Relics of the 1890’s Gold Rush

We saw many relics from the Gold Rush of the 1890’s on our 2013 journey through Canada and Alaska.

Dredge # 4
Dredge # 4 in Dawson City, Yukon Territory
Gold Mining Equipment in Chicken, Alaska
Gold Mining Equipment in Chicken, Alaska
Gold Dredge 8 in Fairbanks, Alaska
Gold Dredge 8 in Fairbanks, Alaska
Gold Mining Relics in Fairbanks, Alaska
Gold Mining Relics in Fairbanks, Alaska

We’re not wandering at the moment. These are just a few photos representing relics of the 1890’s Gold Rush in Canada and Alaska.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Exactly one year ago: Welcome to Alaska!

Exactly one year ago today we arrived in Skagway, Alaska on the 31st day of our journey from Georgia! We had a wonderful time as we traveled across the U.S. and through Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon but after 31 days we were ready to see Alaska. Here is my original post from Skagway after we finally arrived.

Day 31: Saturday, June 15, 2013. Watson Lake, Yukon to Skagway, Alaska. Pullen Creek RV Park Site 45 overlooking the Skagway Harbor and surrounded by mountains. 320 miles traveled.

I was talking to a fellow traveler at the RV park in Watson Lake before we left there this morning and I commented that this was our 31st day on the road and we still weren’t in Alaska! Our plan for the day was to continue on the Alaska Highway to Whitehorse, Yukon and enter Alaska northwest of there in several days.

It was another beautiful drive on the Alaska Highway with some nice places to stop along the way.

We stopped for lunch at a rest stop. While I was fixing lunch Henry walked over to read an interpretive sign. On the sign was a large map of the area. As we were eating he commented that we weren’t very far from Skagway. We talked about it for a few minutes and he was just as anxious to get to Alaska as I was. We had to make a decision as the turnoff to go to Skagway was in about  six miles. I entered Skagway into the GPS and it was 59 miles to Whitehorse and about 102 miles to Skagway. It was a no brainer. We were going to Skagway.

We left the Alaska Highway and off we went. We were about halfway to Skagway when I realized it was Saturday of Father’s Day weekend. What if all the rv parks were full? There was no cell service and no way to find out until we got there. I read ahead in the Milepost and saw in red letters warning of an 11 mile descent with 11% grade going into Skagway. I told Henry “There’s something coming up you’re not going to like.” There was no turning back.

The drive on the Klondike Highway was spectacular. Snow covered mountains, deep blue ice covered lakes. There were even two bears along the highway. We couldn’t stop to look at anything.

I kept checking my phone for cell service. We had to get AT&T when we got to Skagway, didn’t we?

Finally, we stopped for pictures at the Welcome to Alaska sign! We were really here!

We finally made it!
We finally made it!

We cleared customs with no problem and headed straight for the Pullen Creek RV Park hoping for one of the waterfront sites on the harbor. We asked for 2 nights, maybe 3. He said no problem, go pick one and come back and tell me where you are. After setting up, we were happy to just sit outside and enjoy the view.

Henry says I looked like I was going to cry when I saw AT&T with full bars and 3G come up on my phone. We called our kids and enjoyed the rest of the night.

Stubbs the Cat, Mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska

We met Stubbs, the cat who is the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, when we were browsing in one of the shops in Talkeetna in July, 2013. Stubbs was adapted by the manager of Nagley’s General Store in 1997 and has served as honorary Mayor for 16 years.

Stubbs lives at Nagley's Store in downtown Talkeetna, Alaska
Stubbs lives at Nagley’s Store in downtown Talkeetna, Alaska

Stubbs is now recovering from a dog attack that occurred on August 31. We found out about the attack by accident when Henry came across an article in the Wall Street Journal from October 15 about Stubbs.

After the attack Stubbs spent nine days in a veterinary hospital and is now recuperating in a room above the general store. People from all over the world have donated money to help pay for his hospital bills.

