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Cruise Days 3 & 4

July 12, 2009

Ketchikan Day 3:  07.10.09  Excursion to Tinglit saxon village and to a lumberjack competition. 
We started the day off early this morning.  We do computerized wake up calls and I started out by giving the wrong time.  It was supposed to be at 6 am but I put in 7 am.  Then we didn’t realize that another time change had occurred.  We woke up at 6 but it was really 5.  Craziness happens.  We had room service toast and coffee and planned to eat in Ketchikan in port only we couldn’t find a breakfast menu anywhere in town…lots of salmon and restaurants which served fish and chips but no bacon and eggs.  There were lots of shops though and for all of you expect soveneirs, I did buy a few but mainly I took the most gorgeous pictures.  Alaska is most gorgeous. 

Our early foray into town, about 8 am led to souveneir shopping, an hour long guided tour on which we got awesome pictures of bald eagles and had a great bear search.  We never saw bears but eagles are really abundant.  They are everywhere this time of year as the salmon are moving upriver to spawn and they enter the waters here. 

We went back to the boat at 11 and had a late breakfast on the Lido.  Then we returned to Ketchikan for our scheduled excursion.  We saw Saxon Village, a Tinglet settlement sporting many totem poles representing their tribes or clans.  The poles were made of western cedar, hugh trees.. hand carved and painting and depcting Tinglet history and stories.  Abraham Lincoln and William Seward were depicted on the poles, Lincoln in honor, Seward in derision.  The Tinglet are not suble about their insults when mockery is due.  The pricds in tyhe settlement were outrageous but I was pleasantly surprised to find handmade items and non of the items had “made in China” tags. 

After our bus tour of the Tinglet grounds and a viewing of Tinglet native dancing, we moved on to totem pole carving and a lumberjack show.   Most of the humor was lame and I never though about lumberjacking as a sport but, I was impressed with the physical prowess and awesome endurance of the sawyers and choppers.  Spectacular muscles and strength.

Returned to Spirit about 4:15 for a quick rest before dinner and then hurried into dress up clothes and jewelry.  Checked on photos in the gallery and then headed into the dining room and an awesome chef-prepared dinner.  My steak was perfect! 

Then we were off to the casino.  No losses for me tonight…pretty much broke even….played penny machines so hard to lose there.  They aren’t supposed to smoke in the casino but they do and eventually I have to leave before I suffocate.  Stopped by a piano bar on the way up to our room.  It too was smoky but the entertainer was taking a break and an adolescent boy was playing rock and roll til the regular guy came back…I’m glad he finally made it.  The pianist returned and we sampled our drinks while he played another number or two.    We drank our drinks and packed it in for the evening.  We came back to our room to catch up on a rest and relaxation before another  exciting day tomorrow.

It was a nice day…Tomorrow…maybe I will have a facial.


Juneau, Day 4:  07.11.09  Excursion to Juneau, Douglas Island, Mendenhal Glacier, and Mendenhal Valley. 
We were up by 7 this morning and our toast, cereal, and coffee arrived at 7:30.  We left the boat by 8:30 and were standing on the dock

ready for our tour by 9.  We boarded a bus for the glacier and wow what scenery!  Had my picture made in front of the Mendenhal Lake

and Glaceir with a couple of great kids.  I promised to put their pictures on my blog, whick I’ll do when I get back home.  For some reason,

it isn’t possible to get my photos uploaded from the ship’s internet connection.  The compressed ice of the glacier was so blue.  There

were waterfalls and waterfowl, eagles, bears, salmon galore, and icebergs.  After a short hike and an hour of picture taking, we were back

on the bus and headed for the salmon hatchery where I bought stuff to make salmon dip, which I will make when my kids come home to

visit next time.  We actually watched the salmon climb the ladders into the hatchery and spawn in the tanks.  Did you know salmon eggs

are red?

The driver dropped us on the dock and we hurried up to our rooms to stow our morning purchases and have some lunch on the Lido. 

Today’s menu included Asian food, which I ate with chopsticks and a garlic ginger spread so hot that smoke came from my ears.  After

lunch, we rested about 30 minutes and then headed off to explore Juneau.  Both Peter and I wanted to see the goernor’s mansion up close

and take pictures.  We took off on foot and walked up a really steep hill.  We made it 10 or so blocks before our feet were crying and we

hailed a cab.  The cabbie was Ted Ford, the most awesome tour guide…if you ever come to Juneau, ask for Ted; you won’t be sorry.  He

took us to the mansion, showed us all around the town…even the places in Juneau where tourists don’t usually go.  We saw Gold Creek

and the Romance Stone, on the location of the first gold found in town.  He took us to Douglas Island, accessible only by bridge, boat, or

air transport.  We took pictures of the GAstoneau Channel, the cruise ships in port, the Governor’s mansion, saloons, and other local

landmarks…really thorough.  Then, he took us to Sheep Creek where we saw dog salmon coming in to spawn at the mouth of Sheep

Creek.  The water just teems with salmon.  They are so eager to die…After the eggs are laid, the adult fish die.

By 4:30, we were back on board the Spirit and resting in our rooms.  I spent a bit of time online with Amy before dinner.   We didn’t dress

up tonight but as usual, the dining room was quite elegant.  I had a great meal of snow crab legs, fruit cocktail, and polenta with a

mushroom puff pastry.  I followed all that up with strawberry cheesecake.  MMMM.  I am always inspired by the food I eat onboard.  I

can’t wait to get home so I can try out some of the recipes in the cruise cookbooks.

After dinner, we played movie trivia as a team of 4 and won!  Peter takes home the “ship on a stick”.  Stopped by the casino but since we

were only minutes out of Juneau port, it was closed.  We decided to rest a bit and then go up on the Lido for a late night concert and to

check out the midnight buffet.  We won’t be up late, though…our excursion begins at 9 in the morning!  I think we are leaving early and

eating in town in Skagway in the morning….whatever we do, it will be a beautiful day.

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