Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Riding the Alaska Railroad

Broad Pass in the Alaska Range
Ryan in the dining car
The Susitna Valley
Arriving in Wasilla
When we lived in Fairbanks, Ryan and I always talked about riding the train down to Anchorage just for fun and for the chance to see some slightly different scenery than you see from the highway. Three years after moving away from Fairbanks we finally had the chance! Ryan flew up to Fairbanks last week and after my last day of work, we hopped on the train on Saturday morning and rode to Wasilla where Ryan's parents picked us up. For those of you in Alaska, you know we've been having some awesome late summer weather. It's been in the 60's and even 70's all over Alaska. The fall colors are also at their peak north of the Alaska Range. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to ride the train.

The train ride was 10 hours, but 10 hours on a train is infinitely more enjoyable than 10 hours on an airplane! In the "Adventure" cars (also known as coach), everyone has assigned seats but there is also a second-story domed car with open seating. Anyone can go sit up there and enjoy the view, they just ask you not to stay more than 20-30 minutes so everyone can enjoy it. Lucky for us, the train wasn't too full and we spent quite a bit of our ride up there. The dining car was also really nice with high ceilings and we spent a bunch of time sitting in there too. Ryan spent almost two hours standing outside in between the cars enjoying the fresh air.

Some of the highlights of the ride include the Nenana River canyon between Healy and the entrance to Denali National Park, seeing Dall Sheep, the fall colors of the tundra in Broad Pass, and the (partial) view of Denali from a few spots near Talkeetna.

1 comment:

  1. So cool! That looks like fun. Thanks for sharing the story and photos! :) Zoya