Skagway, Alaska & White Pass Summit #TuesdayTravels

Ships Docked at SkagwayOur second stop in Alaska was Skagway, where we took an early morning bus ride up to the White Pass Summit. We boarded a small motorcoach (about 20 passengers) and drove first through “downtown” Skagway. The weather was cloudy, but you can see see a snow-covered mountain straight ahead.

downtown SkagwayIf you’re familiar with Skagway history, you know that it was the jumping off point for the Klondike Gold Rush circa 1896-99. Skagway was the closest port city to the gold fields, but it wasn’t remotely close. To get to the gold, prospectors had to climb over the coastal mountains to the interior. There were two trails–White Pass out of Skagway and the Chilkoot Trail out of nearby Dyea–that had to be climbed. Because the Klondike is in Canada’s Northwestern Territories, the Mounties got to make the rules. They knew a thing or two about Canadian winters, so they wouldn’t let anyone in who didn’t have six months worth of provisions. Problem was, you couldn’t haul that much stuff in one trip. It took a number of roundtrip hikes up and back down the mountain to collect enough provisions. Then, in order to get to the gold fields, the prospectors had to build rafts to float down the Klondike River. Of the 100,000 who set out, only 30,000 arrived in the Klondike. About 4,000 actually found gold. But when asked later, most people who had set out said it was the adventure of a lifetime and they would do it again! People can be so interesting. has some facts about the Gold Rush.

Our bus stopped periodically for photo ops, including the pics of this spectacular suspension bridge. The scenery was beautiful, though the clouds were low and sometimes obscured the view. It was chilly up in those mountains, even in June.

A narrow gauge railroad, the White Pass & Yukon, was started in 1898 and completed in 1900. By then the fields were mostly played out. The train still operates, though, carrying tourists to the summit. If I go again, I’d like to take the train.

White Pass old Train

White Pass old Train,

We crossed into Canada for a few minutes, then on the way back stopped at the border to have our photos taken.

welcome to AlaskaBack in town we had time to wander and grab a bite of lunch at the Skagway Brewing Company. I ate a nice salmon salad accompanied by a glass of their delicious Spruce Tip Ale. Skagway is a very small town and it doesn’t take long to walk around. We did some shopping and I snapped a bunch of pictures. I think this is my favorite of the ports we visited. I love the Old West feel of the town.

I got a kick out of the young women from the Days of ’98 Show, dressed up like old-time saloon girls. Here we see two of them soliciting customers in an age-old fashion. A fun way to spend the summer. I’d like to see the show next time I’m in town.

Skagway working girls

We had time to pop back to the Crown Princess to drop off our packages and get ready for our afternoon excursion to the Musher’s Camp. Check back next time for a report on our sled dog adventure.


Crown Princess

#RomanticIdea – Chasing the Dead @ ketadiablo #cowboy #paranormal

Author Keta Diablo is here today with a Summer #RomanticIdea and an excerpt from her paranormal Western romance, Chasing the Dead.

Chasing the Dead coverBook: Chasing the Dead
by Keta Diablo
Paranormal Western Romance
Publisher: Keta Diablo

Tagline: A sinister ghost is out for revenge. Madrid, Deacon and Sacheen must stay one step ahead of the ghoul and reach the hacienda.


In 1884 New Mexico, Madrid Arrende finds herself kidnapped by the Apache. Determined to rescue her, her wealthy father realizes there is only one man capable of bringing her back alive…Deacon Bannister. Deacon doesn’t give one whit about the large sum of money Don Erasmos Arrende has offered him to find his daughter. He  only cares about bringing the woman he left at the altar a year ago home.

A ghost is terrorizing the Apache village and the young maiden, Sacheen, has been banished by her People for unleashing Uday’s wrath. Now, Deacon, Madrid and Sacheen must flee for their lives across the rugged New Mexico landscape with the evil spirit in hot pursuit.

Will they make it back alive to Madrid’s father’s hacienda or will Deacon lose Madrid forever?

