How I Fell in Love with Alaska, Mosquito’s and All….

Before Alaska I had no idea that sour dough originated in Alaska.
I had no idea that swarms of flies could make a grown man cry when he really needed desperately to pee.
I had no idea how many smashed mosquito’s one rental car could hold.
I had no idea what life was like in the forty eighth state. After our Alaska back packing/ camping/ mosquito smash road trip my life would never be the same. I’m sure your life would never be the same after an amazing stay at Alaska Moose & Spruce Cabins and Lodging too!
It was the first time I ever REALLY left California. Sure I had taken a few road trips with friends to Baja, Mexico but this was back in the day when Mexico was a safer place. Baja was practically San Diego back than. I had no idea what to expect in Alaska, but I hoped to see a few bears and maybe a moose or two. What I discovered was a way of life, lived in Alaska so different from my Southern California existence we left behind.Alaska
Alaska really is like a different country (And it’s not just because Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house) We flew into Anchorage, which honestly to me just felt like a big city on the edge of a forest. It reminded me a lot of San Bernardino on a nice, not to smoggy or hot day. We stayed in a B and B there, which was really just a room in some ones house. I had never stayed in a B and B before; it was awkward. I don’t know if they are all like that but yeah, not a great start to our Alaska adventure but it was cheap and cheap was good. Everything is pretty expensive in Alaska. (Like eight dollars for a package of Oreos, no joke) saving a few bucks at the beginning of the trip would help our wallets near the end.
The first night we stayed in Anchorage and the first full day we had in Alaska, we climbed in our nice clean rental car, a new Ford Focus (Shiny! Clean! That would not last!) and set our sights on Talkeetna, to the north. We’ve heard beautiful things about it from a friend of ours who loves to see the striking waters around the world (such as those seen here: They’ve gone far and wide to achieve this, with many a rental car used in the interim to get them there. So to say we were keen to see this sight is an understatement. To do that we drove through the town of Wasilla, Alaska. At the time, I was informed it was the meth capitol of Alaska. Wasilla was not exciting at all, but it would become exciting years later when Sarah Palin would join John McCain in a bid for the white house. She was a life long resident of Wasilla, and I think it’s pretty cool that we drove through the tiny meth encrusted town she hails from. Small world, right?
After we left the chemically smelly Wasilla behind us, we were out in the great wide open. This was Alaska at it’s finest. It was so gorgeous; even pictures do not do it justice. There were rivers and bugs everywhere. As we made our way north on the Park’s Highway towards Talkeetna we saw little prefab cabins all over the side of the freeway and it blew us away that people lived in them. What a dream! There were also drive up coffee cabins every where; I like a state that embraces coffee.Alaska
Our log cabin in Talkeetna was awesome. It had a jacuzzi (Yea!) that we only used once, as it was like a hot soupy bug swimming pool. Seriously, we were wearing our mosquito nets in the jacuzzi, just a little ridiculous. The cabin also had a nice little hammock in the garden; that was a nice place to lay and enjoy Alaska’s twenty four hours of summer sun shine… for five minutes until the bugs swarmed you. Next time, I think we might get a double hammock with mosquito net so that we can lounge without the risk of being bitten every minute – I don’t know why we didn’t think of it earlier.
Yea Alaska; I think the state bird is a mosquito.
The whole point of going to Alaska in June was to drive up the Dalton Highway for the summer solstice at the Arctic Circle. The Dalton Highway is all dirt road once you get North of Fairbanks. Not only is it dirt road but truckers drive it in big rig eighteen wheelers going eighty miles an hour. You are not allowed to take rental cars on this road.
So we did of course.
Before we would off road into the never ending Alaska twilight that is their midnight in the summer months we would have to stop out side Fairbanks so the boys could pee. As soon as Ryan and Steven jumped out of the car, opening the doors for mere seconds, the car was instantly flooded with huge mosquito’s and Jenny and I began smashing them every where. That’s when we noticed there were mosquito covered stains all over the interior of the once new Ford Focus. Wops.
In the middle of our murderous bug kill we noticed something interesting; the boys were outside the car, with their pants down running around and swatting like mad… They could not pee, there were so many mosquito’s and biting black flies. They came back to the car at one point to regroup (And complain to us) and than jumped back out into the Alaska road side wilderness to try again. Finally urination complete, we were able to head back north of Fairbanks and continue on our journey to the Arctic Circle and a summer solstice I will never
Alaska truly was the vacation of a life time. I have never laughed so hard in all my life as when I was in a mosquito filled car with my three best friends and five hundred mosquito’s for one week when I was twenty three.
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  1. Pingback: Alaska, Day Two; Exploring a Glacier and a Sudden Hail Storm in Talkeetna - The Hungry Mountaineer

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