Learn from our mistakes. Here’s what NOT to do when backpacking in Denali National Park. We couchsurfed and camped our way from Juneau to Denali National Park and saw some of the most beautiful sceneries we’d ever seen.
The surrounding areas around Anchorage were so beautiful it felt like a crime to stay in the city. So we never did.
The way north promises Talkeetna, “a historic, frontier town “. The way south would lead to Seward and the Harding Ice Field. We were afraid the weather would prevent us to see anything in Seward. Talkeetna it is!
Matanuska Glacier is one of those glaciers in Alaska that you can easily drive to. You can see it from the highway. It’s also one of the few glaciers where you could, if you want, walk right across it, slip, and crack your head. And people do.
Say you want about her, without Sarah Palin, Wasilla would only have been one of the many small towns we pass by that we never paid much attention to. I’d say that putting Wasilla on the radar of travelers like us might have been her biggest accomplishment.
It started as a joke
“Hey, we’ll be passing Wasilla. We should look for Sarah Palin’s house.”
“Hahaha, right. You.. funny… you.”
(15 seconds of thoughtful silence)
“Hey guys, it’s actually right by the road. I have the address right here,” Aaron chimed in from the back seat.
Then of course curiosity got the better of us.
It was amazingly easy (so easy it was scary) to find out exactly where she lives. Some other blogger has put up not only a satellite map, but pictures of her house so we knew exactly when we found it.
So we got off the highway right after Wasilla’s Best Western, following a nondescript dirt driveway parallel the road following the directions Aaron was reading off his phone.
What were we hoping to do there?
Jack was hoping to get a picture with her. We scoffed, “Yeah, that’s likely going to happen” (not). I’m not sure if he thought we’d spot her grocery shopping or cleaning her guns outside her house or what.
Aaron whined about Secret Service and this being Alaska everytime we got within 20 ft of a “No Trespassing” sign, so he was clearly just hoping not to get shot.
The voyeour in me was just hoping we could actually get close enough to see the house.
The driveway to the house was extra long. The house was partially hidden by trees and there were “No Trespassing” signs all over (which we respected).
So that was a little disappointing. We didn’t get shot at. And Jack didn’t get his picture.
We did get to check out Lucille Lake, the lake on Palin’s backyard.
And we have the bragging rights that we saw Sarah Palin’s house. Or to be exact, the right corner of her roof. But still.
Ruminating on the life and death of Alaskan salmons.
At $300 per person for the 3 day journey, getting to Alaska by the state ferry is not the cheapest, nor the fastest way to get from the mainland US to the 50th state.
For a drive-through glacier, you know – the type of glacier where you can simply drive to, park, and gawk at, Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau was still impressive.
So when our Couchsurfing host told us about Mendenhall glacier hike – we jumped at the chance.