Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Airport Dike Trail

Tuesday, Mom took Gram and Grandpa to the Mendenhall Glacier and to the Shrine of St. Therese. It was family camp day or something because that place was hopping. We had 4 cruise ships in town, so the Glacier was also busy.

Mr. X and I met them for lunch and then we took a walk at the airport.

The eagles were eye-ing a little dog. The pup recognized what was happening and ran to its owner. The owner leashed him up and kept him close and they went on their way.

Grandpa wanted to see Wells Fargo, Costco and our church building. We took him on the grand tour showing him all three branches of the bank, the church, and the site of the dedication of Alaska to missionary service (Chicken Ridge).

Grandpa treated us to dinner at the Twisted Fish. I had the spicy halibut burgers.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tracy Arm

Gram, Grandpa and Mom cruised to Tracy Arm on Monday. They had to be at the Marine Park dock at 8 am. I received a call at 7:40 am that the parking garage wouldn't take their credit card so I ran down and took the rental car to park it in another spot.

They boarded the Adventure Bound at 8:15 am and departed for the Fjords south of Juneau. Their destination was the South Sawyer Glacier. This tidewater glacier - meaning it is in the ocean itself - is impacted by tides. A high frequency of glacier calving - or breaking off of ice occurs throughout each day. The roar and splash is dramatic and thrilling.

Tracy Arm also supports a seal sanctuary so the travelers also saw seals and their pups sprawled out on many of the ice bergs.

Take note of the long pole in the first picture. This is the captain pushing the boat away from chunks of ice that pose a threat to the boat.

pictures from our trip in 2009

the fjord continues under the 2000 foot deep water

Dramatic cliff reminiscent of Lord of the Rings

Mama and her baby

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Skagway to Juneau - Mendenhall Glacier

The weather was nice but the bugs were biting

Early on Father's day, we packed the rental car and headed back into town to catch the 7 am ferry back to Juneau.

This time we grabbed a 4 bed stateroom with a sitting room. Mr. X dominated the sleep-a-thon - sleeping 3 hours in the room. The last hour of the cruise, we gathered around the table to watch the view, eat some lunch and hear a book review from Grandpa (End the Fed by Ron Paul, if you're curious).

In the evening, we headed over to the Glacier to see a bear cub, porcupine, Arctic terns and their chicks, and of course the Mendenhall glacier.

Can you see the fluffy grey and white chick?

By now we were beat and the travelers had big plans (again!) for early Monday morning. So we called it a night.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


In the morning, Mr. X and I broke camp and headed to town for showers and to pick up train tickets. Then we headed to the cabin for breakfast. Everyone there was already showered and had eaten so we soon headed out to the Dyea townsite.

Grandpa grabbed his trekking poles so that he could hike the first 15 feet of the Chilkoot trail - a highlight for him.
Next we walked through part of the Dyea townsite. We saw an old rowboat and warehouses moldering away into the earth. In a few years there will be no evidence of the town at all. After a quick picnic lunch in downtown Skagway, it was time for Gram, Grandpa and Mom to board their train. We bought them one way tickets to Fraser, B.C. and planned to meet them on the other side of the border.

Mr. X and I drove over the White pass and had no trouble getting past customs. The train arrived shortly and we were told they saw a brown bear and mountain goats.

From there we drove to Log cabin and to the Welcome to the Yukon sign, then back to Skagway. Gram and Grandpa spent some time shopping for momentos and we toured the Klondike national park museum.

By now it was raining. After a taco dinner at the cabin, Mr. X and I drove back out to Dyea for the night. It was still early so we stopped at the Slide Cemetery to see the headstones of those stampeders who perished in the April 3rd avalanche.

After all that driving I was exhausted. I feel asleep in the back of the car and only woke up to help Mr. X pitch the tent.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ferry to Skagway

In the afternoon we headed for the ferry terminal to meet the Malaspina for our "cruise" up to Skagway. Grandpa had insisted on a stateroom so that we would have a nice place for Gram and Grandpa to stretch out for a nap. It was a good thing too because we all took a turn resting for at least an hour.

Mom and I spent a few hours relaxing on deck chairs on the solarium deck watching whales, dall's porpoises, lighthouses, and glaciers slide by.

At 7 pm we warmed up some soup in the cafe and had a pleasant dinner as we approached Haines.

As we departed Haines, Gram and Grandpa and I did our walking - strolling 'round and 'round the deck.

We arrived in Skagway at 9:45 pm and still needed to find the cabin for the night. I had a suspicion of where it was, but wasn't positive. Luckily I drove straight there and Nan was waiting for us when we arrived.

Gram and Grandpa and Mom stayed in Skagway Bungalows - Raven Cabin. Mr. X and I headed to Dyea to camp for the night. When we had gotten everything settled and were just drifting off, I realized I had chapstick in my pocket. The Dyea campground is a clean camp area (i.e. bears), so I didn't want to have anything smelly in the tent. I jumped up to put the lip balm away and promptly set of the alarm on the car. Lovely. Midnight in the campground and I'm the goof who sets off the alarm.

Fishing and Whale Watching

dropping the crab pots

Looking for Sea Lions

Friday morning we loaded up the rental car and headed for the dock to go fishing. At the last minute Mom whispered that we had to stop at the Glacier, because they'd been in town three days already and hadn't been there yet.

After a quick stop we headed out the road to Amalga Harbor to meet E. We hopped in his boat to try our hands at halibut and rock fish. The fishing was slow (it was a little early in the season), but the whale watching was spectacular.

Mendenhall Glacier from Favorite Channel

Check out the sore spot on this sea lion's neck. He had a nylon net there last year. T reported it along with his tag number and this year the net is gone.