S: Alaska Cruise 2009
FC: Alaska Cruise | Cruise photos 8/28 - 9/4/2009
1: View of Utah's cannons from plane on our way to Vancouver. Washington's Mt. Rainer is in the middle.
2: We went from plane to boat in no time. Check in was a breeze. Time to check out the boat.
4: We watched from our balcony as we left Vancouver Port.
6: Day 2 - Cruising the Inside Passage. | We woke up to a soft sound of the ship's horn. Bah, Bah, Bah. Looked outside and saw nothing. We were surrounded by fog.
7: Day 3 - Ketchikan | We had 30 minutes before we left on our excursion, so we made a quick run through the town.
8: We found St. John's Church, built in 1903. It's the oldest remaining house of worship in Ketchikan. | A small park was in the middle of the street and then we came across Chief Johnson Totem Pole. It's carved out of one single western red cedar log and stands 55 ft. tall.
9: Our visit would not be complete without a quick stroll on Creek Street. The 'madam’ at Dolly's tried to get us to stop in for a visit. | Salmon were fighting their way upstream.
10: We boarded the small boat to begin our tour of Misty Fjords. As we left the port, we took pictures of the small town and watched the float planes take off and land around us. | Our room was on the curve - center
11: The Radiance is the largest ship in port today. | The only way to reach Ketchikan is by boat or plane. That gave us many opportunities to watch the small planes glide across the water.
12: Seagulls took off from a barge as we past. We have a glimpse of homes along the shoreline of a nearby island. | Jeanette enjoys some hot chocolate on the St. John
14: Active Bald Eagle nest | Shoreline in Bhem Canal on the way to Misty Fjords National Park | Waterfalls are abundant thanks to rain they got the previous week. | Seals resting on New Eddystone Rock | Consists of basalt that rose from a volcanic vent through fractures in the floor of Behm Canal | New Eddystone Rock at entrance to Rudyerd Bay.
15: The steep cliff walls of Rudyerd Bay are heavily scraped and scarred due to the grinding action of the glaciers that once flowed there.
18: As we speed back to our ship, we came across several harbor seals resting on a small strip of land.
19: Back to the port at Ketchikan
20: Ketchikan's airport and the landing of one of the planes. | Those that live on the surrounding islands, use the small ferry to access Ketchikan
21: Time to move to our next port. The small town can relax as all the ships make their way to their next destination. | We found a cute dog waiting for us after dinner.
22: Day 4 JUNEAU | The fog seemed to follow us to Juneau. We hoped it would burn away soon as we gathered our cameras for the Photo Safari this morning.
23: Photo Safari | The fog didn't seem to be too bad - until we got in the small boat of 14 people. We left the shoreline and were enveloped in thick fog. We slowly made our way in hopes we'll find a clearing between two islands.. | The fog was real thick and I thought we were not going to see anything on this trip. We finally rounded one of the islands and the fog lifted. We found a mother and her calf swimming between the two small islands. We all scanned the water looking for them to surface hoping to get that perfect shot.
24: Wayne and I were on opposite sides of the boat hoping one of us would be lucky. Then the calf jumped out of the water in front of me. After the initial ‘awe‘, I recovered to snap the photo. No one else on the boat got the shot. I was really lucky that morning. | After the exciting shot of the breach, we waited a short time to see if they would reappear and then headed back to shore. Two eagles were perched in the tree in the marina to greet us.
25: Our next stop was the Mendenhall Glacier located in the Tongass National Forest. It stretches 12 miles seeming to capture the blue of the sky. A beaver has started building a small dam in the little pond next to the river.
27: The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. - St. Augustine
29: We walked through the Tongass Forest to where our bus waited. | Our guide encouraged us to look for the beauty in the little things as well.
30: In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous. -Aristotle
31: As we walked along the trail, we past over a stream with lots of salmon. We hoped to see a bear, but only seen fresh bear scat on the trail. We also found more evidence of beaver's in the area.
32: From the swinging doors to the sawdust on the floor, Red Dog is a real-live saloon. It's the oldest man-made tourist attraction in Juneau.
33: Mt. Roberts tramway carries visitor's to the top for a view of the harbor below. Juneau is the capital of Alaska that was founded during the gold rush in 1880.
35: We left the town on our next adventure - the Evening Whale Watch cruise. We found several seals sleeping on a buoy as we past by the tiny islands surrounding Juneau. As we rounded an small island, we spotted the whales. We stayed for a while watching them dive in the water.
36: An eagle soared over our heads while we looked for the whales
37: We found another eagle resting on some rocks. Then spotted a mother and her calf swimming n the area.
38: Our time was short, so we made our way back to the boat. | A bunny visited our room tonight. | As the sunset, the other boats made their way out of the port.
39: Day 5 - Skagway | We climbed aboard the White Pass and Yukon Railway and ascended into the scenic mountains. Along the way, they told us the stories of the miners who made this sojourn on foot more than a century ago. .
40: As we made our way out, we past some campsites along the tracks. We found out by our tour guide that many workers live in the camp. Very few people live here year round. | The rail yard had many new and old train cars. It reminded me of the Easter cartoon - Easter Bunny is Coming to Town today. Choo Choo baby..
