Archive for July 23rd, 2014

DENALI (or more appropriately 9 hours of Hell on a train to Denali) July 23

Whittier looks foggy. Dreary and I was not thrilled to be awake at whatever time it was – 5 am maybe? Who knows. We had to be at our appointed gathering spot at 7:20 am to mull around like cattle until our group was called and we were herded off the ship (‘Bye ship!) and onto the glass topped train to Denali National Park. Oh did I mention it was a 9.5 hour train ride? Yeah.

So the good news was that we had plenty of space for the junk we were carrying – the 435 electronics mostly and neck pillow.

The ENORMOUS down side was that we had to share a table with the grumpiest people on the trip. As I said, we’d been up since arse o’clock early and I was in no mood to be trifled with. I looked like I was in no mood to be trifled with, so when the grumpy lady said, after introducing herself to us, “Wake up” to me, I wanted to punch her in the throat. So I pulled my baseball cap down over my eyes, and fell asleep leaving Arissa to the wolves. Sorry, but not really.

Oh my god the ride was terribly long. It was brutal. And while we did learn some things – plus get to eat some reindeer chili – it was pretty much more than I could tolerate. We learned that the sheep horns are really heavy.
Who knew.

I hit the ‘done with this train ride’ at about 7.5 hours, which was unfortunately as the train ride was 9.5 hours long. At one point I said to Arissa, “I want off this train NOW.” She told me no, I was not allowed off the trail because A). It was still moving B). She promised Chad she would deliver me home alive. So she made me go down to the lower car next to us and watch the world go by. At one point we pulled off to the spur so another train could go past. How close were the trains? Oh this close.

All day on that train and did we see any moose which we are told are everywhere in Alaska? No. No we did not. And believe me, that damn train was moving slow enough that there was plenty of opportunity to see a moose. I even fell asleep looking. Stupid moose.

Once at our lodging, we dumped our stuff and headed out for food. It had been a long journey and of course everyone and his/her brother was trying to get food at the same place we were. So we put our names in and headed out to get a cache. Because how else best to burn some time? Duh.

Finally our buzzer buzzed and it was as if we’d won a fabulous prize! I suppose in a way we had, because the waiting line had only gotten longer in our absence! Woohoo for us, we are winners!

After a long darn day on the train. And a delicious beverage or two, we may have tried to get into the wrong hotel room. Maybe.

chris on July 23rd 2014 in Travel