I’m not finished with Summer, but Fall has arrived

Over the past week, I’ve been on a couple of fine summer hikes, but the morning temperature has been below freezing twice (down to -4°C), and a drive to Skagway left no doubt that Fall has arrived.

The first hike was at Atlin, where my friend Karla had invited me to join her on the Monarch Mountain Trail. I’d never hiked it before, but it’s an excellent trail for spectacular views within a few minutes of leaving the car. The light was really poor for photography, but it was a great day to get out into the mountains for some cardio and mental therapy, and Bella and Tucker and Karla’s little Meeko, all had a lot of fun as well.

Another call from Karla got me out to the Fish Lake Trail on Tuesday to join her and Hilary, who I hadn’t seen in several years. This is another hike I’d never been on, even though the trailhead is only 20 minutes from downtown Whitehorse. You have to work to get through the forest to the views on this well-used trail, but the views are certainly worth it.

The Fish Lake Trail at Whitehorse, Yukon
It’s easy to stop at the saddle and enjoy the views from the there, but none of us was ready to turn around yet, so the summit in the next photo was our destination.

The Fish Lake Trail at Whitehorse, Yukon
The view from the summit. From there, a trail beckons hikers to continue, but the next peak would be almost an hour away, so we stopped here. Despite the sun, the wind had quite a chill to it.

The Fish Lake Trail at Whitehorse, Yukon
I seldom wander around downtown Whitehorse anymore, but arranged to meet a friend for coffee on Wednesday, and went in a bit early to look around. I don’t know why I’ve quit coming downtown, because it’s a very welcoming place and there’s always lots going on. The next photo is looking north on Front Street, at Main.

Downtown Whitehorse, Yukon
This is the new MacBride Museum under construction. I hate it. About 98% of the people in Whitehorse dislike it, and made that clear right from the first drawings that appeared. It was scaled back a bit from an even more awful start, but is still just plain obnoxious – a over-sized, sterile warehouse on a waterfront that was coming along so nicely.

The new MacBride Museum under construction in Whitehorse, Yukon
The very popular waterfront trolley isn’t running this year. The MacBride Museum took it over and then shut it down, citing maintenance problems. The trolley is probably inside the “engine house” – the car sitting outside is the Red Line Express, a self-powered car that the White Pass & Yukon Route had built a few years ago. It was a failure mechanically, and it was bought by the Yukon government.

The waterfront trolley at Whitehorse, Yukon
The little box on the left has a door on it. I opened it to find that it’s a Little Free Library. I love the concept, and it’s nice to see one on the waterfront. There are only 3 books in it, though, so it’s apparently not getting much use.

Little Free Library in Whitehorse, Yukon
My busy week continued on Thursday. I had to go to Skagway to pick up some car and RV parts I’d ordered. On the way, I stopped to visit with more friends, including Michelle at her Tutshi dog camp. While I was chatting there, a woman arrived with her family and when she heard my name, said “Murray? Murray’s Guide?” From Buffalo, they were travelling with my guide to the South Klondike Highway, and we chatted for a bit about their trip, and life here. I tell people who buy the guide to watch for me on the highway, and I love meeting people this way.

Michelle Phillips' Tutshi Sled Dog Camp
Along Tutshi Lake, the forecast rain started. Through the White Pass, visibility was only a few meters/yards, and even down at the William Moore bridge construction, there wasn’t much to see.

William Moore bridge construction
There were 3 large ships in, but a cold rain driven by strong south winds was keeping the streets pretty quiet even at 11:00 when I went to the post office. On my usual wander around town after, I noticed that the WP&YR’s steam locomotive, No. 73, was loading passengers from the Disney Wonder, and stopped for a few photos. The wind made it impossible to keep the camera lens clear of rain drops.

The WP&YR's steam locomotive, No. 73
As noon approached, the streets started to fill with people, but I didn’t go back up to Broadway.

Skagway, Alaska
A couple of the different ways to see coastal Alaska – by cruise ship, and with a rented RV on the State ferry.

Different ways to see coastal Alaska - by cruise ship, and with a rented RV on the State ferry.
Seeing Holland America’s Noordam brought back some wonderful memories of a cruise in the Caribbean on this gorgeous ship. Talking to Cathy about it that evening, we agree that she was one of our favourite ships so far.

Holland America's Noordam in the rain at Skagway, Alaska
Getting stopped at the William Moore bridge on the way home allowed me to get a few photos of the project. There’s some pretty extreme rock-moving going on, and I’d sure love to get a tour of it!

William Moore bridge construction

William Moore bridge construction
One more photo just before the clouds moved back in.

William Moore bridge construction

That certainly felt like a Fall trip, but I’m not slowing down yet. I’m writing this blog from Kluane Lake, where Cathy and I are camping for the Discovery Day long weekend, and I’ll be heading out again on Tuesday.


I’m not finished with Summer, but Fall has arrived — 7 Comments

  1. Coming into Skagway on the Nieuw Amsterdam the 29th then overnight and up the Yukon tour on the 30th second time on the whitepass railroad been following your posts for 10 years thanks for the tours

    • I hope you also enjoyed your trip in Glacier Bay. I was one of the people who climbed aboard with the Park Rangers 🙂

  2. You bring up a good point about Holland America Alaska cruises out of Vancouver BC.
    If the ceiling comes down you need to have a plan B . We were lucky to have to great weather in August making the photography and views spectacular.

    • The number of people every year who post on CruiseCritic things like “We got a great deal on a mid-September cruise, but the weather forecast is calling for rain the entire week. What will we do?” is actually quite funny. Glad that you got great weather – we usually increase our chances of that dramatically by sailing in May and early June.

  3. Love all your awesome photos! The Yukon is in our blood! we’ve been there 2015 & also this year in June; We tried last year but only got up to Bucking Horse campground & had major truck problems;

  4. hi
    is there a way to subscribe for new entries to the whole blog?
    greetings from rainy switzerland

    • Hi Bruno. Thanks for asking. I’ve added a new category called 1NewPost so any subscription should by default include all new posts from here on.