Still more Alaska – you bored yet?

Thurs, July19, 2012: Skagway: Rails and Gold

Last night’s show was a comedy/ventriloquist named Michael Harrison, a former finalist on America’s Got Talent. Not your usual run of the mill ventriloquist: his main puppets were a tennis ball who hated tennis, a tennis raquet, a sketch pad, and a vulture. He chose two kids from the audience to help him onstage, and one little boy, aged 6, absolutely stole the show pretending to be a dinosaur all through. Good thing Michael could think on his feet and improvise. The funniest parts involved him giving the kids ‘Scooby Snacks’ every time they did a good job, and the point at the end where he handed them each an antibacterial wipe and said, “there you go, you know what to do with those.” See, outside all the restaurants staff await you with massive canisters of antiseptic wipes, and each person entering is handed one. There are special disposal bins a few feet further on. No one dares refuse. I considered it, but quailed under the eagle eyes of the dispensing staff members…

Woke up this morning to more mountains out the window – and blue patches in the sky! Whoopee! Bodes well for our Skagway adventure!

The theater was the staging area for most of the port adventures. As we checked in for our tour, we were issued character stickers (ours were Alladdin) and we were directed to sit with the other people wearing the same stickers. When all participants were accounted for, we followed a leader off the ship to an area of the dock where a number of tour buses were parked.
Our bus took us to the station for the White Pass Railway. The driver explained that she would meet us in Frasier, BC to return us to Skagway.
The train ride was supposed to be two hours long, but it sure didn’t seem like it! The scenery was breathtaking and magnificent! There was a narrated guide explaining various features as we passed. We were permitted to go outside on the platforms connecting the cars, and that was certainly the best vantage point for photos!


When we arrived at Frasier, our passports were checked by the Canadian border guards, and we climbed aboard the bus for the return trip to Skagway. Our driver pulled off at several lookout points so we could get photos.

Next stop was the Klondike Gold Rush Experience. A costumed tour guide explained the history of the gold rush, showed us how some of the equipment worked, and then handed us over to a scruffy young miner who explained and demonstrated the steps involved in panning for gold. After this we were each given a pan of gravel and dirt and directed to water sluices where we practiced the skills we had just learned. All three of us found a few flecks of gold – pretty to look at, but not worth anything. And I would be remiss if I failed to point out that Brianna found more than either Sean or me….
When everyone had finished their panning, we boarded the bus for the short ride to “downtown” Skagway. We walked the three blocks of jewelry stores, souvenir shops, and overpriced tea shops. Deciding not to pay for lunch, we headed back to the ship, where we hit the buffet. 

Later in the afternoon I went with Brianna to the family karaoke. She got up and sang once and did well. The problem with “family” karaoke is that you get lots of kids who don’t actually know the lyrics, and who also can’t read well enough to follow the teleprompter….it was excruciating in spots…
The feature tonight was the movie “Brave” playing in the theater, so we all went down to watch it. Good movie, amusing, not too deep.
When it ended it was time for us to head for dinner. Our restaurant tonight was Triton, and as might be expected by the name, there was a LOT of fish on the menu….
The problem with such a late dinner seating is that by the time dessert is finished, all we really want to do is crash for the night. There are lots of interesting things for adults later at night, but after the full days and the late dinner, I just don’t have the energy to go mingle.

Towel critter = frog.

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