Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

Resident contemplates two cruises docked in Skagway harbor.
More cruises
Two cruises docked in Skagway harbor.
Classic Temptation
Colored Cadillac in a Skagway back alley.
Train on the hillside
Composition of the White Pass & Yukon Train advances along the White Pass.
Can Can these days
Can Can dancers from "The Days of 98" show.
White Pass
Scenery from White Pass, at the gates of the Yukon.
White Pass & Yukon Train
Composition of the White Pass and Yukon Train.
Visitors sift gold in Skagway.
Native American protectors
Indigenous totems displayed on the main street of Skagway.
Skagway Street
Passersby walk along a historic Skagway street.
White Pass River
Creek gains rapids with the slope of White Pass.
Alaska in small dot
Historic miniature of a Klondike settlement.
All aboard
Engineer climbs onto White Pass & Yukon Train locomotive.
A passerby passes in front of a store painted with a typical mining image.
In the back
Klondike Dredge Tours shipyard area.
New Gold Rush
A Klondike Dregde worker explains to visitors how gold prospecting works with the use of a dredger.
Skagway barmaid in historic costume.
cadilac-Skagway-Gold Route-Alaska-USA
ballerinas-can can-the days of 98-Skagway-Gold Route-Alaska-USA
The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.

Isolated between the Pacific Ocean and the immensity of British Columbia, the panhandle region is fragmented by countless channels and fjords.

From it rise the Coast Mountains, a coastal mountain range semi-subsumed in the largest forest in the United States, the Tongass.

This rude nature makes the construction of roads unfeasible. With the exception of Skagway, Hyder and Haines, local villages still lack a road connection to the outside.

The route of choice is the Alaska Marine Highway, as the name implies, a kind of maritime highway that starts in the far Aleutian port of Unalasca/Dutch Harbor and runs along the interior passage of the Alaskan Skillet Cape to Bellingham or Prince Rupert, north of Vancouver.

We had just landed on Juneau, coming from greater Anchorage. It is in the picturesque Alaskan capital that we board the M/V Malaspina.

We sail towards Skagway, a few hundred kilometers to the north, between green fjords always soaked by rain and humidity.

We dock in a hidden Juneau cove shortly after sunset.

cruises, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA.

Resident contemplates two cruises docked in Skagway harbor.

Janilyn's Warm Reception in Skagway

Janilyn awaits us at the top of the ramp that protrudes from the dock. Without realizing it, it hinders the passengers who go up, overloaded with the luggage they are carrying.

When he finds out about us, he inaugurates an affectionate and willing welcome that would last for almost three days. “I'm glad you came. I was really looking forward to your visit!" To which he adds after closing the jeep's tailgate “'Boa! I left my husband and son at the bar. Lukas will be performing soon…”

With no time to let go of the long journey, we find ourselves at Bonanza, a cozy Skagway bar, drinking invigorating Alaskans Amber.

In a corner, several musicians play for themselves, for their families and some friends, engrossed, as if it were the concert of their lives.

At the tables and at the counter, easy conversations flow, interrupted only by the occasional joke too amusing to be ignored.

Maid in Bar and Corset, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA.

Skagway barmaid in historic costume.

Lukas picks up the guitar and conquers the room with a semi-hoarse and melodious voice.

His melodies in the style of Red House Painters or Mark Kozelek solo, give mother Janilyn goosebumps, and take her to an extreme of emotion that she is forced to share. “It’s wonderful, isn’t it?

I'm very proud of him... and look... since I'm talking about pride, I'd like to tell you something else: my husband and I haven't done this in a long time.

We started to receive foreigners when we realized the image with which United States they were getting to the rest of the world.

The US Image and Skagway's Seasonal Bipolarity

We felt it was important to show outsiders the hospitality of the real America and soften the image we were creating. Fortunately, we now have a more worthy president to help us.”

