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Published: September 6th 2013
Day 38 - Friday August 23 Whitehorse, YT to Skagway, AK 104 miles
We turned on to the Klondike Highway headed south the views again were beautiful. We passed Emerald Lake with rainbow-colors resulting from the blue-green light waves reflecting off the white sediment on the lake bottom. The pictures do not do it justice. We also passed Carcross Desert, Bove Island in Tagish Lake, the Yukon/British Columbia border and proceeded to the Alaska border. Before reaching the border we drove the windy roads through the rocky valley of Summit Lake and reached White Pass Summit (3290 ft.). To add to the adventure it was foggy again that day and our visibility around shear cliffs was about 75 feet. We crossed the Captain William Moore Bridge a unique cantilever bridge over Moore Creek spanning a 110 foot wide gorge. We were following the Klondike gold rush trail with waterfalls on all sides and could see the tracks of the White Pass & Yukon railway tracks. As we came over the hill into town the first sight was of 2 cruise ships at the dock.
This was the only day we had to shop and explore town so we set
Views along the way
up fast and drove into town a short 6 blocks away. We enjoyed the quaint town and friendly people, we had lunch at the famous Red Onion Saloon and went to several of the shops. There were lots of tourists from the cruise ships and I couldn't imagine what kind of time constraints there were to choose just a few excursions while in port because there was so much to do. I got our National Parks passport stamped there for the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
Day 39 - Saturday August 24
Tour day started early meeting the Juneau Fjord Express at the docks for a 3 hour boat ride to Juneau. I did not know that you can only reach Juneau by water or air. We had lunch and did some more sightseeing and shopping in Juneau, then took the bus to the Mendenhall Glacier. We went on the nature walk and spotted a year old bear in the woods who climbed a tree and went to sleep undisturbed by all the attention he was getting from the boardwalk. We walked over to the visitor center to look at the displays and watch a video entitled
Fog at White Pass Summit
"Landscape of change".
Our captain had promised us some whale sightings on the way back and he did not disappoint. Half way back to port he spotted the whales spouting, then you could see them surface and finally their tails would be visible when they would fluke. There were 6-7 of them, more than are normally spotted at one time. At one point one was about 20 feet off the stern of the boat. Simply thrilling!
To finish the trip a Juneau woman had delivered homemade salmon chowder for us to enjoy.
Day 40 - Sunday August 25
Another early day, we caught the White Pass Train in town at 8:15. We took the 20 mile trip of the 110 mile route that went all the way back to Whitehorse. The narrow gauge railroad was started on May 28, 1898 for the Gold Rush. It has been designated an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark an honor shared with the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty and the Panama Canal. It was recognized for its many difficult and hazardous obstacles that were overcome during construction. Pat and I rode most of the way on the little platform outside
of the car taking pictures.
We were exhausted that evening after all the adventures.
Tot: 2.97s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 12; qc: 52; dbt: 0.0245s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb