Saturday, September 04, 2010

Day 5 - Skagway, Alaska

We awoke Tuesday morning to the sounds of
men shouting and motors grinding as
we docked into the Skagway port.

One of the many other cruise ships that
followed the same route as us
was coming in behind us.
We had a gorgeous cool and sunny day.
The town was about 1/4 mile from the dock
but we really enjoyed the view before we
even left the boat.

Skagway was a railroad town and port of call
back in the day of rail travel and the rail trips
were the main attraction here.
It sounded like a neat tour up to the
Klondike Highway and the
Yukon Suspension Bridge.
But it was an all day trip and that suspension bridge
thing made Steve a little nervous.
We had some time before our tour so we walked into town
and enjoyed the view along the way.

Skagway is a little town -
only 800 when the cruise ship season is over.
They have one school from Kg - 12th grade
with 9 teachers and 76 students.
The Red Onion Saloon is known for
its 'spoiled doves' historical reputation.

Our first tour took us on a scenic drive up over the town.
The mountain here was Harding Mt. and they said
it was named after President Harding who was the only
U.S President to visit Skagway.
He complained constantly of being cold and then
promptly returned home and died of pneumonia -
at least that's what they said.

We did see an airplane arrive at their 'airport'.
The tour then took us to a museum - a very good one actually.
They had a lot of artifacts from the miners and
we could have spent more time there.
We also went to a Sculpture Garden - this was the only
sculpture I found interesting but they had enlarged photos
with a miner's notes about their lives -
it looked like an awful life.
They said only a small percent actually made
and KEPT their earnings of gold -
some guy named Nordstrum was one of them.
Most was spent on prostitutes, staying alive
or swindled away from them.
The tour we took of the Red Onion was led by this 'madame'
The was NOT Steve's favorite tour - he didn't like her silliness.
The history she told though was pretty sad -
some of it downright criminal which was
a large problem Skagway had.
Here in St. Louis we have our Jesse James
there they have Soapy Smith.
We enjoyed Skagway for it's scenery
but it's not a place I'd want to live.


Becky said...

Beautiful pictures! Cute one of you and dad!

each day an adventure in alaska said...

love the picture of the cruise ship in the fog. skagway is such a lovely town. just browsing blogs...

Denise said...

Your pic's are beautiful! Would love to see your album. Looks like a ton of fun!