Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today began with our departure from Fort Richardson with Jean and Claudette, stopping for fuel and propane on the way out. Before we left the campground, I walked our Shadow over to tell the other Shadow goodbye, along with her people Gloria and Frank, and Star’s people Judy and Luke. Star didn’t get to stay outside long because the little dogs were intimidated by her size, even though she’s a very gentle German Shepherd.


I’m so glad people don’t have to get the ‘scent’ of each other the same way dogs do!


Gloria and Frank, Judy and Luke will be heading south as we head north.


Our 108-mile drive today was fairly easy, except for the annoying traffic on two-lane roads with lots of stoplights through Wasilla. We stopped at the WalMart Supercenter and ran into Gary and Mary. After shopping for some essentials and eating a sandwich in our rig, I resumed driving because Don felt a nap coming on. Most of the roads were smooth, even through the construction zones.

Talkeetna is a very small town with less than 1,000 residents. It boasts great views of Mt. McKinley on clear days. We hope we’ll have one while we spend 5 days here. It was sunny and pretty in our RV park for happy hour, where Paula and Tom joined us.


It’s great to have our group of 12 together again, plus 2 this afternoon.


The Talkeetna Camper Park is on the main road into town, next to the railroad station where busloads of passengers from cruise ships arrive, and the airport is nearby. How’s the phrase go – planes, trains, and automobiles? Add to that busses, trucks, and helicopters – we’ve got ‘em! Here’s a passenger train cruising through the other side of the trees.


A cargo train followed a short while later, carrying some really big rocks!


I barely caught the helicopter landing near us.


Don found a place to hammer in the rebar to support the flagpole since we’ll be here over the 4th of July American Independence Day holiday. And July 1 (tomorrow) is Canada Day, and we’ll honor that with our Canadian friends as well (although we don’t have a Canadian flag).


Some of us went to dinner in town. While the ambience is eclectic and interesting, the dinner at West Rib Deli & Pub was a different story.


Our group of 10 was seated promptly and our orders were taken, Dennis and Carol first.


However, Larry and Marilyn, who ordered second, got their food first.


Then Don and I got ours. Then Jean and Claudette. Then Gary and Mary. Dennis and Carol still didn’t have theirs. When they asked about it, the waiter said it was coming right up. When the rest of us were all finished with our meals, and after a couple of more requests, Dennis canceled their order. As we were waiting for our checks (which never came, and we had to go up to the bar to try to pay) their food finally came. They said they’d take it to go, but they weren’t paying for it. The waiter refused to give it to them free. So Dennis refused to take it.

We all decided the service was so bad (no refills of water, no checking to see if everything was alright, Jean had to ask twice for the hot tea he ordered, to name a few of the problems) on top of Dennis and Carol’s problem, that we weren’t paying a tip. They couldn’t figure out how to deduct the automatic 17% tip that was added to all our bills. Finally, the owner appeared and listened to our complaints and said, “Just leave.” So we did.

Too bad. The place had a lot of promise but didn’t come through. We would have been happy to pay for the food, even though it wasn’t great, but this restaurant just doesn’t have its act together. The owner was wise to cut his losses and get us out of the building to avoid causing more customers to leave. I think Dennis and Carol ended up having a reindeer hot dog at a food stand across the street. They took the situation well, but I know they were unhappy.


We’re scheduled for a river jet boat ride tomorrow. It should be fun.


  1. Sorry you had such a bad ordeal at the West Rib Deli & Pub. We ate there last year because they were featured on Man vs Food and had a fairly good meal. I had the Elk Burger! Also go to Talkeetna Roadhouse which was also featured... BEST desserts and breakfast. Have fun & enjoy!!!

  2. And did you see any scenery this day?

  3. What a story! Too bad you have to eliminate one of the no doubt few restaurants from your list since you plan to be there for awhile... :( Aren't you glad you carry your own kitchen?

  4. That must be where we ate in 2004. It took forever to get our food and we had to ask for our check at the cashier's desk. We could have walked out without paying.
    Be sure to ride the Hurricane Turn, a train out of Talkeetna that takes you into the wilderness.


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