Day 2 is here
Day 3 of our Chilkoot adventure started with an imaginary snooze button. We only had 12 km from Lindemann to Bennett, where we were being picked up by float plane. Our plane was scheduled for 2:00 pm, which meant we had loads of time to get ourselves out of a sleeping bag and onto the trail. Thanks to my new Skagway purchased alcohol flask, I got to enjoy my Sunday morning coffee and Bailey’s from the shores of Lindemann Lake. Eventually, we got bags on backs and started on our way.
I didn’t expect much from our last day on the trail. In my own head, the real Chilkoot was over the pass to Lindemann City. After that, you were just “getting out”. I was pleasantly surprised by our final hours en route. Lindemann City turned out to be quite spectacular from the top viewpoint – especially when comparing the Gold Rush era photograph, with its current – more natural look. No matter how many archival photos we passed, the idea that once upon a time the trail was packed with gold-seeking adventurers is still difficult to imagine.
Adding to the disbelief were little treats like this cabin, which next to the Mr. looks like it might be inhabited by the Snow White’s good friends.
By noon, we had made it to Bennett Lake and a still-warm cabin. Inside there was a 1986 copy of Ranger Rick, which I’m pretty sure I owned as a 5 year old with big dreams of becoming a Park Ranger. There was also a cribbage set, and enough National Geographic magazines to keep us amused until 2:00 pm.
Unfortunately, 2:00 pm came and went without the arrival of a float plane. Outside the cabin windows, low clouds hanging over the lake suggested that our flight could easily have been delayed. But, with no satellite phone, the only thing we could do is speculate. Eventually (aka 2 minutes later) boredom set in, and I decided on a quick walk to the White Pass station. There, I was lucky enough to find our old Chilkoot Pass friends Don and Dorothy, who happened to have a sat. phone, and happened to be calling the very same company to get a flight out of Bennett. Don was able to get word that flights had been slightly delayed out of Whitehorse, and I was happy to have company while we waited.
After Starbuck’s slight freak-out on the Pass, we were a bit worried about his first trip in the air. Turns out that he’s not smart enough to differentiate between on the ground and in the air travel, and treated our flight like any other car ride home. This should not be confused with Starbuck being well behaved – all it means is that we was no more annoying than usual.
The float plane base is only a few kilometers from our house, and we were able to get off the plane, into our car and back into the house in short time. After ordering some pizza, it was time to check out the damage from 50-odd kilometers of walking.
There was some hope that my half-ass attempt to protect my feet from the mean-spirited attacks of my hiking shoes would be successful. Alas that was not the case, with both sides suffering some major damage.
Not sure what exactly the problem was. I’m thinking it could have been that the hiking shoes are a size too small for me. May have also been that I’ve only ever worn them one other time. Or it might have had something to do with the fact that the first time I wore them I got them really wet, then created the world’s greatest shoe drying stand, which was so amazingly efficient that it completely burnt off the backs of the shoes. Apparently shoe backs do serve a purpose.