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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Alaskan Caching Cruise - Day 4: All Aboard!

Having enjoyed our brief visit to the Yukon town of Carcross, it was almost time to climb aboard the White Pass & Yukon Railway train and head back to Skagway.

But before we get to that, a little bit of trivia for you. The town of Carcross was originally called "Cariboo Crossing" but because too many other towns were similarly named the residents elected to rename their community since the name confusion seemed to result in a lot of lost mail on it's way to them. 

One of the (many) great stories from this cruise was hearing from cacher IndigoDave from Ontario about how he and his new bride spent a summer in the 70's working in Whitehorse - and that Dave's job was as brakeman on the White Pass & Yukon Railway! So not only did he have experience with this line, but he was allowed to ride the engine all the way from Carcross to Bennet, BC. 

To hear that full story from IndigoDave himself, take a listen to this episode of the Caching in the Northwest podcast where we played the audio interview I conducted with Dave. Get it? Conducted? Train pun. Dave would appreciate that.

Well, at this point it was time to board the train, and as we got underway to our first stop of Bennett and rolled along the narrow gauge railway along the iconic mountain and lake scenery of the north, there were opportunities for the classic "comin' 'round the corner" train shots and many other amazing photos by all aboard.

We even had the opportunity to complete another Earthcache from aboard the train which was pretty amazing.

Soon enough we had arrived at the stop of Bennett BC - last stop before crossing the international border back into the USA, but more importantly from a historic standpoint, Bennett marks the NW end of the famous Chilkoot Trail - the only passage available through the mountains to Gold Rush prospectors.

Prospectors would need to amass one tonne of supplies here, as inspected by the North West Mounted Police (predecessors of the famous RCMP), to ensure they had enough supplies to last a full winter in the harsh conditions of the Yukon.

We toured what remains of the gold rush tent-town along the shores of the lake, then headed back to our train for the final and amazingly scenic ride back into Skagway.

If you ever find yourself in Skagway - geocaching or not - we highly recommend the White Pass and Yukon Railway experience from Carcross to Skagway.

Having completed some more touring about the town and a few more geocache finds, we headed back aboard ship. Tonight our ship pulls out and heads for Glacier Bay - tune in for the next blog highlighting that amazing part of our trip.   

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