The Yukon! Growing up we studied the gold rush of the late 1800's in school, I read a lot of Jack London. It seemed so far away, so rugged and dangerous - somewhere in the world I'd never see. BUT. I went there! Not on foot during the winter like the miners did. I traveled in luxury, I admit. But I'm not physically rugged enough to see it any other way.
It was an excursion out of Skagway, AK. Here's the view from my cabin window when we arrived.
The 'obstruction' is one of the life boats. The first time I sailed to Alaska I had an interior cabin. Never again! Even though they're cheaper, I had to set my alarm every morning because there was no daylight. Having to set an alarm on vacation just to catch breakfast is not how I like to travel.
On the dock, waiting for the bus.
A view of Skagway from the bus. According to Dallan, our bus driver, Radio Shack is the place to shop. They have frozen pizzas, coffee, and recently added an ATM - the second one in town.
The Klondike Highway is open all winter. I asked Dallan what those markers on poles along the side of the road were for. Answer: to guide the snow plow drivers. "White you're all right. Red you're dead."
We stopped a number of places where we could leave the bus and take pictures. I know we were still in Alaska when I took these, but don't know where. Other than on the road to the Yukon!
A closer view of the Sawtooth mountains:
Each place we stopped was spectacular. Our driver kept saying, "I can top it. Just wait."
As we climbed higher into the mountains there was more snow. Just before we entered Canada we passed a lake that was still frozen over! Here's the border crossing into Canada:
And just passed the border was this orange sign - and then some bikers.
This was the only biker picture where I managed to have the biker visible. Taking pictures from a moving bus is not a strong point of mine.
While we were traveling, Dallan told us stories about the gold rush of 1898. Many of the would-be miners traveled (or attempted to travel) from Skagway to Dawson City. The Canadian government was worried about famine; this part of the world has a very short growing season. So they required each miner to have a year's worth of food. Two Thousand Pounds! Or they couldn't continue. Nestled in the trees is the log cabin where the Mounties weighed the miners' food. It's a National Historic Site along the Chilkoot Trail.
Notice all that sunshine and blue sky? It was like that all day. I got sunburned in the Yukon!
This is a small portion of Tutshi Lake (pronounced 'too shy'), which is long and narrow. It's part of a chain of lakes that lead to the Yukon River. Good fishing, I hear. Notice there are no boats? That's because the population in this area is so small!
More of Tutshi Lake. The yellow flowers are dandelions; bears like to eat them! Yeah, Dallan said he could top this...
We stopped for lunch at Caribou Crossing, Yukon Territory. It's a spot designed for tourists just outside the town of Carcross. There were sled dogs and fuzzy ponies! Also good barbecue. I bought earrings.
After lunch was Emerald Lake - and Dallan admitted he couldn't top this one. The color is from powdered limestone in the runoff from the frequent summer rains and heavy winter snows.
And that was only half the day! Our return trip was by narrow gauge railroad. I'll cover that in my next post.