Building the Klondike Boat

June 28 - 30: Ferry/Rail Transport to Lake Bennett


Dawn came early with clearing skies on Friday, June 28. A frenzy of final boatbuilding details had subsided about midnight, followed by packing for most of us...some hadn't slept at all when it was time to leave for the ferry at 5am. The idle time of waiting to board the ferry was a welcome relief from the commotion of the boatshop.

The first leg of the delivery trip is by the ferry (Alaska Marine Highway) to Skagway, which takes about 6 hours on the Malaspina, with one stop at Haines enroute.


 
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Disembarking the ferry, a White Pass & Yukon Railroad crew met us at the dock and led our little procession through the streets of downtown Skagway. We must have created a bit of a spectacle, for we attracted a few followers along the way who came out to the railyard to gawk and have a look at the boat.
Boat, stuffed with gear at the railyard.
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The able yard staff of the White Pass and Yukon Railroad load her up on a flatcar. It felt good to leave her in the hands of these pros....and WAY better than trying to heave her up on the flatcar by ourselves!!
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Over White Pass, and heading through the Yukon to Bennett Lake.
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Lake Lindeman at last!

 

Pulling into the train station at the old townsite of Bennett, YT, on the shores of Lake Bennett. This was the scene of the massive boatbuilding efforts of 1897-98 by the Klondike stampeders. A vast armada of over 7,000 boats was built here and departed in the spring of 1898!
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Crew pose at Bennett with a Mountie in full dress uniform. The Mountie was on his way up the pass to stage a bust of the re-enactment crew!
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She's in his hands now. The conductor ushers the flatcar and boat off to a siding behind the train terminal. Officially we're done with the boat now. She'll await the arrival of the movie actors, now immersed in packing their gear over the Chilkoot Pass.
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Contact:  Fritz Funk (fritzf@alaska.net)