Musings along the railroad.. :)
Whittier Travel Blog› entry 8 of 13 › view all entries
August 14th, 2009 – by: anupa_rk
Interesting tidbits I gathered on the train from the staff -
- A lot of the mountains in Alaska are very prone to avalanches in the winter. And so, in the more populated areas.. like along the Anchorage-Seward highway, great care is taken in the planting and maintaining of trees on the mountains... To keep the area as safe as possible.
- Although Alaska is about 3 times the size of the Texas, its roadways are smaller than that in Rhode Island!
- 1 in every 5 Alaskans is a pilot as it is essential to fly to get to most other cities in Alaska. Most big houses that I saw while on the train, had a huge backyard that housed not only a boat, but also a small aircraft!
- The Bald Eagle is the national bird of the state. And this must be the only place in the world that has a state weed! Yup, a weed! Not a plant.. not a flower.. a weed! Its called ....umm... fire weed or something. And it marks the coming of summer in Alaska. So this little weed is greatly loved by the people here. And it is curently on its way out... signaling the approach of the winter season.
Right now the train is traversing through the Chugach mountain range.
The more I see these smaller (only relatively!) mountain ranges, the more I crave the mighty Alaskan ranges... Supposed to be the tallest mountain ranges in this part of the world, I have only caught glimpses of the ranges here and there..
It is claimed that the tallest peak of these ranges - Mt. McKinley is even taller than Everest. But it loses out on the fact that a huge portion of it is under sea level.
I look forward to seeing it tomorrow!!!
You know, as I was walking along the streets of Anchorage, I looked around.
And I couldn’t help but wonder how these people managed to keep their wits about them in a place so gorgeous! I couldn’t even walk straight! Every where I turned I saw a more beautiful sight.. and I found it so difficult to focus on the task at hand (to get to the cafe!) ... I just kept stopping here and there.. looking around.. sighing! And these people seemed to be so unfazed by all the beauty around them. When I asked one of the stall keepers at the marketplace, he said he'd been seeing these mountains from the day he was born... So 60 years of seeing them constantly kinda takes the magic away....
I don’t know why, but I felt a little sad at that thought. And sensing this, he smiled and said.. "But that said, I wouldn’t want to live in any other place on Earth.. I just couldn’t, I've been living in Paradise, see! I wouldn’t trade this for anything!"
I wonder how I would feel about a place like Alaska if I had lived here all my life. Would the mountains still take my breath away? I don’t know..
But on my walk this morning... with the wind blowing just right.. and the temperature at that pleasant perfection.. with the mountains to my left and the ocean right behind me.. with a nice little breakfast warmed and packed up... I felt it just couldn’t get any better than this.
And then I heard it.... the sound of the church bells :)
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!