Northward we travel on our adventure! On this morning, we arrived in Skagway, Alaska our third and last port of call on this Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers trip–We’d be doing 2 “Scenic Cruising” days after Skagway. On this morning, it looked like our good weather luck had run out. 😉 There were low lying clouds and mist at the dock.
As I always like to say though, “Please do *not* book your cruise to Alaska based on the weather!”. The weather is ever changing and can go from sunny and warm to rainy and chilly in the course of just a few hours. So we were not upset about this change in weather at all. I did do a quick morning video, but it was not a Facebook Live video because the cell service was pretty awful there and I could not get a strong enough connection to maintain a Facebook Live video. Here is what I did make though:
(OH btw, did you see that landslide in the video? We’ll revisited that once we start on our Southbound Voyage of the Glaciers cruise).
As you heard me say in the video, we’d be taking an Excursion with Chilkoot Charters and Tours and we’d be doing the Yukon Rail & Bus Tour. Our tour started pretty early that morning so I went ahead and got myself showered and put together for the day pretty early. Chris had retrieved our regular coffee and tea from the International Cafe–We did not want to eat a heavy breakfast that morning as we knew we’d be on the go all day long…Sometimes my stomach rebels if I eat too heavy…so I abstained from doing so most mornings that we had an excursion planned.
ANYhoot, here is my outfit for the day, I took a rain jacket with me on this day too…so glad I did, I needed it later:
Here is the Princess Patter for the day:
Chris and I were off of the ship by around 8:10am and after a very short walk (like to the end of the ship) we arrived at our meeting place; we were scheduled to meet our Chilkoot Driver by 8:30. We clicked off some pictures of the beautiful Coral Princess while we waited.
This is always my favorite port in which to dock. Because of the clouds on this day, you can’t see the mountains that literally soar up behind the ship, but trust me, they are a sight to behold…just stunning!
It wasn’t long before our driver “Jenny” showed up in her Chilkoot Charters van, I will say, it was so much more pleasant spending the day climbing in and out of this van than it would have been climbing in and out of a motor coach. Old “bad knees Arlynn” appreciated this van *so* much!
First let me say that Jenny was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!! Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of her, but, she was a cutie pie with pretty red hair. When she told her stories as we climbed the mountains in route to the Yukon, she’d finish each story with “And that happened on a “Friday” or “Saturday” or on another day of the week…I thought that was cute…she had a great sense of humor, I really enjoyed listening to her. I wish upon everything that I could remember ALL that she said…I don’t know how she keeps all of the information that she imparted to us straight…she was a gem!
All right, let me show you some of the sights we’d be seeing on our way up to Canada…I’m just going to show you a couple of screenshots from Chilkoot’s blurb from their website so that y’all can get a sense of this amazing company–they are very organized and your day is mapped out beautifully!! (Chris and I did the Bus up and Train back down):
So we drove through the thriving metropolis (of course said in jest) of Skagway first before we headed up the Klondike Highway to the Yukon, Here are some of the sights we viewed on our way:
This is a snow blower…a very l-a-r-g-e snow blower!!!
As we traversed up that mountain, we saw SO much that I don’t quite know what was what to be truthful. BUT, I have a ton of pictures to share and I will label the ones that I’m positive of what they are…
Here was my view btw…our van was only about half full, so I planted myself right in the center of the back seat…I had a great view out of both sides of the van:
We had traveled past a few “Points of Interest” already and Jenny regaled us with her stories as we drove…I was quite enjoying myself already! We’d passed “The White Pass Trail of Ninety-Eight”, “Brackett Wagon Road”, and “Pitchfork Falls” and one of our first stops was at “Bridal Falls” and while we were stopped and out of the van taking pictures, Jenny took her water bottle over to the falls and filled it right on up with that wonderfully fresh water:
SIDE NOTE: My gracious, I look like a big MELON in that jacket…haha…I purchased that one before I left and ordered it up a size…I’m a big girl, but, I didn’t need that jacket to be *quite* that large…lol. OH well, I am who I am huh? 😉
We hopped back in the van and traveled on up the mountain and around a few turns and then Jenny said that we had a cool photo op coming up. Bridal Falls from a distance right when the White Pass train was passing over the bridge that spanned the distance over the falls…Here are those shots…pretty cool (and it was pretty cool outside too…the temp was dropping the further North we traveled).
After taking a look at the “William Moore Bridge”, we stopped at the “Welcome to Alaska” sign for a photo op, Jenny took this picture of us with our own camera. 🙂 I’ve been wanting this picture for YEARS, so I was just tickled to finally be getting it. 🙂
So Northward we traveled, y’all can take a look at the list of “Points of Interest” above, but, now, I’m just going to show you some pictures of the beauty and grandeur that appeared in front of us…the skies started to clear a bit (for a time) and we really caught some gorgeous shots.
The Fall colors were out in places too…so, so pretty!
As we were traveling we passed through Fraiser, British Columbia its claim to fame is that it is a Port of Entry into Canada; we needed to show our Passports to a Border Control fella. We were not allowed to take photos there.
Jenny decided to zip on past the “Welcome to the Yukon” sign because there were a couple of motor coaches sitting there and all were waiting to get their picture taken with the sign (we stopped later on our way back down to Fraser and the train depot where we’d catch the White Pass Train)…
We rode by “The World’s Smallest Desert”:
And our next stop was “Emerald Lake”…My gracious, it was breathtakingly gorgeous. I took a little video of our time there, here it is (please excuse the wind, it was quite breezy that day):
And here are some pictures that we caught while stopped at Emerald Lake:
Emerald Lake was as far North as we traveled on this trip, so after viewing that beauty, we climbed back in the van and started to head back down the mountain, we’d make a couple more stops along the way, first up was to Caribou Crossing, a quirky little place that the locals have made into quite a nice little stop for tourists. You can find more information by clicking on Caribou Crossing Trading Post.
