Gateway to the Klondike

Trip Start May 13, 2011
Trip End May 31, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Last night we camped at the Continental divide. We learned that that area gets about 22 to 28 feet of snow every winter! The temperature also drops to about 50 below zero… sounds wonderful to me! 

One interesting thing that we learned about the Alcan (and some other roads around here). The trees and plants about 30 feet in from the road are all cut down. It’s a lot easier to see wildlife when they aren't hidden in the trees, so this keeps both animal and humans safer. 
Along the way we drove through Teslin and Tagish. Tagish means ‘Where the wind blows constantly’. We also stopped at Carcross, short for Caribou crossing because of a Caribou heard that used to roam through that area. In Carcross there is a small ‘desert’. It isn’t a true desert because it gets too much rain and is too humid. It is so weird seeing sand dunes up in the ‘arctic’. 

  Today is the day I have been looking forward to for the past 364 days. I am in Alaska again!!! :D Driving up to the boarder was beautiful, it was near the inside passage. The bay was frozen over and snowy mountains rose out of the water, it was wonderful! The road started going up the pass that separates Canada and Alaska. All of a sudden there was snow everywhere, and cold. I had been disappointed that we were in the Yukon and I was in shorts and a t-shirt, but not here! It was snowy, cloudy, and cold, just wonderful! :) And then, the sign. “Welcome to Alaska”! I was (and am) so happy! :D 
Just a few minutes from the border is Skagway. On both sides of the town are mountains and out in front is an inlet of the ocean, it’s beautiful. Skagway is going on my list of possible future hometowns. :) Skagway was one of the starting points of the gold rush and the start of the Chilkoot Trail. The Chilkoot is where the Golden Staircase is – the picture of all the people in a single line climbing up the mountain. There is still a trail there, and we hiked some of it! It’s pretty steep, but it’s a really pretty trail. And it’s really cool hiking the Chilkoot! Someday I want to hike the whole trail. It is only about 32 miles, but it is VERY steep, especially the Scales (or Golden Staircase) section.
I love being here in Alaska and I can't wait for more wonderful days! Everyday just seems to get better and better! 
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Ruth Sjaardema on

So very interesting. You should make this all into a book! Loving it all!

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