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The Altamont enterprise. (Altamont, N.Y.) 1983-2006, September 15, 1983, Image 17

Image and text provided by Guilderland Public Library

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn86011850/1983-09-15/ed-1/seq-17/


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The Atomtmt fyterprise — Thursday, September IS, 1983- i ^Y--M««*S^<% (Continued from Page 16) scientific engineering at the time. ' It still seems pretty marvelous today, threading' around moun- tains, roaring through tunnels when no other way could be found — often up on high \stilts bridging areas where the rock was so solid no roadbed could be carved out. of it or through it. It ran continuously until tins year. The Canadian government hopes to have it back in operation next year. It belongs^ to a private company, who found-no profit, in just hauling sightseers and .the mines that supported it were closed last year. ' : White Pass was above the snow line and hung with fog. Road signs requested cars to drive with headlights on at all times. The scenery was spectacular: a \hanging\ glacier (one that does not terminate in its own lake, river or stream but rather, \hangs\ there in a dree above the tree line), sharp stone peaks, edges becoming blurred as forests took over. There was one long chain of glacier-fed lakes after another as we descended to Carcross, a tiny community at the junction of the car crossroad over the railroad tracks. - • -This is the one bit of civilization between Skagway and Whitehorse, if civilization means a food and \comfort\ stop. The town consist- ed of some 10 or 20 buildings, one of whichwas the dilapidated old hotel next door to the general store — * Matthew Watson's, operating since 1908, and across from the scarce- used railroad, station. We had hamburgers at $5.95 per —. everything has to be shipped in from miles away. A poor Indian came in and tried to cash a check. .No go. On to Whitehorse. What a Join Us Every Weekend for live [Country and Western ,-- ~™ Entertainment! - 355-9827 Friday, Sept. 16 ''Badge\ ^Saturday, Sept:-17 \Stampede\ Bar Opens ' 4 P-IT1.-4 a.m. Closed Sundays Located at the Country Squire liotel — Route 20 and 146 Bring This Ad For FUSE Admission \ K & A MEMORIALS Monuments - Markers Cemetery Lettering BARRE [GUILD] Granite - Marble . Bronze Monuments Hand Tooled Lettering Jim Yohey \ Altamont Representative 861-6611 KOn & Anna F. Stewart Main Office, 1906 State Street Schenectady, N.Y. 12304 381-6090 Larry Murphy Guilderland Representative 895-8805 disappointment! The capital of the Yukon \Territory it has erased its past exceptfor one small block, the sod-roofed log cabin museum and roe restored and relocated cabin of SamMcGee: \There are strange things done in the midnight sun. But the queerest they ever did see Was the night on the marge of LakeLebarge I cremated Sam McGee\ Robert Services' famous poem makes that name familiar to many. There at the museum are ail the relics of gold rush days and McGee's cabin still furnished even with his doming. We bought Service's book of poetry, \Tales of the Yukon,\ and took turns rwding them aloud for the rest of our Alaskan stay. We attended the Skagway music hall production of the \Days of '98\ wherein locals portray-their his- tory of 1898 and the gold rush. That and Service's poetry gave us the flavor of the era — a time of bold men and fancy ladies. The \ladies' \ energetic can-can with black-net stockings and lacy gar- ters, the nimble-fingered gamblers and gun toting con men were all wonderfully portrayed and we learned how \law and order\ came to Skagway one day when the ladies, sensing trouble, abandoned ship, so to-speak, and the \good guy,\ Frank H. Reid, dty surveyor and hero, faced the \bad guy,\ Jefferson (\Soapy\) Smith, gambler and con-man in a shoot- out. \Soapy\ died immediately, his crew was rounded up and shipped out of town. Reid died 12 days later of his wounds. There is a thin line between hero and villian as the hero had done the town's original owner out of all his land for \the common good\ and \Soapy\ had helped many a down-and-outer through thin times. StiU, Reid has a great granite marker: \He gave his life for the honor of Skagway.\ \Soapy\ got a painted board: \Died July 8,1898 Age 38 years:\ Skagway's own little museum - has deathbed photos of both men beside Soapy's bloodstained starched white collar. America's Fjords We left Skagway Monday aboard the Columbia, flagship of the Inland Waterway Fleet — ferries that ply the coast from Seattle to Skagway, the northernmost ter- minus. . . The full trip takes about five days and there are a few staterooms for passengers who wish to take the cruise. These are so popular, however, that reserva- tions should be made a year in advance-Well, we never plan that far ahead and so we decided to take the boat for its longest leg of trip from Skagway to . Haines, to Juneau. Aboard, we found many others who had no reservations but were preparing to stay aboard anyway. Some had pillows and were set to stay ittsthe reclining seat lounge. One after-deck had space where people (legally) had lashed their tents for use during the voyage and another deck aft that protective glass panels on either side and ceiling heating units which, at least while we were aboard, kept that. area in the balmy 70s. So there were many ways to \skin a cat.\ Then, too, lots of people drive their cars and campers aboard and sleep in those. Being a party with three senior-type citizens, we opted for going ashore at Juneau (10:30 p.m.) where we had hotel reserva- tions. The inland waterway, as it is called on Alaska's southwest panhandle, is America's fjord landscape and is all encompassed in the Tongass National Forest. As a result, our boat was a Forest Service office and our officer was a girl named Susie who- gave lectures, slide and movie talks about the area and. had a full supply of maps and booklets for the interested. The waterways are made \inland\ by the presence of many, many large and small islands .off the western coast line on the Gulf of Alaska. Both the islands and the coast are part of the coastal chain of barrier mountains 4,000 to 7,000 feet high and the water over which we were cruising was often over a thousand feet deep, dosely border- ed by snow-capped peaks and innumerable hanging glaciers. Cascading down the mountains in great plumes of white water are the melted snows, beautiful cata- racts splashing into the milky- green waters we were sailing on. The almost-opaque water is a sign of glader melt with high sediment content. 