Our train journey from Whittier to Denali had taken from 7.30 am to 6 pm – the longest train journey either of us had ever done!
We only had a short ride to the Wilderness Lodge. Our coach took us as close as possible to our building. Once in the room we were pleasantly surprised to see our ‘meet me tonight’ suitcase was waiting for us.
Our room was on the ground floor with a stand of trees immediately in front. It was very musty smelling and we opened the windows, set the ceiling and bathroom fans going to try and get some fresh air moving through the open door.
The room was disappointing being painted in the shade of yellow used to disguise tobacco stains. There was no safe or refrigerator. Plus if the door wasn’t open then the lights hardly brightened the room at all. The good news was that our phones could be connected to Wi-Fi in the room.
We poured ourselves a glass of wine and sat outside on the veranda.
It was a beautiful evening and we walked around a building to have a look at the river running below. We then walked out of the property to have a look at the shops and restaurants opposite the main lodge across the road.
We decided that after our long day sitting on the train we would walk next door to Denali Square. Our site map was less than clear where to go. We turned left along the path until we came to a building at the top of a hill. This was not called Denali Square but looked to be the main lodge. Then we saw a small sign pointing down the road that went down into the valley below.
As we walk down we could now see to our right buildings with guest rooms and immediately below us a group of buildings around a square and we can even hear someone singing. The hill down to the square was steep and we could now understand why there was a courtesy bus running between the two hotels.
The chairs and tables around the little fire pits were all full. So we instead went straight to one of the restaurants in the square, Karstens. This had been recommended to us on the train.
The restaurant had a tall ceiling with wooden beams but the tables were all standard restaurant fare.
We were placed on a table for two, a few yards away from the toilets and the kitchen entrance.
I ordered Alaskan cod and fries and we shared chicken wings with BBQ sauce as our starter.
My Alaskan Amber was needed after all that walking. Our chicken wings came after a short wait and were very tasty. The extra warm napkins were a welcome addition to the table to keep it clean. We didn’t think this was a fast food restaurant but our mains arrived just as we finished the chicken. Our plates were even swapped over in front of us as we put our forks down!
The Alaskan cod wasn’t anything special and all told we were disappointed in the $63 meal.
Back at our lodge
As we walked back to our room we heard shouting and looked over to the river to see folks in a raft passing by.
Once back in our room we opened up the windows and the door again to try and loose the musty smell. Eventually the long day caught up with us and we closed both sets of curtains and the blackout curtains and tried to get to sleep.