S: Alaksa August 2011
1: In celebration of steve's 50th birthday we decided to take the north bound voyage of the Glacier's cruise, thru the Inside Passage of Alaska
2: We flew into vancouver on Monday, August 22nd. it was rainy but that didn't stop us from doing a little exploring. We walked 5 blocks from our hotel to the water taxi to go to granville island.
3: Granville island has a brewery, Public Market and many shops to check out. THe public market had meat, fish, produce, fruit, and bakery stands as well as artist booths.
4: capilano suspension bridge park In 1888, George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and land developer, arrived in the young city of Vancouver in Canada. Mackay purchased 6,000 acres of dense forest on either side of Capilano River and built a cabin on the very edge of the canyon wall. The bridge, and Mackay's cabin, became a popular destination for adventurous friends, dubbed Capilano Tramps. After his death, the hemp rope bridge was replaced by a wire cable bridge in 1903. | , Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River. | view from the side before we cross the bridge | the canyon floor and river below as we crossed the bridge
5: THe Cliffwalk is a new attraction at the park. It is 20 inches wide and 300 ft above the canyon floor and extends out from the side of the granite cliff face. | once on the other side there is a series of paths and bridges to wander around the forest. Everything is so green and lush. The tree above is 1300 years old - Grandma Capialno tree
6: The olympic cauldron that was lit for the 2010 winter olympics. It is only lit for special occasions now. | The Drop - 65 ft tall sculpture outside the conventions center at the edge of the seawall | AROUND VANCOUVER ON THE HOP-ON HOP-OFF TROLLEY | Canada place - part of the convention center and where all the cruise ships dock. | gorgeous flower beds in the rose garden part of stanley park
7: THIS IS THE TOTEM POLE PARK IN STANLEY PARK. THE TOTEM WAS THE BRITISH COLUMBIA INDIAN COAT OF ARMS. | THE BEAVER CREST POLE TO THE LEFT WAS CARVED IN 1987 BY ARTIST NORMAN TAIT AND DEPICTS HOW THE TAIT FAMILY'S EAGLE CLAN ADOPTED THE BEAVER AS THEIR CREST, AND HOW THE EAGLE AND RAVEN MET AND SHARED THE SKY. | THE THUNDERBIRD HOUSE POST ARE USED IN TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS CEDAR HOUSES TO DUPPORT THE HUGE ROOF BEAMS.
8: WE STOPPED AT PROSPECT POINT WHICH HAS A WONDERFUL VIEW OF THE NORTH SHORE AND GROUSE MOUNTAIN.
9: THE LIONSGATE BRIDGE THAT LINKS THE NORTH SHORE AND GROUSE MOUNTAIN TO DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER OVER THE BURRARD INLET. | OUR LAST STOP WAS THE GASTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD. IT IS NAMED AFTER JOHN "GASSY JACK" DEIGHTON AND IS WHERE THE CITY OF VANCOUVER BEGAN.
10: we interrupt this trip to show you a taping of the tv show fringe! we were walking to the grocery store the morning of our cruise and saw the cameras set up in front of a building. | we hung around awhile and watched olivia and walter film a scene coming out of a parking garage.
11: time to sail away on the island princess. this is a smaller ship with only 1900 passengers. we had a balcony cabin on the baja deck...in the middle of the ship. | SAIL AWAY WAS AT 4:#0PM AND IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL AFTERNOON. AS YOU CAN SEE...STEVE WAS JUST A LITTLE EXICTED?
13: LEAVING VANCOUVER
14: BEAUTIFUL SUNSET THE SECOND NIGHT ON THE SHIP BEFORE WE DOCK AT OUR FIRST PORT OF KETCHIKAN.
16: Our first port was Ketchikan. We went to the alaska rainforest sanctuary in the hopes of seeing bears. | we were very lucky and watched a mama bear and her cub fish for salmon in the stream for about 15 minutes.
18: THE SANCTUARY IS ALSO HOME TO AN INJURED OWL AND A COUPLE OF REINDEER. THE BALD EAGLE WAS IN FRONT OF THE SALMON HATCHING FACILITY AT THE EDGE OF THE PROPERTY.
19: creek street is a boardwalk along ketchickan creek. this area was once the red-light district in ketchikan. we had a great crab lunch at the crab cracker. | WE WATChED A MASTER TOTEM POLE carVER WORKING ON A TOTEM POLE FOR THE SANCTUARY. HE STARTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TOURIST SEASON AND WILL BE FINISHED AT THE END. THE TOTEM POLES ARE MADE OF RED CEDAR AND ARE HOLLOW IN THE BACK TO SLOW DOWN THE ROTTING PROCESS.
20: the island princess in ketchikan. we were only in ketchikan from 8-2. | as we left ketchikan we took a walk along the promenade deck. 2.8 times around was 1 mile. | birthday greetings from princess on the door to our cabin.
