Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Take a Ride on the Rails~

We love to ride the train!
It is something all of our family enjoys..
no traffic, no one giving directions, no fuss, no worries..
you can get up when you want, move around, hop car to car, window to window.
On the Alaska Railroad, you can also hang out the windows and let the wind blow in a way
that makes you understand why dogs love that feeling!

Then there is that fun Railroad Lingo--

On a sunny morning, the Nursing Daughter and I went "All Aboard"
the Denali Star from Anchorage to Denali Park.





We headed north on Gold Star Car C.


The track passed Elmendorf and Ft. Richardson...


 and meandered along the silty, glacier fed rivers...


The Alaska Railroads is one of the few working railroads that pull both cargo and passengers.
Track-side stations can be found all up and down the line.


Soooo much to see..


sunshine..


fantastic and ever-changing vistas..


moose, bear, tundra swans..


and we are one of the lucky 30% who have seen Mt. McKinley!..


 There are several interesting buildings along the way.
My pictures of the seven story structure didn't turn out, 
but  the Dr. Seuss cabin is worth checking out..


As the ceiling came down, the top of McKinley disappeared..


Talkeetna is where most of the mountaineers that climb McKinley, begin their trek.


If you choose, you can spend a night-or more- there.


It is the first regular stop for passengers to get on and off.


The conductor warned everyone that if they went too far, 
they would have to run to catch the train.


and with the sound of the whistle, we were off again.. 





The folks who homesteaded along the tracks here, have written two books about raising their family miles from anyone.
He worked for they railroad and they hadn't a clue what they were getting in to,
but through the years, created a satisfying life for themselves.

When they were on vacation long ago, friends painted the sign on the house!


Very cool bridges!!


This footbridge leads to a cabin.  The ribbon marks the location for a flagstop.
By flagging the train down, these people can get into town whenever they want.


Further up the track this fish sock means the folks were home
and would like their paper delivered..

As we went by, the paper wrapped in a bag, was thrown down the trail!


The conductor usually delivers at least ten papers each day.
Shannon Cartwright (a popular Alaskan published author)
and another gentleman waited by their respective stops to 
receive their catch, and wave to everyone.


Hurrican Gulch was breath-taking from our viewing deck--
on this train everyone is encouraged to look out 
or over the side to get a better view!

Can you see where the clear creek water meets with the silty, glacier river?


It was a wonderful day to hang out (after checking the door latch) and take pictures ;o)


Sunny Honolulu, Alaska!


Anchorage students have the opportunity to become tour guides by participating
in the Tour Program.  

One lesson they taught us:
The Five Salmon of Alaska Hand~
Thumb-Chum (Dog)
Pointer Finger-Sockeye (Red)
Tall Finger-King (Chinook)
Ring Finger-Silver (Coho)
Pinkie-Pinks (Humpy)

I can never remember which is which, so this is will help me remember!

Because they are still in high school, the young guides have to return home every night...



So both the north and southbound trains stop for a few minutes just below 
Summit to exchange staff,
then take off again with folks waving.



I chuckled at this sign coming up..


A passing view out the always open dutch door.


Even the bathroom was cool with pretty tilework!

As we chugged north, the terrain began to change..

Near this point is the only lime mine (try saying that 3X fast!) in Alaska.
The lime is what gives the rocks in the area their green cast..

And..if you worked at Denali Park,
you would live in this camp during the summer.


Then one more corner..

and we were at the Denali Park Station!

We highly recommend taking a ride on the rails.....







1 comment:

  1. Beautiful vistas indeed! I haven't been on a train for years. Riding the rails in Alaska looks like a memorable experience.

    (I enlarged the picture of the rail workers home but I could not see what their friends painted on it) Think it is pretty neat that he kept it on the house though.

    ReplyDelete

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