Skagway was my favorite stop. Scenically glorious, that is if you love the water and the mountains! You do not even need to get off the ship. You look forward to the boat yard and the old town of Skagway while further in the distance is a valley of mountain peaks. You look behind you and see 2 absolutely mesmerizing snow caped mountain peaks. Now I say mesmerizing because I saw these peeks 4 times in all weather conditions, but still somehow it was like a painting that never changed! To the left more mountains, and to the right we were cliff side. They only way to look left was straight up or straight down, and straight down you saw the train that took you into the Yukon Territory. I was signed up to take this train tour but then I had this incident that sent me home. Even without that, it was still the most beautiful port. It was also the hardest to just pick a handful of pictures to post.
My first visit was very exciting, I was going horseback riding. On the way to the ranch we were driving around this empty inlet where they explained that the tide came in and out 4 times a day. This was no normal occurrence for someone visiting because the water exchange was huge. They have 25 foot tides up here and that is so crazy. Random fact; I have not been a horse person but I seem to have found myself around them on many occasions, yet at the age of 34 I have never even been on one till today! It was so much fun, and the horses were so well trained, taken care of, and not over ridden. I got the lazy horse, of course I need some sort of challenge when I am doing something new! The scenery while riding the horse could not have been more amazing, and as we were heading back to the ranch I saw my first Alaskan bear as well. Maybe it was my height on the horse but that bear was adorable.
(Top right is just to show you the low tide line.)
(Then you have high tide in that same valley)
Next I just went walking through town. It was all original buildings so it was really cool to see even if they were littered with jewelry and souvenir shops! Now fast forward to the next time and I decided to go hiking on my own. This was hands down my favorite day! I grabbed my backpack, water, newly purchased hiking shoes and just went for it. As you will see in the pictures I was extremely grateful for those hiking shoes; the terrain was about as rugged as it gets. Climbing continuously over rocks and roots, there was switchbacks on the trail but the grade percentage up had to be higher than normal too. Then coming down your feet are smashed into the front of your shoes the whole time. It was all worth it! As you go up you see the ship and the town get smaller, and the natural scenery just get more spectacular. You could see mountain peaks not seen from below, mountain lakes that are always full of the clearest fresh water and stunning waterfalls the entire way up. Here is where I would like to say what everyone already knows; pictures never do there justice but I can provide you with a little sample of what I got to see today. I hiked a total of 8 miles round trip and starting at sea level I climbed an elevation of 3,100 ft.
(these are pictures of the trail)
The sunset and sunrise are a bit different up here in Alaska from what I am used to. Sunrise is at about 4:30am and sunset is after 11:00pm. Complete darkness does not come till well after 12 midnight. Below I took this picture at about 11:20pm.
Up next I will be taking you to Glacier Bay National Park. This was a park we went thru on our cruise ship. The ship I was on was designed especially for adventures like this!