USA – Day 17 – Following the Klondike gold rush

Up around 6am. Showered and dressed and headed to breakfast at 6.30am. We decided to go to the dining room today.

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We then got of the ship and went to meet today’s tour with Chilkoot Tours.

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Our had a brief tour around the rather small, but very cute, town then headed to a view point where we could see the 4 ships that are in Skagway today. Rhapsody and Radiance are the two kissing ships.

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We made a number of stops

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and we were thrilled to see 2 black bears by the side of the road. Luckily, being in a small bus/van, meant we turn around and go back to see them more closely.

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So cute. Even though one was brown in colour they were both black bears – probably 2-3 yr old siblings.

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We went over the border in Canada and finally we made it to the Yukon. Many years ago Kevin & I watched a reality show about the trip the stampeders took on their way up to the Klondike and I’ve wanted to visit here every since.

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We also visited the very beautiful Emerald Lake.

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Before heading to Carcross to catch the train back down to Skagway, on the track laid during the gold rush of 1898-1900.

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Before boarding we visited the general store, the 2 story part of it was actually towed along the ice from Bennett where it had been a hotel before the train line was complete.

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The first half of the trip was more gorgeous scenery – I have tried really hard to not bombard you with too many photos (we took a lot).

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However, the rocking of the train, caused me to have a little nap :-). Don’t worry Kevin had one too.

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After about an hour and a half we stopped at Bennett – which was the end of the  Chilkoot Trail. And where the stampeders built their boots to complete their journey to the gold fields.

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Here we were served lunch. Unfortunately it was a meat stew which meant I had coleslaw and bread. Luckily the delicious apple pie made up for it.

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Bennett is in such a beautiful spot.

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These days it’s so peaceful it’s hard to imagine it was once a bustling town of over 35,000. The crazy thing is EVERYTHING had to be carried in, including 3 steam boats in parts and pianos (for the pubs). Crazy. We were also told of the supplies (one years worth) each person had to have before leaving Bennett – which could involve over 50 trips to Skagway and back, taking up to three months.

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After lunch we joined one of the train guides for a walk around the old town and actually stood on the end of the Chilkoot trail.

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At 2pm it was back on board for the remainder of our journey.

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No naps this time as the scenery was just too stunning.

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Snow beside the train.

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The railway bridge I’m thankful we didn’t have to cross today.

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Finally we made it back to Skagway and cleared customs again. All they do is check your passport – no stamps or anything. Our bus driver picked us up and we got dropped off at the end of main street and did a bit of shopping on the way back to the ship. We really loved todays tour and learnt so much about the gold rush and the building of the railway. Plus saw more stunning scenery.

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We walked back to the dock and arrived just in time to get the little golf cart ride to the ship – which was good as the bottom on my feet were starting to rub and get sore. Windjammers didn’t open till 6pm so I had time to phone Brenda and organise a time for us to meet up tomorrow.

Dinner was most certainly a carb feast. Only thing I always miss on the cruises in my protein. Sometimes in the dining room I can get tofu or beans. Luckily I had an egg for breakfast. The stuffed pasta shells were really yummy.

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I must have been craving some protein because instead of desert I wanted cheese and crackers. I actually got some and took it back to the room to eat later.

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The evening was spent updating the blog, enjoying my cheese & crackers, painting my nails and reading some of my book.

Tomorrow : Hoping seeing LOTS of whales at Icy Strait Point

4 comments

  1. Ninny says:

    The day we drove to Carcross it was 70 degree F. We got a little warm, haha. Ate Chinese food there and we laugh to this day about driving up to the Yukon Territory to eat Chinese food. What a beautiful drive that day. So breathtaking! you are having such fun and your pictures bring back wonderful memories for me.

  2. Briget says:

    Love the photos, Libby, bombard us all you like! I especially like the one with the old rowboat and mountains in the background.

    I’m loving your blogging of this trip too. It’s opening my eyes to a part of the world I know very little about.

    Take care,

    Briget

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