Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Skagway, Alaska

The second port on our Alaskan cruise was Skagway.

In this city, my mom suggested that we try dog sledding.  I mostly thought it sounded fun just to be in nature in Alaska.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to experience nature from a dog sled.  It turned out to be super fun.  Definitely, an awesome idea.

However, Robyn wasn't very interested in the dog sled so she chose to sleep in and relax that morning.

We got off the ship and immediately got onto a bus which took us out of town.  The Musher's camp was located about 15 miles away, so we rode the bus for a little while through some Alaskan wilderness.

I just kept snapping pictures like this.  It was so beautiful.
The bus took us to the Musher's camp and there was a short walk to actually get into the camp.  During the walk my mom told me that since Robyn wasn't with us, it was my job to take pictures of flowers.

I did my best to fill in for Robyn.

I didn't get very far before the paparazzi started snapping shots of me.
I was loving the beauty, and our adventure hadn't even started.
We went left.  Next time: zipline.
Once we got into the base camp we climbed aboard this Unimog made by Mercedes-Benz.  It was able to climb us up to wear the dogs train.
When we pulled in, we saw the dog version of a parking lot.
These dogs are actual racing dogs.  During the winter they pull sleds, but they need to continue to train for the summer.  So they hook them up to these little wagons and give people like us rides.  Several of the dogs that were pulling us have competed in the Iditarod before.
This is what the wagon looks like when it's empty.
This is what the wagon looks like filled with my family.
This is what the wagon looks like filled with family with dogs ready to pull.
Finally they started to pull.
They gave us quite a ride.  The musher would stand on the back of the wagon and call out commands.  He didn't have any reins or anything, everything was verbal.  He said they get up to about 20 mph.  It was fast enough that it blew my dad's hat off.  You can hear the musher asking my dad if we need to go back for it in the video below.  (Don't worry, one of the other dog teams grabbed it and it was safely returned to him.)

They took us on a ride for about 10 minutes.  After that, they let us meet and play with the dogs.
One of the dogs really wanted a selfie with me.  He's a fan of my blog.

After meeting the sled team we took the unimog back to base camp where we also got to go meet some puppies.  They are future racers and they want them to get accustomed to people, so part of their learning to socialize is letting people like us hold them and cuddle them.
Be honest, which one of us is cuter?
After the puppies we had some hot chocolate and got back on the bus.  The bus offered to drop us off in town, but since I was missing my wife, I rode the bus all the way back to the ship.  I met Robyn for lunch on the ship and then we headed back out together for another adventure.

This adventure was not a guided excursion so we had to use the city bus system.  Their bus system is the SMART bus.  For 5 dollars you can be branded and get all you can eat (or ride) access to the bus.
I'm smart.  My arm says so.
We rode the bus to the very edge of town.  It dropped us off next to a little train yard with a trail running past it.  We began our march onto the trail, and ventured into the wild.

The first thing we came upon was an old 1850s cemetery
The cemetery has definitely been restored.  The headstones were too readable to be original.  But it was fun to walk through and look at the dates.  If that cemetery is any indication, it seems that 40 years old was truly ancient back then.  Most of them died in their mid twenties or early thirties.  Can you imagine having your mid life crisis at your sweet sixteen birthday party?

We hiked through the cemetery and the trail went into a heavily wooded area that was green and beautiful.
Robyn said that Alaskan wilderness had a peaceful, zen feeling
At the end of the trail was a beautiful waterfall.
This is Reid Falls
It was beautiful.  The air was fresh and cool.  The trees were green.  Alaska has joined the ranks of my favorite places on the planet.

Finally, it was time to head back to the ship.  We had to hike back to the bus stop.
We're cute when we sit on the ground waiting for transportation
The bus got us back just in time for a delicious dinner on the ship.  Cruises are awesome.


  1. What a neat experience to book. Love it. Dogs/sled go through our town in the winter. One lady just out of town actually has her dogs on her property. It's quite an intimidating site.

  2. I loved that hike! I am so glad you got to have a great morning while I got to relax (my favorite kind of morning).

  3. What a great cemetery. Your trip looks like a real pretty and peaceful. Do you think you'll go back to Alaska?

    1. I loved Alaska and I would definitely love to return. We have a super long list of places we want to visit, so I'm not sure when a return trip will be planned, but I definitely hope we make it back.


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