It's A Frontier Town Fourth of July

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Sunday, July 4, 2004

We we woke today, we were docked in Skagway -- made famous by Jack London's "The Call of the Wild"  It's considered the Gateway to the Yukon, from whence many easterners (fools) began their journeys over the mountains to the gold fields.  The real people who got rich were the one's in Skagway who sold the greenhorns supplies because they were so ill-prepared.

Skagway still resembles a turn-of-the-century mining town, where vendors mine tourist pockets for cheap souvenir gold.  Nevertheless, it is one of our favorite destinations in Alaska.  I comes in handy whenever I teach "The Call of the Wild" to my 7th graders.  They love to see the videos and pictures of the setting for the story.  We even have a webpage devoted to the book:  http://www.bismarck.k12.mo.us/English/skinner/bookshelf/COW.htm

We rode the White Pass & Yukon railway, getting shaky video of a dead miner's cemetary, Dead Horse Gulch, Black Cross Rock, and Bridal Veil Falls.

Back in town, we shopped til we dropped, and then settled in for Skagway's Fourth of July celebration.  The town's streets were blocked off to traffic, but everywhere there were people, locals and tourists alike, playing games, riding bikes, walking dogs, and just giving the whole town a quaint, small-town celebratory atmosphere.  It was nice.

After leaving Skagway, we sailed Lynn Canal where the scenery is awe-inspiring.  There were several sightings of humpbacks... but always on the Port side... and we were Starboard.

Note to future travels... Everything exciting is on the Port side.... Next time book a cabin on Port.
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