Lift off from the tiny village of Talkeetna and look down on the three great rivers which converge here: the Talkeetna, Chulitna, and Susitna. These mighty rivers drain the entire south side of the Alaska Range. It’s hard to believe the rushing waters are nothing more than meltoff from the glaciers you’re about to see 50 miles distant. The plane banks over the Susitna River, a mile-wide river plain with dozens of braided channels. The vast upper Mat Su Valley reveals itself, part of the Mat Su Borough. It’s the size of West Virginia with only 65,000 residents. You cross the Parks Highway, built in 1971 to connect Anchorage to Fairbanks. You’d have to fly another 500 miles west—all the way to Siberia—before you’d cross another road. Three green river country below is rich with life. The omnipresent beaver is too small to spot, but moose may make an appearance. Migratory waterfowl fill the air, and in the rivers are five species of salmon. You’ll pass over cabins owned by real Alaska frontiersmen. They’re far off the road system: you’d need a snowmachine, airplane, or ATV if you lived back here.
- Coordinates: 62.40564, -150.293884