Into the Interior

As we left the coast behind we moved through the Alaskan Tundra toward the Alaska Range and Mount McKinley also known as Denali. That can get confusing because Denali is also the National Park  and a State Park. I’ll try to remember to make clear which one I’m referring to.

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We weren’t seeing many bald eagles now and the reason we were given was that we were leaving the coast behind and bald eagles need the coastal waters and rivers to fish, salmon being a big part of thier diet. The higher into the mountains we traveled the more likely to see golden eagles which survive on small ground animals like squirrels or hares. (Don’t call them rabbits!)

The food and beverage service in the car seemed to be concentrated closer to the bar where several groups were keeping the attendant and bartender busy. The food menu in the car was quite limited so we decided to try the dining car which was really just the first level of our car. The restrooms were on that level too so about noon all 4 of us headed downstairs. Since we’d only have to climb over each other if we went at different times we thought it’d just be easier to all go together.

The menu in the dining car was also quite limited but that makes sense when you figure they have to bring all of the supplies for the whole trip. Eggs benedict seemed to be a featured item.  I ordered what I thought was a crab cake lunch only to get crab cakes with eggs benedict piled on top. At least I wasn’t the only one who misunderstood the menu.

Back in our seats cries of “Moose” started going up. Most of the sightings were on the opposite side from us. I managed to stretch up far enough to see some of them but after 1 attempt to shoot over everyone’s heads and across the car and through the window I decided it just wasn’t going to work and gave up.

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The moose on my side were a possibility but the angle of the sun made the reflections from the windows cause distortions in the pictures.

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Our seatmate, Robert, came back up to say he had gotten some pictures from the platform but that it was really cold standing out there. We had a few stops with no explanations. After sitting still for 5-10 minutes at each unscheduled stop we’d start up again with no explanation.

Mount McKinley came into view in the distance. This is a rare sight from what we were told. The mountain is so high it makes it’s own weather and its almost always shrouded in clouds and fog. Over and over during our stay we were told that  only about 30% of visitors ever get to see the mountain and how lucky we were.

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Today it was really clear so everyone’s camera came out, including mine. Well almost everyone’s. We heard one husband complaining to his wife: ” You brought me all the way out here to see a mountain!”  I guess the wonder that is Mount McKinley is lost on some people. 🙂

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