Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello from Talkeetna!

We're counting down the hours now until we fly out into Denali!  We've stocked up on last minute gear, food (we filled two grocery carts), picked up our skis and satellite phone, and even found a few more books at the bookstore.  I've been told I won the "nerdiest book contest" with my 501 Spanish Verbs books even though Curtis bought Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and Seth grabbed a physics textbook.  I still think I placed 3rd.

We've sorted and weighed all of our gear.  This is what we started out with:

All that stuff under the tent is going with us

We think the truck breathed a sigh of relief when we unloaded it.  With our gear, Seth's gear, radar equipment, solar panels, skis, food, and who knows what else, that truck was at maximum capacity.  We sat three wide with even the backseat overflowing with stuff.

After getting our gear ready, Curtis and I have been able to relax and check out the town while Seth gets some extra work done.  It's a really nice town, but super small, so it didn't take me too much time to visit every shop open yesterday.

Here's the general store with the West Rib pub around the corner  

The historic Roadhouse with a tasty bakery, restaurant, and rooms that serves these tasty treats:

This not-so-little gem is a sourdough pancake with blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  The starter for the bread is from 1902!

There are gift shops and galleries here too for all the climbers and tourists that pass through.  Some are still closed for the season, but I got to check out a few yesterday.

We walked down to the river and finally got a closer view of Denali this morning.  It has been lost in the clouds all day yesterday.

Here's a different kind of view of the mountain from the topo map at our bunkhouse.  It's a pretty impressive mountain considering it makes the 15000 ft mountains around it look like little hills.  

We'll be flying out tomorrow to basecamp where we'll stash a bunch of our gear before taking a helicopter over to the north side of the park for the next week or so.  After that, we'll be back on the south side with more work to do and two new crews coming in to help.  Hopefully the time will fly by and the weather will be warm(ish) and sunny!  We'll also be attempting to keep up a research blog that will appear in a few places:

It should be the same blog, just in two places.  We'll do our best to keep you all updated while we're out there!

Now for the big news:

I GOT A JOB!  We finally know where we're headed when we get off the glacier!  I'll be working for the Forest Society in Concord, New Hampshire so we'll be driving back as fast as possible to get me to work the week of June 11th.  It's going to be crazy trip back but we are so happy to be headed to New Hampshire and to have a job waiting!  What a relief!  

Ok folks, that's all you're going to get for the next 5 weeks.  We'll be back in civilization by May 31st and will head back to Anchorage before we zip our way down through Canada and across to New Hampshire.   We'll be in touch as soon as we can!

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