For 2018

"Life is lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back through the valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale.” Jill Savage

Monday, August 03, 2009

The McKinley Explorer

The Alaskan Railroad to Denali. Actually I took the McKinley Rail run by the Princess Cruise Line and it was attached to the Alaskan Railroad cars. (To tell you the truth they had the better and prettier car.) Mine had a glass dome and I sat upstairs. The dining car was below. At first it was freezing and several people complained. The lady/guide explained not to worry - in a little while we'd all be wanting more. She was right as the glass dome did heat up a little bit. I must admit I feel asleep on the train and woke myself up snoring. The guide I had on the way to Denali was excellent and I have her name written somewhere in my notes and I am going to write up a good comment on her. Coming back - not so good. Same for the bar tender. Yes - even tried a Mississippi Mud Slide drink. Something new - as I was trying to do and taste some things I had never done before.

This was mine - notice the clear dome on the top and all windows on the side. Like I said you sat upstairs and had a clear view where ever you looked. Below were the dining cars - they served two meals if you were interested. Complete with tablecloth and linens. Sometimes you sat with someone and sometimes you sat alone - I guess depending on how many people wanted to eat at a time. Met some travelers from other cities in the US on the train. Everyone was pretty friendly. They had a souvenir shop too.

The views were spectacular. Passed Wasilla where Sarah Palin lived. They like her a lot there. The guide told us stories from beginning to end. My son went five years ago on the Alaskan Railroad and there was no guide and no stories. Another difference.

It took 8 hours to get into Denali. Actually it took me right up to Denali National Park. The only way to get into Denali National Park itself was to be taken in by bus from the train. You cannot drive a car into Denali National Park. The park is seasonal and stays open from about April to September. When it does close they give 350 people (via a lottery) from Alaska the opportunity to drive through it before it closes totally up for the winter.

They do have dog sleds in the park all winter long - looking for poachers. The number one thing I have found there - is the love people have for their sites and their animals.

I have a friend from NC and she said it seemed as if I feel in love with Alaska. I did. I have another friend from California (we all started in Chicago) who went to Alaska last year and when I asked her if she felt the same she said, "Yes!" I'm not alone I can assure you.

Okay my son, daughter in law, and me - we looked at my pictures. It brought back memories for them. Now they went on their own, but camped out and did hostels. I went the 'nice' way. So it ended up that I got a lot more stories and inside information and facts with my guided way (and I had some great guides) then they did on their own. My daughter says I'm like a walking encycolpedia.

I'm just trying not to forget.



Changes in the wind said...

They can take away a lot of things but not our experiences and memories:)

ClassyChassy said...

These things need to be recorded, so good you are posting it on your blog. Do you have a photo album to print off the pictures and write a little something about each pic?

Chatty Crone said...

Your right - no one can take away what is in our heart and mind.

And yes, I put my pictures on Snapfish and ordered an ablum of all of them. Writing at night when I can have some quiet time to think!

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Great post! The train trip sounded wonderful. Is that how you got such good shots, by being up in the dome, of the moose, bear, etc? I remember taking the train to NYC in 1964, eating in the dining car, with linens, and the black waiters dressed in crisp black and white clothing.
Journaling, as you're doing at night, is a great idea. The perfect way to record your feelings, and reactions to such beauty, and newness. You'll relive the experience each and every time you read it, in years to come!

Buttercup said...

I went to Snapfish as soon as I got home and did an album to share with the friends I met on the ship. I also had a poster made and have it up on my wall at work and I never get tired of looking at it. The memories and the beauty stay with me. I also bought a number of Christmas gifts while in Alaska and had the best time taking them out in December. Brought back wonderful memories. Vo

Chatty Crone said...

There is something about Alaska and New York!

Buttercup said...

Is New York your next trip? :)

Chatty Crone said...

I guess I said New York because you talk about it like I talk about Alaska - something gets in your heart about a place and you may not even know it, but others can tell.

I'd love to plan a trip to New York - so maybe so...