I have to say some of the displays to me did not seem that far in the past. For example, a telephone booth with a telephone. (More on that later). We drove 67 miles back down the Parks Highway to visit the ‘Alaska Museum of Transportation and Industry’ on 15 acres in Wasilla AK. I’ve also have become addicted to the non starbucks espresso drive-thru coffee places, so we also had to make a 5-mile detour to get me a coffee.
I need to start trusting Roy more when he says I’ll enjoy something. I did enjoy and I only got slightly stuck once with the chair. This place has everything old and in my opinion things that are not so old even though they say they are.
Here is an example of what I am talking about.
So, after we get the scooter and wheelchair out of the car, we were off to the races. The cashier who took the $10 admission (because Thursday is only $5 a person) was helpful in directing us to the inside museum and the path we needed to take to get outside to the trains and zillion other old things. Inside we found quite the history from the first glider to leave the summit of Denali, to the car that President Harding road in. Also, some not so old things. Yes, I know some of the things from the 70s, 80s, and 90s are SOOO last century.
The indoor museum is an open floor plan with a few dividers set up to break up the room into certain sections. If you look in the upper left-hand corner of the picture that is the glider I mentioned earlier. Those pictures below the glider are pictures taken from different viewpoint
Roy is hiding a couple old snow mobiles, behind Roy is one of the first snow chains for driving in the snow over mountain passes. It is actually a tire that you had to put on.
The sled pictured with the dog on it was donated by the Seavey dog teams who won numerous Iditarod races.
There was also an area devoted to old cars, but the cars were all models in glass display cases. we are working our way around the room to the not so old history. First, we encounter an old teletype which Roy used a similar one in the service.
I had a few minutes of seeing pride and astonishment on Roy’s face and in his voice when he was describing the Linotype Machine. I was amazed to learn how this one machine made the printing process easier. It would take what was done one letter at a time and be able to put together a whole line of text. I am way oversimplifying this. If you are interested ask Roy I’m sure he would love to explain. The fascination was the material used to make the text was one string of lead. When finished the lead would get melted down again and reused. He actually got to do a field trip where he could make his own name with the lead and see how it worked..
Now to something that is not old it may not be around anymore, if you can find one it probably takes dollar bills instead of a quarter like this one. The thing that made me go wow that was a long time ago. They had a sign that read: ‘Before cell phones people had to carry change to put into the phone so they could call someone. ‘ I’m like there are kids out there who will never know the joy of having to do this. I can see where it would be strange to them.
There was also a bank of wall phones through the years and even a display case of princess phones. It was an interesting trip down memory lane.
The whole thing gave me the back in the day we had milk delivered in glass bottles and had to rinse out and return the empties. I never experienced that and thought geez your old. So, I guess if a kid never had to make a call from a payphone, he would think I’m old. Just a funny thought I am not having an age crisis. It is amazing when you realize OMG, I’ve become my parents’ age when I was a kid. The cool thing was it was handicap accessible, and I tried to call someone but had no change in my pocket. Roy gave me the quarter and then I got put on hold.
Stepping, ok I mean rolling outside was not bad. We listen to the girl inside who said go to the left and you have one big loop around the property and can get in the train easily. (She was so on base). I have also learned to follow in Roy’s tire tracks, it works most of the time.
Inside the train from the Alaska Railroad, there were early track, switches, old time pictures of the early railroad and how and why the railroad was built. Interesting reading and well worth the effort up the ramp. We did not attempt to head into the caboose as it was very narrow and I’m not fond of tight spaces, plus it was dark. Back out the way we came and on to some very well maintained hard packed gravel.
Outside there was a car from the Department of the Interior it had to do with mines. Along that line there was a small train that was used in the mining and had ore cars that had different uses. At the end of this area there was a mammoth piece of crane on wheels to be used on the tracks.
Also, outside was every year and type of tractor a person could imagine. A hand made plane to land on ice, old fire trucks and ambulances. The first Chevy Suburban to make it to the north slope all the way to Prudhoe Bay Alaska. We made it to the end of the path but couldn’t get back in the door on the right side of the building. So, what to do we went back the way we came and prayed the rain held off. I did stop and take a picture of a random mushroom, and you will find that in the slide show. It did until we made it all snug in the car.
the slide show and mushroom is coming.
I enjoyed stepping back in the past with Roy.