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Alaska Cruise: Day Four

June 23, 2010

Day 4 on the Pearl: Skagway, Alaska
The ship docked in Skagway at 5 a.m. and we disembarked at 9 a.m., after scarfing down as much food as we could manage.

Funny how much more one consumes when the food is available 24/7. Good thing we’re doing a lot of walking. I did try to “health” it up a little today and skipped the bacon, and went for the cottage cheese and fruit. Need to be able to fit into my clothes for the duration of the cruise!

Skagway, Alaska

The Gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, Skagway is a town set in a spectacular natural setting and is steeped in history. A stroll down the streets revealed the usual tourist-y shops and local bars–the striking difference being the mountains that towered above them AND the old-time western architecture. It felt a little like we’d stepped back in time. There were plenty of the usual port-of-call jewelry stores.  Lucky for Dave, I was here for the adventure, not the bling!

We stopped at the museum to find out more about the Skagway Gold Rush Cemetery. This historic cemetery includes the graves of Soapy Smith and other graves from the gold rush era. Dave was hoping it was within walking distance as we had a tour scheduled for noon, but as we walked (per the directions we were given), it became clear that we wouldn’t make it there in time to do the return trip so we headed back into town.

We sent the boys back to the ship to pick up our tickets for the White Pass Scenic Railway excursion.

While we waited for the boys, we ducked into the Skagway Brewing Company to talk to the locals and check out some Alaskan beer.

A 40-mile round-trip from Skagway to Frasier, B.C. in Canada, the old-fashioned parlor car took us along the route that served as the pathway for gold miners to the Klondike in 1898.

We crossed over sky-high trestles, through two tunnels, and across beautiful valleys. This incredible experience was one that I was so glad to be able to share with my family. The scenery from the train is indescribable. The best place to take photos was on the platform between the cars, which is where Dave and I spent most of the trip. Standing there almost 3000 feet above sea level was an amazing experience (especially since I’m terrified of heights!)

Back on The Pearl
We were back on board by 7:30 and enjoying a martini at The Star Bar by 7:45 (1/2 price martinis are only from 6 – 8). I tried one called French Kiss. Not bad. To be fair to the martini list, I will have to try every one before the week is out. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and took in the late night show–Sharkbait.

The two ex-clowns-turned-full-time-juggling act were hysterical. So far, I’ve been very surprised (in a good way!) about the quality of entertainment aboard The Pearl. The audience were on their feet by the end of the show. Great fun!

Back on the Pearl

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