Alaska Trip-- Day 8 Skagway & Glacier Bay

Kirk and fellow travelers come out of the Alaskan and Yukon wilderness, to find the cruise ship waiting for them at Skagway, the wildest of the Gold Rush towns of 1897!

This is a my own personal blog, and not the opinion of the station nor any news story!

 
As our cross country journey across the Yukon territory comes to an end, we have found a  couple of gems in Whitehorse.  An interpretative center explaining Beringa (the land bridge between Russia and Alaska) has been especially good.
 
We learned how to use the atalatal, a primitive spear arrow thrown or launched with the used of 
a one foot extension to flip it at high speed at the prey.  Some of  us were particularly good at this, while others simply hit small rabbits and worms in the nearby grasses.  Then we moved inside to see a film on the people and culture of the area.  The building was originally a tourism office, but located next to the elevated airport, it was too far away from the main streets of Whitehorse, and so was re-purposed into this museum/interpretive center.
 
We also stopped at a private Caribou Crossing for Barbecue Chicken, cornbread, baked potato, cole slaw and drink, and then walked into a taxidermy display was was outstanding. Huge animals of the age and the region were expertly positioned in fighting stances and well lit in the large pole barn.  Also, outside was a petting zoo, with new baby goats, puppies, sled dogs &
more.  We regretted having to leave this wonderful family exhibit.
 
A miniature Bove Desert was a treat, as  we saw sand dunes that are frozen in time, crawling up
the valley, creating a dune system.  Lots of jokes and photos were snapped as we being coming
to the headwaters of the Yukon river, and we have the sense of coming down out of the mountains.
 
We also visited Carport, a small town with the very first post office in Canada. We had been given a "passport" to collect stamps at each Yukon museum, and ten stamps would qualify for a chance at 2oz of  gold. 20  qualify for 5 oz of gold. 33 stamps were possible. Some started to  collect stamps in Carport, and had 3 before long. But we are leaving the territory, and so are not likely to complete the contest by August 31st.But it is fun. We  found other stamps in B.C. that we are filling  our book with. Maybe we'll mail it  in the entry from  home for fun.
 
Eventually, we came to Frazier, which is the terminus of the White Pass & Yukon Route railway. We board the passenger train with great expectations of the run down the 27 kilometer track that traces the path the Stampeders took in 1898. Each panhandler had to prove they had enough gear for one year in the Yukon, and the repeated trips up the 27K slope amassed one ton of  his equipment. This could require 35 trips if one did not have a horse or mule to haul. So many died on the trail, a section is called dead horse gulch. The original trail can still be seen in some locations.
 
Those  who were not frightened of the dramatic views and drop offs, may have been startled by two tunnels along the route. but all of us enjoyed the journey and the return from Canada into the USA. Our passports were inspected, and we were approved.
 
We see the three large ships at dock and recognize one from each major cruise line. One, the  Norwegian Sun, is the same ship my wife and I rode 6 years ago as we traveled this route in reverse. What a surprise! 
 
After a quick tour of the town and checking into our rustic hotel, we search for a meal and  find the Red Onion. It is a former brothel with a bar below and bawdy photos, paintings and a dance hall atmosphere that they preserve. Upstairs, for a $10 tour, you get a glimpse into the life of a working woman in the frontier, and though the atmosphere is adult, nothing is too offensive. Not sure I'd take my family here to eat, and we move to a  pizza place for various meals...pizza, spaghetti, sweet & sour chicken, Chicken Parmesan, and Mongolian beef are chosen.
 
A pleasant meal on our own with friends and laughter and then we walk down to the cruise ships.
Norwegian Sun has sailed, and the town is closing up their shops and going home, despite the continued sunshine and presence of overnight guests walking the streets. The sun dips below
the mountains and a dusk approaches, but never truly gets dark here.
 
We turn in and watch "Storage Wars" on A&E in our room since there is no free internet here. I will attempt to use our old internet pass cards from 6 years ago in the internet cafe one day on our cruise to post these entries and some more photos. 
 
LOTS of photos snapped by others, and are being shared in "Scene Everywhere" under the inter-
act tab of www.wtap.com   You should go look at the fun and the sights we are seeing.
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