Hawleys Landing

Our cruise was over, we went through Canadian customs at Vancouver, took the cruise bus back to the airport, took airport train out to the long term parking, found the truck, crammed all of our stuff in and buckled up headed out. It is nearly 3 and 1/2 hours from our stateroom to this point so our first stop was the airport shopping mall for a ‘necessary’ break. OK, now off to Blaine Washington where we went through US Customs to get back state-side. Since it was much later than we’d hoped for, there was an hour plus back up at the border. Exhausted, we stopped for the night in Wenatchee Washington after a beautiful drive through the Cascade mountains. Then on the road again for an easy drive to Spokane where we house sat for son John, did laundry, and stocked up on fresh food for our next destination, Hawley’s Landing. I think we are getting too old for this reality stuff, taking a cruise was much easier.

When we arrived for our planned 5 weeks of camp hosting we set up in an area reserved for seasonal employees and other personnel that do not need to be in the main campground. This was a pleasant surprise as we did not need to assume our duties for another week. I am sure that this is as close to a sinecure as I will ever get. Our first week of camp hosting with no responsibilities, and no scheduled activities! This was heaven!!!

002 HostSite
Our Host Site

This was our site while we hosted. Hosting here involved keeping the reservation cards up to date, campsite cleanup, and answering questions.

This was a very nice place to be for the week we rested, Ā and the 4 weeks that we hosted. We headed off to son John’s for a little more time with them. After that, it will be time to set our sights for home.

Just another thread in the tapestry of life

your random rover, Gordon

 

Cruising Back to Vancouver

We are now on the last leg of our Alaska-Yukon adventure aboard the Holland America Westerdam. We sailed out of Seward Alaska in the evening and by morning we were entering Glacier Bay.

Cruising at a reduced speed we enjoyed the marvelous views all day long.

After leaving Glacier Bay we continued our journey to Haines Alaska in the night.

Haines Alaska

After breakfast, we debarked and took an all-day walking tour of this small picturesque town. Ambling along we visited most of the stores and other attractions. Regrettably, the hammer museum was closed. Yes, that was on my list of “gotta see its”. Fort Seward, the Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center, and the American Bald Eagle Foundation were interesting stops.

Back onboard we are headed south on the inside passage to Juneau Alaska.

In addition to shopping Juneau’s tourist district, we rode the Mt. Roberts Tramway for an exhilarating view of the harbor.

By the time we arrived back at the ship, the drizzling rain that had plagued us most of the day ended. We are warm, dry and with a nights rest will be ready for our last port of call Ketchikan Alaska.

Ketchikan has a massive tourist district. So, of course, we shopped. Knowing that this was our last chance, we spent the morning hunting bargains.

In the afternoon we took an exceptional city and totem tour.

I will leave you a couple of views of Ketchikan’s most famous area, Creek Street. Up until 1953 all of the buildings on this street were bordellos. It has since been converted into an upscale arts and crafts shopping mall.

Tomorrow, we will spend our last day and night at sea.

During our cruise, we enjoyed a couple of Vegas-style shows in the main theater, a couple of America’s Test Kitchen classes, some breathtaking scenery from our balcony and the ubiquitous, daily, cruise ship towel animals.

Now heading back to reality,
Your Random Rover, Gordon

 

Denali, Anchorage, and Seward

An all-day bus tour of Denali National Park was in our schedule today. On it, we saw lots of flowers, wildlife, and of course some awesome scenery. Unfortunately Mt Denali, previously Mt McKinley, spent the entire day hiding in the clouds. The weather was misty, cloudy, and damp but we felt lucky as some people come here and all they get is pouring rain.

How did that mushroom sneak into the flower gallery?

In addition to the caribou, grizzly bear, and grouse above we also saw moose, deer (sorry no pictures) and lots of other small animals.

 

 

Although the day was less than photogenic we had a good time and would highly recommend the Denali tour. After the tour, we took in the visitor center and returned to the hotel for dinner. For the last 2 days of our land tour, we will be traveling by train to Anchorage and then on to Seward where we will board the Westerdam for a 7-day cruise back to Vancouver.

 

 

Some of the Scenery Heading to Anchorage

In Anchorage, we stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel. In the evening we decided to go find some fish & chips for dinner which we did and then returned to our room to rest up for the next day. Since we did not have to leave until after 11 AM we went out to breakfast rather than trying one of the hotel restaurants. After that, we sauntered off to the nearby Saturday craft market which we enjoyed. Then it was time to head to the train for Seward.

The ride to Seward was highlighted by many glaciers and mountain scenes. We saw a number of Dall sheep but I was unable to get any pictures.

Overall the land portion of our trip was something that we will always remember. It was both exhausting and worthwhile. Our Alaska trip would never have felt complete had we simply done the cruise and seen some of the port cities. We will be stopping in numerous port cities on the way back.

Looking forward to some shipboard relaxation,
Your Random Rover, Gordon

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