A train journey from Carcross

With my rental car returned in Whitehorse, I caught a bus to Carcross stopping on the way by Emerald Lake once again. Twelve kilometres south of the lake was Carcross—a cute village that I wandered around, peering into tourist shops and along walkways, waiting like everyone else who’d been on the bus, for the train that would follow the gold miners’ trail back to Skagway.

On the train, we reached Bennett Lake where gold miners had paddled upstream on their way to Dawson City. Further ahead, was Lindeman Lake close to British Columbia’s border with the U.S. The train stopped here because passengers were treated to a miner’s lunch. We all sat in a long narrow dining room with one long wooden table. The food was bland that made me glad I didn’t live back then.

After lunch, we had time to explore where both the Chilkoot Pass and White Pass trailed over the mountains to and from Skagway before we got back on the train. They were the routes early gold miners hiked before building their canoes to transverse the lakes and the six hundred kilometres along the Yukon River to Dawson City. Two hikers with backpacks headed for the Chilkoot Pass to hike all the way to Skagway while I turned back towards the train.

Once on board again, we passed a view of the narrow White Pass on the opposite side of the plunging ravine after crossing into the U.S. No wonder many prospectors never survived the treacherous journey. Many either fell or their pack horse tripped and plummeted to the bottom of the steep chasm. I was glad I was on the train rather than the pass and arrived safely back in Skagway.

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