Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Alaskan Cruise Day 11

We had to have the luggage packed and outside the room by 8:00 a.m. They take the luggage to the next stop by truck, rather than on the train. From there, we had a quick breakfast in the Rapids Restaurant in the Canyon Station Lodge.

We caught a shuttle back into the park and hiked on the Horseshoe Lake trail and then back to the Wilderness Access Center. Catching another shuttle, we headed back to the lodge to collect our carry on bags. One final shuttle took us back to the train depot to catch the 12:00 p.m. train to Anchorage.

Princess had five very nice cars at the end of the train. When the train from Fairbanks stopped at Denali, we watched more than 400 people pore out of the five cars; they had all five cars full.

Like Sunday, there only a few people catching the train with us. Although 400 people got off, only 40 people (half of one of the cars) got on.

The train ride from Denali to Talkeeina was absolutely gorgeous! It will definitely be one of the top five highlights of the trip for me. As the previous day, I do not think that my pictures from the train could ever capture the experience. We had lunch in the dining car. The restaurant and bar service was great.

We saw Mt McKinley (Denali) several times during the trip. We were able to see the summit as well as almost all of the mountain. The tour guide on the train said that fewer than 30% of the people coming to the area see the mountain and less than 5% see the summit. I am not sure that I believe the statistics, but was glad that we were in the group that got a chance to see it.

The trip to Talkeeina was about four hours. From there to Anchorage, the scenery was less dramatic, but still interesting. We did get a chance to see bears, moose and swans.

By the time we got Anchorage and transferred to the Captain Cook Hotel it was after 9:00 p.m. We had a very nice late dinner at Simons & Seaforts. I had probably one of the best meals that I had on the trip (stuffed halibut), while Sharon had an open faced ravioli dish.

By the time, we got back to the room and settled down, it was after 11:30 p.m.

The length of the days (more than 19 hours in Anchorage) this time of year is unreal. Walking back to the room about 10:30 p.m., it could have been 5 p.m. in the afternoon. I am going to write more about this in a separate after the trip.

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