Get out your passports, or get in the trunk and hope no one checks it, cause we’re headed to The States!
So last where we left off, myself, mom and sister arrived back to Whitehorse from Tuktoyaktuk NWT. I absolutely loved going up the Dempster Highway. Definitely a bucket list must do! Now in Whitehorse we added my brother to the mix and took a day trip to Skagway Alaska.
Whitehorse to Skagway is a pretty common day trip and totally worth it. It’s a beautiful drive with some great stops along the way.
The first stop was just outside Whitehorse at Emerald Lake.
We continued up the highway and pulled over at the Carcross Desert. It’s referred to as a desert, but it’s actually sand dunes.
Now get off the highway and take a scenic detour into Carcross YT.
Carcross has a population of about 300 people and is home to the Tagish First Nations. They have done a really nice job of setting up shops, and touristy stuff. Very beautifully done.
There’s the White Pass train you can take from Whitehorse to Skagway. It goes through the mountains and is suppose to be very scenic. When my dad originally planned this trip, he wanted to do that train ride. We ended up getting blindsided with his death and everything, and we forgot about booking the train. When we did think of it, it was all booked up. So plan early if it’s something you want to do as it fills up during peak tourist season. Driving was great too, lots to stop at along the way.
Quick photo op at Bove Island.
Then again on our way home. Makes a difference when that sun peeks out.
The Yukon Suspension Bridge! This cable suspension pedestrian bridge was actually quite the operation. Here I thought it was going to be just some shitty little bridge. But it’s this whole interpretation centre thing. The odd thing is, it’s actually located in the Stikine Region in northern B.C. Not really sure what the deal is with that.
Tutshi River Canyon.
Fraser, B.C, border crossing.
You’ll hit the Alaska sign well before you go through customs. That’s just how they roll.
Now it’s border time. Last chance swallow that balloon.
Skagway bound! My first time to Alaska. A sign said population of 832, sounds close enough. If you are interested in the Klondike gold rush, then this is your place. So back in 1897, the mother ship of the gold rush was in Dawson City YT. Miners started in Skagway, walked the Chilkoot trail to Dawson. Skagway became this big tent city, had some mining, but most men through were Dawson bound. Dawson City YT is a very cool town if you ever get a chance to check it out. It was interesting to visit both to get the complete picture.
Downtown Skagway. It’s all old timey from the Klondike gold rush themed. Very well kept and super touristy. Lots of stores and restaurants.
Skagway is a port for cruise ships from the Pacific Ocean as you can see. So the town was bustling with a lot of cotton tops roaming the streets in matching windbreakers.
The land of all things salmon, which I bought none of.
However, I did end up buying Alaskan chocolate bars that were made in Canada. Glad I paid more for that with the conversion.
The Red Onion, where sexual puns were a dime a dozen. We took a tour of this once famous brothel from 1897.
This was actually a very interesting little tour. So kudos to Lindsay that perv for finding it. I’ve learned so much about the gold rush, the processes of mining gold, and the men who mined it etc, but I didn’t know much about the women who lived and worked in these brothels.
That red light is the original of its day. Hung outside the building, the red light on signified this was a brothel and it is open.
Our madam here, (very entertaining) said in its hay day, Skagway had 15,000 miners and 300 prostitutes. When she said that, I think every woman in the room simultaneously crossed their legs.
At the time, it cost $6/day to live in Skagway. The women were paid $5 for 15 minutes of getting railed. They gave cuts to the madam and the bar, so it left them with $1.25 from every $5. Many still made a lot of money as they didn’t pay housing or food on top of that, and they got a clothing allowance from the madam.
These dolls are kinda interesting. Downstairs of the brothel was a bar. Each doll represented a woman upstairs, matching her hair and eye colour. A man would pick a doll, the bartender would then lay the doll on its back to signify she was busy. The man would go upstairs, knock on the door, give their $5 in gold nuggets. There was copper pipes in the floors and walls, so she would open up a floor board, drop the gold down a copper pipe, it would clank it’s way down into a safe behind her doll at the bar. The bartender would hear the gold being deposited, then sat the doll up again after 15 minutes.
They say this corner of the room is haunted by a former woman Lydia. Some people have seen her in the mirror, had her in pictures, seen a white orb etc. I got nuttin. I think maybe I see an outline of a dinosaur. Maybe one of those haunted the corner of the brothel back in the day. Now their both there.
Original wall paper and flooring. The interesting thing was when a woman was hired, she could pick any wall paper for her room. In one room they found 18 layers of wallpaper. The brothel was only open for 2 years. So it seems like there was a high turn over.
Everything is it’s original. In recent years, the owners had to removed all the copper pipes as it was a fire hazard. They had to pull up each floor board to do this, and found so many hidden items under the floor boards, such as jewelry, hair clips, a 1898 curling iron that you screwed into the light socket to heat up. This was a typical room. Look at that bed, it’s a 3/4 twin.
This was really interesting. It was recommended to use Lysol as an antiseptic. It was also recommended to use as a douche. 1 teaspoon of Lysol to 4 cups of water. Yuck, hard pass. Apparently all it did was turn most of the women sterile. I would think you’d get a serious case of fire crotch. They found a full unopened bottle from that time in the floor boards.
This is the Taiya River. Before we left town, we took a drive a few kilometres to where the gold rush town of Dyea was. This is where you access the Chilkoot trail. You can still hike the trail, I hear it’s popular so I think you have to book it. If you are into hiking, I think it could be cool, it’s like a living museum. The old pictures of these men hiking the trail are unbelievable.
Well, that’s our little outing to Skagway. Poor little fella, he’s all tuckered our from all the excitement. Its been a big day out.
Up next, last but not least, Whitehorse! There’s so much to do and see in that one horse town!
Until next time!