Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Alaskan Cruise... White Pass and Yukon Railway trip

I don't know about Ron, but my favorite excursion was taking the rail trip through White Pass just outside of Skagway, Alaska.  The rail line was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush.  The author, Jack London, wrote about experiences during this period in the books, White Fang and Call of the Wild.  The railway took only 26 months to complete and was built by thousands of men, dealing with not only harsh climate, but challenging geography.
We rode the railway up the mountain, with breath taking views of the pass below.  Some of the spots that were pointed out by the tour guide included a steel cantilever bridge, which was the tallest of its kind when it was built in 1901.  There were numerous trestle bridges and tunnels, a stream with rapids that have yet to be run successfully by rafters, and the remains of the trail that miners walked when gold was discovered in the Yukon.   
The 110 mile WP&YR Railroad was completed on  July 29, 1900, connecting the port of Skagway Alaska to Whitehorse Yukon and beyond to northwest Canada and interior Alaska.  The WP & Y railway stopped operating in 1982, due to the mining industry collapse and low mineral prices.  By 1988, it opened as a tourist excursion.  The pictures, once again, do not do justice to this awe inspiring and rugged area.  

A view of the section of the river that has yet to be traversed by rafters...

Looking across the pass to a section of the railway that we would soon travel...

The Sawtooth Mountain Range...

The front of our train as it enters one of the tunnels...

Looking back down the pass at Skagway...

The cantilever bridge...

The remains of the actual trail that early miners traveled...

At the border between Canada and Alaska...

Taken at a scenic lookout along the highway that travels back down the pass...

A handsome guy I traveled with ;-)...

Two very happy people...

In front of the Sawtooth Mountains...

The highway that runs down the pass on the opposite side from the railway...

A beautiful waterfall that ran down the side of the mountain....


 Breathtaking, isn't it?

1 comment:

The monkey bunch said...

I love that you were able to get a picture of your train while you were on it. So cool!