Denali Expedition: Van Deventer & Team Return to Talkeetna to Complete Trip
Saturday, June 3, 2023 - 9:28 pm PT
After a another day of waiting, false starts on packing and taking down our tents, and some general finger twiddling, we suddenly got the very positive news that K2 had launched all four of their otters to come get us yesterday evening. The trusty planes hit the runway in quick succession, not unlike a military drill and we were loading duffels, packs, and sleds with excitement. We went on the slide down the runway one more time and we were off, airborne for Talkeetna. The flight out was a bit bumpy and we dodged clouds through the Alaska range to get home. It was quite evident how hard the pilots had worked to come get us.
We landed in Talkeetna and disembarked to the fragrant smell of plants, technicolor hues of leaves and grass, and gratefully removed our boots and traded for flip flops. And just like that, we had reached the end of the expedition and achieved our ultimate goal - to come home whole. We gathered at the Denali Brew Pub for a celebratory dinner and poked our head in the historic Fairview Inn for a touch more celebrating.
This morning we dried our gear, repacked bags for flights home, and got ready to head our separate ways. There is a strong bond that develops sharing tents and some trials over 23 days on a glacier. It's bittersweet to move on, but we do so knowing that this team came together in a way that made everyone stronger, they stretched to meet all of the many challenges we faced, and we came back successful. From Henry, Tatum, and myself, we would like to thank all of our team sincerely for being so strong, fun, and patient, and many thanks to everyone's families for the support and for following along. This is a long strange trip that none of us will soon forget. Flight plan closed.
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer