Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


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Wordless Wednesday: Winter Comes to Denali National Park

*WW Linky below*

On Monday I took what was probably my last trip into Denali National Park for this season.

Snow has been falling in the park and on the mountain peaks for the past few days now.

And while the stunning fall colors are starting to fade, the bright white snow contrasts against them beautifully.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see any wildlife, but I was treated to Mt. McKinley in all its glory (the mountain is only visible about 30% of the year).

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Soaring Over Denali National Park

*Linky below*

Last week, on my day off, I was blessed with another opportunity to take a flight over Denali National Park.

Waiting for my plane pickup by Kantishna Air Taxi–at a typical Alaskan runway

The weather wasn’t great, but I was optimistic anyway. Turns out positive thinking pays off!

The panoramic, bird’s eye view of the DNP landscape was, as always, completely breathtaking.

Soaring peaks. Massive glaciers. Stunning colors.

It’s almost too beautiful to believe.

Cantwell Glacier

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Trip Pics

Glacier along the Denali Highway

View of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Valdez harbor

Kodiak (one of the boats on Deadliest Catch)

Pipeline terminal (end of the line)

Beautiful blue iceberg

Entering the ice fields of Columbia Glacier

Columbia Glacier

Me and K.

Mt. McKinley was visible on our drive home


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Mini-vacation

Let me begin by saying that today was AWESOME!

Our day-off mini-vacation started yesterday after work. Vince and I, along with 3 friends, traveled 2 hours south of Denali and spent the night at another Princess Lodge (Mt. McKinley Princess) located near Trapper Creek.

Moose sighting on our drive down to Talkeetna

Hiding in the massive Fireweeds!

We went to dinner and then to the employee kickball tournament (where Vince met a distant relative of his from Bulgaria-whose husband, Allan, was our fishing guide extraordinaire today. Small world!

We got an early start this morning and met Allan at his cabin. After loading up on homemade cappuccinos and banitsa, we headed off to Sunshine Creek for some salmon fishing.

Sunshine Creek

Long story short, I didn’t net a darn thing! Everyone else, including Vince, got some beautiful, big red salmon. After over 5 hours, hooking/wrestling with 5 and losing 3 lures (those suckers put up a fight!), it became apparent that it just wasn’t my day.  We packed up and headed into Talkeetna for some lunch and a look around.

Vince's first catch

Second red salmon of the day, he is so proud!

Talkeetna is a unique little town. It is the starting point for most climbers on Mt. McKinley and has an artsy, small-town vibe.

Talkeetna, Alaska. My shirt looks very odd in this photo!

We ate lunch at a colorful little pizza joint then took a walk down the main street out to the Susitna River. Afterwards, we did a little shopping-including buying Allan some replacement gear for the lures/spinners that we lost.

LOVED the cheerful tables and chairs

On the banks of the Susitna River

Girls-only photo!

It couldn’t have been a more gorgeous day. The weather was clear and warm and I even got a little sunburn! The only thing that would have topped it off would have been for the mountain to have been visible (Talkeetna is a mere 40-miles from the base), but oh well!

We had such a good time that we are planning another trip for next week. I hope I am able to get the day off! I am determined to catch a salmon! Vince and I are even thinking of having whatever we catch smoked so we can take it home, which is good because I happen to love smoked salmon.

I am home now and should be in bed, but I had to get a post up before turning in. It was just such a great day and I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone!

Salmon fishing in Alaska, another item down on my Alaskan bucket list!

W.