SKAGWAY

Another Alaska dawn photo. This one was pretty cool. There was a weird gap in the low clouds that exposed sunlight on the snow-covered mountain.

Docked at Skagway. I don't know what kind of boat this is. It just looked neat.
With all the photos from the balcony, it was time to get one of the balcony. Who left that door open?

This is the Skagway Police Station. How much crime could there be. There are less than 900 people in the town.
The city's website says that Skagway is geographically the largest city in Alaska with 455 square land miles. I don't know where they are keeping the rest of it. The part where people actually are can't be more than a half square mile.
My nephew and I got off the ship early. I wanted to get some photos of the town before all the people from the several ships that would be docked that day swarm all over the place.
The Visitors Bureau is located in this funky building.
The station of the White Pass & Yukon Route. Our excursion today is a ride on the train.
The railroad runs a regular schedule between Skagway and Carcross, Y.T. and farther to Whitehorse by bus. We only got as far as White Pass Summit, just beyond the Alaska-British Columbia border.
This is the machine they use to clear snow from the track. I have a photo of a section that had to be cleared not long before we travelled.
The Skagway Centennial Statue. It's of a Tlingit Packer leading a prospector up the trail in 1897.
Interestingly enough, unlike Juneau and Ketchikan, you can actually get from Skagway, the northernmost city on the trip, back to Seattle by car. It's a 1600 mile trip and you have start off going north into the Yukon Territory and then all over British Columbia, but you can do it.
This old caboose is actually a cabin that can be rented.
On the way up I was not on the good side of the train for scenery. So I got ordinary shots like this.
Another little mountain stream.
As we climbed up to White Pass Summit, there was more snow on the ground.
This is the inside of an old tunnel.
Here we are at the top. It's only a little more than a half mile up, but it is nice and crisp up there.
Fortunately, at the summit we flipped the seats over and swapped sides so that the people with the lousy view on the way up got to see things on the way back down.
This is the other side of the summit.
There is a marker at the U.S.-Canada border. The flags are a dead giveaway.
It's interesting that as someone who grew up in sunny South Florida I have such a fondness for snow.
The Trail of '98 was the primary route from Skagway to the goldfields in the mountains.
Mountains and snow and clouds.
The old route used to go across this steel bridge. It was built in 1901 and was in use until 1969. There's a tunnel now.
Down a gorge.
Waaaay down there is the ship.
Now you can see why the scenery on the way up was crap. The track pretty much runs up the side of the mountain.
According to the copy of the Skagway News I bought as a souvenir (they publish twice monthly), a late spring avalanche covered the tracks just nine days before our trip on the WP&YR. The slide was 350 feet wide and 70 feet deep. The poor people who were on the train that day had to go all the way back to Frasier, BC and be bussed back to Skagway in order to get back to their ships before they sailed. The railroad had it cleared by the next morning.
The water on this side of the train is more interesting.
An engine parked at the siding.
A railroad guy.
The bridge across Glacier Gorge where the track enters Tunnel Mountain 1000 feet above the floor of the gorge. Inside Tunnel Mountain was where I took that earlier photo.
Black Cross Rock. On August 3, 1898, a blasting accident buried two railroad workers under a 100-ton granite rock. The cross marks their resting place. Keep in mind that whole thing is the giant boulder that crushed them. Ouch!
"On to Alaska with Buchanan" has been a sightseeing attraction for over seventy years. The sign on the far wall of the canyon was painted by the Buchanan Boys Tour Group, brought from Detroit each year to visit Skagway in the 1920's.
Now these are rapids.
We're almost back to the station.

More Skagway