Friday, June 25, 2021


I've returned from my long trip to the Elks Lodge.  The idea was to be sure all the bingo equipment still worked like it was supposed to.  There's no way we wanted to wait until 5 minutes before we were to begin, only to find out the board didn't work correctly.  We would all be strung up from the nearest pole.

Bingo-ers are serious about their craft and their superstitions.  You better not let one tiny thing interfere with their throwing money away, or maybe winning a few hundred dollars.  

Surprisingly, after a few jiggles of the wiring and reprogramming two of the five televisions, we were back in business.  I checked out both cash registers and they seemed fine.  That's when it all went downhill. 

We decided to change up the prices of the food.  It took 30 minutes of looking to find the boxes of little push-in letters.  It took an hour to figure out what to charge for each item, but we finally got it done.  As I was walking out the door, someone said those terrible words ... "what about changing the cash register?" Oh, you mean the evil conniving dastardly infernal machine that throws us for a loop almost every week?

Big sigh as I went back, carried it to the bar and began the hour long test to figure out HOW to change the prices.  It seems THIS machine is not the same as MY machine.  An hour later we finally had it programmed.  BINGO!!!  Only time will tell if it's correct.  Believe me, those Bingo players will let us know immediately!!

So before we visit downtown Skagway, let's take a trip over the hill to Dyea, where most of the ships landed, depositing gold miners and their property on solid ground.  You can see the cruise ships come in along the way.

Imagine docks out in the water ... a LONG way out since the water level here is very low depending on the tides.

It looked something like this.  Once you landed, since there was no housing available, you unloaded and stacked up your supplies

Then you put up your tent.  If you had goods to sell to the miners, a great way to make your fortune, you could sell out of your tent house.  Notice the ladies to the right.  Think about it ... where did they get food?  A change of clothes?  A bath?  Although I'm sure there were accommodations eventually, can you imagine what they cost?

Here's one of those ships being unloaded.  Can you see the cattle?  

I'm a hardy explorer, but I think this might have caused me to turn around and cruise on back to San Francisco.

Tough people back then!!  As you look across the water, you will see these gorgeous mountains.  I doubt that made up for the conditions.

This is Face Mountain, although I rather imagine they did not care.

Just up the beach is the beginning of their major trial ... the Chilkoot Trail over the mountains.  Not much remains here, but there are a few pieces of buildings and remnants of equipment.  I even found a piece of the old dock buried in the mud.  

If you enjoy swimming in the ocean, Dyea beach is the place to go.  It's quiet with no boat traffic.  A little too cold for my taste however!!

Back in Skagway proper, this is their dock and boat launch.  Basically the only way to get supplies to Skagway is by supply boats.  They show up once a week.  You'll know when they come in by the load of cars at the grocery store.  Word gets around fast.  If you get there early enough, you can snag vegetables.

I think I paid $7.00 for two apples and $5 for a head of broccoli.  If that sounds like gold rush prices, you would be correct.  

Also docking here are the cruise ships that give Skagway it's main income.  It's not as bad as it sounds.  When the ships come in, the stores open up until the ship leaves.  This was the Disney cruise line.

The locals know the schedule by heart.  It's really not that bad when town is inundated unless you want lunch at one of the restaurants.   In no time, with all their purchases in hand, they wander back to the ships and disappear around the corner.

Aren't you glad you didn't live back then?  I guess I shouldn't complain about my PGE bill.  Comparing ships, it's amazing just how far we have come in 200 years.


  1. What gets me is that they 'could' put a road between Haines and Skagway, 20-30 miles of roadway, something which I doubt will EVER be done. So you can load up your RV on a ferry, OR, do like we did, drive down to Haines through Haines Junction which, if you drive that directly from Skagway, is a nice 350 mile 'Sunday' drive. lol (We did Skagway on our way into Alaska, and Haines on our way out from Alaska)

    1. We watched some cars and trucks be unloaded from a ferry. It was rather scary!! LOL

  2. It was a tough life back then, but the people didn't know any better. Yes, I am glad to be living here and now. Wonder what our great-great-gandchildren will think.

    1. Ha! Now that's an idea Marlene. They will probably think we lived in the dark ages!!