Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Alaskan Itinerary

Thursday 9/9
Meet Mom @ Sea-Tac for connecting flight to "Bellingham International Airport" (sounds FAR more impressive than it is!). Stay overnight at Rodeway Inn in Bellingham, WA.

Friday 9/10
Decide we'll be bored to tears if we have to sit in the hotel all day. Mom makes a few phone calls while I got to Haggen Grocery Store to stock up on candy for the trip and to procure some Starbucks. Take a cab to Bellingham Ferry Terminal, leave our suitcases in baggage lockers outside for $1/each, spend several hours walking around the Fairhaven historical district near the terminal and having yummy lunch at the Colophon Cafe. Return to ferry terminal and play cards and Yahtzee to kill time before Elderhostel check-in @ 4pm. Board ferry, the Columbia. Find stateroom. Unpack. Ferry leaves Bellingham @ 6pm (5pm ferry/Alaska time). Explore layout of the Columbia and have dinner (salmon) in the table-service dining room. Watch onboard video, "The Rookie" (good flick!) Begin 38 hours on water...

Saturday 9/11
Continue 38 hours on water...
Get up to walk circuits of ferry for 30 minutes. Breakfast in Snack Bar. Meeting with Elderhostel group & coordinator @ 8:00am. Begin to cross open water (Queen Charlotte Sound) @ 8:30pm. Fight nausea to make it back to the cabin to lie down for the two-hour open water crossing. Commiserate with Mom about how yucky it feels. Revel in the end of it two hours later when it all goes away. Lunch in Snack Bar. More open water (Mill Bank Sound) in the afternoon = another hour lying down in the cabin. Attend talks by National Forest Service Interpreter. Dinner. Games. Sleep.

Sunday 9/12
End 38 hours on water...
Ferry arrives in Ketchikan, AK @ 5:30am. Disembark, go for 20-minute run, visit Alaska & Proud grocery store for coffee and treat for Mom, call E from ferry terminal pay phone, return to ferry. Two quick stops later in the day @ Wrangell & Petersburg. Walk around for 15 minutes each time. Purchase bottle of red wine in Petersburg. Elderhostel meetings and interpretive talks continue.

Monday 9/13
Ferry stops in Juneau from 1:15-4:15am. A bit too early to do anything...
Ferry arrives in Haines @ 9:45am. Disembark with entire group for nature tour, lunch, and a bit of sightseeing in Haines. Bundle up in lots of layers and raincoat to brave the weather. See bald eagles, harbour porpoises, lots of salmon spawning, sitka spruce, devil's claw, mushrooms, etc. Tour Haines Brewing Company and purchase a liter-size growler of IPA for E. Return to ferry (which has been up to Skagway and back) @ 3:30pm. Ferry leaves @ 4pm. Meetings & talks as before.
Ferry stops in Juneau @ 10:00pm. Disembark with Mom and two other Elderhostellers. Rush to ferry terminal to call cab to take quick trip into city center to see the State Capitol. Encounter awesome taxi driver who gives us a 1-hour guided tour of downtown and tells us marvelous stories about Juneau and his life. Return to terminal @ 11:15pm. Ferry leaves @ 11:30pm.

Tuesday 9/14
Ferry arrives in Sitka @ 8:30am. Disembark with entire group for Tribal Tour. Manage to fit in a 24-minute run after seeing National State Park and rest of town. Return to ferry. Meetings and talks as before. Pack suitcases in preparation to switch ferries in Ketchikan tomorrow morning.

Wednesday 9/15
Ferry arrives in Ketchikan @ 9:00am. Disembark with entire group and baggage for Gray Line tour to Totem Bight and downtown Ketchikan. Tour bus returns to ferry terminal @ 12:45pm. Go for 22-minute run. Get lunch (awesome salad bar) with Mom at Alaska & Proud grocery store. Board new ferry, the Malaspina, @ 4:15pm. Discover that it can't hold a candle to the Columbia and give thanks that the majority of our voyage was on the Columbia! Learn layout, dinner in cafeteria, read, games, etc., etc.
Begin return 38 hours on water...

Thursday 9/16
Continue 38 hours on water...
Get up @ 6:30pm to walk two miles around outside deck. Battle wind and rain (slip once - oops!). Learn later that was the first open water crossing (Mill Bank Sound) of the day - no wonder it was so rocky! Attempt to pass the time with reading, games, talks, etc. Lie down for second open water (Queen Charlotte Sound) crossing. Eat. Read. Walk. Read. Games. Talks.
Are we there yet??

Friday 9/17
Arrive at Bellingham Ferry Terminal @ 10:30am - 2 1/2 hours late due to log in engines overnight (had to shut them down for 2 hours) and bad timing for Wrangell Narrows (had to wait for tides/currents). Disembark first off of ferry, rush through terminal, snag a taxi, make it to airport by 11:00am for 11:30am flight to Sea-Tac. Arrive in Sea-Tac @ 12:10pm, say goodbye to Mom, head to gate for 1:30pm flight to Sacto, return home to my E and my Muffin.

A most excellent trip, indeed. Happy Birthday, Mom!!!! I love you!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LNJ said-

I hope that it was a good time. I needed a nap after just READING about your adventure. I don't think that it is a trip I would take, but then again, I can't think of any trip I would want to take right now.

Other than that, what's new/news?

1:03 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home