Monthly Archives: October 2014

Denali National Park, part 5 of 6

Alaska Railroad transports people and supplies from Fairbanks to Seward.

Alaska Railroad transports people and supplies from Fairbanks to Seward.

When we had first arrived by train to Denali National Park we attempted to purchase our tickets to Anchorage.  We were encouraged, considering that only one train per day departed to Anchorage, to wait until we had returned from the backcountry with enough time to board.

I was thankful for the long ride to town for our transition back into our busy lives.  The train took us along the river and through the Alaska Range and then a long decent through the forest toward the ocean.  At one point, we stopped in the middle of nowhere to pick up our tour guide that would explain several interesting tidbits about our views.

Dome cars are great places to sit and view the landscape.

Dome cars are great places to sit and view the landscape.    

When I wasn’t distracted by Alaska’s beautiful mountains and huge rivers, I watched the forest shrub for moose and Trumpeter Swans in the many lakes and ponds.  Every now and then we crossed a trail created to deliver supplies to road-less homes and communities.

The Anchorage Museum has several excellent displays full of information about Alaska's cultures and tools used for survival.  Gyre is about one thing that is coming to Alaska, marine debris.

The Anchorage Museum has several excellent displays full of information about Alaska’s cultures and tools used for survival. Gyre is about one thing that is coming to Alaska, marine debris.

You can visit Gyre at the Anchorage Museum website.

I also recommend visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The Alaska tribes have come together to share their culture with all guests.  Teens from the various communities spend the summer here sharing about their communities shelters, tools, hunting tactics, art, sports, and sled dogs.

Apparently it only takes 5 1/2 hours to walk from pluto to the sun.  Ask about the Planet Walk and other interesting sites at the Visitor Center across the street from the court house.

Apparently it only takes 5 1/2 hours to walk from pluto to the sun. Ask about the Planet Walk and other interesting sites at the Visitor Center across the street from the court house.

For a great dog and upbeat service, visit M.A.'s Gourmet Dogs just outside of the court house.

For a great dog and upbeat service, visit M.A.’s Gourmet Dogs just outside of the court house.

Anchorage is seperated from Gompertz Channel and Chickaloon Bay by the railroad.

Anchorage is separated from Gompertz Channel and Chickaloon Bay by the railroad.  From here I could see that the beach was nothing but glacial till, and as a result, I probably didn’t want to explore it anyway.

Both the beach and the bay haunted me in Anchorage.  After being so disconnected from society for several days in the valleys of Denali, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with what I could see.  Standing in the highest populated community in Alaska, I could look into town and see a bustling community full of people getting things done, acting like any town I have been to.  When I turned around and looked out, I saw the remoteness of Alaska that I had just been so much a part of and had been so much a part of me.  It wasn’t until the evening of my third night in town that I figured out what was so unique about the site of this bay.

I was sitting in a nice restaurant in a bustling community, overlooking remoteness.  The evening was warm and the sky was clear.  Where I am from, and would soon be returning to, this view would be filled with sailboats, a ferry or two, a handful of tugs, and fishing boats.  But here in Alaska, the sun was setting behind a never ending forest and an uninterrupted glistening bay.

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