Looking for fall

*My blog has fallen behind! Perhaps stories for times when I’m home bound.  Although I did a nice hike in Alaska, some great travels in Utah, and a quick trip to D.C., I’m skipping to this weekend in Alaska.

I rolled out of Anchorage today with the goal of visiting the largest National Park in the country, Wrangell-St. Elias. I worked most of the day, so I didn’t hit the road until 2 pm, with Jaz. This is a tough long rider to Kennicott Lodge, so it’s good to break it up into two days’ travel. The total drive from Anchorage is nine hours in a car. The last 59 miles can be a challenging dirt road and it’s best to be fresh.

Tonight we got ahead of the weekend crowd, but there were still a lot of rec vehicles to contend with. It’s that time of year when men are switching the fishing rods for rifles, as hunting season begins. One thing both seasons have in common is camo – in all colors. Question: Why do men fish in camo? Perhaps I need some camo?

Judy standing in a store while covered in camo attire

Do I need camo to feel manly?

We headed north towards Sheep Mountain Lodge, through the land of slow RV’s that don’t pull over. This time of year, all the rigs were pulling trailers with 4-wheelers instead of boats. We stopped at Sheep Mountain for a light bite on account of not wanting to die in the Holy City. The waitress threatened us not to bite the hand that feeds you (apparently Jaz was having too much fun with her).

The idea of this trip was to try to catch the fall colors. Although there has been a slight nip in the air, and I had all my heated gear on, the colors are not yet out. Maybe we will have better luck tomorrow? We are staying at the Tonsina River Lodge, about 20 miles south of the turnoff to Chitina.

We rolled into town at about 6 pm. The place was filled with truckers, local folks, hunters, and construction workers. The only food to be had was buffet style meat. I don’t think I have ever eaten as much meat as I ate tonight. Meat lasagna, shepherd’s pie, ribs,  and meatballs. No real veggies were served. The salad was so wimpy. I watched in astonishment as people loaded their plates with meat, sat down, and ate it all. I am going into a food coma now.

Everyone was sitting around the tv in the bar watching a reality show called Tazlina River Crossing (not far from here). The name of this place is Tonsina River. They laughed at the drama and shook their heads and wondered why everyone in the lower 48 is fascinated with Alaska. One guy said,“Local’s don’t do some of the crazy things they show on those programs, we would all be dead.

Tomorrow will be interesting. We have 59 miles of dirt road that used to be a rail-bed. Frequently, debris from the rail-bed travels up and pops tires. I brought one extra rear and one extra front tube. Let’s hope my days of “Flat-Tire Kesler” are behind me!

A sheep head mounted to a wall with a shelf with numerous beverages below it
Snot Covered Rocks and Other Horrible Things
"Don't strangle my dog"
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.


  1. That cammo coat – hmm. Looks like a costume for some sort of horror movie involving leaf-creatures!

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