21: In juneau we went on a whale watching trip with orca enterprises. at one point we were just drifting as 4 or 5 whales kept coming in and out of the water. | it was very hard to get a picture of the whales, by the time you saw one come up it was too late to take a picture!
22: Mendenhall Glacier
23: juneau alaska
24: medenhall glacier is the only glacier within city limits. it is 12 miles long and stretches from the juneau icefield to mendenhall lake.
26: the famous red dog saloon in juneau. this saloon has been around since juneau's mining era. we enjoyed a duck fart shot - kula, bailey's and crown on the top. we especially liked the sign below hanging a couple places around the bar.
27: OUR NExT PORT IS SKAGWAY. IN 1897 GOLD SEEKERS POURED INTO SKAGWAY IN SEARCH OF THE METAL. THE ARCTIC BROTHERHOOD HALL TO THE LEFT WAS BUILt IN 1899 AND IS THE ONLY REMINING EXAMPLE OF TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY ALASKA DRFTWOOD ARCHITECTURE. | ROTARY SNOWPLOW NO 1. WAS BUILT IN 1898 TO CLEAR THE SNOW FROM THE wP&YR TRACKS | SKAGWAY CENTENNIAL STATUE
28: our first excursion in skagway is a train ride up the white pass & yukon route. THis railway links skagway with yukon, canada. the railway was built in 1898 at the height of the klondike gold rush. we took the train up to fraiser, bc and then a van ride back down to skagway.
30: mANY OF THE WATERFALLS ON THE SIDE OF THE TRAIN TRACKS OR ON THE HIGHWAY BACK DOWN TO SKAGWAY WERE A RESULT OF ALL THE RAIN THIS SEASON. | THE FALL COLORS WERE STARTING TO POP OUT ON THE MOUNTAIN SIDES.
31: ONCE WE CROSSED OVER INTO CANADA THE LANDSCAPE CHAGED DRAMATICALLY. IT WAS ALOT MORE ROCKY AND DESOLATE LOOKING. THE TREES WERE NOT AS TALL AS WE SAW EARLIER IN THE TRIP. THE CONSTANT WIND STUNTS THEIR GROWTH EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY ALSO BE 100'S OF YEARS OLD. | rOW OF FLAGS SIGNALS OUR ENTRY INTO CANADA | tHESE INUKSHUK'S, STONE LANDMARKS, WERE ALONG ONE STRETCH OF HIGHWAY.
32: our second excursion in skagway was a hike up the chilkoot trail and then a raft float down the river. The chilkoot trail is the same trail many took in 1897 and 1898 hoping to find gold. this was a great hike to see the vegetation in the rainforest. there were many different types of mushrooms and lichen growing on the tree stumps. we also saw a bear scratch on one of the trees which was steve's height with his arm stretched up.
33: after hiking a couple miles up the trail we put on life jackets and did a raft float back down to skagway. it was very beautiful floating down the river and the sun actually peaked out for a few moments of our float.
34: THE CREWS FROM THE CRUISE SHIPS USE TO PAY TRIBUTE TO THEIR CAPTAINS ON A ROCK WALL NEXT TO THE DOCKS IN SKAGWAY. | A GLIMPSE OF A GLACIER BEHIND THE ISLAND PRINCESS.
35: GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE
38: Glacier bay national park is over 3.3 million acres of forest, inlet and shore, mountain peaks and glaciers. the captain spends a half hour on the port side and on the starboard side at the margerie glacier. we spent the morning on our balcony enjoying a champagne breakfast and continually being amazed at the scenery before us.
41: outside on deck in front of the margerie glacier. the splash in the water was all i could catch of the glacier calving.
42: the last glacier we cruised by was the johns hopkins glacier. it is one of the few glaciers that is still growing. the water is a beautiful blue green color that is caused from the silt from the glaciers retreating. | as you get closer to a glacier you see more and more icebergs floating in the water.
44: college fjord | within an 8 mile stretch there are five major tidewater glaciers. the glaciers are named after columbia, yale, harvard, smith and vassar.
45: we cruised into college fjord around 5pm and it was quite chilly out on the upper decks. we had a good view from our balcony. quite a few sea otters were swimming around when we first entered the fjord.
50: portage glacier is our last stop in anchorage, ak. this glacier is in portage lake which is being formed by the glacier retreating. there is no plant life or fish in this lake. we got within 300 yards of the face of this glacier. it was raining sideways but we couldn't resist going to the outside decks to get a closer look.
54: itinerary august 24 - vancouver august 25 - at sea august 26 - ketchikan august 27 - juneau august 28 - skagway august 29 - glacier bay august 30 - college fjord august 31 - whitter/anchorage