Travel by Train and Boat

We had four super days in Skagway.  The weather was nearly perfect -- most unusual in these parts (sound familiar?), as they average 320 cloudy/overcast days per year.

Wednesday, June 16, we took a three-hour train ride on the narrow gauge White Mountain and Yukon Railway up to White Pass, generally following the route of the Klondike Gold Rush stampeders in 1898/99.  A great trip, with breathtaking scenery.

Thursday, however, was the best day of the trip yet.  We took a high speed catamaran from Skagway to Juneau.  The trip usually takes about three hours, with stops along the way to view a variety of wildlife and marine activity.  There was a lot of it.  We saw more Bald Eagles than we could count, had at least 10 whale sightings, as well as lots of Porpoises and Seals.  Temperatures were in the high 70's and there was hardly any wind.  Absolutely perfect on the water.

And the mountains!  It's hard not to be trite when talking about them.  I think we are beginning to overdose on beautiful scenery.  It was just a totally enjoyable day.

Friday was a "free" day, so we shopped and worked on the coach, as well as visiting the site of an old gold rush town.  Saturday, we're back on the road and off to Whitehorse in British Columbia.

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Rail Trip to White Pass

Riding the White Pass and Yukon Territory Railroad

Around a Bend

That little dot of water on the right is Skagway Harbor.

Skagway From Above

Those two little dots down there are cruise ships.

Turnaround at the Top

White Pass, just across the Canadian border.

Another Train . .

. . .following us back down to Skagway.

Skagway Harbor

Yea, I know, another cruise ship picture.

Inside Our Boat

Total seating for 50 people.

Heading Out

Looking north, along the inside passage.

View From the Bridge

Looking over the Captain's shoulder.

Eagle's Nest

Close enough to the shore to see from our boat.

Haines Harbor

About 25 miles and a couple of inlets west of Skagway.

Another (yawn) Eagle

Perched on an old windsock at the entrance to Haines harbor.

Glacier and Waterfall

One of the dozens of glaciers we saw on our trip.

On the Fantail

A day warm enough to stand on the fantail while our craft was doing 30+ mph.

REALLY Calm Water

Nearly a perfect day for our trip. This is our friend Bob Lynch.

Happy Campers

What else can I say?

"Harbor" Seals

Don't ask me why they call them that. They weren't by our harbor.

Seal Pup

Working his/her way up on to the rocks. Guess that's Mom just below.

Downtown Juneau

They park the cruise ships right in the middle of town.

Mendenhall Glacier

It has probably receded a good third of a mile since we were there 23 years ago.

Whale Blow

One of our many whale encounters during the trip.

Whale Tail

This was just a lucky shot.

"Bouy" Seals

I suppose they are really Harbor Seals. Anyway they sure weren't shy.

Seal Portrait

He/she ordered two 8X10's and a dozen wallet size. We accused our captain of feeding these guys to make sure they were "on post" when we cruised by.

Lighthouse

Unmanned now. All the lights are run remotely.

Passing Ship

One of the cruise ships headed out of Skagway.

Heading Home

Skagway is about 15 miles ahead.