Talkeetna Jet Boat Trip

Friday (7/7) we enjoyed a leisurely morning at our campsite in the Teklanika River Campground.  We took our time slowly driving out of Denali National Park, marveling at the beauty.  We saw a family of about a dozen partridges cross the road in front of our car (unfortunately none of the photos turned out).  We also got to see a mother moose and her calf feeding along the roadway.   As we left the park, we decided to go back to the 49th Street Brewery in Healy, AK for one more great meal.  This time we sat outside on their patio so that Lucy could join us.  It was a beautiful afternoon. 

We finally got to see more moose!
Another great meal of grilled halibut at 49th Sate Brewery in Healy, AK.

We headed south on the Parks road after our meal, and continued to enjoy the great scenery along the way.  The weather changed and sky started to cloud over.  We stopped at a great spot to view Denali, but the mountain was not visible.  We decided to stop for the night just south of Cantwell at one of the many turnouts on the side of the road.  We found a spot with a nice view of a small lake and turned in for the night.  

Alaska State Park has an excellent overlook for viewing the Alaska Range...when it isn't cloudy.
This road turnoff for our overnight stay was next to a nice lake, allowing for some good views.
There was road noise and the low hanging clouds obscured the mountains, but we didn't mind at all.

We drove down to Talkeetna on Saturday (7/8) and checked out the small town.  It was crawling with tourists, so we didn’t stay very long.  We checked into the Talkeetna Camper Park for the night, which was just like most other RV parks in Alaska (crowded sites, completely full, limited services) except that this park also had a few well positioned trees that managed to block our Starlink antenna.  It was the first night on our trip that we didn’t use the satellite internet.  Luckily, we survived.   On Sunday morning (7/9), we left Lucy at a dog day care and we headed to Mahay’s Alaska River Jet Boat Adventures for their Devil’s Canyon excursion.

We are obviously excited to go on a five hour river trip.
This specially designed jet boat can hold about 50 passengers.

The jet boat took us on a 130 mile round trip up the Susitna River, which is the 15th largest river in the world.  The river is 313 miles long, with only one small town (Talkeetna) located on its banks.  Our trip took us into the wilderness, many miles from any roads or towns.  The highlight of the trip was arriving at the Class IV / Class V+ whitewater section in Devil’s Canyon.  Only world class kayakers are able to traverse through this stretch of whitewater, and no river raft has ever successfully made it through.   The specially designed, 1,000 horsepower Jet Boat was able to keep us steady at the base of these rapids. Watch the one minute video summary of the Jet Boat trip below!

The weather cleared enough on the trip back to Talkeetna for us to get a glimpse of the Alaska Range.

After our river trip, we reunited with Lucy and drove further south along the Parks Highway to Wasilla, AK.  The skies continued to clear up, treating us to more outstanding views as we arrived at Big Bear Campground (another typical Alaska RV Park) for the night.  All three of us were tired out from our adventurous day.  Tomorrow we head to Seward, AK.  

We were treated to beautiful mountain views, once again, as we arrived in Wasilla, AK.

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