Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We wanted to visit Skagway and Sitka, but the State Ferry schedule didn’t allowed us enough time to do it, so, we will visit Sitka next time since the middle of our vacation time arrived and it was time to return.  We took the state ferry to Skagway, a one hour trip for just 15 miles.  The ferry was on time and offered a great service.  They had an emergency drill going on for few minutes (which is required and truly appreciated), it rained once again, but other than that the voyage was enjoyable.  For our surprise, there were three other motorcycles from NC!  They were also on their way back home.  Small world…  Oh! By the way, if you plan to take your bike, may sure you have at least two straps to secure it.  The supplies are limited… we bought the last two at the store (plus the prices are almost double)!

Securing the bike

Skagway is a beautiful historic town.  Remember the “Gold Rush”?  Well, we discovered many things but… we didn’t find any gold! L

We went straight to “Skagway Fish Company”, a well recommended restaurant on 2nd St.  From there we visited the Skagway Museum (here we could see a collection of Gold Rush tools and artifacts used by the gold seekers of that time), the Visitor Center (where you can see a movie about how the Gold Rush forever changed Skagway), gift shops and some jewelry stores.  There are many things to do in Skagway.  Hiking at the glacier trails, taking the White Pass &Yukon Route train tour, visiting museums, life shows where you get to play with the actors, and more.  You can stroll around on your own, or choose from various commercial tours available.  You might also want to consider a flight-seeing tour to Glacier Bay, the “world’s most beautiful rivers of ice”, or a helicopter tour to one of the local glaciers.  If you feel lucky, you can go and pan for gold at the creek, and have your own mini gold rush fever.
The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad was build between 1898-1900
She wanted to trade bikes!

The average summer temperature range from 46 to 67 F, although it can get into the 90’s.  So, with a sweater at hand you will be comfortable all day long.  They get just 26” of rain per year (it all came down while we were there!).J

The opportunity of visiting original buildings and staying at the same place where all the excitement of those days happened made the whole experience come to live.  I couldn’t stop thinking about the hard work, difficulties, frustrations and risks these people had to endure.  Many of them succeeded in pursuing their goals of riches, but many others lost everything they had, even their lives.  The perseverance and determination of these people was so evident but yet, so uncertain due to the inexperience with the terrain and weather conditions.   There were cases of single women making their way among the men and some of them ended up in higher position that their counterpart.  Many others mined the miners with their much needed services.  People came from all over the world with the same purpose.  It was horrible what they had to endure, but yet, they tried over and over again.  Many gave up and returned back home with empty hands and shattered dreams.  This was not a game or a vacation trip.  It was the daily life they will be living for a while.

Skagway is a principal Port of Call for all cruises visiting Alaska (we could see the street full of people that have just arrived on a cruise), so you will see few cruises along the harbor.   You also have the possibility of traveling by air, vehicle (via Whitehorse, Yukon Territory) or taking the ferry.   Make sure you have reservations before hand or you might find some problems with accommodations.  We had the blessing of getting the last available room at “Sgt. Preston’s Lodge”!

So, we basically traveled the entire Golden Circle… Whitehorse, Haines Junction, Haines, Juneau, and SkagwayAlaska’s Garden City – in ten days.  We loved it and will definitely come back!!! J

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