Bill & Deanie's Trip To Alaska 2012

  July16th July 17

 Haines to Skagway

Deanie vacuumed, mopped, etc. early, while   I went and got fuel ($5.20) per gallon.  We found in Yukon it is running from a “cheap” $5.07 to $5.50/ga.  By the time you add the 3% we get to pay for foreign exchange fees on our credit card, we decided to just do it here in AK.  There will be plenty more opportunities on the way home to buy fuel in Canada.

A visit to local hardware and I was able to get a new gasket for my gas can spout.  This thing has leaked the whole time and I am tired of dripping diesel on my shoes.  We are using this to at least try and offset some (10 gal) of cheaper diesel when we find it (also provides a backup).

We checked out of the Hitch-Up RV Park in Haines at 11:30 a.m. to be at ferry terminal by required time (noon).  Departure for the 15mile trip wasn’t until 2 pm. Ferry terminal is 4 miles from center of Haines. Several other RV’s were already there.  Only a few cars in line.  The ferries load from the side.  We picked up tickets inside and employee checks to make sure everyone’s propane is off. We started loading 1:30, even though the ferry had been there since we pulled up at noon.

The 1 hr ride was nice.   We went up to the 7th level and had comfortable theater seating for a view out front and side windows.  Deanie stayed and went to the Solarium on upper deck. A lot of people sleep here when on multiple day runs. It’s a large glassed area enclosed three sides.  You can sit or sleep in lounge chairs and look out over the fantail of the boat.  Quite comfortable. 

When we started into the Skagway area we spotted three cruise ships docked there.  We then decided to not overnight in the RV Park near the dock Skagway! And since there were too many people to enjoy the quaint downtown area we just drove on out. We had been here 2001 so exploring wasn’t a priority.

In the gold rush days, this area was a very busy place as well.  The makeup of the crowd was a little different then J!  I’ve tried to understand more about what the picture of the gold prospectors climbing the Chilkoot Pass really meant.  They were required by the Canadian Government to have 1000 lbs per man.  This was calculated to last the average man for 1 year.  So the men would take a boat to Skagway with their 1000 lbs.  At that point they had to “pack it”. Two trails started here in Skagway that took the prospectors into gold country.  The first being, the famous Chilkoot Pass trails. It was originally used by the native people, (Tagish & Tkingit).  But it was a Lieutenant in the Third Calvary, Fredrick Schwatka, who blazed the way for the gold rush stampeders.  There was another trail established as well; the White Pass trail.  The White Pass trail pretty much follows the road that we traveled today from Skagway to the top of the mountain.  At the top of the mountain is “the Cabin”. It was where the two trails converged.  In the gold rush days this cabin was a resting place for the miners.  From here they still had a day’s packing to Bennett Lake.  It was here that they built a raft to take their 1000 lbs via the Yukon River to the gold fields.

Deanie and I keep asking ourselves why did they come in the winter?  I think one of the pictures might tell the story.  The picture shows the men standing in front of a sled with their stuff on it.  I think if they could make the ascent up the Chilkoot (or White Pass), then they figured it would be much easier to sled the stuff from that point into gold country.  The lakes/ponds/marshes were all frozen so the goods could be transported easier via sled.  Rafts might fall apart, get stuck in shallow water or whatever. That’s my theory.  If you have other info I would love to hear it!

We drove to a rest area at the Bove Island Viewpoint.  This is about 7 km south of Carcross.    A really nice view of the lake and Lime Mountain, across the lake.

 

July 16th Hitchup RV Park in Haines, AK. to Rest Stop Bove Island Viewpoint.
 
 
View Larger Map

(If you don't see the "blue line" grab the map and pull it to the left or right and the line will appear - Also the little minus on the left side zooms you out and the plus zooms you in)  

If you would like to see for yourself what we are seeing, click on the "view Larger Map".  Then go to the street view and get a 360 deg view of the roads we are traveling.  I love that feature!

 

 

This was our "ride".
   
Packed in.  The door in AND out is behind trucks.  To disembark you have to back up and then pull out.  Different from WA ferries. 
   
Waterfalls from the ferry.
Traffic.
Two of the three cruise ships in port in Skagway.
   
Near the top of White pass.  The line there in the center of the screen is the narrow gauge railroad track that runs from Skagway to White Pass.  It's a fun ride we took in on cruise of inside passage in 2001. We saw the train just before we took this photo. 
   
Top of White Pass with lots of snow.
   
Stopped for the night in a rest area.  How's this for the view from our window (Lime Mountain)?
   
There we are.  Is this a camping spot or what!! Some would question "overnighting" here.  After about 8pm you don't even hear a vehicle go by.  No one drives up here at night!
   
Tourist in front of the mountain!
   
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