Thursday, June 23, 2011

South to Alaska!

"South" to Alaska? Yep, that's what we did today!

Leaving from Whitehorse, the trip to Skagway was just about 100 miles south. We'll stay here for a few days, then take a ferry to Haines, go back into Canada, and eventually wind up in the interior of Alaska.

On the way, we stopped at Caribou Crossing, where teams of Iditarod Alaskan Huskies hole up for "Musher Camp." They take turns giving tourists "rides" (for a fee, of course) in what looks like a modified golf cart. We watched them getting hooked into the harnesses -- the dogs were yapping, pulling at the reins, and jumping in their excitement. They really enjoy what they do!

Here is how they are kenneled -- each dog has his or her own house:

They also had a slew of husky puppies, ready and willing to be petted. They were fluffy balls of adorable:

And then... we made it! Alaska!

A quick trip through Customs, and we were in Skagway.

My first impression of Skagway is that it will be a fun place to spend a few days, but also that it is no longer a real town -- it has become a Skagway-themed amusement park for the entertainment of cruise ship visitors. The area of town closest to the docks is meticulously done in olde-timey tourist chic: brightly painted store fronts with business names that reference mining companies, railroad lines, saloons, or even bordellos. Waitresses dress like 1890s hookers while serving pizza and margaritas. Wooden sidewalks are smooth as concrete and carefully end in curbs. Walking down the street hand in hand, Mickey and Minnie would not seem out of place as long as he held a miner's axe and she wore a corset.

We did have two meetings of note -- John got to meet Tutshi (pronounced too-shy), who seems to be a mascot of the railway line:
And we took these photos in front of a souvenir shop:
A fishy, yet mavericky time was had by all.


Nancy said...

So you are scaring me, kissing up to the mavericks of the world, dontcha know?

Sharon Del Rosario said...

Those puppies have really grown since we were in Carcross! You're right about Skagway, but we still enjoyed being there and watching all the cruise ships. Great photos!

Judy and Luke Rinehimer said...

Check out our June 11th blog (Carcross to Skagway) for meal recommendations. We chose to do Haines on the way back -- weather was just to cold and damp while we were along the coast. Hope we cross paths soon.