Cruising (literally) through the fjord toward Sawyer Glacier (we, unfortunately, never reached it due to the icebergs like the one below), the far-reaching mountains tops and deeply beautiful waters stretched a narrow course.
From the back of our cruise ship, I watched the icebergs pass (some the ship even hit!). They became larger and larger the closer we got to the glacier. In the bay that we turned around in there were so many. I had never seen mountain sides so slick, carved by millenia of glaciers. This picture captures the environment well. As we passed icebergs and reached the open waters, Orcas surrounded the waters, and there were water spurts as far as we could see.
We woke up in Skagway, where we took a walk through town and met a guide for our hike – much preferable than spending all day among the fake gold stores and trinket shops.
Outside of Skagway (the only Alaskan town accessible by road that I visited on my seven day cruise through the Inside Passage), Bob, our crazy mountain man guide, took us on a journey along the Chilkoot Trail. The highlight of the trip? A question one of us asked about lichen. And his pointing out the lichens never, ever stopped! So we got many chances to take pictures of the lichen, and I’m happy that one of them came out. He also told us about his bear fat pie. Yum?
Looking out over this landscape was probably one of the most peaceful I had been on my entire cruise through Alaska. A light rain started to fall. My friend spotted two black and white figures in the distance: two bald eagles, one perched on a fallen tree, another lying in the grass. This entire valley used to be a boom town named Dyea. The railroad was built closer to Skagway, so that city won out and Dyea slowly crumbled into a few foundations.