After canceling this trip in June due to the river approaching flood stage we were able to finally get on the water August 3 & 4. The gauge at the Gold Creek/Susitna confluence http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydro...afc&gage=gcsa2 was at 9.7 and trending down. The weather guessers predicted a 60% chance of rain but were fortunately wrong in our favor this time. We only had a few minutes of sprinkles.
We we left Anchorage at 8:00 am and arrived in Talkeetna just after 10:00am. After stopping by the AKRR depot just outside town to purchase tickets for $24ea for AK residents one way from Talkeetna to Gold Creek on the Hurricane Turn Train we then drove into town where the train was parked to load our gear. The train was parked on a siding and the Engineer directed us to a boxcar. We'd packed at home as compact as possible to help us load/unload as quickly as possible. We had also brought our two dogs that were required to be kenneled or muzzled while on the train. We brought their kennels with the plan to disassemble them and strap them on the back of the raft.
After a quick lunch in town we dropped off two very confused dogs at the train and then drove down the road to the depot for overnight parking and to load with the rest of the passengers. The train ride alone is well worth the money. The crew was super friendly and helpful. The passengers were a mix of tourists along for the round trip to Hurricane, a commercial raft group for a short float, us, and a couple of homesteaders returning to their cabin.