Armchair Alaska

Ahhhhh! I have neglected writing for the holiday months and now am nose to nose with New Year’s resolutions, one of which includes my tendencies towards consistency and my writing becoming better friends. I will back date these so they are placed in their season. And I will do better (I say each January…)

Exploring via the Alaska train is brilliant.  We started in Whittier for two reasons:  Tunnels and time.  Hanging out between the cars has got to be one of the better experiences we’ve had as a family.  The kids like to holler at some (multiple) point(s) during the tunnel experience.

Bursting out into the light between the tunnel string from both Whittier and before Glacierview is simply thrilling.  For some reason the vistas seem even more magnificent this way, even though we had driven through Bear Valley an hour earlier.

And watching the light hurtle towards you as analogies fly through your head is just plainly an irreplaceable experience.  

The second best thing about taking the Alaska train is that it goes slowly compared to personal vehicular travel so there is plenty of time for reflection,

as the train wanders off into the wilderness where cars cannot go, where roads have never been.

We play card games, eat, read books, explore every car, eat, peek into the baggage car, and hang out between those cars soaking up sunshine!

In the past, we have often planned a camping trip at Spencer Glacier Whistlestop, in which we are dropped off in the middle of nowhere Alaska, sleep under the stars next to the calving glacier, and then are picked up by the train.  This time we were just on for a day trip as the train enabled us to see the wilds of Alaska with a relative who is awaiting knee surgery so could not ramble around easily.

So we plowed past Spencer to Grandview, which is a stop with a basic station and a few paths that wander away from the tracks.

We followed them to see where they were going.

And found blueberries galore that we bagged and ate on the way back.

Layers upon layers of wilderness as far as the eye can see.

We thundered back down towards civilization, with the river escorting us around each bend.

And found ourselves home before we were quite ready. We grabbed an ice cream cone in Whittier and made it to the tunnel line in time. The Alaska train always leaves us wanting more—which is the definition of a good adventure!

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