Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ferry to Skagway

We loaded our RV, jeep, Moe and ourselves onto this giant ferry to head across the water from Haines to Skagway.

Very interesting view driving onboard. Realize that both sides of the ferry are open and if I drive too far, I could go right into the ocean. Don't want to miss that first turn to park.

Loading the RV. WOW it looks big from up here.

THe view of leaving Haines. What a great quaint little town this has been. Each town in Alaska has its own personality and this one was really hometown without tourist trinkets.

Dick hanging out by the flag on the ferry.

Great views coming into port. There were 4 cruise ships in this day. You can imagine the number of visitors. Skagway was once the major Kondike gateway and still has many historic Gold Rush buildings. One of our favorite activities was the town tour offered by the National Parks rangers. Learning the history of this town, makes me appreciate all the stampeders went through to get to the Gold Rush.

The town catered to tourists. No trip could be complete with out a horse and buggy ride.

The tour cars were modeled after the original trolley cars used during the goldrush days. The town is called Alaska's Garden City. Many of the Victorian homes had beautiful gardens of wild flowers and poppies.

Dick and one of his favorite totem poles.
The town remains mostly old buildings with board walks. Walking through town was entertainment in itself . The six block historic district is well preserved.

We toured the country on the White Pass and Yukon Scenic Railway, one of the last remaining narrow-gauge trains. It was completed in 1900 and provided a route to the Klondike. It was also the main supply line for the construction of the Alaska Highway, built to defend Alaska from invasion during World War II. We traveled to White Pass Summit at 2800 ft., through 2 tunnels , by cascading waterfalls, by Buchanan Rock, and passed the gold rush cemetery. Great views for the day.

The ticket office is a replica of the original one built in 1900.
Construction of the railroad began in 1898 and the first train broght back $500,000 of Klondike gold in 1899.

Interesting to see the front of the train as it rounds the corner to go through one of the tunnels.

Our views of waterfalls and glaciers made the trip go by in a hurry.

The caboose. This is where as a child I always wanted to ride.

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