To avoid the steamy summer in Washington, where better to go than Alaska. Our old travel agent warned us that Alaskan cruises were for senior citizens, but that couldn't mean us. We started off in Vancouver. What a pretty city--from downtown and from the ship as it pulled away from port.
Cuising on the Radisson Seven Seas through the Inland Passage, we sailed through Misty Fjords. These narrows inlets carved by retreating glaciers offer spectacular views. Arriving in Ketchikan, we visited the Totem Pole Museum. But we just had to see more of the fjords, so it was up in a float plane. Flying over the fjords, we landed on Goat Lake, 1,300 feet above see level. Getting out onto the pontoons, we got close to the clear but cold water.
Our nest stop was Juneau. Visiting with Kath the Director of Licensing for the State of Alask, and the daughter ot Jeanne and Brad Reardon, we got a taste of local like (a la Northern Exposure). The are no roads running from Juneau to anywhere, but it does have it own attraction--the Mendenhall Glacier. judging scale is not easy in Alaska. The Mendehall Glacier is nearly two miles across. Getting to it requires a helicopter. Once atop the icey mass, care was required to avoid stepping into a cravass, with their eerie blue glow starting some fifteen feet down.
Our next stop was Skagway, the gateway for the sourdoughs that went north to Alaska in their search for gold. While many trekked their way to Lake Bennett (the headwaters of the Yukon River), in 1899 the railroad was built to take them over Chilhoot Pass. While we could enjoy the beautiful vistas, we also saw the cemetery outside of town as well as the narrow footpath over which the sourdoughs had to walk.
In Sitka, the old Russian capital, we sailed out to see. In addition to seals, we saw sea lions and otters. And the highlight was the whales. Breaching the surface, we got close as cleared their blow holes to breath (and, believe it or not, they have very bad breadth).
Getting off the boat in Seward, we wound up in Anchorage. Basically seeing the city in an afternoon, we planned on 'fly-in' fishing the next day. Our float plan took us 100 miles over pristine countryside. Landing on a quite river, we were amazed by the beautiful lodge that awaited us. We nearly reached out limit of two salmon each, with some of the filets still in our freezer.