Rollin’ Along with Carl and Tom

The advance team made their way to Palmer yesterday. Carl shared an update on progress from Rescue Day 1 on Facebook. If you have a Facebook account, you can see continuing updates there. But, since not everyone can follow the progress there, those updates will be shared here as well.

Day 1 on the ground in Alaska for the Advanced Team of our Climax A-313 Project is done… with good progress made, and tomorrow promises more.

We left Anchorage this morning in a drizzling rain and headed up the Glenn Highway, past Eagle River and the Knick River and on into Palmer. As we neared Palmer the rain let up and the rest of the day was cool and overcast, the fog hanging in the valleys of the nearby mountains.

Since the Mayor of Anchorage has closed down all bars and restaurants we were ready for some breakfast by the time we got to Palmer. We were pleasantly surprised that the restaurant attached to the Eagle Hotel was under new management and open this year ( it wasn’t when we were here in 2018), and what a breakfast… OMG… we were stuffed!!!

By the time we were done Erik, our seller, showed up and we began discussions about how we were going to proceed over the next few days. From there, Tom, Erik and I headed out to the Container, not far from Palmer, to survey how the container looked and to check out a couple of other trailers we are going to be using for our repacking… We had about 20 older trailers onsite to look at and measure as candidates for our use. Then we needed to decide where at the location we were going to set up the trailers so that everything would work well when we begin the main work on Friday.

Once we had it fairly well laid out, Erik left to round up some additional equipment we were going to need and Tom and I headed out to Wasilla, about 30 minutes away, to catch up with our good friend Pat Durand at the 557 Project. Pat has offered to lend us tools, cords and some lumber that we are going to need to get our job done. Pat had a 5-man crew of volunteers working at the shop, beginning to dry-fit some of the brake actuation gear today… what a beautiful project and a super great bunch of guys… good to see them again. As we were finishing looking over some of the stuff we would need, and loading some of the tools into our van, my phone alert sounded and there was a message from Donnie Rosie, our videographer on the trip, saying that he and his wife/assistant Tonya had landed at Anchorage. We will go back to the 557 shop in the next couple of days to pickup some of the larger items.

Heading back to Palmer we were able to get checked into our hotel room/”Base of Operations” for the eight days. No sooner had we gotten our bags to the room and unpacked than the phone rang and it was former Corryite Rusty Pochatko, who works in management at the Alaska RR main shops in Anchorage. Rusty also lives here in Palmer and had just gotten home from work… so we met up with him for a beer and filled him in on how our plans were coming together. Rusty also will be helping out on some of our repacking and providing assistance on equipment and supplies.

As Rusty was heading home, Tom’s stomach was growling, so dinner was in order… again, the restaurant at the hotel, The Sunrise Grill, did not disappoint.

Tomorrow will be eventful as we split up for most of the day… After we finish Breakfast with Donnie and Tonya they are going to be heading into the Anchorage, along with Tom, to shoot some footage in several locations… shots we will be using in our Documentary, and on their way back to Palmer Tom will pick up the Motorhome which Ray Foster, one of my Seabee friends, is providing for our use on the jobsite for bathroom facilities, lunch breaks and the generator. Erik and I will be heading out to retrieve some material and parts stored about 80 miles away, near Big Lake.

That’s about it from here tonight… check back for the next installment of our adventures.

Carl W – Corry RAILS