22 February 2016

Cruise 2015: Seeing Skagway

Another stop in our Alaska cruise was Skagway. We had almost a whole day to spend in the place, so we managed to sign up for two excursions. The first one allowed us to indulge in what I would like to dub as an "authentic" Alaskan experience.

Our first stop upon reaching the port had almost everything there: a dog musher's camp, gold panning site, and freeze room. In the musher's camp, an Iditarod-- a yearly sled race-- veteran gave us an insight on how the race goes. The man told us how the race required so much training, dedication, effort, and courage on the part of the contestant /and/ his sled dogs. He also introduced some of his huskies to us, which we got to pet.

Did you know that Alaskan huskies aren't what most people think they are? They aren't a pure breed that looks like the Siberian huskies or Alaskan Malamutes; rather, they are defined by purpose. This is why the dogs we got to deal with looked like a mixture of breeds-- what makes them Alaskan huskies is the fact that they are trained to be perfect sled dogs.

After seeing the huskies, we were prepped up for a freezing experience. They let us wear thick, furry coats and put us inside a room that is allegedly negative 40 degrees cold. Apparently, that's how cold the points of Alaska gets in the harshest of winter. The room temperature probably wasn't even as low as what it claims to be, but we already couldn't last for long inside.

We then got to "pan" for some gold. It involved scooping some gravel and finding treasure in it. Isolating the gold flakes was pretty tricky because it required precision in swishing the water in the pan. Afterwards, we got to weigh how much we got and found out how much it cost.

Pretty cool experience, if you ask me! I also love how the Alaskan weather finally showed its true nature by being chilly. Our first day, spent in Juneau, felt so weird because it was unusually sunny and not cold at all haha!

After the excursion, we headed back to the port. We then got ready for the second half of stay in Skagway, which you can read about in my next post.

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