Haines (this post) and Skagway are only about 15 miles apart by water -- Skagway is at the end of the Lynn Canal. By land, the only way to get from one to the other is 350 miles, back into Canada through part of the Yukon.
So of course we chose the water route -- taking another Alaska Ferry, very much like the one we traveled on (back in early June) to Alaska from Washington State. But this one just makes the one-hour crossing between the two cities several times daily.
As we did in Haines, here we also stayed in an RV Park within easy walking distance of the town center. But Skagway seemed to us like a made-up town. Three to five cruise ships were docked every day we were there -- and when the passengers disembark they by far outnumber the population. Many of them walked right by our RV Park on their way into town, so when we were at "home" it made for good people-watching.
This picture, from a viewpoint above town, is a graphic example of how the giant cruiseships dwarf the town -- Skagway really does exist (these days) almost solely to cater to these tourists. Skagway's downtown blocks are charming at first glance, wooden sidewalks and some old buildings dating from the Yukon goldrush. But there are almost no locally-owned stores.
The driftwood-covered building above was (in goldrush days) home to the Alaska Brotherhood lodge. Now it is a Visitor Center for the Klondike National Historical Park. Next to it (on the left of the picture) is a jewelry store. Most Skagway storefronts are occupied by jewelry and "gold" stores. Not our thing anyway and besides nearly all of them are owned by the cruise lines... tailor made so that cruise passengers who may only have a few hours in town can spend their money on something "local."
But ... although we didn't love Skagway the way we did Haines, we were really glad that we stayed there ....
...because of the adventures we had when we got away from the town itself. (And that's another post or two. )
SHARING WITH: Wednesday Around the World. A new meme for me, hosted by Betty who blogs beautifully from New Zealand. Thank you Betty.