Juneau to Skagway to the Cassiar
We were up early in a massive rainstorm to catch the ferry to Skagway. The ferry LaConte had refrigeration problems so the menu selections were minimal but the scenery between Juneau and Skagway is beautiful. We saw several dolphins and whales along the way despite the 30 knot winds. Skagway is Tlingit for “big seas caused by strong winds” and the city lived up to its name. Our landing in Skagway was a wild one in the wind but the ferry captain made the landing despite being blocked in by two massive cruise ships. We had originally planned to head up to Dyee campground but after a week in the rain we decided to stay in the city at a private campground. The only advantage to camping at Pullen Creek RV Park is that it is a 3 minute walk to town. The reviews on the campground are a solid 3.0 and everyone complains about no hot water in the coin operated showers. We discovered that in this campground absolutely every faucet is reversed and hot is where cold should be and cold is where hot should be. Want a hot shower? Simply set it to cold! The campground is dirty, full of locals living in anything with a roof and their personal items encroach on all of the overnight spots.
We booked a 4pm National Park Tour of Skagway on the national park web site and it was one of the best presentations that we have seen. The ranger gave us the true feeling of the city of Skagway during the gold rush days. The tour takes 45 minutes and is great. Like Juneau, the city of Skagway has been taken over by cruise ships and their associated jewelry shops. Thankfully everyone returned to their ship at 5:00pm and that left the city to us. After the tour we walked up the street to Skagway Brewing Company for some great local beer and onion rings. Up at 7am for one of Marijke’s great yogurt and fruit breakfasts in 40 degree weather and 30 knot winds. Marijke and Kees kept smiling but what a first camping trip for our friends from the Netherlands! We decided to head for warmer weather and as we climbed through the fog and snow toward the Cassiar highway we had to use our imaginations to see the beautiful alpine environment that rests just above Skagway.
We cleared customs at 3000 feet with snow just above us and as we stopped we heard what sounded like a muffler rattle from Honu. Well keep calm and carry on….down to the Cassiar highway. The Cassiar is very isolated and there is not even a center line for the first 100miles. We did not see one other car as we made our way to a beautiful camp at Boya Lake Provincial Park. This is a beautiful campground set on a turquoise lake with many lakeside campsites and virtually no bugs. It was not raining and the sun even made an appearance. A great foil tent dinner followed by smores by the fire and we were really living the camping life.