We got our first heavy snow of the season on Monday – far too early. It hit while I was in the hot tub – all of a sudden, the wind was screaming, the temperature plummeted and the snow was coming down hard. It only lasted about half an hour but we were left with a couple of inches of snow on the ground. The forecast for Tuesday was for sunshine, though, so a drive to Skagway seemed to be in order.
It was -10°C (14°F) when I left the house at 08:00, and the road was very icy. Emerald Lake was in deep shadow while the mountains behind were lit up so an overall shot wouldn’t work but this detail of a small bay gives you an idea of what the morning was like.
The light at Carcross was stunning, and I made a long stop for a few shots. This is the Nares River – the pilings were a wingdam used to keep the river contained and scouring out a channel deep enough for the early steamboats. The mist is caused by the very cold air coming into contact with warmer water, and is known as steam fog.
The rising sun across Nares Lake at 08:52.
Downtown Carcross, with the carving shed, the Tutshi memorial and the railway station.
The colour of the light changed quickly as the run rose. This is looking across Grayling Bay to Caribou Mountain.
Continuing down the highway, I was pleased to see 3 mountain goats sleeping near one of the aerial tramway towers at Pooley Canyon.
By the time I reached the south end of Windy Arm, the road was much better, as the snow hadn’t reached here. It was still -5°C (23°F), though.
I made quite a few photo stops. The dogs got to get out at many of them, but this one was on the road so Monty had to watch from the sidelines
The mist on Bernard Lake was cause for a stop.
The almost-full moon setting behind the peaks in the White Pass.
The tourist season is over, and the “Welcome to Alaska” sign is now hidden in a protective crate until next May.
Only one of the packages I was waiting for was at the post office, but I had a feeling that it might come in later that day, so went for breakfast at the Sweet Tooth Cafe and then wandered around Skagway taking pictures for a while. This is the Small Boat Harbor.
Over at the AML dock, some shiny new ore shipping containers had arrived.
The WHMIS (“wimis”) code indicates that the ore in the containers is toxic to trees and fish.
While I was having breakfast, I read a 3-page article about the Stowaway Cafe in the Capital City Weekly newspaper. The article started by saying that the restaurant is closing after 18 years in business. The article raves about the place, but if a restaurant is successful don’t you sell it, not just close it? I only went there twice – in their 2nd year of operation, I tried to go for lunch. I was probably dressed in shorts, t-shirt and sandals, and the guy at the door looked me up and down critically when I asked for a table and replied “sorry, we’re full”. There was nobody in the place. Snubbed like that, I didn’t go back for about 14 years – the next visit was okay but nothing special.
There are some cool mermaids around the Stowaway, though.
The cabin and newer house belonging to Captain William Moore, founder of Skagway. Everything is closed now that the cruise ships are gone, but it’s still an attractive place to go on a wander.
I had no luck at the post office, so at 12:45 headed north again.
Although I had planned on making a quick trip home, it didn’t work out that way – too many things to stop to see This is the Tutshi River.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many mountain goats on Dail Peak – there are 14 in this view, and there were quite a few more, perhaps 25 in total.
This hiking season is over for me, but I’m lining up places for next year. Pooley Canyon will be the toughest place to get into, and the snow doesn’t clear in there until August, but it’s high on the list, as the historic Vault silver mine is there and I need to have another look.
And the Venus mine, of course. This was shot from the same location as the Pooley Canyon one – a gravel ridge above the highway.
This will be my last blog post from the Yukon for about 3 weeks – I’ll talk to you in 4 days from Switzerland, though. I’m so excited about this trip I can hardly stand it