Train to Fairbanks,AK
AN ALASKAN TRAIN RIDE
The click clack, click clack
Gathering steam
In the best window seat
Blue leather like seats
Generous, comfortable.
Plenty of leg room –
At 0840 we are loaded
Pulling away from Anchorage
Out the winding tracks
Up to Wasilla –

I buy a trip book
Which tells of the towns
The mountains
Some history.
Bought a long map one that unrolls
So we can follow the journey

See the rivers and mountains.
The sun is bright and we get tea
in the dining car
two cars back
through the heavy doors
cross the moving metal platforms.
The train to Fairbanks
With a crisp, blue sky.

The lovely train that presses forward
On the slick clear tracks.
In the dining car the conductor
And the policeman
exchange stories with each other
sitting at a table.
They make this 12 ½ hour run
Twice a week, north on a Saturday
South on a Sunday.
The mile markers flash by on
The right side of the tracks.
There are small shacks holding
Mail and supplies and three
Feet of snow on their roofs –
There are crossings with cars
A temperature monitor says 16 degrees
Fahrenheit.

In Wasilla several people get off
A few get on. I could not see Russia
But a good puppy sits prettily at her Mistress’ feet
A lovely Malamute.
The Conductor opens the top of the door
So we can take photos
Without the glass-it’s cold.
We traipse up there several times
Taking photos and movies, laughing bundling
Up our ears and hands.

The wind is wicked, skies  brilliant blue
I write and photograph madly
Everything so new
Frozen rivers covered with snow
The stark footprints of moose.
One set only
tracks of snowmobiles
crisscross and circle
Slim shadows of birch lining the tracks and
Short, bony firs mixed in.
Lakes and streams
expanses of snow.

And here we go into the mountains.
Denali looms and we croon
oohs and ahhs.
I am standing much of the time
Taking photographs
Which I trust will be wonderful
Eating the wind from the ½ open
Door and we stop just past
The trestle covered bridge
To look over the steep gully

Of the Tanana river
That becomes the Chena
When it gets to Fairbanks.
The sun is setting and I am
Still snapping
With names like Nenana
Usibilli Tipple
And my favorite Talkeetna
rolling around my tongue
Like the best garlic dish.

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Train to Fairbanks,AK

2 thoughts on “Train to Fairbanks,AK

  1. I could feel YOU and the experience, as I read. Cool…and…WHAT A PICTURE…I LOVE it! BTW..could you please send Michelaine’s email address to me? xo

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