Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Alaska At Last

Our plan was to make it to Alaska so we had to go to Alaska. From where we were Skagway was a short hop, or a several hour trip, depending on your distance management. A short hop for us then. 

It was raining very steadily when we left and pouring when we got to Carcross so we decided to keep going in hope we got back in time to see it later. 

As we approached The Yukon Swinging Bridge I looked at Rob and said," you want to?", and he said, "we can do it the next time we come through, (wink)".  So we pulled over into the parking lot. YIKES, we were committed and they gave us the group discount (quite a good discount) and started in. The rain had mostly stopped but it was still gloomy. 
Gloom is no reason to not do things. 
What are we doing? Crazy people. 

It is an interesting walk telling about the Klondike and building the road and the gold hunt and such. And bears. 
We did cross the river on the bridge. I did not take pictures. Rob did but I did not. We survived our adventure and resisted the gift shop, $2.25 for ketchup chips, and continued on.

Did I mention that I was freezing? The cold rain and my footwear makes it hard to warm up. 
I am however thankful for split heat. 

The highway to Skagway goes from 3250 feet (I can't remember exactly) to sea level in about 120km. Quite an angle. It was also very cloudy, foggy and there were bike tours on the narrow road. I'm sure dad was having the time of his life. It didn't make for good pictures though. 

We managed to make it over the border without incident. The border guard did look for "Javier," and asked if we spoke English in Spanish, no French. The kids remembered to keep their smart remarks to themselves so they let us through. The interesting thing about the border crossing is that the American and Canadian sides (crossing checks) are about 35 kilometres apart. You keep waiting and waiting for the next one. 

Once in Skagway we had lunch at a playground. 
Advantages of a tourist town. New playgrounds and bathrooms. Disadvantages, tourist prices. You win some and you loose some. 

When we came 20 years ago I remember going and seeing things in Skagway. This time I remember the people. The day we came so did three cruise ships. Talk about crowded. I did manage to see some things. 
This is a giant snow plow for the railroad. It would really move the snow. I thought the town in Little House on the Prairie needed that the year the railway was snowed in. 
Sorry about the glare. 
This reminded me of the on of John Lake and Chief Whitecap. "Go that way". 

Much of what was covered in Skagway had been previously taught in other places on the way so not too much new. It was crowded and ice cream was $4.50 a scoop, American. We did make it to Alaska and that was the point. 
Mom wouldn't come closer to take the picture but we have proof that we made it. 

Look for the train
It is a narrow track made just for the gold rush because it could be laid quickly. It runs between Skagway and Carcross. The station is at the Canadian border crossing. 

On the way back we stopped to look at things. 

We were too late for Carcross but we did stop at the tiny desert. 
We walked across it. 
Evander really liked the desert. 

We saw a bear on the way back to camp. 
It took a moment to pose for me and I missed it. But nice profile shot. 

It was late when we got back so we make supper fast and then had sugar pies for dessert. Good reason to have a fire. 

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