Day 12… July 16
Today we arrived in Skagway. Population 800 (plus 3 cruiseships of 2,000-3,000 people each) We took a train into the wilderness that was the historic passage to the Yukon God Rush. We got off and were set to hike to the Laughton Glacier. I was a little scared of getting off the train by our lonesome in the wilderness (train stops are exactly populated, you just step off into the wilderness) We were trying to save some money by not booking the hike with a group of people and doing it on our own. The hike was supposed to be 8 miles round trip. Fortunately when we got off the train there was another group of people also getting off with a guide to do the hike. We scooted up to the back of their group and pretended like we were one of the group. I was more than relieved as we began to hike and the trail stopped shortly and we climbed next to stage 6 rapids (unnavigable water) and out onto the icy glacier. (The guide had rescue gear) I learned a lot about glacier safety. There are things called crevasses (basically deep openings in the ice) that you can fall into if you are not careful. The guide also had bear spray. I stayed within 10 feet of the guide the entire time. The hike, although difficult (hiking up steep slopes of loose boulders) was very rewarding in the end with great views of the glacier. I was exhausted by the time we returned to the boat. The highlight of the evening was the chocoholic buffet on the ship! You would not believe the amount of chocolate sculptures, fountains, cakes, etc. that were set out in front of you to eat. I do not even like chocolate and my plate was full by the end of the buffet line.