Monday, September 23, 2019

Talkeetna and the Alaska Rail to Anchorage



After our tour left the Mt McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge we were bused to Talkeetna, Alaska, where we had a few hours to enjoy on our own before we were to board an Alaska Railroad train to travel to Anchorage, Alaska.



Talkeetna is located at the confluence of three rivers, the Susitna, Chulitna, and Talkeetna, forming the Big Susitna River.  The town began in 1916 when the area was chosen as a district headquarters for the Alaska Railroad and became a home to area miners after the railroad's completion. A post office opened, as well as a sawmill, trading post, boarding houses, and other businesses, as well as many miner's cabins. You can read more about Talkkeetna's history on this link. It still retains a bohemian pioneer vibe. Talkeetna is the staging area for the mountaineers who attempt to climb Denali each summer, as well as those seeking flightseeing, rafting, mountain biking, hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting.


The Talkeetna Historic District encompasses several blocks of the historic village center of Talkeetna. In the photo collage above we see Nagley's Store on top. The Nagley family are pioneer residents of Talkeetna. They were also partners in the Westward Hotel in Anchorage, a predecessor to today's Hilton Anchorage Hotel.  In the lower-left is the Fairview Inn, the town's first schoolhouse, now the Talkeetna Museum, In the lower right is the Talkeetna Roadhouse, which was built as a residential log house in 1917 and expanded in the 1940s to serve as a roadhouse.


Another historic structure is Tom Weatherill's House. His 20' x 26' log house was built in 1940 by peg and dowels instead of nails. It was painted a bright yellow. Weatherill arrived in Talkeetna in 1921. He was first a miner, who later also became a long-time employee at Nagleys Supply Store.



Sights from the historic section of Talkeetna...


...and some more charm.


I loved seeing all the wild Irises growing all around Talkeetna!


Please double click on the photo to enlarge it to read the placards about this historic site.

Talkeetna’s first businesswoman, Isabella “Belle” Lee McDonald, arrived in Talkeetna in 1917 and married Ed Lee. Along with her brother-in-law Frank Lee as her head freighter, Belle developed the Talkeetna Trading Post, a freighting service, stable, blacksmith shop, and the beginnings of a roadhouse, located half a mile west of the present-day Talkeetna Roadhouse, at the edge of the river. After Ed died in 1928, Frank and Belle continued the freighting business together.


Near the McDonald historic site, there was a wooded area that surprised me! It was filled with lush ferns and lots of wildflowers, particularly common yarrow. I never imagined Alaska having such a tropical looking area but I soon learned Alaska has one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world--the Tongass National Forest. 



My husband and I walked to Talkeetna's River Front Park to see the confluence of the three rivers that meet there--the Susitna, Chulitna, and Talkeetna rovers, forming the Big Susitna River.   To see a video of the rivers flowing together go to my Mille Fiori Facebook page at this link. Click on the photo which will bring you to Google photos and then click on that photo to begin the video--make sure sound is on! 
Talkeetna is nestled at the base of North America’s tallest peak--Denali--and also a panoramic view of the Alaska Range, but once again, heavy clouds obstructed those views while we were there.



We saw many river rafters downstream.


We walked towards the Alaska Railroad Talkeetna Depot to wait for the train that would be taking our tour group to Anchorage, Alaska. Since we were a little early we decided to cool off at a nearby bar with a cold beer first.  

We kept hearing the frequent bush planes flying overhead. That sound will always be a fond memory of Alaska for me.



Finally, our train arrived!



It was going to be nice to sit back and relax for a couple hours and see the views from our train car.




The views of the Alaskan Range from the train were glorious, full of misty mountains, shimmering rivers and creeks, thick lush greenery and spikey spruce trees


Soon we would arrive at Alaska's largest city and the last part of our land tour--my next post. We would be boarding the cruise portion of our trip in Whittier, Alaska, after our visit to Anchorage. Mount Denali might have kept itself hidden from sight during our land visit, but we certainly saw so much other Alaskan beauty!

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37 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Pat,

Another wonderful post and tour from your Alaska trip. Talkeetna is a cute town, I like the little cottages and the painted moose. The ferns and flowers are lovely. The view from the train are beautiful too. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Wonderful, photos of this charming rustic town. It has charm with a history like that of the “Old West,”. Your views from the train are breathtaking. Thank you!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

The town is certainly a rustic beauty - thanks for the tour!

Ruth Hiebert said...

I love all that lush foliage and that train ride. WOW! That must have been fantastic.

Tom said...

...what a downtown, I suits me just fine!!! Thanks for taking me along on this part of your trip.

csuhpat1 said...

So very nice. Love the whole trip.

likeschocolate said...

Talkeetna is such a cute little town. I used to work on that train! Havea great week!

Linda W. said...

I remember stopping by this town in 2002 on our way to Denali National Park. Looks like not much has changed in this charming little burg.

