Wandering Around Ketchikan #TuesdayTravels

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The last Alaskan port on our Princess Inside Passage Passage cruise was the picturesque town of Ketchikan. As you can see from the photos, we had another cloudy day, and rain started mid-way through our visit.

Jann and I walked from the waterfront to scenic Creek Street to visit Dolly’s House, now a “brother museum”. The house was quite interesting, as was Dolly herself, so I’ll devote a separate blog to that visit.


The rain started while we were inside Dolly’s House, so we sought shelter in several stops along the way where we made last minute purchases. I found some Alaska T-shirts to bring home, one with a graphic of the Northern Lights–viewing the Aurora Borealis some day is still on my bucket list–and another proclaiming Alaska as being “Just North of Normal”. Alaskans seem to pride themselves on being just a little bit different than those of us who live in the Lower 48.

Back at the dock, we stopped to admire the sculpture in the round called The Rock by Dave Rubin. The monument features seven figures from area history: Chief Johnson, plus a fisherman, a miner, a logger, an aviator, a Native woman drumming, and an elegant lady in 1890s clothing and carrying a carpetbag.

We sailed from Ketchikan around noon and spent the rest of the day at sea. That night we had our second formal dinner in the dining room, topped off by the ceremonial procession of the Baked Alaska desserts to the tune of the Tarantella. I’d forgotten how yummy Baked Alaska can be. This isn’t the best photo–it’s a bit blurry–but gives you an idea of what it looks like. I think cruise ships are about the only places where Baked Alaska is still served. Neapolitan ice cream topped off with meringue. What’s not to like?
baked Alaska

I’ll close with yet another pretty picture of sunset at sea, this time with a tiny crescent moon visible at the left top.


Sunset & Crescent Moon

Cruising Glacier Bay #TuesdayTravels

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One of the highlights of my recent Alaska Cruise was the day we spent cruising in Glacier Bay National Park. I don’t know when I’ve seen such spectacular scenery. I took more than 150 photos that day. You’ll be happy to know that I don’t plan to share all of them today.

welcome to Glacier Bay

The park rangers came on board in a small boat (nowhere to dock) so we had their commentary all morning. Since Jann and I had a cabin with a balcony, we stayed there most of the day, except for a brief trip to the dining room for lunch. The average high temperature in Glacier Bay in June is 60.4 degrees, but since there wasn’t much sun that day, I’m sure the temps were well below average. This very unflattering picture of me dressed like Nanook of the North tells the tale. I was wearing about four more layers under my rain jacket, plus fur-lined boots, knit cap and gloves! And yes, I’m a spoiled Southern California weather wimp, but it really was cold out there on the open sea with glaciers on all sides.

Linda at Glacier Bay

It was interesting to hear the history of the first European explorers to venture this way. The ice in those days was so thick that they couldn’t get as far into the bay as we did. So while I wanted to think that this wildly spectacular scenery isn’t much different than when John Muir visited in 1879, but it is. Grand Pacific Glacier provides evidence. The reason it looks black rather than white is because it is a retreating, and unhealthy, glacier.

Grand Pacific Glacier

Margerie Glacier, on the other hand, is holding its own, and is much prettier. Note the blue color of the glacial ice.

Margerie Glacier

Though whales were spotted by other passengers, I didn’t actually see any that day. I think we were a little early in the season. I was fascinated by the floating ice floes with dots on them that turned out to be sea gulls and other birds.

Ice floe with seagulls

If anyone doubts the glacier are melting, take a look at this glacial waterfall.

Glacial Waterfall

Here’s a close-up of the glacier:

close up of glacier

That night we celebrated my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding anniversary in the dining room, along with singing waiters and a delicious chocolate cake.


The day ended with another gorgeous sunset at sea.

sunset at sea

What a wonderful cruise. Next stop: Ketchikan.