After reading the article in the Wall Street Journal, I did a search and found other articles about the attack in USA Today, Time and the Anchorage Daily News. Here’s links to those articles.

Wall Street Journal: Mayor of Alaskan Town is a Cat

USA Today: Honorary Cat Mayor of Alaska Town Grabs Hearts Globally

Time: Alaska Town’s Cat Mayor Attacked by Dog

Anchorage Daily News: Dog Attack Returns Talkeetna’s Cat Mayor to National Spotlight

Stubbs also has his own Facebook Page: StubbsMayorCat

Favorite Alaska Memories

Although we left Tok, Alaska almost a month ago, our memories of Alaska will never leave us. Here, in no particular order, are a few photos of some of our favorite places and adventures.

Our favorite place was Oceanside RV Park in Haines, Alaska where we could sit and watch for whales, watch eagles fly by, and watch the ferries and cruise ships sail by.

Cocktail hour whale watching with Ted and Ruthy
Cocktail hour whale watching with Ted and Ruthy
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Deadliest Catch!
Deadliest Catch!

The most exciting and most memorable experience of the entire trip was the South Face McKinley flight-seeing tour and landing on Ruth Glacier with Talkeetna Air Taxi.

We went really close to Mt. McKinley
We went really close to Mt. McKinley
Loving every minute of our time on Ruth glacier
Loving every minute of our time on Ruth glacier

We loved all of the boat trips we took.

Whale Pectoral Fin on day trip to Juneau
Whale Pectoral Fin on day trip to Juneau
Stellar Sea Lions on day trip to Juneau
Stellar Sea Lions on day trip to Juneau
Seeing ice calving on Aialik Glacier on the Kenai Fjords trip from Seward
Seeing ice calving on Aialik Glacier on the Kenai Fjords trip from Seward
A pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez
A pair of Orcas on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez
Sea Otters on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez
Sea Otters on Columbia Glacier tour from Valdez

Driving to the Coldfoot, sixty miles north of the Artic Circle was a drive to remember.

Wandering Dawgs at the Arctic Circle
Wandering Dawgs at the Arctic Circle

Catching Halibut and watching the sunset in Ninilchik, Alaska.

Four of these fish are ours!
Four of these fish are ours!
Mount Redoubt Sunset
Mount Redoubt Sunset

Denali National Park.

Moose beside the road on the way out of the park
Moose beside the road on the way out of the park
Lukor liked it on top of his house
Lukor liked it on top of his house
Beautiful green valley at Polychrome Overlook
Beautiful green valley at Polychrome Overlook
Another group of Caribou up on a ridge
Another group of Caribou up on a ridge

Driving the Top of the World Highway, panning for gold, going for a train ride on the Alaska Railroad, watching for wildlife on the side of the road, seeing the Fireweed blooming everywhere, seeing glaciers off in the distance and up close are all highlights of the trip we will never forget.

Every day was memorable, every day was special, every day we saw something spectacular.

There’s no place like home

On day 106 of our incredible Alaska journey, after driving 4,644 miles in 23 days from Tok, Alaska, the Titanium was set up in its home in Central Georgia. One day later we were back at our home in Coastal Georgia.

This was truly the trip of a lifetime. Alaska is a very special place and I am so happy we were able to spend so much time exploring there. Stay tuned for some final thoughts on our trip in a later post.

Even though we have taken other cross country RV trips, this was by far the longest we have ever been away from our home in 30 years. While we were gone I didn’t realize how much I missed it until we drove the final miles across the salt marsh to our home.

Here are some final statistics from the trip.

Number of nights on the road                      105
Number of nights in Alaska                        50
Total miles driven                  14,454
Number of different campgrounds                        54
Number of States where we camped                        17
Number of Provinces and Territories where we camped                          3
Farthest North location traveled  Coldfoot, Alaska
Farthest West location traveled  Anchor Point, AK