Monday, June 9, 2008

Over the White Pass to Skagway

About every two or three weeks I make a trip to Skagway, Alaska. It takes about two hours to get there. While it is a 'business' trip, it is really a pleasure. My favorite scenery in the world is the White Pass. Always good for a little drama. If you like driving in snow and fog in the summer, it's the place to be! Sometimes the sun even shines and the weather is warm, not often but it does happen.

The bottom picture is from a trip at the end of April. The ones on top it it are from today. Not much diffrence in the weather! Less snow on the ground and the lakes in the pass are starting to melt. Lower down there is open water and some flowers were blooming. I saw two brown phase black bears on the way home. The big guy was about 5 km from Tutshi (too-shy) Lake. I spotted him walking up the road. When I stopped he got off the road into the ditch and started eating as he moved toward me. When he was right next to me he looked in the window and went back to eating! The second guy was half his size and beside Tutshi Lake on a pullout. I pulled in right next to that one and he never even looked up. Seems like there are lots of bears with that colouration in that area. A couple of years ago on the same stretch of road I saw a pair of yearling bears, one black and one dark brown, playing in the middle of the road. They were chasing each other, biting and wrestling around. A tour bus was stopped in the other lane, they paid no attention to anyone. Finally they got off the road and got a drink in the creek by the ditch.

The very top pictures are Tutshi Lake in the afternoon after it stopped snowing. All those mountains are full of Dall sheep. I also saw a marmot cross the road at the top of the pass. While I have heard them often while picking blueberries up there I have never seen one on the road. One thing I REALLY saw lots of were tourists. Tis the season....

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