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Posts Tagged ‘Soapy Smith’

Another day, another port. Today we explore the northern most port on our cruise – Skagway, Alaska.

The long walk into Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The long walk into Skagway, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Today our luck was fading. While it never rained, we did experience the Alaska drizzle, fog and dampness. Despite the gray skies, our spirits soared as we traveled through the metropolis (I say that with tongue-in-cheek) of Skagway and into the wilds of Dyea, a former mining mecca of the northern frontier.

The road to Dyea. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014

The road to Dyea. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014

Me and my sweetie pie. Dyea, Alaska 2014.

Me and my sweetie pie. Dyea, Alaska 2014.

After a half hour van ride across a bumpy gravel, oft-times, one-lane road, our Chilkoot horseback adventure began.

The ranch - Chilkoot Horseback Adventures. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The ranch – Chilkoot Horseback Adventures. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The trusty steeds - Chilkoot Horseback Adventures - Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

The trusty steeds – Chilkoot Horseback Adventures – Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

We saddled up and headed into lush, dense woodlands, heading for the boggy marshes and estuaries of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Me and my better half aboard our beasts of burden Sage and . . . I can't remember the other horse's name.  Dyea Valley, Alaska 2014.

Me and my better half aboard our beasts of burden Sage and . . . I can’t remember the other horse’s name. Dyea Valley, Alaska 2014.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park - Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park – Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

My hopes remained high that I would yet see a bear, although I was not overjoyed that, if it was going to happen, it would be from the back of a four-legged creature known for fleeing at the slightest threat. So much for my chances of capturing a photo.

Dyea         - Dyea Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Dyea Flats – Dyea Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

Dyea, Alaska. Photo by P. Rickrode 2014.

After a morning slogging through abandoned logging roads and fog, and not seeing bears or any other wildlife for that matter, we arrived back in town for some on-foot exploration. We discovered a quaint little theater known for it’s Days of ’98 Show With Soapy Smith, which has played continuously in Skagway since 1923. That’s a true story – same show for 91 years. (No – not the same actors. I know some of you are going to ask that question.)

This melodrama-esque show is based on a real life person – Soapy Smith – and the actors do an admirable job of relaying history in a funny, yet poignant way. Towards the end of the show, the ladies in the cast performed a little dance number that required the assistance of two audience members, one of whom you may recognize.

P. Rickrode and the cast of the "Days of '98" show (Gold Rush Productions) - Skagway, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014

P. Rickrode and the cast of the “Days of ’98” show (Gold Rush Productions) – Skagway, Alaska. Photo by C. Rickrode 2014

That’s right, I made my Skagway debut on the stage that day, although I was apparently the only one who did not stop dancing when the music stopped. Seems my exuberance was more than this little acting troupe could handle, thus making this my debut and farewell performance all at the same time.

So, there you have it, my adventures in Skagway. Have you ever, as an unsuspecting audience member, been called upon to use your hidden acting/dancing/speaking/juggling/whatever skills in a totally impromptu manner? What hidden skills do you possess? Come on. Spill the beans. I know you have that one thing.

Word of the day: Jalousie (No that wasn’t my stage name)

Fun fact about me: My very first live stage performance was at a melodrama theater much like this one in Skagway. Ah, the memories.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2014. Original photos by P. and C. Rickrode.

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