Friday, June 22, 2018

ALASKA TRIP-MAY 2018 - TRAIN RIDE FROM DENALI TO ANCHORAGE


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Monday, May 21st, 2018
Train Trip from Denali to Anchorage

We got out of the hotel this morning and didn't have to board the bus until 11.00 a.m.  It was nice to have a relaxing start to the day.

It was a short journey to catch the train. The seating area was on the top with huge glass windows all around us.  

Below this deck was the dining car where we ate lunch and dinner.  This ride was a whole lot of fun.  

The view of the mountains was stunning.  We saw Denali.  It seems we are among the 15% of tourists who have actually seen it, as it is often shrouded in mist.  We were a few of the lucky ones we were told.  If that is the case then we have had so much luck on this journey, with the weather, the wildlife, many things.

It was a great train ride and we passed many out-of-the-way homes whose only way of getting out of their area was a particular train they would flag down.  If the driver saw anyone next to the track waiting, or was asked by a passenger to stop, he would pick up or drop people off.

We saw one man chopping wood next to his home, nowhere near the track so not a potential passenger, but he stopped what he was doing and waved as we passed by.

If we met a train going in the other direction, we were told to wave by placing our hands on each side of our head and wiggle our fingers as though they were the antlers of a moose.  Yes silly but fun as we all got in touch with our inner child.  

Everyone laughed as the people on the passing train did the same thing to us.  We learned the "Moose Wave" with utter silliness and delight as the train on the opposite track disappeared in a flash.

We were also told at the end of the day, to stomp our feet on the floor so that the dining staff below could hear our appreciation.

I fell once on the train, forgetting the step down from our seat to the center aisle, but our nephew who was sitting opposite caught me and I fell right into his lap!  And yes, the tray was up and I didn't knock anything else flying!
My hero!

Later when Gregg warned me to watch that step as I got up again, our nephew joked "Don't worry Denise, I am hear to catch you" and patted his lap.  Made me laugh and I had almost forgotten the embarrassment of falling in the first place.  I wasn't the only one, a couple of others did the same, but a little more gracefully than I managed it.  

We are now in the Marriott Hotel in Anchorage, but the four of us are leaving for Alyeska tomorrow.  Good decision to keep that hotel booking, and we are all looking forward to seeing it again.  

Everywhere you look there are mountains, the scenery is breathtaking.  

We will say goodbye to Gregg's sister.  Her husband left tonight and tomorrow she catches her flight, and our friend and sister later.  They are heading to the east coast, like we will be in a week's time.  We have come together from different parts of the states with this vacation of ours.  Hard to believe that this portion of the journey is over.  It has gone fast.

A few facts about Denali

Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, its former official name, is the highest mountain peak in North America, at 20,310 feet (6,190 meters) above sea level.  

Denali is from an indigenous Koyukon name, meaning "great one".  

Denali is taller than Mount Everest when calculated by measuring the distance from base to summit.  Denali's summit is 18,000 feet from its base.  Mount Everest's summit is 12,000 feet from its base.  

To reach Denali's top it takes three to four weeks, and most climbers use the West Buttress Route.  

More interesting facts can be read here.

30 comments:

  1. What a fabuous post from begining to end and a marvellous tripyou all had. The Moose Wave. That;s a fun thing to do at passiing trains. Glad you nephew was there to catch you when you fell and glad you did not get hurt. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thank you Margaret, it was all a whole lot of fun and I was very thankful to my nephew for catching me. He saved me a lot of bruises.

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  2. It looks, and sounds, truly amazing. No wonder your faces are wreathed in smiles in each and every photo.

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    1. Thanks EC, everyone seemed to be in a great frame of mind looking around.

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  3. Wow what stunning countryside and I love that glassed top train. Have a great weekend Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane and the same to you :)

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  4. I am so glad you showed all the parts of the train, love it love it... the views out that glass part are beyond amazing. I love those really tall Christmas trees in the snow and all the mountains are just spectacular... great photos, you and your camera did a great job

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  5. I am back, I forgot to say my favorite pic is the one with the blue house nestled in the mountain grandeur

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    1. That was one of my favorites too. I saw several other homes I loved the look of along that railway track. It was the first time I have ever been on a train in the USA.

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  6. Hello, yes you are very lucky to see Mt Mckinley with clear views. It is a beautiful place. Love the views from the train, sounds like a great trip! Enjoy your day and weekend. PS, thank for commenting on my blog.

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    1. Thank you Eileen and you are very welcome. I always enjoy visiting your blog.

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  7. Spectacular landscapes- especially Denali.

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  8. So glad you survived your fall, I can imagine that happening to me and not being so lucky.

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    1. Thank you Christine and I hope you don't have any of those falls. I have had ones that take me longer to get over.

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  9. Hi Denise,
    Caught by the nephew on the train, be grateful he was on hand but also you weren't climbing Denali.
    I had never realised as to how high Denali was.
    Your train trip was delightful to share with you, the blue house I'm afraid would not be for me, a little too isolated.
    Wonderful trip,
    All the best, John

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    1. Hi John, I am definitely glad he was on hand and no worries on climbing Mt. Denali, lol! I always wanted a place in the country and loved the look of the blue house. Wouldn't mind trying it for a while just to see, and to wave the train driver down for a ride into town :) Never going to happen but maybe in my next lifetime :) All the best to you too.

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  10. Wow! Great views from that train. How great to see that mountain peak!

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    1. It certainly was Ellen, it was stunning!

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  11. Really stunning photos. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us.

    God bless.

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    1. Thank you Victor and you are very welcome :)

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  12. After seeing this train trip post and the wonderful and so scenic photos, Denise, I know that somehow we will also have to take a train trip in Alaska. I'm not sure if it will be before or after the train trip in Canada. Thanks for the great tour and all of us have slipped and mine happened on a Boston "T" tide recently.

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    1. You will both enjoy it tremendously Dorothy. We both said we would like to go do it again one day. Ah yes, I think many of us have slipped and I hope yours was a safe landing :)

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  13. Wonderful pictures! You were lucky to see Denali ... we did not -- giving us anoother reason to go back someday. (Sigh, so many places ....

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    1. Happy you enjoyed them Sallie, a reason for us too. I would love to see it again.

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  14. Denise, you are so fun! I think it better traveling with family, like this. I love the Moose Wave!

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    1. Well Jenn, I'm glad you think so, I'm going to have to tell Gregg that, or better still let him read what you said, lol! I'm still doing that moose wave but am getting some very strange looks ;)

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