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Alaskan Adventure August 2011

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S: ALASKA

BC: The End | Alaska Facts Oct. 18, 1867 bought from Russia for $7.2M (.02c/acre) Called 'Seward's Folly' after US Sec of State. Became 49th State Jan.3, 1959 Capital: Juneau Area: 586,412 sq. miles Motto: North to the Future Population: 627,000 Flower: Forget-me-not Fish: Salmon Bird: Ptarmigan Tree: Sitka Spruce Mineral: Gold Sport: Dog Mushing Animal: Moose

FC: VANCOUVER , B.C. TO FAIRBANKS, AK. August 17 to 31, 2011 | OUR ALASKAN ADVENTURE

1: To celebrate our 45th Wedding Anniversary, we decided to take a cruise and land tour of Alaska. August 17 - 20, Vancouver August 20, Vancouver and sailing the Inside Passage August 21, Sailing the Inside Passage August 22, Ketchikan August 23, Juneau August 24, Skagway August 25, Glacier Bay August 26, College Fjord August 27, Whittier to Mount Mckinley August 28, Mount Mckinley to Denali August 29, Denali to Fairbanks August 30, Fairbanks August 31, Fairbanks to Toronto | page1

2: Diamond Princess docked at Canada Place. | The 2010 Olympic Flame,now only lit on special occasions. | August 17,18,19, 2011 Vancouver B.C. | 2 | Gassy Jack Deighton | The Steam Clock

3: We stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel. It was close to everything | Pan Pacific Hotel | 3

4: Canada Place | Note the roof-top of grasses. ----------------- Diamond Princess docked at Canada Place. This is our ship. | 4

5: 5 | Grenville Island | 5

6: View from the pool on the roof of the Pan Pacific the hotel. | 6

7: LIONS GATE BRIDGE and view across the Narrows of BURRARD INLET. | 7 | click

8: Save the trees! | We toured Stanley Park on the trolley car. | Totems | The weather was beautiful! | 8

9: View from near Prospect Hill after so many trees were felled in the storm of 2006. | Lions Gate Bridge. It was built by the Guinness family in 1937-39 for $5.8M and sold back to the city in 1955 for $5.9M. In the 15 years of ownership, the Guinness Family collected $20M in tolls! | 9

10: The Gardens in Stanley Park | 10

11: Now it's time to depart Vancouver and embark the Diamond Princess to begin our cruise. | August 20th | Diamond Princess Stats. Owner: Carnival Corporation. Port of Registry: Bermuda. Builder: Mitsubishi. Cost: $500 million US. Completed: 2004 Tonnage: 115,875 gross tons. Length: 951 ft (289.86m) Decks: 17 Capacity: 2,670 passengers. Crew: 1,238. | 11

12: Inside cabin | The Atrium (decks five, six and seven). | Vivaldi Dining room | August 21 At sea, aboard the Diamond Princess, sailing the Inside Passage. | 12

13: Scenes along the Inside Passage from Vancouver to Ketchikan | 13

14: Ketchikan was our first port of call. We took a private tour with Ketchikan Taxi Tours. Kat was our driver and she took us on a tour of the town streets, some of which are built right over the water. We went through the tunnel that shares car traffic with train traffic. They have to take turns using it. | August 22 | 14

15: We went out to Rainbow Falls...very pretty. Then on to a small creek where a black bear was having a feast on the salmon. He was fattening up for winter. | Three deer silently slipped up behind us on a path in the bush. | Kat | 15

16: POTLATCH PARK | Privately owned, Potlatch Park was built to display amazing carvings on totems and the inside of the longhouse. | The Raven figures prominently in the native Tlingit legends. So does the Eagle, Whale, Beaver, and Wolf. | 16

17: TOTEM BIGHT STATE PARK and RAINFOREST | Depicting Tlingit and Haida culture | 17

18: August 23,Juneau Alaska's Capital City | Juneau was our next stop. As this is the absolute best place to whale watch.....that is what we did! | 18

