Day 4: Skagway

Posted: July 13, 2010 by jgrantmarshall in alaska, cruise

As it turned out, Skagway was the surprise hit of our Alaska cruise. The city itself lies entirely in the Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest national forest. The Rhapsody docked within easy walking distance to the city right along a sheer cliff face where ship captains “paint” their signature.



We took our time getting off the ship and had a big breakfast in the Windjammer. Once on land we did some sight seeing including the city museum that was a free service of the National Forest where we learned about the city and the gold rush in an informative 30 minute movie. We next ate lunch at a fish house near the pier. I drank my lunch in the form of an Alaskan Brewing Company’s IPA! 🙂 What the heck, I’m on vacation, right?


Next up, we boarded a tour bus that would take us up to White Pass Summit where we caught the White Pass and Yukon Route Train back to Skagway. The tour on the bus was well done and very informative. A couple of interesting things mentioned were the Skagway Brewing Company’s Spruce Tip Ale (–Keeping-Scurvy-at-Bay-for-Centuries–From-Skagway-Brewing , which I did not get a chance to sample) and that rhubarb grows particularly well in Skagway (due to the long summer days) and the locals love their rhubarb. The train ride back down the mountain was fun, too! It was definitely a photographers dream come true!


Once back in town, everyone else wanted to go shopping but I really wanted to see the Gold Rush Cemetery, so we split up. A minor problem was that I didn’t actually know where it was, so I stopped to ask at the General Store (recommended on the tour). I was told it was more than 20 blocks away and then another half mile down a dirt road. A normal person would have scrapped the idea, but not me. I strapped my backpack down tight and started running! I had never gone jogging with my winter coat on before! When I got to the cemetery, I was the only one above ground. There were loads of side trails and it would have been fun to explore more if I had more time.


The run back to the ship was a bit tougher with a pretty strong wind in my face the whole way. I earned some extra dinner that day!

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