The small town of Skagway reminded me very much of Dawson City. But then, they both date back to the gold rush, so that is probably not surprising.
The rain eased a little after lunch when I took the opportunity to look around some of the shops. There was a cruise ship in dock, and the town was buzzing with visitors. At the grocery store I came in contact with the harsh reality of living in these remote location. "Milk will be in on Tuesday."
At the visitor centre in Watson Lake I had gathered all the details for the ferry, and the Yukon White Pass Railway, which sounded like it would be a nice excursion. And I am sure it is. But on the day I was in Skagway, visibility was low, and up on the pass would have been close to zero. I am so glad I did not follow their advice to prebook the trip.
At the ferry terminal, Andrew, who I told about my problem with the camera, suggested I go to Radio Shack, and see if they could help me. Said they have all sorts of connections and cables there, as the cruise ships bring folk from all over the world.
It was a bright young man at Radio Shack who said he would check to see what they had, after I had explained my dilemna. When he was not able to find anything suitable, he asked if he could play around with the camera for a moment. I (reluctantly) let him. Here was a young man who was able to think outside the box, and beyond my specific question. After a few minutes he found a setting on the camera which said 'copy from camera to card', and proceeded to do just that. I was elated that my problem had been solved. It helps when you have some idea of where to look and what to look for.
(Thank you to those members who offered to help - off forum. Much appreciated.)
When I came out of Radio Shack there was a couple looking at my vehicle. I offered to show them the set up, and found out that Tony and his wife were from Brisbane. They were on the cruise, but when they got back to Vancouver, had booked a camper for a few weeks, to travel across Canada. The sad part for me was, they had a written copy of the itenary friends of them had done, and were going to do the same trip. I encouraged them to design their own trip.
Back at the ferry terminal I made myself a cuppa and proceeded to wait the more than an hour till boarding time. A young man who came around to check if all propane was turned off, told me that he has a van exactly the same as mine, even the same colour. I lounged on my bed with my drink and book, until I heard a loud rap on the window. I had fallen asleep, and it was now time for boarding.
With the car securely parked, I made my way to the lounge, and took a seat right up front. Two ladies had already made themselves comfortable there. Turned out they were from St Marys, a small village north of Bethel. I learned much about life in those remote areas. It would be great to have an opportunity to visit there, and see it for myself. But somehow, I can not imagine living anywhere, where there is not a supermarket around the corner. Can not imagine having to wait till 'Tuesday' or even longer, for milk.
Kathy and Ellen are Sisters of a Franciscan order, and have been in this remote are for some 15 years. Around the same age as myself, I dips me lid to them. Having ascertained that they have access to the internet, even in that remote area, left them with my card, linking to this page. (It was great to get an email from them shortly after.)
And then Haines was in sight. The journey had been smooth, despite the rain. I am certain the surrounding scenery was magnificent... but with visibility as poor as it was, we did not get to see any of it.
It was while waiting for my turn to drive off the ferry, that I spotted Giles in his Lotus... with writing all over it. Went over to have a chat with him, till I was told to get in the car, and exit the ferry.... into the pouring rain. Decided to stop for a moment and take a quick shot of the ferry, just for keepsake, when Giles drew up alongside.
We exchanged a few words... with the emphasis on the 'few'... and agreed to meet at the campsite. Not specifying which campsite. After driving around the few streets which make up Haines AK, I decided to enquire at the Oceanside RV Park. This was a basic small (probably a dozen sites) RV park. Joyce, the owner was a real sweetie, showed me the facilities - toilets and shower off a small room with washing machine, dryer, microwave, sink, table and chairs, sofa and a small 'shop'. She went on to explain the cost of everything, and then showed me the 'honour' jar. Place money in the jar for shower tokens, change money in the jar for the washing machine and dryer and pay for coffee and other items bought. Seems to work well; most people are honest.
Wonder if this sign has anything to do with it.
What caught my attention was all the quarters in the jar, and I asked if I could go through them to see if there were any for the sets I was trying to make up for my grandchildren. Sure! Joyce did not have any objection. As it is, there were quite a few. Told Joyce next morning how many I had taken, and replaced with notes. She said she had more, if I was interested. It was then that she brought out a bucket half full with quarters, and explained to me that she had yet to bundle them into roles of $10, as required by the bank.
To cut a long story short, I went through almost $250 worth of quarters, and was just seven coins short of completing three sets of all 50 States and DC. While I was on it, I figured I may as well bundle them into the roles for her. She was most grateful, and it earned me a night's free accommodation.
When I awoke that Sunday morning it was no longer raining, and the sun was shining brightly. For the first time I could see the surroundings. It was a glorious site over the water.
Spent Sunday afternoon taking in the sights around this little place. Just a few streets, actually. But there was a supermarket, and they had milk! Drove up to the ferry terminal, and past there to the lake, where the bears come to fish. Even though others said they had seen them, there were none when I went.
This also gave me a good opportunity to see the road on which we had come in the evening before.
The approach to Haines. The first sight of the town, which we should have got the night before, but didn't.
And Haines, from the far side, the other side of the harbour.
Next morning I planned to leave this quaint little town, and head back up to the Alaska Highway, and beyond.