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 crossed the Continental Divide
These purple wildflowers were growing all along the highway
We crossed the Nitsutlin Bay Bridge to the town of Teslin on the other side
These carvings at the Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre represent the Wolf, Eagle, Frog, Beaver and Raven clans
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 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.
An old mine on the way to Skagway
On the South Klondike Highway on the way to Skagway
There is still ice on the lake
Over 70 degrees and there is still snow
Back in the U.S.A.!!!!!
Our campsite is in the parking lot at the Skagway Harbor
View from our campsite
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.
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 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.
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 loved all of the boat trips we took.
Driving to the Coldfoot, sixty miles north of the Artic Circle was a drive to remember.
Catching Halibut and watching the sunset in Ninilchik, Alaska.
Denali National Park.
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.