Skagway Alaska


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-07-2009

The drive to Skagway was beautiful as we hugged the long lake of Lake Tutshi much of the way from Watson Lake. The last 10 miles of our trek were shrouded in fog, so dense that we could barely go over 10 miles per hour. We knew the landscape was amazing but we couldn’t see any of it!

We arrived in the town of Skagway to find the streets filled with people. Cruise ship passengers who were checking out the town from one of FOUR cruise ships docked in the bay. Driving down the small streets in our RV made us feel like a big bull in a china shop. We set up home at Pullen RV Park with a clear view of the bay and all the ships. The day was cool and cloudy, which is what we expected.

The next day we awoke to bright sunshine and amazing views of the snow capped ragged mountains dropping into the bay. Spectacular to say the least. I took the girls into town to do some shopping while Ken and Andrew took off to do some salmon fishing. The girls and I had such fun as we have not been anywhere worthy of shopping in a very long time. Andrew and Ken arrived home with four pink salmon. This was just the beginning of a euphoric Alaskan fishing experience for Andrew. Her could barely speak he was so excited about “catching” in Alaska! That night we took Nikki out for her birthday dinner since we weren’t in any town with restaurants worth eating at since her birthday last week. We went to a really cool little restaurant with a view of the harbor and enjoyed fresh halibut (since we knew we had enough salmon at home for awhile!) Really special dinner for a really special daughter!

Very near to our RV park was a creek which spilled into a pond. This pond was full (I mean FULL) of KING salmon. We watched fisherman after fisherman hook a big King but no one could keep a hold of them and land them. Well that all changed when Andrew landed a big 50 pound King. You have never seen a happier boy! Many people from the cruise ships were passing by and heard the comossion. When he held it up for a photo, the crowd cheered! He went on to land another one and then become a mentor to other young fishermen. Andrew also gave Kevin (a very nice gentleman from New Zealand) the pool to reel in a big one. Kevin never landed one but he sure gave the fish a big fight!

Skagway is home to a small National Park. We stopped by and watched a film on the Klondike Gold Rush. Great story! Seems some residents of the Dawson City area found gold in 1896. Word spread fast and within months, people from all over the world were making the trek to the Klondike River near Dawson City. Gold mania was rampant and people were leaving their jobs in search of fortune. Even the mayor of Seattle resigned and headed to the Klondike River. It took more than a year to make the trek through abominable conditions and each person was required (by the Canadian government) to bring with them a TON of supplies, literally. Canada wanted to avoid a famine (a noble cause) but these gold seekers would be burdened with these supplies for hundreds upon hundreds of miles. On April 3 1898, there was a huge avalanche during and over 100 of the trekkers perished. We visited the “Slide Cemetery” in the town of Dyea. Few found gold as most of it had already been discovered by the time they arrived. But almost every person who made the trek said they would do it again as it was an experience of a lifetime. Pretty cool!

We met a very nice couple, Donna and Bob, who told us about Dyea. As history goes, this is the town where all the masses of people coming for the Klondike Gold Rush set up camp before making the trek by foot down one of the passes. The main camp later moved to Skagway leaving Dyea a simple and beautiful port with little activity. We enjoyed a picnic along the river in Dyea and Andrew did some fly fishing. Ken told the girls that the first of them to catch a salmon from the stream with their bare hands would be awarded $5. Half an hour later, Lauren emerged as the winner with a big female salmon in hand. There was a lot of screaming and excitement as you can imagine! Later, Nikki (with a little help from Daddy) reeled in a big pink salmon. She looked so proud with her catch! (Although getting her to eat it is a different story!)

We left Skagway full of great memories. Heck, Lauren and Andrew even want to live here one day! We are now off to Whitehorse, the capitol of the Yukkon.

Comments (3)

Nice fish Andrew, Way to go!
did you cook him up or release?

Hi, saw your RV at Chicken, AK and decided to drop you a line. Did you find any gold? I saw your son several times at the troughs and showed him what I had found. Noticed he was panning the day we left. We went to Skagway today by motorcycle from Carcross, quite the adventure.
Happy traveling,
George and Cindy Purdy

Hello George,

Thanks for the note. My son Andrew did manage to find a few flakes. Enough to same he found gold in Alaska! He bought a pan here in Dawson but not as much luck here. We will be heading to Whitehorse tomorrow and I’m sure Andrew will be scouting new places to pan.

Have a fun and safe trip.

Ken and Sallie

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