A polar bear in Skagway? Not!

Skagway Travel Blog

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Skagway

So Bernie & I went for breakfast early to avoid the crowd at the Horizon Court; like 6am and actually we did avoid it for the most part. I also saw 2 women that had the same pink jacket that I bought in Juneau. We went off the ship and into the rain; this was becoming too usual by now, and did the White Pass Summit Excursion a 3 hour, 40 mile round trip that took us to the Canadian border. White Pass is a mountain pass that goes through the Coast Mountains and was used by prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush in1897. The railroad was built in1898. The higher we went, the more scenic it got; from green leaves to snow covering everything! An Australian lady standing up the entire time looking out the window exclaimed "There's a Polar bear, I saw a Polar Bear!" and a young Frenchman said he agreed with her! WHAT! I beg to differ; we're north but we're not THAT much north! I know about global warming & such but this is just a bit crazy! No one else saw the supposed polar bear (including us).

view out the back of the train
Then, on the way down, she saw a brown bear which no one else saw. Wishful thinking I guess. Heck I wanted to see bears too, but I'm not going to lie about it! We did not get off the train, just stopped at the top and switched sides with the people across from us, (for a change of scenery) and flipped the seats! How cool was that! This area had about a foot of snow and flags to show it was a border crossing and we were at 2,865 foot elevation.  Back down we went and the scenery went from snow to green again. This time that same lady saw a brown bear, which again no one else saw! It started raining again when we got back into Skagway, so we didn't get off in town & went back to the ship instead.
another view

I had to try the pizza so I got the special of the day, that included tuna, bell peppers & onions and was delicious! AT 2pm, we had a Glacier Discovery by Helicopter tour, to which I was very excited about. We were to take a 40 minute helicopter ride above glaciers and then land and walk on aglacier for 40 minutes! We were transferred to the helicopter pad, took our weight, which was the worst part! Then we had to put on glacier boots and a life jacket. After getting transferred to the helicopter pad, we were not allowed to take any bags on the flight itself and even cameras had to come out of their cases. I could see why after putting on the required life jacket and getting into the copter. It was a very tight fit! We also had to don "glacier boots".
and another of the track
We were divided into groups of 6 and Bernie & I (numbers 3 & 4) got to sit in front with the pilot! Up in the air, we saw our cruise ship below and then more fog and rain. Soon we saw the lead helicopter coming back our way, which meant he couldn't land! Then our pilot informed us we would be going back to the pad because of the decreased visibility. I was surprised we even took off because of it. We were in the air for a total of 20 minutes and because of this we were NOT charged for any portion of the flight! After hearing a woman complaining, "I'm not paying $300 for 20 minutes" the man said we would be getting a FULL refund! I couldn't believe it! We went back a little disappointed but glad we would be refunded and actually got a free helicopter ride! I suppose a little of "the best of both worlds?"

We got to go to tea time at 4pm and attended a talk called "North to Alaska".
now there is snow
Dinner was good with me getting crab cakes for an appetizer, caribou soup and an entree of grilled halibut in lemon sauce with broccoli and rice. The blackberry sorbet desert was also tasty. Since there wasn't any shows we wanted to see, we decided to wash clothes & Bernie inadvertently washed her passport! Luckily all pages stayed intact! It was bent and out of shape but still readable.

euphemy says:
Shirlan, yes the train ride was pretty awesome and rather cold, but worth it. :)
Posted on: Jul 16, 2008
euphemy says:
Believe me Eric, I wish I had Polar bear photos to show you. :) That would have been awesome
Posted on: Jul 16, 2008
shirlan says:
Didn't do a helicopter trip there but wasn't the train trip great? Of course, you being a real trooper, like me, froze your butt off just to get the photoes. Haha :-)
Posted on: Jul 10, 2008
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Skagway
Skagway
view out the back of the train
view out the back of the train
another view
another view
and another of the track
and another of the track
now there is snow
now there is snow
me trying to tske a self portrait
me trying to tske a self portrait
Me & Bernie at the back of the tra…
Me & Bernie at the back of the tr…
me ( I manipulated it)
me ( I manipulated it)
Skagway
Skagway
looking from the train
looking from the train
more from the train
more from the train
our train
our train
looking out the window
looking out the window
do you see that polar bear?
do you see that polar bear?
the bridge- cant remember the nam…
the bridge- can't remember the na…
still looking for the bear!
still looking for the bear!
close-up
close-up
out the train window, this was the…
out the train window, this was th…
American/Canadian border
American/Canadian border
town of Skagway
town of Skagway
pretty building
pretty building
our ship was close to the train st…
our ship was close to the train s…
workers
workers
our cruise ship- the Coral Princess
our cruise ship- the Coral Princess
ready to ride the helicopter
ready to ride the helicopter
Bernie & I. I have a normal face n…
Bernie & I. I have a normal face …
our sweet ride!
our sweet ride!
These boots are made for glacier w…
These boots are made for glacier …
from the helicopter
from the helicopter
the lead helicopter turns back
the lead helicopter turns back
the visibility
the visibility
the only semi-clear view frm the c…
the only semi-clear view frm the …
these rocks are memorials to previ…
these rocks are memorials to prev…
walking back to our ship
walking back to our ship
bye Skagway
bye Skagway
Skagway
photo by: diisha392