In the fourth day of our trip, my family (and the cruise and all of the other passengers) went to Skagway.Skagway is a port town established as a way to get to the Yukon. Mom and I were interested in exploring the history of the region with a bus tour that got us to the White Pass, the edge of the Yukon Territory. Our bus only had four travelers, which was great for us because we got a lot of information from our guide, but not too great for him tip-wises. Sorry, but SO MUCH INFORMATION!!!
During the gold rush, people made their way from Skagway to Dawson City, by first walking and then sailing. No horses or donkeys could help you on your trek; they couldn’t traverse the terrain because it was so steep. After leaving Skagway, making it over the White Pass Summit, and traveling to Lake Bennet (walking, with big giant packs of supplies, and most people had to make about 30 trips to get all of their provisions), and then there was sailing the Yukon River toward Dawson City. There are records of 100,000 people reaching Skagway at the end of the 1800s (presumably most headed to the gold rush). Of that 100,000 people, 30,000 to 40,000 actually made it to Dawson City, and only about .3% actually got rich…this sound like terrible odds!
After our bus made it up to the White Pass (very pretty and rugged) we headed back to the edge of the town where there was a cemetery with many tombstones for people from the gold rush. Wood decorated with these intricate gravestone markers/headstone epitaphs. It was just writing, but very beautiful. It makes me think of the chalkboard writing that you see on signs all the time now.
And the whole bus trip ended with a waterfall!
Now, what did my father and brother do that day? Well, a little piece of trivia should have been a clue: Skagway had about 80 brothels during the gold rush, and one church! Sadly, my brother and father wandered all around the town beforehand and they were too tuckered out to take part in the “Ghost and Goodtime Girls” tour. My mom and I were pretty torn because this tour was supposed to be very funny. Ah well. Think my mom and I may have to make a second trip! Maybe we’ll take the Bro and father, we’ll see.