asked if there was anywhere still serving food in town and was told nobody was open at this hour. GARRR!

Miraculously, though, she volunteered that she'd hosted a banquet at the hotel that day, and had tons of leftover food—and that she would feed me for free!! Done, and done.

The Chugach range
I took my stuff to my room. I sat on the bed. Bored. Hmmm... Continue sitting in room and ponder my impending starvation. Wait, what am I doing? Okay, time to eat.

Two huge plates of barbecue baby back ribs, macaroni salad, garlic bread, and two beverages later, I crashed.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to write this up, Mr. Wright. Captivating!