Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Berkeley Park Day

Last Saturday started out foggy. We went through several layers of fog as we drove from the campground to Sunrise Point. Above that elevation it was mostly clear.
Our hike took us to Berkeley Park. A "Park" in mountain parlance is a wide expanse of meadow. Those who said the flowers were gone should have hiked to Berkeley Park. Of course, they were wrong anyway, as I had counted over twenty that I could name on our morning hike the previous day, and found others I hadn't seen earlier in the afternoon.
Berkeley Park, on the other hand, was a floral feast. There were at least half a dozen flowers that I had not seen before.
The marmots were having a feeding frenzy on the hill. There must have been a couple of dozen of them in one area. Their entire job for the summer is to eat, and then eat, and after that eat some more. They often take a moment out to pose, though.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Prince Rupert BC

The First Nations group in the Prince Rupert BC are the Tsimshians. After a guided tour of the museum, we were treated to a sampling of a Tsimshian feast (in our area it would be called a potlatch.)
A fitting good-by to Prince Rupert

Just Images

Shipboard views from the Inside Passage


Skagway sits at the northern end of the Inland Passage. The little town, which now boasts about 850 year-round residents, was the setting off point for the Klondike Stampeders in 1898. Because of depression in the "Lower 45", (OK, NM, and AZ not admitted to the Union yet) stalwart unemployed adventurers with gold fever swelled the then population of a dozen or so to thousands almost overnight.
In order to go to the Klondike where the gold was, the RCMP required them to bring a year's supplies. A year's supplies weighed about a ton. There was no railroad up the pass yet, the only way to get there was on foot. Even if the railroad had been there, by the time they got there they were out of money anyway and wouldn't have been able to book passage. The few who used pack animals to carry their goods up the White Pass were the ones who provided it's nickname: Dead Horse Pass.
Others chose to go by way of the Chilkoot Trail from nearby Dyea. It was a bit shorter and more direct. That's where one of the classic photos you might have seen of the miners in a steady streem uphill in the snow was taken. Uphill is the key word here.
We hiked the Chilkoot trail--the two miles at the beginning of the 33 miles. About a mile and a half of the two miles was steady uphill. About 30 of the 33 is uphill. Steep uphill.
We were smiling when we set out --did I mention that it was uphill? Actually we were still smiling at the end, though if we had done the 33 miles, I don't know.
Thre was a strange mist--some fog--and it settled just right for this picture of Face Mountain.
The mist stayed quite a while on the river. This guy was drying his wings as we floated by. (We hiked uphill, floated down the river to our return.)
The view down the inlet toward the sea.
Back in Skagway, we had plenty of time to explore the town and shop for souvenirs for all the grandkids. This old Caddy reflects the local museum, which had an excellent display. Local museums can sometimes outshine the biggies in spirit. The locals are really "into" their history.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tracy Arm

After Juneau we sailed into the fjord called Tracy Arm to see the Sawyer Glacier--another tidewater glacier. A fjord is a submarine glacier carved valley. As the glacier calves, it sends out icebergs such as this one. Some are small, but others like this one are big enough to host a family of birds.
Back in Ketchikan we could have gone to see the Misty Fjords. This fjord was misty, too. Steep cliffs, waterfalls, deep valleys that made you wonder what you would find if you could hike into that wilderness.

The Sawyer Glacier.
I love this picture. The photography crew from the ship were let down in a dingy to go get some nature shots. Those photos were later for sale in the photo gallery. Sigh! We could have left them there and they wouldn't have continued to bug us as we left the ship with shots of us with bogus Alaska critters.

Friday, August 17, 2007


My Juneau excursion was a photography tour.
Needless to say,
it is difficult to chose just a few to post here.
The forest at Treadwell reminded me of Siberia.
These trees have grown up in the ruins
of the burned out community that had flourished
around the gold mining site across from Juneau.

Juneau has about forty miles of roadway.
There is no road that goes away from Juneau.
Planes like this are a common sight in Southeast Alaska.
The Treadwell site burned in 1916.
This pumphouse was to provide enough water
to take care of any fire.

Needless to say, it didn't.
The purple fireweed grows all through Alaska.
Mendenhall Glacier outside of Juneau has receded
quite a bit over the last century.

While I was wandering around Juneau with the camera,
Ranney was zipping through the rain forest canopy.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Ketchikan is known for its totem poles. Did you know that the low man on the totem pole--the bottom figure--is actually the most important? I guess he's got the weight of the cares of all the other figures on his back.

Ketchikan is also known for Creek Street. In older days it wasn't just little shops and restaurants. It was a bit rowdier. The salmon were headed up the creek to their spawning grounds.

Sea Kayaking to the Tatoosh Islands was our excursion. As you can see below, we didn't just take a picture of the kayakers.

60 Miles

It's 3 days, averaging twenty miles a day. It's sixty----60----XL---siente miles.

Just so's ya know.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cruisin' to Alaska

Okay, I am not going to start with Alaska. I am going to start with my fascination with this ship. I am only posting five ship pictures of the fifty plus that I put in my organized album.
As you can see, the ship is BIG
--really BIG!
You can see that it towers over the streets of Ketchikan here.
We had the most incredible weather most of the way.
When it rained, it was where it ought to rain.
Fog was just right.
Why, you might ask, do I also label this posting 3 Day?
Three laps of the ship is approximately one mile.
Guess how many laps a day I did
when not in port doing other walking?
The ship possesses it's share of elegance. This is a view
down into the Grand Atrium.
Everything is shipshape and shiny.

And this is an elegant good-bye to this post.

Next post will be Ketchikan.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Breakfast at McDonald's

We had breakfast at McDonald's again this morning. This may not seem very significant, but there is no McDonald's in our town. In order to go to McDonald's you have to go to the next town either direction. In either direction it is 5.5 miles from the Pathway parking lot (a little farther from the house).

Breakfast at McDonald's is one of my ways of getting my training walks in for the Breast Cancer 3-Day next month. With the temperatures hovering in the high nineties (when not in triple digits), getting that walk in at any other time of day is next to impossible. That McMuffin is my necessary incentive. One of these times I will make the return walk as well.

My donation page for the 3-Day is at
I could sure use some more sponsorship.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


We were on our way up to Second Burroughs Mountain Tuesday afternoon when we heard a huge boom. This is what we saw ahead.

When we got to the top, we talked to this lady who had been sitting there sketching. She said that the main piece of rock that fell was "the size of a small hotel--it was definitely bigger than a house." After thinking about that remark, she amended it "Maybe a large hotel."

In this shot from the next morning, you can see the lighter brown "patch" of cliff near the center of the picture. This is where the rock fell from.

We missed seeing a bear once again, but we did join this sightseer in looking over Berkeley Park.

and gave a wave to these guys as we headed back to headquarters.