Don't worry about the apparent scowl on Dave's face. He really is happy . . . . and he thinks he is smiling! Also, that coffee you see me with was a MAJOR reason my mood improved. Oh, and the backpack in front of my feet was our T1D lifeline. It had insulated compartments on the inside and the straps were nice and wide for good comfort.
In true Alaskan weather fashion, just as we exited the train for a demonstration on how to properly swirl water to separate the grit from the gold, the clouds parted and the sun shone through to make the flecks all sparkly. The kids had a blast going into the depot to weigh their find and daydream about hitting it rich. A VERY family friendly tour I highly recommend.
The last stop of the day was along the Steese Highway for a stop and look tour of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline ~ Built in the 1970s after oil was discovered at Prudhoe Bay (1968), the 48-inch diameter, 800-mile pipeline links Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean with the terminal at Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in the Western Hemisphere. The flow from this pipeline accounts for roughly 20 percent of U.S. oil production annually . . . according to here Really neat to see and the cloudy sky was a phenomenal sight.
Day three of our 15 day excursion lead us to board the Alaska Railroad's touring cars. As you can see from the photo, the windows are rounded up into the ceiling for a fantastic view of the scenery. This train took us from Fairbanks to Denali National Park in about 5 hours. A brunch was served on the lower level of the car (see Ben going downstairs) and you could get up and walk around. even opting to go outside to a viewing deck in between the cars.
The weather was cool and rainy, but I thought great for traveling. Holding the camera up to the window provided some great photo opportunities of either the landscape or the water droplets on the window. As for the motion, this was the day my tummy decided to be flip-floppy. I do not know how people used to travel for weeks aboard a train . . . . definitely not my preferred method of transportation.
After a long morning and another delayed lunch we arrived at our destination . . . it took my breath away. "Are we really going to stay here" I wondered? It seemed too good to be true, but the shuttle pulled away and our luggage was tucked into our room. I breathed in the wonderful pine-scented air and took out my camera to try and capture the beauty.
The first photo on the right is the view from the lodge. Incredible! I wish I had a pandemic function (maybe I do?) but even then this is one of those places you just HAVE to go and see for yourself to appreciate the surroundings.
And, one of the best parts?! We were just 24 hours away from meeting Denise and family of My Sweet Bean and Her Pod. Yep! Another Alaska D-Mom noticed I was traveling her way and contacted me for a chance to meet-up. Unfortunately the tour was not stopping in her home city of Anchorage for very long (just for a quick lunch) so Denise decided to come to us in Denali. How cool is that?! She booked a room at the same lodge and I will tell you all about the visit (including photos) . . . . . . on the next post. Hehehehehehehe.
I have to leave you hanging so you want to come back and read more, right?!
Muahahahahahahahahaha. (Evil laugh)