SKAGWAY


(Alaska Flag)


(Map of Alaska)


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2007:

All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

At 6:12am we were securely moored at the Forward Rail Road Dock in Skagway.
Skagway, Alaska Sapphire Princess docked in Skagway, Alaska Whitepass Railway, Skagway Alaska

I had a couple of hours before my first shore excursion so I walked
around Skagway before all the people on the four cruise ships docked in town woke up.
Skagway Street Car Company Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska Golden North Hotel, Skagway, Alaska

Skagway (originally spelled Skaguay) is from the Tlingit name for the area, "Skagua." The name
has several meanings, "the place where the north wind blows," "stiffly wind-rippled water," etc.
Broadway Street, Skagway, Alaska Gold Rush Monument Skagway, Alaska

In 1897 gold was discovered in the Klondike and the first boatload of prospectors landed in Skagway.
Broadway Street, Skagway, Alaska Skagway, Alaska Skagway small boat harbor

SKAGWAY, ALASKA VIDEO
7 minute video of Skagway, Alaska.

I took to the skies again in Skagway with Temsco Helicopter's Glacier Discovery Tour.
Temsco Helicopters, Skagway Waterfall along Lynn Canal from helicopter Lynn Canal from helicopter

We flew over many mountains and glaciers before arriving at our landing spot.
Glacier near Skagway Glacier near Skagway Twin Glaciers

We landed on Meade Glacier. The helicopters picked up the passengers they left on the previous trip.
Landing on Meade Glacier Our Guides on Meade Glacier Mountains surrounding Meade Glacier

We had 40 minutes on the glacier before the helicopters returned to pick us up.
Crevasse on Meade Glacier Helicopters returning to pick us up Meade Glacier

After takeoff we flew toward the Lynn Canal and Haines, Alaska.
Meade Glacier just after takeoff Mountains near Haines, Alaska Haines, Alaska from helicopter

We took a right at Haines and flew up the Lynn Canal back to Skagway.
Glacier pool Lynn Canal from Helicopter Skagway just before landing

GLACIER DISCOVERY BY HELICOPTER VIDEO
11 minute video of my helicopter journey to Meade Glacier.

After returning to Skagway I took a high speed catamaran to Glacier Point.
Skagway just before landing Chilkat Express Sapphire Princess and Serenade of the Seas

Lynn Canal is the deepest fjord in North America and one of the deepest and longest in the world.
There are numerous cascading waterfalls along the canal.
Waterfall on Lynn Canal Waterfall on Lynn Canal Waterfall on Lynn Canal

It took 40 minutes to get down to Glacier Point from Skagway on the Chilkat Express.
Haines, Alaska Glacier Point, Alaska Glacier Point, Alaska

After a short scenic drive and a quarter mile hike the forest opens up to the Davidson Glacier.
Glacier Point wilderness Davidson Glacier Davidson Glacier

We paddled our canoes out to the face of the glacier with bald eagles flying overhead.
Agnus Davidson Glacier Eagle

It was a beautiful and peaceful trip, we returned to Skagway the same way we came.
Davidson Glacier Waterfall on Lynn Canal Moon over Lynn Canal

Got back to the ship just in time to sail down the Lynn Canal as the sun was setting on another great day.
Sunset over Lynn Canal Haines, Alaska Sunset over Lynn Canal

GLACIER POINT WILDERNESS SAFARI VIDEO
11 minute video of my wilderness safari to Davidson Glacier.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2007
Hello Everyone,

It was another fantastic day in southeast Alaska. Today's port of call was Skagway.



Skagway is a small town of about 800 people just south of the Yukon border.



There were a total of four cruise ships in port today, so the tourists out numbered the locals about ten to one.



The population of Skagway doubles in the summer tourist season.



Skagway is a neat little town from the old gold rush days but not really a whole lot to do in the town itself unless you like to shop in those tourist shops. I did a little of that. I found some eagles I would have liked to add to my eagle collection, but didn't know where I would put them so I didn't buy anything.



Of course the first order of business today was another helicopter flight.



As we flew out of Skagway we flew over scenic Lynn Canal.



We spent a lot of the flight flying over British Columbia, Canada.



It was another beautiful flight. We loaded up four helicopters and flew out to the Mead Glacier and landed. After we got out of the helicopters they loaded the people who they brought out on the previous flight and flew them back to Skagway.



After the choppers left we had about 45 minutes to explore the glacier before they came back to pick us up. It was fun walking about the glacier and looking down the crevices that go down hundreds of feet.



The guides on the glacier were wonderful. College kids that work up here in the summer. They spend 12 hours a day standing out on that glacier, usually in the rain, although we didn't have that problem today as the weather was great.



Then the helicopters came back to pick us up and we left Mead Glacier.



That is Haines Alaksa in the picture below. This is the second time that I passed Haines today, but it won't be the last.



Skagway is located in a narrow glaciated valley at the head of the Taiya Inlet, the north end of the Lynn Canal, which is the most northern fjord on the Inside Passage on the south coast of Alaska.



After returning to Skagway I walked around town a bit and then went back to the ship for lunch. The picture below was taken just before landing back in Skagway. The ships are the Norwegian Star and Norwegian Pearl.



After lunch I took a very interesting but unusual tour. About thirty of us boarded a high speed catamaran which took us about forty miles down Lynn Canal to Glacier Point. When you get off the boat there is no pier or anything. They just beach the boat and throw out a plank. As the guides helped us off the boat they welcomed us to the middle of nowhere.



There are 12 residents living at Glacier Point and they are the ones that run the tour. They live there five months out of the year in cabins without running water, electricity or any modern conveniences. Half the fun of the tour was listening to their stories about roughing it in the wilderness. Especially the lead guide, a crusty character with a long beard. After getting off the boat we hiked up the beach and boarded an old school bus which had been converted into an all-terrain vehicle. We took about a twenty minute ride through a dense forrest.



After getting off the bus they suited us up with boots and life jackets and we continued through the forrest on foot.



When we reached the lake we boarded canoes and paddled out to the face of the Davidson Glacier.



It was a really neat experience being deep in the middle of the wilderness with bald eagles flying overhead and a beautiful glacier a stones throw in front of us. We were gone for over six hours and got back to our ship five minutes past curfew. Since it was a Princess sanctioned tour we didn't think they would sail without us.



As soon as I got back to the ship we sailed away. We sailed back down the Lynn Canal where I had just been and passed Haines for the fifth and final time.



Below is a nice picture of the moon over the mountains.



I have 52 hours left on the ship but today was the last port of call. We spend most of tomorrow cruising Glacier Bay. The picture below is another top ten photo, sunset along the Lynn Canal.



More Later,

Tim
Click on email photos for the large full-size photograph.


Click above to continue to my next adventure, GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK.



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