Friday, October 16, 2009

Reflecting on Alaska Bits --23-- Skagway

I got out of sequence by following my Blog Action Day post of the Mendenhall Glacier with another Juneau post. It was a good fit for SkyWatch Friday. But we skipped over Skagway. So sorry for the mixed up posts--here is Skagway before we go back to Juneau.



Broadway, Downtown Skagway!

Skagway was born in the burst of activity that was the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. Starting out as a tent city to supply the needs of the prospectors, it became a boom town. Prospectors had two possible routes to get over into the Yukon. The Chilkoot Trail (which we hiked part of two years ago) and the White Pass. Either choice was grueling, and they had to haul about a ton of stuff up over the pass before they would be allowed to continue.

Now Skagway is a permanent community of around 800 with regular summer invasions of as many as three or four ships worth of tourists a day. Ah, well. It was the end of the season or the street would not have been so empty.


The Yukon Gold Rush National Historic Park is located partly in Skagway and Seattle. (Most of the Gold Rushers sailed from either Seattle or San Francisco to get to the gold fields.) Unlike the usual park, with a contained location, the sites of the park are scattered around the town, and more historic buildings are being secured annually to help tell the story. This is the restoration of the Mascot Saloon. (Look closely at the reflection. Besides the gentlemen at the bar, can you spot a ranger, a blogger, and a blogger's husband?) Restorers pored over old photographs to match wallpaper and fixtures to guarantee authenticity.

After the tour of historic sites with the ranger, we made a quick stop outside the city museum, reflected in the bumper of a classic car.



The White Pass and Yukon Railway was built to carry the prospectors to the Yukon. Started in 1898, it took only two years to be completed. Of course, by that time, the Gold Rush was over, and Gold Fever had waned. The narrow gauge route is an engineering marvel. As amazing as the track up the pass is, I find this member of the White Pass snow fleet to be something like you've never seen before. (It even has a bit of a reflection in the side.)




A final reflection, looking out from the ship on the busses and train below. Gives you an idea how high that ship is.


Weekend Reflectiosn is hosted by Jim at Newton Daily Photo.

10 comments:

cieldequimper said...

Oh I love the reflections and the whole post. I would love to go to Alaska, thank you for bringing Skagway to me!

Trisha said...

I knew that your photo on your other blog was the snow thing from Skagway! I have seen it several times and have always marveled at it!

PERBS said...

And I thought I had seen Alaska when I spent 19 days there! Guess we only went to the places you could drive to. Thanks for the armchair tour.

Icy BC said...

Wow..I like your photos! The one with the rain drops on the glass is my favorite!

James said...

Great post! And fun too. I found everyone in the picture, but I must say that blogger husband blends in very well.

I like this post.

katney said...

PERBS, I am quite sure that you saw places that we never did. I know you did not get to the Southeast Alaska area. Actually, Skagway is about the only place there you can get to by car. There is a road up over the same pass as the railway. We hope to go back again by car in a couple of years. There is a lot of Alaska to see. You would never run out.

And James, blogger's husband got a kick out of your comment.

Janie said...

Interesting history of Skagway. It looks like a beautiful community today.
Love the reflection in the auto bumper!

awarewriter said...

I love the story, the reflections, the muted colors. Great capture.

Lew said...

Interesting how a place has such a short span of historical activity, but then is reincarnated later as a shrine or tourist spot. Your views from Mt Roberts are absolutely stunning!

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely series of photos, very nice reflections but most of all i like the mist on the hills...