Despite the often embarrassing contribution of barbarian Republican Sarah Palin and the more conservative strata of the 49th state's population, this diminutive portion of Alaska has long contributed to making a difference.

Totems, Native American, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA.

Indigenous totems displayed on the main street of Skagway.

Perhaps because the territory is detached from the Lower 48 and intimately linked to nature, its existence is lighter and more relaxed, ideal for those looking for new perspectives on life. But not only.

Skagway appears as one of the first towns to arrive from North Country (the great northern Alaska) to the discovery of the Panhandle, the skillet handle.

Its fixed population does not reach 1000 inhabitants, but, as it is part of the Alaskan cruise route, as June approaches, it is reinforced with many other immigrants from the north of the United States and from abroad.

as it happens in the neighboring southern cities, during each short summer, this workforce serves nearly one million visitors who can disembark from up to five monstrous cruise ships per day (with a total of 8000 passengers), 400 per year.

Cruises, Harbor, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA.

Two cruises docked in Skagway harbor.

Skagway: The Profitable Commercial Frenzy from May to September

They are groups of retired people and entire families that land on a time trial, determined to spend unforgettable moments and spend to match.

Skagway makes life easier for them. Ships dock almost on Broadway Street. This street keeps outsiders dammed up and entertained among its shops, bars and cafes.

As a complement to the ambush, the historic buildings were recovered and redecorated in detail.

Cadillac, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA.

Colored Cadillac in a Skagway back alley.

They display eye-catching windows and billboards, sophisticated calls for consumerism that the most alienated of ascetics would have trouble resisting.

In the final years of the XNUMXth century, the appeal was different.

It shined much brighter than the elegant windows on Broadway Street and often cost people their lives.

Historic Street, Passersby, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA.

Passersby walk along a historic Skagway street.

The Age of Shining Alaskan Gold

In 1896 gold was found in the Klondike, a remote region of the vast Canadian Yukon territory.

The following year, a steamship left a first wave of miners at Skagway's Moore's Wharf.

There were more and more ships that would raise their number to 30.000, the vast majority of conflicting and unscrupulous Americans eager to conquer the 800km of mountains and glaciers that separated them from the millionaire rubble.

White Pass, Yukon, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA.

Scenery from White Pass, at the gates of the Yukon.

Not all made the way.

The pioneer narratives were soon promoted to myth. They exalted freezing storms, attacks by Indians, bears and wolves, and poorly calculated river crossings in which several caravans were lost forever.

The more prudent aspirants dedicated themselves, instead, to supplying and serving the miners.

So many stayed in Skagway that, in 1898, the city was fought over by 10.000 greedy souls and had become the largest in Alaska.

The Tourist Reenactments of Skagaway's Golden Age

“Enter gentlemen, don't make ceremonies! The ladies, if you don't mind, ask them for money and go shopping…” proclaims a pimp squeezed by corsets and seductive lace, at the entrance to the Red Onion Bar's Brothel Museum.

dancers, can can, the days of 98, Skagway Gold Route, Alaska, USA

Can Can dancers from “The Days of 98” show.

Today, shows like the “Days of 98” theater, the fictional town of Liarsville and the Gold Rush riverside camp send visitors back to the time.

As is to be expected, they fall far short of the harsh reality of the time, made up of alcohol and prostitution, of fights, shootings and lynchings that the representatives of the law sought above all to avoid.

Jack London's Adventures and Misadventures in Alaska and Klondike

In 1897, Jack London and his brother-in-law James Shepard gave in to the call of prospecting.

Shortly afterwards, London was already suffering from scurvy. In 1903, she spent her life in Alaska for the role from an unexpected perspective.

In "The Appeal of the Forest” chronicled the plight of Buck, a San Bernardo mestizo with a Shetland shepherd who is kidnapped in California by a gambler buried in debt and finds himself desperate in the worse-than-dog world of the Klondike.

Klondike Dregde tour, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA

A Klondike Dregde worker explains to visitors how gold prospecting works with the use of a dredger.

