05 November 2010

Ch 12, Pt 2: "Mary & Stephen Birch Arrive at Childs Glacier

Chapter 12: Mary and Stephen
Birch Arrive at Childs Glacier

click on picture for
larger image: these pictures are the one which appear in the book for
this chapter.

Cordova RR depot

Cordova depot area after RR abandonment
--Cordova Museum

Cordova RR depot

 Below: A Miles & Childs Glacier excursion train leaves Cordova 
--Cordova Museum

Cordova excursion train

Below: Cordova RR yard with the town site in distance:   --Laurie
Nyman collection

Cordova RR yard area

The train left Cordova in an easterly direction, following a relatively
flat glacial out-wash for the first twenty miles, crossing many small
streams before it reached the foothills south of Sheridan Glacier. It
followed along the hills until reaching the first crossing of the Copper
River at Flag Point, CRNW mile 27. This was a complex bridge set-up,
consisting of a series of wooden trestle approaches connecting nine
narrow steel spans. The longest of these spans was 300 feet. This is the
area of heavy winter winds that approached 100 miles per hour, causing
snow drifts high enough to completely bury entire trains, as had
happened in the past. The five days in Cordova were mostly sunny, as was
this day. The ten mile-wide delta with its countless ducks and other
birds seemed to extend almost forever in the glimmering rays which
reflected back off the long expanses of partly-submerged lowlands
covered with thick marsh weeds.

RR tangent near Cordova
RR tangent east of Cordova   --B.Bragaw
Collection, 85-108-12, UAF AK & Polar Regions

Flag Point bridge
Flag Point Bridge, CRNW MP 27   
--Cordova Museum

Once it crossed the bridges at CRNW mile 27, the train began heading
north. It was far enough away from the shore to enable a good view of
the southern edge of the Chugach Range. Then the train passed the steel
bridges at Round Island, CRNW mile 34. These crossings consisted of a
200 foot span extending to a sand bar, then a wooden trestle which
bridged the bar that extended to two more 200-foot steel spans. Now it
was only a few miles to the Million Dollar Bridge.

Round Island
An excursion train
approaches the Round Island bridge on the Copper River delta on
the return to Cordova   --UAF,
Frederick Mears, 84-75-382

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