Day 21 – Talkeetna, Anchorage, and Alyeska

After the bike ride and refilling our water in Talkeetna, we headed south, intending to stop in Anchorage for the night. As we ventured south, I noticed that the air conditioning was not working on the FJ so we made a lunch stop in Wasilla and hit up an Autozone. After discussing options with the guy, I purchased a R143A filler system and refrigerant and attempted to charge the system. A few minutes into it we smelled the leak and then determined the location. Where the ARB bumper is bolted to the frame, the high pressure side had bounced against the steel and finally wore a hole in the line. I checked the part and it’s about $140 and I may decide to have it shipped to Washington to a friend’s place so I can make the repair before we head back into the desert of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. We grabbed lunch at a supermarket, picked up some CHEAP crab meat ($4/lb) and watched the construction crews as we ate. (lots of construction in Wasilla).

We got back on the road and detoured through Palmer, AK, and then on down towards Anchorage. As we approached Anchorage, the road had turned into a busy highway and traffic was a bit heavy. We had intended to check out Anchorage, but upon driving into it, it was apparent we did not really feel it was a destination. There was lots of graffiti and a real big city look, so we fueled up and continued onto the Turnagain Arm. The views of the mountains and the coastal tide plains were breathtaking. We leisurely drove up the road and stopped several times to take in the views. We stopped for the evening in a cool little community called Alyeska.  There was a ski slope and a downhill bike park, so we camped at the ski slope parking lot that doubled as a camping spot for $10 per night. The only thing they were missing was a porta-john.   (Hey guys, you need a porta-john at a campground.)

We found some oat sodas about a half mile down the canyon at a Safeway, and then began to investigate the town. There was not a lot going on from our vantage point from the parking lot since the main hotel and activities were up the road a bit more at the main resort. We turned in about 11 PM after determining that Carl would hike and I would mountain bike the Aleyska slopes in the morning.