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July 14, 2009

Skagway Day 5:  07.12.09  Added bonus:  it’s Peter’s birthday.

One thing they never told you in geography class is how beautiful the world is.  (Boy that’s a grammatically correct sentence!)  Teachers expect you to learn mainly the facts and figures;  what the main export is, how large the cities are, the population, the climate and so on.  So, on the cruise, we learn some of that too but the scenery is so amazing, so spectacular.  Oh my goodness, how gorgeous. 

Today we spent in Skagway, also spelled Skaguay by the locals.  I’ll go with the “w” because that is what I saw on the sign for the US postal service.  This is mainly a summer town with the main industry being tourism…duh.   Like Juneau, it’s land-locked…can’t get in except by boat or plane, yet this place has lots and lots of RV parks…they have to ferry those in. 

We left the ship at 8:30 this morning for a tour of a gold dredging apparatus and then, we panned for gold.  Between us, Rodney and I managed to find about $20.00 worth.  We elected to keep it in our “poke” and that my friends, is a plastic tube sort of like a 35 mm film canister.  In the old days during the actual gold rush in the Klondike, a poke referred to whatever bag the miner or panner carried his find around in on his person.  So we have this little black canister with our gold flakes in it.  Panning was fun but I have to say I’m glad I don’t make a living that way.

After panning, we went back to the ship for some lunch.  On the way, we were delayed quite some time by a tourist train but that’s ok…we had the most awesome view of Harding Glacier.  We had our lunch ont he Lido and then Peter and Rodney made a short foray into town, while Donna prepared for Peter’s birthday party in the supper club and I first went to the chapel and second, did a bit of watercolor on the balcony.  Had about a 30 minute nap and then got ready for dinner.  I pulled out my little black dress, the sparkly jewelry, and the high heel shoes along with a wrap.  Despite the sunshine and the relatively warmer day today, this evening it is really cool as we head out to open sea.

During our meal at the very top of the ship, we had spectacular views of the mountains and glaciers on both sides of the ship.  The food was unbeleiveable…started with escargot and just got better after that.  Humpback whales were sighted by the ship naturalist but try as we might, we never caught a glimpse of a splash and certainly not a whale tail.  That’s ok.  On tap for tomorrow is the great sea otter and whale adventure, where they guarantee you will see a whale or you get your money back. 
Our last activity of the day was a short stint in the casino.  I haven’t had any luck really, this trip.  Guess there is always tomorrow.
I can’t wait to be able to post the pictures that go with each day.  You, the reader will not get quite the same effect as the actual visualization but maybe it will make you want to take a trip, north to Alaska.

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