How good it is to be on the road again. How good it is to have the salt of the sea in my hair and the names of Alaskan ports on my lips.
I was so nervous about unexpectedly being alone on this trip that I forgot to be excited for this wild adventure. It’s just me and you with the entire world at our feet.
Part 1: Fly from Boston to Seattle . . . CHECK
Part 2: Take the train to Bellingham . . . CHECK
Part 3: Take the ferry from Bellingham to Skagway . . . CHECK
Part 4: Hike the Chilkoot Trail. . . setting off in the morning!
Part 5: Paddle the Yukon River
Part 6: ? Looking for work if you’d like to hire me!
After flying across the country from Boston to Seattle, taking a train from Seattle to Bellingham and a ferry hundreds and hundreds of miles from Bellingham north, I am back in Alaska!
Traveling the Alaska Marine Highway is a fun experience. There is a nice culture built up around it. People traveling (some returning home, some heading north for summer jobs, some for vacation) camp out on the upper deck of the ferry. Merry guitar playing and good conversation in the evenings. I made some new friends to play cards with! The ride from Bellingham to Skagway is a good 3 days of passing by stunning scenery, increasingly mountainous and snowy as you head further north. The ferry moves steadily along at around 20 mph occasionally slowing down further in the narrow channels. It is all a fantastic adventure!
I made it to Skagway this evening just in time to pick up my permit for the Chilkoot Trail. It sounds like the trail conditions are better than usual this time of year, so that’s good news. My goal for this trip has been to loosely follow the foot steps of the gold miners from the Klondike Gold Rush. Just like them I took the ferry from the lower 48 up to Skagway and just like them I’ll be heading up over Chilkoot Pass in the next couple of days.
Here are two pictures of the gold miners climbing over the pass that I will be heading up over tomorrow! They’d had to hike over the pass not once but around 30 times to get all of their gear up to Lake Bennett! My travel plans seem pretty luxurious compared to what they went through!
Alrighty. Time to pack my backpack for the hike over Chilkoot!