19: Captain Greg Brown, from Weather Permitting Alaska guaranteed us whale sightings. He was not wrong! He took us to Auke Bay and area. We saw humpbacks and orcas and Greg provided us with munchies, refreshments, and awesome Belgian- chocolate brownies. GREAT DAY! | 19 | Auke Bay Harbour | Captain Greg | Fluke salute | Several whales

20: Orcas and Humpbacks | John saw an Orca breach, but I wasn't quick enough to get a photo. These photos, similar to mine (taken with my limited camera) were sent to me by Patrick Moynihan from Minnesota, a fellow passenger who graciously shared them with me. He had an awesome camera. | 20 | Orcas | Nice spout!

21: Humpbacks

22: Next stop was Skagway, where we took another small group tour of the town with Dyea Dave Taxi tours. | Skagway and the neighbouring town of Dyea were the jumping-off points for the Yukon Goldrush seekers as they travelled up either the White Mt. Pass or the Chilkoot Trail. | Skagway,August 24th | 22

23: A tribute to the miners and the native guides. Each person had to carry in 1000 lbs of supplies over the 53km Chilkoot Pass to the Klondike gold fields in the late 1890's. | Skagway gained importance in 1899 when the railway through the White Mt. Pass made the Chilkoot route from Dyea obsolete. | 23

24: Awesome scenery as we travelled by taxi on the South Klondike Highway to Carcross in the Yukon, and on to Emerald Lake. Our taxi driver, Barry, talked during almost the whole route and gave us an amazing history lesson on the gold rush days and on the geology of the whole area. | 24

25: Carcross was originally called Caribou Crossing, but there were several other places with the same name, resulting in great confusion, so it was shortened to Carcross. Past Carcross is Emerald Lake (with amazing emerald coloured water, when the sky is clear!). Also, believe it or not, there is a desert with sand dunes! When the gold-seekers reached Bennett Lake, they had to build boats to continue down the Yukon River to the gold fields. | Emerald Lake | Desert | Bennett Lake | 25

26: The White Pass and Yukon Route Railway returns us to Skagway amid wonderful scenery. | We board the train in Fraser for the return trip through the White Mt. Pass back to Skagway. | 26

27: Deep gorges! | Our train. | Snow removal engine for the White Pass RR. | Diamond Princess in Skagway | 27

28: Glacier Bay August 25 When Captain George Vancouver sailed the Alaskan coast in 1794, Glacier Bay did not exist. It lay beneath a sheet of ice several miles wide and thousands of feet thick Since then it has shrunk back 105 kms., creating the John Hopkins Inlet where 20 glaciers are revealed. At the end of Tarr Inlet lies Margerie, the largest of the tidewater glaciers: 1.6km wide and 34km long. Cruise ships must remain about 3km back from the face due to the volume of calving ice. | Margerie Glacier | 28

29: Harvard Glacier From one spot in College Fjord, it is possible to see eight glaciers from the cruise ship. | In 1964 College Fjord was the epicenter of the Good Friday Earthquake; the most powerful in US history! | College Fjord August 26 Located in the northern sector of Prince William Sound, the fjord contains 5 tidewater glaciers, and 5 valley glaciers, all named after renowned East Coast colleges. | iceberg | 29

30: Whittier August 27 We disembark the ship and board the Alaskan Railroad's McKinley Express which takes us 174 miles to Talkeetna where we board a coach to take us 50 miles down the Parks Highway to the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. | Whittier is situated at the western edge of Prince William Sound. It is an ice-free deepwater port giving access to Anchorage, 75 miles north. The only access is by water or rail. Population is about 300, with about 700,000 tourists yearly. | 30

31: Leaving Whittier, we pass through a two mile tunnel. The route continues along Turnagain Arm, a body of water featuring the world's second highest tides at over 30 feet. Beluga whales can often be seen following salmon on the incoming tide, and Dall sheep frequent rocky mountain sides. We then descend through the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. This area, also commonly known as Potter's Marsh, is a good place to spot migratory birds, water fowl and moose. | 31

32: McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge | View from the Lodge patio | Dining Room | John in hot tub......as usual! | That afternoon, we arrive at the McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge | 32

33: Denali/Mount McKinley. This was the view from the Lodge. What a beautiful sunny day to get this awesome photo! | 33 | Denali: the High One.

