By Beth Carpenter
Have you ever noticed that the people who live in popular vacation areas don’t always take advantage of the sightseeing opportunities that tourists come from all over to see? Or maybe it’s just me.
We’ve lived in
Anchorage since 1990, but it took a visit from my daughter and her boyfriend to inspire us to book a winter trip on the Alaska Railroad. We flew to Fairbanks on Saturday morning and took the train back on Sunday, a twelve-hour journey.
Compared to airplanes, train travel is laid-back and luxurious, with wide seats, legroom, and the ability to wander. It wasn’t quite up to the standards of one of my favorite Agatha Christie stories, Murder on the Orient Express, but then no one was murdered, either.
|Yes I was glad to have the earflaps in Fairbanks|
The train wasn’t full, so we were able to move up and claim a table at the front of the car where we played dominos while watching the scenery go by. We had lunch in the dining car and beer from the local breweries in the bistro car, and must have seen at least two dozen moose. One moose was on the track, and we followed along behind him for a mile or so until he decided to run down the hill.
|View from train window. Those dots are moose.|
About halfway through the journey, the train route diverts from the highway route and goes through country we’d never had a chance to see before, and we found a surprising number of cabins along the railroad. We were on a flagstop train, which means anyone along the tracks can flag, and the train will stop. I think we collected around a dozen people along the route. I’m certain one of these remote cabins will appear in one of my books in the future.
|Running for the train from a remote cabin in Alaska|
So what about you? Are there any local attractions where you live that you’ve never seen?
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