Our third port was the small gold rush town of Skagway.
From the dock in Skagway, a tour bus took Jeff, my niece Natalie and I to Musher’s Camp, located in Dyer, Alaska. Our driver was J. Dogg, a musher training for the famed Iditarod dogsled race. He trains with this camp in preparation for the 1,100 mile Iditarod race to Nome, Alaska.
He stops the bus outside his home in Skagway and introduces us to two of his pups in training, before taking us out of the Klondike Goldrush National Park and up to the Camp.
At Camp, we piled into a former German military built Unimog named the Green Hornet. Jeff, Natalie and I were picked to ride shotgun up the steep mountain side that is the dog track.
We unload and find our 6-person dog carts (fashioned for training in the Summer Southeastern Alaskan rainforest climate) , each pulled by 16 Alaskan Huskies. The huskies pull us along through the trees, along curves and inclines, and the cool wind runs through our hair. A truly memorable experience.
We greet each of our sled dogs by name and quickly learn that they each have personalities. Our lead dogs have finished the Iditarod. These dogs love to run and couldn’t be happier doing it!
After riding the Unimog back down to Musher’s camp, we learn more about the national sport of Alaska and how dog Musher’s prepare for the Iditarod. Musher’s come here from all over the world!
We meet some of the puppies before heading back into the historic gold mining town of Skagway.
We visited the Skagway Visitor’s Center, adorned with thousands of pieces of driftwood, inside and out!
We sampled elk jerky, smoke salmon and reindeer sausage. We had a flight at the Skagway brewery, and shopped for antler knick-knacks in the downtown area.
That night, as we sailed out toward Glacier Bay, we saw our first and only humpback whales on this trip…from the spa no less!