On the morning of the fourth I found myself in Anchorage on a drizzly, rainy day. Despite this, the town parade went on and I headed down to the mile long park strip through town to check out their celebrations. The town organized a carnival to be held, with food stalls, market sellers and fun rides for the kids. While numbers were down because of the weather, there was still a number of people out to line the mile long parade route at 11am. I admire their Fourth of July parades - they honor not just veterans, police, fire and ambulance workers, but also groups in community. It was a real celebration of Anchorage's community and I felt great pride from everyone I passed.
Leading the parade was Star, Anchorage's unofficial mascot reindeer, all dressed up. Star lives in a pen on 10th and I street and is the sixth in a line of Star's that started in 1960. If you want to know more, see Star the Reindeer.
Here are some pictures of the parade to see how much Americans enjoy their Fourth of July:
Following the parade, I headed out to the airport to collect my hire car and leave Anchorage to discover what else Alaska had to offer.......
Driving across Alaska
I have put in a page break so all these photos don't download at the same time and it makes it easier for you to read - just click on the 'read more' link below to see photos and read the rest of the post.
Talkeetna and Denali National Park
Talkeetna is again a small little town - roughly the size of Loch in Victoria, Australia or maybe Parachute in Colorado, US. It sits 14 miles off the Alaska Highway between Anchorage and Fairbanks and has a cute little two block square rustic main street, which is then supplemented with caravan and RV parks, little resort motels and then the tourist providers like the flightseeing, rafting and kayaking companies. The shops are very rustic looking and have great personality - I took some photos so you got an idea.
After leaving Talkeetna I continued on towards Denali National Park and again, even though I got rain for most of the way, it was still a beautiful drive.
I spent the night in a cabin on the edge of the park entrance. As I took many photos to show you all, I am going to leave off here and begin a separate post about Denali National Park.
So more to come, keep smiling!