Sunday, May 19, 2013

Denali, Alaska - Depot Arrival

347.7 DENALI PARK • Entrance to Denali National Park and Preserve. Riley Creek Bridge is the railroad’s second highest.

The train continued on from Cantwell to Denali as I sat, camera in hand, admiring the landscape and anxious to arrive at our destination.

Railroad ties stacked ready for work.

 The train gracefully moves around the mountains and flows next to Riley Creek.  The waterways are showing a slight hint of a melt. Many river names end in "na", the Ahtna word for "river", such as Gulkana, Tazlina, and Tonsina.  One wouldn't say Tonsina River.  That would be saying Tonsi river river.

 The view as we cross the Riley Creek Bridge.

 Rustic lodging peaks out from behind the trees.

 I spotted a picturesque foot bridge over a smaller creek.

People wave at the train as we approach the depot.

Here we are, finally atthe Denali Park Depot.

At this point, we are ready to go to the Denali Princess Lodge.  Earlier, the train had stopped to let two representatives board. They handed me an envelope with the bus transfer information, room information, etc.  Our luggage had tags on it, so it will automatically be transported to the Lodge. Four people boarded the bus bound for the Denali Princess.  The bus driver was new, and had to figure out a few things on the bus, remember to take the window sign down, and read our instructions.  This was a great reminder that:

Good news: we are among the first to arrive for the season and the crowds haven't made it here yet
Bad news: this is the first week of the season and staff may be new, systems may be new.

Patience was the order of the day.  The bus driver forgot to tell us (or I didn't hear) that we needed to take our baggage claim tickets to the front desk to indicate that it was fine to deliver the luggage.  I called twice the front desk twice and was assured that there was nothing that I needed to do...the bags would be there soon...the bellman was delivering.  After three hours, I went to the front desk to ask about the luggage. The very nice person at the front desk asked if I had brought my luggage receipt.  No, I hadn't. I had to walk back to the room to get the luggage tag and return to the front desk.  The luggage was promptly delivered and was waiting in the room when I returned from dinner.

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