Whitehorse to To Skagway on the White Pass & Yukon Route Train
Jun 8, 2006
|Today was such and increditable day. I am still in awe at what all we saw. I will try to show you as much as possible but there some things that just must be seen in person to get the depth etc.
We started out this morning from our campground at 7:40 am when our bus driver Bill picked us up. Our destination was Skagway, Alaska. Skagway is only 110 miles away from Whitehorse but to get there you have to go over the White Pass. We chose to do the combination tour of Bus and Train. Bill not only drove the bus but was our tour guide as well. Our first stop was at a lake called Emerald Lake. I hope you can see in the pictures how it got its name. It was beautiful. We were surrounded by the Montana Mountains that were about 7000 ft.
The first town we stopped at was Carcross. This is a small old town is very rich in history. Most of Carcross is inhabited by First Nation People. They still make most everything by hand and their work was beautiful The town was so quaint. They have a post office and general store that are the oldest continuing running establishments in the Yukon.
Now you gotta remember that we are going way back to the 1890's when someone yelled the three words of GOLD, GOLD, GOLD. That is all it took for thousands to come through the inner passage to Skagway and treck across the mountains to reach the gold. They had two choices when they arrived and that was to either go across White Pass or the Chilkoot Pass. The rush was on for the Klondike Gold Rush. You can just feel the history as you travel through this area.
We made our way up the mountains (which is still being mined today) while I snapped picture after picture of the beauty. Sorry this had to be through the window of the bus but that Bill wouldn't stop every time I yelled "pull over" like MY Bill does.
After about 40 miles we left the Yukon and were back in Beautiful British Columbia.
In Fraser BC, we left the bus and boarded the White Pass Railway. I was grinning from ear to ear just getting on board. Oh how I love trains. As soon as the tickets were collected, I went out to the platform between two cars and stayed there most of the time taking pictures. It was one of the most scenic rides I have ever taken. We went through tunnels, crossed bridges, and saw 600 ft waterfalls as we snaked around this mountain. When we reached White Pass Summit, we were also in ALASKA. After all those years of wanting to come here it was just overwhelming.
When we arrived at the Station in Skagway, we had to stay on board until Custom Agents boarded and cleared us to leave. They were very speedy and efficient so it wasn't long before we were looking for a place to eat lunch. Skagway is a very small town but today there was three cruise ships in port. That means about 8,000 tourists looking for the same things we were. We finally found a nice place and shared a table with our next door neighbors, Darrell and Bessie. Again, we had the fish and chips. Can't seem to get enough of them.
After lunch, we joined the thousands of tourists and walked around Skagway. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is located right downtown so of course that was our first stop after checking out the Train Station. There is so much History in that little town.
We had three hours to spend in Skagway and we saw most of it. Not an easy feat when I wanted to go in every shop we came to. I managed to find a new sweat shirt and just had to buy a ulu. For those of you that have never heard of it, that is an Alaskan Knife. It is curved and with a semi circular blade. The one I bought has a cultured Moose Antler for the handle. It even came with and DVD to show me how to use it. So Cool.
We all were back to the bus on time (4:30 Yukon time, 3:30 Alaska time). There was a time change when we got to Alaska but since we weren't staying there, nobody changed their watches.
The ride back was another beautiful trip. This road was on a moutain just opposite the one the train took so we were able to see everything from a different view. I will just let you enjoy the pictures. It was totally Awesome. All of us on our bus were RV'ers and I can't tell you how many times I heard the guy's saying how nice it was to just sit back and enjoy the scenery. It was a great break for all.
We did see four bears on our return and the bus stopped for us to get pictures of the two that seemed to be putting on a show for us. Boy were they ever eating the dandelions. That is something that we never knew before. They say you learn something new every day. In our case, we are learning something new every hour. One of the bears we saw was brown. It was a black bear, but brown in color. That is another thing we learned. Black bears come in Black, several shades of brown and even WHITE. Yes we did see a white one. It was a stuffed one but it was a Black albino bear. Very interesting.
We arrived home really tired and now I am frustrated because I am having trouble uploading my pictures again. I will probably have to wait until I get a stronger signal to finish but you all come back now. You hear?.......................