Another Quick Trip to Skagway

My timing was a bit off on my last drive down to Skagway. Three important things that I need to get the RV ready for the big season-opener trip to Vancouver Island weren’t in at the post office yet, so I went back yesterday to get them.

The weather forecast calls for below-normal temperatures to stay until at least the 3rd of May. This sort of day (this was Monday) makes it hard to even get my head into the trip, much less work on the rig.

Spring snow in Whitehorse
It certainly still looks like winter at Emerald Lake. The ice doesn’t typically melt off until mid-late May, though, so this was the view that I expected.

rozen Emerald Lake, Yukon
I stopped at the Bove Island Viewpoint, and noticed that there are 2 new interpretive signs since the last time I paid attention.

Bove Island Viewpoint, Yukon
Looking south at Km 86.4, where the concrete foundations of the 1970s Venus mine mill still have people wondering what they are.

Looking south at Km 86.4 of the South Klondike Highway
I stopped for a couple of minutes at Dail Peak and did a scan for Dall sheep or mountain goats, but didn’t see any.

Dail Peak, Yukon
Heading up the ridge that separates Windy Arm from Tutshi Lake, at Km 75.5. It looks like we need some sort of line-straightener on the trucks that paint them.

Looking south at Km 75.5 of the South Klondike Highway
Along Tutshi Lake, at Km 70. I only saw one other vehicle on the 100 kilometers of road between Carcross and Skagway.

Looking south at Km 70 of the South Klondike Highway
This was shot right at the Km 42 milepost.

Looking south at Km 42 of the South Klondike Highway
A road sweeper just north of the William Moore Bridge. The Department of Highways must think that they’re not going to need to sand the road again. I love optimism 🙂

A road sweeper just north of the William Moore Bridge
After picking up my packages at the post office, I did my usual loop around town. This gorgeous Cessna Caravan stopped me. It’s being operated by Alaska Seaplanes – a fully-IFR Cessna 208A Caravan on amphibious floats, with a 900 h.p. Texas Turbines “Supervan” conversion. Wow, would I like to go for a ride in that. There must be something I need to do in Juneau.

Cessna Caravan N1265U at Skagway, Alaska
Also sitting at the airport was this Wings of Alaska delivery van. The company is now history.

Wings of Alaska delivery van at Skagway
Driving by the huge new Public Safety Facility on the way into town reminded me that I need to get photos of the now-abandoned police station and fire hall.

Abandoned Skagway police station

Abandoned Skagway fire hall
The $13 million Skagway Public Safety Facility is very impressive. This is the sort of thing that’s made possible in a small town by inviting cruise ships to visit. Some people think that the trade-offs are worth it, some don’t.

The huge new Public Safety Facility in Skagway
Another building that I hadn’t gotten a photo of is this large log home. Back in the early ’90s, Atlas Tours rented it for Skagway staff and drivers doing Skagway pickups or drop-offs, and I spent a fair bit of time, including 2 or 3 nights, there. A Skagway friend let me know that this is the Rapuzzi cabin, built by Bob Rapuzzi (thanks, Andrew).

Former Atlas Tours staff house in Skagway, Alaska
There were some really interesting frozen waterfalls through the White Pass, and I stopped for a while to get some photos of this one at Mile 10.

Frozen waterfall in the White Pass, Alaska

Frozen waterfall in the White Pass, Alaska
The “Welcome to Alaska” sign has been uncovered in the past few days – a sure sign of Spring 🙂

Getting back into Canada took a few minutes as I had GST to pay on the stuff I picked up. Then I walked across to the White Pass railway and got a few shots of the progress clearing the large rail yard and parking lot.

The bridge decking is being replaced on the Nares River Bridge at Carcross. It’s a very big job that I expect will take a couple of weeks. That should get it finished just before the first cruise ship traffic arrives.

There, that will look better! Even with exchange, these were over $500 cheaper in the States than anyplace I could find in Canada. The other things I picked up were an outside-temperature gauge, and a dash cam.

As well as getting the RV ready, I have lots more to do before the planned Tuesday departure. I should have been out on my bike for a couple of weeks now, but I can’t get it fired up. I moved it into the barn for the winter, and that proved to be a really bad idea that I won’t repeat. It’s a very long push across snow and ice from the barn to the garage, and by the time I got it this far (about half-way), I felt like I was at least 66 years old! 🙂 It’s in the garage now, though.

Vstar 1100 Classic on snow


Another Quick Trip to Skagway — 6 Comments

  1. Interesting. I figured that the reason you had a P.O. box in Skagway (that’s how you do that, right?) is to avoid extra taxes and/or shipping time. But it’s because you can get better prices in the U.S. instead?

    • It varies. Some sellers won’t ship outside the US, but usually it’s just cheaper. I’ve had the PO box for almost 20 years now, and let some friends use it on occasion, for the same 2 reasons.

  2. I like how you got all the toys into one pic or the other…looks like you’d need your electric vest and chaps if you had gotten the bike out on the road.

    Have to wonder why that big PS building in Skagway is so ugly?! No attempt to make it look like it wasn’t just plopped in there from TX or KY or…

    Happy & safe travels this season for all you guys!

    • Two were missed in that pic – the bike of course but also the ’89 F150 🙂 That would NOT have been a good bike day!

      The Skagway design does seem to be at odds with what the rest of the community is doing.

  3. Beautiful pictures… You need to get Kathy to push that motorcycle for you…. after all she is younger than you. 🙂