As I woke up the next morning in Skagway (our last port day), I was keenly aware that our cruise would soon come to an end. After our morning ritual of a delicious and relaxing breakfast at the Lido, we were off to Musher's Camp for our dog sledding adventure.
It took only minutes to pass through Skagway, past a narrow gauge railroad track, along the Klondike Highway and through Dyea, which used be a booming gold-rush town . As we drove along the Lynn Canal, we passed by streets such as Lois Lane and Ragged Ass Road. Gotta love that Alaskan humor!
Once we arrived at the base of the Musher’s Camp, we were taken by Unimog, which are giant all terrain vehicles used as everything from military vehicles to farming equipment. We went up a mountain, passing Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, and by a waterfall until we were deep within the Tongas Natonal forest. It is here, in the second largest rainforest in the world, that the dogs were harnessed and waiting for us.
The dogs in sled training were 1-3 years old and were raring to go. They were so excited to pull those sleds, which were actually wheeled golf-cart type vehicles that held 6 people. Our ride was only one mile long, but it was very fun! We then made our way back down to the base camp where they had a store, a sled on display to educate us about the Iditarod, and best of all...PUPPIES!!! Three of the puppies were ten weeks old and they were in training via a puppy-sized-hamster-wheel.
So cute! Another group of puppies was eight weeks old and we even saw a pup who was only four days old. We all had a chance to hold a puppy or two and learned that this is a very important part of their socialization training. The more people that hold them the better!
After our adventure, we stopped in town to do some last minute gift buying before heading back to the ship. It was a little bitter-sweet as I realized that this was the last time we would board our beautiful Crystal Serenity.
After a relaxing foot & ankle massage, I watched our beautiful journey down the Lynn Canal, leaving Skagway behind. Dinner that evening was at Prego, Crystal’s fine Italian specialty restaurant. Our food was absolutely outstanding! After enjoying our main courses, my husband, Jeff, and I slipped out to make an appearance at the Captain’s reception in his quarters. We made it back to Prego just in time for dessert. The perfect ending to this incredible day was listening to our friend, Ira, sit in with the Crystal jazz band. Ira is a world-class trombonist who has played with artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, and Woody Herman just to name a few. No doubt, the best entertainment of the week!