Sunday, September 1, 2013

Juneau and Skagway


Juneau was absolutely stunning. A hike to Mendenhall Glacier was a great way to get oriented to the area. We spotted fireweed, bunchberry, white yarrow and mountain ash plants under Black Cottonwood, Shore Pine, and Western Hemlock trees, but when we came upon the Nugget Falls, the powerful roar of the waterfall actually drew our attention away from the glacier. It was so captivating. Of course, a quick visit to the Red Dog Saloon was a must!

You may not know that Skagway was part of the setting for author, Jack London’s book, “The Call of the Wild.” Once you step foot in the quaint city of Skagway, you will soon see why. It has the small village feel in the midst of the Alaskan wild.
The first experience we had was simply watching the salmon making their way up the river. I took countless photographs and was fascinated by their journey. Although I’ve seen this many times on television, seeing it in person is watching Mother Nature at work.

Skagway is noted for his gold mining history, so we booked passage on the White Pass & Yukon Train Route that took us over the border into British Columbia. As we departed from the train depot, we climbed from sea level to almost 3,000 feet at the Summit, traveling approximately 20 miles. Terribly steep grades followed by train tunnels and windy tracks seem to be frequent. Originally operated by steam in the late 1800s, the train has been converted to a diesel engine and is a tourist attraction. It was constructed by thirty-five thousand men who all shared in the dream of becoming rich by discovering gold and by doing so created the Klondike Gold Rush.

Until next time, enjoy the life we are meant to live,

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