Klondike Gold Rush National Park, Montana/PNW trip, National Parks and Monuments, Seattle, Washington, Washington state

Whitefish to Portland

Somewhere on the way to Seattle, taken from the train:

We had a few hours to kill in downtown Seattle so we visited the Klondike Gold Rush National Park, a museum located in an old hotel, and I got another stamp for my national park passport book. Woo hoo! We visited the other end of this park in Skagway, Alaska back in 2009 when we took a train ride along the White Pass trail of 1898.

Photos from Pioneer Square, downtown Seattle:

^^^Yummy lunch at Pho Fuschia in Seattle.

By the time we arrived in Portland, we had had enough of the train. We took the TriMet light rail to the airport, the shuttle to the rental car agency, drove to a musty Four Points hotel in NE Portland (to which I’ll never return), ate some forgettable Chinese food, and crashed.

Alaska/British Columbia, Klondike Gold Rush National Park, National Parks and Monuments

Skagway, Alaska

[The following was written the day after we visited Skagway because I tended to write first thing in the morning.]

friday, july 17th – AT SEA-

About halfway through the day yesterday, l lost my capability to use words to describe the beauty we were seeing. So I’ll have to print out of lot of photos when we get home to fill out this journal. At a certain point in Tracy Arm Fjord, I was overwhelmed. I kept seeing scenes that were more beautiful than the last most beautiful sight that I had ever seen. The train ride up to White Pass Summit and back was much the same way.

Today and tomorrow will be very lazy & relaxing. The ship is on the Pacific Ocean now. I slept so long and deeply last night and this morning. I took a lot of Dramamine yesterday because I did not want a repeat of the Tuscany trip disaster!

We spent a few hours on our own in Skagway, learned the story of the town and I bought some button made from fossil walrus ivory. We had a light brunch at Olivia’s Bistro next to (and part of) Historic Skagway Inn. It had a beautiful little garden and we ate bread pudding & rhubarb crisp at little tables outside. I chose the rhubarb because I had never eaten it before but more importantly it had been grown in their garden. [Recommended! Local food experience #2 of 2 of the whole trip.]

[I loved the Arctic Brotherhood building, which was covered with thousands of pieces of driftwood. We tried to steer clear of the hokey tourist places and concentrate on the local businesses and the Klondike Gold Rush National Park buildings and exhibits.]

After that we went on the tour we purchased. A bus took us to Gold Rush Brewery where we tasted some really great beer and then panned for gold at their “Klondike Gold Fields” there. Was kind of cheesy [but great fun] because it was seeded with paydirt from Dawson City, but the tour guide was fun and the location was lovely. It was next to the Skagway River. I wanted so badly to go down to the river but there were signs warning us not to. I don’t think that it was forbidden and I wish I had done it anyway. It was blue, cold glacial water and I collected a lot of smooth granite stones.

[I said to Sandy and the tour guide that putting me next to a river for a couple of hours and telling me not to play in it is like putting a kid in front of a closed toy store with a hundred bucks in his hand.]

[And just for fun:]

[Don’t hate us because we’re beautiful.]

Alaska/British Columbia, Canada, Klondike Gold Rush National Park, National Parks and Monuments

White Pass Railway Ride

[These photos do not do this experience justice. Not only were we trying to get photos from a moving train, our camera, like those poor pack horses and mules worked to death on the Trail of ’98, was on its last legs. This was an expensive ride, and well worth the money.

Sandy took many of these photos from between the railcars, since I was drugged out on Dramamine and pretty much reduced to smiling and nodding.]

[It’s a good thing that folks can’t get off the train by the time they see this scene. There were a few scary places with straight down views.]

[Thank God this bridge was no longer in service!]

[One of the two original Klondike Gold Rush trails. This was the harder, yet more travelled trail because it was a bit shorter. Unbelievable how many people and pack animals came over this steep narrow rough trail.]

[This lake is actually at the summit of White Pass in Canada.]