Continuing on our Alaska Cruise, we went to Skagway. We decided to take the White Pass & Yukon Railway to the top of White Pass. It is a narrow gauge railway that uses only antique railcars. It’s pretty cool and the scenery is stunning.
There are 5 flags as you enter Canada that represent Alaska, USA, Canada, British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. These are the areas served by the railroad. There are several interesting sights along the way including the trail of 98, an old cemetery from the gold rush era and a monument to 2 men crushed when a slab of rock fell on them while the railroad was being built.
The railroad was built in only 2 years. That is an amazing feat when you consider that they had no heavy equipment like we have today. There were 35,000 people that worked on it. As for the trail of 98, it was the route that the miners in the Klondike gold rush took to get from Skagway to the Klondike. It started with a 20 mile hike up very steep country to White Pass and that was just the start. It was an arduous task to get to the Klondike including having to enter Canada with at least 1 year of supplies and then having a 600 mile trip by boat and land to the Klondike. The gold must have been a pretty powerful motivator. There is actually a place called Dead Horse Gulch where many of the pack animals finally just gave up and died. It was an unbelievably hard trip to the gold fields.
Our final day at sea we cruised to the Hubbard Glacier. You really need a panorama picture to do the Hubbard Glacier justice. The photo above is only one part of the glacier. It is over 600 feet thick, with 250 out of the water and 350 under water. Its sheer size can’t really be described, you need to see it to understand how huge it really is. The iceberg above that has the seagulls on it shows how blue the ice is in parts. It is really quite beautiful. It was a pretty big chunk of ice!
After our arrival in Seward, we spent a day going to Anchorage to get our rental motor home for the rest of our adventure. When we returned to the Kenai Peninsula, the boys went fishing for Halibut & Salmon and the girls took the Kenai Fjord tour. On the tour we saw a lot of wildlife including Humpback Whales, sea lions, Puffins, Dall Porpoises and the Bald Eagle and Sea Otter above. The scenery was pretty spectacular too! The color of the water on Resurrection Bay is such a pretty blue, it could be in the Caribbean.
Our time on the Kenai Peninsula was a lot of fun and included a trip to Soldatna and fishing on the Kenai River and a road trip to Homer. No visit to the Homer Spit is complete without stopping at the Salty Dawg Saloon. If you make it, check out the gift shop called Salty Girls, out behind the bar. It has some pretty cute stuff! Our next stop is Denali National Park.