Our only concrete plan for Talkeetna was to get an arial tour of Denali from K2 aviation. We had heard that Talkeetna was kind of boring, and that we should spend the minimum amount of time there. This was not our experience. In some ways, Talkeetna was my favorite town. It had a funky Austin, TX kind of vibe. There were plenty of pride flags flying, a clear environmental conscientiousness, and lots of cool, very yummy, restaurants.
As it happens, our time in Talkeetna had a very strange Man V. Food connection for us. On Thursday, after our K2 flight, we went to the West Rib for lunch, and noticed there was a film crew working. We went in anyway, and a production assistant asked us if we'd be willing to be on the show. We agreed, and had a 10 minute interview with Casey Webb. The episode will probably air in late Fall. The next morning, we were eating at The Roadhouse and I noticed that Katie was sitting in the seat that the original Man v Food host, Adam Richman, sat in during a 2009 episode.
We also ate at the Wildflower Cafe, Denali Brewing, and a small food truck selling fireweed ice cream, Emma's new favorite flavor.
In addition to all the interesting and fun man-made stuff in Talkeetna, the natural beauty is abundant. There are trails everywhere that let you explore. Be a little careful, though, it can be hard to tell when you start venturing onto private property. Our final full day here we mostly spent exploring; we made our was across the rail bridge to a small beach on the river and let Emma play and splash around while we dug our toes into the sand and glacial silt. This was also the only place on our trip that we experienced the legendary mosquitos we were warned about, Katie didn't notice at the time, but later that night discovered at least dozen very itchy bites.
K2 has a stable of DeHavilland aircraft. They use mostly Otters, but also one Beaver, and one Piper Navajo. These tours can be either the south-side of the mountain, around the mountain, or flying up to the summit. All-but the summit flight have a glacier landing option. The summit flight is in the Navajo, because pressurization is required. We elected for the Grand tour, which goes around the mountain, with a landing.
Of over 400 hours in small planes, this was probably the most amazing hour I've ever experienced.