Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Alaskan Cruise Day 5

Skagway was our earliest shore excursion. I sent an alarm for 5:30 a.m., but have been waking up every morning between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Sunrise was 3:48 a.m. this morning! The ship docked about 6:00 a.m.

I went up and brought some food back to the room from the buffet for a quick bite. We were on the dock about 6:50 a.m. and took a bus to the helicopter company. After a safety briefing, we took off in a small seven passenger helicopter. We got a 15 minute flight over the area including an up close look at the Denver Glacier. The helicopter dropped us about 10 miles out of town at Glacier Station along the White Pass & Yukon Railroad Route.

From there, we hiked with two guides and eight other people up the Skagway River. At one of the stopping points, the guides set up a telescope on a tripod and tried to find some mountain goats on the hillside across the river. After they gave up, Jack took up the pursuit and ended up spotting a group of six mountain goats!

We continued up the mountain towards the terminal moraine of the Laughton Glacier. I was very proud of Jack. He, one of the guides and I were leading the way.

We turned around and headed back to Glacier Station. The tour company also offers all day trips to the nose of the Laughton Gracier and I regret a little we were not doing going there. Back at Glacier station, the train stopped and picked us up. The company that we were hiking with had a private car at the end of the train.

The train trip back to Skagway was very cool. Built in 1889, the White Pass & Yukon narrow gauge railroad is considered one of the civil engineering wonders of the world. The tour company had an ice chest of beer and some snacks for the 60 minute trip back. The scenery was amazing.

Back in Skagway, we had a late lunch at the Skagway Fish Company near the dock (Alaskan Crab and Fish and Chips). Heading back into the main part of town, Sharon did some shopping, while Jack and I wandered around a little and then headed back to the ship.

Sharon and Jack played tennis on the sports court, while I took a nap.

We ended the day with a late dinner at Sabatini’s, the Italian restaurant on board the ship. I had lobster, while Sharon had halibut. Jack fell sound asleep during the second course and never rallied. I had to herd him back to the room.

I really enjoyed the day. The combination of the helicopter, the hike and the train ride was spectacular!

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