We had some time to kill at the rail depot, but boarded about 20 min after we arrived. 80 people were seated in each car on the upper deck with the glass dome. Underneath was the dining car, restrooms, and the viewing platform. Each car had a bartender and a tour guide that narrated the sights and shared facts and jokes about Alaska. They were very entertaining! Train ride took about 5 hours and we particularly enjoyed the lunch on board - smoked salmon chowder definitely being a highlight, along with the reindeer chili and a very good seafood salad sandwich. We also spotted some great wildlife, including several moose, but I was not quick enough with the camera to get a decent picture.
|Our quest to find great Alaskan brews continues on the train. |
What else are you supposed to do on a 5 hr ride?
We went for an ATV adventure, but instead of the traditional ATV, we picked an outfitter that had Argos, which are basically tiny tanks. They float in the water and can go over all kinds of terrain. Tom and I saw them while watching the Ultimate Survival Alaska TV show and so we sought them out here when we were doing trip planning. Took a 30 min ride to the office and then after a safety briefing we hit the trail in pairs of 2. They had speakers in the helmets so that we could hear instructions and narration from our guides. I rode shotgun with Tom and we floored it through every muddy puddle we found whilst doing his best Jeremy Clarkson impression from Top Gear UK. I loved it! Very bumpy and I wish we had a harness to hold you in rather than just hanging on to the railing but it was very fun, albeit a little bruising. John's argo broke down in a hole when the chains got caught on something, and had to be abandoned. The windscreens kept the mud off of you which was nice, and every 10 min or so we would stop so the guides could wipe down the windows.
We got back around 1030 pm and split up to grab pizza for us and Chinese/Thai takeout for the other 2 rooms. Both of us thought the food was really good. After 12 hours of travel and adventure we were ready to eat, shower, and turn in.