Haines to Skagway – August 2018

There are two ways to get to Skagway from Haines. You either drive back into Canada, along the Alaska Highway for a while, and then back into Alaska (350 miles of driving), or just take  a 45 minute ferry ride. The choice was easy for us. We would save both time and money by taking the ferry. And so with heavy hearts, we left the Chilkoot River and the beautiful bears, and headed for the ferry that was to take us to Skagway.

We were instructed to be at the ferry terminal and register about 2 hours before departure time. So we got there and got into our line (there were several).

After the ferry arrived and emptied out all of its passengers and cars, it was time to start reloading the ferry.

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They started with the big RV’s. They had to back down the ramp, one at a time, and into the ferry. It was very slow going. Then came the little guys like us. We drove straight in and turned around inside the ferry to back into our spot. It was quite a process and took a long time.

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After everyone was in, we took off. People had to go upstairs and pets had to remain in the vehicles.  The passenger area was very nice and the view of the fiord was great but it really was over too soon. Then, unloading began. We were up front and everyone was facing forward, so we were out pretty quickly.

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Our campground was right by the harbor, so we were there in no time at all. We got settled in and found that we were right next to an Airstream with cool nose art that we had noticed first in Denali National Park at the Tek campground and then a few other places after that. It looked like we might finally meet them. And we did. They noticed our RVing to Alaska 2018 sticker. But we didn’t have an opportunity to spend much time with them here. We exchanged calling cards and promised to stay in touch.

At first I was disappointed that we couldn’t get a water view, but later I noticed that the sites with the water view really didn’t have much of a view either. So this campground was great. Close enough to walk to the harbor and check out the big cruise ships, close enough to the train station, and a quick walk into town to enjoy the history, shops and eateries. And the quilt shop was especially nice with many fabrics that are specifically Alaskan. Needless to say, I left too much money there, but in return I have some fabulous fabrics.

Skagway became a town during the Klondike gold rush, being the start of one of the most popular routes into the Yukon. A few years later, the White Pass and Yukon railroad was founded and until the 1950s, Skagway’s port was the start of the primary route (via the railroad) for passengers and freight to Whitehorse and the Yukon. Today, Skagway’s gold comes from up to six cruise ships daily that bring thousands of tourists each day in the summer.

We had beautiful sunny weather up until our scheduled reserved train ride on the White Pass and Yukon railroad, now exclusively a tourist line. Then the clouds, rain and fog rolled in. We were assured that all the scenery  was below the cloud line and went on the train hoping for the best. Well, that assurance was false information and needless to say, we didn’t see a whole lot of scenery. Quite a disappointment. So we bought the video to watch it at a later date.

This trestle disappearing into the fog is fortunately not used anymore.

Day 90 (Day 54 in Alaska)

Miles: 9 (on land)
Sailing time: 0:40
Overnight: Pullin Creek RV Park, Skagway, AK
Weather: Mostly sunny (56/68)
Total miles since crossing Canadian border: 5,610
Total miles: 7,178

Day 91 (Day 55 in Alaska)

Miles: 0
Overnight: Pullin Creek RV Park, Skagway, AK
Weather: Partly sunny (55/64)

Day 92 (Day 56 in Alaska)

Miles: 0
Overnight: Pullin Creek RV Park, Skagway, AK
Weather: Sunny am, rain pm (56/61)


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