Wednesday July 15th
The day was mild and only slightly cloudy -- most of the clouds were way way up in the mountains. Down below in Skagway it was only partly cloudy. Perfect.
The plan: roam around Skagway until our 11:45 Helo/Dog Sled excursion then eat lunch and ride train @ 4:00.
What really happened....
We got off ship around 9 am and wandered around Skagway which wasn't too crowded at that hour but got progressively more crowded as time went by. There were 3 ships in port that day, I believe. There is a shuttle to town which you should take as it's a lot of walking for one day.
Skagway is mostly shopping which we are not really into but we did find a great bakery run by a local woman -- the Lemon Rose -- which had chocolate chips cookies straight from the oven and were delicious. We bought a bunch.
Now it was really crowded in town.
We headed to the excursion meeting place.
But the Helo/Dog Sled was cancelled due the heavy cloud cover!!!!!
The excursion staff were excellent and saved the day!!!!
They offered us a Helo/Glacier tour instead but it was leaving at 4:15pm -- when we were scheduled to be on the train. No problem!!! They switched our train time to 12:45 and booked us on the 4:15 Helo/Glacier tour. Our vacation was saved!!!
So we got in what we thought was the line for the train but were promptly told by the many many other passengers that this was the beginning of the line not the end. So we went to the other end of the line and were told this was not the end but the beginning. ????? A kind staffer informed us that they were all wrong, there is no line just a length of people waiting to board per car. So we hopped into an empty section. When then allowed boarding, it was mayhem -- people pushing, shoving. The train was very crowded -- several families couldn't sit together even on the same car!
The train ride began and once everyone settled down, it was enjoyable. The sights were really something. But the platform was never empty and often crowded.
Would I do it again? Probably not. I fell alseep on the way back.
TIP # 7
Take the last train ride of the day. Yes, it gets back around 7 pm and you may have to eat at the buffet but the late train was much much less crowded and you'll enjoy it more. Especially if you are a train nut like DH and wanted to get those amazing pictures. Really.