Inland, along the Chilkoot Trail, existence was just as hellish.

Upon arriving at the Canadian border, thousands of prospectors were only given permission to proceed when they had over a ton of equipment and provisions.

In addition to going against all of today's customs logic, the requirement entailed numerous round-trips and caused a serious congestion of wagons along the steep White Pass.

The problem forced the Canadian government to build a railroad.

Driver, White Pass, Yukon Train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA.

Engineer climbs onto White Pass & Yukon Train locomotive.

Delayed by the numerous obstacles raised by Soapy Smith - a controversial Skagway mobster -, the project was only completed in July 1900, after the gold rush had passed.

White Pass and Yukon Route, a Stunning Rail Gorge

Although it served little or nothing for its initial purposes, the White Pass and Yukon Route has remained mostly active ever since.

White Pass Yukon Train Train Skagway Gold Route Alaska USA

Composition of the White Pass and Yukon Train.

These days, its smoky train and the western scenes it crosses are one of the main reasons why so many dock. cruises at Moore's Wharf.

In the summer, they also provide employment for dozens of residents of the town.

Janilyn does everything she can to facilitate the experience of those who are now visiting the city that was the gateway to that gold stronghold.

Visitors Sift Gold, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA

Visitors sift gold in Skagway.

When we arrive chilled from the round-trip train journey, she, her family and friends invite us to sit around the fire, drinking beers and eating grilled salmon.

At the time of departure, the hostess and her husband offer us sandwiches with that succulent fish and say goodbye in a disguised commotion.

Soon, the family would temporarily move to Oregon.

Skagway would once again be given over to its wintry solitude.

Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Anchorage to Homer, USA

Journey to the End of the Alaskan Road

If Anchorage became the great city of the 49th US state, Homer, 350km away, is its most famous dead end. Veterans of these parts consider this strange tongue of land sacred ground. They also venerate the fact that, from there, they cannot continue anywhere.
Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.
sitka, Alaska

Sitka: Journey through a once Russian Alaska

In 1867, Tsar Alexander II had to sell Russian Alaska to the United States. In the small town of Sitka, we find the Russian legacy but also the Tlingit natives who fought them.
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.
Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna's Alaska-Style Life

Once a mere mining outpost, Talkeetna rejuvenated in 1950 to serve Mt. McKinley climbers. The town is by far the most alternative and most captivating town between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Prince William Sound, Alaska

Journey through a Glacial Alaska

Nestled against the Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound is home to some of Alaska's stunning scenery. Neither powerful earthquakes nor a devastating oil spill affected its natural splendor.
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

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Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

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Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

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Luderitz, Namibia
Architecture & Design
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

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Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

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Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Tiredness in shades of green
Suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

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Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

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Gyantse, Kumbum temple
Lhasa a Gyantse, Tibet

Gyantse, through the Heights of Tibet

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Passage, Tanna, Vanuatu to the West, Meet the Natives
Tanna, Vanuatu

From where Vanuatu Conquered the Western World

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Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

The Little-Big Senglea II
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

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Christian believers leaving a church, Upolu, Western Samoa
Upolu, Samoa  

The Broken Heart of Polynesia

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ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

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Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

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Mirador de La Peña, El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain
El Hierro, Canary Islands

The Volcanic Rim of the Canaries and the Old World

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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

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El Tatio Geisers, Atacama, Chile, Between ice and heat
Natural Parks
El Tatio, Chile

El Tatio Geysers – Between the Ice and the Heat of the Atacama

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Kiomizudera, Kyoto, a Millennial Japan almost lost
UNESCO World Heritage
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

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now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

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Santa Marta, Tayrona, Simón Bolivar, Ecohabs of Tayrona National Park
Santa Marta and PN Tayrona, Colombia

The Paradise from which Simon Bolivar departed

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Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Chamarel waterfall

A Mini India in the Southwest of the Indian Ocean

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Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

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Nissan, Fashion, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's fashion

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Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

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Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.