August 7-17, 2004
Leaving the canyon we cross the Denali N.P. access road and enter the Denali station. It is about 1230. Buses are waiting to take us to our hotels. I would like to have a further look at the train and station but when on tour you must go with the group. This afternoon we will have a bus tour of the Park.
One note at this point, we had hoped to see Mt. McKinley but there are about one million acres of forest fires in north Alaska at this time, so that even though it was clear, the haze and smoke kept McKinley hidden.
Alaska Railroad, Monday August 16
Our bus drops us at the Denali depot at about 1100 this morning. At last I will have a little time to explore and look at some railroad things. The Depot is a complex of several buildings. The main depot has the ticket office for the ARR and a gift shop. There is also a small museum (mostly pictures). The ARR part of the train stops at this depot, the south end of the complex. North of it are several shelters for the various cruise companies'. They are arranged from south to north in the same order as the consist of the train. Each tour group checks in with their company and waits in their area. While I am looking around Betty is cleaning out the gift shop for the grandkids.
The train arrives as scheduled at 1230. Today it is led by SD70MAC 43321. The various groups unload and load and after about a 20 minute stop we are on our way.Continued in next section