Saturday, June 11, 2011

Riding the rails to the Yukon

The port days on this cruise are fast and furious, bunched up in the middle of the itinerary. As I write this, I'm actually enjoying a respite, as today was a sea day so there was some spare time.

So on Wednesday we docked in Skagway early in the morning. We disembarked around 8:30 to go meet our van, from Chilkoot tours, to take a ride into the Yukon territory. We would go out by van, and come back on the White Pass railroad.

Our driver and guide is named Terrell and he comes from Texas. He's entertaining, but he does seem a bit obsessed with keeping our schedule and not getting any speeding tickets.

We drive along the road into the mountains, stopping occasionally for photo ops. This is Bridal Veil falls

We do see a bear, and a porcupine. Pictures through the van windows don't come out however.

We stopped at a lovely beach by one of the glacial lakes

The further along we drive, the nicer the weather gets. It was overcast in Skagway, but out here in the mountains it's much sunnier. And the sun really shows off the color in these two-tone lakes

We stopped for lunch at a touristy enclave called Caribou Crossing. They served us a meal of barbecued chicken, baked potato, Cole slaw and cinnamon donuts for dessert. It wasn't bad. The are has a bunch if small attractions including a surprisingly well done taxidermy museum, and a sled dog camp. We didn't try it, but it's possible to get a ride on a wheeled cart drawn by the huskies if you want. It's also fun to go visit and pet the husky puppies.

Here is a display from the museum.

And a husky puppy

After lunch, we get back in the van, and take another ride through the scenic Yukon, ultimately ending up back in Fraser, BC, where we board the White Pass railroad for the trip back down into Skagway.

The scenery from the train is really much better than from the road on the other side of the pass. You feel much closer to it than you do in the car. It's a gorgeous ride down and my favorite part of the day.

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