Day 4:June 14, 2012
Day four started nice and early with a 7am port. We wanted to get off the boat pretty early in attempt to buy tickets to ride the White Pass train. The tickets sold through Disney were sold out because we waited too long to buy them. We also had hopes that it would end up costing us less but it ended up being about the same price at about $120 per adult ticket through M&M Tours.
The thing I love about this port was that it was within walking distance of the town. If you buy train tickets through Disney you can just walk straight off the boat and the train is waiting for you right there. Because we didn’t have tickets yet we walked right outside the docking area and there was a nice little tourist office. The guys inside were super nice and not pushy at all. We ended up getting tickets for the afternoon train, so we headed into town for some tourist shopping. I really hate tourist shopping so I ended up finding a bench outside and people watched most of the time.
When I say this is a cute little town I really mean it is a little town. Lets just say that the population more then doubles when a cruise ship comes into port. We learned that is last year’s high school senior class consisted of 4 kids (3 girls and 1 boy). They also don’t have a doctor in town, if someone is in need of a doctor the closest one is in Juneau, Alaska. Women are taken to Juneau by boat or plane when they are going to give birth.
At the end of the main tourist street (Broadway) is a microbrewery called Skagway Brewing Co. As soon as it turned 10am my dad and I poked our heads in for a quick beer and let my mom and sister finish up there shopping. It is a cute little bar and the staff was very friendly. They had a nice little game room on the upper level with shuffle puck (I love this bar game). This would be a great location to escape the cold rainy weather. We were lucky to not get any rain at the port.
A great thing about having the port so close is that you have the option of walking back and grabbing lunch without wasting too much time. My mom and sister did this but I was nowhere close to hungry. I stopped over at the Alaska Fudge company instead for a sweet snack.
We picked up the train at the downtown station. It was a very pretty ride. There was commentary over the speakers telling about the town and the history with the goal rush. They also announced bear and goat sightings.
Katie and I loved being able to stand outside the car. It was a little scary, especially when going over a bridge. The only downside to standing outside was it was cold and we couldn’t hear the commentary.
I always ducked back inside when we went through tunnels. It got really dark.
The train is a one-way trip and all the tourists get off at the first stop. The stop is in Fraser, Canada and they have a station that you can stamp your own passports. We had some time to walk around and take pictures of the wonderful scenery before our bus from M&M tours came.
We really just paid for the train ride and bus ride back down but the bus driver got everyone’s approval to take a couple of photo stops and to be able to do commentary the way down. He was amazing and really cute too but married (sorry Katie).
We stopped at the welcome to Alaska sign and again at a really cool bridge. This area has tons of tiny earthquakes because of being so close to a fault line. The bridge was designed so that only one side is attached to the ground, that way it doesn’t fall every time the earth moves below it.
After getting back to town, we were really tired so we headed back to the boat for some down time before dinner.
One thing I wish I had planned on doing was taking a hike in Skagway. There are lots of trail heads very close to their downtown area. They have a park ranger station on the main street; they can help you plan hikes. Some of them are as short as a one hour roundtrip. I wish I had done a little planning beforehand.
Dinner this night was in Animator’s Palate. My favorite dining experience! As you eat dinner color starts seeping into the wall of the black & white dining room. At the end the wait staff does a little show.
After dinner they had the first showing on the Avengers 3D in the big theater. I started falling asleep before the opening credits so I headed back to the room to find my sister already asleep. I took a quick nap and then we both headed out to the adult show. The show was called “Match Your Mate”. It was fun and we learned way too much about a few of the couples on the ship. It was like the old game shows were you got points for answering questions the same way. This is the night we learned they could ask any question as long as the Disneyfied it, “Where is the most exciting place the magic has happen?”
I know you are all waiting for it… here is our towel creature of the night. I think this one is a frog.