North to Alaska

Day 24

 

I’ve arrived in cruise ship hell.

 

Today is an easy day – no alarm clock – sleep in – pad around the hotel room in my bare feet sipping coffee with all the time in the world to load the bike and get underway.

 

It’s only 110 miles from Whitehorse, YT to Skagway, AK and the ferry I’m boarding to float the Valkyrie home leaves Skagway at 8:00 p.m. tonight.

 

The route to Skagway is the South Klondike Highway – one of the scenic highlights of this trip – except for dense fog over the pass – visibility is about 25 feet – and I am concerned about hitting a bicyclist – and concerned about an RV hitting me.

 

Far from being the sleepy village of 800 I expected, Skagway turned out to be cruise ship hell.  As I came around the corner to the Alaska Marine Highway System dock, I was astonished to see four monster cruise ships in the harbor.

 

Now I have no idea how many passengers one of those monsters carries, but even at 2,000 per ship – that’s 8,000 people – instantly increasing the Skagway population by a factor of 100.  However, it did answer the question of why there are 14 jewelry stores in two blocks of a town of 800 people.

 

And for a while, I thought I had stumbled onto an air cavalry unit – a beautifully designed helicopter base with seven pads – and seven choppers working non stop flying cruise ship passengers to the glaciers and back.

 

I’m second to load onto the ship – brought my own tie-downs just in case I needed to take a ferry – and we have a scenic departure from Skagway – and pardon from cruise ship hell.

 

I’m sleeping on the aft deck of the ship in a deck lounge tonight – my last minute reservation – could not get me a cabin – so I’ll be sleeping in the cheap seats tonight.

 

So to you and Iowa Sioux and Iwel, German Shepherd, Ohio – I say goodnight from the M.V. Columbia on the Alaska Marine Highway System.
The M.V. Columbia – My ride home.
 

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