Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Where the Leviathans Roam

Alaska – Inside Passage. The second part of our visit to Alaska included a tour of the inside passage. We took the cross-gulf ferry. It’s about a 3-day trip through some extraordinary terrain. In addition to seeing some spectacular glaciers and rugged mountains, we also stopped in 3 ports. Yakutat, famous for the Hubbard glacier. Hubbard is a tidewater glacier stretching some 76 miles. It is an advancing glacier, and if it continues, it will eventually reach and close the seaward entrance of the Russell Fiord. This will create the largest glacially dammed lake in North America. We also stopped at Juneau, the capital of Alaska (completely inaccessible by land…you can only get there by sea or plane), and my favorite, Ketchikan. Ketchikan boosts the largest collection of Totem Poles in North America…they even grace the front of some peoples homes.

Ketchikan - Creekside
I especially liked the Creekside area of Ketchikan. The salmon were in abundance in the creek and the restored gold-rush era buildings made it easy to step back in time. You can almost still hear the music and levity spilling out from the saloon and onto the wooden sidewalk.

The inside passage is also a great way to see marine wildlife. We saw many, many whales. Pods of killer whales and dolphins were also spotted. I loved it! There is something mystical about whales, and I felt privileged to see so many. One thing I learned while on the inside passage cruise, was that I have a tolerance for about 3 days at sea. The vistas were unbelievable, but the same dining room, same food, etc. made me feel a little closed in. Still, there is absolutely no better way to see that much of Alaska's coastline - fantastic!

PS – It was a tad chilly!!!

Me - On deck

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