Friday, July 08, 2005

Jet Boat Safari

The 2nd tour Ed and I booked was a Jet Boat Safari for 8:30 this morning. We walked over to the boat dock and saw 50 passenger jet boats and 16 passenger jet boats. Ed hoped that there weren’t too many people on the safari and we would go on the smaller boat. Boy, did he get his wish. There was one other passenger, a gentleman from New Hampshire that teaches physics at Plymouth College (actually he is the physics department!). The riverboat captain, Jacques was a young man in his mid twenties who was raised in Northern New York state and moved to Alaska about 7 years ago when he finished college. Jacques drives riverboats in the summer for his uncle and works in the oil fields in the winter (the oil company lays them off in the spring). The oil company flies the workers in and out of the oil fields. They work a 100 hour week for two weeks, then get two weeks off. Anyway the boat ride was a lot of fun and we got to see Mt. McKinley again but it was much smaller and farther away this time. This boat ride gave us a different perspective of the area as the part of the river we drove up was away from populated areas. We didn’t see much in the way of wild life except for some terns already on their way south to Antarctica and a couple of juvenile bald eagles. Later in the day we walked into Talkeetna and checked out the town. There were several restaurants and many gift stores but this was to be expected as visiting this town is included in some Princess cruises (several of their busses were there).

Cast Off....

When you are not in an airplane, this is how Mt. McKinley looks

An eagle's net, a heavy hail storm a few weeks prior had killed the chicks, so the nest at this point is empty

Guess who

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