The only thing I kind of regret about visiting Skagway is the fact we didn't shoot photos of the cartoon characters who work in the tourism industry. They are dressed to the period and to say they were way over-the-top with enthusiasm would be an understatement. It's like they were wound up to number 11. With rehearsed scripts that ran together at warp speed.
But this is the restored town, much like Old Sacramento except larger in scale and more people live there. There are about 900 year-round residents of Skagway, Alaska. When the cruise ships leave in September, many of the shops are boarded up.
I did not take a photo of Sarah Palin's childhood home (becuase we drove by it too quickly), which is located in Skagway, but trust me, you could NOT see Russia from her front steps.
No joke, this is just what it looks like -- a snowblower! Restored, of course. The town is very windy and, if you were wearing a hat that wasn't tied to your chin, it would blow away. Skagway is the last town reachable via the Inside Passage in Alaska, and is 15 miles from Canada.
The White Pass Train takes visitors up to Canada and back down to Skagway. It was originally built in the late 1800s, during the Gold Rush, which, surprisingly, wasn't really a Gold Rush because by the time everybody got to Skagway to head up to the Yukon, all of the gold mine claims were gone. They were claimed within hours of discovery. Much like anything else today, by the time you hear about it, it's about over. Things haven't changed that much.
Our bus driver stopped here at International Falls, where the river to the left flows to the United States and the river on the right goes into Canada. He was a real hoot, hailing from England, and they call him Cowboy Doug. Not only does Cowboy Doug drive a tour bus, but he also works at the library, runs a local radio show featuring country western music and makes furniture in his spare time during the winter months.