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White Pass & Yukon-Skagway 41 years ago (1)

May 21, 2020 03:41PM
We drove off the Alaska State Marine Highway System's MV Matanuska into Skagway, Alaska, on Saturday, May 19th, 1979 at 8:45 AM, I and my newly graduated friend Jack at the wheel of his 1972 Datsun pickup. Going to Alaska was his dream (I had to be along so his parents would sign off, though since he was 4 months older than me I've never known why). But if Alaska was not necessarily my plan, I did have a related plan, though- the White Pass & Yukon Railroad....

And I had a basic Pentax 35mm, he a Minolta and we each had enough cash for just a little film with the processing a future worry (even then college grads mostly went to work immediately to pay the bills; lots of pressure not to loiter in northern parts).

The cruise ship culture was still pretty much future. The state ferries left downtown Seattle and usually docked downtown (or as much as there was) at all the stops up. The more enterprising towns would give you a tour in their school buses for $1.50 or so (the kids were still in school) while the ferry was loading and unloading. There was just one cruise ship deal going, the Canadian Pacific Railroad's Princess Patricia, or "Princess Pat" as the locals called it. Our ferry played tag with it all the way up. It was apparently made of wood, an antique in its own right. Our ferry was larger.

It was Saturday morning, enough time to look around and see what could be seen. Tomorrow, Sunday, we had a ticket for ourselves and the Datsun on the mixed train to the other end, Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. Welcome aboard.


Skagway as the ferry comes in; the Princess Pat is docked at the left, the White Pass & Yukon's dock is at the right (they make their living hauling freight....)
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Jack on the WP&Y track down to their dock. Yes, those rails are only 3' wide!
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More as I find time to scan and enter,

Timothy



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2020 10:35PM by heatermason.
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My first encounter with the WP&YR 31 years ago Attachments

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Re: Skagway River locos 41 years ago

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