A drive to Skagway – a busy day

It’s been quite a while since I posted. My regular readers may wonder why I didn’t post at all during my trip to Ontario. Well, Cathy got sick, then I got sick – we had to cancel all of our visits with friends. And on top of that, it rained for much of the week – I often shoot 100-150 pictures a day when I’m travelling, but I shot 12 photos during that entire week, except for a short day at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Oh well…

This past Monday, though, I drove to Skagway, mostly to pick up a new lens to replace one that I was returning as defective. But as usual, I got busy with a few other things as well – Skagway never fails to keep me interested.

The weather was really flat, but the 14 days that the post office will keep a parcel was up, and there was no choice. And it wasn’t snowing 🙂

The South Klondike Highway south of the White Pass.
At the William Moore Bridge site, work has quit for the winter – a solitary grader was doing some final levelling before leaving.

William Moore Bridge, Skagway
My first stop in Skagway was the airport, to send the last lens that I bought back by UPS. Alaska Seaplanes‘ 1997 Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N750KP, arrived from Juneau just after I arrived.

Seaplanes of Alaska's 1997 Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N750KP
Heading over to the ferry terminal, the MV Kennicott was just backing in to the dock. Fairly new on this run, replacing the much smaller MV LeConte, she can carry 748 passengers and 80 vehicles.

Alaska ferry MV Kennicott at Skagway
More transportation stuff. The White Pass & Yukon Route is finally sending locomotive #96 out for a rebuild following a fire.

White Pass & Yukon Route locomotive #96
Another look at the MV Kennicott, from the Small Boat Harbor breakwater as she started unloading vehicles.

Alaska ferry MV Kennicott at Skagway
One of things things on my list was to have a good look at the last rock slide at the Railroad Dock. It was huge.

Rock slide at the Railroad Dock in Skagway
The slide happened early in the morning long before any cruise ships arrived, and “only” took out a section of railing and scattered rocks all over the dock.

Rock slide at the Railroad Dock in Skagway
Just to the left of the top of the rock slide is what one of my Skagway friends calls the Death Rock of Doom. While many people believe the engineers who say that it’s safe, the Laws of Gravity tell me that it’s not.

The Death Rock of Doom above the Railroad Dock in Skagway
Another look at the Death Rock of Doom. I guess we’ll see next summer whether or not any cruise lines will believe the engineers and agree to dock there. I don’t think it was used for the few days left in the season after the slide. I know that I wouldn’t want to be working there anymore.

The Death Rock of Doom above the Railroad Dock in Skagway
My next stop was at City Hall to see how much information I cold get for my cemeteries project. The clerk was awesome, and I left with 2 maps, and the most complete burial lists available for all 3 cemeteries. I’ve already made huge changes to my Pioneer Cemetery page, but there’s much more to do.

Skagway City Hall
I got reminded a few days previously that there’s a grave along the railway line. Harriet Pullen, owner of the legendary Pullen House Hotel, requested that she be buried there, close to what is now the ruins of her hotel, seen in the next photo. It was demolished in 1991, the year after I arrived in Whitehorse.

Ruins of the legendary Pullen House Hotel
“Ma” Pullen arrived in Skagway on September 12, 1897, and lived there until her death on August 8, 1947. Over the years, she collected a vast amount of material documenting Alaska’s history. The collection was offered to the State in 1973 for $200,000, but legislators refused to allocate the money. It was auctioned off, and sources variously estimate that the owner grossed somewhere between $269,000 to $350,000.

The grave of Harriet Pullen in Skagway

The grave of Harriet Pullen in Skagway
Another look at the William Moore Bridge project as I headed home.

The lens didn’t work out the way I had planned – it just would not focus at night. After a great deal of research and posting questions, Canon Canada finally acknowledged that the lens is no good for what I want to do. At this point, I’m not sure whether to keep it or not – I certainly run into situations where it’ll be useful.


A drive to Skagway – a busy day — 6 Comments

  1. Thank you for your writings, I so enjoy your photography and history research. Keep going!

  2. Your body of work represents a staggering Internet resource, I recommend it to anyone going north of Revelstoke or Lillooet. To cyclists or four wheelers both but someone would have to be insane to take a motor home up there without consulting it. I don’t get around as much as I used to but I am unaware of anyone doing such a comprehensive job on places this remote and widespread anywhere else on the planet. Then there’s the lifetime of over the road experience in the same place which appears deftly whenever it’s relevant.

    Thanks for making the effort to meet your usual standards with this workaday post as well.

  3. As always I am pleased to find one or two pics (this one of the locomotive on the special dolly for transport) that especially speak to me… (shared interests and a keen eye for same, I suppose!)