Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 8


Since this post is going to have a lot of pictures, I'll try to keep the verbiage short.  The thing to do in Skagway is take the train over White Pass, roughly following the route of the miners during the heyday of the Klondike gold rush.  The big difference is they did it on foot, or, at best, with a horse for part of the way.

This is the only excursion we booked ourselves instead of going through the cruise line.  I did research on all of them (isn't the internet wonderful?) and this was the only one we could book cheaper ourselves.  We went with Chilkoot Charters who offered the combination we wanted - train one direction and bus the other.

We chose the bus first.  Our driver was a real hoot.  Knowing we would all want a picture of the train climbing up the other side of the valley, he timed our drive to get this shot.

We stopped to admire Bridal Veil Falls.  (Does every state have a Bridal Veil Falls?)

He drove very slowly over this bridge so we could get our pictures of the scary drop.

But what was really scary was what he told us about the bridge.  It seems it spans a chasm that gets wider due to earthquakes.  It is only attached at one side to allow for this and its length has already been added onto by three feet.

As we had come to expect, the nasty weather began to roll in.

After being boarded by Canadian customs officers, we arrived at Fraser, British Columbia, where we could stamp our passports, just for fun.  At that point the weather was still not too bad.

But once we boarded the train and started our downhill trip, this is what we saw.

Making the proverbial lemonade out of lemons, the train narrator enthused that she loved weather like this because it makes the old bridge appear suddenly out of the fog like a ghost.  Okaaay . . .

The visibility was a little better when the train made its sweeping curves up the side valleys.

Once again, we had the last car all to ourselves and with only 16 of us, I didn't have to share the rear platform with many others.

There was just enough of a break in the clouds to see the rest of Bridal Veil Falls across the way.

As I was hanging out on the back deck, I couldn't help but be amazed at the work that went into laying this track.

By the time we reached Skagway, it was pouring, but I still had to snap a picture of the engines.

And the snow removal engine on display.

I couldn't forget to take the other famous bar in Alaska.

And some of the old buildings in town.  Our bus driver told us you can tell which are the old buildings because they look so good.  It seems they  really work at keeping them up.

(I know this is really long, but I have just a few more pictures to finish the day.)

Promptly at 5 PM, we waved good-bye to Skagway.  Although not landlocked like Juneau, it might as well be with the effort required to go to the closest town.

Soon Ron and I were ensconced in our favorite spot in the observation lounge.

However I couldn't resist running out to snap a picture of a glacier we passed.

Uh-oh, this doesn't look good.

But, at least we found the pot of gold.  Who knew it was in the ocean?
You can't see it very well, but this was a double rainbow.  And it was complete from end to end.

I haven't been showing the nightly towel animals, but we had accumulated quite a menagerie by this time.


  1. Thanks again for the wonderful tour Barbara.

  2. I'm thinking you had entirely too much fun on this cruise! ;c)

  3. I would be having to air dry after my shower I wouldn't want to unwrap that towel art! Sorry you had bad weather we had a bad weather when we took the wildlife cruise in Resurrection Bay...but cant do nothing bout it...WOW that train ride must be awesome, beautiful scenery all around.

  4. What a shame you have had so much bad weather. Glad you got to ride the White Pass RR. We spent a whole week in Skagway, just so we could ride behind the steam engine. It is really a neat trip, isn't it?

  5. Bummer on the weather! The train ride was included in the escorted cruisetour we took, so we did the train both ways ... would have preferred it the way you did it with a bus on one leg. Smart of the driver not to tell you that little "bridge factoid" in advance ;-)