May 23, 2009

A Train to the Top

A steam engine awaiting restoration or use as a parts horse in the WP&YR yards.

Today: Three day weekend. I put food together yesterday for the next four days: Meat loaf and chicken Parmesan. Total fat used was two tablespoons until I add the cheeses.

Himself: He reports that even those that are being kept feel the end coming.

Herself: I did nothing but take my antibiotics and putter yesterday. Need to water the outside plants.

Reading: Finished the 2006 Crais.

Balance: Is physically feeling better at last.

After a delightful lunch with Seedys, we were off to find our seats on the White Pass Yukon Railway, (WP&YR),for the dramatic trip up to Frazier at the top of the pass.

In 1897, the Tlingit hunting trail through Skagway became popular with the earliest prospectors, and a new pass is surveyed over the mountains. In 1896, gold was discovered 600 miles away from Skagway. By 1897 the town is overrun with prospectors and is re-platted, and as the prospectors head up white pass thousands of pack animals die in these dramatic mountains.

The streets were crowded with over 10,000 residents by 1898…much like a five ship day would be today. We were grateful that we were on one of only two ships this day as we could see the town instead of the tourists or miners.

Built in 1898 during the gold rush, today, “the WP&YR narrow gauge railroad is an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, a designation shared with the Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.” Considered to be impossible to built, it was literally blasted through the mountains in 26 months” by British, Canadians, and Americans working together.

We soon found ourselves on one of 70 restored and replica parlor cars pulled by three of the WP&YR 20 diesel-electric locomotives heading out of town with the redoubtable Seedys to guide us.

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