February 3, 2013
I thought I would continue with a few more posts from Alaska.
My husband and I were in Nome, Alaska during July – September 2012. On sunny (and some stormy) days we were generally working. However, on days with poor weather and high seas or winds, we often had some time to explore Nome and the surrounds. One day, we drove up the road to visit The Last Train to Nowhere, a set of three 1880s era steam locomotives that were brought to the Solomon River area outside of Nome in the early 1900s. These locomotives and a few other scattered pieces of metal are all that remains of a failed attempt to build a railway along the Solomon River to a place called Council City, where gold had been discovered. The railway ran for two summers under terrible conditions “unfit for either man or beast” (according to a sign near the trains) and then filed for bankruptcy in 1907. In 1913 a large storm destroyed a railway bridge and washed away most of the tracks, stranding the locomotives where they sit today. Since the train doesn’t go anywhere today, locals have dubbed the stranded locomotives, “The Last Train to Nowhere.”
To reach the train, we drove along a dirt road in a beat-up pick-up truck on a cold and windy August day. Along the way, we also visited a place called “The Safety Roadhouse”, which serves as the last checkpoint of the Iditarod sled dog race, and we explored some old gold dredges.
I still have a few more posts about Alaska coming in the future… hope you’re enjoying these!