It's always a welcomed long weekend because for many it means it the official beginning of the summer. For many, the May long weekend means that it is finally safe to plant their gardens (here in the North we will have to wait another month), while others take advantage of their cottages or go camping. Some people use the weekend to do Spring household chores or just break out the bbq. No matter what, it's a welcomed long weekend after what most Canadians will experience is a long winter.
For our long weekend we decided to take advantage of the "Yukoner's Special" and go to Skagway Alaska for to take the famous White Pass train ride. Skagway is a sweet little town that is about a 2hrs drive from Whitehorse and is a famous port for Alaskan cruise ships. In the summer, Skagway is bustling little town with touristy shops lined along the main street where cruise ship visitors take in the sights, but more than that, Skagway is a quaint little town with a mountain-maritime vibe where the locals are kind and kind of quirky (just like Yukoners).
Skagway is a little gem, the closest place to go and get Thai food and a nice little getaway for those who live in the Yukon. Funny enough, Whitehorse is the closet "big city" to Skagway, so they come to us to use our awesome swimming pool, take in a movie, eat McDonalds, and stock up at Walmart and the Real Canadian Superstore.
So we got to the border at about 10:30 in the morning and there was a pretty long line up of people trying to do the same thing as us. Once we arrived in Skagway we stopped by a greenhouse garden center and took a look through their gift shop and their garden grounds. Noah loved this stop and enjoyed the model train that ran through grounds as well as the free roaming chickens. It was such a lush green contrast to how things look here in Whitehorse.
Then we were off to lunch. We had asked everyone back home where to go for lunch and it was strongly suggested that we check out Starfire, the local Thai restaurant. I'm so happy to say that we did! The pad thai and peanut curry chicken was to die for and I quickly slurped back what was a delicious Thai iced tea. In Whitehorse we don't have a Thai restaurant, so you can imagine, it was such a treat for us.
After lunch we got ourselves ready for the journey we were about to embark on. A quick stop by the local grocery store to pick up American delicacies such as mint Oreos and chocolate bars and we were ready to go. We boarded the train with at least another 100 Yukoners or so and started off on the journey up through the White Pass. This was the route take by the stampeders (those looking to strike rich with gold back in the 1800s). The trip took us up through some amazing mountains, from Skagway up to Fraer BC and back. It was pretty amazing I must say. We passed waterfall after waterfall and saw some gorgeous views. Our seemingly little train making it's way up along the sides of the massive impressive mountains, it was breath taking really!
After our trip we had a bit of time to walk around town and then we got on our way back home. Because it stays so light here in the North now we had tons of sunlight all the way home. The trip home was actually really impressive. The whole time going to Skagway, I told Winslow that I was keeping my eyes open for wildlife and going down we didn't see anything. But heading home, woah, that was a different story. 3 black bears (one was a blond black bear-you can tell by their long snouts), 1 caribou, a bunch of mountain sheep, and a porcupine! It was like we were driving through a safari park. We slowed down to get some good pictures of the bears but didn't even entertain the thought of getting out to get close to them. They are lovely animals, but from afar.
And that is the story for our long weekend adventure. It was one of those days that will go down in the books. Such wonderful memories were made.
Happy May long weekend!