Saturday, September 8, 2012


 David and I took a trip of a lifetime last week to Alaska!  The weather was amazing to us, only rained on one day while we were still on the ship.  The rest was sunny and fairly warm.  We had prepared for lots of rain and cold, but didn't have to use all the gear we had brought.  I know we just lucked out, but I am so grateful that we did!

We left Seattle on August 26.  I will add here that cruising is a whole new experience and there were a lot of things that I didn't know that I do now.  Not sure if we will cruise again, still trying to decide on that one, but we did have a great time.  The long days on the ship where hard, but the informative talks on the places we were going and things we were going to see that made the time on board worth it.  And the fun people that we met.
We hiked in Juneau to the Mendenhall Glacier.  The glacier has receded in the last 40 years so that you can see the exposed rock that shows just above my head.  
Close-up of the Mendenhall Glacier
We rode the tram up to the top of  Mount Roberts in Juneau.  That is our cruise ship below.  It climbs 1800 feet in a matter of 5 minutes.  Yes, my ears were popping.
On our hike on Mount Roberts in Juneau, this plant was new to David and I.  The leaves were huge and when David went to lift up a leaf,  he was poked by a spike.  We learned it was Devil's Club and it can cause infections.  Fortunately, it didn't break David's skin and he was okay.
This is part of the hike that we took around the top of Mount Roberts. We did the 1/2 mile hike in about 10 minutes, stopping to look at some plants and the view.  

When we were in Ketchikan, we went on a crabbing expedition.    David was the one to pull up the crab cage up from 90 feet down.  That must have made him so hungry that he was ready to eat one without cooking it!  (j/k)  After we came back from the crab hunt, we had a crab feast of dungeness crab!  Fresh crab is the BEST!!

In Sitka, we had the fun experience of sea kayaking!  That is our cruise ship in back of us.  It was a fun day with the sun shining so warmly.  Great day in Sitka! 

One of the many eagles that we saw in each port.  This one was in Sitka.  They are such beautiful animals.

Another part of our Sitka experience was hiking and biking on the island.   We biked to the Thimbleberry  trail and  then hiked from there.

A waterfall on the Thimbleberry Trail.

This is a "petrified" whale at a park that is called (of all things)  "Whale Park."   David was determined to stay on as he rode!

About mid tide in the George Strait where we went to catch dungeness crab.

The crab cage that David pulled up.  They used a red snapper and a salmon head as bait to catch them.  Interesting day.
We hunted Humpback Whales in Juneau

You will never know how hard it was to catch this shot!  With the bouncing of the boat and the  difficulty of  keeping my camera trained on the spot that I was sure the whale would come up next, I almost gave up getting it.  Success!

One of the unbelievable sunsets on the ocean.

The sun just turned this whole evening silver!
This is the glacier we saw in Tracy Arm.  The only day that we had rain and it was cold.  The rest of the time was really warm for Alaska!

In Juneau, we toured a mine and then they taught us to pan for gold!  David got pretty good at it, but I got more than he did.  He had about $1 worth and I got $3!