Monthly Archives: January 2023
The Federal Government has designated the Chilkoot as a national historic trail. Gaining fame during the Klondike Goldrush, the Chilkoot was a major thoroughfare into the interior of the Yukon and Alaska. Prior to that, the trail was a major route for the Native population for a millennia.
Currently, the Chilkoot is closed due to major trail damage from flooding this past autumn. A series of atmospheric rivers pummeled the area, The Taiya River reached flood stage on five different occasions during a two month period last fall, eroding banks and dislodging bridges along a large section of the trail, that follows the river.
There is hope that the trail will be open at some point this summer. The complete trail to Bennett Lake has not been open due to Canadian restrictions since the start of the Corvid pandemic. There is also hope that those restrictions will also be lifted for the upcoming hiking season.
Antiques Roadshow, the most watched show on Public Broadcasting, will visit Alaska for the first time. The show is billed as “part adventure, part history lesson and part treasure hunt”.
Antiques Roadshow will come to Anchorage on July 11, and will tape three episodes to be aired in 2024. The location of filming is still under wraps, and will remain a secret until we get closer to July. Prospective treasure hunters can apply for tickets through the Roadshow website, where a drawing will be held after the deadline of March 13.
An Alaska Railroad freight train found itself stuck in a snowbank, when the train plowed into avalanche debris that had just previously swept across the tracks along Turnagain Arm. The 3144 foot long train was making the run from Whittier to Anchorage, when it hit the debris around 2am on Tuesday morning, just south of Girdwood.
The impact derailed two locomotives, and partially derailed a third. No crew members were injured during the impasse.
The area is known for its avalanche threat, and conditions on Monday were prime. The Seward Highway, which parallels the railway along Turnagain Arm, was not impacted, since the snow did not make it as far as the roadway.
That engineer was living every kid’s dream, who had a train set up in their basement.
Snow was still being cleared from the Anchorage side of the snow drift as of this writing.
2023 is the Centennial year for the Alaska Railroad. U.S. President Warren G. Harding presided over the completion ceremony on July 15, 1923, by driving in the golden spike.
This past weekend, the annual Alaska Railroad print signing took place at the Anchorage Depot. The tradition of a yearly AKRR print was started back in 1979.
This year, Nenana artist Noah Nolywaika was on hand to sign his charcoal drawing of the Nenana Depot, where the railroad was officially completed 100 years ago. William Chase was also there with his painting of the locomotives throughout the railroad’s history, including Engine No. 1. That historic steam engine now sits outside the historic Anchorage Depot.
Prints and posters are available through the Alaska Railroad’s website.