On the way to Denali
We are now on our way north to Fairbanks. This section of the journey is an extension of the cruise arrangement up the Inland Passage. We are hooked into Princess Cruises travel and itinerary arrangements. So the train we get on in Anchorage for the first stage is a special train arranged for us being hauled by a big loco all ablaze with Alaska but pulling dome carriages ablaze with ‘Princess’. During this train trip we get the ‘usual’ views of pine studded snow-capped mountains and rushing streams. The Aspens are turning golden with the onset of fall and it is truly a great scene.
The train comes to a stop to allow us a chance to photograph Denali for the first time across a shallow river. A very impressive mountain. We alight the train at a town called Talkeetna, a bit over 100 miles north of Anchorage. It is in an ideal possie for tourists with another great spot beside the river for Denali photo taking. A local tells us that today has been the best day of the season for seeing the mountain in relatively clear skies. After wandering around town and having lunch at the local brewery we board a Princess bus bound for the Princess Mt McKinley Lodge, a further 30 miles up the Parks Highway and just inside the Denali State Park, not Denali National Park.
As my readers will know Allthego is rather partial to some fish n chips and in Talkeetna he had some of the best so far in the brewery and washed them down with a flight selection of the local brews. This was the best fish n chips so far on the trip. When the journey concludes in Seattle in a few days time there will be a reflection on the fish n chips encountered.
We arrive at the Lodge around 5pm in time to book in and to go on a short trail walk through the forest. Homealone spotted a vole, a very small rodent like creature hiding in the grass. Too small for the blog unfortunately. There is another great view of Denali from the Main Lodge complex’s balcony.
It is here we learn of the fact that the Lodge is closing the next morning for the season, 7 ft of snow fell around the lodge in the 2016 fall/winter season. It reopens in May 2018, just in time for the next cruise ship passengers heading north! This has a familiar ring to it! We are to be out early and on our way to Princess’s Denali Lodge another 120 miles north and just outside the Denali National Park, of which there will be more next time!