Travel

Alaska | Denali Star to Talkeetna.

Back in Alaska, it’s Friday, August 25 and we’re headed to Talkeetna aboard the Alaska Railroad’s Denali Star. The train left Anchorage at 8:15 am; we had to be at the depot at 7:15 to check in. We stopped for quick photo in front of the historic No. 1 engine (pretty good smiles for such an early morning!)

This train offered GoldStar service – it’s awesome! There was one other group in the car with us; it almost seemed like our own private train.

The ride to Talkeetna is just under three hours with one stop at Wasilla. It was a cloudy day, but the views were still spectacular.

We enjoyed breakfast in the newly decorated dining car.

our table mates

The painting behind the seats is one of a series of 16 reverse glass paintings designed and painted by Ayse Gilbert specifically for the GoldStar dining cars.

Talkeetna is … quaint. I read somewhere that the town of Cicely (from the TV show Northern Exposure) was based on Talkeetna. If you remember Cicely, you know Talkeetna!

We enjoyed lunch and beer – finally, local Alaska beer! – at the Denali Brewpub.

After lunch, Steve and Lydia took a flight tour (Lydia blogged about it here) while the rest of us visited the museum and walked down to the Susitna River. More beautiful views! If you look closely, you can almost see Mt Denali off in the distance.

We had time for one more round of beer before heading back to the station.

The ride back to Anchorage seemed even more scenic. It also included dinner (in that same beautiful dining car).

One thing you don’t see in any of my photos is a moose. I finally gave up … unlike most of the other travelers. You’d hear “Moose” and almost everyone jumped up, camera at the ready, to see. I decided moose are even harder than whales to photograph!

We got back to Anchorage just after 8:00 pm. …and went to bed 😊.

Happy Friday, y’all!

9 Comments

  • Bonny

    What a beautiful way to spend a day – sitting comfortably, eating, and drinking as you pass that lovely scenery in the viewing car. That train ride looks gorgeous inside and out! I love the little engine; it looks like one from Thomas the Tank Engine.

  • Kym

    (I loved Northern Exposure!) What a beautiful trip, Mary. Traveling by train looks like such a great way to see Alaska — and enjoy comfort along with the views. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. I know it must seem like it was such a long time ago already — but I love hearing all the details. XO

  • margene

    Northern Exposure was one of our top favorite tv shows ever. Talkeetna certainly looks like my memory of the show. The rail car looks lovely and the scenery amazing. Look at that sky!

  • Patty

    I loved Northern Exposure too. It reminds me of very teeny tiny Daniel. That train ride…I can't even imagine. One day! What a wonderful trip for you all! (Y'all!)

  • Honoré

    Thanks again for taking us along on the trip…this has been so great and just whets my appetite for Alaska, even more. I love riding the train – took one from Portland to Tacoma in Sept…t'was a very pleasant ride…
    Cheers~

  • Lydia

    You got some great photos on board the train. I really like Talkeetna-not sure how it would be in the winter, but for summer it's spot on!