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Alaska

In August of 2011, Kevin's mom took him and Cindy on an Alaskan cruise.


Saturday: Vancouver and embarkation

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We flew to Vancouver that Saturday morning. We were picked up in our Princess bus, and driven across the city of Vancouver, to the dock.

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We sailed through Vancouver Harbor...

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and out under Lion's Gate Bridge.

 

Monday: Ketchikan and Misty Fjords

Sunday was at sea, and there wasn't much to see. We arrived in Ketchikan early Monday morning.

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Sailing out of Ketchikan on the Misty Fjords tour...


The Fjords were amazing. Two thousand foot-high cliffs!


Too bad my camera batteries ran out.







New Eddystone Rock

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Native American pictographs. On the right side, see the tall, narrow rust-colored stain? Just to the right of that is some red paint in the shape of the sun. In the middle, there's a plant clinging to the side of the rock. Just underneath it, there's a red spot - the moon. On the left, there's a vertical crack. On the left edge of it, you can see a small red spot. To the right of the crack, in a tall narrow patch of light-colored rock, there's another small spot of red paint. These two spots are the outermost parts of a bear's footprint pictograph.


Anemones in the wild.

 

Tuesday: Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier, Whale Watching cruise


Cindy and I took a hike in the rainforest at Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest.


Moss...


More moss...


Our guide telling us about the growth habit of devil's club.


More moss...


Everything was green - even the water.


Fairy steps


And finally, a view of the glacier itself!


Kayakers among the bergs on Mendenhall Lake.


Nugget Creek Falls


Click it to zoom in!


A salmon fisherman.

 


Later in the day, the three of us went on a whale watching cruise.


We saw about half a dozen humpback whales.

 

Wednesday: Skagway, White Pass, and wildlife tour


We got off the boat fairly early, for a train ride.


The White Pass and Yukon Route railway. The ride took us twenty miles
up a valley to White Pass on the British Columbia Border.


Near the top, we paralleled the Trail of 98, where the gold rushers traveled to the Klondike.


Narrow gauge.


Three separate trains made the trip up (each for its own cruise ship), where the engines switched
from the fronts of the trains to the backs, making the backs into the fronts for the return trip.


As the trains passed each other, the announcer on the train next to us told
the passengers to make moose antlers at us. Some of them got into it a little too much.


After all three trains were at the top, we started back down.


Oops. Dead end. Start backing up!


The fjord we rode in on.


During construction of the railroad in 1898, a fifteen-ton rock fell on two railroad workers and their mules.
Maurice Dunn and A. Jeneaux. It became their grave.


The Norwegian Star and the Norwegian Pearl. Our ship, the Coral Princess, and one other, are out of sight to the left.


Back in Skagway.


Snow Plow No. 1
Click on the image to see it bigger. It's a 1024x768 pixel image
usable as wallpaper if your monitor is set for that resolution.


Downtown Skagway.


After lunch, we hopped a ferry to Haines, then rode a bus to the Chilkat River for a wildlife cruise.


They gave us coats, lap blankets and earmuffs...


Because we were zooming on the river in an open jet boat.


Moose!


It really was cold.


Aside from the moose, we saw some bald eagles.


This is what the river looked like, for the most part.


Our guide told us the clouds were very high, so we could see the glaciers well.


And then we roasted wieners.


Back to the boat.

 

Thursday: glaciers in Glacier Bay


The weather was beautiful. A crewmember told us this was the best weather he'd ever seen in Glacier Bay - in four years.


Captain Fabio watching for icebergs.


A National Geographic boat.


3D


Margerie Glacier


Since the sun was out and it was so warm, the glacier was calving.

This next series shows a huge amount of ice falling. For scale, the wall is over 200 feet high.


Grand Pacific Glacier. It's right next to Margerie, but even though it's way bigger, it has so much rock in it, it's not very pretty.


Back to Margerie.


The tallest-loooking peak, throwing off the cloud, is so small that it's unnamed.
The rounded peak to the right of it is Mount Fairweather, which is 15,325 feet high.


This is above Margerie. That's the unnamed peak again.
Right in the middle of the frame, kinda behind that cloud, may be the 13,615 foot Mount Quincy Adams.


A triple-deck tour boat.


harbor seal


Leaving the glaciers, we saw a few humpback whales in the distance.


As we left Alaskan waters, the local pilot disembarked.


The water was glassy smooth.


Mount Fairweather

 

Friday: College Fjord glaciers


Friday saw bad weather on the open sea.


But once we got into College Fjord, the weather improved. At least, the rain let up.


There are glaciers all along the side of the fjord, and each one is named after an Ivy League college.


3D


The ship's photographers go around and take everyone's pictures, every chance they get, including on the decks
at the glaciers. On this day, they put a couple of them aboard the fast response boat.

 

Saturday: Whittier, Anchorage and Hatcher Pass


Nasty weather when we disembarked on saturday. Cold and rainy. But the staff tried to cheer us up with a brilliant sunrise on the movie screen.


Our new cousin and her husband met us in Anchorage, and they took us out sightseeing.
This was going up to Hatcher Pass. No, the river wasn't going up, we were.


At the top - Hatcher Pass.


We had an overnight flight out of Anchorage that night, with a layover in Denver the next morning.

 


Copyright Cindy & Kevin Hansen