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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MT. McKINLEY WILDERNESS LODGE

At the McKinley Lodge we should have a spectacular view of Mt. McKinley from our window seat in the beautiful restaurant. But we do not see Mt. McKinley. It is shrouded in clouds although that’s not unusual. Apparently the entire mountain is visible only 30% of the time. We decide McKinley is like Mt. Rainier in Seattle photos—photoshopped in. (Only Kidding). In Seattle we actually drove out to meet the famous mountain in person. Here we’ll have a few more Denali possibilities. Stay tuned!

Continuing our Alaska food expedition, we begin our explorations with Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon Chowder, an incredible combination of roasted red pepper and cream, with potatoes, garlic, onions, celery and wild Alaskan salmon smoked in traditional Northwest style over native hardwood.

As we’d been told salmon is not the only Alaskan specialty, we have to try halibut too, so for dinner we order and share Asiago Crusted Alaskan Halibut. These are the menu notes: “Noted for its flavor and texture, prized Alaskan Halibut is crusted with fresh herbs, asiago cheese, and Japanese bread crumbs. Then pan seared and finished with a fried caper and lemon butter sauce. Served with parmesan risotto and fresh brocollini.” The other entrĂ©e was Grilled Fresh Alaskan Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce, lightly seasoned and simply presented with a subtle blend of lemon, butter, and fresh dill. Now, aren’t you just salivating? It is as good as it sounds.

Rob and I are very impressed by our tour already. While there are many possibilities for traveling in Alaska, we are quite pleased so far, and I want to share that with you, particularly if Alaska is one of your future destinations. The accommodations here are in a series of lodge buildings. The decor is rustic, Alaskan-animal oriented and quite "lodgey" and "moosie." Note the bedside lamps. I got a kick out of it. We did, however, miss having a coffee pot in the room.

The Main Lodge and other facilities are hardly rustic! They were beautiful and inviting. Yet that out-in-the-woods feeling prevails. It's inviting and invigorating.

Here is a factoid to tuck away for some future Trivia Pursuit game: Mt. McKinley, also known as Denali, is the highest mountain in the United States. It actually is taller than Mt. Everest if measured from sea level, but if measured from its base, Everest is taller. So we’re talking big!!!!!!

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