We docked in Skagway yesterday early enough in the morning that we were able to make a beeline to town and see what there was to see!
Okay, Irene really wanted to make a run to Starbucks, and I was eager to accompany her. We had both been here before, so unlike first time tourists, we had an agenda.
That agenda included a visit to the knife shop for a couple of really nice ULU knives and bowls (Love the one I got her last time so much that I want one at home as well as the cabin.) and of course, a visit to the local quilt shop, The Rushin’ Tailor!
It wasn’t a surprise that we found a good portion of my 49 students ALREADY with arms full to bursting with the goodies that the Rushin Tailor had to offer.
Hold the goodies high, ladies!
I had a great time visiting with the staff while quilters shopped!
Irene, Starbucks in hand!
We loved these buildings!
And off on our railroad adventure we go!
The WP&YR railway was considered an impossible task but it was literally blasted through coastal mountains in only 26 months.
The $10 million project was the product of British financing, American engineering and Canadian contracting. Tens of thousands of men and 450 tons of explosives overcame harsh and challenging climate and geography to create “the railway built of gold.”
The WP&YR climbs almost 3000 feet in just 20 miles and features steep grades of up to 3.9%, cliff-hanging turns of 16 degrees, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.
The 110 mile WP&YR Railroad was completed with the driving of the golden spike on July 29, 1900 in Carcross Yukon connecting the deep water port of Skagway Alaska to Whitehorse Yukon and beyond to northwest Canada and interior Alaska.
White Pass & Yukon Route became a fully integrated transportation company operating docks, trains, stage coaches, sleighs, buses, paddlewheelers, trucks, ships, airplanes, hotels and pipelines. It provided the essential infrastructure servicing the freight and passenger requirements of Yukon’s population and mining industry. WP&YR proved to be a successful transportation innovator and pioneered the inter-modal (ship-train-truck) movement of containers.
The WP&YR suspended operations in 1982 when Yukon’s mining industry collapsed due to low mineral prices. The railway was reopened in 1988 as a seasonal tourism operation and served 37,000 passengers. Today, the WP&YR is Alaska’s most popular shore excursion carrying over 400,000 passengers during the 2015 May to September tourism season operating on the first 67.5 miles (Skagway, Alaska to Carcross, Yukon) of the original 110 mile line. [source]
Selfie in our vintage rail car!
It was an amazing journey!
I have had a very difficult time with posting photos and writing blog posts, so you will find the rest of the rail photos in the slide show below. Maybe more still shots when I get home. Right now I feel like I’m using up my cruise time fighting with internet connection and slow upload speeds, so I’m going to leave you for a bit and spend time with my quilters and my family!
More to follow as i am able!
Enjoy your Tuesday, everyone!
Quiltville Quote of the Day!
Don't be afraid to start! It's okay to start small. it's okay to move slowly. Just begin! Vintage orphan block quilt found in North Carolina.