Friday, October 24, 2014

Skagway and Some Hiking


Photo of Mount Roberts Tramway

Shopping seems to be a big feature of cruising and I have to tell you I'm not much of a shopper. I'm sure you can guess that Chris isn't much for shopping either so whenever we hit port we looked around for other things to do and this being Alaska the great outdoors beckoned. We planned ahead and packed our hiking boots and outdoor/all weather gear to make this easy.
After our amazing Mendenhal  Glacier experience we still had plenty of time in Juneau to explore so we took the Mount Roberts tramway to the top of the mountain overlooking the city. There are wonderful views and hiking trails but it was VERY expensive so I'm on the fence about this one.
At the top of Mt. Roberts
Hiking, walking really was lovely and rainy. Not a problem since we were prepared and there were some beautiful sights around almost every corner.
Tree totem hidden away atop Mt. Roberts
We managed to find places to get away from the tour crowds at every stop.
There's no such thing as bad weather...just the wrong clothes!
A selfie taken from a rock!
I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK!
After Juneau our next port was Skagway and this was by far my favorite Alaskan town although I can't say exactly why. Perhaps because it looked the most like a gold rush town with the buildings in their original condition and not a modern structure in sight. The town relies on the tourist season and very much caters to the cruise ships but is still very charming.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a6/Skagway%2C_Alaska.jpg/640px-Skagway%2C_Alaska.jpg
This was the jumping off point for the great Yukon gold rush of 1897/98 and we made it a priority to take the White Pass and Yukon train trip which traces the route used by gold rush hopefuls up the White Pass. What an extraordinary excursion it turned out to be!
All Aboard!
Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush, this narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, a designation shared with the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. The WP&YR climbs almost 3000 feet in just 20 miles and features steep grades of up to 3.9%, cliff-hanging turns of 16 degrees, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.
I was standing outside on the small platform between cars to take pictures. Freezing cold I might add! That's the front of our train about to go over the first of many trestles.
Ghost trestle
More than a little hair raising!
The gold seekers followed this route on foot and there are places that we could see the path they made worn into the stone itself so many men had trudged up the mountain before the railway was built. Be sure to follow the links to learn more about the Yukon gold rush it really is awe inspiring and completely different from the California gold rush experience that I'm familiar with living here in Georgetown, a gold rush town.
This was a wonderful day, we loved every minute with a very knowledgeable conductor to fill us in on all the local history. By the way, there's a FABULOUS quilt store in Skagway where I dropped quite a bit of cash. I'm not opposed to all forms of shopping!
Rushin' Tailor's Quilt Alaska. They have a web site too with lots of beautiful kits all with the flavor and color of Alaska.
Next on the itinerary is another highlight - Glacier Bay! 

Until next time,

5 comments:

  1. I'm enjoying the wonderful photos and descriptions of you trip to Alaska. I'm not much of a shopper either, but I heard from a friend, jewelry was to be had at good prices---and of course who would pass up a quilt shop! I bet it is great to be home, and the dogs missed surely missed you!

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  2. What a wonderful trip this must have been! The scenery is stunning. One day, I will get there! I am not a shopper either. Unless of course, it is for antiques and vintage treasures. Never been a clothes horse. I used to think there must be something wrong with me. I would much rather have a couple hours in a Home Depot than a mall!! Loving these posts!!
    xo Kris

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  3. You are making me homesick! You are doing Alaska right...getting out and enjoying the "countryside." So glad you hit the quilt shop...I've shopped online with the Russian Taylor but never been there...someday! Loved the ghost trestle...talk about a leap of faith!

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  4. What an exciting adventure and how smart to bring the right clothes/boots along! That totem in the tree is so neat! Enjoy your trip!

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  5. OMG That train going over the bridge in the fog....scary!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your adventure with us....so enjoyable to see the pics of places I haven't traveled to.

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Thanks for your comments. I love hearing what you have to say.