A quick trip to Skagway – ships, planes, huskies and some rain

I made a quick trip to Skagway last Wednesday, mostly to pick up some shirts I’d ordered. The weather forecast wasn’t great but any drive through the mountains to Skagway is a good drive.

Going through the summit area, the scenery wasn’t as spectacular as it is some days 🙂 – I used to hate doing “fog tours” when I was driving those busses.

Fog tour through the White Pass

My first stop was at the post office. All 3 shirts had been stuffed into my PO box – that saved some time as there was a lineup at the counter.

I then headed down to the docks. There were 3 large cruise ships in, and the highway and town were both busy. Norwegian Bliss was the largest of them – she carries 4,002 passengers at double occupancy, plus 1,700 crew members, and can go a fair bit higher with kids etc. bringing occupancy above 2 per cabin.

The cruise ship Norwegian Bliss at Skagway, Alaska
Celebrity Millennium carries 2,218 passengers at double occupancy plus 1,050 crew members. Cathy and I and 4 friends did an Alaska cruise on “Millie” in June 2012 and we loved the ship.

The cruise ship Celebrity Millennium at Skagway, Alaska
Royal Princess carries 3,560 passengers at double occupancy plus 1,350 crew members. So on the 3 ships there would be 9,780 passengers at double occupancy plus 4,100 crew members. In a town with a population of just over 1,000 people…

The cruise ship Royal Princess at Skagway, Alaska
I saw some action over at the airport, so that was the next stop. This 1980 Cessna T207A Turbo Stationair 8, N1301L, is registered to a numbered corporation in Juneau so I don’t know what it was doing.

1980 Cessna T207A Turbo Stationair 8, N1301L, at Skagway, Alaska
It was actually this 1956 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Mk 1 Beaver, N2400F, that attracted me to the strip. Operated by Mountain Flying Service in Haines (Paul and Amy Swanstrom), it was probably going for a flightseeing trip to Glacier Bay.

1956 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Mk 1 Beaver, N2400F, at Skagway, Alaska
As Alaska Seaplanes’ Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N750KP, landed on a flight from Juneau, the Beaver was taking off.

Skagway airport
A better look at the Grand Caravan as it taxied to the terminal.

Alaska Seaplanes' Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N750KP, at Skagway
I was soon headed north. Clearing Customs was quick and simple as usual, and a few minutes later I stopped at the Yukon Suspension Bridge to talk to the staff and get a few photos. The company has been offering people who are using “Murray’s Guide” to explore the highway a discount on admission, and I wanted to make sure that they’re still happy with that arrangement – they are 🙂

Yukon Suspension Bridge, South Klondike Highway
As well as the great views from the bridge high above the Tutshi River, there are excellent interpretive displays. I had planned on having lunch there, but the restaurant is now only for the bus tours which bring most of their visitors.

Yukon Suspension Bridge, South Klondike Highway
Driving along Tutshi Lake, I witnessed the most disgraceful driving I’ve ever seen by a Skagway tour van. That dark blue van is STOPPED in the middle of the highway on a blind corner, watching a bear!! I didn’t see a company name. If I find out who it is I’ll be filing a formal complaint. It’s bad enough when tourists do that, but for a commercial operator whose job is to keep people safe, it’s absolutely unacceptable.

Tour van watching a bear north of Skagway.
Continuing on, I made a short stop at Michelle Phillips’ mushing operation, Tutshi Sleddog Tours, just to watch the action. Happy huskies make me smile 🙂

Tutshi Sleddog Tours

Tutshi Sleddog Tours

Part of the fun of seeing the dogs is hearing them! I love husky singing.

On the way south, I had noticed that another piece of the roof of the Venus mill has collapsed, so I stopped to get a few photos, just from the highway. When I posted this photo at the Yukon History and Abandoned Places group, somebody said it would make a good puzzle. So I made a 300-piece puzzle at jigsawplanet.com.

The Yukon's historic Venus silver mine mill
I rarely buy clothes, especially online, but I’ll show you the results of the funny mood I was in a few weeks ago. The next photo shows the amazing shirt that started me off 🙂 I still haven’t got the wrinkles out – I guess it needs to be ironed 🙁

Murray Lundberg wearing a very colourful shirt
Then, a couple of “statement” tshirts – “Rescued is my favorite breed”…

and “Cameras make me happy, humans make my head hurt” 🙂


A quick trip to Skagway – ships, planes, huskies and some rain — 5 Comments

  1. Well Murray, that first shirt looks pretty mosquitoes scary to me. Hope to see it for a long time!

  2. Thanks for sharing your trip to Skagway, we didn’t get there, the weather wasn’t good, too cloudy; We parked @ a drive through campsite but didn’t stay; It was very windy & cold @ Conrad campground; Drove back to Tagish & stayed @ 6 Mile Resort; Nice owners there! We didn’t like Conrad Campground;

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your trip to Skagway; We didn’t get there, it was too cloudy;
    We stopped @ Conrad campground but didn’t stay; Too windy & cold;
    Drove back to Tagish & stayed @ 6 Mile Resort, nice place there!
    Our trip was 21 days this time, shorter than last year because we didn’t drive to
    Dawson City this time;