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Merikay and her son, Gil, at Death Valley National Park 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mahay's Jet Boat ride, Talkeetna, Alaska

When I made a reservation for our big adventure next week, I also looked at several other things to do in Talkeetna during our seven day stay. Friday was bright and sunny, and Saturday promised to be the same.  After so many rainy, overcast days, the blue sky was a beautiful sight.

Saturday morning we took the Devil's Canyon trip in a Mahay's jet boat. Click here to see a commercial YouTube video of our ride.

After only a few minutes on the water, we went around a bend in the river, and got a dramatic, clear view of Mount Foraker, Mount Hunter, and Mount Denali



We were told that only 5% of tourists who come here actually get this clear a view. 


From the stories I have heard about the mountain peak just showing of a few minutes at a time, I believe we were very lucky.



  Denali sure is big, given that she is almost 60 miles away.



The jet boat ride was fun. The boat was completely enclosed, but we could open the windows.  When the captain stopped for a picture-op, two front doors were opened and we could use them for a window-free direct shot.



The trip was a 130 mile round trip, and went up into the white water of Devil's Canyon of the Susitna River.



We only went in part way up the canyon because it is too rough to go all the way.



We were told that only two people have made it through in boats. In fact the canyon itself is a demarcation line between dialects of the indigenous people of the area.



We saw a few eagles and this bear along the river banks. He didn't stick around for long, and our pilot said that was good because they do allow hunting from boats along here.



One thing I found interesting was the color change of the waters coming into the river from the sides. The main channel is clouded with glacial silt. The side creeks are fresh and clear. We stopped to see the salmon who were starting to gather at this creek mouth. Only those who were born there will go up to spawn. Each salmon seeks the creek in which it was born.


After a light box lunch, we stopped at a dock and disembarked for a short nature walk.

Perhaps in was just for "show" but our guide carried a shot gun in case of a bear encounter. 















We visited a demonstration Native fish camp and a replica trapper's cabin.



If nothing else, it was a chance to stretch our legs before the last half hour of the boat ride.

Coming back, we once again stopped to get a good view of Denali!


I know this same image is shown above, and is being used as the header as I write this post, 
but when the header is changed it is lost from the blog, and I want to keep it in view.
As nice as that trip was, our day was not yet over

To be continued...

12 comments:

  1. Looks like a great ride. When we were in Talkeetna, we had a great and huge breakfast in town and then a very nice train ride.

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  2. Fantastic photos of Denali...We were told that 30% of visitors get to see Denali. :-) Guess that makes you more appreciative whatever they tell you! wonderful boat trip! Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Our guide said it was 5% for as clear a view as we had.v Many more people will see just the top with a skirt of clouds. I would have been happy with that too.

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  3. What a fun boat tide sounds like you enjoyed it.

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  4. We took the same tour. Did they tell you the story of the lost dog?

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    1. No. Will it fit in a comment? They told us the story of a lost fish. It missed its turn and went all the way up the main river looking for it. When it realized what had happened, it turned around and went back down to the right tributary, turned in and presumably spawned. This story is made possible by radio tags and monitors at various points in the river network.

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  5. Great shots of Denali, we were blessed to be part of the 33% who see Denali. Boat ride looks like fun, something for our next trip to AK.

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    1. Our guide said it was 5% for as clear a view as we had.v Many more people will see just the top with a skirt of clouds. I would have been happy with that too.

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  6. Fantastic pictures Merikay of Denali and the jet boat ride looks like fun too. I'm looking forward to your next blog post..smile.

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  7. Wow, you were so lucky to see Denali! I've been enjoying all your posts about your trip. We hope to do Alaska at some point in the future.

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  8. Wow, that is one gorgeous photo! So beautiful. We hope to get to Alaska someday but in the meantime I'm enjoying tagging along on your trip. :)

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