'From Skagway to Shelter Island the waterway is called the Lynn Canal and below that we branched off into Stephens Passage. Deeply forested, there is. very little sign of any human habitation at all. We stopped at Haines for several hours and so sent ashore catching a van into the village. The site is of Ft. William H. Seward, the first permanent Army post in Alaska (1904). It was also called Chilkoot Barracks. This is all the area of the Chilkat Indians (can't figure the spelling difference) and they have a great cultural and arts center in Haines which features a very active regional acting company. Also it is, the home of the world's largest concentration of our national bird, the bald eagle. . As many as several thousand have been counted at a single sighting. We didn't see any there but had the thrill of watching adults teach the young to soar when we drove north from Juneau to BchoBay later in the week. Naturally, Haines was on a steep hillside. Grandfather had elected to nap in his easy chair in the boat lounge. I don't walk too well, so I mostly sat above the very busy little harbor watching all the activity. There were many small com- mercial fishermen and their crafts working the waters. My husband and daughter walked down along the docks taking photos. I was doing that — photo taking — also, and snapped one of my many shots of totem poles. These are the Indians's most visible sign in all of Alaska, and each pole tells a story in symbols. The Indians had no other written language. Back on the ship, we embarked on the longest leg of the journey. There was a dining room and a snack bar aboard so we had both lunch and supper during our trip plus attending an aft-dedc lecture by our ranger, Susie, and a movie she showed about the bald eagles. Most of the rest of the time I spent on the deck watching the breath- taking scenery. Atone point, Susie pointed out a \haunted\ lighthouse on a small island to our left, Eidrid Rock Light. In the early 1900s the ship Manila was sailing down from Skagway loaded with passengers for the States. Nearing the Rock, the overworked engine blew up and the ship sank immediately into the glacial water. Few had time to do anything. The water was too cold for survival, anyhow, and this was before the lighthouse had been built. x<cii y«8ia tu uic uajr iau*i, a terrible storm buffeted the area and the newly constructed and manned lighthouse. All night long the winds howled and shrieked like the voices of the damned. The lightkeeper heard crashing and banging and\ feared for. much damage. At the first light of day when the storm had. abated a bit, he went outside to check. There in the grey dismal morning an awful sight met his eye.\ The, ship Manila had been thrown up' on the beach,, fully\ 17 crewed by grinning skdetons. They may not haunt the lighthouse. But the memory forever haunted the lightkeeper. It was just beginning to get dark at 10:30 as we were docking at Juneau. While we were in Alaska the days ran from 4:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. We learned that during December and January they get as little as five hours of daylight This was explained as one reason for a lot of heavy drinking in an Alaskan winter. On the other side of the coin, in the coastal area they do not have such weather extremes as we do here in our area. It rarely reaches zero in the winter or more than the 70s in the summer. There is a damp chill off the water and the winds off the glaciers and snowfields cer- tainly have a cooling effect, however. We were sorry to have our boat leg of the journey end. But we were on to new adventures in Juneau, capital of the State of Alaska. Births St. Peter's Hospital Taran Lynn, daughter of David and Linda Irwin of Route 32, Feura Bush, born Aug. 2. Jamie Nicole, daughter of John and Mary Schaffer of West St., Voorheesville, born Aug. 2. Michael Christopher, son of Michael and Stephanie Hedrick of 25 Maple Ave., Voorheesville, born Aug. 1. Nicholas Hetherington, son of Richard and Susan Taylor of 12 Brookside Drive, Delmar, born July 30. Brian Todd, son of Brian and Bernadette Askew of R.D. 1, Coeymans Hollow, born July 28. Amy Marie, daughter of Thomas and Marianne Lenseth of Pinnacle Road, R.D. 1, Voorheesville, born July 28. David Douglas, son of Douglas and Darlene Bauer of 212 Krumkill Road, Slingerlands, born July 27. Jacob Charles, son of Frank and Suzan Weber of Clarksville, bom July 26. Elizabeth Kate, daughter of Thomas and Louise Walnisley of 17 Rigi Court, Selkirk, born July 12. Albany Medical Center Hospital Brian Michael, son of Brian and Marianne Duran of Guilderland, born July 23. Richard James, Jr., son of Richard and' Nancy Franze of Clarksville, born July 21. Timothy Dean, Jr., son of Timothy and Linda A. Veltman of 23 Wallace Drive, Delmar, born July 20. Daniel Adam, son of Bruce and Susan Hammer of Bishop's Gate, Guilderland, born July 11. Deadline for classified ads (payable in advance) is 12 noon, Wednesday before publication. npi lankroader^* ROUND & SQUARE DANCE Sat., Sept. 24 at the PLANKROADER'S CLUBHOUSE Rt. 146, township Mutic By 'Ernie Kane and The Valley Ramblers # sfi TC 9 until 1 Hot-Cold Buffet, Bfor, Setups , *»• #V^HH<-<-<-<^^^^<^-<-< * k T 25% OFF A Summer Arrangements A New Dried and Silks for Fall Mondays & Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PHONE 797-3245 MRS. MILDRED RISLEYy Route 401 - Westerlo <r

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