Skagway, Alaska – Gold Rush Cemetery and Reid Falls Hiking

 

Raunchy and rowdy in it’s youth, Skagway, Alaska is now a great place to visit and learn about the history of this region of Alaska. We had a golf cart trip down the pier to the town entry.081913 Alaska - Skagway 66

Skagway has a shuttle bus system for $2 per ride or $5 for an all day on/off pass. We chose the all day pass on the SMART bus and our driver announced that there would be no charge for active or retired military personnel!

With our all day pass, we jumped off at the National Park Service office and looked around, but soon decided to go to the city visitors’ center and get a walking tour map. That was a good choice for us and we walked through the city, reading points of interest and talking with local shopkeepers along the route. One interesting stop was the plantation home known as the White House, which was built by Lee Guthrie. As a descendent of a Guthrie family and being from the south, it was interesting to find a plantation home in Skagway. Further research indicates that this was the home of Robert Lee Guthrie, a Texas native, but I have been unable to determine if a relationship exists.

After completing the walking tour, we took the shuttle to a drop point near the Gold Rush Cemetery. The walk to the cemetary was about a mile and then we hiked beyond the gravesites to beautiful Reid Falls. There were tour groups in the cemetary but no one was at the falls when we arrived, so we sat on a park bench and absorbed the moment. The thundering sounds of the rapid water fall added to the majesty of the area. Cold water tumbled over the rocks and was a sight to behold.

During the walk back to the shuttle pick-up location, we saw the steam engine train heading for White Pass. We had about 20 minutes to wait for the shuttle and visited the nearby organic foods market named “You Say Tomato”, which is a catchy store name. We picked up natural cough medicines and some chocolate, which can cure just about anything that ails! Back at the bus stop, a summer resident came over to chat with us while we waited and we really enjoyed the conversation and learning about how the ferry systems work for the Alaska locals. It was a good day!

The Planes, Trains and Automobiles status: Plane trips = 3; train trips = 3, bus/shuttle trips = 8, taxi/car= 2, golf cart = 3

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