41: As the train made it's way up the mountain, we could see the valley far below. Hikers still attempt the same path the miners did during the gold rush.
43: While building the railway, a large granite slab fell down the mountain crushing two workers. They never recovered their bodies, but left them under the massive granite shown to the left. | Railcar available to the hikers in the area to rest.
45: The further up the mountain we went brought the fog around us. While we couldn't see the valley below, we still listened to the stories of the hopeful gold miners that made their journey up the mountain on foot..
47: The fog settled in the middle of the mountain. The top of the mountain was clear. We were able to take in the views of the tundra in Canada.
48: We stepped off the train and tried to soak in the beauty that surrounded us. Soon we were loaded back on the bus for our ride back down the mountain
49: Once again, we met the fog.
50: The fog burned off on our way down. It gave us the opportunity to view pitchfork falls and the pipe for the hydroelectric project.
51: We had some extra time before dinner, so our guide took us to a look out. We could see the port below with all the ships lined up. After a short stop, we made our way to Liarsville - a historic gold-rush camp.
52: After a great dinner of smoked salmon and chicken, we walked around Liarsville's tents, cabins and general store.
53: Liarsville was established by the Press. They didn't want to make the hard journey to where the miners where, so they made camp here. They got their ‘facts’ from gold prospectors moving through the area.
54: The long list of supplies demonstrates what a miner must have to make the journey. It would weigh 1 ton.
55: We watched a typical show of the times and then were able to pan for gold. We didn't strike it rich here - only a couple flakes each.
56: Our next stop was the Red Onion Saloon. The brothel originally had ten tiny cubicles, called cribs, 10’x10’. A hole was in the floor connecting to the cash register in the bar with a copper tube. The girls hid nuggets and private items between the floorboards.
57: The bartender kept ten dolls on the back wall, one for each of the girls in each of the rooms. When a girl was with a customer, her doll was laid on its back. When she sent her money down the tube, the doll was returned to the upright position. | Each girl decorated her crib with wall paper. She was issued a bed - notice the headboard to the right. Just big enough to handle her business. | Madam's room | Customer's at the bar. | The Red Onion was moved in 1914 with one horse from Sixth and State Street to its current Broadway location. Unfortunately, the Onion was dragged around the corner backwards and the front and back of the building had to be removed in order to switch them.
58: The Mascot Saloon is now a museum that depicts a saloon after the gold rush. Glass cases held items that would typically be bought during that time.
60: A walk around Skagway seemed to take you back in time.
61: As we walked down the boardwalk, girls would call down to us.
66: We made our way back to the boat and noticed a seal swimming around the dock. | Surprise! The seal is now in our room
67: Day 6 -Icy Strait | Fog welcomed us as we entered Icy Strait Point. It would soon burn off to a beautiful day. I spotted the eagle as our tender boat made it's way to the dock.
68: We set off for our tour of Hoonah - stopping along the way for photo ops. Wayne noticed the eagle high in the tree. We were surprised the small birds settled in the tree below him. We could hear the call of another eagle, but could not find him. Finally, Wayne spotted the juvenile eagle in the middle of the tree.
69: Hoonah is a small town and if you blink, you will miss it. Not much to see or tour. The young girl was proud of her home and tried to make the tour interesting.
70: Across the small marina, an eagle was perched in the tree.
71: The small school in Hoonah is for grades K - 12. It currently has 105 students - total. | The students are taught about the old ways - including making totem poles. Most totem poles will tell a story. The one to the right tells of a fisherman. He was fishing in his canoe when his wife yelled to him to look around. He saw the octopus and fought for his life. The octopus over took him and the boat.
72: After the short tour, we watched a show about their heritage.
74: Hoonah Indians are either Ravens or Eagles. A Raven can only marry an Eagle - an Eagle can only marry a Raven. The children follow their mother’s lineage. | People on SipRider - the longest sip line in the world. | While waiting for our bear search excursion, we took a walk through the woods.
75: Bear Search | Only bear we saw. | Tree with Grey-beard
76: We searched the river for bears. Found eagles.
77: The end of the day is here. Tomorrow is an early day. Hubbard Glacier at 6am.
78: Day 7
79: Floating towards Hubbard Glacier
81: We tried to capture the beauty before us. However, it is impossible to capture the beauty of Hubbard Glacier. This place must be experienced individually.
82: We stood on the bow of the ship for a couple of hours. Truly amazed that the glacier changed before our eyes with each calving. | Hubbard Glacier is a tidewater glacier. From its source in the Yukon, the glacier stretches 76 miles to the sea at Yakutat and Disenchantment Bay. It is the longest tidewater glacier in Alaska, with an open calving face over 6 miles wide.
93: Eventually we pulled away from the glacier to make our way to the final port. Dolphins raced beside the boat giving us a final farewell.
94: Since it's the last day, Wayne had to tackle the wall. Wayne's first time on the wall. | There were a few people trying their hand at the climbing wall. Wayne would zip past them like he's done this all his life. We noticed a couple of guys in their 20's trying to impress each other and the girls. Both were tired after one trip up.
95: Wayne decided to go one more round and asked for a harder area to climb. He past up the younger guy and rang the bell. Just look at that smile. Great way to end the cruise portion of our trip.