Interesting day. We left Whitehorse Yukon, down the Klondike Highway, came into British Columbia, and then into Skagway Alaska. All in 111 miles.
I know this is getting old, but what a beautiful drive. We came upon Emerald Lake which the pictures don't show correctly. When the sun is out, it is a beautiful emerald green.
We then passed through Caribou Crossing, which is now called Carcross. It is a cute little tourist town that was once a very important stop for the gold miners heading north from Skagway.
Then on into scenery that we haven't seen anywhere on the trip. Instead of granite mountains, this mountain range is sandstone. You feel like you are on Mars. Really different but very pretty. There was one section with huge sand dunes.
Skagway is where the miners came to in boats from Seattle during the gold rush. The town has preserved it's historical look but is also a very large cruise ship port.
We took a train ride on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad. The train took us to White Pass Summit which was one of the gold rush routes. The most popular route was the Chilkoot Pass which was about 10 miles away. Both routes were brutal and only about 25% of the miners ever made it over. In order to continue on to Dawson City, you had to have all your equipment and supplies for a year at the pass. It was about 2000# of goods so it required you to make as many as 10 trips to the top of the pass. It’s impossible to describe how difficult that would be.
Once you got to the pass, you had to build a boat to travel the next 550 miles on the Yukon River. Only a handful of the 50,000 people that tried this ever made any money at all.
In 1898 and 1899 this narrow gauge, (3 feet wide track) railroad was built to get the miners and their equipment to the top of the pass. Over 35,000 workers built this railroad in just over 2 years. Since then the railroad has been used for freight, has been taken over by the military during WWII, and now is a tourist attraction.
The next day we took a Fast Ferry boat ride over to Haines. It was a 45 minute ride but it was rainy and foggy so we didn’t get to see much on the boat trip. Haines is a quaint little town that is pretty quiet. They only allow one cruise ship in at a time so it never gets very busy. Haines was an old army base that was built in the 1940's simply to prove to Canada that the US wanted it to be inside our borders. It settled the dispute and then we closed the base. Quite a few of the officers houses and some operations building remain as B+Bs.
We have a couple of days driving to do with our next destination being Stewart BC.