Setup and Excerpt: Madrid and Sacheen confront the ghost:

Sacheen ignited Maddie’s torch and both women scrambled over the half-wall to light the packets of sage. The moon glinted off a shadowy form sweeping past a line of trees to Maddie’s right. Dios, the ghost! With gooseflesh rising on her arms, she called out to Sacheen, “Hurry! Light your bundles and go inside with Deacon.”

A circle of fire from a dozen piles of sage lit up the sky around the shelter. The wind moaned and wailed, sounding like the sorrowful lament of Scottish bagpipes. What other magic and manipulations had the dead spirit learned in the underworld since Maddie last saw him?

With a look of startled horror, Sacheen shouldered her. “Do you see him?”

“I thought I told you to go inside. We must not show him fear.”

“Do you see him!?”

Tendrils of darkness slipped in as the wraith advanced. Maddie shivered when his visage manifested in her line of vision. More terrifying than any specter she’d ever seen, a haze of gray mist swirled around his translucent form. A quiver hung from his shoulder stocked with stone-headed arrows—a sign he’d taken the form of a native from ancient history. Steeped in blood, his clothing hung in tatters around his massive frame—a vest made of animal hides, a breechcloth and fringed leggings. Maddie’s gaze traveled to his painted, pock-marked face. Her insides quivered and ropes of tension knotted every cord and fiber of her body.

Bleary, unearthly eyes turned to Sacheen when the spirit raised a hand with claw-like fingers and pointed at her chest. The wind, much like the sound of women wailing, keened into the deafening silence. Fire exploded from the ghost’s eyes—flames the fires of Hell couldn’t compete with.

“Yes.” Maddie fought to keep her voice calm and even. “I see him. His hunger for you permeates the air.”

Sacheen shouted above the roar and chaos. “You are not welcome here! Hear my words, Uday, you are tats-an. You are dead!”

Maddie peered at the girl through the dim light. Uday? She spoke his name?

“It is I, Sacheen, and I do not fear you chidn. Hear my power:

Hinamaya hinamaya hinamay Chee Chi Yo
 Hinamay chee chi yo hinna may chee chi yo
 Hinna hinna hey ya hinna hinna hey yo

A cry of anguish and rage melded, knifed through the dank, still air. The maiden couldn’t see him but stood tall before her imaginary tormentor, her aura shimmering like molten glass. “You are like the dust-storm, nothing but a shiver in the air. Do you hear me? I did not want you in life and will not accept you in death. You are yah-ik-tee, no longer with us!”



Summer #RomanticIdeaKeta’s Summer #RomanticIdea

When summer comes to the Midwest, we think lakes!

One way I love to pass a sunny afternoon is to pack a picnic lunch and head for the water on a Pontoon boat. What could be more romantic than spending a lazy day cruising the lake? The crappies are biting, the sun’s sharing its awesome warmth and the cooler is filled with our favorite beverages.

This is also a great time to catch up on my reading (a romance novel, of course). As the sun sets, we head on over to one of the many restaurants on the lake and enjoy a delicious meal together.

Now this is my idea of Romance!

Happy sailing and happy reading! ~ Keta ~

Author Bio:

Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the United States on six acres of woodland. When she isn’t writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature. She adores animals and donates her time and support to local food and animal shelters.

Keta is a multi-published author in contemporary romance, erotic romance and gay fiction. She’s also an Amazon best-selling author. Her erotica novel Decadent Deceptions was a finalist in the MOLLY contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America and was nominated for a Red Carpet Award in 2014. Her paranormal novel Meko’s Woman was nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark and her historical novel Sky Tinted Water was nominated for a RONE Award by Ind’Tale Magazine. Her latest contemporary romance novel, Season, Unforgettable, was a finalist in the romance category sponsored by Independent Author Network Book Awards for 2015.

Keta’s books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month, and Recommended Read awards from top professional review sites.

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