B. J. and I are veteran train riders. We have ridden the exciting Dollywood Express at Pigeon Forge a number of times. The thrilling two-day trip on the awesome Alaska Railway from Fairbanks to Anchorage with a layover in the spectacular Denali National Park was indeed an extraordinary experience worth repeating. I rode a train in Mexico from Creel to Chihuahua City while on a mission trip there (B. J. wasn’t with me on that one). Our most recent train excursion was aboard the Smokey Mountain Train in the Great Smokey Mountains of Western North Carolina.
We were at the Bryson City Depot waiting on the train but we had time to meander around the area. To spend our free time wisely, we visited the train museum. The train museum houses probably the biggest collection of model trains in the world and contains a comprehensive history of the railroad in North America. The train museum is stimulating and educational.
B. J. was a little restless. She was anxious to get to the gift shop before boarding the train. So, we hustled to the gift shop where we learned that if we purchased some large tumblers we would get free refills during the entire trip. She bought the tumblers and we immediately moved over to the concession stand where they filled them with hot chocolate for us free of charge.
The train departs from the historic Bryson City Depot. With 53 miles of track, two tunnels and 25 bridges, the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad Offers a variety of scenic excursions that traverse the majestic valleys and breathtaking river gorges. Shortly, an announcement was made for us to go to the boarding area. B. J. and I were instructed to move to Boarding Station Number 4 where we would board our passenger car for the four-and-one-half hour tour into the mountains featuring the Nantahala Gorge, the Nantahala River and Lake Fontana—all surrounded by gorgeous mountains.
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