And it was terrific! The first mile or more of the hike was STRENUOUS! Sparky felt this was downplayed in the trail description. It might have been preferable to state something about being fit in there somewhere. Definitely uneven ground, and strenuous because of the steady elevation climb. Lots of roots, narrow places to twist an ankle, and Sparky realized very quickly how out of shape she was. She hadn't hiked in over a year. The trail was a lot alike the ones in Acadia National Park that we USED to do. Sparky's heartbeat was going faster than it ever had pumped before. But the guide stopped often, as the group was collectively no spring chickens in the bunch.
|Chilkoot Trail selfie|
But the hike was amazing...the forest was amazing, so beautiful....We learned some interesting things from Chris, our guide who was relatively new to the area. Did you know sphagnum moss has the same PH as the human body and native Americans used it for women's personal hygiene needs and also for diapers for their babies? Along the way, we saw evidence of a bear marking his territory by HUGE claw marks on the bark of a tree.....They rake their claws on the bark to keep other bears away....At least that's what the guide said!
|from the internet|
You should have seen the look on the faces of some of the people in the boat. They were like, "WHOA! This is not good." Some guy actually said, in a half joking sort of way, "I don't recall signing anything in the waiver about somebody other than the guide piloting this boat!" But Sparky rowed, sort of, and guided the boat downstream for about ten minutes, having the time of her life. Cool!
The scenery was gorgeous. Sparky highly recommends the Chilkoot Trail and raft ride back. And the chocolate chip cookies were AWESOME!
On the drive back to the dock, we stopped at a funky little homestead, no longer occupied. It sure cemented Sparky's opinion that some people who choose to live in Alaska all year round are a little on the quirky side....
And finally, we checked out the view from an outlook landing on the drive back. Here is Skagway from higher up, with two cruise ships in the harbor.....
And before getting back on the ship, Eldy met up with Sparky and we explored the little town of Skagway briefly. There's a national historic park called the Klondike Gold Rush Historical Park run by the National Park Service. It's got some nice trails and terrific history to explore if you have the time.
We checked out this rotary snowplow that was used to clear the rail lines in Alaska in the early to mid 1900's.
And all too soon, it was time to get back on the ship.....Our next port and last port, Glacier Bay! See you then.....