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Monday, November 06, 2006

Photos through to Skagway

Only an hour in Juneau, I climbed up the trail of Mt. Roberts. I didn't bag the peak as it is another three miles and way the hell up north here there is only a bit of daylight left. That is the downtown section of Juneau. A city no wider than 2miles but longer than 14miles. It's similar to Banff and Canmore except there are people living in between the two towns. Some parts area mere 2ometres wide because of the mountains.
Juneau had a Gold Rush back in the 1860's. I could have gone panning for gold if it was earlier in the year. For a day of panning you might find 5-10$ worth of gold dust.

I stayed for two nights at the International Hostel. It is run by a collection of Church organizations. Very clean and very cheap, 10$US. Only had to perform a chore in return. I cleaned the men's sink and mirror the first night and the dining floor and table the second. The nature of my ride the next morning was a matter of destiny of course, I think I did mention. It was still dark when I was dropped off but shortly after that...was this...

Believe it or not but this really is a humpback whale sighting. I took two pictures. Photography is an art of patience of which I am still learning. Just after the second shot the fluke came right out of the water but my camera wasn't ready. It would have made a better shot than this. I have now seen several whales and Dall's porpoise.

This is Skagway. Very busy tourist town in the summer. Wooden boardwalks imitating days of old, old historic buildings. A town that thrives solely on the tourism trade. Everything is shut come winter. I hiked up to the old Gold Rush Cemetary which has some very important local figures in it, however, the original tombstones are long gone and replaced by hokey hand drawn replicas on boards. Not very authentic, actually more cartoony. But definitely a nice town. The hosttel hosts were very nice ladies, a mother and daughter covering for the owners' vacation.

I woke up on Monday morning with my heart telling me to get my ass to Whitehorse. Whose to argue with that. So I packed up my stuff and left, hitchike style from Skagway, AK. My heart must know something b/c I got a ride on the first thumb. I did break one of my own rules about not crossing borders with strangers but the border crossing is in the middle of nowhere land. Really, it's up in the mountains of the White Pass, windy as all hell. My ride left me at Caribou Crossing, known as Carcross. After a hot meal I walked to Canada's northern most "desert". The name escapes me but I think it's the Carcross Desert. A build up of sand dunes from the days of the Iceages, glaciers and winds. It's pretty cold out here but the rides were great. My last ride was a lady who asked, "Are you safe?" A good question, but what if I said "No!" I may still be there. As I wrote earlier, I am in Whitehorse, Yukon now. This has been one of the best trips ever. I am dubbing it "The Great Northern Loop Tour of '06". Here's a night shot from my first night. Hopefully some shots of the Aurora and other northern things.
More travels to come of course. I will head to Calgary at the end of this month and drive across Canada to Ontario. Following winter, pressing on to Newfoundland to open my hostel. That's it. Peace out

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