Skis, a train, and a polka band.

Ski train is an Alaskan tradition that I wanted to get aboard on immediately (hardy har har).  During the summer, the Alaska Railroad services almost an exclusively tourist population.  But for one day in March, the locals get on board and have a party.

Initially, I was worried I wouldn’t know anyone.  But the familiar faces started from the moment I arrived at the Wasilla train station and continued all day.  Alaska is a SMALL community and you’ll hear it again and again.  For me, on that day, it meant seeing people I knew through ultimate (the womyn’s league as well as the competitive league), court (attorneys everywhere), and Special O.

I don’t know the history of ski train real well – but it’s not too complicated.  Polka, party cars (complete with party themes such as under the sea and prom), alcohol, skis.  Not necessarily in that order.  I had a seat in one of the quieter cars in the back but didn’t spend any time in it.  Instead, on the way up, I was mostly in what I’ll call the food car.  These people came prepared – waffle makers, crock pots, bagel spreads, bloody mary bars.  Oh my.

We arrived in Curry in no time and people geared up and disembarked at varying speeds.  There were generally two directions to go – up the hill or up the river.  And I don’t know why but I ended up going up the hill.  Ugh.  I was not made for speed and it wasn’t long before I was succumbing to my first beer break.  The first of many.  Next year it’ll be the river.

When I made it back to the train, we still had an hour or so before leaving so I volunteered to keep an eye on Z. while Gailyn took a quick ski.  Z. had a TON of energy and was beside himself that we were on a train.  That meant traipsing through the length of the train at least four times.

I expected the return trip to be a quiet one but I was wrong.  While people had been drinking before, consensus was that they had saved the hard stuff for the apres ski.  So the music was turned up, the shot ski came out and we had a grand old time.


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