Maggid said...

Wowzer! It looks like a wonderland dream to me. I think i want to grab my coat and go. đź’™

Joanne said...

So many beautiful views everywhere!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The train is such a nice way to travel! I would love that!

Jeanie said...

What wonderful photos. I LOVE the painted deer! So happy. And it's a lovely and very interesting looking town. I do love historical places like this. Did you find anything in that general store?!

ellen b. said...

What a cute town to poke around in. The scenery is so spectacular. What a nice trip!

Tamar SB said...

It looks like a town frozen in time! So many gorgeous colors, too.

Angie said...

Pat - Talkeetna looks like our kind of town - bohemian vibe and all! I am not surprised by the lush vegetation - those plants know they have a short summer season and they make the most of it. I loved the painted moose in one of your photos - I could see that in my garden somewhere!!! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

Rosie said...

Beautiful photos. I think I would have enjoyed the train ride, such beautiful scenery too. Thanks.

Lorrie said...

More beautiful photos and stories from your Alaskan adventure. The lush greenery is really amazing. All the ferns are evidence of a temperate rain forest and remind me of my years of living in the tropical rainforest. Glad you enjoy the scenery from the train.

Lady Fi said...

Delightful shots!

stevebethere said...

What a nice post with some great photos very quaint in places too :-)

Have a ridetastic week :-)

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

You're having a colorful journey. Thanks for taking us along.

Fun60 said...

What a charming town. Views from the train are so good. Thanks for sharing.

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Looks like an interesting place to visit. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 4. Shared.

William Kendall said...

The town has character. The mountains and rivers are gorgeous.

judee said...

Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos . There are so many areas that are remote and interesting

thepaintedapron.com said...

Wow, what delightful scenery! Alaska is so beautiful, I often wonder what it's like to live there, especially a century ago, those must have been some very hearty people! The train ride must have been amazing, so beautiful!
Jenna

Cathy Kennedy said...

Pat,

What an amazing vacation! I'd love to see Alaska someday but since I don't like the thoughts of air or wave travel, then I'll have to settle for enjoying photograph captures of others who generously grant me the privilege to see their gorgeous photos and to read their memories. I was never a 'Northern Exposure' (tv series from the 90s) watcher but Nugley's Store reminds me of such a building used the series. I love the rustic appeal of the communities found there. Thanks for taking me along to your Alaskan adventure. I can't wait to see more! Please, feel free to join my Wild Wednesdays linky party where just about anything goes, including photography! ;)

Esha said...

Must have been a very memorable trip, Pat. Thank you for sharing the joy of your travels through the lovely pictures. It was as if we were travelling along with you!

Thank you for the wonderful post and for joining us this week, Pat! Happy rest of the week to you!

Best wishes
Esha

Tanza Erlambang said...

wonderful views. Interesting place to visit.
Thank you for sharing beautiful photos

betty-NZ said...

My goodness, what a magical place! It's amazing how much most of us don't know about Alaska, so thanks for all the information and fantastic photos! Maybe one day I'll get there!

Thank you for joining us on 'My Corner of the World' this week!

My Corner of the World

Jim said...

Great post.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great trip, interesting town, and I'm jealous of your train ride. Beautiful iris's.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful pictures and great memories for me as we spent several days in Talkeenta. I think that was where a huge moose wandered through our campsite while we were filling the campers water tank...and of course no camera. He wasn't very interested in us, fortunately. ... this also reminds me that I spent a lot of time taking pictures of flowers while we were there (causing Bill to laugh...he said he didn’t know that was why we came to Alaska.) We were there in June and Spring flowers were just blooming and they were such an unexpected pleasure. We hardly ever get to see them lately because we are usually still in Florida, where they don’t grow, ... I loved everything about this post ...seeing the town, which was familiar, through your eyes *and* experiencing the rail journey, which was not. Thanks for sharing all of it.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

That looks like a cool little town. I like the snowshoe collection on the store!

Lowcarb team member said...

I've loved looking at and reading your post.
Such an amazing trip, and those wild Irises growing all around Talkeetna are such a gorgeous colour.

All the best Jan

Little Wandering Wren said...

The fresh air in the region and lovely walks and countryside would appeal to me here in Alaska. Love those Iris! Thanks Pat for a lovely post and sharing with us.
Wren x

Natasha said...

What a wonderful photo essay, dear Pat. Thank you for taking us through this awe-inspiring journey.

I am floored by the irises. Purple being a preferred colour among others.

Thank you for linking up with Esha and yours truly for #WW with this lovely link up.

Our brand new linky is live. Do hop in.

https://natashamusing.com/2019/10/the-spectacular-sky-wordlesswednesday-wednesdaywisdom/

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have been to Alaska twice. Alaska is one of my favorite places in the world. I enjoyed this post so much. It brought back such fond memories.