We had a big trip planned for today, but we wouldn't head out on it right away - first some geocaching in the picturesque northern town, which is the Gateway to the Yukon.
So why is Skagway the Gateway to the Yukon? Well that's because this is the port where miners came ashore after a long steamship ride north and tackled the Chilkoot Trail over the mountain passes and into the Yukon. And you can still hike that trail today if you are up for it - more on that a bit later.
Our first stop was an amazing virtual cache at the Camp Skagway building with our new caching friend WestCoastNavigator. Inside we chatted with the fellow at the desk who was very accustomed to geocachers but also had time to share some of the amazing history of the building and the organization it represents.
Moving on, we found a traditional cache at a collection of abandoned rail cars from the White Pass & Yukon line - the rail line built at the tail end of the Gold Rush to help move prospectors & supplies to the Yukon, and gold back to the coast.
Not long after being built, the rail line instead became the supply line for all sorts of commodities between Skagway and Whitehorse for many years until it more recently became a tourist attraction, and no longer runs all the way to Whitehorse.
I still laugh at how long it took us to find this cache, but I'm going to claim that I was too fascinated by the old rail cars and the great photo opportunities in the area and wasn't really focused on searching.
Well that's my story anyhow, and I'm sticking to it. I hope you enjoy a few of the photos I took as much as we enjoyed exploring the area.
Next up we headed back through town to meet up with the rest of our excursion crew for a bus ride to Carcross, YT. That's right, back into Canada for us! Yay!
Luckily, we had yet another cool bus driver who made great time to our destination despite some pretty inclement weather on the highway through the mountain pass, and was able to get us to the Carcross Desert. An amazing spot, and home to another great Earthcache.
Yeah, that's right - a desert in the Yukon Territory. Crazy right?
After a brief stop to visit and explore the Carcross Desert, we were headed (by way of another Earthcache at Emerald Lake) to the town of Carcross, and the rail station where we'd board the train to take us along the original narrow gauge railway back to Skagway, AK.
So it was "All aboard!" as we got settled in for the ride, and continued our adventure by way of Bennet, British Columbia, and the North end of the famous Chilkoot Trail.