Today we went panning for gold since I’m officially unemployed and need to find a good way to pay for for our summer sabbatical. But first we headed to Canada and the White Pass Summit. Amazing. Our driver took us up the Klondike Trail that the original stampeders took in the gold rush of 1898 that built Skagway. It was fascinating to hear the history of the area and hear the stories of how those men came seeking fame and fortune. The downside of hearing about Skagway’s history of the stampede with children is that they say the word “brothel” over and over again. Thank heavens that no one asked us what that meant today!!
Along the Klondike Trail, we stopped at several scenic overlooks to simply stop and appreciate the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness. We passed into Canada to reach the summit, and then came back into the US, clearing customs for the third time on this trip. Each stop included breathtaking views of towering mountains, cascading rivers, and roaring waterfalls. To think that thousands of men made this trek with horses and other pack animals in search of fortune, is unimaginable, particularly when you realize that a good number of them didn’t survive the journey.
After our drive up to the summit, we drove into the town of Liarsville…so named because it’s where the journalists camped during the gold rush. They embellished their stories of fortune, and omitted the part about the difficulty of the journey so that folks wouldn’t be scared off from making the trip. Some enterprising people have set up a replica of what the stampeders would have done in ’98. We saw the camp, did a hike carrying our gold panning equipment on our backs, and then learned how to build and use a gold rocker box to pan for our own gold. The kids found two small pieces. We were told they were probably worth $10-15 each…so it buys a couple of glasses of wine, I guess! After the gold panning, we sat down at a campfire for a meal of steak, eggs, and blueberry pancakes, which was surprisingly good!
Back on the ship, tonight is “Frozen” night. We have the “Freezing the Night Away” deck party later on, and Belinda is spending time attending Elsa’s coronation in the Oceaneer Club. She’s in heaven. Kenneth tolerates the Frozen stuff, haha.