Our third stop and last Alaskan stop on this cruise is Skagway: an old mining town that was prevalent during the Gold Rush days. Today it’s a very quant small town with a year-round population of less than 1,000. It’s an interesting place that tries to balance trying to preserve it’s history but also trying to make money on the travelers that pass by during the summer months. The town itself has been well-preserved, with most of the wood buildings and sidewalks still standing today and are protected by the National Parks Service. The main drag, Broadway, is filled with various shops that feature historical artifacts, Alaskan heritage goods, as well as the common tourist gifts we’ve found in the other port cities.
We managed to cover the shops in about two hours and got a few things along the way. There were a few buildings of interest, including the Red Onion Saloon, which used to be – you guessed it – a brothel. Today it’s part museum, part bar and part mock-brothel with the waitresses all wearing outfits from that area. We took a shuttle to the Gold Rush Brewery, which featured Alaskan beer and these awesome Salmon Sliders. Like the Red Dog, you could break out a Sharpie and leave your mark on the restaurant, which we did to honor Bethany’s brother Rocky.
I’m going to be honest here: as quant and historical as this town was, it’s really no different than the historical mountain towns that are near us in Colorado. We may be taking history for granted, and if I had a bigger appreciation for historical architecture I may say differently, but I’m not sure if we appreciated Skagway as much as people who don’t live in Colorado. We really only snapped a dozen pictures or so, and two of them were of the Disney cruise boat that sailed in next to us.
One thing that was really cool: the area where the cruise ship docks. Over the years, each one of the different ships that docked in Skagway left their mark on the nearby rocks, painting the rocks with their ships name, logo, the year they first arrived, as well as who their captain was at the time. This extended hundreds of feet down the pier and was fascinating to see. You have the wonder how the different artists made it to those points on the rocks to make their mark – some of those paintings were pretty high up.
We set sail from Skagway at 5pm and enjoyed a very good dinner before turning in early. I think we were still recovering a bit from our early morning watching Tracy Arm. We are scheduled to spend the next two days at sea before reaching Victoria, BC on Saturday night.