Skagway

May 30, 2015. 6:07 am.

I woke at about 4:20 am. It was already light. Today, we disembark the Voldendam for good.

Last night, I had to fill in a US customs form. Seems odd, since somehow I was able to enter Juneau without this theoretically required form. I thought I filled it out at Vancouver before getting on the ship, besides.

Lox, Tomatoes, Onions, and Capers
I was pleased to find that the buffet was open for full breakfast starting at 5:30 am. I had lomi salmon again.
room key
On board the ship, our room keys are our spending cards. The official explanation is that this will allow us to buy things even if the ship breaks its data connection with the outside world, but I think it’s just to distract people from thinking about their purchases.
charges twice a day for room cleaning
Our statement for the room came this morning. $11.50 for each “hotel service” of the room. They straightened up the room twice a day, so that was $23 a day. What a ripoff. If I had known this was going to be charged, I would have put the Do Not Disturb sign out.

We disembarked at about 8:45, and were immediately shuttled onto a tour bus to drive around the city. Remember, Skagway has a population of about 800, so it wasn’t a very extensive tour. We saw the graves of Jefferson “Soapy” Smith, a scoundrel and thief who was engaged in every crime and swindle in town about 100 years ago We also saw the grave of Frank Reid, the man who shot him (and unfortunately, got shot in return). Soapy got shot in the heart and died instantly.  Frank got shot in the groin, and died 12 days later.  The latter has the largest monument in the cemetery, while the former’s grave is outside the actual cemetery, and a popular thing to do is to spit on it. I didn’t; the man had done me no wrong.

waterfall
But near the cemetery was a waterfall.
shiny nugget in one place
I looked at the sandy bank, and saw a glint. It’s probably pyrite, but I took a nugget the size of a millet seed back.

nugget.jpg

After the tour, we had lunch, and checked into our hotel, the WestMark. Internet access at last! I posted some queued-up articles.

PhoneBooths.jpg

footbridge
Everyone got sleepy after lunch, so we took a nap, then hiked across the footbridge and through the woods to Smuggler’s Cove.
fresh bear droppings
We saw some scat on the ground. Later that evening, I overheard the hotel staff talking about a picture of “the bear at Smuggler’s Cove.”
climbers
Also on the way, we saw some people climbing boulders.

at smuggler's cove

Fish and Chips
By the time we got back to town, it was about 7 pm, and most of the stores were closed. We had dinner at the Bonanza Bar and Grill. My Halibut and Chips was $18, but I have to admit, it was good fish.

Tomorrow, we get on the train to Whitehorse, crossing into Canada (again). More customs forms. And probably no internet. Expect delays in updates.

The worst part of this tour is the constraint on time.  We always seem to be rushing to the next thing.