Until this trip I thought Sitka was my favorite little town in Alaska, but I think Skagway has taken over first place now.
It’s just a darling little town, and I knew that already, but until today I didn’t realize how incredible it really is.
I swear I’m not going to bore you with every little thing we do for a month (oh no! Not vacation photos!) but since photography (and making memories!) seem to be the closest I can come to being creative right now, I hope you’ll bear with me! I’ll try really hard to share only the best stuff!
Today we did a “hike and float” trip that just knocked our socks off.
Skagway is very historic in that the Chilkoot Trail was the starting point for miners trying to make their millions in the Alaskan gold rush. I don’t want to give you a big ol’ history lesson. If you want to learn about it, there are plenty of resources that would be far more interesting than the story I could tell, but you need to know just a little to appreciate the historic nature of our tiny little adventure.
We were in hiking clothing and boots carrying tiny little packs, and the toughest part was ascending 300 ft in a 1/4 mile. The people who did this during the gold rush wore wool clothing (the women, skirts!) and had to haul a mandatory 2000 lbs of provisions, 50 lbs at a time. The final climb from Sheep Camp to the summit (4 miles) at 3500 feet was a 30 degree incline up 1500 steps cut into the ice. The average man could only do 1 trip up and back a day for 40 days, and there were still miles to go after that.
You may have seen this iconic photo of the “golden staircase.” Those aren’t ants! They are some of the thousands attempting the climb…
The hike we took today was but the first two miles of a 33 mile trek that broke the majority of the people who attempted it, but it gave us a real appreciation for what they went through.
But man, was it a gorgeous two miles.
The trail was fairly steep and fraught with opportunities to trip or slip and fall.
Our daughter thought it was cute that we helped each other through the tricky parts…
Hannah filled our water bottles with glacier melt water that was delicious and refreshing!
Stay tuned, and tomorrow I’ll show you some of the beautiful sights along the trail.