Sunday, December 6, 2009

Icy Strait Point

OK, I know I have been really bad about getting these posted. It is not as simple as I hoped it would be to download the photos and I have just been doing other things. Like helping out at the store for the holidays. Well, I won't be doing that next year!

Icy Strait Point is actually a community of the Hoonah Native Americans. It's the only port that is totally owned and operated by the local people. And they do not call us tourists, they call us guests. This area has shops and local info. It used to be a fish cannery and a lot of the original stuff is still there. The second picture is a close up of the building.
This was the only day it rained on us which was really kinda lucky. I know two be people who went on cruises just one or two weeks before us and they had only one day with no rain. So we really lucked out. The only thing is that this is the day we were scheduled to do the zipline. Yes, that's right the zipline. We all sorta have a thing about heights and we're not kids anymore, but we decided that we should do it while we can.

This is an old boat that was on the shore near the port and it was a great photo op.
From the cannery we took a bus ride to the top of the mountain for the zipline. It was foggy and rainy and cold. Not the kind of day that makes you want to zip down a mountain at 60 mph for over a mile, but we paid $99 so we went. At the top of the hill were bear tracks. It was a bit uncomfortable when they unloaded us from the bus and then we had to hike about a quarter mile more through the fog and rain. I kept thinking about those bear tracks.

This is the top of the zipline. As you can see it was rainy and foggy and cold. They did have a tarp roof over a campfire for us as we waited our turn. A friend loaned me a down jacket before we left and boy was I grateful to have it. Thanks Brian.

The ride was so fun that when I got to the bottom I wanted to go again. Of course I would have to pay another $99 and then take another 45 minute ride to the top of the mountain so I didn't do it, but if I ever have a chance I will do it again. The building below is near the end of the line and we in stopped there to warm up and have a taste of reindeer chili. I took this blurry picture of something jumping out of the water while we sat in there. I have since learned a bit more about my camera and I believe that next time I will get better pictures.

Here are a few pictures from the ship that show the zipline. In the first one you can see the deck were we started and in the fourth one you can see the area where we stopped. Then there is one of the whole mountain. A cloud is covering the starting deck. (Click a picture to see a larger view.)

Back inside the ship we stopped at the Seaview Cafe for lunch. They had great hot dogs (Nathan's) yum!

We loved it in Hoonah. The people are great and the zipline was fun even though it rained on us. The rain didn't spoil any of the fun!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Continuing the recap of our Alaska cruise. I know it's taking me a while to get it posted, but I will get it all up sooner or later.

Our next stop was Skagway. We took a bus ride up to White Pass and across the border into Canada. We had a great tour guide named Paul who made the trip really fun.

This first picture shows the first snow fall of the new season. You can see the light sprinkling on the right side on the back mountain. (Don't forget that you can click any picture to get a larger/closer view.)

The next picture is Karnack Glacier. It seems quite small compared to the glaciers we saw later on the trip (pictures coming later).

Notice this small, one-sided bridge that was built across an earthquake fault.
At the Alaska-Canada border there was this wonderful "Welcome to Alaska" sign and a small green with white lettering sign that said, "Entering Canada". So of course the Alaska one was the photo op even though we were going into Canada. The second picture was taken to the right side of the sign looking down into Alaska.

These were taken in Canada. Notice that people like to make the rock stacks. I think one of these rock figures was a mascot or something for the Olympics.

Downtown Skagway. See the cruise ships in the back at the end of the street.

This building is covered with driftwood.

Ducks by the ship. I thought they were Puffins, but my brother Mike (the bird-brain) told me they are something else, but I don't remember the name.

Leaving Skagway. When we found out that our tour guide and his wife drive from Monterey to Alaska each summer I had to ask about the roads. He was so nice and gave us his email and told us to email him so that he could give us all the good info we need to take the fifth-wheel up there. We're thinking of going in a couple of years.
This last one is leaving Skagway up the inland passage.

Next is Icy Strait Point (Hoonah). That was the only rainy day of the trip, but it was one of the best. In a word - Zipline!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


As our ship was going into Juneau there was this lone guy moving right along. We couldn't figure out where he came from because he was heading toward the town, but there wasn't anything the way he came from. The next two are the city of Juneau in the morning fog.

This wall art was on a city building. I took it from a taxi window so there is a sticker on the street.

We went up the Mount Roberts Tramway. As you can see the fog lifted.
Here's a good one of the tram.
Here's an example of their artwork. They have costumes made like this too. I talked to a young guy in one of the costumes because I wanted to see if it was really buttons. It is those pearly shell buttons. He was very proud of his costume and wanted to add even more buttons as soon as he could. The black and red are a very heavy felt fabric.

They take cigarette butts very seriously. Good for them, litter is litter and they need to keep that beautiful area beautiful.

Leaving Juneau up the inland passage. Next Skagway!

We had another great day and were awed by the beauty of Alaska!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I'm gonna post info about our Alaska Cruise in segments. I have that new camera and I kinda got carried away. I deleted lots of pictures and still ended up with over 600. (I know.) Anyway, we had a great time and I had fun taking pictures of everything! I wanted to remember it all.
Also, the weather was great - it only rained one day. Before we left I checked the 10 day forecast for each port and it showed rain all but one day. Needless, to say we were all happy and the ship's captain tried to take credit for the sunshine.

I'm starting with Ketchikan because it was our first port. We did fly to Vancouver and got on the ship there, but I really don't have anything good to say about the area of Vancouver we were in so I won't.
Going into Ketchikan we saw this sea plane and Ray thought it was pretty cool so I took a picture of it.
I heard (read) about the Alaska Fish House online and had to check it out - esp. the fish & chips and the bread pudding. They were yummy! However, it was not at all what I expected. It really is a fish house - whatever that is. I mean they had all kinds of fishing gear in all sizes, I guess they do charters.

Here's a couple of pictures of the city of Ketchikan. Look at those mountains! We didn't do any tours or trips at this port we just wandered around and shopped.

Then next pictures are of Creek Street. It's buildings and a walkway next to/over a creek. Back in the gold rush days is was the red light district, but today it's all about shopping. Check out the salmon in the creek.
This picture was taken from our balcony just before we sailed away. We had fun here and the weather was in the low 60s. Not bad!
I'll post more later, but I can't promise when because there are so many things I need to get done before my "grand" jury duty in November.