Saturday, July 24, 2010


Soon after I finished yesterday's blog I fell asleep and I really needed it. Later, Helen wanted to go out to dinner and suggested the "Red Onion Saloon" just down the street. We're in Skagway, and everything is just down the street. We got to the saloon and entered. It is done up like the saloon of 1900, with a saloon downstairs and a brothel above, and staff dressed in period costumes.

They had a cast of very colorful people and the place had great atmosphere. As we looked, we noticed that all everyone had at their table was beer. Thinking that this might be just a saloon, we decided to go elsewhere.

As we were walking back to the car, we looked in the window and saw a couple eating hamburgers. Apparently you could get food, but very few people were doing so. I think that it's because most of the people in town are from a cruise ship, and why should they pay to eat in town when they have food that is better and free on the ship. We drove toward the cruise ship and ate at the Skagway Fish Co. Helen had a salad and a bowl of clam chowder, I had the chowder with a steak sandwich. It was all very good.

Early this morning we had arrangements to take a train ride to White Summit, which is the border between Alaska and Canada. It was a 21 mile trip and actually took us into Canada, but since we didn't get off, we didn't need passports. The trip took us from nearly sea level to almost 3000 feet. In places the grade was very steep. Moreover, in many places we could not see anything near the side of our railroad car. The scenery was awesome for almost all of the trip, but those sections where I could not see anything because we were so close to the edge tended to scare me. This is one of the two engines that took us up the slope.

Below is a picture of our motorhome taken from the train. It looks almost as if we were right beside the train..........we were! Fortunately, this train is strictly a tour train and does not run at night. Nor does it run very early in the morning, so it was no problem. Whatever noise it made yesterday, it didn't waken me from my nap.

Below is our train heading across a trestle and into the first of two tunnels. When we were on the trestle, I could see nothing outside the window except for the valley floor many feet below. It gave me a queasy feeling.

On the way back down we could see the remains of an old steam locomotive snow machine. These would cut through the deepest drifts, throwing the snow a long way from the rails. This one met its end as the result of an avalanche or track failure.

In the afternoon, Helen and I attended a Salmon Bake and show at the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp. We had a 2 for 1 coupon book, so it was $45.00 for the two of us. It started with an all you can eat buffet with grilled salmon, chicken, rice ,beans, pasta salad, Caesar salad, coffee, tea, blueberry cake, and corn bread. At Alaska prices, the meal alone was worth the money. In addition, a lot of people were dressed in period costumes. The young lady below is from Melbourne, Australia, and acted the part of a gold town floozy.

The musician pictured here kept us entertained during our meal with songs and music from his concertina and fiddle. He is originally from Fairbanks and finds the weather here to be "mild".

This is part of the show that the crew put on for us. It was light farce and a lot of laughs. I think everyone had a good time.

After this, it was time to pan for gold. Each one of us got a small prospecting pan with a little dire spiked with gold particles. Between Helen and me we have enough gold to cash it in for about a penny, if that. At least it's a souvenir to take home. Yesterday we were less than thrilled with what Skagway had to offer, but we agree that we, again, had a good time. Another pleasant surprise.

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