Skagway: The Fort Lauderdale of Alaska

Day 4 – Skagway (the Fort Lauderdale of Alaska)

Hubby and I With Signs

Now I know why the locals call it that. It was an absolutely gorgeous and sunny day. Temps were up in the high 60’s. The bad news was, we had all dressed for Juneau again, so we were over-dressed. Most of us had our jackets tied around our waist.

Our excursion did not leave until 12:30pm. You know what that means – Shopping!  Sigh.

Red Onion Saloon
Main Street Saloon

So, we walked the long walk down the pier, and into town to do some looking around. Skagway is more of a shopping mall than a town. It is very cleverly decorated to appear like a western turn of the century town – down to the gal waving and flirting as men walked past the saloon.

Saloon Girl Flirting
Saloon Girl Flirting

I expected the place to be full of souvenir shops, but I could not believe the number of diamond jewelry stores. Are there diamonds being mined secretly in Alaska? Did they hear I was coming? The sales people were pushy and that turned me off. Probably not a wise idea to buy diamonds from a tourist trap anyway. They sure were purty* though  😉

Today’s adventure – a train ride up to White Summit and the Yukon. – A replica of the train that took passengers up the steep slopes of Alaska and the Yukon to mine gold. We were not allowed to get off the train, so we would not be doing any hiking or mining for gold. Darn!  You can imagine my disappointment.  There was no room except a foot or two away from the tracks. The train ride had magnificent views of White Summit. I made the mistake of noticing how high and how many tunnels and bridges we went over. Of course, I held my breath, passing all of those scary things. That made the trip feel even slower.

I could see why the miner’s chose this place – the rivers carrying water, and gold, from the Yukon could be panned almost since water tumbled fast, stirring up soil and rock.

The White River
The White River

Several sharp turns to travel this route. Seeing the engines way across the mountain was a bit strange. Most people startled when the train jolted and jerked around, so I was not the only chicken on board. (below)


Only from this railroad can you see the Bridal Veil Falls. (below) The waterfall cascades 6,000 feet from the glaciers on Mt. Clifford and Mt. Cleveland.

Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls

There are 2 tunnels the train goes through. One is maybe 100 yards at the most, the other is quite longer. Anyway, sneaking smooches in the dark was fun. I would recommend this tour for couples, both young and old!

LoveBirdsOnTrain Tip:
You may want to sit behind family members who like to post photos on Facebook.
Just saying…





*Purty, [purr tee] adj. ‘Pretty’ said with a hillbilly accent. From the Dictionary of Words That Should Exist.

Adventures In Jury Duty

Preparing to leave: 0430 – 0545

I awoke with a huge pimple in the middle of my chin, a crack in my lower lip, and wilder than usual hair. My eyes were not cooperating with the Visine™ . I tried to cover up the zit and my horrible skin with some foundation, then had to accept the fact I must leave the house looking like a drug addict.

Train Platform

Journey to Courthouse: 0620 – 0650

Hubby dropped me at train station. I made him kiss me like it was a date or something.  Figured out the ticketing and was up on the platform in plenty of time. When the doors swooshed open, I found a seat that didn’t look too gross and planted myself.

Inside Train

The conductor says “Daly City bound train” right before swooshing the doors shut. Yikes! I don’t want to go there. Before I could build  up to panic mode, I saw the big route map posted by the doors and that my stop was on the way to Daly City. Whew! That adrenaline spike woke me up. I thought I was awake before. I was not.

Walking: 0650 – 0750  Lake by Courthouse

The walk over to the courthouse was cold, but not long. Now I could relax because I was there early. Then I found out the courthouse doors do not open until 0800. I pouted at the security guard, but he didn’t care. This is not happy news for the cold and tired bag lady who has to pee.

I walked around the nearby lake and surrounding neighborhood in search of a coffee. In spite of popular belief, there is not a Starbucks on every corner.

After walking for 30 minutes and already needing one of my packed snax, I decided to find a place out of the wind and sit down. No places like that. The courthouse had a nice outdoor “picnic” area with small round tables and attached seats. I sat there even though there was no shelter from the wind and the tables and seats were made out of cement. Brrrrr! I scribbled some notes in my notebook. I couldn’t crochet because my hands were too shaky under my knit gloves. So, I sat there feeling glad I never got a coffee because the need to pee is increasing.

At 0730 I began to have company. Other jurors, like me, who figured the courthouse opened before 0800 so you could be in the jury room at 0800 sharp (so says the summons). We decided to crowd around the entrance and put a little pressure on the security crew. By 0750 the security guard cracked, and let us inside.

Waiting: 0750 – 0945

I found a comfy seat and settled down to my crocheting. I knew the drill already. After orientation and a pep-talk video about being a juror it was 0945. We got a 30 minute break. I decided to call my co-worker and see what was happening in the office. I turned on my cell and it immediately chirped at me, flashed a “Battery Dead” text at me and shut itself off.  The battery was full yesterday.

The snack bar (that’s what they were calling a tiny 7′ by 12′ aisle with a cash register at the end) had a line that was moving so slowly that break time was up before I even got into the aisle. Back to the Jury room I go.

By now all the tardy jurors had arrived and 250 of us were occupying every seat in the place. The seats were very close to each other and that disturbed me because at least half of the jurors were sneezing, coughing, and blowing.

We waited for word from the court needing a jury for another hour. When the word came, it was “the judge is sick – no jurors needed today”

Why couldn’t the judge call in sick before they post the juror’s notice the day before?  Sheesh.