24
Jul 2013

Cruise Diary: Skagway and the Great Yukon

Submitted by: Diana
Cruise Diary: Skagway and the Great Yukon

Patricia Stone, Owner and Founder of Global Adventures, sailed on a 7-day Inside Passage Cruise visiting Alaska on Zuiderdam with her family. Enjoy reading about their adventure. This post was written by Jennifer M.

On our Alaska family summer vacation, we visited Skagway and ended up in the southern Yukon territory of Canada. Skagway is a quaint town known for attracting gold miners in the 18th century.

IMG_6540

IMG_7134

Many of these gold diggers made their way to Skagway on foot, and soon after one of the most narrow gauge railways was built leading to Skagway.

IMG_6580

IMG_6560

We had heard about the Yukon Summit Tour, and Frontier Excursions drove us North of Skagway.

IMG_6547

“God spent some time up here.” That was the comment of one of the awestruck members of our party as we wended our way along the Klondike Highway between Skagway, Alaska and White Horse, Canada. The sights and vistas were truly breathtaking. Mike, of Frontier Excursions, was as affable as he was knowledgeable. The 5+ hours we spent together in Alaska and Canada’s Yukon seemed like only a few minutes. Facts and legends about this vast wilderness drew us in and held us the entire time. It was hard to imagine miners, prospectors and natives living in that region. It was hard to imagine that we were in such magnificent surroundings.

IMG_7404

IMG_0070

IMG_7137

The Tormented Valley, dozens of glacier-fed lakes, vaulted mountains and fascinating flora all told dramatic stories. Indeed, the amazing facts and history that flowed from Mike as we journeyed together seemed but a confirmation of the stories silently but dramatically told by the rugged mountains and valleys that enveloped us. We were tiny, adoring spectators in one of the grandest performances nature has to offer. Mid-journey, we ate a delicious barbeque chicken lunch (with trappings and trimmings) at Carcross (Caribou Crossings). Then we climbed aboard a summer sled (wheels instead of blades) and took a relaxing ride, courtesy of a couple of teams of dogs and their able mushers, Michelle and Maren. The dogs are impressive, intelligent athletes. Their handlers — seasoned sledders — are equally impressive. Cuddling six little puppies may have been the highlight of the entire cruise experience for the smaller boys. The pups were adorable. The animal museum at our lunch stop was eye-popping and almost as enjoyable as seeing a real live bear along the side of the road as we drove.

IMG_7361

IMG_7329

IMG_7241

IMG_7275 (1)

TEMSCO Helicopters — It was a little rainy and a little windy the day we were in Skagway, but even the most jittery of our bunch felt safe and assured as we put on our gear, received training and buckled our seatbelts for a ride over the deep fjord and town of Skagway 1,200 feet above sea level to MEADE Glacier. What an adventure to explore this glacier with its 10- to 40-foot deep aquamarine crevass’! The water we drank had an indescribable quality—pure and pristine as mother earth herself! We spotted one to two mountain sheep above us on the rocky crags. Kelly and Troy were our excellent pilots—our boys felt as though they were joined in their safe discoveries by these watchful guides.

IMG_7438

IMG_7578

IMG_7526

To read more visit Patricia’s blog here.

4 Comments

  1. Elva, I have passed along your request to the correct person at HAL. We only look after the blog and do not have this info. Julie, HAB editor

  2. We went, we saw, we took plenty of pictures and will have memories forever. To view some of my pictures you can go to:

    https://www.facebook.com/tim.laborde.10/media_set?set=a.10200583745091424.1073741855.1093051521&type=3

    I did not include pictures of Vancouver and Vancouver Island. That’s another link, but on the same vacation. We had a great time. This was our 2nd trip to Alaska. Three years ago, we took the Alaska Railroad to view the interior of Alaska from North of Fairbanks (Coldfoot) to Valdez. We spent 3 days at every train stop and went to the Back Country Lodge, west of Danali (this is a far West as you can go by vehicle). We even toured the summit of Mt. McKinley — and it was a crystal clear day if you can believe it!

    Best of Life to You,
    Tim Laborde
    Jacksonville, FL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>