August 16, 1990 -- Day 18

Skagway AK

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Six at Goldrush Lodge The weather ruled things today. We awoke to leaden skies and a visibly lowering ceiling. Haines (south of Skagway) was open but that was all. The pilots of both flying services (LAB and Skagway Air Service) were turning back about 15 miles south of Skagway. They reported the ceiling dropping almost to the water.

The day brought no improvement in the weather. We could easily see the pass, and it was definitely closed. We watched one frustrated pilot take off in a float plane, headed for the pass. As we watched, the plane did a 180 and headed back to Skagway. We got rooms this evening at the Gold Rush Lodge, which is right at the south end of the runway. In fact they even have tie-downs for planes! It is run by Harry and Vickie Bricker, and I definitely recommend it for both convenience and hospitality.

Also weathered in and staying at the Gold Rush was a woman who had flown her Cessna 182 up from San Diego. She had been in Skagway for four days and was more than ready to get out.

We discovered a small stream in Skagway that was filled with salmon swimming upstream to spawn. Tom was able to grab several of them right out of the water. However since they were spawning, he turned them loose after some quick pictures.

Late in the afternoon the weather seemed to break. The woman from San Diego quickly pre-flighted her plane and took off down the canal in the direction of Juneau. Tom and I even took the Six up to see if the pass could possibly be attempted. We reluctantly concluded it was still closed down and resigned ourselves to spending another night in Skagway. However to the south, down the canal, it was clearing, and the woman from San Diego did not return. Maybe tomorrow the pass will open.

Tom fishing

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Linda Dowdy
Bethel, Minnesota
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