Monday, July 12, 2010

White Pass

Julie's working in Skagway for a company called White Pass. They run the trains in Skagway.
Julie was off on Friday and she got us passes to ride the train. Here she is in her office before we left.
I was pretty excited because we had been walking by the train stations since we got there. My parents had also been on the trains there and said it was fun.
Even more exciting was the fact that we got to ride in the cupola up above the train that is reserved for crew. We got to sit in there because of Julie. It was a good view up there!
Here's our conductor. He was really nice,
This is a view from out of the window of the cupola. You can see right over the top of the train.
The scenery from the train was amazing. I couldn't stop taking pictures of it.
Even though we had special cupola priveledges, we spent most of our time out on the deck of the train. The weather was so nice. Cold, but nice.
We had to get our jackets on - except for Julie who is used to the weather up here!
More scenery. Couldn't help it!
. . . and some more!
Actually, this and the one before it were taken after we got off the train at the glacier stop. We went for a 6 mile hike up to see the Laughton Glacier.
After walking two miles along a nice trail, this was the view! It was a pretty big glacier!
The third mile after seeing the glacier was a little more rough. We had to go over a lot of rocks to get up there.
We stopped about a half mile up the rocky area for some pictures and some lunch. I forgot to mention that Julie's friend, Alexis, was with us.
Our lunches were delicious and just what we needed to complete the hike.
We went up a little further to the base of the glacier. It was amazing how much water was consistently flowing out of it.
We all had to touch the water. It was very cold as you can imagine!
Here's a view of the glacier as we started down again.
The water was pretty amazing too.
We got back to the tracks in time for a little exploring before we had to catch our train. Here's Julie climbing up this pole with the wind sock at the top.
This isn't the train we took. This old steam engine only runs on Fridays and Mondays and is more expensive. We were on the newer diesel ones. It was still fun to see this one go by.

Julie LOVES this train and the engine so she got this video of it for me.
While we were waiting for our train, Alexis and I went out on the bridge.
This was the view from the middle of the bridge.

Soon we were back on the train and continued to head up instead of waiting for another couple of hours to catch a train to head back to Skagway.
We passed through a couple of tunnels along the way. This one was the second, I believe.
It was pitch black in there, so they were expecting the picture, but were pretty shocked by the flash. When we got out of the tunnell . . .
. . . this is what I saw. These two yahoos had switched shirts and wanted to see if I'd notice. Besides the facts that the shirts didn't fit, they were also inside out.
This beautiful area is in BC just outside of Alaska.
Here I am doing Julie's "catching the train" pose. We're at Fraser BC here. This was the end of our line. We headed back after that.
For the first part of the way back, we were lucky enough to have the back car to ourselves. We sat outside at the very back of the train.
Here's a cool shot from the back of the train as we rounded a corner.
Here are the 3 Amigos at the back of the train. We picked up some other hikers along the way and moved back to the cupola. We enjoyed those comfy seats after our long hike.
We took Katherine out to the point since she'd missed the trip the previous night. Julie is sticking her up with an empty cap gun. Don't worry.
On the way back, Katherine entertained us by playing on some of the exercise equipment along the trail.
We walked around town a little bit. I've been really excited to see Arctic Terns here. I talk to my students a lot about them when we study Antarctica in school.
I love this shot of the inlet from by the point again. What a beautiful area. If you haven't been up here, you should come!


Wendy Sue said...

I remember that train ride!!

Susannah said...

That is awesome. I'm real jealous! And what did you say those birds were called...arctic what?! It's a bunch of butch-a-butch if you ask me!

Dadra said...

All of these beautiful pictures are making me want to make a trip to Alaska now. How fun!!

Kristal said...

I wanna squeeze your conductor! Adorable. Um, and I really awnna go on a trip with real! And I love that your friends switched shirts...hilarious! And the scenery is almsot as great as my aspen grove scenery. I'm sur eyou've been here, but have you ever seen the Mulder kids actually get along here? yea, it's good! It's realllly gooot!

Alona said...

Dadra, you should for sure put Alaska on your list! Kristal,yes, our conductor was pretty awesome. Julie called him a silver fox. :) You should definitely come on a trip with me. Susannah, thanks for reminding me about butch-a-butch! I had forgotten what it was again and lost the paper I wrote it on! :)