On Thursday we left Whitehorse and drove about 44 miles southeast to Carcross, a small community of about 445 people and located on the shore of Lake Bennett. We found a large gravel lot to park our rigs for a few nights saving on the expense of paying for another campground. It was located by the visitor's center and we found out later that all the buses that pull in to town use this lot as well. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays are the "busy" days when this small town can offload about 6-10 buses 5 times a day. They are tour buses that stop in Carcross to and from Skagway. The stops last about 20 minutes, in which time tourists can take pictures, visit the visitor center, get an ice cream and then be on their way to the next destination.
I took a quick walk around town to view the lake and the many cute little houses. I talked to one lady who's lived in Carcross for over 20 years. She said the wind blows off the lake frequently, which I found later to be quite true. In the winter, she says it can get quite cold with the wind chill factor but that's what they have a nice wood stove for! I can't imagine! The town road takes a big circle, maybe 1/2 mile total that follows the lake on one side. I saw this cute house where the road bends around.
On the other side I saw this little trailer that said "Goldrush Sushi". I happen to love sushi but I was a little leery of ordering sushi in a small town out of a street trailer. I noticed a few articles posted on a board however, and decided to read what they had to say. They were nice write ups depicting how the stand started with a woman from Japan making her way to Calgary and then later Whitehorse, learning how to speak English and then starting this little business of making sushi and selling it to the many tourists in Carcross. The articles stated how this was the "hidden jewel of Carcross" so I decided to give it a try and I was not disappointed. I got a combo plate, which consisted of 2 half rolls (8 pieces total) and some kind of Japanese wrapped rice patty. It was a whopping $14, compared to maybe $8-9 at home) but when you haven't had sushi for awhile it was worth it. I was in heaven with sushi, wasabi, soy sauce and ginger!
Goldrush Sushi stand where I had my sushi fix!
On Friday we took the White Pass Yukon Route, labeled the "scenic railway of the world" to Skagway. Since we were traveling from Canada back into Alaska we had to bring our passports with us but the immigration officer came on board outside of Skagway, took a quick look at us and our passports to make sure we resembled each other and that was it!
The train trip, which took about 2 1/2 hours was quite scenic. We saw mountains, glaciers, gorges, waterfalls, tunnels, trestles and historic sites along the way from the comfort of vintage parlor cars. The route was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush and is now an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
This was the gold rush trail along the side of the mountain.
Unfortunately we only had two hours in Skagway, which is considered a browser's paradise to sit, shop, look and linger. It's easy to leisurely wander your way through town and shop along the boardwalks of the historic business district where false-fronted buildings add to the flavor of what town must have looked like in the late 1800's. With so much to do and see in this port town, it would be easy to spend an entire day here but we only had time to grab a bite to eat at the Skagway Fish House at the marina and to do a little touristy shopping. We were lucky that only one cruise ship was in port while we were there, because I was told by one shop owner that they can get numerous ships in per day which must make for very crowded boardwalks! We were there on a slow day! Since it was very rainy I had my camera in my backpack and didn't manage to shoot one picture of Skagway so I'll just have to remember it in my mind and it will always be a good excuse to go back some day!