One Way to do Skagway – Part 1

Probably the most interesting port of call on a recent Alaskan cruise with Regent Seven Seas Navigator was Skagway.

My wife and I had chosen to take one of the ship’s complimentary excursions –  the ‘White pass Scenic Railway’ –  but with the payable option of continuing on into the Yukon in order to visit the Yukon Suspension Bridge.

The plan was to travel on the White Pass Scenic Train…

http://www.wpyr.com/

…as far as Fraser in British Columbia and then transfer to a coach for the continued journey to Yukon Suspension Bridge and then return to Skagway.

We left the Navigator at 07.35 am for the relatively short coach transfer to Skagway’s Railway Station. There we embarked on the train in a carriage that Regent Seven Seas had reserved for its passengers. We were soon heading out of Skagway and could soon enjoy the snow covered vista of the Alaskan mountains ahead…

****

As our journey progressed there  was ample opportunity to leave the carriage and stand on the interconnecting carriage platforms. This gave rise to one good photo shoot when the train Brakeman, a sort of ‘Casey Jones’ lookalike passed our position…

As our train twistsed and turned along the mountain tracks and the train gained height so the scenery became more and more spectacular…

On the ascent we  passed through many tunnels…

…and after each one a fresh vista opened…

…while we often witnessed some spectacular drops…

…while on occasions spotting a following train making its way on the opposite side of the valley bend…

Nearer the peak we also witnessed where the snow and ice had had to be cut to allow rail access…

Until almost at the peak we reached the United State and Canadian official border…

We passed many sites that reminded us of the history of this railroad including this steel cantilever bridge…

and these now defunct telegraph poles…

passing the 2888 Ft elevation marker…

…before finally reaching Fraser Rail Head and Canadian immigration…

As indicated earlier the next part of our excursion was not included in the Regent Seven Seas complimentary programme.  We  now  headed off by coach deeper into the Yukon and experience the true gold rush area, including  a visit to the Yukon Suspension Bridge and Visitor’s Centre before travelling back along the White pass to Skagway, this time by road.

The Suspension Bridge and Visitor Centre

A rugged representation of the conditions encountered in the days of the Gold Rush. Conditions and terrain that presented obstacles to those that sought an easy fortune…

The various exhibitions are well laid out with plenty to keep the visitor occupied for the hour to hour and a half stopover…

On a slightly more modern footing I discovered this Second World War Ford truck which had been adapted as a snow plough and I was assured it remained in operational use. They don’t build them like that anymore…

As with the ascent from Skagway, during the decent there was some great scenery, not all easily captured from the coach. The driver, however, was very accommodating with his stops when keen photographers were given good opportunities…

*****

*****

Crossing William Moore Creek

…before finally arriving back in Skagway…

I plan two more reviews of Skagway.  Why not sign up to follow all my reviews..

2 responses to “One Way to do Skagway – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Regent Seven Seas Alaska Cruise | Solent Richard's Cruise Blog·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s