We first visited Skagway Alaska while on a Royal Caribbean Inside Passage cruise in 1998. The entire town is a National Park Historic Site, the Klondike Gold Rush. The day we arrived was exactly the 100th anniversary of the death of Soapy Smith the legendary outlaw sheriff of the town. The White Pass & Yukon Route railroad is a historic narrow gauge train running excursions with vintage steam and diesel locomotives. History and trains, we were enthralled and knew we would return.
We arrived in our motorhome July 1st, 2015. The drive from the Yukon towns of Tagish and Carcross was beautiful. We traveled through the coastal mountain pass in dense fog and dropping temps, then rain. Skagway is still the National Historic Park which preserves and presents much of the history. On the other hand the cruise industry has taken over much of the shopping with the usual zillion jewelry stores. The good news is that their success feeds the National Park Service efforts to restore and preserve the history. A percentage of store sales goes directly to the local NPS efforts.
The White Pass & Yukon Route does a great job running many trains daily and a steam train several times per week. We rode the train to Lake Bennet and chased the steam train up toward White Pass. The railroad was built in 1899-1900 to serve the mines of the Klondike near Dawson City Yukon. The Klondike Gold Rush was worldwide sensation drawing stampeders to the shortest route to the goldfields. Skagway sits at the end of a long fjord, the Lynn Canal, in Southeast Alaska still accessible only by ship or the one highway from the Yukon.
While staying in Skagway we took the fast ferry to visit the town of Haines Alaska. Haines also has an interesting history and gorgeous location. We also toured the historic site of Dyea, a town eclipsed by Skagway with the advent of the railroad. There are many great hiking trails around Skagway and NPS ranger led hikes. Skagway is a great tourist destination with a story to tell.
I remember Skagway from our trip there several years ago. (I think we have our photo in front of that same “Welcome” sign. Fun to see your photos – looks like your having a good time. What the heck is a ferroeqinologist? (Are you one?)
Love reading about your adventures! I actually looked up “Ferroeqinologist” and the dictionary didn’t know what it was either! I have to assume it would be a train aficionado (like yourself) who is also a photographer (like yourself) who likes to take photos of trains. Do I get a cookie?
Keep enjoying your trip! I hope Dianne is getting along ok with her broken bone! Travel safe!
Ferro fr. the latin word for iron. equine fr. the latin horse. ologist studier(?) iron horse student = train nut. Yes you guessed right or had some latin training (I had 3 years of Latin in high school and I went to public shool). Thanks for playing along.
Your trip on narrow railway from Skagway to Bennet Lake and on to Carcross in Yukon by road brought back great memories of our trip also that exact excursion on Cruise Ship side trip we took, along with Salmon Fishing trip and Plane ride over Glaciers, Denali and on to Fairbanks. Same time of year. I am sure you took in as much as possible Dianne even with Cast. You are a real trooper. stay safe and Well. Linda Davids
Enjoyed the photos and narration, Randy. New territory for me, open and panoramic.