Alaska – 2014-07-21

Wherein the big kid is thrilled by an all-day train ride from Denali to Anchorage. Trains, trains and trains. Also, amazing scenery and a truly funky lawyer story.

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Above – After a great time in Denali Park – our group of eight. Click HERE for a surprise!

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Above – The moment for which we have all been waiting.

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Above – A friend in the railroad business commented that “The brakeman in the above photo (also below) certainly fits my stereotyped image of someone from Alaska!”

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Above – You need to carry a lot of fuel in this territory. Extra weight for better traction in the snowy season (starts in September) is also a help.

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Above – Nice dome cars with open vestibules on the top deck in back. Many close-ups coming later.

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Above and Below – Our dome car with outdoor vestibules on the lower deck. Great place to take pix and feel the fresh air in your face.

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Above – There sure were a lot of old people on this trip!

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Above – Judy did it again – seats with a great view of the road ahead as well as keeping an eye on the guy with all the liquid refreshments.

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Above – A blue melting snow runoff stream with gray glacial runoff stream emptying into it from the left.

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Above – Funky Lawyer Story – Our guide had us looking for a 13-story house, built that way by a lawyer so his view of Denali was never obstructed by trees or really tall moose. Strange looking place (close ups below).

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Below three pix – As I said earlier, gravel is big business in Alaska. They need a lot of it for roads and other projects and it is readily available from the crumbling mountains.

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Above – Two ways to stop a train from going off the rails.

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Above – A desperation way to keep the train from running off the end. This is called a ‘derail’ (DR) and puts a runaway off before the end of the track by blocking one rail so the rail car wheels go ‘on the ground’ and come to a bumpy stop. My favorite, however, we saw a few miles earlier (no pic, of course). It was a pile of ballast gravel on the track and a handmade sign that said, “End of Track”.

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Above – Not all the line from Denali has automatic signals, but for the sections that did, I enjoyed watching them change green to red. I know, get a life…..


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