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Great Canadian Railway Journeys: 1x5

Skagway to Carcross

Michael Portillo embarks on a second spectacular rail journey through Alaska to Canada, the White Pass and Yukon railway, ending in the Canadian town of Carcross. Arriving in Skagway by seaplane from railwayless Juneau, Michael heads first for Dyea and the Chilkoot trail, which the first gold prospectors hiked a hundred years ago to the Klondike. Among them, he discovers, was author Jack London, whose stories of sled dogs captured the spirit of the gold rush. In the puppy pen of a sled dog training camp, a dog musher tells Michael how huskies helped to build Alaska and gives him a taste of how the dogs continue to work and race today. Boarding the 52-mile railway, built in 1898, which climbs 2,600 feet before dropping to the head of Canada’s Lake Bennett, Michael looks forward to beautiful scenery on a railway laden with history. At the lake, Michael meets an indigenous guide to hear of the role of First Nations people in the stampede for gold. In Carcross, Michael explores the art of the First Nations and helps to carve a totem pole. Then he is invited to shake his tail feathers in a ‘grouse’ dance.

Jan. 11, 2019