Skagway, Alaska and Soapy Smith

First official Alaska sign!

No thanks Soapy, I mean Jefferson, I don’t want to send a telegram back home to my family!

Visited my first National Park in Alaska, hiked to Dewey Lakes with Pup, Ran to AB Mountain, boondocked in an amazing spot in Dyea and took the van on its first Ferry ride out of Skagway!

I took a Ranger led walk through Klondike Gold Rush National Historical builds of downtown Skagway. The Jefferson “Soapy” Smith story was probably my favorite. Jefferson was a con man of his day. He grew up in a well to do home in Georgia but some how he became one of the greatest criminal bosses of his time. This guy got his nickname Soapy for his scheme of selling bars soap. He would supposedly wrapped a select few bars with money ranging from $1 to $100 and sell each for an insane amount of money for the late 1870s. Of course people would actually buy a bar of soap with cash wrapped around it but it was his buddies. Another scandal Soapy ran was the telegrams. He’d charge the stampeders to send telegrams but the only thing was the “line” only went to the bay and no farther. The Park Rangers tell the stories better then I can write it but I’ll leave a link if you want check it out (

Crazy to think that all those people were coming through Skagway for good that was another 800+ miles away in the Yukon. They had to hike supplies up Chilkoot Pass, over glaciers and snow fields. If I were coming for the Klondike Gold Rush I would have stayed right in Skagway and enjoyed the views…and that’s exactly what I did!


  1. David Warady · June 20, 2017

    Soapy Smith sounds like a guy I play poker with. Great post, btw. Have you thought about staying for the Iditarod & training Pup to pace parts of stages?!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • JAdRunning · June 20, 2017

      Soapy sounds like a lot of people we’ve played poker with. Lol. And Pup do hard work? I would love to see stages of the Iditarod though!


  2. Glenda Overfelt · August 17, 2017

    Awesome adventures in Alaska! If you get to Sitka, the current Superintendent, Elkowitz, used to be Chief of Interp at Big Bend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JAdRunning · September 19, 2017

      Unfortunately if I couldn’t get there by van I didn’t visit those parts of Alaska. Definitely future travels those!


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