Friday, October 9, 2009

Alaska Bits -- 18 -- another train trip with some Weekend Reflections

After another very short sojourn in Anchorage, we boarded another Alaska Railways train bound for Whittier. This would take us again along the Turnagain Arm and through the Portage Valley, both of which we had visited by car when we had our pre-tour visit to Anchorage.

After the station, the train provided some more interesting reflections as we passed again through Potter's Marsh, past Bird Point where we had watched the bore tide, past the turnoff to Girdwood and up the valley toward the Portage Glacier and the tunnel to Whittier.

We didn't have to depend on our manner of transportation for reflections, though. These earthquake trees reflect in an interesting way in the water.

Earthquake trees?

The 9.2 Good Friday earthquake of 1964 caused land in some areas to sink. Behind the damaged  highway along Turnagain Arm and into the Portage Valley and in other areas near the coast, seawater inundated these lowered areas. Trees submerged in the salt water died, but their skeletons still remain 45 years later in many areas where this occurred.
As we proceded along the Portage Valley, we had a good view of several glaciers, and a few more interesting double reflections ...


...before we entered the tunnel.

Now, this is a most fascinating tunnel. It is the only land access to the port of Whittier, which is Anchorage's link to Prince William sound. The 2¼ mile long tunnel was built during World War II for essential rail traffic. When the trains are not running through it, it provides a one way road for auto traffic. With such a busy route, you have to check the schedule if you want to drive through it, or you could wait for as much as an hour.

Not a problem if you are on the train.

More reflections for Weekend Reflections can be found through the links at Newton Area Photo.

Whittier? We'll have a look tomorrow.


Dagrun said...

I love the second shot!!! Beautiful reflection and lines. Looks like a great train ride.

RuneE said...

That No. 2 was both highly original and very stylish! Hats off!.

Reader Wil said...

Great reflections! The second photo is my favourite! Thanks for the tour!Have a great weekend!

Crafty Green Poet said...

wonderful scenery in the later photos. I love the second photo - so original and clever

James said...

First I want to compliment you on your header picture, it's really nice.
Alaska is a beautiful place and you heve captured it well. These pictures are great. I love the one just below the top.

Wonderful pictures!