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.
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.
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.
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.