Spontaneity! That is the joy of RVing. We changed our plans. After figuring different scenarios until late in the night, I decided the simplest solution was to cancel the itinerary for the non-See Alaska pass. Although I want the kids to see the inside passage, I felt that the difficulty of the entire planning of that trip was a sign that maybe we should consider other options.
We arrived that morning at the Haines Ferry where Fuzzy was a tremendous help in talking with the head of the ferry system and I again talked with the Alaska Visitor’s Center. I was assured the itinerary was cancelled as requested, but I’ve yet to confirm that the various parties got it worked out.
I bought a completely separate ticket to Skagway to keep the transactions separate. We loaded the RV as originally scheduled. The ferry was huge, as big as a cruise ship. A Naturalist gave a presentation in the forward lounge on the Chilkoot Trail and Skagway. There was a darkened quiet “recliner lounge” for folks who wanted to nap. A gift shop, cafeteria, solarium with lounge chairs, and some cabins with tidy linens on the beds were fun to explore. I definitely think the ferry would be a fun way to travel. The hour trip between Haines and Skagway was just too short- we were grateful not to have to drive it. When the ferry docked, we went down to the “car deck” and got in the RV. When they signaled, we started the engine and drove it off the ramp as directed. Very cool!
We enjoyed Skagway: we saw the movie in the National Parks Service Visitor’s Center, the museum next door, visited the local grocery store, and walked the town probably three times before deciding that we really had seen about everything. It was pulsing with the crowds of 4 cruise ships and we were somewhat relieved to hop in Ciao Baby and pull out of town.
The ride over the White Pass, along the railroad track where the train still goes on daily tours, was stunningly beautiful. The clouds and rain cleared as we headed north, a good sign we thought.
We chatted with the nice agent at the Canadian border, who assured us that the Cassier Highway is a beautiful alternative to the already-traveled Alaska Highway, on our trip south through British Columbia.
We arrived in Carcross (short for Carribou Crossing) where the gas station had a sign on the gas tanks: “No gas until Tuesday.” Although we had half a tank of gas, the stations can be 100+ miles apart and there’s no assurance that the place will be open or have gas upon arrival. It was late so we spent the night at a lovely Yukon Campground ($12) in town.
Happy Birthday to my brother, Charles! Sorry we didn’t have cell phone to call and sing to you.