We are now in Skagway Alaska. This is the end of our northern Alaska/Yukon road trip. The next phase involves a two and a half day boat trip through the Alaskan Inner Passage to Prince Rupert BC and then across to Haida Gwaii. Our ferry sails early Thursday morning.
Our camp site is right down town beside the ferry docks, within walking distance to the many shops, bars and restaurants but also beside a park and surrounded by mountains. The best of all worlds .
I was sorry to leave Whitehorse. It is quite a special place. It was current and fresh. I liked being served by young 20 something waiters and waitresses all wearing funky clothes, tights and leather boots. l loved Whitehorse’s spring flowers blooming roadside and stunning snow streaked glaciers. It had a wonderful Yukon River boardwalk and great museums. Never the less, Skagway looks even better.
Today driving down the Klondike Highway I saw landscape like nothing I had ever seen before. It is very stark, rugged and barren. As far as the eye can see are huge boulders and rocks. We drove past countless gorges and waterfalls, panoramas of glaciers, trestle bridges and emerald lakes. I think the four bears we drove past were Kodiak grizzly. Up in the mountains the temperature dropped, the winds were howling and the sky over casted. Just when you couldn’t imagine worst conditions we would drive pass a crazy lone cyclist peddling up an impossibly steep mountain.
All day long I was thinking of the early prospectors. I could not imagine the desolation and desperation they faced as they headed up the steep muddy and highly dangerous incline of White Pass and faced the 33 mile Chilkoot Trail. There is a famous photograph taken of those many men and pack horses struggle in a single file with deep snow all around. There is nothing by today’s standards to compare that determination and courage.
Tomorrow we are going shopping in downtown Skagway. It looks fantastic. The store fronts have all been reproduced into a Disney land pretty world of what it might have looked in the 1890’s but now filled with Pandora charms, Thai restaurants, Oakley sunglasses and North Face apparel.
Stay tuned. This is my adventure
PS – this post has been entirely composed using my iphone.