Posted by: gardner310 | June 11, 2009

Skagway Farewell

Last Tuesday was my last call in Skagway, Alaska.  When we go back in July we will be on the Zaandam which calls on Sitka instead of Skagway.  I will miss Skagway, I became comfortable with the town.  The only corny t-shirt I bought in 4 months came from Skagway.White Pass Rail in Skagway

My last tour in Skagway was the “Goodtime Girls and Ghosts of Skagway” , a walking tour of the town that ends up at the Red Onion Saloon, an original brothel. Our guide, Madame Joyride, explained all the high points and history of the town, which is full of very sad stories from the gold rush days.  So many lost their belongings, savings and lives for the chance of finding gold in them thar hills.  We also learned how to cross a street in the tradition of the madames, strutting our stuff.  It was really a delightful walk.  We ended up in the saloon upstairs in the original rooms of the working girls, now a museum, sipping champagne or orange blossoms.Madame Joyride

When the tour was over I walked about 2 miles out of town to the cemetery.  It was a gorgeous 70+ degree day so I got my share of vitamin D.  The White Pass and Yukon Railway runs the same direction and passes the cemetery on its way to the mountains so I got to wave at some of our Zuiderdam passengers along the way.

Skagway Street

The cemetery houses the most famous resident, Frank Reid, who shot the local con man, Soapy (Jefferson) Smith, who shot Frank Reid.  Remember this was the wild west in the 1800’s.  Soapy was not allowed to be buried in the same ground as Frank, the hero, so he landed just outside the cemetery.  Up the mountainSoapy Smith's Grave
 is Reid Falls, a lovely waterfall, and an easy hike. What a beautiful spot to rest and reflect after a good walk.  If you want to really get some exercise you can hike to lower and/or upper lake.  

Skagway offers some great options for shore excursions (rock climbing is great and the White Pass Train is a wonderful ride) but there is also enough to do around town if you are just looking for some physical activity or shopping.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: