Once again the Thomas' begin another adventure today. The Pinkerton's arrived last night from Arkansas. They have been fellow traveling companions on many of our adventures.
We boarded an Alaska Airlines Aztec flight to Seattle on the first leg of our Alaskan Adventure. (Just FYI in case you rent a car in Anchorage!)
ALASKA - DAY 1:
Our room at the Marriott gave us a great view of the parking lot. The mountains outside of Anchorage were on the other side, though they were partially obscured by a bad case of haze. After the free breakfast at Marriott we hailed a Taxi and
headed to the Hertz car rental office downtown Anchorage. We had already reserved our sedan for the week at a much cheaper price than if we had rented from Hertz at the airport office. In fact, in a later conversation Debby had with the airport agent, he said, "You got a very good price!" (Just FYI in case you rent a car in Anchorage!) The downtown office was supposed to open at 0800; we arrived about 0900. The agent was not there. After several phone calls and an hour of waiting around, the man finally showed up and made some lame excuse for not being there at 0800.
A half hour later we had our car loaded and we were on the road. Our first stop was a detour to Walmart where we bought a case of water and other necessary supplies.
So we headed back to the car. At this point we were about two and one half hours behind schedule. Once behind the wheel, Ron decided he should have made a stop at the bathroom and got out of the car. I decided to go with him. As we walked across the parking lot, I heard Debby and Nancy laughing hysterically. I turn around to comment, "Never pass up a bathroom!" They were still laughing as they also followed us to the bathrooms.
So about 3 hours later than we intended, we set the GPS and headed towards Denali. A half hour down the road we doubted if the GPS was right and so we turned around and went back towards Anchorage. A half hour later we realized the GPS was smarter than the 4 of us put together, so we turned back around...another half hour wasted. *Sigh.
We decided to stop in Wasilla, home of Sarah Palin, to have lunch. Somehow, along the way we missed the turn. *Sigh.
Towards the end of town, we spied a burger joint on the highway and pulled in hoping we picked a good place. I don't believe any of us were impressed but we made it work.
Continuing on Highway 3 towards Highway 1, we watched the woods and meadows, even the ponds of water, expecting to see a lot of wildlife. We saw two birds...a Raven and a Sea Gull, I think. *sigh.
We passed the town of Willow and the Talkeetna turnoff. There was a lot of road construction going on, causing us several delays all the way to Denali. Apparently, Alaska land moves and shifts enough to cause the highways to buckle.
We finally arrived at the Princess Lodge, where we would spend our second night. *Whew!