It was a fun little place to visit, you could do a sled dog ride if you wanted to do so, or you could go and look and HOLD the PUPPIES which of course I made a bee-line to do!!
They also had a petting zoo there…OMGosh y’all, I was in Heaven!! I purchased a little bag of grain and I took turns feeding “Thelma & Louise” the two beautiful Alpacas and I had enough left over to feed a couple of sweet little goats too. 🙂 I was a happy girl!
Fun times for me right there!!! ^^^
Next up was lunch…They make the same lunch each day right there on the premises at Caribou Crossing and you just walk in and they hand you a tray with your barbecue chicken and fixin’, and then you are pointed in the direction of a nice eating area. There was complimentary water and coffee available (I think coffee, I don’t drink it and Chris didn’t have any so I might be wrong on the coffee front…haha). (I have no idea what the cost of the meal would bed for someone who was just stopping in for a meal; our meal cost was covered by Chilkoot). And there was a bar in there where folks could get a beer, mixed drink, or soda…I opted for a Diet Coke…we paid a pretty little penny for that too. Regardless, there were donuts for dessert..YUM!
We had a lovely time at Caribou Crossing and when our time was finished there, we climbed back aboard our van and Jenny transported us to town of Carcross. It was a lovely little place with the train tracks running straight through the middle. The town was obviously erected around the tracks and the ‘business’ that they’d bring to help the town survive. 🙂 There were a plethora of shops in which peruse, many of them, well mostly all of them that I saw contained merchandise that was locally made by Alaskans. I didn’t see anything that met my fancy, but we did get an ice cream cone which was delicious and we strolled around the town until it was time to head to the van and eventually to the White Pass train that would take us on our ride down the White Pass Trail. Here are a few pictures of Carcross:
Whoops, I forgot about our little stop at the Yukon sign…Here are a couple of pictures that we caught there:
While we were on our way to Fraser to catch our train, Jenny told us of, and passed around pictures depicting the story of the just how hard it was for gold seekers to traverse the Chilkoot Trail and cross over into Canada (there were actually two mountain passes that led folks to the gold they were seeking, the other one was the White Pass Trail–of course, where they eventually built the railway). ANYway, the Canadian Mounties could see that many of the folks who were trying to make the trip were arriving with way too little goods that would not sustain them through a winter. So a new law was put into place which required all prospectors to bring 1 ton of goods to the border before they’d be allowed to cross over into Canada! It was estimated that it took each prospector 27 trips to achieve that requirement…OMGosh, can you imagine. It is a very interesting story and I encourage you to go ahead and read up on it here.
Here is a picture of a card that Jenny showed us listing the required 1 ton of goods:
And here is a picture of said 1 ton of good that we took while walking through a little museum at Caribou Crossing:
Well, right about the time that Jenny was finishing her story, it started to rain…which was okay with us, but, we did put our cameras away for a while. We transported from the van to the train seamlessly.
Unfortunately, it was so cloudy, rainy, and foggy, we were not able to get pictures of that White Pass…I do know it is absolutely gorgeous though as we’ve done just the train excursion before. I will show you some pictures of the inside of the train car and a few pictures that I took out the window of the train as we slowly made our way back down that mountain pass to Skagway. It was a very relaxing and lovely ride, we chatted with other folks in our train car and just relaxed.
There was a stove in each car, and trust me, we needed it that day, it was quite chilly. Also, there was complimentary bottled water in each train car.
I guess it took us an hour or so to get back down into Skagway. A Border Control fella came on board to check our Passports once again as of course we had entered the United States on our journey. By the time we were ready to get off of the train it was practically pouring rain. Jenny had told us when she dropped us off at the train in Fraser that she wasn’t sure it would be her who picked us up when we disembarked the train (it would be *someone* from Chilkoot), but, there she was waiting for us. She drove us right on back to where she had picked us up about 8 and a half hours earlier. We generously tipped Jenny as she had been an amazing little guide, and I might have even given her a hug on my off of that van. We’d had a lovely, lovely day!! I have not one more picture of that day though…I was completely exhausted, truly. Chris and I hurried back to the ship with our hoods on our heads and umbrellas open. I have no memory of what we did for dinner that night…lol…I’ve been sitting here wracking my brain, <shaking head>. I’m pretty sure it was the Buffet, either that or Pizza again. BTW folks, the Horizon Buffet was amazing on the Coral, honestly. The food was always hot and fresh and the desserts were fantastic. I’ll be showing and telling you more about that in a future blog post.
All right, I’ll close this one out as our day in Skagway was coming to a close. I didn’t do a lick of shopping that day, OH except for a baseball cap that I purchased while on the train, but, who needs to shop when there is so much beauty to behold and stories of the gold rush up the White Pass and Chilkoot trails to hear. I was a very tired lady but a very satisfied lady when my head hit that pillow and when I felt the ship’s oh so subtle movement. I slept like a baby that night. 🙂
Next up, my very favorite day, a “Scenic Cruising” day in Glacier Bay National Park. Here is a Sneak Peek:
***If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me…Psalm 139***
~Until next time, y’all take good care!
And here is a link to Episode #8!