The plan for this day is as follows:
- Hit the road fairly early. Again, I don't know how long we are going to sleep, but my guess is that we can probably be on the road by 7 or 8. At some point either yesterday or today, we'll need to get some groceries. When we travel, we often make sandwiches, fruit, chips for lunch to cut down on meal costs. Given that feeding five folks in Alaska is going to get pricey anyway, this is the plan for Alaska.
- First stop--Eklutna Spirit Houses. I only recently put this on our possible list. I do like the kids (and grown ups!) to get a little bit of culture wherever we go, and this sounds like it would be unique and nothing like we've ever seen. I'm not sure if the timing will work, since they don't open until 10
- Next up--Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Museum in Wasilla. This also falls under the "Alaska culture" category. And who can resist cute puppies? Imp, in particular, loves dogs, so this should be a hit. Perhaps we'll get a dog 'sled' ride as well. The kids would probably get a huge kick out of that.
- Onward, to Independence Mine! When I was first planning this trip, I debated getting a car to drive on gravel (not just for Hatcher Pass, but also Denali Highway and also the McCarthy Road). The more I thought about it, though, I decided that things were started to get logistically complicated, and we would still have a great time without the extra worry/possible expense of limiting ourselves to only vendors who allow driving on gravel roads. So, we'll just go as far as Independence Mine and poke around there, and retrace our steps after we are done. Retracing our steps to head toward Talkeetna isn't going to really add any time to our journey, since driving the gravel road would be much slower. I figure, a picnic here will be fun and beautiful.
- Our final stop today is Talkeetna. We have nothing planned in Talkeetna this evening, so we can enjoy the places we have planned and not have to worry about arriving at a certain time. I have learned our travel style and know that this will make for a more relaxing vacation. We are staying in a cabin which has a queen bed below an a loft for the kids to sleep. I'm sure that my boys at least will get a kick out of that. This cabin also has a kitchen, so we should try to take advantage of that...if not for dinner, but breakfast for sure. A continental breakfast is served as well.