September 17th, 2009 – by: X_Drive
At the Visitors Center they had several nice displays. This of the Dall Sheep.
We had a late wake up this morning, didn't need to rise until eight. Our luggage needed to be out in the hall by nine am, so we found what we needed and repacked everything else and set it all out. Then we decided to go down to eat breakfast at another of the places here. So we climbed on the shuttle and off we went. But when we told the driver where we were headed she told us that it had already closed for the day. Only open til 8 am! So we went to the Main Lodge where we could buy a bowl of dry cereal for $4.50, oatmeal for about that same price, and a cinnamon roll for $4.25. Coffee was $2. Nothing else offered, so we went for a roll. How do people eat a breakfast here? I think there is a very upscale dinner place that may be open for breakfast but I don't for sure, and I'm not one to pay $25 for breakfast.
Maybe the other places have already closed for the season, like so many places around.
Young Dall lambs.
After eating we checked out of our room and waited around until noon when we could catch a shuttle bus to the train depot where we had to wait around until 3:15 for our train. It’s another 5 hour train ride to Fairbanks so we don't get there til about 8:30 this evening.
The Denali National Park Visitors Center is pretty close to the train depot so we decided to stroll through and see what was offered. They had several nice displays and a film that was about twenty minutes long.
Finally, about 2:30 we slowly made our way over to the depot to wait for the train.
Little did we know that because it was so late in the season the restrooms in the Depot were closed and locked for the season. That meant that if the need should arise it was all the way back over to the Visitors center nearly a quarter mile away. That meant that all the folks that soon arrived and needed to go created a very irate line of folks headed for the center. Boy, I sure wouldn’t have liked working there that day. In Denali it had been nearly an hour late so we knew we had a while to sit and wait. Here in Alaska freight has right of way over passengers. At just about 4 pm the train pulled in and we boarded for a five hour run on to Fairbanks. We were again seated backwards at a table upstairs in a double decked glass roofed car. When they started asking about dinner we said no because it was way too early for us but they explained there would be a second chance later so we took them up on that one.
We both had chessburgers and fries, which was about the only thing served that wasn't salmon of one kind or another. We pulled into Fairbanks just about 8:30 and were bussed to our hotel. The envelope given to us on the train contained our room key for Fairbanks, and the time of both tours we had set up, and also the checkout time and date of our flight home. They had all the details handled at this stop just as they had had at each place we'd visited. The hotel is way off by itself so up to our room, settled in, letting the front desk know we wanted a wake up call for the Aurora Borealis, it was off to bed.
A nice mural of Denali.