Often when touring in a coach, you have to be out of bed early, but yesterday was an exception. We were able to casually get ready and have an unhurried breakfast as we travelled down to Mt McKinley by train coach, leaving around 10:00 am. The weather was on our side for this surprise train trip. Lyn has been on the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer and often remarked that the Alaskan Railway was much better.
The train was made up of only three carriages all providing top-deck visibility with clear roofs and the dinning room underneath. We had full bar service available, if required, the length of the 4 hour journey.
It is very hard to describe the scenery, in a written form, without using superlatives so I will do my best to describe it with the word “superfabulouslymagnificent”. (Some words you only come across once or twice in a lifetime – how do you like that one?) From when we left Denali until we arrived at Talkeetna, we had beautiful vistas to enjoy. The sky was blue and the snow covered mountains, close and far beyond, made some great photos. We are now members of the 30% Club as only 30% of the visitors to the area see Mt McKinley clearly without cloud during their stay.
We thought when we saw Mt Mckinley at Denali that that was the last view we would have but our train journey took us even closer but from another side. When you see Mt Cook in the South Island of New Zealand, the view is something that you stop and ‘behold’. This mountain has the same, or even greater hold on us. Lyn took so many photos, she is not wanting to count them. I ran the video camera for nearly 20 minutes for the journey.
We arrived at Talkeetna to be transferred to the Mt McKinley Wilderness Lodge about 50 minutes away. The lodge is made up of many buildings accommodating around 1000 people. A special area is provided that has 4 fireplaces for visitors to sit around and chat while beholding the magnificent Mt McKinley just 40 miles away. (The fireplaces keep the elephant-sized mosquitos away too) There are 3 restaurants serving American meals with different names. I ordered a Mac with cheese and mushrooms thinking I would get a burger with chips, but a plate full of macaroni with cheese on top arrived. Macaroni has always been on my food ‘hate’ list so the macaroni had to be replaced with something more to my likeing. The waitress, realising it was a language problem, gave us credit on the macaroni.
Today we transfer by motor coach down to Kenai Peninsular for a 2 night stay.