Alaskan Trip Journal

Date: Sunday, July 13, 2003

Starting Location: Watson Lake, YT

Destination: Skagway, Alaska

Trip Description: Today we were determined to arrive in Alaska. We had a filling breakfast at a restaurant in Watson Lake after visiting the Sign Forest. The Sign Forest is a huge collection of street signs, homemade signs, and license plates nailed to tall poles. Every state and Canadian province is represented, along with many European signs. Travelers leave signs as they pass through Watson Lake on the Alaska Highway. Laura and I left our mark in the form of a personalized "No Parking-Fire Lane" sign. We acquired the sign at a yard sale last month. Many of the other signs in the forest were probably borrowed from the highway department. The highlight of the drive today was the section from Carcross to Skagway. The mountains have glaciers near their summits. Turquoise lakes line the valleys betwen the high peaks. THe road winds through the valley, then climbs to the international border. There is no checkpoint at the border. Visitors entering Canada stop in Frasier, BC. Alaska-bound travelers stop at customs outside of Skagway.

Skagway is a really interesting small town. Laura and I took a walk around the area after checking into the campground. A cruise ship was docked at the edge of town. We saw the saloons and other buildings that were built in 1898, during the gold rush. The Chilkoot Trail starts near here. It was the route the gold seekers used to get to the Yukon. See the link below for more information.

Tomorrow, we plan to take a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad. The tracks were completed during the gold rush to connect the port city of Skagway with the Yukon. After the train ride, we plan to take the ferry to Haines, AK. It is a fifteen mile trip by water, but over 300 miles by road.


Sign Forest, Watson Lake

Our contribution to the Sign Forest

near Carcross, YT

heading to Alaska

Welcome to Alaska!

Downtown in Skagway, AK

Memorial of the gold rush