Skagway was great; it’s just as beautiful and interesting as Ketchikan. It is a tiny town of 800 people, which just explodes during the tourist season. It has been mostly reconstructed to its original look and design during the Klondike gold rush. Skagway was known as the gateway to the gold rush, since it’s the furthest one can sail the inside passage before having to travel the White Pass up the mountains and into the Yukon. It’s also only about 100 miles from Whitehorse, and there are lots of signs pointing the way there. So close, yet so far!
I’m so glad we had the entire day to explore that tiny town and I wish it had been the same for our two previous ports. I spent the morning exploring, taking pictures and shopping, of course. I had lunch with a couple friends at the Red Onion Saloon, which was interesting to say the least! During the gold rush, the Red Onion was the local drinking hole, with the convenience of a 10 woman brothel upstairs. You can still tour the upstairs area, but I ran out of time. All the waitresses were in period dress and in character, complete with dirty puns!
After lunch I had the chance to take the train up White Pass and into B.C. It continues up into the Yukon, but we didn’t get that far. The train was really cool and the view was amazing – HUGE plunging depths with class 6 rapids down below. The railway was built in the late 1800’s to make travel to the Yukon a lot easier. Before that, the trip was made by foot and many didn’t survive. Some of the trip was a bit nerve wracking – it’s kind of hard to feel safe when the valley below the rails is full of rotting cut timber and piles of rusted and twisted metal. The whole trip lasted about 3 hours, but it definitely wasn’t boring!
The weather was pretty cold, and we had some rain during the train ride. I still consider us lucky though, considering some cruises end up with rain all week long. We stayed in port until after dark, and I got to watch a performance by one of the locals – he was really good.
Today we’re at sea, and we will be until we reach Vancouver in a couple days. No more ports… We’ve run into some swells, so the ship is rocking quite a bit again – hopefully not for long though. Our captain is reporting an outside temperature of about 12C, which has pretty much been the average for the week. He says the temperature in Vancouver when we dock will be 27C – I can’t even imagine that kind of heat; I’ve really gotten used to the colder weather here.
So… that’s it. I probably wont get the chance to post anymore until I get home. I’ve pretty much used up all my Internet minutes and it should be quiet until we dock anyways. See you all soon!