Monday, September 10, 2012

skagway ~ and beyond

Welcome to Skagway...
Garden of Alaska...
located at the northernmost point of Alaska's Inside Passage. 

Directly beyond the town are the majestic peaks of the Coast Mountains.

We left the ship...
and walked downtown to explore.

The historic downtown has been restored to its roots...
complete with the wooden boardwalks of the Gold Rush era.

Though Skagway boasts only 862 local residents...
some 700,000 tourists visit the city each year.

Residents or tourists...
they all seemed pretty laid back!
On the outskirts of town lies the Gold Rush Cemetery...
the resting place for early Skagway residents and Gold Rush gangsters.

After spending a leisurely morning exploring...

...we all bought tickets to hop aboard the White Pass Scenic Railway.

And then we waited...

Before long the train pulled into the station... 

...and one little boy was very eager to board!

We rode in vintage rail cars to the White Pass Summit...
climbing 3000 feet over twenty miles...
and enjoying some beautiful scenery en route.

The bridge constructed in 1901...
was the tallest cantilever bridge in the world for almost seven decades.

That they laid those rails and built the bridges so long ago...
in some of the North's most rugged terrain is..
is quite an engineering wonder. 

Through Dead Horse Gulch... 

and several tunnels...

...and finally we reached the top.
We passed by the point where  Alaska meets Canada...
where all the flags flew proudly in the breeze.

And should we have needed any assistance...
I'm sure we could have knocked at the door of the NWMP (North West Mounted Police).

The grands enjoyed the ride and the good company...

...except for Micah (our train enthusiast) who was lulled to sleep not long into the ride!

When our train reached he summit...
we returned the way we came.
Without any gold...
but richer in the knowledge of what lies beyond the town of Skagway.

And we had a greater appreciation of the challenges
that the prospectors of long ago must have faced. 


  1. This looks like such a fantastic trip, I would so like to visit this place!

  2. Wonderful family photos! Gorgeous scenery. I'll be bringing John back to see that bridge. He's probably seen it in a book somewhere, though these are great shots and he's always interested in such things. Skagway looks like a fun place and now I just want to know if anyone purchased a shirt from the Alaska Shirt Company.

  3. We have also taken that train ride and found it as fascinating and beautiful as you did. The stories told of the hard work and grit of those early miners and settlers makes us wonder if our generation would ever be able to accomplish as much. I believe that railway is one of the few narrow gauge ones in the country.

  4. I'd take that train ride again any day! Having grands along for the ride would be my idea of an upgraded ticket!

  5. I'd love that train ride. No one has ever convinced me to visit Alaska until your started posting this trip. are so gifted in travel posts.
    I love the photos of the children and especially the sleepy little man and his mama.

  6. Were you all swaying even after you got off the boat for the walk into town? What a fun little town to visit and I'm sure it survives because of the cruise ship stops! You know me...I'd like to poke around in that little cemetery! So many questions...Is that middle flag the B.C. flag?
    Great photos Judy!

  7. You are a wonderful travel guide! And I also just love that photo of the litle guy sleeping on him mom's lap! Precious!

  8. Judy,
    Neat pics of neat places to see. Thanx for sharing this journey.
    God bless.

  9. What a breath taking beautiful tour of THE most beautiful area!! I've never been nor am I likely to ever visit there so I especially enjoyed myself as I toured along with you and your lovely family!

  10. I have just read through all of your Alaska posts. I can't think of a nicer way to celebrate 40 years of marriage. What a wonderful experience for all of you. The photos are gorgeous and the posts so informative and interesting.

  11. We drove up that way instead of taking the train. Amazing scenery, and it really does give one pause to think of the Gold Rush fever and the efforts that went into constructing roads and bridges in that part of the world.

  12. Hello, boy all these memories that are coming back! 1999 and our trip to Alaska with you guys! Pierre and I came down from Whitehorse(where you had droped us off) to Skagway (bus and the famous train) and took the ferry to Bellingham - jusz had no Disney on board :-) .Greetings to everybody! Ute

  13. I can't imagine any place being more beautiful than the places you shared today. I appreciate what you said about the amazing bridge being built, and the marvel of it all. I like how Micah fell asleep during something he could not wait to participate in. That is me sometimes,and it gave me a smile.

    This trip certainly had to be a huge milestone for the adults and children alike. You documented it perfectly.

  14. Such spectacular scenery on the trai ride, Judy! It does look likean engineering marvel. How hard the men long ago must worked to build that. Seeing Micah sleeping made me smile as my older grandson was so excited to ride a NYC subway when in town for his aunt's wedding, and then promptly fell asleep after a few stops.

  15. Amazing sights and views on your little side trip. I don't know about riding over that high trestle though! A little scary for me. Thanks for the tour. It looks like a wonderful trip. My friend thinks she was on the same cruise with you as she remembers a family and a couple celebrating their 40th. Small world!

  16. wow, such beautiful views. lovely. happy to be following you now. take care. (:


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