This summer I am working at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park located in Skagway, AK. The town is situated in a valley between to two mountain ranges and even though the town is small in size it is booming with life. During the summer and fall months the peaceful town of Skagway town is a major destination for cruise ships. As I ride my bike into work the quiet streets are free of tourists and shop owners are preparing their businesses for the rush of visitors they will be receiving in the coming hours. Through the course of the day the peaceful town booms with life receiving up to 12,000 people any given day. Alongside the historical buildings and shops found in town, the thick and vibrant green landscape surrounding the town has just as much to offer.
During my first week here in Skagway I went rafting in the cold fast flowing water of the Taiya river and hiked several of the many trails that are available in the area. With each expedition into the wilderness I experienced something new. On our first sampling trip to Dyea, a remnant of a boomtown that rivaled Skagway during the Klondike Gold Rush, I witnessed Boreal Toads in Amplexus, their form of mating, as well as a thousands of juvenile larvae that had recently hatched and were taking refuge on dead emergent vegetation. While learning how to safely navigate and conduct myself in the swift moving Taiya river the following day, I witnessed a sea otter jump into the river and come up with its lunch, a little fish. Further down the river there were several eagle nests and one was home to a mother bald eagle incubating her eggs. I spotted her white feathers which stood out against the large dark colored nest made of sticks and leaves. I look forward to seeing what else the town of Skagway has to offer.