Our first port of call was Skagway. This is one of the colorful towns that had its start during the Klondike gold rush. The town was first settled in the late 1800's and became well known in the late 1890's as a jumping off point for those who were headed to the gold fields in the Canadian Klondike. While for most miners, the gold rush was a complete failure and the rush to get rich lasted only a few years. Skagway made the most of this window of opportunity and continues to prosper today as a tourist town.
Many thousands of miners came through Skagway as one of the best ways to get to the gold fields. Most of these would lose everything they had and return home empty handed. Some failed to return at all. The clever arrivals realized that there was a guaranteed profit from supplying all that the miners needed. During this period, Skagway became a lawless wild and open town with all the vices available 24/7.
The town still strives on this history and since the arrival of the cruise ships, they almost need wheelbarrows to carry the money home every day. I had a brief moment of regret as we walked the town and saw this Winnebago View parked on a side street. I could not help but think this could have been ours.
This is also the start of the Klondike railroad that was originally built to transport men and supplies to the gold mines. The building of this railroad was an amazing engineering feat that carved a track on the edge of the mountains with drops of thousands of feet just inched from the edge of the tracks. This was an adventure that we did not want to miss. We rode the train round trip across the border into the Klondike of Canada. It was a fantastic trip of scenery and history.