34: Today, we toured Denali National Park by coach | Taiga; the northern forest of plants, fungi and animals; and Tundra; the treeless tapestry of Denali. | August 28th, Denali Wilderness Lodge | The Lodge | 34

35: Denali National Park Road is 91 miles long, giving access into the interior. We traveled only part way, to Primrose Ridge. We stopped at Savage Cabin for an interpretive presentation. We did see Dall Sheep, but too far off for a photo. | 35

36: Highlight of our trip: August 29 Flight around the summit of Mount McKinley with Denali Air. | We flew over deep valleys, past the 14,900' Wickersham Wall ,over the 3000' deep Ruth Glacier and around the 20,320' peak. It was a spectacular, sunny, clear blue sky day! What luck!!!!! | Gwen got the co-pilot seat! | F L I G H T S E E I N G | 36

37: 37

38: We circled the summit of Mount McKinley or Denali (The High One) which rises 20,320 feet. It is the highest mountain peak in North America. | 38

39: We appear to be very close to the mountain, but our pilot showed us how far we really were from it by flying straight at the side of the mountain at 200 miles per hour for at least 2 minutes! Awesome!!!!!!! | 39

40: August 29, p.m. we travel by Alaska Railroad to Fairbanks and stay at the Riverside Princess Lodge. | On the way, we pass through the Nenana River Canyon, a great whitewater rafting area. Beautiful scenery all along the way. | on the train | 40

41: Tanana Bridge near Fairbanks | 41

42: Fairbanks: Chena River Steamboat Tour on the Discovery II included float plane and sled dog demonstrations. | August 30 | Fairbanks | 42

43: A stop at 4x Iditarod champion Susan Butcher's sled dog kennels for a sledding demonstration by her husband and daughters. Susan died in 2006 from leukemia at the age of 51. | Susan Butcher:Four time winner of the Iditarod and the first woman to ever place in the top 10. She also won the 1992 and 1993 Copper Basin 300. She and her husband also mushed a dog team to the summit of Mount McKinley. | 43 | Trail Breaker Kennels

44: Athabaskan Village | Salmon wheel | Native guides gave detailed interpretive demonstrations. | Athabaskan house. | 44

45: Athabaskan ceremonial costume. Beautiful!!!! | At the Village, Susan's daughter told us more about the sled dogs. | A statue of Granite, Susan Butcher's famous sled dog. | Susan's husband, David Monson signs her books. | 45

46: John, Gwen, Lance and Amp, from Comeback Kennels. | We were fortunate to meet and hear Lance Mackey,the world's first & only 4 time Yukon Quest & 4 time Iditarod champion! In 2007 & 2008, he won both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod in the same year and within two weeks of each other. He is a cancer survivor!!! An amazing man! | Larry, one of the sled dogs at Lance's Comeback Kennels. | Lunch at the dock with speaker Lance Mackey. | 46

47: We ended the day with a Salmon Bake, a tour of a Pioneer Park and Theater Production about the History of Fairbanks. Fun! | Evening | 47

48: OOPS! Some photos that I should have included. | 48 | Flightpath | Coastguard escort! | Sunset | Seal on ice | John on deck. | Tomorrow we head for home. | We fly from Fairbanks to Seattle to Chicago to Toronto. Whew!!!!

49: The Adventure ends! This photo was taken on board the ship. We had a wonderful time and the memories will linger long! | 49 | 45 years | August 31. Homeward bound

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  • By: Gwen P.
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