This town with a year-round population of about 800 is 45 miles south of Bylers Lake, and about two and a half hours drive from Anchorage. It's 14 miles off the highway. It is also the jumping off point for mountaineers heading in to climb Denali and other peaks in the area.

When I left Byers Lake after lunch, I needed to again hitch a ride south, at least to Talkeetna Junction. Maybe I could get somebody who was driving in to town. My luck wasn't quite as good as the day before. It took almost an hour and a half to get a ride. At least the weather was nice - it would have been terrible to wait out there in the rain. And the guy who picked me up lives just 50 miles from where I do. He dropped me off at Talkeetna Junction, and to make up for the wait for that ride, somebody picked me up as soon as I got to the side of the Talkeetna Spur road. He wasn't even planning to go all the way into town, but did anyway just to drop me off.

And off was at the Talkeetna Hostel, which focuses on putting up climbers

Although bigger than average, this kind of construction is fairly typical in town. It's a very leafy place this time of year

Downtown Talkeetna

Ole Dahl's cabin, the oldest place in town - 1916

A few blocks from town is the Susitna River. Although it is 14 miles from the highway, the Alaska Railroad goes through town. The town was created to support the construction

On my last afternoon, I walked a mile out of town to the Talkeetna Lodge to hang out on its deck and have lunch in the sun. Thunderclouds were building over the Alaska Range

Bush flights were taking off regularly to ferry climbers in to the peaks, and pick them up

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