Posted in North America, Travels, United States

Travel Archives: Skagway, AK

I don’t really know where this particular glacier is. I know it’s in Alaska somewhere, and I know that our captain had to maneuver in what I thought was a super narrow river, but apparently had enough room for the cruise ship to bust a U. It was also pretty early in the morning, and super cold. But it was quite a sight to see. Second glacier of my life.

Anyways, the second stop on my cruise to Alaska was a little town called Skagway, AK. 

And when I say little, I mean little by my standards. I made it around the main part of town in less than an hour. It kind of reminded me of this little ghost town my family visited on a road trip when I was a kid — think gold-rush-era-style, because it was once a gold-rush town — everything made out of wood.

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Rock climbing wall

Take it back to the ass-crack of dawn and I met my cousin in the hallway of our floor to start off our rock climbing excursion. The rest of the family planned on doing a town tour later in the morning. We got off the ship and met our driver and two other passengers who would also be joining us for climbing.

The sun had just risen when we arrived at this small outpost-ish type thing a little outside of the main part of town. Our driver introduced us to our two guides (I remember one was named Logan) who would be leading us in climbing. After being fitted for helmets and harnesses, and then being taught how to use the equipment, they brought us to the wall.

The wall is separated by difficulty, and since I had only done rock climbing at the school gym, I opted for the “easy” wall. Did it without chipping a nail, *slow clap*. My cousin was more brave and scaled the intermediate wall. At the top of the wall, we had the opportunity to rappel down back to the ground. That was my favorite part. When you’re up high, some people will say, “Don’t look down,” but I would recommend doing it when rappelling. Otherwise you will land on your surprisingly cushy ass and find yourself awkwardly lying on some dirt while the nice guides at the top look at you strangely. I think this group may have been short on supplies, because I do remember hooking my glove back onto the rope after disentangling myself and sending back up to whoever took care of my rope. I was also supposed to teach another guy in my group how to do it, but I forgot the glove part, so they were short one. Whoops. This company also offered a short zipline (my first one) and it was a lot of fun. Almost as fun as rappelling, sans lying down in dirt. I also happened to make myself spin on it, which I don’t think you’re supposed to do, but I really liked the 360° view.

After the rock climbing adventure (and group photo that I remember but have yet to find), my cousin and I got back on the ship because it was 09:00 and I was exhausted. We slept in another couple of hours and then met again for lunch.

995125_10151787644902174_2139489258_nAfter lunch, I decided to shop for a while in town. Most of the souvenir stores sold the same generic souvenirs I found in Juneau, with, of course, the Juneau switched for Skagway. I remember a couple of jewelry stores as well. There are a few stores that I thought were a bit unique and stand out. There was an old train parked in front of the biggest souvenir store, and I was told that it was once used to plow snow from the tracks. All the visiting kids seemed to like it. There was also a Christmas-themed store in town. Basically, they sold Christmas swag 365. It was also where the Mother decided that she would start collecting Christmas ornaments. There’s also a store called Dejon Delights (which has a branch in Skagway). The Pops seems to like souvenir foods versus normal-people souvenirs, so I decided to buy him some smoked fish and some reindeer jerky. If you like unique and locally made gifts like that, I would recommend them. I’ve ordered from them a couple more times after my visit, and even thought I don’t really like smoked fish or jerky, there people I give them to haven’t given me any complaints. I also remember one storefront that was decorated to resemble a gold-rush era bar. The history behind it was interesting, but boy, those mannequins were creepy.

I don’t seem to have any real pictures of the town of Skagway, which saddens me because it was such a cute little town. I would say visit if you ever have the chance — there’s also an oldie train that goes around the surrounding mountains, and I’ve been told that it’s a beautiful ride.

On another note, the Bestie got a great cruise deal, so I’m currently planning a cruise to the Caribbean (also my first time). Have you ever been? Any tips? Let me know below!

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