ALASKAN CRUISE 2016 PART 2 – KLONDIKE SUMMIT, SKAGWAY, JUNEAU!
Part 1 is here! In this second part, photos from the first port town, Skagway, and part of the day in Alaska’s capital, Juneau!
Greetings from Alaska! It was our first port day! The cruise ship docked early and you had basically all day to explore this lil’ town of Skagway.
We caught a bus up to the Klondike Summit with a really fantastic tour bus driver full of history and knowledge and fun facts about the area.
It was a really cloudy, atmospheric day.
The tour driver kept apologizing that we couldn’t see the view – but it was so mystical and magical I really didn’t mind.
The Alaska plates have a bear!
Headed back down the mountain towards the little town of Skagway
It was a very foggy/misty day, so the town felt even more condensed because everybody was clustered indoors.
Skagway has about 1,000 people living there. Our mountain bus driver mentioned that they have one school that is a combo elementary-middle-high school and last year’s 2 graduating seniors were a couple (lucky for them). Not sure how 100% true this is, but he also mentioned in some grades there are only one or two students!
Walking past the Red Onion Saloon…we’ll go back in there don’t worry
Six blocks make up the historic downtown Skagway area, so all the buildings have been restored or preserved to look like the late 1890s. There are even little museums you can walk into, and placards around the town.
Pre-1896, this area was/is home to the Tlingit people…in 1896, the Klondike gold rush happened. People were flocking to this area to find gold, stake their claim, etc. Our tour guide up the mountain explained that these passes were rigorous, exhausting, and because of bad Alaska weather, it took way longer for people to arrive. That meant a lot of gold was already found, claims were staked, etc. before a lot of folks could even get anything after their long journeys. And because Skagway was basically a lawless town, it was full of brothels and swindlers…ripe for storytelling to tourists today ahah.
This little piece of land was my favorite part of town. This is a tiny cabin that was built in Skagway 10 years before the gold rush happened. The dudes who built it were a father and son. There were prospectors working in Alaska and the Yukon, and the father accurately predicted there would be a major gold strike and saw that this area would be a gateway to interior Alaskan gold fields. In those 10 years, they built a wharf and a sawmill and built a homestead. This cabin is the oldest preserved structure in Skagway.
You could walk into the house, which was built next to the sawmill. It got a little bigger and a little bigger as the family saw more success.
Ben Moore, the son of the father-son Moore duo, married Klinget-sai-yet…this was still 6 years before the gold rush. She was from a prestigious Tlingit family, and their marriage was more a sign of alliance and friendship with the Tlingit in the area. Apparently daddy Moore didn’t approve tho 😦
A look into the cabin. More info on the family if you’re interested!
Lot of good hand-painted signs
Skagway Museum and Archives! I’m a bad museum person, I didn’t want to go in, just wanted to explore more Skagway.
I assume this train was part of the museum if not it was just chillin’ in the woods. Cool cool.
Wandering around the not-historic district
Wish these powerlines weren’t in every photo of downtown
There’s a curry house in Skagway, wish we got to try it
Okay, we’re back to the Red Onion!
Formerly a brothel, now a brothel “museum”. The museum part was closed, just the restaurant downstairs was open where all the waitresses have to dress like prostitutes. Not the last place in Alaska we saw that commercialized a whorehouse into a shitty dining experience but like WHATEVER. You can read about the Red Onion on their website here.
Looking back at these pics just makes me think of Westworld and then I get sad.
Most important event the cruise had to offer – meeting PUPPIES that are in training for the Iditarod. It’s good for them to be socialized early, so the folks who raise them like people to pet them and play with them.
The Captain of the boat handling a puppy
Got to the meeting space like an hour and a half early, then waited in line to be one of the first to hold this lil’ angel
These are puppy Alaskan huskies! They are a blend of many Northern breeds that originated from Alaska Native villages. They are the choice dog for sled dog racing, they have thicker fur than a Siberian husky. Siberian huskies are bred for appearance and Alaskan huskies are bred for their working skillz.
The next morning we woke up and the ship had made it to Juneau, the capital of Alaska!
Juneau is very hilly, it was like a combo of Park City, Portland and Tokyo mixed together.
I’ll never complain about walking up my stairs to my apartment ever again.
Zach and I wandered around Juneau before we caught a little tram that took us to the Mendenhall Glacier. It was morning time, pretty quiet…foggy, was nice!
Views from the top of a winding set of staircases.
This was a pokestop, just so you know
Making our way back to where all the tour buses stop.
On the bus to the Mendenhall Glacier!
There was a little “hike” you could do (more like a nice walk)
Nugget Falls! A beautiful sight, to see a glacier and a huge waterfall next to each other.
You would walk right up to the base of the waterfall, everything was a little misty and wet
Saw these dogs and then followed them as long as I could
Looking back toward the visitor’s center
SO the Mendenhall Glacier is part of the Tongass National Forest. Unfortunately, the glacier has retreated nearly 2 minutes since 1929…and will keep retreating. GLOBAL WARMING 😦
Got on a cute little trolley that takes you to key spots around Juneau. There is a gorgeous new museum there, I really wanted to check it out but we didn’t have enough time.
The devil’s club…careful if you see these plants! They will burn.
Gonna leave the post here! The next one will be the last of the DSLR photos – the rest of Juneau and then the last port Ketchikan!
Hope you’re enjoying so far!
Much love friends.
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